Hiding in more film festivals

Hiding has been accepted into the Global Lift-Off Film Festival. More details to come.

Hiding has been accepted into the February London Monthly International Web & Short Film Festival

Hiding in its first film festival

Hiding is playing in the Berlin Lift-Off Film Festival, February 2021, in the New Voice Shorts section (Film #127)

Hiding Poster

You can buy a ticket to see the film online until March 1st 2021

Where to download screenplays

When I did the Producing Masterclass in 2012, Stephen Follows told attendees to read 100 produced screenplays then 100 unproduced screenplays, and then good writing will jump off the page.

I, like many other screenwriters and producers, have a Dropbox folder with hundreds of produced screenplays, ready to read. I shared these with my HND students. I also have a tracking spreadsheet of which ones I have read.

I can recommend Stephen’s advice: read screenplays.

Are you a writer? read screenplays

Are you a producer? read screenplays

Are you a director? read screenplays

Are you studying film? read screenplays

Are you a DOP? … you don’t need to read screenplays. Go out and shoot something.

But, where do you find these scripts?

Here are a few links…

BBC Writers Room Script Library
for BBC TV, Radio, and Film scripts

Script Slug

The Script Lab
free account to access

Indie Film Hustle

Simply Scripts

The Internet Movie Script Database

John August

Screenplays for you

Go Into The Story Blacklist.com

Script-o-rama

Awesome Film

The Screenplay Database

Movie Scripts and Screenplays

Horror Lair

When downloading screenplays, make sure you access the .pdf versions, not transcripts.

Transcripts have been written after the film has been released. You want to see what was written before the film was shot.

.pdfs also give you the page number. This helps you to understand structure by page number (especially if referencing some of the scriptwriting gurus with their “this action happens on page number…”)

However, if you just want to read the screenplay online without worrying about page numbers, .htmls will be fine.

Shorts on Letterboxd

If you’re making short films, you need to watch short films.

I haven’t written a blog post on Letterboxd and how much I have taken to using it (yet), but until I do, I thought I would share these useful lists I am using to watch short films.

Letterboxd logo
Letterboxd: Your Life In Film

Got 15 minutes to spare?

Alter: short horror films

Dust: short sci-fi films

Crypt TV: short horror films (1)

Crypt TV: short horror films (2)

Horror Shorts (1-10 minutes)

Letterboxd’s top 250 rated short films of all time

I’m also working my way through a Ranker list of Truly Scary Short Films You Can Creep Out To On YouTube Tonight

These lists help me to focus my short film watching. How do you pick which shorts to watch?

LSWF 2021

I just bought my ticket for the 2021 London Screenwriters Festival (Screenwriters Festival Online)

The event is fully online this year. I think one thing I’ll appreciate this year is that I can write my notes directly into Google Drive, rather than hand-write and have to type later.

The main reason I bought a ticket this year is because Showrunner Eric Kripke is speaking. He, of course, created one of my favourite shows (Supernatural), and also The Boys (starring two of NZ’s own). Plus I want to learn more about Showrunners and TV writing.

London SWF 365

There are a heap of amazing workshops and sessions. The LSWF is always a valuable resource for writers. Tickets are only £60 and it starts this weekend.

Are you taking part?

Sound Editing Workshop

As part of my Professional Career Development, this weekend and next weekend, I am taking part in the Fest Film Lab Sound Editing Workshop with Nina Hartstone and John Warhurst.

Fest Film Lab Banner
Fest Film Lab

I love sound for film, and in a past life, I would have loved to have focused my energies fully into sound recording and sound design. I still sometimes do freelance sound recording on shoots, and I am currently teaching sound design. However, I am rusty. My hope by the end of the workshop is that I am more confident in my sound editing skills so I will feel comfortable doing the sound design on my own projects.

This is a blog post

Hello to the students that I am currently teaching Web Design to.

This is a blog post. It appears in the feed. Blog posts appear in chronological order when you post them: meaning they are date- and time-stamped, and the most recent post appears at the top of the feed.

Your audience can engage with your posts by liking, sharing, commenting, and following your website. You can track audience engagement in the backend of your website (for WordPress, this is the Dashboard).

Remember blog posts don’t have to be just text: embed relevant images, videos, gifs, and links. Include headings, different fonts, font size, font colour. Learn basic HTML to help you.

If you embed images, videos, or gifs, include Alternative Text: that means readers can still see what the image was meant to be if it doesn’t load, and it is more inclusive for vision-impaired people.

Make sure you set an excerpt: that is a short sentence about the post that is shared on social media.

Set a category so readers can find similar posts on your blog.

Set tags to help your SEO and so readers can find similar posts on your blog.

Best practice for blogs is to post regularly, so readers get regular content. Blogs are meant to be live! Set a schedule and post away.

Earthlight

‘Earthlight’

Written by Jack Albert Cook

Directed by Nieta Irons

‘Lizzy’ performed by Melissa Phillips

Video Editing by Patricia Hetherington

“Does the ground beneath her still feel the same? Can she even still call it ‘earth’? Alone on the moon, Lizzy has no choice but to face the decisions she made and what she left behind”

*TRIGGER WARNING: STRONG LANGUAGE*

Produced by Bloom Theatre for ‘SAPLINGS 2.(0)LINE’, May 2020

Released online 20 May 2020

I edited this monologue video for Melissa. It was fun working with Melissa and Nieta. Bloom Theatre company had commissioned a series of monologues, and this was the 5th in the series. Melissa did an excellent job.

I broke a website

Recently I decided to jump in and fix something that had been bothering me for a while.

The Action On The Side website had been hosted by the hosting site James uses (James who created AOTS). Each year I reimbursed James for hosting, an annual cost I had forgotten about. Over the years my ‘graphical ineptitude’ had made the site clunky and hard to navigate. I was getting reminders to update the php (which I had no idea how to do). It was due for an update.

So, I contacted James, said I was finally moving the hosting to GoDaddy (which I use for my sites). I got it transferred over. Then had to pay for the new hosting (<£150 for two years, more than for the previous hosting).

I knew I had to somehow connect the WordPress to GoDaddy. Then I realised, of course, that the @actionontheside.tv mailing list would be connected to the previous hosting service (it redirects to a gmail). What to do?? What if I lost the email address??

I created an archive of the AOTS files and emails on Google (where I pay £1.59 p/month for 100GB online storage.

Then, on Sunday, the bloody worst happened. I went to log in to the AOTS Website, and couldn’t bloody log in!

I had broken the AOTS website!

Sunday I spent trying to log in, getting more and more upset. How could I be so stupid?!

I realised I had to get a website up pronto. AOTS had no website whatsoever. NOTHING! What if someone was looking at it.

I had to quickly set up a new website and populate it.

Great opportunity to update the previously clunky website. I had to make a quick decision: Squarespace or Wix.

I chose Wix.

I started developing the site on Wix. But I didn’t have the images that we previously had uploaded in one place (they’re across different online sources and different external hard drives). And I hadn’t planned how I would set it up. And then I hit a block — I needed to pay for Wix for being able to have my own domain address.

Then I realised that the hello@actionontheside.tv email address wasn’t directing anywhere. What if someone was trying to email me?! I had to pay for that as well!

You know what, by this stage I didn’t care, I just had to get a professional site up, so I just hit “pay”, and kept building. I ended up paying £158 and £60 to Wix for a website and email.

Oh, but the previous AOTS google email address was no longer connected to the @actionontheside.tv email address. Wix set up a new one. So I had to set that up: with a behind the scenes Google account that I was too stressed and time-poor to understand. So now we have the previous actionots and now a new email hello@actionontheside.tv.

Of course, I spent ALL DAY trying to fix this website, but I had to stop that evening to grade student work and plan for the following week.

THEN I tried to see the work I had updated, to see if it worked.

Oh, but there was NOTHING on the page. No website registered.

That was fun. (/s)

I tried different browsers. I tried clearing cookies and my cache. The website was not coming up. There is a thing where it takes time for your cookies to recognise a site is there (or something, I really don’t understand). I contacted GoDaddy support. The woman there could see the website — it’s just I couldn’t.

That Sunday was a really bad mental health day.

I tried my work computer on Monday. Still no website.

It now appears (thankfully).

One week later, and I have not had the time to finish building it. Oh, and I forgot the password I set up for the hello@ email address (because I was so stressed and in a rush when I created it), so have had to contact Google to get it updated.

So, yeah. I broke a website. You can check it out here. I’m slowly updating it, but only when I have time.

Welcome 2020

2019 was a crazy year, where I was overworked. I am now working at Uxbridge College in the Creative Studies department, teaching media to 16-20-year-old students.

Goals for 2020 include exploring more of the UK and expanding Action On The Side outside London.

I’m also going to improve this website and the AOTS website. I’ve been ignoring them for far too long, so time to … totally go on fiverr and find people to help!

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