God is my Director

Youth ministry, movies, no drugs and a variable amount of Rock ‘n Roll

Notes from America – Pt 2: LA to San Diego

Posted by Martin on June 27, 2007

The second part in a very odd series, recounting a trip which is drifting further and further into the past…

Our morning in Los Angeles wasn’t particularly eventful, but we did pay a visit to my favourite eaterie in the world. Don’t think they’ve got a website, but if you’re ever in the Farmers Market, on South Fairfax, devote a few minutes to finding Charlie’s, an authentic American breakfast grill – the sort where they shout things like ‘over easy’ at you (which means about as much to me as Vienna did to Midge Ure). Had a fantastic egg thing with hash browns – again, means something completely different there – and well and truly converted my companion.

We started the second leg of our US tour with a two hour road trip from LA to San Diego. Driving down the freeway with the wind (or at least, air-con) in our hair, in blazing hot sunshine and belting out ‘Sittin on the dock of the bay’ at the top of our voices, we had come as close to fantasy land as you can get without buying a ticket. Although we barely talked about anything, and the landscape was hardly inspiring (mainly road through sparse dry areas), it’s an experience I don’t think Jim or I will ever forget. Pootling along in our little black Chrysler (a kind of scaled-down A-Team van, we liked to think), we were amazed at just how big some American cars are. One guy was driving one of those trucks where you expect a dog and a couple of hitch-hikers to be sitting in the back. In truth, he could have fitted a school trip in there. It was enormous – like a Tonka truck that has been zapped by some sort of giganticizer ray. And there wasn’t a scratch, dirt mark or dent on it; I think the most this near-monster truck was ever used for would have been trips to the burger joint.

We were travelling to visit Youth Specialties, and more specifically, my good friend Mark Oestreicher. Bizarrely, as we rang to get directions, we discovered that Marko was with another Brit – none other than Soul Survivor pioneer Mike Pilavachi. Jim and I were amazed – Mike’s like the lesser spotted invisible dodo when he’s in England (as in, hard to get a meeting with) – yet here he was, in the reception of a youth ministry organisation on the other side of the planet.

TicIt was then our utter privilege to sit in the sun for two full hours and talk youth ministry with Marko and Tic Long, another absolute legend of youth work. Tic is one of – if not the best big stage hosts I’ve ever seen, and certainly someone who you could learn from if, say, you were down to host Britain’s Youthwork the Conference this November. He’s also been at the heart of what Mike Yaconelli started at YS for near on 30 years, making him one of the longest serving people in world youth ministry, by my reckoning.

MarkoMarko has been an increasingly good friend for three years now, ever since Jim and I (we’re not lovers) met him at the Dallas YS convention in 2004. He’s an incredibly sharp guy – and I’m not just saying that because I know he’ll read this, as he does all the other blogs in the world – and a great leader, but he’s also got this irresistible youth worker heart, which is what I think attracts everyone to him. He can try and have some sort of important title like ‘President’, but really he’s just ‘big daddy youth worker’. He very graciously invited us to stay at his lovely house, and to meet his family, who are just great. I won’t reveal any details, but the song he and son Max performed for us over breakfast one morning will be forever etched on the inside of my cranium.

In the evening, after Marko and Jeannie had taken us to a grill to experience ‘chicken fried steak’ (only in America), we were allowed to join the YS staff for a special preview screening of Steve Carell’s new movie, Evan Almighty. YS have been involved in promoting the movie to youth groups and churches, and rightly so – it’s perfect for a family audience, and it also has some deeper theological points to make than you might expect. I may post a review of it elsewhere if I ever get to the end of this travelogue.

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Writer’s block

Posted by Martin on June 25, 2007

Still (nearly two months on) crippled by some serious screenwriter’s block. Every time I sit down to work on ‘Project CS’, I am struck by this fear/realisation that I am an absolutely terrible writer, with less talent than a speck of gnat manure. Now, one of two things has happened:

1) My ability to evaluate the work of others- and therefore myself – has accelerated faster than my actual writing ability. In the past, I’ve written badly, but not been able to see it. Of course, if I look back now at my first book, I hate the way it’s written – at the time, I thought it was a serious contender for Richard and Judy’s book club. Now, I’m able to see flaws in my work almost before I create them.

2) I’ve lost it. Which does happen. Just look at the last four series of Friends. Or Tony Blair.

 I’m hoping it’s either 1), or secret option 3) – this is all a bad dream and I’m about to wake up full of refreshment, ideas and ability.

Posted in Movies | Leave a Comment »

Notes from America – Pt 1: LA

Posted by Martin on June 22, 2007

Sorry to be doing this all in retrospect… It would have been a lot more fun if you could have joined me on the journey in a proper blogging stylee. As it is, this is the best I can do. Here begins my diary of the visit I made with my good friend Jim to that rather large and world-dominating country just south of Canada.

The first stop on our journey was Los Angeles. I had planned, rock-and-roll style, to rock in to see my agent in a flying visit before we headed to our first destination proper, San Diego. However, he was busy with another client, and so my attempts to look cool in front of Jim rather fell flat. ‘I’ve got an agent, but he’s a bit too busy to see me’, doesn’t really cut it somehow. His busyness and my increasing writers block problems are worrying me a little. Perhaps things will seem clearer soon.

Undeterred, we checked into the Hotel Beverly Terrace, just off Sunset Strip and literally ON Santa Monica Boulevard. And unfortunately, as nice as the room was, it’s hard to sleep when your window is next to a busy road. Jet lagged as we were though, we had no desire to sleep. We wanted to explore the city, and so headed down Sunset in search of some famous people. Well, we didn’t see any of those, but we did meet Kang.

Kang, a small asian guy in a bright yellow t-shirt, was sitting outside a coffee shop, eating a salad in an almost indescribably messy way. I think we should have spotted that something was up far earlier than we did. In fact, it didn’t strike us until we were deeply embedded in conversation:

Kang: Hey, you guys are British (we got that a lot)!

Jim: Yes! How do you do?

Kang: I love what you guys are doing. I’ve been writing about you guys actually. You know, with how you just go out there and take it, get what you need. You know?

Me: Er. Yes.

At this point, I’m just imagining that Kang knows something about the British go-getting spirit that I don’t. But no…

Jim: So, you’re a writer?

Kang: Yeah!

Jim: Who do you write for?

Kang: Oh no. I’ve been writing for years.

Me: What do you write?

Kang: Whatever the voices tell me to.

Seriously. I’m not kidding. I’m not making fun of the mentally ill – this genuinely happened, and it just took us by surprise. Kang ran off to get his book, which was literally a hundred pages of scrawl – just words. He read some to us:

‘Process. Weird. NATO. School. Hey. Feelings.’

Jim and I bottled it, truth be told. We’d set out that evening, saying that if we saw an opportunity, we’d offer to pray for someone. And Kang needed prayer as much as anyone. But because he was just a little TOO weird, we didn’t make the offer. I’m sure that didn’t make Jesus smile.

There were plenty of other ‘characters’ in that place. There was a guy with a huge afro making chicken noises, and he chased us out of there. We didn’t talk to him either. There was a Paris Hilton-lookalike who was stoned out of her mind and almost certainly about to be taken advantage of by a bunch of guys playing backgammon. We didn’t step in there either. But despite my failings, I couldn’t help thinking – if Jesus was around today, I reckon he’d hang out on the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf on Sunset Strip.

Posted in Spiritual is everything | 1 Comment »

Andrew Lloyd, Superstar

Posted by Martin on June 21, 2007

Having been completely switched on to the work of Andrew Lloyd Webber by the BBC’s recent Any Dream Will Do? hunt for a lead actor to play Joseph in Joseph, I’ve been reintroduced to the greatness that is Jesus Christ Superstar. Anyone who was on flight BA0279 from London to LAX last week will testify to how annoyingly vocal my obsession with it has quickly become. If you were on the flight, sorry.

Anyway – Lloyd Webber himself seems like quite an amiable chap. For anyone interested in the theology behind the music, there’s a fascinating article – written in 1987 – here. If you happen to know if the great man’s view of God has changed in the 20 years that have passed since he gave this interview, please post below – I’d be genuinely fascinated.

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I’m sorry…

Posted by Martin on June 21, 2007

I’ve not been posting again. England won the Test Series 3-0, and I barely passed comment.

And more importantly, have just had the most incredible trip around the States. Will fill you in soon, I promise.

Posted in General | 1 Comment »

Brilliant shopping trolley game!

Posted by Martin on May 17, 2007

Just found this fantastic game which has been developed for the University Admissions service here in the UK. It’s called ‘Trolley Racer’, and it’s basically a simple time trial driving game in which you play as a student in a shopping trolley. Grab the burgers and avoid the beer as you attempt to ‘stay on course’ (ho ho).

Great fun – click here to play now!

Join GreasyPalm - the site that PAYS YOU to shop!

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England v West Indies – Starts today

Posted by Martin on May 17, 2007

A special message for the legions of Gimd readers who have emailed me to confirm that they’re becoming cricket fans through this site:

England take on the West Indies here in London today, at Lords. Follow the action live at Cricinfo, or BBC Sport.

Updates as they happen…

Posted in Sport | 1 Comment »

Coming to America

Posted by Martin on May 17, 2007

Oh yes, I get to go and visit my buddy in California next month! Expect plenty of semi-acerbic observations on American culture….

I’m going for a week on business, and it’ll  be a two-centre thing. First half I’ll be with my aforementioned friend, second half I’ll be going to Chicago where I know absolutely no-one. My travelling companion and I will be seeking out adventure however we can find it, which will probably involve some degree of wind.

Top of our list of things to try to do there is attend a Chicago Cubs game at Wrigley Field. Anyone got any spare tickets for Saturday 16th June? Always worth a punt…

Anyway, tremendously excited, and looking forward to spending time in my second favourite country in the world.

Posted in General | 2 Comments »

Red Socks

Posted by Martin on May 2, 2007

Len has begged me to put this on the site, and promises to push the cricket agenda in the United States and convert all his friends to West Ham United supporters if I do…

So here goes: Go the Red Socks. Whatever that means.

[cricket/soccer] Ball’s in your court Len.

Posted in Blogroll, Sport | 3 Comments »

Mmm… coffee

Posted by Martin on May 2, 2007

An exchange that took place outside my local branch of Starbucks (well, one of my five local branches) this morning, as I stepped outside with a Venti Wet Skinny Mocha with an extra shot in my hand…

Homeless person (looking at my cup): Excuse me… do you have any spare change?

Tubby Christian holding Venti Wet Skinny Mocha with an extra shot: Er… no.

I wasn’t lying – I had spent all my change (over £3) on the aforementioned drink. Though it tastes strangely bitter this morning. 

Posted in General | 2 Comments »

Plot hole

Posted by Martin on April 29, 2007

Those who are responsible for gently kicking my unfocused butt on matters of screenwriting will be pleased to hear that I have indeed begun work on the final script for what I have codenamed ‘Project CS’ (out of some demented fear that the title will inspire plagiarism).

However, I had the agonising realisation today that, during the period of treatment writing (where I changed the story structure eight times in order to prepare it for drafting), I made a mistake. This is the stage where you lay the foundations for the building, and unfortunately at the last minute I moved one of the toilets without changing any of the associated plumbing. This is a big problem, as I’ve discovered now that I’m just peeing in a hole in the floor.

So I now have to go back, and rewrite the first twenty pages again. Still, better now than when I’d written 100.

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Talkin’ bout my resolutions

Posted by Martin on April 23, 2007

You may remember that I made a special effort this year with new year’s resolutions. Not because I’m a member of some weird religious sect which practices them, but because they worked pretty well in 2006. Here’s a semi-encouraging update…

    Give up alcohol (later revised to – for a year)

This was the least serious resolution, and yet it’s the one I’ve kept to best, and I might add, most easily. I haven’t had a drop since December 31st, which should mean I’m healthier, fitter, less tired and more fertile. I wish I felt it.

    Finish reading through the Bible

Am on schedule, and loving it. Read about Hezekiah this morning: dude.

    Write three screenplays in 2007

This has not gone very well. I’ve written two books, but that was not the aim. I’ve had the all-clear to start writing screenplay number one, but there’s a lot of writing to be done now before the end of the year. As a revised target, I definitely need to have finished two screenplays by October, when I make my annual visit to the town with the big sign (not Milton Keynes).

    Become a blood donor

Ok, this is the one I actually feel guilty about. Please keep reminding me to do it. I’m a loser if I fail this one.

    Lose a stone in 2007

In order, I might add, to follow up the two stone I lost in 2006. If I did that however, I’d be doing so to cover up my failure. Haven’t yet lost a thing. Not an ounce. Thing with being anonymous is, I can’t get you to shout ‘hey fatty’ if you see me on the street. Still, feel free to do it virtually.

Hmm, that doesn’t feel very positive. It’d be good to know that there are some other failures out there. Still, plenty of time to turn it around. Will update you again soon.

Posted in General, Spiritual is everything | 1 Comment »

Stupid addictive alphabet game

Posted by Martin on April 23, 2007

Thanks to Len for getting me hooked on this. Current best score is 6.144 seconds, but I’m sure it’ll be beaten by the end of the day…

The Stupid how fast can you type the alphabet game.

Posted in Wasting time for Jesus | 5 Comments »

Good on you Duncan

Posted by Martin on April 20, 2007

Despite vocalising my support for the removal of England’s cricket coach yesterday, I would also like to add my voice to those who thank Duncan Fletcher for his great work lifting English cricket off the scrapheap in the last eight years. Winning the Ashes in 2005 was one of the great British sporting achievements of the last 30 years, and he should leave the job now with his head held high. As expected, Fletcher parts company with the team after the final game of the World Cup tomorrow.

The question now is over who will replace him. Tom Moody has been mentioned, and would be an excellent choice. I am quite keen on an Englishman though – and perhaps a younger man, with more creative ideas. Perhaps Academy Director Peter Moores, the expected caretaker manager, will grow naturally into the role. To early to say though – for now, so long Duncan, and thanks for the memories…

Posted in Sport | 1 Comment »

Wii want cricket!!!

Posted by Martin on April 20, 2007

Noticed this Australian site yesterday – and totally agree. A cricket game on the Wii would be a good enough reason to never, ever leave the house again. Come on game developers – there’s a goldmine here just waiting to be opened.

Posted in Gaming | 2 Comments »

Give and take

Posted by Martin on April 20, 2007

Noticed at Victoria station this morning: two groups of people, one handing out free samples of Trident chewing gum, the other collecting money for a Parkinsons disease charity. Everyone went to one, then went out of their way to walk past the other. Can you guess which was which?

Incidentally, I took the free gum.

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The death and future of English cricket

Posted by Martin on April 19, 2007

As a Christian, I believe in the power of Resurrection. And although it was over the Easter period that England’s cricket team basically waved the white flag of surrender, I do believe they’ll be back. To achieve this though, change is needed. Their coach, Duncan Fletcher, has done a great job, but he’s clearly taken the team as far as he can. He needs to go, and hopefully he’ll go today – a press conference has been called by the team management this afternoon at 16.30GMT.

My hope is that he’ll be replaced by one of the last generation of England players who really knew how to be winners – those from the early 1980s who genuinely competed with great teams like Australia and the West Indies. I’m not brave enough to suggest who though.

Having a child has made me significantly less passionate about football – after all, who really wants to take their child to sit in a football crowd? And so this season, I’ve decided to get serious about county cricket. Cucumber sandwiches, hot sunny afternoons – it’s all much nicer. However, I shall not just be sitting back and enjoying the sandwiches – instead GimD will be acting as a scout for the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB). I shall be picking out the best young talent, and making a case for the new look England team.

First up, may I present Adil Rashid, a 19-year old leg-spinner and useful lower order batsman. He made 86 for Yorkshire yesterday when they were in trouble against my team Surrey yesterday. His bowling has been getting people excited recently too – why don’t we throw him into the England team now and let him grow with the side – it’s what the Australians do.

More scouting reports as they come to me. I do hope the ECB are reading this. 

Posted in Sport | 2 Comments »

Guess who’s back…

Posted by Martin on April 18, 2007

A huge apology for my very long absence, and a great big thankyou to everyone who has continued to read the site archives in the mean time. I’ve been writing a book, and with very pressing deadlines, I had to step away from a few commitments, including this site, while I worked on it.

The manuscript was finished yesterday, I’m pleased to report, and here I am again. Coming soon: an update on those ridiculous new year resolutions I made, and an invitation to join me in embracing the world’s most wonderful summer sport.

As Arnie never said, it’s good to be back.

Posted in Uncategorized | 3 Comments »

Grumbling community

Posted by Martin on March 1, 2007

No-one ever talks to each other on British public transport. We’ve perfected our famed ‘thousand-yard stare’ for precisely this sort of anti-social situation. Despite the intense possibilities for human interaction – after all, we’re all sitting there with nothing to do – we sit in silence; the community that wasn’t. But today, I saw a glimpse of what life could be like if we weren’t so… British.

My train was stopped, cancelled and emptied two stops from home. It was too far to walk, and since I wasn’t carrying enough gold bullion to pay for a London taxi, I had to rely on the advertised ‘replacement bus service.’ This is a hastily-arranged double-decker, which takes passengers to the relevant stations by roads instead.

The timetable for this service had been worked out by some bureaucratic genius somewhere, who’d decided that the buses should leave at the same times as the trains were due to do so. Only thing was, that meant we had no time to run from the railway platform to the bus stop. Consequently, we all looked on in frustration as our bus pulled away without us – completely empty.

Communally annoyed, we piled on to the next bus, which was due to leave half an hour later. Then, after another twenty minutes, the driver announced that he’d received orders to wait, not only for the next set of passengers, but the one after that too! In total, we were sitting on that bus, stationary as it were, for almost an hour. But that presented an interesting challenge to the thousand-yarders who packed the vehicle.

For a while, we all held out: noses in books, ears locked to iPods. But after about ten minutes, another traditionally British quirk kicked in – grumbling. One by one, the people on the bus began to moan to each other. There wasn’t much content – just general anger that we’d been made to wait all this time because of what was essentially a small technical fault on a train somewhere.

What happened though, once the conversational barriers had at last been pierced, was that the bus suddenly turned into a hive of discussion. Almost everyone was asking a total stranger: ‘where do you live?’, ‘what do you do?’, and ‘are those real?’ (Seriously, there was a guy on there with a box full of baby gerbils. Why, what did you think I meant?)

Thanks to the slightly aggravating circumstance, community had broken out. I talked to people I’ve been travelling to and from work with for the last three years, for the very first time. Next time I see one of them, I’m determined not to stare into the distance like I used to.

I got home eventually, but what happened made me think. Why does it take something negative to make a latent community spring into life. We weren’t intended to go though life alone, and yet when everything is going to plan, we choose the monotone path of head-in-book (or perhaps, sand). A question then that doesn’t yet have an answer: how do I help the people around me to see that they’re in community for a reason, and if they stop opting out, they might even enjoy and understand their humanity more? As ever, the change starts with me. For what it’s worth, I’m committing to live counter-thousand-yard-culture from now on.

Posted in Spiritual is everything | 1 Comment »

Tim Hughes gives it the kitchen sink

Posted by Martin on February 26, 2007

Or rather, is Holding Nothing Back according to the title of his new album. Britain’s joint-biggest worship leader and Christian song-writer returns with a third CD next month, and I’ve managed to steal a rough cut from the studio using my cat-burglar skills. Alright, the nice lady from his record company sent me a preview copy, but it doesn’t sound as cool.

Tim is one of the world’s most gifted congregational song writers, and so many people will have very high hopes for the album. The great news is that, having listened to it about thirty times now (which I suppose is a good sign), I can confirm that the album is fantastic. In fact, I’d go as far as to stick my neck out and say that this is going to be the best British worship album since Delirious released Glo – and that was practically back in the sixties.

The standout track – and the one I’m predicting will win a Dove award (American music award; nothing to do with the British soap products) – is ‘Everything’. If you’ve been at a festival in the last twelve months, you may well have heard it, but you certainly haven’t heard it like this… Based on a celtic prayer, it is one of the most rousing, moving, get-under-your-skin pieces of music I’ve ever, ever heard.

There’s also God of Justice – an unusually-focussed track about social action; Happy Day, which is a suitably upbeat intro to the album and the most instantly sing-able offering on there; and a fantastic duet with New Zealand chart star Brooke Fraser, ‘Clinging to the Cross.’

Albums from major worship leaders can go two ways: a) pedestrian, going-through-the-motions and cynically average, or b) innovative and exciting. Very pleased to report that in this case, it’s the latter all the way.

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Britney’s head

Posted by Martin on February 20, 2007

Britney's head, in hairier timesSo Britney Spears has shaved her head, added some new tattoos and just stopped short of lopping off one of her own arms in what is clearly one of the biggest cries for attention this celeb-obsessed age has seen.

Reactions have ranged from shock to amusement, but I really hope that the majority of Christians are reacting in neither of these ways. Britney has clearly lost her way – no-one is going to argue with that – but she is a child of God and He loves her so much – no matter what she does. I hope that the Christian community reflects that love in the ways in which we talk (particularly to young people) about the ubiquitous Ms Spears in the coming days and weeks.

I’d also dare to suggest that we should be praying for Britney right now. Not only just she have a Christian heritage which might really help her to find direction right now, but I’d dare to speculate that a downward emotional spiral like the one she appears to be on can often end in a grave place. Hope things get better soon for you, Britney…

Posted in General, Spiritual is everything, Youth Ministry | Leave a Comment »

Wedding poem

Posted by Martin on February 17, 2007

My sister got married today, to a fabulous guy who I will now call my brother.  They asked me to write and perform a poem for them, which is actually much more difficult than you might think.

I wrote a poem for my own wedding, but that was easy – I just had to write my own feelings for the woman I loved, and put them into verse. Here I had to imagine myself simultaneously as both and neither of them! I’ll post it here just in case anyone’s interested – don’t worry though – I have no illusions about my ability!!!

[The form, if you’re interested, is an adapted sonnet (but with too many beats – it’s not real iambic pentameter). The trick is to read the first two words on one beat – the rest of it should work naturally.]

A Cord of Three Strands

All that was before you has faded to grey
Brilliant colours light everything since you
All of my life has led up to this day –
This cord of three strands, we’re now woven into.
Face to face, with hand touching hand,
Our worlds now collide in spectacular fashion
In this holy moment together we stand,
Choosing each other in friendship and passion.
Love of my life, we unite and begin
Magnificent vision, resplendent and glorious;
God-ordained match, outside and within
My quest for a soul mate now ends here victorious.
Tied by His hands through the words we have spoken,
A cord of three strands is not easily broken.

Posted in Family, Spiritual is everything | 2 Comments »

Welcome to Collingwood

Posted by Martin on February 12, 2007

There he is, bless 'imIf you’re not yet a cricket fan (and I do hope that readers of this blog are at least drifting in that direction), then allow me to introduce you to the David Beckham of cricket. Arise Sir Paul Collingwood – the batsman/bowler/fielder/lovable Geordie/acrobat who has resurrected the flatlining English cricket team.

Colly (as I – and I hope you will now – call him) single-handedly masterminded three straight victories in the Australian One Day series – two of them in the finals against the Australians themselves. And somehow, after being utterly slaughtered by that same team in the recent five-day test series, England today return from ‘down under’ clutching some silverware.

My faith is restored, and all is well again. The World Cup starts next month, and England have hit form at just the right time. There has never been a better time to get into cricket, to get behind England, or to be called Paul. Hurrah.

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Hysterical Epic (or not)

Posted by Martin on February 12, 2007

Writing the previous post reminded me that this is in no way the first time that I’ve developed an idea and then seen it show up at the local multiplex a few months later (perhaps soon, I’ll actually be doing that for a living…). Ten years ago – I promise you – I came up with a movie outline that was so similar to Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels that I almost cried when that movie came out. But at least that was good…

About a year ago I started kicking around an idea for a spoof movie. It’s hardly my natural genre, but I was always a massive fan of Airplane, and felt that there was a lot of fun to be had with that kind of movie. I think Airplane’s strength came in the fact that it new exactly what its target was, and while ripping into that target for all its worth, it also tried to tell a funny story.

Not so in the case of the Scary Movie people – the spoof franchise that this generation is sadly growing up with. While the first movie at least focussed on the Scream trilogy for its main joke fodder, the later movies just seem to be trying to squeeze in as many movie references into 90 godless minutes as they possibly can.

And unfortunately, they’ve branched out. First, Date Movie took a wild stab at every movie released in the previous two years, and now, there’s recent US no.1 smash (shame on you) Epic Movie. Very loosely poking fun at, er… historical epic movies, this nevertheless takes in such non-epics as The Da Vinci Code, and Borat. Are the writers seriously saying that there’s no mileage in a movie which just spoofs the historical epic?

Well either way, they’ve blown my chance of ever doing so. I had a great idea too. Beaten to the punch by the Scary movie guys. Oh well, maybe it wasn’t such a good idea after all…

Posted in Movies | Leave a Comment »

The screenwriter’s secret agony

Posted by Martin on February 12, 2007

I am of course kidding. This was not my idea.This is something which only writers can truly understand – the despair felt when you realise that someone else has got there first. Sure, when a movie/book/play/TV show comes out on very similar lines to the one you were developing, it is strangely reassuring that your ideas are good. That small comfort is hugely outweighed however by the biting reality that it may severly hinder your own chances of getting your movie/circus act/TV show greenlit.

Unfortunately for me, it’s not even as if my celluloid nemesis is small-scale. It seems to be featured on every bus, TV show and website I stumble across. I know I’ve blogged about it (Project CS is the codename) before – I was aware of the script a few months ago, and made changes accordingly – but now that I’ve seen clips, it does appear that we’re just working on too similar lines.

And what’s even worse – everyone loves it! So not only is my movie like another one, it’s also far too much like a movie which everyone loves. I should just write a rip-off of It’s a Wonderful Life and be done with it.

My agent is fairly sure that there’s room in the world for both movies -but having seen the trailers for this one, I’m not so sure. Will keep you posted.

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