Wednesday, 4 July 2007

What a wedding!

Just thought i'd drop a quick line to say Congrats to Sam and Richard, they got married last weekend at a stunning hotel in Devon - the weather was pleasant, the meal fantastic, the band and company superb! All in all a great day ;-)

So, after Rich has come back from honeymoon, we'll be ploughing on with gettting the script realised - more news soon!!

Wednesday, 6 June 2007

The Wild Within on youtube

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

Competition Success!

I'd seen the UWOL ( under water over land ) challenge for filmmakers over at a while ago and decided to have a shot at it. The idea is, on the first day of the month, a theme is announced and participants then have 3 weeks to plan, shoot and edit a 2-3 minute short film around the theme. In this case it was " The Wild".
I mulled over a few ideas, and after having outdoor plans blown out by an unusually wet May, I ended up in my back garden, with a couple of bedside lamps, some plant pots and a macro lens I had acquired from ebay a month or two ago for £13!! the result - THE WILD WITHIN.

Fast forward to judging day, and guess what? It won!

Check it out here
or see the hi-def version ( 180megs !!!)

Also check the UWOL challenge forum on - it's a great international community which I thouroughly recommend getting involved with!!!

Friday, 20 April 2007

Film reviews for the attention span challenged

A bit of fun really, but here’s a website for people who can’t be bothered with long film reviews. The limit here is four words:

For example:

Forrest Gump: America loves an imbecile
Pulp Fiction: Uma does line, dancing
King Kong: Gorilla falls, in love
Star Wars episode 1: 16 years for this?

Friday, 13 April 2007

3 Point Lighting for < £50

Last night we played around with some make-shift lighting. We basically got hold of a couple of work lights from Wickes (click here to get some). They are about £25 a pop and come with a 500W bulb in. They are adjustable in height and direction.

We didn't have any gels around and were short of anything to soften the light with, so we plugged in a couple of 150W bulbs instead and used some white polystyrene board to bounce the light.

I'll pop up some results so you can see the outcome but all-in-all it looked pretty good for the time we spent and lights we had.

We used one of the lights as a kicker and placed it to above and to the side of the camera.

We used another as a fill light and placed it to the side of "the talent" (Rob!), pointing down and reflected the light using a piece of white polystyrene.

It worked pretty well, softening up the shadow and illuminating his face.

Finally, we placed a small halogen lamp behind him to act as a back light.

Okay, so this was pretty make-shift guerilla 3 point lighting but the result was quite acceptable for less than £50s worth of lighting kit.

We got some shadows but this was because we weren't lighting our back cloth (a pair of white curtains).

Tuesday, 3 April 2007


We all know how important getting good sound is when making a film, well I found a blog article that covers this subject quite nicely:

The blurb:

"If you are making an independent film on a miniscule budget it is
inevitable that some aspect of your movie will be compromised due to your lack
of funds. The ultimate challenge for an independent filmmaker working with a
shoestring budget is to some how make their movie look and sound like it
deserves to be with the big boys on the film festival circuit."

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Straight Curve - One day event

This saturday, Rob and I went to the Straight Curve one day filmmaking event.
The line up was:
"We have a fantastic line up of Tutors and Guest speakers who are there to give
you information and advice on how to get into the film industry.

Johannes Roberts: Director of When Evil CallsWriter and
director Johannes Roberts whose latest feature "When Evil Calls" starring Sean
Pertwee is due for release later this year will discuss how to get into the film
industry, what will be expected of you and the process you will need to go

A Battle of Opinions: Ben Blaine VS
Johannes RobertsA lively debate about the "Auteur Theroy" with Johannes Roberts
and Ben Blaine of Charlie Productions, co-director of Free Speech starring Danny
Dyer and more recently "Hallo Panda" with Film 4 and the Film Council. This
debate will be hosted by Sandra Shevey who is an authority on Film Theory and an
exciting new addition to the Straight Curve Team.

Brad Ashton: Comedy WriterYou will also hear from Brad Ashton who has had
over 40 years experience in writing comedy. His credits include writing for Bob
Monkhouse, Tommy Cooper and many more. He is also the author of "How to write
comedy" and "The funny thing about writing comedy" both of which will be
discussed on the day.

Frank Graves:
Screenwriter and BAFTA memberAnother of Straight Curve's fantastic tutors Frank
Graves a member of BAFTA will take you through a short discussion on script
writing for beginners and give you his experiences as a writer.

Chris Knowles: ScriptwriterChris Knowles will take you
through a discussion on advanced scriptwriting looking at two methods in
particular called ScriptSpine and Scriptwrite.
life of soundFeatured guest speaker Chris Gurney (shooting dogs, basic instinct
two) a freelance sound engineer will give an inside look on what it is like to
work in the industry. He will give you usefull hints and tips.

John Ratcliff and Jules Dawton: The importance of
SoundSound recording introduced by our highly experienced Straight Curve tutors
John Ratcliff and Jules Dawton who will give a short tutorial.
So, what did we think?
First up were John and Jules, to talk about the importance of sound and being a sound recordist. They made quite an amusing double act and told a number of stories from their combined near century of sound recording history. Overall, very interesting, although it seemed totally off the cuff and unstructured. I couldn't say I learnt much about sound but it was a fun session.
Chris Gurney was next. Again a pretty much off the cuff chat, with Chris stood at the mike and telling a few tales of his experiences and advice. An interesting session but very similar to the first one.
Next on was Frank Graves. Frank was lined up to talk about screenwriting. Again the majority of the talk was taken up by Frank discussing his background, how he got into screenwriting and his involvement with BAFTA.
I enjoyed his talk but the deepest he got into screenwriting was mentioning that there was a "3 act structure" and that in his opinion it is important to copyright your work.
Brad Ashton came on to talk about comedy screenwriting and foreign markets. I liked Brad. he was funny and had quite an upbeat presentational style. He gave a lot of encouragement and talked about how visual comedy is international and to not forget that there is a large market of foreign buyers gagging for good comedy. he mentioned that the german market was a big buyer and that a comedy scene, if written correctly, could be rolled out into several markets.
Chris Knowles was talking about intermediate/advanced screen writing. Sorry Chris, but this was the slowest section for me. Chris was obviously very knowledgeable about film theory but his presenting style was totally mismatched for my tastes. he spent a long while describing how he came to be a screenwriter and mentioned a little about his ScriptSpine and ScriptRight systems that he teaches.
The next session, and the favourite of myself and most of the people there that I spoke to, was run by Johannes Roberts. Johannes started by telling us a little about his first movie, a slasher horror pic which he funded himself from credit cards. After telling us how he had sweated blood and tears to make it, he then went on to read the list of awful reviews he had got. He giggled his way through each one and in true self deprecating humour joked about them and his movies. All the way through, he gave the message of "just do it" and not to let bad reviews, rejection or difficulties put you off. A very inspiring and funny presentation.
The final segment was intended as a debate about the Auture theory of filmmaking. Ben Blaine, who was meant to argue half the case was absent due to train problems and in his place we were given a monologue about Alfred Hitchcock by Sandra Shevey. Quite interesting but her views grated with a number of audience members and for myself I lost interest after 30 minutes. Sorry Sandra.
Overall, a fun event where we got to meet a number of people and do some good networking. With the price (free), you can't complain. What would have made it better would have been a bit more structure to the talks and some illustrations with video clips, etc. In their defence, after speaking to one of the organisers, I discovered that the venue had been a pain to work with, wanting loads of cash in order to allow any video footage to be shown.
Would I go again? Yeah, I reckon so. It was a good day out and a good way to do some networking.

Sunday, 25 March 2007

PC V Mock

This week Rob and I did a little bit of video work. Rob came up with an idea for parodying the "PC V Mac" adverts that Apple are running (an example one from YouTube below).

We did our filming at my house, in the lounge, using a home made green screen (made out of a 4m length of green fabric that I picked up at lunch time for £4).

We shot it on Rob's Sony FX1 and edited it using Premier Pro v2. Rob is currently finishing up the edit and when he has, I'll post up the end result.

All in all, it took 2-3 hours to set-up and shoot. We had initial problems with lighting. My lounge is pretty dark, lit by small spotlights that are in dire need of replacing. The lights we had were too powerful for the room and we couldnt find anything to reflect them off, so we ended up using a single desk light and having to do a fair amound of adjustment in post. I'll get Rob to post up some before and after shots and you can see how well Premier Pro 2 handles it.

We took turns behind and in-front of the camera. In the end result, we appear to be stood side by side and to be of equal height, when in fact we were filmed separately and I am about 6 inches taller.

It was good fun to do and hopefully the end result is fun too.

Wednesday, 21 March 2007

Rock promo - Mcqueen

About a month ago I went up to sunny, windy Nottingham to help out on a music vid shoot for a company I know called TheFireFactory. Turned out the band was Mcqueen, an all female rock act from Brighton. If one thing can be said about this lot, THEY ROCK!!
My duties on the day included everything from helping build the set, rigging the lights and then being responsible for the special effects. Well, i say special effects, what i really mean is swinging a light about and pointing a big fan at scantily clad rock chix in a sub-zero derelict warehouse. I know, hard job, but somebody had to do it ;-) All in all a great day's experience, especially it was good to see how to shoot on film as well!

The vid is now released, the album and single in the shops ( yes i have bought it - A++)

Click here to see the youtube version

Kudos to the DOP, Nathan Sheppard and Jake & Tom @

Sunday, 18 March 2007

What's been going on

Saw Rob and Sam in Love Puke on friday. Was really impressed. It was very funny, I was laughing from start to finish (for all the right reasons!).

At the after show party, Rob talked a couple of the guys who did the lighting (very well) into joining us on the short film. We also had a chat to one of the guys in the play, who we thought would be able to play Henry. He was happy to signed up. So we now have our cast.

Now the play is over we can get this thing done. Next step is sorting out locations.

Wednesday, 14 March 2007

Lessons from hypnosis

Just thought I'd post up a filmmaking/screenwriting lesson I picked up from my time training in hypnosis. Yep, I'm qualified as a hypnotist.

One of the key ideas behind hypnosis is that you have a conscious mind and a non-conscious (otherwise known as a subconscious) mind.

The conscious part is the part that you use when you are analysing, planning, talking to people, etc. The non-conscious part is the home of your memories, urges and reactions, e.g. if someone throws a tennis ball to you and you automatically catch it. That's the non-conscious mind at work. Also, if you are feeling a bit down and get the urge to eat doughnuts, thats the non-conscious mind at work again.

Basically, the non-conscious mind is a very clever pattern matcher. The popular book Blink by Malcolm Gladwell explains this very well, so give that a look if you want to learn more about the way the non-conscious mind works.

Throughout your life you have had seen things, heard things, touched things and felt emotions. The non-conscious mind links together experiences with emotions. That is why you can notice yourself re-feeling a past moment when you see a photograph of it or you hear someone speak in a certain tone of voice. The experience has been associated with the feeeling.
Basically, the non-conscious mind is very tuned in to associations.

What has this got to do with screenwriting or filmmaking? Well, whenever we write a script, the person reading it is reading it as two people. They are reading it with their conscious mind and also with their non-conscious mind. Each person is effectively two people. Unless a story appeals to both these "people" it will fail.
Have you ever seen a film that was kinda good but was missing something? Chances are, it only appealed to one of your "viewers", either the conscious (plot, character actions, drama) or the non-conscious (emotional, thematic).

In order to work, a script or film has to appeal to both. One way to appeal more to the non-conscious is through the use of metaphor, motif and symbolism. The non-conscious is highly tuned into these forms of association. The best kind of metaphor or symbol is one that is missed by the conscious mind, e.g. use of subtle visual symbolism within a scene. If it is too overt it will be noticed and then is in conscious awareness and will not have as great a non-conscious effect.
, symbols and metaphors.

Opening Night

"Love Puke", the delightfully sounding play, that Rob (and my fiance Sam) are in, opens tonight.

It is showing at Norden Farm Centre for the Arts, Maidenhead (

I'll be going along to see it on Friday (and hopefully sneak in to the after show party, ha ha).

Thursday, 8 March 2007

...and another review of the script

I'm a member of writing site WriteWords ( and Zoetrope virtual studio ( Both these sites let you submit short screenplay scripts, that you have written, for review. I am also a member of TriggerStreet, where you can also submit a script for review but only a full length one (you can also submit short films for review there too).

Here is a review I received, for the "Hit me baby" script, from Zoetrope member Daniel William Hesford.

"Very funny script, with a massive amount of cinematice potential. To be honest, the narrative opens in what seems to be quite a cliched and overtly pretentious style yet this is all set up for what is to come and the payoff is more than satisfying.

In fact, the narrative confounds expectations several times; the struggling couple turn into the employee/employer, the sombre, resigned assassination turns into a wacky retirement party. The changes of direction work well and are handled ably enough that there is little sense of discontinuity.

Dialogue is good - I would like to see more work in terms of emphasising the tone at each juncture; the narrative skips from dour romantic drama, to malevolence-laden tension, to sad inveitability to joviality. Maybe there is more to be drawn out here?

Characterisation is slightly thin although the personalities are well-drawn and recognizable and since there is a story to be getting on with, perhaps too much development would be distracting.

In all, the joke works extremely well; laugh out loud funny at the end. Hope these points are helpful - if anything, I think the piece could be longer!"

Wednesday, 7 March 2007

Scripts first review

Here is the first review I received of the script. The reviewer is Julie Balloo, a site expert from the Write words writers web site:

"Hi Richard,

I really enjoyed reading this short. It's very visual and each twist and turn is a joy to uncover. It might be nice to inject some faux romance at the top, just to give it even more depth. Obviously at the beginning we're thinking he's going to dump her so it would be interesting to have a are they/aren't they subtext which is then totally blown away. I thought that line as he climbs the stairs - 'I told her I was leaving but only on my terms' sorry about the paraphrasing, I can't cut and paste for some reason, is a bit wordy. It just jarred and took me away from the mounting tension. Loved the ending, very clever. I was left wondering though if Jim wouldn't perhaps have a little nudge or wink line to Henry suggesting that he knew Henry couldn't hurt him. I might be completely on the wrong track, so let me know."

I'm really happy with this. If anyone reading out there has their own comments/review of the script (good or bad) then please post it as a comment.

Monday, 5 March 2007

A man with a gun......

Good news!

Went to see a show on Saturday night ( Noises Off, put on by the Maidenhead Players - a super high quality production which had me in tears!!! ) and i happened to be sitting next to Drew, an actor who I have a lot of respect for. Anyway, I mentioned the Film to him, and he's interested in getting involved! As a big bonus point, he has a small armoury of replica handguns, including a full working rep of a Beretta 92F, which I think will suit Henry down to the ground.

Another piece fits the puzzle ;-)

Now, back to learning my lines.......

Thursday, 1 March 2007

Some good books

I had a little look through my book shelf last night, looking for something to read before going to bed. I thought I'd just write up a super quick review from a few of my favourites.


Story - Robert McKee

The classic book on screen writing. This was one of the first screenwriting books I ever got and has to be one of my favourites. If you get the chance to go to one of Robert McKee's seminars, go. He is very entertaining, says what he thinks and it made for an entertaining and information packed few days.

Anyway, back to the book. Well, in it he gives a good explanation of what makes a good story. He talks about structure and planning and its importance (ever written 40 pages and then hit a brick wall or got to the end of the screen play and found out that you've got the soggiest act 2 in history? Thats where McKee says structure would help). He also discusses the concept of the controlling idea/theme of a screenplay and how that should shape the whole piece.

All in all a good read.

Save the cat

I only recently got this book. I like it for its humourous non-academic tone and different take on screenwriting. If you're only interested in writing for experimental or fringe films then you'll probably not like it, as it is very main stream focussed. I liked the "rules for screenwriting", with rules like "Pope in the pool" and "Double mumbo jumbo", you can't go wrong.

Film making:

Developing Digital Short films

One of the things I liked most about this book was the discussions on theme and colour composition.

There are several chapters that discuss in some detail the use of visual motifs, theme development and how they give your film that extra level of punch.


Directing Actors

Directing actors does exactly what it says on the tin. It tells you how to get the best performance from your actors. I found it a great help, with the steps to take, to go from script to blocking and staging. Also, it gives a number of easy ways, to help your actors find different levels within a scene. Well worth a look.

Tuesday, 27 February 2007

Current progress

Not posted for a few days. Not a great deal has been happening at the moment.
The story boarding is moving on but we won't really have time free to get moving properly until the play Rob is in has finished.

The play is called "Love Puke" and is being put on by a theatre group that Rob is one of the founding members of. They can be found at

Friday, 23 February 2007

Playing around with lighting post effects in premiere pro 2

Some techy bits from me too!

I filmed some actors giving a short series of speeches, to compile a short promo vid for a play I'm working on. Very, very basic setup - natual room lighting + a 12 halogen to bring up a bit of detail. I decided to shoot against a white backdrop sheet ( deliberatley crumpled - I guess i wanted that look.... ) When i pulled up the shots on in edit they seemed a little flat, so i deceided to play around with the lighting effect present in premiere pro 2. I've used similar effects in p/shop and AE before, but decided to have a quick fiddle - I was actually very impressed with the results (also a little colouring applied to give it a bit more of a cold feel) :

Without effect With effect

The effect can be found under Video effects/adjust/lighting effects, and is pretty easily controlled by resizing the splash ovoid ( or whatever!), you can spin, widen and move the effect closer and further away. All in all a quick, easy solution for getting really interesting results out of such scenes. even if your lighting was wholly inadequate in the first place ;-)

Oh, and the final video can be found at

Thursday, 22 February 2007

Basics: Lighting - 3 Point Lighting

In between film things going on, I thought I'd cover some of the lessons we have learnt over time. Some will be basic, some more advanced and I thought I'd start with something basic.

3 Point Lighting
If you understand 3 point lighting then you're well on the way to having a good handle on lighting (well enough to get by). 3 point lighting is a standard method of lighting and will give a pretty decent look.

For 3 point lighting, you need, guess how many lights? Yep, 3.

The first light would be your main light and is called the key light. It is placed so that it is to the side of the camera, illuminating the subject so that one side is well lit and the other has some shadow.

Light number 2 is the fill light and this is placed on the opposite side to the key light. It is used to fill in some of the shadows cast by the key light and soften them up. The fill light is usually softer than the key.

Light number 3 is the back light. The back light is placed behind the subject and is used to provide highlight and definition rather than direct lighting.

To see 3 point lighting in action have a look at the 3-Point Lighting Simulator

In between scene

Had a meeting with Rob yesterday and we had some ideas about a scene between the restaurant scene and the final scene. I think it will work nicely to break the piece up and run more smoothly. I'll write up the ideas into the script and publish it soon.

Monday, 19 February 2007

Jim is cast

The role of Jim, the mentor type dude, has been cast.

Andy Barkham has accepted the role. I've known Andy for about 6 years now, seen him on stage and also had the pleasure of acting with him, directing him and sharing the odd beer or two.

I asked Andy to sum himself up and he said:
Andy: Born -1963, started acting 2001.

Rich: Have you done much acting?

Andy: Well, theres Canterbury Tales, Neville's Island, Jack and the Beanstalk, Five Kinds of Silence, Twelfth
Night,The Merry Widow, Sleeping Beauty, God's Official, A Sentimental
Journey,The Merry Wives of Windsor, Up N Under, Hello Dolly
(Horace Vandergelder), One for the Road, The Importance of Being Ernest,
The Dining Room, Loot, Sweeny Todd, The Dumbwaiter, Dead Dad Dog. A Slice
of Saturday Night.

Rich: A couple of shows then! Anything else?

Andy: I've also worked backstage, done the ASM job, and produced productions.

Rich: I'll shut up now.

On a serious note though, Andy is one of the reliables. He is always the first to pitch in and help out, always the first to rehersals. If you can get passed his dry, sometimes(!) sarcastic sense of humour, you'll be fine.

Can I just add?

I failed GSCE art.

If you hadn't guessed from the below attempts!!!

Some Storyboards

I thought I'd post up some of the rough story boards that have been drawn up during our discussions:

End Sequence #1
End Sequence #1 End Sequence #2
End Sequence #2End Sequence #3
End Sequence #3End Sequence #4
End Sequence #4 Car Sequence
Car Sequence

Sunday, 18 February 2007

Next Script Update

Well, we're getting there. I've got the rough story boards that Rob has been putting together. I'll try and scan those tomorrow and upload them.

In the mean time, I have made the current set of script updates.

The new script can be found here: me baby-20070218.pdf

I have also typed up the first of the alternative endings we were discussing. Here is a script contining alternative ending #1 : me baby-20070218-alt1.pdf

Thursday, 15 February 2007

Alternate Endings

Just had a few ideas and a quick discussion. The thought is to film a couple of alternate endings. Use the original ending for the normal film and then to set up a Flash version that will play alternate endings. Okay, so this is a future plan, but its good to think ahead.

Also, we have a possible actress in mind for the role of "Woman". She is interested in the idea and Rob is going to have a talk with her about it. Will post some more info when I have it.
As Rob says, "the more i see the plot the more i can see her in it - I've mentioned the idea and she's well up for it"

The story boarding has progressed too. Will post it here as soon as it is scanned in.

Will write up the first alternate ending this evening and post it up tomorrow.

"Introductions" and "Loss of virginity"

Hi, I'm Rob, and I'm a filmmaker.

Thought I'd introduce myself. This is my first ever post on a blog.

I've been "doing" video for about 6 or 7 years now - I'm quite heavily into power kite sports and theatre, and i bought a dv camera to play around with, and things just started to happen. I stopped doing "shaky cam", started thinking about my shots and spent hours fiddling with helmet cameras, fish eye lenses and wireless links.

I've produced quite a wide variety of stuff over time, including two DVDs on kiting which have gone on (limited) retail sale over the globe, backdrops for multimedia theatre, little corporate jobs, historical building profiles, training videos and a music vid or two. All whilst working away at my IT job during the day. I think my IT skills have done me well in the film arena - I shoot, edit, author and promote all my stuff, but it can get pretty manic at times.

I upgraded to HDV with a sony FX1 at the start of 2006 and have been getting amazing results from it lately, and just upgraded my edit suite to handle the memory hungry requirements for HDV output. I edit on Prem Pro 2, which I get on well with - i also dabble in AE and flash, but quite regularly forget how to do the basic stuff!!!

So, as you can see, we're moving at a good pace with the new short film idea - it's quite funny really, even though I've been so involved with theatre over the last decades, drama film is always something I have shied away from, i guess scared by it's potential complexity. Hopefully by starting out with this small project it will give both Richard and I a feel of things to come.
He's jam packed with crazy ideas and imaginative scripts, whenever I read them I can visualize the scenes in detail ( i think personally that it has come from too many years of reading 2000AD comics ) so I'm really looking forward to working this up.

Anyhoo, keep checking back on progress, and if you're in the maidenhead area and fancy getting involved at all, give us a shout!

Cheers, one and all.

Rob for some of my older works - new site coming soon!!!

Tuesday, 13 February 2007

Narrowly avoided trouble

Email conversation with Rob yesterday, arranged to meet up on Wednesday to work on the story boarding.

Could have gone horribly wrong as we both forgot Wednesday is Valentines day. Remembered with a jolt whilst driving home. Lucky that, otherwise our respective other halves may well have inserted our story boards into places they were never intended to go!

Thursday, 8 February 2007

Script Update

Just done the latest script changes...
It can be found here:


Hello. I posted up the script onto a writers web site that I am a member of. Its a great little site and a good way to get some feedback on your writing.

The script and its feedback so far can be found at:


Yesterday evening Rob and I had a meet up to discuss the script and any thoughts we had had.

We ran through it and came up with some tweaks and changes, which I will be applying tonight. We then went through some of the scenes and did some storyboarding, discussing how we both saw the piece running. Thankfully we had a lot of complimentary ideas and were able to identify some motifs to to have running through. Also we were able to come up with solutions to some of the technical problems we had found, e.g. the face morphing part of the restaurant scene.

The next steps are for me to update the script and for Rob to draw up the remaining storyboard elements we had discussed. I'll post up a scanned version of the initial storyboard when I get it. Bear in mind neither of us are particularly gifted in the drawing department!

Wednesday, 7 February 2007

The First Draft

I fired up my long since dormant word processor and started to put together a first draft of the script idea. As it was such a short piece (4-5 pages) it didnt take very long to get a starter for ten.

Here is a link to the script as it is:

Monday, 5 February 2007

The beginning

I've been wanting to make a short for about two years now. I got quite excited about it about a year and a half ago but then I was not able to get any interest from anyone else and the idea sort of ended up getting put on hold, especially as my life went a bit crazy. My mum died, I got a new job and my son was born!

My girlfriend is in a play with a local Am Dram group and was talking to one of the other actors who is heavily into film and video. She mentioned me and my interest and suggested we get together. This happened and after our first meet up, we decided to go for it and make a first film. We agreed to start with something short, probably 1 to 2 minutes. We bashed some ideas around but didnt really come up with anything concrete and our conversation drifted off to discuss Lost and Battlestar Galactica.

The next morning during my drive into work, I had an idea for a short story. I had been working on developing my screenwriting skills for about a year before things went crazy and it was great to find myself resurrecting it. I got to work and scribbled down the outline I had come up with. I bounced it off my co-conspiritor (Rob). I sent him an email with it in.

Here's the idea chunk of the email:

The idea I had sort of goes like this.

Working title:
Hit me baby, one more time.

It opens it a restaurant or wine bar,
with a well dressed, businesslike woman and a similarly dressed man sat having
what looks like a romantic/couply meal.
They exchange a few
pleasantries. The man looks distracted.
The woman picks up the wine
bottle and moves to pour a glass for the man. He stops her.
I don't
WOMAN: I forgot
He stands up suddenly, a decision finally
MAN: I can't do this anymore.
WOMAN: We've talked about
this before.
MAN: It's over.
He pauses, checks the
waiter/nearby patron out quickly, then begins to walk out.
don't just leave like that. Not after 20 years.
A series of short
flashes of victims, i.e. people getting killed, flashs up, as if they are being
remembered by the man. The man winces. The last image is of someone
being held under water in a bath.
Cut to the wine being poured in the
WOMAN: You don’t do this kind of work and then just walk away
like that. Not in this Organisation.
He carries on
WOMAN: You know we'd find you. .. but there is a way.
WOMAN: We have a special job.
MAN: And…?
If you do it, we'll let you go, forget you ever existed.
MAN: And if I
WOMAN: That would't make a good after dinner discussion.
returns to the table. She pushes a folder over to him. He opens it,
sees a photograph and is shocked.
Cut scene of the person in the
photograph. MAN and PERSON are together outside a house. MAN is very
PERSON: Don't worry, we're all like that first
time. After 2 or 3 they all blur into one.
Cut back. As he looks
at the woman she blurs out and is replaced by several different victim faces one
after another.
WOMAN: It’s the only way
Stairwell, up to a door. A light above the door lights the top part of the
stairwell. MAN emerges from the dark into the pool of light, a few steps
away from the top. He pauses. He checks his holster, the gun is
there. He checks for his backup weapon, its there. he takes another
step, then stops. He withdraws the photo and looks at it.
This is a trap isnt it old friend. She said there was only one way out of
the Organisation, didn’t she.
He takes his gun out and lays it down on the
MAN: I said I'm leaving and one way or another.
I will be, on my terms.
He straightens his tie, takes a deep
breath. He walks up the remaining steps, striding boldly into the
room. He stands in the pool of light. A pause. The room lights
suddenly go on. The room is full of suited people, all looking a bit
reservoir dogs, all staring at him, emotionless, all with their hands inside
their jackets. The man from the photo spots him. everything goes
quiet. All the people in the room look on. A moment of spaghetti
western style staring takes place.
There is a bang. .. a pause…
It’s a
cork from a champayne bottle, all the people in the room pull out their hands,
each holding a glass. They raise their glasses and shout hooray! The
rest of the lights go on and the "Sorry you're leaving" signs, etc can be
seen. The person from the photo steps out and is carrying a cake. On
it is a suited figure.
PERSON: Welcome to your retirement.
You're in good company.

He liked it and so I agreed to write it up as a first draft script.