Monday, 10 March 2008


One of the best pieces of advice I’ve been given about screenwriting was when a writer on a panel, at some event or other many years ago, advised all the budding scribes in attendance to “go on an editing course”. It was such good advice that one day I’ll perhaps get round to doing it. For instead, you see, I thought “I won’t go on a course, I’ll actually edit something instead”. And I did.

I armed myself with a mini-DV home camcorder, and a copy of Adobe Premiere, and some like-minded friends, and over the course of five years or so, I proceeded to write, direct, edit, and (eep!) co-star in a series of shorts. Some were office-based things at my day job, which we’d then show at Christmas parties. Another was a ten-minuter that my wife and I made together, which was shown on a big screen at my wedding (I got married in a cinema – doesn’t everyone?!).

It was a great learning experience, and I recommend trying it. You learn all sorts of things about in and out points of scenes, structure, working to deadlines, seeing material enjoyed - or not – by an audience. Of course - as they were learning experiences - I would never dream of exhibiting them as examples of my work. That would be foolish.

This is where I wish, fleetingly, that I wrote novels: for film is a collaborative medium, and one of my collaborators – Andrew Hunt, also known as Uncle Hunty – has put some of them up on youtube in all their bad sound, wobbly cam, in-jokey glory. I’m not going to link to them from here, but a quick search should give you access if you’re interested / bored / masochistic. No apologies, and since they’re free – no refunds either.


Jason Arnopp said...

Married in a cinema = very cool.

Oli said...

Hmmm, yes, I may have to convince my fiancée to change our wedding plans now...

Frances Lynn said...

Be careful what you (fleetingly) wish for. Better to collaborate than being stuck alone in a room writing novels - sob!

Stuart Perry said...

Jason, Oli - 'twas not just any cinema but the historic Dome on the seafront at Worthing: a listed building, and one of the oldest flicks theatres in the country. Highly recommended.

Frances - you're never alone when you have the internet - We're all here for you!

Jason Arnopp said...

Piers and I were talking tonight, over drink. We decided that you, sir, are in need of what Mr Beckley described as "a drive-by commenting". So make another blog-post soon, or we shall destroy you. With steel! Yes.

Piers said...

[the sound of a car in the distance]

[getting closer now, loud, insistent, pumped and pimped-out, the beat of bass coming from the open windows]

[the squeal of brakes, the glint of yellow street light on blue steel]

Post or die, Perry!

[the night lit by flashes, the echoing bangs of nine-mil gunfire, the clatter of brass cases ringing as they hit the floor]

[an engine being over-revved, the squeal of tyres on tarmac]


Frances Lynn said...

Thanks Stuart .... I only lasted 30 minutes on Facebook though - I found it too addictive.