Writing Time

I read somewhere that a screenplay should be 80 – 120 pages and will typically take about three months to complete a reasonable first draft. Add on another month for improvements and rewrites.

Of course, professionals writing for a TV company often have less than a week per episode but I’m a long way from that level! I have managed 8 pages for my short film – it was about a page longer but now it’s better quality. Based on the guidelines I was taught, 8 pages = 8 minutes of screen time.

  • According to Sundance: “a film that’s less than ten minutes has double the chances of being programmed” – so that’s good.
  • According to Hollyshorts; “You might find yourself in more festivals if you make a 5 minute short versus a 15 minute one” – also good.

And there’s some interesting stuff in this blog post from the New York Film Academy.

Meanwhile, I’ve progressed from the initial script approval to being asked to prepare a presentation for a pitch to investors and actors. I need to consider a time era and include a wish list of who I’d like to see perform the various roles.

It’s starting to get interesting!

Back on Track – Film stuff!

My interest in a film career started in 2011 and was sidetracked sometime after 2016 when Hollywood (or Pinewood, for that matter) didn’t thrust a contract in my direction. Without formal employment, I lapsed into making short promos for companies in and around London. It wasn’t easy, though, as I don’t have quality equipment or the means to invest in it.

Recently, someone threw me a lifeline. Nothing may come of it but it sparked something and I have resolved to resume work on some of the short film scripts that have been languishing in limbo for a couple of years.

We’ve all been “Waiting for Tamara” for a long time…

Test Results

So… I found out some stuff.

I worked my way through an employment suitability test and the results are not all that I expected. However, much of it was spot on! For example, that I have a lack of confidence in my skills and abilities, which leads some other points: I’m not first in the queue to offer assistance, I’m prone to feeling discouraged and I prefer “a relaxed level of activity”. The report suggests that I might not cope well under pressure, that I have trust issues and I prefer to be on my own rather than surrounded by others.

The lack of confidence in my skills and abilities has grown since I haven’t been using them much. And the statement “prone to feeling discouraged” is so true. Following many applications for jobs resulting in a handful of failed interviews – and now backed by the results of this test – I can’t see where to go from here. What could be my perfect role?

Over Thinking?

Some of the questions were difficult to choose an answer. As an example, a question might have been* “In a Manchester football/soccer derby match, would you prefer United or City to win?” (*it wasn’t, by the way). It depends – would one of them winning affect the position of the team I support? It’s impossible for me to answer without any context.

Positive Thinking

If something amazing happened over the next few weeks, would the test results be different? What will turn the tide? For example, if I had a job and found out that I was good at it, would my confidence levels spill into other areas of my life? One day, maybe I’ll find out.

This article might help people in a similar situation: Unemployed and Feeling Down.

UPDATE: last night, the Manchester football derby took place. My team is currently third in the table (below City, above United) which means that if City won, we still can’t catch them and, if United won, they would be very close on points. In this instance, it would be better to remain third than to be in danger of being overtaken, so I preferred City to win. And they did.




Update: both my interviews were unsuccessful. I asked for feedback from the companies but neither one has responded. It would be useful to know what they liked about my CV and why I failed at the interviews.

Meanwhile… I might take a sabbatical until I have some interesting news or feel inspired so, until then, have a great new year!




I Can Do That.

I’ve just got back from the Sunshine State (Florida) where I relaxed by the pool in between visiting theme parks. It’s been 4 years since my last visit and the new (to me) attractions included:

  • Indiana Jones Epic Stunt Spectacular
    (Disney’s Hollywood Studios)
  • Harry Potter at Universal Studios
  • Race Through New York Starring Jimmy Fallon
    (Universal Studios)
  • Skull Island: Reign of Kong
    (Universal’s Islands of Adventure)

You can look these up online but I recommend them all! In addition, do go on the Men In Black Alien Invasion ride and, of course, Spiderman. Sadly, while I was in Florida, getting ready to visit the Marvel Universe, Stan Lee passed away.

Also, a Floridian friend suggested that I visit “England” at Epcot and look in the sports shop. See what I found there!

As regular readers will know, I’ve struggled to find a job since graduating. I’ve applied for jobs in the film industry and social media but there’s always someone with more experience – well, duh! Inspired by some of the actors, extras and crew at the theme parks, I have an interview lined up (in London, not Florida) as an information guide. Wish me luck – I’ll let you know if I get the job.

Films & Live Events Round-up!

OK, so I mentioned RTX (Rooster Teeth) London but haven’t told you about some of the other events visited this year; a mixed variety:

  • Harry Hill (Hitchin, Mostly Comedy)
  • Sally Phillips (London, TV Pilot)
  • Bananas (London, Improv.)
  • Motown (London, Musical)

Last year I saw Jack Dee at Doggett & Ephgrave’s ‘Mostly Comedy’ Club and this year I went to see Harry Hill trying out new material for a forthcoming tour. It was moved to a larger venue and I think it lost something for that. Great to have the Comedy Club facility not far from home. though.

I’ve been to a couple of TV pilots that haven’t really been good enough to air and, despite Sally Phillips, this was one of them. They’re free so I can’t complain. It’s much better to go to recordings of established shows, though, such as HIGNFY and Not Going Out.

“Banana Bunch Presents Bananas On The Run – A Comedy Improvisation Show” at the Museum of Comedy was – erm – interesting. Three women performing improv with audience participation, therefore each show is different – could be funny sometimes and less so at other times. Sort-of like Whose Line Is It Anyway, which I saw at the Edinburgh Fringe last year.

The Motown Musical was excellent! I never knew much about the record label, just thought it was a genre of music, and it was great to advance my education by watching this show. I was sitting on the end of a row near the front, so when ‘Diana Ross’ came into the audience, I was initially approached to sing with her. As possibly the only person in the whole audience who did not know the song “Reach out and Touch Somebody’s Hand”, I had to decline!

Films / DVDs

Before and after my trip to Bruges (or Brugge as it is called by the people who live in that part of Belgium and my friends in The Netherlands) I re-watched the Martin McDonagh film, In Bruges. If you haven’t watched it, I thoroughly recommend you do – and Seven Psychopaths – they are two of my favourite films. Warning: lots of violence, swearing and humour.

Bruges/Brugge is charming but not huge therefore it was easy to recognise places from the film. It transpired that the hotel I stayed in was about 30 paces from one of the scenes.


More recently, I’ve been in a Superhero frame of mind and watched/re-watched films from both Marvel and DC, including Deadpool 2, Thor Ragnarok, Infinity War, Wonder Woman, Batman v Superman, Justice League (to name just a few).

London, Bruges & Sydney

How am I fitting all this in AND a second blog post inside a month?!! In this issue:

  • Spiderman – long-awaited PS4 game
  • First Job Interview – ever!
  • Application for 1 year internship in Australia
  • RTX London
  • In Bruges

Well… some other stuff has had to take a back seat (such as my training routine and cooking healthy food – yeah, I know, I know) but I’ll try to get back to them soon.

Tottenham Hotspur has just announced that I can play the FIFA 19 demo now! The full version is due for release on 28th September and will include all 20 Premier League home stadiums including the new stadium. Meanwhile, I’ve hardly had any time to soak up the new Spiderman game since it’s release but… so far, so good!

Last week, I had an interview for a job. Keep your fingers crossed for me! That said, I’m not sure how well it went from the company’s viewpoint but I hope I came across OK. They’ll let me know in a few days if they want to see me again. I don’t want to dwell on it as there is nothing I can do but wait.

Meanwhile, I entered a ‘competition’ to win a filmmaking internship in Australia. I really wasn’t satisfied with my entry – it could have been better, to be honest. Unfortunately, the video I submitted had to be about me and I’m not comfortable in front of a camera (that’s why I blog, not vlog). I’m better behind the scenes, which is what the internship is about. It’s a bit scary to go half-way round the world on your own, though, so could I have sub-consciously sabotaged my chances?

Hey, Rooster Teeth fans, did you go to RTX London? I did, with my ‘old school chum’ Sam, from primary school. I bumped into another couple of friends, Julian & Miles, from secondary school, plus Matt from the LFA (and Anna, his wife) and I made a brand new friend whilst just hangin’. Already looking forward to next year!

In Bruges is one of my favourite films and I’m going to be in Bruges (or Brugge) for a couple of days later this month. More next time…