By Stephan

As a creative freelancer in a digital world, you can never do enough. Even if you were mono-focussed on just one commercial activity, and assuming you weren’t cross-pollinating ‘work’ from your non-work life, there’s still all the related, necessary activity. There’s promotion and marketing, which can include web design, blogging, social media work, and networking. There’s advertising, and finance and logistics. Realistically, at best you’re doing about 50% creative work vs everything else. And in lean times, it’s so much more because you’re hustling so much harder of so much less work and money.

But, let’s face it, you’re going to …read more

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By Stephan

I’ve been working freelance as a photographer and writer for about a year and a half now, and while I wouldn’t give it up for the world, it does have its quirks and tribulations. In this series I’ll be exploring some of these tales of minor woe.

First off, days of the week.

There’s a regularity to office or scheduled work that some find frustrating and/or reassuring. You can plan around it, schedule things, secure in the knowledge that, while sometimes inconvenient, there’s a structure to it all. Sure, it means taking a day off work for going to the doctor, and …read more

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By Stephan

Some very mild spoilers ahead

There are plenty of things to say about John Wick Chapter 2 as a movie. I could talk about its disjointed pace, the absence of an emotional hook or the very definite Episode 2 (or is that Episode 5?) feel of it. I could talk about how excellent the death of Gianna D’Antonio was, or how I smiled when Lance Reddick’s maître d’hôtel said the Dog had been a good boy. But it struck me suddenly, amidst all the imagery of Hell and travels through the Underworld, that I may have done John Wick a disservice, …read more

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By Stephan

“You want to learn about filmmaking? Then just get out there and shoot something!”

Such is usually the refrain when professionals are asked how to ‘break in’ or what the best way is to learn. Much like in any other creative field, e.g. ‘Writers write, to get better at writing, write more.’

There’s a vast cottage industry of courses, tutorials, books and workshops, designed to assist, accelerate or encourage. But nothing will ever teach you more craft than actually doing it, doing it often, and failing well.

But while writing is limited in the tools and toys …read more

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By Stephan

Gonzo

There was some discussion on Twitter the other day, about how a blog differed from a journal; that many blogs were in fact mere journals, filled with the personal thoughts and observations, and that there should be a different nomenclature for them.

You know what though, the differentiation is at best paper-thin. Unless you’re writing a commercial listicle for salary, ad revenue or exposure, a blogpost is no different from a journal entry. At the end of the day, it’s gonzo self-published article, and that’s a good thing.

Gonzo journalism, popularised by Hunter S. Thompson, puts paid to the fallacy that any …read more

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By Stephan

Title

We’ve encountered the work of Pork Chop Pictures before, with their charming short film Soul Matrix. This time, they’ve partnered with Mini Productions, and after a successful crowdfunding campaign, they’ve released Tea For Two.

Writer/Director Mark Brennan and producers April Kelley and Sara Huxley put together quite the cast for this 15 minute short: John Challis (Only Fools and Horses) and Amanda Barrie (Coronation Street) are joined by William Postlethwaite and Abigail Parmenter for this charming tale of tea, time and love.

Centred around a tea shop, the narrative is …read more

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By Stephan

Two days in an empty house, one of which spent beating my head against the wall of exhaustion masking as writer’s block, four colours of Sharpie, 107 index cards and a pot of goulash. That’s what it took to completely re-outline Underworld Calling, my supernatural thriller, from scratch. Into that rewrite went notes from members of the London Writers’ Circle, friends on Twitter and excellent paid feedback from Drew Hilton, the Screenplay Mechanic.

As much as I loved the ideas and characters, and the last draft and story as a whole, I knew it had major issues: …read more

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By Stephan

Some screenwriters, whether for reasons of cost or convenience, prefer online software solutions for their script work, whether Adobe Story, Celtx, or newcomer WriterDuet. However, last week the risk of those primarily online services came to public attention with the dramatic implosion of Scripped.

Scripped was an online-only screenwriting and script storage solution, a web-based alternative to using Final Draft or Fade In. The ScreenCraft owned community was languishing somewhat, apparently on the verge of rejuvenation when a total database calamity occurred. All scripts, including all backups, were irrevocably wiped with no hope …read more

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By Stephan

Horsell Common

The problem with doing anything for the first time is that you don’t know what you don’t know. You can read books, listen to interviews and watch instructional YouTube videos all you like, but it’s never going to compare with actually getting out there and doing it. To that end I decided last year to write and film my first short film; a simple eight-minute, two-location piece about food poverty. With drones.

And so, in an attempt to test out a few ideas, I headed to Woking’s Horsell Common with two friends, two SLRs, two tiny drones and nowhere near enough …read more

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By Stephan

I had two chances to place in the top 10% of the BlueCat screenwriting competition, one for a feature and one for a short. Sadly, neither placed, but I am swallowing the bitter pill of rejection and moving on. Plenty more opportunities ahead!

I’ve listed all the competitions I know about below, sorted by date, with their associated costs, which should help you plan your deadlines. And if you prefer an Excel sheet, I have that too.

Name & URL
Date
Cost
Rocliffe TV
28/02/15
£21
Nicholl Early
02/03/15
$40
LIFF Feature Film Late
06/03/15
£55
LIFF Short Film Late
06/03/15
£45
Scriptalooza Regular
10/03/15
$55
Page Late
16/03/15
$59
Euroscript
31/03/15
£35
ScreenCraft Shorts Final
06/04/15
$29

Read more here:: Endless Realms