Posts Tagged ‘deadlines’

So today was spent working on the new version of the trailer for the web channel I work on.   Obviously I thoroughly resented having to come up with something new after spending a day on the project but I must admit I probably prefer the new version to the old one.  For one thing it is a lot simpler to film, which gives half a chance of the final project resembling what I envisaged when I wrote out.  I still bear the scars from a radio sketch I wrote many years ago: it was supposed to open like an old Universal horror movie – wind, rain, the crash of thunder, the creaking of a massive and ancient door, the sepulchral sounds of an organ echoing among the buildings ancient stones – but when I tuned in to hear it  I got the pitter-patter of a light shower, a squeaky hinge and the sound of a Stylophone, from there on in the sketch lacked a certain something, to my ears at least.

With that job out of the way (barring re-writes) and a bunch of sample sketches ready to head off to a “major independent comedy production company”, it looks like I’ve managed to get the deadlines I mentioned last week out of the way.  This means on the one hand that I have no immediate revenue streams in site but on the other that I have room to crack on with those other projects I mentioned.  Indeed, I’ve got some additional motivation in that area as my agent has asked me to knock out a chapter of “the novel” for her to pass on to a literary agent.  I find this both thrilling and intimidating.  The novel is dear to my heart, coming as it does from a project I’ve long had in mind and which my old agent dismissed out of hand (after making me produce three, increasingly lengthy, treatments for it over a period of some 9 months) – thus if I can get any success out of it I have the double benefit of it being one in the eye for my former agent.  This may seem petty but, given that the last time I saw her she wandered up to me at a party and called me a complete shit for having had a play commissioned by Radio 3 shortly after dispensing with her services, I think I can be allowed a bit of pettiness.


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If ever GlaxoSmithKline need someone to endorse Night Nurse, I am happy to put myself first in the queue.  Obviously, they might want somebody famous to do the job but if their ad execs should ever, for any reason (probably a massive coke intake),  decide that what they need to flog their magical green liquid is an impoverished hack with a string of minor writing credits to his name then I am their man.  I feel much better today and it’s all thanks to GSKs wonder drug … and doubtless the fact that any cold has got to start winding down some time.

Now back to the deadlines thing.  As I mentioned before, deadlines are usually great.  They allow the writer to plan things out,  they keep directors/producers off your back until they arrive and they give you that extra bit of motivation you need to actually put pen to paper/finger to keyboard instead of deciding that, all in all, you’d be better off cleaning out the guttering or wallpapering every room in the house.  They only become a problem if (a) you’re the kind of writer who never does anything until the last minute (which, as most writers will tell you, comes at least three days after the deadline has expired) or (b) if something is dropped on you that throws all your careful timetabling out of order.  Luckily for me I’m not an (a)-type writer – I like to leave myself plenty of space between finishing the work and time running out.  Not so luckily for me I am now in a (b)-type situation: having used up some of that spare time I’d allowed on being ill and cursing Bill Gates for Vista’s latest merely quasi-functional update, I’ve now been told that all my work on Wednesday may have to be thrown away as the guy behind the internet project I’m working on wants to “discuss some ideas” early next week.  Having dealt with this man before, I dread to think what the ideas will be, although I will lay a fiver on them involving young, blonde women with improbable breasts in near-invisible clothing.  Every so often one gets that painful reminder that most of what one does doesn’t exactly qualify as art.  I expect next week’s meeting to be one of those reminders.

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