Work

The Tart

In mid-February, I started developing six premises into scripts for It’s My Shout; hoping multiple submissions would increase my chances of selection. My plan worked! And yesterday, it was officially announced that one of my scripts, Tha’s What I ‘Eard, will be produced by It’s My Shout and broadcast on the BBC (my first industry credit). You’ll have to wait until September to see that, but I plan to share the other five scripts before then. The first of which is The Tart. The Tart was the easiest to write as it was adapted from a segment of my feature-length script, The Darning Needle; my favourite segment as it features the best and most comical dialogue and the character of the protagonist, Elissa, really shines through. However, I think The Tart improved on the segment as it allowed me to introduce new setups and payoffs, which also allowed for even more comedy and strong character moments for Elissa.

Synopsis

Elissa’s dream is to be a rock star, and she has the personality and creativity to achieve it, but those who should be encouraging her, only suppress her; forcing her into either isolating herself or acting out. But when pushed too far, Elissa makes her final act one to remember.

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Marching Orders

I wrote Marching Orders at the beginning of last year as a contender to be filmed and submitted to Cardiff Mini Film Festival 2017 in the One Minute Wonder category. It just missed out on being shot by me, but after joining the filmmaking group Film Focus Wales, I offered it to them, and it was taken on by talented, up-and-coming director, Nat Pearse. I’m hugely satisfied with the results and will be looking for Nat and Film Focus to film more of my scripts in future. The film attempts to show how a positive attitude can affect those around you, and a negative one can do just the same. I myself am extremely positive about Marching Orders and its chances for selection for this year’s Cardiff Mini Film Festival!

The Darning Needle

Here’s an extract from my feature film script, The Darning Needle. The Darning Needle has been with me a long time; originally writing the treatment for my MA. Since then it’s gone through many drafts, and the story and themes have altered as I’ve changed my perspectives on things and my writing ability has developed. In its final form, it follows the protagonist Elissa as she’s held back from achieving her dreams by the selfish motivations of those around her (even those closest to her). I’ve decided not to continue with further drafts as, as I’ve mentioned, it has been through many changes over a long period of time, and I think it better to start afresh with new works that can benefit from a purer, more focused vision.

My First TV Interview

My first TV interview, on Made in Cardiff’s The Crunch, discussing my award-winning films and filmmaking in general. Overall, it was a good experience, that’ll hopefully prepare me for many more future TV appearances. The sound was out of sync on the clip from Bob, but it was still an excellent opportunity to promote my work, and I didn’t stumble over my words too much. More details on much of what I discuss, including my aspirations and my films and their development, can be found in the Films and CV and Contact categories and by exploring the rest of my website.

Handy Tips for Film Festival Submitters

This post was inspired by an ordeal with Zero Film Festival, for which my film Bob was selected but later withdrawn by myself due to the festival’s gross incompetence. They didn’t contact me after my selection, and I was only able to get hold of them a month later – less than two weeks before the event was stated as taking place – after pursuing a number of avenues and wasting a great deal of time and effort. At one point, even coming close to calling the police, suspecting I could have been conned. When I finally received a reply from the organiser – after tracking down his personal email by contacting a venue where the festival previously took place – it was childish and aggressive, berating me for suggesting there was anything wrong with the festival’s conduct and belittling my experience. It turned out the festival wasn’t even taking place on the date they’d given, and they hadn’t even organised a venue. Their excuse for not informing filmmakers? They were busy with other things and didn’t have the staff. More an admission of their inability than an excuse, although it wasn’t presented that way. Also, I was criticised for contacting one of the listed organisers and asking for help. It turned out they hadn’t worked for the festival for seven years – the fact this info hadn’t been updated providing more evidence of inefficiency – but they were happy to contact the current organiser and ask him to get in touch. For some reason, he found my actions inappropriate; perhaps because they drew attention to his organisation’s ineptitude. I asked him for a refund and was told one would be provided if I sent my PayPal details. I sent my email address, explaining that’s all you need, but heard nothing and received no refund. Needless to say, they pass none of the criteria listed here for spotting a good festival.

1. Use FilmFreeway, not Withoutabox. It’s far easier to setup, upload and navigate, the festivals are generally far cheaper (Withoutabox take a big cut), and Withoutabox are useless if you have an issue with a festival; they take ages to get back and basically tell you it’s not their responsibility and to deal with it yourself. You would have thought they’d just be able to contact the festival in question, right? Nope.

2. Check the festival’s contact info works before submitting. Call, email: make sure they’re quick to reply, polite and attentive. You don’t want to submit to a festival then find out they’re impossible to contact (believe me!).

3. Check the festival’s reviews. Do they have good ratings and reviews? Have they even turned the review option on? If they haven’t, they’ve likely done this for a reason. Note, Withoutabox don’t have a review option. Another reason to be wary of them.

4. When did the festival last take place? If a festival has been regularly taking place for a number of years, they’re likely a winner. If they’re taking place erratically every few years, they’re likely disorganised or failing to generate submitters due to their incompetence.

5. Look for further evidence that the festival is professionally run. A regularly updated website, a Facebook page with plenty of activity (again, make sure these are easy to contact), and videos of their most recent event; search for past ones too, but if that’s all they have, there could be a reason.

6. Lastly, think carefully and make sure the festival is appropriate for your film. Does your film fit the festival’s criteria/objective/rules/terms? Is it within your price range? A lot of festivals might pass the £20 mark, but you can find plenty for under a tenner if you search hard enough. If a festival seems overly expensive, check to see if the regular deadline has passed. Many festivals have earlybird deadlines that are far cheaper. So plan ahead and get your film in early!