Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The glamour of winning a prize, and the reality

Apparently I got a mention in Edinburgh's Evening News paper for DANNY'S TOYS winning a first prize at the PAGE International Screenwriting Awards in Los Angeles last month. [Way to keep up with current events, Evening News!] Of course, they didn't bother tracking me down for my interview, so there's no fresh quotes from me in the article - at least, not anything I actually said to a reporter. It's not the hardest task in the world to find me, since I'm listed in the director and the PAGE awards website mentions the town where I live - where I'm the only David Bishop.

The good news is winning the first prize has gotten some attention and I've parlayed that into a few meetings. It's also gotten my work into the hands of people who wouldn't otherwise have known my name. The success of DANNY'S TOYS has persuaded a few agents to read my scripts, but whether that will lead to an offer of representation is another matter. Nevertheless, the win gives me a fresh paragraph for my writing CV and that doesn't hurt. No, I didn't get a free trip to Los Angeles or anything so exciting out of the prize - chance would be a fine thing.

I have now received my prize money. The first prize was worth a thousand American dollars, plus various gift vouchers. The organisers kindly offered to turn the gift vouchers into cash, as postage charges from Hollywood stores to my home in Scotland would have swallowed most of the vouchers' value. That topped up the thousand dollars to more than eleven hundred, which got sent to me via Paypal. Alas, the exchange rate meant my prize was only £511 when it reached me.

What am I going to spend my winnings on? Perhaps a stunning suit by Paul Smith, or a romantic weekend in Paris? Maybe a two-day course in London, or much needed memory upgrade on my groaning computer? Nothing so exciting or useful. I had an accountant's bill well overdue for payment, that consumed more than £400. And I had been in danger of falling behind on my self-employed person's National Insurance tax contributions, so that took the rest. Not exactly glamorous, but bills need paying. Some days, you've simply got to take care of some business.


Anonymous said...

Hi Dave,

As you also have a comic background, would it not be expedient for you to approach agents who represent comic writers as well as other media, I am thinking of Tim Corrie at PFD who is Peter Milligan's agent who seems ideal for you.


Lucy said...

According to an interview with Robert Harris in the Evening Standard the week before last, all 85 agents at PFD have resigned now thanks to that takeover palaver.

So, which agents are reading your work David? Email me if you'd rather not say em "out loud" in the Scribosphere.

FilmTraveler said...

Congratulations! Pretty soon, you'll be making that much in an hour.