I don't want to blow the event out of all proportion - before that I'd had lots of encouragement from industry professionals, had done lots of courses, written reams and reams, and made many, many no-budget short films. But that phone call meant proper recognition. And budget. So, I mark that day as a starting point of sorts.
Two years later, and I'm reflecting on what I've achieved in that time. I haven't stopped working - up to and including today, I've always had some contracted screenwriting on the go, as well as a healthy amount of spec work, which is good. Conversely, I haven't stopped working at the day job either - the screenwriting I've done has not paid well enough up front for me to reduce my hours toiling in the big smoke. But that's the UK film industry, and I knew what it was like before I started.
It comes down to a question of why one has chosen to write in the first place. I do it, and I don't think I'm a special case, because I'm arrogant enough to think I have something unique to say that might entertain people. I don't do it for the chance of money. Although that would be nice, because something else has happened in those two years - I've rather wonderfully got a family and a mortgage and commitments. And these commitments do impact on the screenwriting, there's no way they could not.
So, I have decided for now to concentrate on developing broadcast opportunities, which will mean trying radio plays and getting a script on Doctors for starters. I have one ongoing short film commitment, which the director and I hope will turn out to be a TV project of sorts too (very exciting - watch this space!).As I want to stay based in the UK, it makes sense to concentrate my efforts on an area which has the best chance of providing an eventual income for my family. And the day job allows me to not be in any particular hurry too, as TV's obviously a very competitive arena to break into. I won't be saying goodbye to film forever, and I will obviously revise this policy quick-smart if Steven Spielberg turns up at my door with a shedload of cash to replace Steven Moffat on the next Tin Tin movie. But barring that possibility, it's Au Revoir Cinema for a bit.