Friday, 2 January 2009

2008 - Uh, What?

2008 has certainly been a weird and erratic year for me. In the vast majority of cases, it really has been one step forward and two steps back – which is to be expected of course. However, in true Chipster style, absolutely nothing has gone to plan. Just when I think the stars might be aligning in some kind of weird cosmic jam, something comes along and gives me a swift slap round the back of the legs for daring to think that things are ever going to be that simple. So, on I go. For some reason, I suspect that 2009 is going to deliver up biblical proportions of weird as well – which I enjoy in a masochistic, absurd kinda way. Like I’m fond of saying: do the exact opposite of what I do, and you won’t go far wrong.

I had scripts in for both METLAB and TAPS which both came to nothing. Even though I had a sneaky feeling that nothing much was ever going to happen METLAB-wise, the scheme got credit crunched – so, one down. Another script got shortlisted for a TAPS scheme, and I got some hugely encouraging noises from an ITV producer who sits on the TAPS selection board. However, the script didn’t make the final hurdle, so that was that.

Better news came in February when I launched upon a collaboration with a well respected producer/director. Two meetings and lots of phone calls later it’s still trundling on, but again in true Chipster style, I have absolutely no idea where it’s headed. When the thing winds up/down to its natural conclusion I’ll write about it some more, but at this rate it’s going to take a while (unless I get unceremoniously slung off it of course). So, maybe a half step forward there.

(One good thing that has come off the back of this collaboration is that a simple mention of the name of the person I am collaborating with is often enough to get my work read in any variety of places (bear in mind that I did ask if it would be OK for me to bandy this person’s name around in the first place). I’m waiting to hear back from three opportunities at the moment, all of which would be utterly brilliant to work on. However, each one is going to need a lot more hustle yet).

I had a short script that got through to the first round of the BSSC, and then promptly fell flat on its arse. My Sharps entry did precisely fup all, as did my entry for Red Planet. I don’t subscribe to the view that competitions are the only opportunities out there, but even so, perhaps I’ve been guilty of putting in too much work on competition entries at the expense of pursuing real world opportunities (having to work to a deadline is always handy though). So, the monumental decision I’ve reached with regards to the year ahead is, regardless of what they are, no more competitions (that said, in the spirit of doing exactly the opposite to whatever I do, I suggest that everyone enter every competition going next year. You’ll all win big, I guarantee it*).

Throw in some demented stuff regarding Pitof (unbelievably, that one is still trundling on as well), a BBC Writersroom event, a few meetings here and there, Marchmont Films finally throwing in the towel, and there you have it: 2008 expressed as a random series of unlinked events. I think rather than one step forward and two back, it’s been one step forward, one to the side, half a step back and then a funny little dance on the spot. At the least, it's been an entertaining year.
*Guarantee not legally enforceable. But if anyone does win, could you cut me in for 10%? ;-)


Lucy said...

The only reason Metlab "came to nothing" in 2008 was due to the current financial climate -- it's on hold, not gone forever. And perhaps your "sneaking suspicion" had something to do with a certain lack of an August draft? ; )

Chip Smith said...

Steady on, dear! I seem to recall your last set of notes suggested it might be an idea to go back to outline stage, so to crank up another draft may well have been counter-productive. But hey, let's not argue - we're all friends here.

Happy New Year, by the way ;-)

Lucy said...

Hey, no one's arguing - but technically there was no outline either... Or did I blank that part out?!

But if you *want* a ruck, by all means: let's take this outside...
I'll dropkick you no probs

(if only on facebook)

Janice Okoh said...

Re: Competitions.

I'm not really one for competitions either as you do pin your hopes on them but a few choice onces are okay. You just gotta pick em. No Son of Pitch for me Next year- too arbitrary. But then people always say,"someone's gotta win!"

I think it's a balance between the real world and the lottery.

Chip Smith said...

Lucy: this is about the fifth time you've challenged me to a fight now - which means you obviously haven't heard of my legendary (and virtual) chinese burn (it really does smart). You have been warned. Step away from the blog and take your big, floppy hat with you ;-)

Janice: I've come to the conclusion that I really don't (can't?) write competition-winning scripts. However, outside of competitions, I seem to do OK (on a kind of sporadic basis). It'll be interesting this year to see how far I get with this sort of attitude, so stay tuned...