Tag Archives: shorts


Almost a year ago I started this Blog because I had just interviewed for the post of Resident Tutor at Bath Spa University where I was to be studying for my MA. The post included accommodation on campus and I was dithering about giving up my home and my jobs and all that entailed.

Well, almost one year later, and here I am packing up to leave campus having lived here since September. I am now jobless and homeless but the happiest I have been in almost two decades. It was definitely the right decision and what a year it’s been.

Moved to campus.

Wrote my first stage play.

   Shattered my ankle.

Lost a locum position because of this.

Stopped smoking.

Went tee-total.                      

Joined two dating sites.

Went on one rubbish date.

       Read a tonne of books.

Wrote a first draft of my feature-length supernatural coming of age thriller.

Became a short horror film reviewer for Ghost Town Records.

Got my first paid writing job on a short film script.

Wrote 16 short film scripts.

Wrote 2 short plays.

Found some amazing film people on Talent Circle & Shooting People.

Shot & edited my first short.

Wrote & shot my 2nd short film.

Passed all my modules.

On course for a first.                                                                                    

Failed to find a second job.

Used up ALL my emergency overdraft.



Posted by on August 2, 2012 in Back To Uni


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After spending a wonderful couple of hours in the library storyboarding the first page of my script (16 shots), I came home to an email from the BBC telling me my script Freer is  in the final six for a BBC Writers Room Rapid response brief. Details of the brief are here:

and the judging process here:

I got very excited when I read the email and went screaming out to my flatmate/colleague who I’m not really close to at all but I just had to share. I wish I could remain all mysterious and hug the news to myself until the final results are announced. Then I’d be able to either tell the world that I’m a winner or not say anything at all and nobody would know I’m a loser. My way means I get everyone really hyped up and hopeful  and then I let them down and it’s all a bit shit.

But for now I’m on cloud nine and the Creative Director of New Writing at the BBC will read my script. Which is a bit of a win even if it doesn’t go though. 

Back to the Storyboard.

What an amazing process. I have the film fully visualised in my head and I was actually able to turn my mind into a DVD player and pause, rewind, zoom to see what shots I would use. Hard work, but it’s all in there and I think my hours (years really) of watching films and reading books on film means that I have absorbed and understand film language.

The above pic is a particularly useful exercise from my Dramatic Structure module in the first term. We chose a Ladybird book to read and then had to storyboard it for 20 minutes and this taught us what the major beats and strong moments of the story were. Really useful for scene building and cutting out the padding.

I’m currently reading this AWESOME book:  

It literally gives you every shot and a story board and commentary from the directors who include Roman Polanski, whose first short Two Men And A Wardrobe is just brilliant visual storytelling, not one word of dialogue, and Jim Jarmusch, whose Coffee & Cigarettes is all chat. Both wonderful. I can’t recommend the book enough for film students and makers.

I’ve also watched all the shorts on CINEMA 16’s European Shorts & British Shorts which inspired and taught me so much. In particular Christopher Nolan’s first short Doodlebug just blew me away and what’s interesting is how much it foreshadows Inception

Here’s a link to a well received British short featuring an outstanding performance by Andrew Scott who recently played Moriarty in the BBC’s fantastic Sherlock Holmes. The site in general is a useful resource for shorts.

And here is a link to a multi-award winning short and it’s screenplay. Read the script first, make a note of your thoughts and then watch the film. I’d be interested to hear what you think.

Write, I must now do some academic work so that I actually have a 2nd draft feature script to submit next Friday…

Thanks for dropping by.

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Posted by on April 19, 2012 in Back To Uni


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