Friday, 13 September 2013

Border Queen


So... I had the privilege recently of being involved with a really exciting indie TV project. Border Queen is the brain child of award winning writer/directors Stefano Nurra and Fabio Paladini who filmed the pilot in Edinburgh back in the summer. It was produced by my mate (and super producer) Anita Norfolk.

 The first proper trailer has just gone live and it's looking mighty, mighty fine.

My role on the project was as Script Editor - I came on board just as pre-production was ramping up to work with Stefano and Fabio - giving them an outside perspective & advice on the current draft & helping them get the final script together for the shoot. As English was their second language, a lot of my work was about getting the dialogue to sound suitably British and then helping them work through the story to make the most of their vision. Was a joy to work with such talented guys on such a clever and bold project & think the trailer is looking great.

The project was self funded; done on a very small budget but looks like it cost ten times what they had to spend. They are running a Mobcaster campaign to help them raise the funds for the final push through post-production. If the show looks like it's your kind of thing, or if you just like supporting emerging talent, do consider pledging something to the appeal.

You can keep up with the project here:



In Between Days...

Hey folks,

Sorry for another long blog silence -

Given the nature of film and TV production, I've perhaps been too quick in the past to share about all that I'm involved with - only for things to get cancelled / deals to fall apart before projects can get off the ground (which is a regular occurrence in this world!). So... I'm being a bit more cautious and keeping schtum for now about exactly what I'm doing but hope to be able to blog about my current work once it's all further along. 

But in the vaguest terms: I've had try outs for two BBC continuing dramas - one of which is still ongoing and one of which has led to a commission on the show. Things are yet to be signed but am due to start later in the autumn. I'm planning to blog about the process of going through a trial for TV once I'm done with them both.

I'm also developing a low budget feature film and a new TV series for a couple of producers - which is exciting. Both are long cherished ideas so it's fun to be able to run with them.

Anyway - just wanted to check in and say hi!


Friday, 22 February 2013

Cloud Atlas

So I'm heading to the cinema tonight to see a film that I wrote part of! Ok, so it's a small part but all the same am pretty stoked...

The big budget adaptation of Cloud Atlas is released in the UK today. Part of it was filmed in Scotland back in 2011 and the filmmakers put out a shout for local writers and directors to submit ideas for extra scenes they wanted to include in the movie. I came up with an idea for my pal Anita to make, which she pitched to the director Tom Tykwer (who made the film alongside The Wachowski's). He loved it and gave us a budget to go and shoot the 60 second scene. We had a hoot pulling it together and were stoked to learn it was accepted for the movie.

Here's a screen cap of our clip (top left corner).

And here's one of my name in the credits.

Was great to work on such a high profile production and to have a director like Tom run with our idea. Am so proud of the crew that helped us achieve the scene. I've yet to see the finished film so can't wait to see all our work on the big screen this evening!

(Thanks to Duncan Cowles for the screen caps)

Thursday, 31 January 2013

Bleated New Year post!

I started writing this blog post just before New Year but it got postponed by work, which given that it's a post about postponing posting due to work is somewhat apt. However I have an unofficial rule that it's still OK to wish people Happy New Year until the end of January so this still counts!

I've recently had a couple of people ask what I'd been up to lately. Eagle eyed viewers will notice this blog went a little quiet in 2012 (no posts at all!). Sorry about that - I had a very busy, and pretty tough year. 2012 was my first full year working in the TV industry and was a steep learning curve - one with some great highs and a few lows, as I learnt to navigate my way around a sector that no one can really train you for. I'm coming into 2013 with a lot of gained wisdom but also with a few bruises too.

Much of the year was spent building relationships with producers at broadcasters and independent productions companies - having meetings to pitch them ideas and see if there is anything they'd like to work with me on. Lots of hours spent on trains/planes to London but good fun and I met some fascinating people. There's been quite a bit of interest in a few of my ideas and so much of my time this year has been spent on turning them into pitch documents - I've written up seven of these in total that have been winging their way round old London town. Some have been passed on, some are still being considered and some others have been picked up and taken to the next stage...

The highlights of the year were that my thriller Maybury and my relationship drama The Youth Movement both went "into development". That's where a company works with you to shape the story in more detail in order to try and sell them to the different broadcasters. Both are still currently moving forward and I've had a great time working on them with some lovely people who really care about the story worlds.

Another highlight was writing a (very!) small part of a big budget movie. The adaptation of Cloud Atlas shot in Scotland last year and the filmmakers put out a shout for local writers and directors to provide additional material for them to cut into film. I wrote a small scene for them which my friend Anita directed at the end of 2011 but we didn't know until this summer if we'd made the cut or not - which we did! The film's already been out in the US but not been released over here yet so I've not seen it but am looking forward to catching my work, even briefly, in the cinema soon.

2012 also saw me start pitching for work on more existing shows - including a well known cop show and soap opera. Sadly I missed out on them to writers with more experience but it was good to be in the running and get on the radars of the people in charge. I was also in the running for a place on a REALLY EXCITING show that I would have loved to work on, only for the programme to get cancelled! Oh well! C'est la vie!

More recently I've been beginning to work in the world of continuing drama - I was long listed for the BBC's Writers Academy last year and as of January am currently writing a trial script for Holby City. After I complete that I'm doing trials on two soap operas which I'm looking forward to getting my teeth into. It's great to get an insight into how these productions run, they are big old machines but run by people that really care about them and who look after their writers.

So... that's me. Sorry for the radio silence - just had too much on to really stop and reflect. I shall endeavour to improve on my blogging average in 2013!

So with 2 hours and 14 mintes to spare... Happy New Year!