Not So Super

16 12 2015

Film Reel

During the first semester of my final year at University (about 1 year ago now), I was still studying Creative Writing and Screenwriting at the University of Central Lancashire. In my third (or 4th overall) year however it was very different, as for the first time I was doing Creative Writing Major and Screenwriting Minor, where as in the 2 previous years I had done them both joint. I decided to go down this path because in year 2 I enjoyed Creative Writing far more than Screenwriting, and wanted to do more of that, even though I was getting some of my better marks in Screenwriting. During my first semester I took part in my last screenwriting module, wherein we had to write Monologues. Now my monologue did change here and there, but the subject remained the same throughout, that of an ageing, retired super hero who just wanted to be left alone. As the development progressed, it went from a sad story of youth in my first draft to eventually a super hero talking about how he has to do work for charity events. Well eventually one thing came to another and before I knew it, it had been selected along with two other monologues from the group to be made into a short film.

Casualty Logo

At first I was surprised, but could not understand why mine was chosen. I was certain of other people in the class being better at the course than me, and so for a few days I was just at a loss to understand, eventually though I came more round to it, and began to get a little bit more excited. It was to be directed by my monologues tutor Anita who also writes scripts for Casualty, and produced by two of her ex students. I attended a meeting about the short films late December, and we talked about what they were hoping to do with it, and suggested actors to play the parts. They suggested for my film for the character to be played by Rev actor Tom Hollander (where as I thought of Tim Piggott-Smith). Anyway, that’s how it got started.

Rev TV Series Logo

In the next few months, news was scarce as to what was going on, but eventually come around February I finally heard news of what was going on. The plan was to shoot mine first out of the three and show it off at festivals. But the big news was who the production team managed to get to star in the short film; John Henshaw. When I first read that I was completely unaware of who that was, but when my Mam found out, she nearly shouted in shock and surprise. I was still unsure until I went online and found a picture of him in Google. I best know of him for appearing in Early Doors, but his filmography is much bigger than that with appearances in The Cops (which Anita also worked on), Terry Pratchett’s Going Postal, and lots of other things I can’t currently grab to mind. There was also an idea for me to have an appearance in the film with him. Well, this big news was very exciting, but then about a month later I found out more detail. It turns out that John Henshaw couldn’t do it anymore, and was replaced by Shameless actor; Mark Sheals. Another person I did not know much about. However I was aware of the actress Alice Barry (after seeing a photo of her online), but instantly recognized her as someone who was in Shameless (haven’t seen it) and Phoenix Nights. Soon after that, I was given details about the film’s Facebook page where some photos from filming had already been posted and then invited all my Facebook friends to come and like the page.

Shameless Logo

So, Filming was still going ahead, but I had no idea when, until one of the producers phoned me up, and invited me to come down one day during the Easter Holidays, to Salford where it was going to be filmed. It was the Tuesday (I think) just after I got back from that year’s Saved2Serve. Anyway I turned up, having read the start of Monsters of Men by Patrick Ness on the way down. I arrived, waited for a while to be picked up, and then was, along with someone else who was waiting around at the same station. We went to one of the first sites and waited in an office for a time, only to find out we were not going to be able to film there, so we went to another site, had some lunch and I watched some of my film being filmed. The plan was that at the original location I was to be filmed with the star, but sadly it couldn’t go ahead for some reason. Anyway, I was there, watched it being made, didn’t get to have my scene, but still it was nice, was then given a lift back to Preston before journeying on to Lancaster.

Monsters Of Men (Patrick Ness - 2010)

Time passed some more after that, and I was hoping to receive a copy of the film before I went to Roothill that year so I could show it off at the camp concert. Sadly that did not get to happen, but during the previous July, I was asked to go down to Manchester, to Gulliver’s Bar, where a showing of the film was going to be put on, along with some other films that were made by some of the film’s contributors. Before that though met Alice Barry, was sitting less than a couple of metres from John Henshaw who came down to watch, and said a brief hello to Mark Sheals again. The films were all nice to watch; my particular favourite was Going to Mecca which was just really funny. But then my film came on. It was very dark and hard to see much, but it was nice to finally watch it. However I did not feel all that much strongly for it. It didn’t look or feel like the monologue I wrote, it just felt different. Out was the retired superhero who wanted to be left alone, it just didn’t feel like my work, but my Mam pointed out that it was the case that it was adapted from my work, and I may not feel as strong to an adaptation when I was so close to my original piece. Since then though I have watched it a few more times, it has been uploaded to YouTube, I have shown people I know, and I have grown a bit more strongly towards it.


In the end it was a fun little experience, and though while it had its hurdles with both production, and me and my work personally, I am glad I did it in the end and it is a nice little film. Nice thing to put on the CV (which it is, and I am currently unemployed), but also a nice thing to show my family and friends, and something nice on which to end my Screenwriting Course. Now here is your opportunity to have a watch, please feel free to comment, like and share…….…if you want to.


Books I’m Currently Reading

18 02 2015

The Knife Of Never Letting Go (Patrick Ness - 2008)

Since reading The Hunger Games back in 2012, I have been a constant reader. After joining Goodreads in 2013 I have been posting up what is the most recent book I have read and they appear in a little tab on the side of this blog and my stories blog. in 2014 I took part in a reading challenge on Goodreads. Initially I thought I would try and read 10 books. I thought that was a good number. In total I read 25, (with me constantly editing the challenge every time I reached a milestone). This year I thought I would go up from the original 10 but not go overblown like I did with the challenge in 2014, and try to read at least 15 books this year. So far I have read 5 this year, but the first four were quite quick reads and in essence the first three were comic books. The books are:

The thing that I am struggling with this year though is getting late nights and therefore feeling really tired to actually read. On several occasions in recent months I have found myself trying to induce a power nap before hand so I can then have plenty of awake-ness to be able to read. The usual time I would read regularly is on the train to and from Preston, but due to the tiredness, I don’t feel up to reading, so most of the times I have read recently are when I feel like reading and when I force myself to do some reading. But given the last two books I have read, I haven’t minded, because they were truly gripping.

A Monster Calls (Patrick Ness and Siobhan Dowd - 2011)

Another issue I have had (but this one is more constant over the last 2 years) is there is too much I want to read. Every now and then I find myself in Waterstones looking at new books I want to buy and read. The problem this incurs is that I start reading too many things when in hindsight I can read roughly less than 5 books at any one time. So at the moment I am pushing myself into that reading state and have no more than 4 books to read at any one time. While it is the case I have started some and not finished them as well as have quite a few books on my shelf that I need to get round to reading, I am forcing myself to stay on track with 4 books, and each one of these has a particular category. They are:

  • Main Reading
  • Bed Time Reading
  • Course/Research Reading
  • Christian Reading

My main reading refers to my main book reading at the moment and that is usually and has been for a long while, Fiction, particularly, Young Adult/Teen Fiction. I rarely find myself exploring adult genres, however, I have become a fan of Michael Crichton and have read both Jurassic Park and Micro (finished by Richard Preston). Bed Time Reading, is a spot I allow myself to read something completely different but only allow myself to read it as bed time approaches. Due to my current bed situation though, I am currently not reading anything at bed time. For the most part I read comics at this time as they are an easy read, mainly X-Men but have become interested in reading Fables at some point. Course/Research reading refers to reading something for my course at University, this has allowed fiction in the past with books including The Casual Vacancy (didn’t read all of it, 25 pages at most), War Horse and Jurassic Park. Christian Reading refers to the current Christian I am reading at the moment. My Christian book library is quite small at the moment, but each book I have read during this time has personally helped me every now and then. So with my current reading situation coming down to just 3 books. I thought I would let you know what I am reading at the moment.

Facing A Task Unfinished (Roger Carswell - 2011)

Title: Facing a Task Unfinished: A Personal Devotional for Evangelism

Author: Roger Carswell

Category: Christian Reading

I have owned this book since 2012 when I picked it up at Saved2Serve. It wasn’t until I left Saved2Serve 2014 and returned home that I began reading it. My reading of it is a bit on and off as it is a study course of one mini chapter per week. I find myself reading it when I can and read 2 or 3 chapters at a time. It is quite useful as it has a bible verse in each section, followed by a thought for meditation, then there is a little poem followed by a prayer you can read. the book also comes with space to allow you to write down your own personal prayers. It’s quite a nice little handy book to have as it doesn’t require much time to use and so even if you only have 5 or 10 minutes to spare, you have plenty of time just to read a little bit at a time.

Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You'll Ever Need

Title: Save the Cat!: The Last Book on Screenwriting You’ll Ever Need

Author: Blake Snyder

Course: Course/Research Reading

I have been reading this book for almost 2 years now, not as long as it took me to read MogWorld, but still a long time. It’s the case that while I try to read it regularly, doing just that is quite hard. I find it weird though that I don’t regularly read it; because it’s so good. It’s very explanative and also very funny to read but also puts your mind in situations of understanding and then goes through with you certain important points of how to write a film script. These points include, pitching, structuring and plotting out everything before you even write the first ‘FADE’ on your script. A really terrific read that is both informative to those who want to learn how to write a script as well as interesting to those who are just interested in the subject.

The Ask And The Answer (Patrick Ness - 2009)

Title: The Ask And The Answer

Author: Patrick Ness

Category: Main Reading

What is now the third Patrick Ness book I have read in a row, The Ask And The Answer is the second book in the Chaos Walking Trilogy, the first being The Knife Of Never Letting Go. I have actually yet to start reading it due to the sleep problems but hope to start reading it this week. I am really looking forward to it and to see where the story goes as the last book finished on a huge cliff hanger and now have to wait and see what happens next.


So that is what I am reading at the moment. While I currently am not reading anything at bed time, the floor is open to pretty much anything, as long as it’s a quick reading. as for the other collections, while I do not know what the next Christian Book will be or the next Course/Research book, I look forward to reading them, providing I enjoy them. While The Ask And The Answer will likely take me time to read it,  as long as I continue to enjoy the series I will probably proceed to read the final book in the series; Monsters Of Men, then I’ll have to start looking again as to what I should read next.

Monsters Of Men (Patrick Ness - 2010)


My Week: 09/04/2012 – 15/04/2012

20 04 2012

After being inspired by the Radio 4 series Ed Reardon’s Week I thought I would give a go at doing something similar but while that is fiction this is reality. I am not going to add links (at the moment, maybe one day) because it will take forever.

Hurray I have been looking forward to this day. I am having a day out with my best friend Esther. I even had an early night to make sure I would not be tired. Once again I have not had breakfast but seeing as I usually have breakfast at 11:00am and lunch soon after it does feel a bit weird. Well just before 11:00am Esther and her parents arrive and I get an amazing Easter Egg off her. I got Esther one that was just an egg with Happy Easter Esther on the front of it. It was interesting to see the egg I received from her and discovered it was not an egg but a rabbit with Sam written on it. Now that was a surprise but also a lovely one and a delicious one which I discovered the following day. Well while her parents are having tea and coffee with my Mam and Dad we leave and start our day. Even though during the day I have problems with my throat which is what happens when I have chocolate and nothing to drink (my stupidity for not buying a drink when I bought the cookies), I also have a nasty pain downstairs while walking which goes away once I have gone to the toilet. We go to the castle which for a small hill has a nasty climb which always tires me out. Well at least it is not as bad as the hill up to Williamson’s Park, I mean why can’t we have a tram system or flatten the hill. Actually a tram system would greatly benefit the city but it seems as though I am the only one who thinks so. Being a bank holiday many shops are open despite things that my family say about them not being open on bank holidays even though they were open last Easter Monday as well. We end up going to Pizza Hut for lunch only to find out that the buffet is not on because it is a bank holiday, probably because they think everyone is having a picnic at a castle somewhere. Oh well it was a Good Pizza, I end up having most of it because Esther had a massive breakfast. I phone up Myra (my brother’s wife) because it was an ideal opportunity for Myra to talk to Esther because she has wanted to meet her. Well Esther invites both Myra and Luke to our annual visit to Blackpool Pleasure Beach so we can have a fun day out where Myra and Esther can have some time together and Me and Luke can catch up, that’s how Fantastic Esther is always coming up with ideas, like me really, well they do say great minds think alike (whoever they are, that part has not been made clear, could they mean those characters with red eyes in that Mitchell and Webb Look sketch). We go to HMV and buy some CD’s, Esther buy’s some Love songs while I buy a Black Sabbath CD I have wanted to buy since September. Well we go to Juicafe for a milkshake but I continue to have problems downstairs so we go to the doctors but turns out it’s closed so I decide to wait till tomorrow despite the fact it is really painful (however the pain completely disappears and so if I was to go to the doctor they would probably not find anything, again). We go to the train station so she can catch her train and as her train leaves an old train passes by (probably one of those special day trip ones which cost £5000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000 to go on) which was interesting to watch but a shame it was not a steam train. Within the next few seconds I already begin to miss Esther and I still do, even though she lives a whole lot closer to me than my friends from Roothill.

After watching The Hunger Games at the cinema I have been reading the book when I go to bed and it is quite fun to match things from the film to things I am reading, even though it has been over a week since I saw it and I still can’t get enough of it. It makes a change from reading comic books and by the time I have finished reading all 3 books I may have several comic’s to read. I have decided to start reading books again and have chosen bed time to read them because then I can read them at a good rate. I have been reading several books recently but despite the fact a year and a half has gone I still have not finished reading MogWorld. I have decided that I would like to read Bram Stoker’s Dracula and possibly Alexandra Dumas novel The Count of Monte Cristo. I keep looking up how well my blog is doing and at the moment the viewing figures look a bit erratic and I do sometimes get annoyed when posts I have enjoyed writing don’t do as well as others (and also when people don’t (as usual) leave comments or rate my posts, I like it when they do and it is also nice when they do, no offence to those of you who do, it is greatly appreciated). OK other posts I did enjoy writing are some of the most viewed but why is my review of The Hunger Games only getting viewed on the weekend. While it is not my favourite film (possibly my favourite non-Godzilla film) I do think it is one of my best reviews to date. I am already looking forward to its Home Video release, in fact I am looking forward to that more than the next Batman film seeing as it is unlikely that the Legendary Pictures Godzilla Film will not be getting released this year and there is no sign of The Host sequel.

Too many shows on TV to watch, I keep recording them but don’t really get time to watch them, I still need to watch some episodes of Casualty, Rookie Blue repeats, Sea Patrol season 5, Touch plus some movies not to mention the fact that Not Going Out returns this week. Oh well I need to keep working, I won’t pass the year without work. Need to get this maths thing done and 750 word essay for film and media. As the week goes on I finish the work but don’t start anymore, it’s the Easter break for crying out loud, I want a break. I continue to play Minecraft on the Server with friends form Roothill and continue to build my Giant Lighthouse, if only there was an easier way to gather materials. I could use better tools but everyone else finds the better ingredients in places I am not looking in. I could try to make a generator but once again I need the materials to do so and I don’t have the materials to make the materials. I have decided that my next major project will be a small version of the Hunger Games arena and I found an ideal location in a nice green area near Matt’s Waterfall party place. I suppose if I keep digging I will find better resources. I do like Matt’s new station for travelling from my house to the lighthouse. Because creatures keep spawning inside the thing I might remove most of the floors. One Question about Minecraft still evades me; how come my character can eat huge amounts of food but does not need to go to the toilet? I keep reading news on and as usual the media is being nasty to Nintendo, the only time the media is nice is when the media is proven wrong which is usually all the time. I remember when the Wii was about to come out and how everyone said it was rubbish, well they were wrong but too proud to admit their mistake. I remember before the DS was released and how all attention was on that massive failure that was the NGage, yes combine a phone with Video Games, didn’t work did it. Ok you have something similar with the IPhone and how people claim how it will be the future and completely forgetting how low the memory on them is and how big games on them won’t work, maybe on the next generation which will be tomorrow knowing how often IPhone’s are released but then the consoles will have better power in them and still beat them. Well now all the media is being mean to the Wii U and completely failing to notice that Kinect and PS Move were only released because Motion Sensing worked fantastically with Nintendo. Now this new controller is turning the media back into what it was and failing to notice that the potential tablet control on the PS4 looks similar to the Wii U but NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO the media still has to be nasty to Nintendo, technically everything that is standard on consoles today were invented by Nintendo so I don’t see why they can’t see that Nintendo are the innovators and the PlayStation and the YCube 180 are just copycats.

On Thursday I finally watch a Godzilla film for the first time in a long time. I decided to watch Godzilla vs Mothra 2 because it is the only one that I have not seen since buying it on DVD. One of my ultimate favourite films with some amazing monster scenes and Music as well as acting but does it get mentioned as often as that film with all the blue people in it or that one with so many plot holes the ship sinks or that other one where a bunch of small people have to transport some jewellery for miles instead of doing it on the giant eagles like someone with a brain would do, NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. I don’t understand why Syfy does not show Godzilla films in the UK, they could increase viewing figures immensely, it has been too long since a Japanese Godzilla film was shown in the UK, instead they show that 1998 (not technically a Godzilla film) film, I want to watch a PROPER GODZILLA FILM WITH MONSTER FIGHTS.

On Friday I travel to Ware which sounds like Where and as such it is complicated to tell people you are going there because it sound like a question for a Christian Conference Weekend. It is north of London but I have to travel to London just to change trains. I have reserved seats but there are some annoying children behind me with their dad, it is quite hard to resist the urge to turn around and shout SHUT UP at them. I do get to play on my 3DS and play some Su Do Ku. I get into Euston and look for something to eat and once again find out that Euston is the only major train station in London to not have a Sushi place. I like Sushi but nowhere North of Manchester has sushi places. I end up buying a giant pasty for £4.00, stupid pasty tax; I thought it was only supposed to be 60p more. I have been studying market theory and aren’t things supposed to get cheaper where there is more demand, I thought there would be lots of demand in London. I almost get into a panic when I think I lose my ticket but then find them hiding in my pocket. How come on the Great Anglia line all the stations don’t have the digital timetables like every other train station in the whole country. I finally get to Ware not where and remember that my only contact is Jim from GBM so I ring him only to meet the event organiser Nigel after ringing Jim so I ring Jim again to tell him that I have a lift. It’s a hot day so that means that pasty did not need to have tax included on it, cheapskate.

I arrive at the Christian college and pick up my info pack and a name badge, I loathe badges. I almost get into a state when I accidently doze off and discover I am 10 minutes late for tea. I get a shock when Jim comes looking for me. I recognize a few people but as usual am too shy to sit with them unless they want me too, I really need to work on not being scared of people I know. Unfortunately I forget to notice there is pudding available and go without, mince for tea 2 days in a row, I had some for breakfast as a toasted sandwich. The lasagne does look like cottage pie. Well I get picked out for accidently yawning at the beginning of the session. It is here that I realise I forgot to bring a Bible with me (along with my card games which would have been fantastic to bring but were not on my mind on Friday morning, I still have to play Munchkin and I have not played Fluxx for months, boooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo. I do get to observe Tom and Suzie playing Stomp or whatever it is called which usually involves slapping the table. I also read MogWorld for the first time since the Summer before going to bed because I want to prolong The Hunger Games because it is sooooooooo Good.

Saturday and today is the day we have to do those Workshops, I don’t like group discussions because I am always worried about saying something that may be wrong and might get told off, yes I am 22 but it still worries me. Egg, Tomato and Sausage for breakfast, nice, kind off, really messy to eat. I hear Tom talking about having a game of sardines which is something like Hide and Seek. I also talk to someone about drama and how one film I saw involved so much overacting it was quite good, I saw it at last year’s LMC end of year show but I cannot find it on YouTube, oh well. The first workshop is quite good but I find it hard to stay awake in the second, probably because of the Sardines Game. Basically it is like Hide and seek but one person hides while everyone seek them and once they are found they have to stay there until the last person. I end up looking where everyone isn’t and no wonder I am always one of the last people to find them, but to be fair they could easily hide up the chimney. It’s an interesting game but has some flaws particularly when you introduce buildings with several floors, if it was in a forest or just on the ground floor it would be better. In the evening I have tremendous fun playing Card Games for about 3 hours with Tom, Suzie, Chris, Tania and some other people who were friends with my friends followed by riddles for an hour. I end up having to pick up 24 cards in an extreme rules version of UNO. I even get more when I keep talking during the silent red phase, the game ends due to the number of cards I have. I keep thinking to myself “I should have brought Fluxx and or Munchkin. During one case of the ridiculous Silent Red rule I sing in my head and then when it is time for another colour I start singing aloud, if you want to know what song it was, well it was Cry Of The Banshee by Brocas Helm, one of the most obscure Heavy Metal Songs in the history of music which is quite a shame because it is an AWESOME song.

Decide to miss out on the early part of breakfast to get some more sleep on Sunday. Pain au Chocolat for the first time in years. There is a bit of service in morning with the weekend speaker Roger Carswell and Chris Hawthorne, there is also a Question time session where out of the 9 questions asked 4 of them are mine. After Lunch I need to get ready to leave by packing up my room. It’s a nice place but tiring to walk around for its size. I get some good answers for my questions. Then it is time to leave and say goodbye to people who I have come to know better as well as those who I knew already, it is hard especially with them all being in the south and near each other while I am in the north, oh well it was fun while it lasted (I did wish Esther could have come).

It is only a short trip to the railway station with a couple of girls who came to the event I met at the train station on Friday, we go in Nigel’s car and then wait Half an hour for the train. They get off at Broxbourne and I get off at the final stop, Seven Sisters and have to take the tube back to Euston where I discover I have to wait for over an hour for my train, I decide to look for some food and discover there is a Sushi place at Euston and so I get some sushi. While waiting for the train I knew from past experience that everyone surrounding me would be getting the same train, any train that goes in the direction of Lancaster (even those that terminate at Lancaster) are popular, some leave when Liverpool Lime Street is announced. The announcement does the usual thing of telling us stuff it has already told us 5 times instead of telling us which platform our train is on. Then just as I predicted everyone heads for platform 8 for the Glasgow Central Train which goes to Lancaster. I get on and grab a Priority seat hoping it is not reserved. I do see something weird which is some woman looking at the seats in front of me and keeps looking at them for about 5 minutes, constantly. At this point I need to go to the toilet but I was going to wait until the train was moving before I did because someone could easily steal my seat. The seat in front gets filled but not by that woman. I get ready to go to the toilet and I really need it but people are still moving, there is one woman who keeps prowling around, maybe she thinks I need the toilet and is waiting to pounce, there is one person at the table across from me who keeps standing up, eventually he stops after messing with his case. The train moves and after a further 10 minutes I go to the toilet and remember something Alan Partridge said, Going to the toilet does take away some of the time on a long journey but he was referring to train stations. I finish the journey coming up with ideas of how to complain about the toilet situation on trains for a future blog post and play Pokémon Soul Silver for the rest of the way, the amount of potions you need to stay alive in certain matches particularly when you are trying to level up your Pokémon, Trostodon is up to level 30 while Sheep is up to level 20. I do get a bit annoyed when all the in-game characters use sleep and confusion potions on you and how come they always get to go first unless I have Trostodon out, also how come things are ridiculously expensive? It is a fun game but there are too many Pokémon, maybe I should get that Black and White one, at least then there is a controlled number of creatures. I then arrive in Lancaster and get a lift from my Dad home to my house and then finish off the evening by being on the computer and load my pictures for the week.

Well that was my week, it was an extremely fun week and this was an enjoyable post to write (please don’t forget to comment and rate, thank you), I might do it again, not every week because that would be too hard. Thank you Ed Reardon for inspiring me. So that was my week, how was yours in comparison?

GENEPOOL (This post has 3455 words in it).

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