Writer for feature film

I haven’t written here for an age but saw this and thought it was worth sharing.

This was posted today on Mandy.com.

Type: Film (LB)

Location: London

Salary: No Pay £100

Duration: ASAP shooting in July

We are looking for a writer for a feature film being shot in July. The team have put together an outline and character breakdown so we are looking for a talented writer with strong structure skills to join the team.

The story is about a Sri Lankan rickshaw driver who drives a stripper home, shot in real time. Knowledge of globalisation is a plus.

The team is made of industry professionals collaborating to take the feature to festivals. We have very strong industry links and have a production company so everything can be done in house. This is a no budget production, no one will be getting paid but the writer will receive a back end percentage on the film and £100 as we know it is a big job.

We are open to all levels of writers but would like to see some sample scripts, have a reference (film school is fine) and meet you in person before confirming.

We would like to have a first draft by 1st June and final draft by 15th July.

Not entirely sure what to make of this. Would be interested to see what the rest of the world thinks of phrases like “the writer will receive a back end percentage on the film and £100 as we know it is a big job.”

 

575 Wandsworth Road

On Sunday last I was taken to see 575 Wandsworth Road former home of Khadambi Asalache. The exterior of the property is unassuming. I have passed it uncountable times on my travels without even noticing the National Trust sign hung outside. Inside it is a different story. For a period of twenty years from 1986 through until his death in 2006, the Kenyan born poet, novelist, philosopher of mathematics and British civil servant decorated every room in the house with hand cut fretwork. The endeavour had a relatively unassuming Genesis. In an attempt to disguise persistent damp in the basement dining room he fixed pine floorboards he found in a skip to the wall. He went on to embellish this and every room in the house with fretwork patterns hand carved from more reclaimed wood. The place is astonishing and like nothing I have seen before. It is not only a reflection of Mr Asalache’s own Kenyan heritage but also his extensive travels. The walls and cielings are covered with rough hewn fretwork patterns. Interspersed within these crude lines, shapes and motifs are equally nieve murals. To describe his style as crude or nieve is in no way meant to detract from the level of creative sophistication on show. It is simply meant to discribe the rustic quality of the work. You can see the saw marks in the wood. Where misaligned junctions and unevenness are celebrated a contemporary interior might reject as faulty. It is an example of someone customising their living space with such idiosyncratic vigour that is hard for most of us to comprehend. I recommend you take the time to pay the house a visit.

The ever-so slightly patronising coverage of Jeremy Corbyn

For one reason or another I haven’t posted here for an embarrassingly long time. In my defence I have been working on an outline for Carrion. An outline that I managed to finish last week. I am now about to start a draft of the screenplay which means a protracted period of Jack Torrance like obsession. None of which has anything to do with why I decided to post today. Jeremy Corbyn. I, like many, was horrified by the recent election result which brought another Conservative government to power. The day after the election someone asked me if I was disappointed. National Health Service gone. Affordable housing gone. Welfare gone. As far as I can tell austerity is an excuse to dismantle the welfare state and I can’t believe people voted for the worst version of it. Too right I was disappointed. The person who asked the question replied to my predictions with the ever-so slightly patronising “we’ll see”. This from someone who has never really had it tough. I don’t mean “can’t decide which holiday to go on” tough. I mean “can’t feed your kids” tough. How do I know they’ve never had it tough? I once overheard them, in a conversation about how hard it is to find somewhere to live in London, say “I just pick up the phone, tell them how much I earn and they give me what I want.” This is an outlook that thinks because others haven’t achieved success they’re some how weak or lazy. This attitude is all too common in this country. It’s a soulless attitude that takes no account of personal circumstances or the hardships most people go though just to survive. In short, it’s an egocentric view of the world at the core of a rampant self-interest that this nation was infected with by Thatcher. For me it’s an attitude implicit in the ever-so slightly patronising coverage of Jeremy Corbyn. I, like most people, had never heard of Jeremy Corbyn before the recent Labour leadership campaign. But I keep finding things that make me say “this guy is interesting.” He seems to be offering a genuine, straight talking, alternative to rampant self-interest at the core of the current social and political landscape; an attitude that puts the values and interests of the very few at the top of this vast pyramid scheme we call capitalism. This is just a small example of what I mean when I say “the ever-so slightly patronising coverage of Jeremy Corbyn.”

IFTTT

If you’re reading this you’ll know I run three websites; DarrinNightingale // ScreenWriter, LessBeauty // MoreBrains and LessBeauty // MoreBrains². Both // MoreBrains and // MoreBrains² are image based sites fed by Flickr accounts. I set them up this way for a couple of reasons but primarily it made it easy to post to WordPress on the go. At the time the WordPress app was clumsy and emailing images directly to WordPress was unpredictable. It was hard to control how the image looked in the finished post. Doing it through Flickr allowed me to email an image, have it auto-post to WordPress and with a little tweaking of templates, get it to appear perfectly. I’ve been doing it like this for about two years but recently Flickr withdrew support for WordPress form their “Sharing & Extending” options. When I heard they were doing this I thought I’d have to start doing everything manually. But no. A trek round the internet brought me to IFTTT. IFTTT is a service that lets you create powerful connections with one simple statement; if this, then that. They call “this” the Trigger and “that” the Action. Together, that’s a Recipe. I love it. It allows me to post to Flickr and have my IFTTT receipt post directly to WordPress. It’s even easier than the way I was doing it before. At the moment I have just one receipt, posting from Flickr to // MorBrains but as there are a multitude of channels with an infinite number of combinations, who knows what uses I will be putting it to. What had the potential to be a minor disaster has been solved by something I have the feeling will become an invaluable tool.

Goodbye LOVEFiLM

Yesterday I cancelled my LOVEFiLM subscription or should I say, “I cancelled my Amazon Prime Instant Video subscription.” There were two big reasons for this subtraction. The first and biggest is frustration; I am so fed up of returning discs that I don’t watch because they are the lesser films on the priority list. I do want to see the films, I have after all put them on my list, just not this weekend. Most of the time I have to watch them on my own because I just can’t convince the people I watch films with that this or that movie is worth viewing. When the other people in your life want to watch the latest big release the pull of streaming is just too strong. The second reason for cancelling my subscription is entirely down to Amazon. The interface for choosing films you want posted is impenetrable, even for a seasoned surfer like myself. I can only think Amazon want to phase out the disc service in favour of the much more profitable pay-per-view option. The volume of films I watch in a year has already suffered, it’s simply too expensive to stream all the time. I really miss Blockbuster’s four films for £10 deal. You could go in and choose the perfect balance of films for the weekend, a comedy, a horror, a big release and an indie film. Not like LOVEFiLM postal service who insist on putting two world cinema titles or two romantic comedies in the same envelope. When I was in Blockbuster and had a comedy, a big release and an horror in my hand I would take a chance on an indie title and end up finding a gem. Now we go through what feels like a much reduced list on iTunes and check out the trailers. If the film was on a disc, I’d give it a chance. Now, if the trailer is shit, I’d rather save my money. £4.49 to rent a high definition movie is just too high. My only hope is that in this brave new world, where everyone streams their content, the price of movies will come down?

Clearout

Today I closed the accounts I had with EyeEm, AMPt Community, Twenty20 and Backspaces. I’m not entirely sure why, I guess I’m in one of those moods. Recently I have found it increasingly difficult to summon enthusiasm for what are essentially repeats of my // MoreBrains website and Instagram. I may live to regret this move but I hope, to paraphrase Andrea del Sarto and Mies Van Der Rohe, “less is more”.

To post or not to post

I had a conversation last week about my writing. A colleague asked how things were going. I had to confess my writing had all but ground to a halt. He wasn’t unsympathetic. He has aspirations to be an actor but has shelved his ambitions to put money in his pocket; “needs must when the devil drives” is the way he put it. I’ve had the same conversation several time over the last few months and always find myself squirming, telling half truths to explain my lack of output. The stock responses that explain “I’ve been busy with this” or “I’ve had that going on” invariably feel like excuses, probably because they are. I never tell the truth about what has got in the way of me writing. I don’t lie to people. I just don’t tell them what’s happened. I’m pathologically uncomfortable revealing the things I consider private. I am aware this runs counter to the zeitgeist. The world is awash with people willing to expose the most intimate parts of their private life to public scrutiny. I don’t know how or why they do this? My gut reaction is to maintain a wall of silence. Why? I’m not sure. Perhaps it’s a generational thing. Something of the unreconstructed “man” in me; the stoic, boys don’t cry, men just get on with it attitude taught to me by by the generations that preceded me. It could just be that I don’t want the reaction that comes when you tell people “my partner had a miscarriage” or “my dad died”. Privacy could be my way of coping, of staying in control of some very stressful events. There’s definitely an element of self-preservation being employed. I want to see people as caring and generous individuals but I have a view of human nature that sees people use the information you give them to their advantage. It’s not a charitable understanding of the world but one taught by experience. When push comes to shove people will do what’s best for them and if details of your private life help them get what they want, they’ll use it. Reading back over this post I realise I have revealed more than usual, more than I’m comfortable with. I now have to ask myself, what now; to post or not to post?

Finding focus

It’s been a while since I wrote anything here or in private. It’s been even longer since I wrote a screenplay. I feel frustrated with myself, ashamed that I haven’t been more productive. It’s embarrassing. But to write I need two things, quiet and time; neither of which I have had recently. Stuff just keeps happening to interrupt the routine that sees me get up as early as possible, make a cup of coffee and then get to work. Without the discipline of the routine nothing gets done. I can’t work at night. I know people who do stuff all day and thin sit down to write at night. I don’t know how they do that. I’m just too tired. My head is too full to concentrate on anything as complex as a story. I need the blankness you have in the morning. The blankness you have before the day imposes itself. If I can find my focus out of that blankness I’m set for the day, well half the day because the afternoon is spent at the coalface of the service industry. I have a screenplay to finish. I need the routine!

No broadband for a month

Just a heads up to everyone who is kind enough to follow my websites. I will not have broadband for the next month. Not sure how I’m going to cope. Contents of // ScreenWriter, // MoreBrains and // MoreBrains² will be sparse until we get full speed internet access. See you on the other side.

Just a thought

Just another quick thought regarding my previous post. Part of us securing the new lease is having to submit credit reports and references. Understandably our landlord wants to check that we are reliable. Throughout this process the subject of the landlords reliability has not been bought into question. This strikes me as entirely one sided arrangement. Just a thought.