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This is my first mobile blog post ever! I am writing this in KFC on my iPhone while I wait for the weather to clear up enough to walk to my Sunday game.

I recently got into a discussion about my latest project – Setting it Straight- and I had ended up getting into a discussion about genre.

You see, for the last 25 years or so I have been fairly genre bound in my writing. I have always written fantasy, scifi or horror. Never broke out of those genres.

But SIS is none of these. It’s a comedy-drama firmly rooted in the real world. The surprise to myself while working on it has been that it feels like some of the best work I’ve done to date.

While the show is far from being fully written, I have found the tone and style so quickly and I love the dialogue. The work I’ve written so far feels so natural and I have enjoyed writing it.

It has made me realise that one of the best things a writer can do is challenge his/her habits and break out of that comfort zone so many writers fall into.

While I can be occasionally witty when talking to people, I have always been uncertain that I could write a consistently funny comedy. Yet here I am looking at breaking out of genre and style, and I feel that it is better than a lot of stuff I have written before.

Next weekend I’ll be running auditions for the show – being freed of visual effects means I can get the show filming much sooner than it took the Winding City. Here’s hoping that the casting goes well.

Of course I have a lot of the talent from the Winding City showing up, so I shouldn’t have anything to fear.


Once you get an iPhone, you will find that your life will change.

apple-iphone-3gThose were the words told to me by a friend of mine who had one of the original non-3g iPhones. It had been jailbroken, and was running off Vodafone’s network quite happily. I was, as anyone who knows me and my technophile nature, a tad jealous.

But as I mentioned in a previous blog – Vodafone was just not making iPhones a financially appealing purchase. I also suspected there was a degree of self-justification in Luke’s claim.

Anyway, over the last few months, as the Xnet war grew between Vodafone and Telecom, iPhone plans have dropped in price and my work has meant that getting an iPhone was becoming more and more viable a choice.

So I started entertaining the ways I could possibly upgrade to a new iPhone. Breaking point came this week when I saw my boss using his iPhone to manage his work e-mails as well as personal accounts. So I did some financial black magic and procured a new 16GB 3g iPhone.


Luke, believe it or not, was right. As part of my job I have had to deal with smartphones before – particularly the oddly popular Blackberry. Forget those phones. There is just nothing quite like an iPhone.

The task flow is amazingly intuitive – while the touch screen is certainly a big factor, it’s the combination of applications and data management that has impressed me.

Now I’m quite a multitasker and with my web series, work and personal life I have three e-mail accounts that I manage. With the iPhone, they are all synced up and I did it within a couple of minutes. Now I get my e-mails hourly sent to my phone and I can manage my folders and details from the phone.

While I’m doing this, I’m also able to keep my facebook updated and can now follow what everyone else is doing with a much simpler interface and ease of information.

MEANWHILE, I’m also managing my iTunes library remotely from my base computer and able to set up playlists while I’m in the laundry room so that when I walk into the study, the music has been queued up and is playing.

If that isn’t impressive enough, I also get to handle my facebook chats, skype, SMS and phone calls all from the one device. To further benefit the system, my iPhone can be set to wi-fi, meaning I’m not eating up valuable mobile data usage when I’m home, then I set it to 3g when I leave the house – allowing me to keep working seamlessly on my e-mails/chats etc.

Did I also mention that it takes great quality pics that I can upload straight to Facebook.

Not only has my iPhone now changed the way I manage SMS and e-mailing, it has revived my use of Facebook without the hassle of those annoying facebook applications that usually spam your notifications.

Later today I will also be downloading the WordPress app for iPhone, and so even my blog will be able to be kept up to date when I have the ideas to discuss rather than me having to wait until I can “find time.”

I also have to investigate setting up Twitter as well…

The iPhone is definitely the step towards that universal personal device of sci-fi futures – it means I have whole new ways of keeping in touch with everyone. This is pretty cool. 🙂



Window onto a new view

Window onto a new view

Nick P and I have finally moved into our new flat. While the place is a little draftier than I remember, it is a pretty cool location and flat – we’re still setting up so it’ll be a little while before it is really a home – but we’re making a lot of progress settling in.


As part of the move, I ended up caving in and upgrading my imac to one of the new titanium 20″ models. So if anyone who knows me has been thinking about getting an imac, I have an old intel duo core 17″ you could buy off me for a reasonable price – drop me a line and we can chat. I still will need to remove all my data and files, but the offer is there.

We’re still sorting out things like furniture – I’m planning to go have a look at what’s available through farmers etc… no hurry – but it will be good to have seating for visitors. 😀

In regards to film-making, I’ve been pretty focused on the move and I’m about to dive back into the whole Setting it Straight casting now that we’re at the new flat.

Not a heck of a lot more to report yet – give us a few weeks to settle and for me to get other plans underway!



Well it has been a while since I last updated this blog. The Winding City is coming along nicely and I’m arranging a meeting on Friday with a potential composer for the series. Woot!

I still need to explore the hosting aspects as I have no idea how to set up a site for the series… at the moment I’m considering just doing a blogspot site, as there are no copyright issues on my own materials. But I’ll keep looking. If anyone is able to offer help with setting up a website and hosting it, please get in contact with me. 🙂

Last weekend was the 48 hour challenge, and for a change I was not involved. Basically the last team I was in couldn’t do it – Margie was in Rarotonga – and Jenni’s team is so large now I didn’t even want to ask about being involved.

But I did spend the weekend working on film stuff. Firstly, I did rewrites for Setting it Straight, and I even managed to slip in a conversation with Nick Cole about Winding City 2 while we were waiting to go in to Star Trek at the Embassy.

Now I was going to talk more about my thoughts on making 48 hour films, but I still haven’t quite solidified them yet. I have some observations based on my experiences so far – especially regarding time management, how to plan ahead of the weekend and so on – but I still don’t feel that I have thought these through to completion yet. 🙂

On another note, my feverish imagination has come up with another series concept – putting my current list of ideas after Winding City and Setting it Straight at 4 confirmed series concepts. I already have an idea of what I want to take on after Setting it Straight – but that will depend on whether I can develop it enough to be satisfied with starting it or whether I’ll be involved in some other project by that point.

As Camille Landau and Tiare White say in their book “What they don’t teach you at Film School” – “If you want to make films, make films”

I’m planning to live by that creed. I want to be making shows whether someone recognises my work or not. Just like a writer always writes to improve their craft and skill, a film-maker does the same. If I seriously want to be producing, writing and/or directing as a career – I need to keep making films to learn, grow and improve. 🙂

Hence, I will be working on projects for some time to come. And if you think The Winding City is the best I can come up with, you haven’t seen anything yet… 😉


Jarratt said to me recently that it is good to keep momentum going when you are working on a project. With The Winding City heading well into post, with the second episode looking pretty good so far, I need to leap into my next project as soon as possible.

So daring am I, that I have already put out a casting call for Setting it Straight. I have continued to revise the first two episodes, but I’m keen to get my characters cast and the actors rehearsing while I finish off the first series of SIS.

Once again I find myself with more actresses than planned female roles and not enough actors. Currently I’m investigating whether I can get some funding to help entice more talented cast with actual money – but I’m not sure how viable that option is going to be. To make funding work out, I really will need to work on a business plan as to how the series could potentially make that money back.

It’s feasible – but adds a whole new layer of difficulty to planning the series.

What strikes me as interesting is that there seems to be more actresses willing to work on volunteer projects than actors. Of course it doesn’t help that a majority of the male roles are gay and that I have pretty much cast the sole heterosexual lead male already (I haven’t made it official, but I’m already seeing the actor in mind as that role and he has expressed interest in playing it…)

This tends to mean that I am making things more difficult for myself as not all beginning actors are willing to play gay characters. I will need to put together a bit of a gameplan for where else to place casting calls…

Although now that I think about it – I really should put something up on the Big Idea – I got some bites last time I went there…

And I could probably post something on the 48 hours forum after next weekend, when people are still on their post 48 hour buzz and talking about how they should be making more films…

As if that isn’t enough to worry about, after a talk with Norman yesterday, I’m probably going to scrap my budget camera idea and use Norman’s instead. As much as I would like to test out the handicam idea, sound is going to be a problem, and I need it to be clear and strong.

I’ll still do a couple of test runs with my current equipment, but it is likely (especially if we get funding) that I will need to use equipment that is closer to television quality.

So I continue to learn and develop my skills. I’m really keen to see these shows completed and I genuinely hope that they are going to help me stand out from the crowd industry wise – I’d really like to be writing and working on a show as a regular gig…


May 2009

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