Tuesday, 23 December 2014

This Is Why You're My Best Friend

Dear Bestie,

We watched "The Vow" the other day and you said, "What if one of us lost our memory and forgot about our friendship?" The thought chilled me to the bone. So I'm writing a list as a reminder of all my favourite things about us, just in case.

1. We fancy the same celebrities: Channing, Ashton, J-Law... these we know we would share. But we also respect that Mila Kunis is yours and Emma Stone is mine, so when we are famous and hanging out on the red carpet, there will be no competitiveness.

2. Whilst our telepathy skills are still a little off, our ability to communicate with just a glance is on point. For example on the tube, where a quick side-eye means "Dayum look at the arms on that!" or at your place, when a slight raise of the eyebrows means "I can't believe he/she said that". I mean NO ONE else would ever understand our eye-language, it's like the Enigma code.

3. That running we joke we have with your boyfriend that we are secretly lesbians. Haha yeah, "running joke" - he's totally in denial...

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

What The Black List Says About Us

The Black List was announced last night. For those of you who arent aware of it, the Black List is a US website and online community for the film industry that aims to bring new writing talent and producers together. Writers can upload feature film scripts for feedback and industry execs can search for new projects. Its great for all involved, like a film development gang-bang.

Once a year the producers vote on the screenplays theyve read and their favourites are compiled into the official Black List. Get your script onto that list and you are well on your way to a production deal.

Films that started life on the Black List include Juno, The Kings Speech and Argo. Yeah. Its a big deal.

So I awaited this years Black List eagerly. To be eligible the script cannot be in production during that year, so all titles on this list will not be made until January 2015 at the earliest. This means that most will start to hit cinema screens from 2016.

Its really interesting to see what producers are feeling at the moment and what audiences can expect in a years time. You can begin to identify trends and it paints a clear picture of what ideas attract producers. As a writer or development assistant, being aware of what sells is essential.

Saturday, 13 December 2014

Thursday, 11 December 2014

The Lobster Hunt: Benchmarks & Not Settling

First of all, let's all take a moment to appreciate the pure genius that is Friends! ....Awwhhh <3

We all know the Lobster Theory. Soon the English Dictionary will have to include "soul-mate" in its definition for the romantic crustacean. It is a little reminder that monogamy does exist within the animal kingdom and that, although mammals are largely sluts for evolutionary advantage, there is some hope to the idea of The One*.

Phoebe's theory also provides its own test: say one day I find my perfect man and I tell him, "You're my lobster" but he doesn't get the reference? My true Lobster, thank you very much, would get the reference. However thanks to Comedy Central's never-ending repeats it's unlikely any male over the age of twenty won't know what I'm on about.

If you and your partner want to be hipsters about it, other animals that mate for life include gibbons, swans and termites (full list here, so you can choose your own adorable/sickening pet names).

ANYWAY the whole point of this blog post was to update you on who finally won between my head and my heart. It was messy.

Monday, 24 November 2014

Head vs Heart: The Big Showdown

Currently Raging Inside Me: A Battle of Head and Heart

"Ok," says my Head, "I've checked Gellar's qualities against our Boyfriend Potential list."

"Without me?" replies my Heart. "I thought we agreed to do these things together from now on?"

"We are!" my Head tells her impatiently. "That's why I'm coming to you now, with the results. So we can discuss it rationally."

Heart rolls her eyes but looks over at the list with curiosity.

"So he's come out with a very strong score of 9/10," says Head. "He can cook, he's really ambitious, just like us, our friends like him and his IQ is well above average."

"As high as ours?" asks Heart, smirking.

Head sighs and says reluctantly, "Maybe a little higher. But we won't tell him that. He didn't get a top score because he doesn't go to the gym or like Harry Potter, so our TIC percentage is a little low at just 55%."

"What's TIC again?"

"Things in Common."

"Well, I guess we'd find new things to enjoy together," allows Heart. "Let me see the rest of the list."

Head hands it over, confident in her thorough evaluation.

Sunday, 16 November 2014

The Aquarist & Femidom Confessions

There's a new boy in my life. Well, he's not new to my life, but he's a discovery. A confusing one. A head fuck. I am completely at sea and lost as to what to do about him.

He is my ex's childhood friend. We've been aware of each other for years. We shared a friendship circle for 5; he was the player, the man-whore of the group, slowly working his way through each of the girls. I was his mate's girlfriend - off limits, the red-head he wasn't allowed to get to know. That was our perception of each other. 

I can't put the man I know now to my perception of that boy, that player. They are two people, a thousand miles apart. 

His name for the purpose of this blog shall be Gellar; being a nerd happiest in the Natural History Museum and a minimalist with slight OCD, he is at once Ross and Monica from Friends. This was our first in-joke.

Saturday, 8 November 2014

{Dear Diary} That Happiness Thing?

(*Note: I wrote this 10 days ago and wasn't sure if I should post it. But putting my feelings into words helps so much and since writing this I have felt better. So if any friends read this, please don't panic, you've probably helped me already.) 

I'm in a bit of a rut. Well, actually, from down here it looks more like the grand canyon than a rut, but that's probably melodramatic. Whatever it is, I want out. But each time I think I'm at the bottom, when surely the only way is up, a little bit more of the ground beneath me crumbles away and I'm knocked flat on my back again.

2014, if I'm being completely honest, has not gone to plan. It started badly, then got considerably better for a short time, but has since spiralled into one hot mess. You wouldn't usually expect to see a reflective post so prematurely but I am so over 2014 and I can't wait for it to be forgotten.

My year began with a big break up that I recovered from swiftly enough. I was determined that 2014 would my year. Then a man walked into my life and caused me more damage than I'm prepared to admit to myself. I cut him out of my life in August and felt the loss like a missing limb. I hadn't expected the blow and I was left reeling. I thought I was better than those girls who cry over a boy. It wasn't even as if he was the love of my life, our relationship was relatively short, and yet he had gained such a hold over me. It's really shit that I still think of him every day. At first it was because I missed him, despite the bullshit, and now it's in anger and shock that I allowed him to hurt me.

I've always believed that one area of your life, be it work, family, love, money or friends, will always be shaky. If your love life is perfect your family decides to become even more dysfunctional, or if work sucks at least everything else is making up for it.

Family is always tricky - mine has more issues than Vogue, Vanity Fair and Time magazine put together. My father at last, thankfully, seems to have found some peace and is studying for the PHD and recognition he has always craved and, to be fair, deserved. Our relationship is rocky but it works because he has seen me at my worst and he did not run away. Yes, he played a part in causing me to reach that dark place, but he did not give me up to it. I can be weak before him and know that the burden will not be too much for him to bear.

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Nerdout: My Thoughts on Digital Convergence

Do we fancy a nerdy post? Good. This one is about...

YouTube vs the Traditional Broadcaster Model

I spend more time on YT than any other website at the moment because my day job is currently working in digital video for a big fashion brand. Previously I worked in high-end drama production for UK broadcasters and I never thought digital video was a side of the industry I'd experience. It wasn't that I'd ever ruled it out, it just simply hadn't occurred to me. I wanted to work in TV - not online.

Except that boundary is now blurred almost to the point of non-existence. Confession: I don't even own a television. I watch everything via my laptop on catch-up services and I expect this is now the case for most people. Why? Because living life according to the TV schedule is inconvenient and we want more choice over what we view.

YT is the extension of this - you can view clips from your favourite TV shows without having to endure the whole episode. Whether you're looking for that epic Friends quote, that particularly funny Jimmy Fallon sketch or the moment Ryan Gosling is topless in Crazy Stupid Love, YT provides.

Sunday, 26 October 2014

Weekend Brunch Rules

It's about to get eggy. I hope for your sake that you've just eaten, or by the end of this post you will be salivating all down whichever digital device you are reading from. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Today I am going to tell you about the two best brunch spots in London.

For a meal to qualify as brunch it must involve eggs and be served between the hours of 9am and 1pm. So say the rules of life. 

To best enjoy your brunch I suggest being very tired from a long week, or maybe a heavy night out. You must not have had breakfast. You must wear your comfiest clothes (yoga pants would be my recommendation) and be in the company of a non-judgemental, non-dieting and equally hungry friend. At best, brunch is enjoyed on a Saturday morning; with this you can guarantee a delightful and indulgent start to your weekend.  

Friday, 10 October 2014

Lips, Kilts and Tongue Tekkers

War stories from the trenches of the London dating scene.

A recent Tinder beau made it to a 3rd date. If you're a swipe-happy veteran of the app then you'll know this is quite the achievement and, because I'm sure you're all dying to know, I'm gonna go ahead and tell you how these dates went down(hill)...

Date numero uno was spent in a quirky cocktail bar in Tooting and I'm going to refer to the guy as Lips. He has gorgeous boy lips. I'd swiped right because he looked sexy and bad-boy enough to suit my mood at the time. We quickly organised to meet for a drink; I fully expected to chat for a bit and then go back to his for naughty fun times. He seemed nice enough but after learning of his career choices (bartender and now armed forces) I presumed not particularly bright. I really need to stop making assumptions of guys because, as with other dates, I was surprised.

Saturday, 27 September 2014

Getting a Job in TV/Film: The Myths

Anyone catch that article on The Guardian "6 Myths About Getting a Career in the TV & Media Industries"?

It's always interesting to hear from insiders and I'd definitely suggest a read of it (and a lot of the other stuff on The Guardian's media pages). However, in trying to encompass all aspects of the media industries the article becomes misleading. I also question whether the author can really know and understand the obstacles facing new entrants, if they are now at manager level. Having spent almost 3 years working in the industry (I include my various internships whilst at university, from which I graduated a year ago) I am much farther down the ladder and have quite a different opinion on the subject.

So in response to that article, here is what I think you also need to know about the 6 Myths....

1. You'll spend all your time partying with celebrities
As a runner in TV you will meet celebs and probably get to attend some cool parties. However you need to know that fandom is extremely looked down upon in the industry. If you meet your all-time favourite actor you have to behave like they are any other regular Joe. No autographs, no selfies, no incessant chat. You won't get fired if you do any of these things, but it makes you look unprofessional and people will trust you less - the result will be less access to celebrities. And after a while the novelty of seeing famous people will wear off, as you realise they are just like everybody else and just want to get on with their job. Some will be divas, some will be super down-to-earth. However they behave, you need to be cool, calm and, at parties, one of the more sober attendees.

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Sexual Misadventures in London - Part 2

This time the Samantha Jones inside me was out and determined to get down and dirty. My date played rugby and he was so enthusiastic over text I figured he'd probably be enthusiastic in bed too.

What I'm about to type is going to seem so hideously shallow and awful but I'm going to be honest. I knew as soon as I met him that we would not be having sex.

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Sexual Misadventures in London - Part 1

... or maybe a more accurate, but less eye-grabbing (wankier) title would be

"Modern Gender Roles in Dating: A Reflection" 

or if I'm getting straight to the point 

"Men & Women; We're all the Bloody Same" 

I feel a little guilty admitting that just 5 days after breaking up with my last boyfriend, I went on a Tinder Date. My main motivation behind this was distraction; I could not bear the idea of an evening to myself. I had downloaded the app as a reminder that there were plenty of male fish in the mirky London sea but did not intend to use it until I was "ready". Thursday evening was looming large and empty in my schedule and I panicked, went onto Tinder and picked a suitable rebound. 

His name was Adonis. Perfect! If this all went tits up, at least I could laugh about the time I dated a guy named after a Greek God, straight after the guy who had the body of one.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Make Up Make Up Never Ever Break Up

Except sometimes you really should.

The heartache of ending a relationship is a hugely complicated thing. I can't begin to imagine the pain of being dumped (thankfully I haven't had to experience that yet) but I do know that it's rarely a walk in the park for the one making that decision either. Just because you end a relationship it does not mean the feelings go away. And I also know a lot of people who are unhappy in their relationship but too frightened to take the leap.

I have been through 3.5 break-ups in my life. The first, when I was 16, happened over MSN chat; it was a calm, mutual agreement in which I told my boyfriend I'd seen Sammie K wearing his hoodie and that he hadn't texted me for 2 days. He suggested it wasn't working and I full-heartedly agreed. But I still felt a bit sad and "bleurgh" for about a week. Just as he had been my first forray into love, he was then my first into heart-break. I had no idea...

The second is the 0.5 in this break up equation. We only dated for about 6 weeks and I wasn't really aware it was even a relationship until in week 4 he confessed undying love (which I gently told him wasn't reciprocated). By week 5 he was clingy as hell and when I learned he'd asked his last girlfriend to marry him I broke it off in week 6. The resulting tantrum is what qualifies this non-relationship for break-up status: threats of suicide (that I did not believe for a second), full-on screams of anguish and a really quite unnerving ambush when I was home alone two days later. What I took away from this was don't date drummers, because they must clearly ALL be unhinged (a sweeping statement, but it would prove not to be untrue 5 years later).

At the end of that school year my cute, geeky friend that I set next to in Media Studies bought me chocolate and asked me to prom on one knee. I was a bit surprised but totally smitten. I finally gave up my closely guarded virginity (on prom night) and fell in love in a crazed endorphin and hormone tornado. We did not argue until our 1 year anniversary, when he was a grumpy asshole and made me cry for the first time. But you can't break up on your 1 year anniversary! So we made up and carried on.

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Queen of the Tearling - from Book to Film

I treated myself to a new book the other day. It's called Queen of the Tearling and it is the debut novel of Erika Johansen. Picked it up in Waterstones, read the blurb and bought it on the spot: it's a fantasy adventure about a young woman thrown into danger and forced to stand on her own two feet. Couldn't really be more up my street.

Looking at online reviews now, it's got everyone very excited. The publishers snapped it up, everyone thinks it's great... Apparently I have good taste in books. Apart from the one douche who described it as a "female Game of Thrones" (rage*) it looked pretty promising.

Then I discovered that David Heyman, producer of Gravity and Harry Potter, aka most successful British filmmaker in my mind, had purchased the rights to the book, before it was even published. He's already lined up Emma Watson to play the lead (more on this later) and there is a premature IMDB page and everything.

Fast work Mr Heyman. I hate you a little bit because I wanted to get the rights to this book first (can you stop being so successful please and thanks?). But I also love you because you make awesome films. So at least Queen of the Tearling is being made by someone I trust to do it justice.

Sunday, 15 June 2014

Hipster Culture in TV & Film

So at the moment I'm writing a drama about a group of twenty-somethings living in London. Obviously I want it to be original and I've also decided I don't want it to be "hipster", which is hard because I've seen and relate to Lena Dunham's GIRLS quite strongly, and can't help but find parallels between that show and what I'm writing about (because I am a twenty-something living in a big city). Anyway, thinking about the hipster trend/culture led to me questioning where it all started and how it has recently seeped into so much film and television.  

First question: da fuq is a hipster?

Well, hipsters themselves cannot agree on this. The "movement" (if we can call it that) is not a new thing and has origins going back to the Beat Poets and, as the term suggests, the hippies of the 60's/70's. I'm going to call these "true" hipsters. They were the artists and creative people who worked casual coffee shop jobs and hung out on urban street corners, discussing their work and dreams, taking life one day at a time. They sought out the original and unheard of, rejecting everything mainstream and zealously guarding their discoveries from the masses. We're talking non-conformists without the get-up and go of the punks, but with safe, well-educated backgrounds to stop them becoming chavvy benefit-scroungers. Mostly, I feel like becoming a creative hipster was the "it" rebellion for kids from upper-class families - "Oh won't Mummy and Daddy be upset when they learn I'm wasting my Oxbridge degree working at a coffee-shop. They don't understand my need for creative liberation!"

"Nobody smile - smiling's too mainstream"

Friday, 6 June 2014

{Dear Diary} Aliens, Hot Wax and Mutant Kittens

The other day I was lying on a treatment bed and thinking about Life (as you do when pain is imminent). I was about to embark on my first week off since Xmas; after having a minor breakdown in front of my manager, it was finally agreed that I should take some time to chill the f out. Since some redundancies in the department, my workload had doubled and although I enjoy being busy, the strain was beginning to take effect.

But wow a whole 10 days to do what I want? They don't pay me enough to go anywhere nice, so I've retreated to Mum's in sleepy Dorset, where the only demands put upon me will be those from the new boyfriend (good demands). Some body maintenance was due - I went onto Wahanda.com and got a cracking deal on a hot wax. I also accidentally dyed my hair orange.

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Oh Hey Steven Moffat

A while ago I attended a sell-out event by the Royal Television Society. The focus of the evening was one of British TV's biggest and brightest dramas - Sherlock. Joining us in the room were its writers/creators Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss, producer Sue Virtue, BBC controller Ben Stephenson and actress Amanda Abbington. 

They were going to tell us exactly how they made such a huge, brilliant hit!

Saturday, 15 February 2014

Thinking of "Her" - Film Review

I was treated to a trip to the cinema on Valentines Day, in a strictly non-romantic capacity, by a guy I used to work with. It was so nice to not feel any pressure to make the day special in any way, for the first time in 5 years! There was definitely a feeling of just doing what felt fun and good at the time, without worrying about anything else. Snatching at happiness in a big city. This became a bit of a theme for the night when we went to see Spike Jonze's Her

Having seen the trailer a couple of times I was intrigued by the film. The concept - in case you don't know - is a love story between a writer called Theodore and his computer operating system. Imagine Siri on your iPhone had a really hot voice, its own evolving personality and was always a pleasure to talk to, instead of snarky and infuriating.

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Pff, who'd wonna work in Film?

Imagine a world where no one wanted to work in the film industry. They'd have to recruit people, like they do for the army. Perhaps we'd each do National Service for the good of the nation's entertainment. I see the poster as something like this:

I'm only kidding, it's not that bad.

And, obviously, millions of people want in! Hollywood will never be short of people banging at it's doors, desperate for a shot. And that's because if you do, you have the chance to make something for the biggest canvas out there - cinema. To creative types, that is like a catnip and cocaine fusion, covered in glitter, with a potential climax of wealth and recognition.

Where do I sign up?!!

There's the catch. I feel very lucky to have a job in the industry and I'm aware of how many others are dying for the same opportunity. So I wanted to write a post about a couple of ways the system is cheating you of this.