Sunday, 5 April 2009

Easter Delights

It feels bizzare that it reaches 7 o'clock at night and the sun is still out. Guess I've gotten used to the continued darkness of Winter, which is why I relish Spring's return so much. Suddenly everything seems that much brighter, and colourful, and because of it I'm full of optimism and good cheer. Bless the sunshine, and long may it continue.

Saying that there's much more than just the weather affecting my mood these days. Over the last couple of weeks you see I've been tremendously busy on a number of different projects; diverting my attention from the filming of a short film, to developing a radio drama series, and also developing a maybe-one-day potential TV series for the sake of a university project.

The film is called Tit-4-Tat and tells the parallel story of a British politician called Jack Harper, who once acted as a hitman/soldier in the Middle East, and a Middle Eastern called Asim - who is called in to assassinate Harper, minutes before he's about to meet the press.

It's a clever script written by a friend of mine called Daniel Frost, and developed by myself and others in two university classes - that's Creative Producing and Directing Actors for Screen. As I'm only a Producer on the project, and most defintely not a director, my input is pretty limited to say the least. My involvement thus far has just been as a sort of "paperwork guy". I get the actors to sign their contracts, ensure that location agreements are put together correctly and signed, and other petty stuff like that. It can be very frustrating, taking a back seat and watching others do all the (fun) work. In the end we'll have a completed film that - should! - rock; but I don't feel as if I have any particular ownership of it. Unlike Self or April 3rd or Eyes Down this isn't mine, and there's very little (if any) 'me' in it at all.

I won't bore you with details of my university script progress. Needless to say, I don't put nearly enough effort into this week, as if my brain knows that it's all just one big excerise, that will never conceivably see the light of day. So why bother writing a 45 page script? It's not like it'll ever end up on BBC primetime, or whatever.

In direct contrast, I'm pretty much guarenteed a spot on radio. Over the past few months I've been trying to put together a radio drama for Bolton FM - a new station that launches in the North West June 21st. Well, this week I had a pitch meeting with the station manager Kevan Williams and two of his lovely assistants. Kevan seemed very enthusiastic about the project and what I have planned and encouraged me to write and produce a pilot episode, with an eye to having a full time radio soap running from the station launch this summer. It helped that the university's facilities were, in his opinion, better than his own station's (and he wanted the opportunity to use them...) but I like to think... no, I know that what I pitched impressed him enough to agree to have me onboard the team.

That's my focus for the next however long. It's too early to reveal anything about the series (plenty of time for that soon enough!) but know that of all the things I've written it's probably the most sophisicated, but then it's the most fun too. I can't wait to make a start on things. The writing process begins over the Easter holidays - and I'm hoping to have a final draft Pilot ready for May 1st, ready to record that month - so that we're ready for the June launch. Then... onwards and upwards; the sky's the limit!

It's great to have something to work upon during the Easter break, otherwise I'd just waste the holiday drifting aimlessly through the days, until it had ended and I landed back at university with a BANG! Easter should be a lot of fun, too. I mean there's the beginning of the end in Doctor Who - after this there's only three more episodes to go before the David Tennant era is no more. Ooh, and brand new Red Dwarf too. I've waited ten years for this. Honestly an old diary of mine tells of me watching the last new episode, "...Only the Good" exactly ten years ago. Always wondered how they'd resolve that cliffhanger ending of Rimmer and Death. Now, I guess, I'll come close to finding out (although it's Red Dwarf, where continuity means nothing).

Shall also find the time to view The Wire's fourth series. Honest to God it's the most amazing show ever, and I'm not quite sure what I'll do when I've run out of new episodes to watch. Cry, most likely. It's just so human and raw, somehow becoming a thing of beauty and masterpiece during the viewing process. More than anything else this is the key influence on my writing now, which - when completed - you'll no doubt see in my mysterious Bolton FM radio project.

Of course, they'll be no Easter eggs for me this year as my bet to stay off of the junk food and drink is still going strong, three months in. I'm detirmined that I have the will power to last out the whole year. Oh yes! How great will that be, if I manage it?

If I take the moment to look beyond Easter, then I just don't know - either what lies next, or how I get to that place in my life. Will the radio drama succeed? What about Tit-4-Tat? University? Hmmm.... lot's of maybes and I don't knows.

Shall be interesting reading this back in years to come; as this is a hive of activity, my life. Right now, anyways, Wonder what I'll make of it when the wrinkles set in, and the voice drops even deeper and the hair starts to thin.

The beginning of it all, maybe...?


I'm on holiday from regular reporting for the next few months. Until then enjoy this rare public jaunts, and know that I'll be back full time at some point this summer.
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