05 December, 2011

The Blaine Brothers Award Nominated Short Films

"0507" was nominated for the British Independent Film Awards last night. It was also nominated for the Christopher Wetzel Award at the Just For Laughs Festival and been selected for festivals such as Austin Film Festival, Roof Top Films (NY), LA Comedy Shorts and Shanghai International.

Also check out “The Maestro”, starring Robert Bathurst as Beethoven, at the BBC Comedy website. It has already picked up a nomination for the Aesthetica Short Film Festival shortlist.

Blaine Brothers YouTube channel

01 December, 2011

Back Up Your Data Day (01/12/2011)

It's the first of the month which means it's Back Up Your Data Day (although it should be done day-to-day!).

We can also use this day to delete stuff we no longer need and de-fragment our hard drive(s) to keep our machine lean and clean - if you know what I mean?

Windows guide to defragmenting
Mac guide to defragmenting


15 Amazing Apps for File Storage in the Cloud

"In a new age of online solutions, it didn’t take long for a diverse range of internet entrepreneurs to target one of the most common problems for almost every computer user; hard drive failure. Suddenly, someone had the idea of allowing people to backup their files in the cloud and the rest is history.

I’ve brought together the best revolutionary new apps that allow you to store your precious files in the cloud and (in some cases) even share them with others!"

Article in full


A reminder about Matt's simple and effective back-up:

"I have never been able to get the hang of proper backup software and procedures. I always end up getting into a complete pickle about the various full backups, interim backups and how the bloody hell I'd back everything up if my hard-drive became shot with the backup software on it. So these days I just have a complete clone of My Documents on a portable drive and use Microsoft's Synctoy to keep the files up to date."

However I would suggest backing up your entire Documents and Settings folder and not just the My Documents part of it as it which would include emails and favourites/bookmarks. This link has more details.

I asked Lee about the Mac equivalent:

"Things like emails, bookmarks, fonts, templates, RSS feeds, Applescripts - anything used by an application, but not created by it when you hit Save - are kept in your Home folder, in the Library. In Mac speak, that's ~/Library. Apple apps such as Mail, Safari, and iTunes may have their own folders. Non-Apple apps like NetNewsWire, Montage, Final Draft, Scrivener etc, will keep all their stuff in ~/Library/Application Support. The truly paranoid might want to back up their preference files as well. I know I do. These are in ~/Library/Preferences.

For safety's sake, back up the entire Library folder, it's probably only a few hundred megs."

There are also mac apps: Jason Sutton recommended: Time Machine and Sam recommended Genie Timeline.

Thank you Matt, Lee, Jason and Sam!


Don't delay, do it today. It's Back Up Your Data Day, hooray!

03 October, 2011

Script Reader Gripes

Script Reader Gripes: #1 What does your character want? Apart from a re-write.

"Ask any script reader and if they are being honest they will tell you that the majority of scripts they read are poor (read like first drafts and by page ten the reader wishes they had been good at maths at school), the rest are average (readable, competent but dull) and the small minority are works of genius. Script readers read a lot and they can go months without reading a script that stands out.

Before the writers among you see us script readers as the enemy and a whiny bunch at that, remember this - as a writer you should also be a script reader. If you don't read and analyse other peoples' scripts, (whether you are getting paid or not) you are doing yourself a serious injustice.

You can learn from the good scripts but I always think you can learn much more from the bad - and that is what these 'Script Reader Gripes' posts are going to aim to achieve; an insight into the lessons that can be learnt from years spent reading those bad/average scripts."

Read more

Script Reader Gripes: #2 A little goes a long way.

"Often in scripts the little things get over-looked but when you add them all up those little things become big fat hair-pulling things of super annoyance. This is my own personal list of 'little things' that get in the way when reading scripts. You may have written the best script the world has ever seen, so please don't blight it with the following..."

Read more

Follow the writer on Twitter

17 July, 2011

01 June, 2011

Movie Checklist

Here's a quick Movie Checklist - make sure you know the answers to these questions before you write your treatment.

  • Title:
  • Genre:
  • Goal:
  • Arc:
  • What’s the wound/flaw which has prevented my character from achieving this arc before the beginning of this story?
  • How does my characters appearance/speech/environment change to reflect this character arc?
  • Character’s name:
  • Rough age:
  • Poor/middle/rich:
  • Expertise of the movie:
  • Intriguing relationship in the film:
  • How does this relationship change as my character moves through his/her character arc?
  • What is the hook? Describe the front titles sequence.
  • What am I going to set up in the first ten pages?
  • What’s the inciting incident and how is this going to be shown in a dramatic way on screen?
  • What’s my character’s problem at the end of Act I?
  • What’s my character’s goal at the end the beginning of Act 2?
  • What’s my character’s plan to achieve this goal at the beginning of Act 2?
  • Make a list of things which are going to go wrong.
  • How does my character’s plan change as he/she’s confronted with each obstacle?
  • At the mid-point on page 60, what happens in the scene during which my character realises ‘there’s no turning back’ on his/her character arc.
  • By page 75, what’s the list of things that have gone wrong so that my character is feeling as hopeless, miserable as I can possible make him/her? The death scene, do I need one?
  • At the beginning of Act 3, what final, incredible plan does my character make not only to save himself or herself, but, now, to save the community, the world, in fact the entire universe?
  • What’s the amazing climactic sequence at the end of the film?
  • What’s my character’s reward for achieving his/her character arc?
  • What happens in the ‘breathing space’ end credits sequence?
  • What the point of my film? What’s it say about the world in which we live? What’s the premise?
  • My film described in three short sentences.


25 April, 2011

Talking Funny

Comedy's biggest names — Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Ricky Gervais, and Louis CK — sit down for a revealing (and hilarious) chat on this HBO special. The four stand-up legends get serious about comedy, discussing how they first got into the business, the merits of on-stage profanity, and the science behind getting a laugh.