Of scripts and festivals

I hope everyone’s doing well. There’s been a lot going on – including the first Covid-19 vaccine dose knocking me for six. But let’s focus on the scripts and festival news.

MAGIC IS MURDER poster with laurel
MAGIC IS MURDER poster with Finalist laurel

MAGIC IS MURDER, the horror comedy script I co-wrote / polished last year, has made it through to the finals of the Beyond The Curve International Film Festival in Paris. It was a great test, to see if I had the chops to work on someone else’s feature screenplay and collaborate. Firstly, it was a good test to see if I could get it done before my birthday last year – and despite a heavy workload, it took me 5 weeks to do a complete rewrite. And it was a real pleasure to get to know the author and original screenwriter and producer Simon O’Kill and to collaborate on all of the changes. So despite it being a little unconventional, I’m chuffed for the team that this script has been received so well.

Next, IMPRINT, the very dark horror short script, has just made it through to the semi-finals of the Cairo Indie Short Festival and hopefully we’ll find out on June 10th if it progresses further in the competition. But super chuffed that there’s life in the project yet.

IMPRINT - semi finalist laurel Cairo Indie Short Festival
IMPRINT – semi finalist laurel for Cairo Indie Short Festival

Lastly, I spent this weekend chatting with Hasse Brontén and Johnny Vikeväkorva Johansson – both of them the leads of the horror short SVEN GUNNAR, and although I can’t reveal what was discussed, or agreed, I can tell you that so far there are multiple people who are raving about the horror / thriller feature screenplay. So once the jury is in, we hopefully will have something to announce around that project. Perhaps the name may also change… although it makes sense to work on the back of the original, we do have some better potential titles which are more fitting for a feature project – to help attract fans and financing.

I am currently working on the plot for another horror feature. This is a new project that I’ve mentioned here before. I have 1/3rd of the plot sorted for it. I’m toying with the title BLÖDA (aka Bleed, formerly known as BLÖT), for this pagan horror feature. But nothing’s set in stone yet. But I am making efforts to bring this one to the screen asap and get this feature project off the ground this year – if doable. I’m already on the hunt for materials to make some of the props I’ll need. As soon as I’ve figured out the plot, I’m knocking this one out in script form.

One last thing… I’m currently evaluating whether I should do a Patreon site. The idea being that perhaps I can share more of my filmmaking journey, including lots of unseen BTS materials, give people early sight of screenplays etc, more information on filmmaking and screenwriting tools, techniques and information, in return for some support to help me keep at this filmmaking journey. Hopefully the idea appeals. Please let me know please if the idea of a Patreon does interest you!

#imprint #imprintmovie #magicismurder #magicismurdermovie #horror #horrorcomedy #comedy #shortfilm #feature #screenplays #screenwriting #filmproduction

I’m reading scripts again

Last year I read a script a week – I think I was inspired by what someone listed as one of their goals on Twitter – but the difference was that they read one a day, every day for a year! And I think they were a professional writer, so had the time each day to do this… Due to my work commitments and extra curricular film related activities, this wasn’t sustainable. But one a week was doable…

I had a calendar reminder set, and every Saturday (or Sunday, if I was off filming and had to delay it by a day) I would make the time to read a script. The rules I set for myself were: 

  1. You don’t get to choose. You read the next one alphabetically in the folder irrespective of what it is
  2. Even if it’s terrible, you read it all
  3. And that folder must be curated outside of your personal preferences, to widen your perspective, beyond your personal tastes (so I took mine from every award nominee script download email link, and every twitter download link etc, but I already had hundreds downloaded before which were more in my wheelhouse and a lot of others that I’d always considered reading and then never got around to).

So I read a lot of TV pilots, random episodes of hit shows and features, and even some notable shorts. I even read some of those terrible adaptations of hit UK shows that they tried to relaunch in the States, and could see why they disappeared and never made a splash. 

And if I was sent a script by someone and had to read it, I could choose whether that script counted towards my goal or not. 

What is the point?

If it was bad, I needed to work out why it didn’t work and if it was good I needed to know why it worked. You also, subconsciously begin to absorb the formatting tricks and stylistic devices that different writers use. And also, who would turn down the opportunity to lose yourself in someone else’s vision for an hour or two? I mean we do it all the time when we watch TV or a film, right? And usually I felt inspired to write shortly after each great script, so there was always a knock-on benefit, purely from a motivational aspect.

Anyway, I kind of let it go after December due to lack of time, But I think I’m going to get back into it and continue. So I’ve got 4 scripts to make up for it before I can relax and just do one a week next weekend…. lol – But for any of those looking to up their game, I can definitely recommend the benefits of some scheduled script reading. 

Places to start, when looking to find scripts to download:

Oscar 2020-2021 on IndieFilm Hustle

No Film School – Oscars 2020-2021 list

The Daily Script TV script downloads

10 Great Websites to Download Movie Scripts

Need more reasons to try it?

8 Reasons you need to read screenplays