Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Rain, Rocky films and River City

Well, it's August and summer has packed up its sunshine to go on holiday. After a seemingly endless spell of glorious sunshine [actually, about two weeks of mostly glorious sunshine, but that's an endless spell by Scottish standards], the rain is hosing down outside. If only I'd possessed the enthusiasm to cut the grass at the weekend. Guess it'll have to wait.

The digger is still hard to work on the vacant plot of land next to the house, its engine providing a constant vibration and background growl of noise - always a bonus when you're a freelancer writer at home, trying to concentrate on a complex job. I'm hopeful the excavations will be finished sooner rather than later, but that's probably self delusion. Must concentrate harder.

UK screenwriter Chris Parr is offering free script notes for those who want them. He kindly agreed to have a look at my script for Live and Let Live, despite the fact it was for a 10-minute short, not a full-length feature. Best of all, he made several cracking suggestions for improving the look and format of my script. Anybody who's interested in what Chris is offering, visit his blog here.

No word back from the world of CSI, but I imagine Danny Cannon is not lacking for demands on his time. I'm making slow but steady progress on the TPO book, gently inserting new material into the early chapters and rewriting the text as a I go along.

For fun in the evenings I've been watching the five Rocky films in reverse order. Everybody keeps getting younger and better looking, with the exception of Stallone. His physical conditioning in Rocky III and Rocky IV is, well... Let's just say he didn't stint on the gym-time.

Also been watching BBC Scotland's homegrown River City, having recorded Sunday's omnibus edition. The show has gone all gangster, with two Glasgow hardmen sneering and taunting at each other in a Chinese takeaway. It's done with just enough tongue in cheek to make the storyline enjoyable, unlike another soap that recently spent months trying to become Get Carter and only succeeding in becoming Get Real.

After several months of non-stop River City viewing, I've come to appreciate how adept the show's storylines are at slowly introducing and developing new plot threads. Things bubble away under the surface for weeks or even months before bursting through to the surface, making the resulting explosion both surprising and inevitable - a tricky combination to pull off.

This could simply be my imagination, but is River City inching towards having Fi and Shirley become more than just friends? The pair are spending an awful lot of time in each other's company of late, and Shirley didn't bat an eyelid at the news that Fi was a lesbian. I lack the encyclopedic knowledge of past shows some others possess, but a Fi and Shirley fling could be the first grey-haired lesbian relationship on a British soap. Even if the two don't end up together, I suspect Shirley's bull-in-a-china-shop husband George is going to be jumping to all the wrong conclusions before too long. Expect trauma, heartache and long, lingering reaction shots of tormented actors aplenty. As they say in Scots, there'll be greetin' before bedtime...

1 comment:

Gordon said...

Got an application in for a writing gig on River City, have we? ;->