Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Brings a new meaning to Norwegian Wood

All manner of news and strangeness to report, some of it simultaneous. Spent the weekend watching all 33 episodes of Inspector Morse on fast forward as freelance research for a forthcoming documentary about the fictional Oxford detective that's particularly focusing on the TV drama's music. The production company must have been happy with what I did, as they recommended me for another job where I may end up writing programme notes for a classical concert at the Royal Albert Hall. Strange how one thing leads to another some day.

Spent this morning travelling to and from Edinburgh to meet with an animation company. I've had some encouraging comments about the script I wrote as assessed work for my screenwriting MA last trimester. I intended Danny's Toys to be a calling card script, something to showcase my talents. The hopes of it ever been made as less than zero, but several industry professionals urged me to try, so I'm trying. Had a fascinating meeting picking the brains of two BAFTA-award winning filmmakers, who confirmed a lot of what I already suspected.

Still, I haven't given up on Danny's Toys yet. I had three professional script readers give me reports on a recent draft. All of them came up with different things they would try or change on the script, but they also agreed unanimously on several elements. I've been through their feedback and am now giving the script another pass, using the insights from these fresh pairs of eyes. Nothing like having a dispassionate outsider to look at your work to get a fres perspective on your work.

What else? I'm going to Norway next month to lead a comics course for writer/artists. I'll be spending the weekend in Bergen, helpiing them develop their stories. These will be scripted, drawn and published in an anthology graphic novel at the Raptus Comics Festival in Bergen this Septembeer. I'll be an official guest at that festival, so in the unlikely event anyone reading this blog lives near Bergen, hopefully I'll see you in September!

I've never been to Norway before but have visited Denmark several times. I'm always surprised by the commonplace nature of pornography in Denmark. I spent the day in an office where the unisex toilet had a massive stack of porn in one corner. Admittedly, it was a videogame development company and they only had one women working there, but it was still rather startling. Sexual harrassment, anybody?

What else? Next month I'm also leading a two-hour course about novel writing in Dumfries. It's on Thursday night, March 29th, at a library - more details once I've got them. I've never seen myself as much of an authority on anything, but I guess having had 16 novels published [with two more in the works for this year] I can claim some sort of expertise - however dubious that might be.

Last but not least, I've gotten my final grades for the two modules I completed last trimester at Screen Academy Scotland. According to the MA Screenwriting Handbook, a Distinction grade "demonstrates ability to consistently perform at a higher level than might be expected of a typical student. Shows evidence of outstanding professional and creative growth, self-motivation and critical self-awareness. Produces work of originality and where appropriate innovation. Consistently uses initiative and can demonstrate excellent organisational skills where needed. Consistently pro-active and shows a thorough understanding of and ability to perform their professional role. At the top end of scale achieves a standard of work close to or exceeding that of professional practitioners in the early stages of their career."

On the Script Development Workshop I got an overall mark of D2 - D5 is the best grade you can get - while on the more academic From Script to Screen module I also got a D2. So far I'm gotten somewhere between D3 and D1 for all six modules I've completed. Perversely, those six modules are worth a total of 90 credits - only half the amount needed to secure an MA. I've still got this trimester's modules [Research and another Script Development Workshop, worth another 15 credits each], and my final project to come. The final project is the big one, worth a massive 60 credits, a third of our total requirement. Our task is to go away and write for three months. I'd be looking forward to that more if I knew what I was gonna write...

1 comment:

ming said...

David - I live in Bergen, so feel free to drop me a line if I can help out with anything regarding your visit. You can get hold of me via the sendmail on the main 2K board.

Cheers!

ming (another David).