Tuppence a bag

If you look over to the right there (NB – this may not work if you are reading this in the future and the post has been piped telepathically into your brain), you’ll see there’s a link to a screenwriting forum.

It’s called Feed the Birds, and is designed to be a helpful resource for professional and emerging screenwriters.

As well as a good way to procrastinate. Cos we all need more of those, right?

There’s a lot of good info in there already, like whether or not to join the Writers’ Guild and what to look for in deferred payment contracts and the use and abuse of flashbacks, but it’s been a bit fallow recently.

So I thought it might be a good idea to mention it over on the left here, and remind everyone it’s still around. (NB – The left is what we used to have when humanity was still instantiated in the physical world instead of quantum decollapsing brain crystals.)

So, anyway, if you want to check out a forum for professional and emerging screen and theatre writers, why not pop over and say hi?

The Permission Scream.

I’m finally surfacing again after doing a full-time job at the same time as producing The Just So Stories for the last couple of months.

There’ll be a full update about me-me-me shortly, but in the meantime, why not feast your eyes upon the new trailer for upcoming British horror flick Stormhouse:

Stormhouse is written by the lovely Jason Arnopp, directed by the lovely Dan Turner, and has music by the lovely Sam Watts.

It’s entirely probable that everyone else who worked on the film is lovely too, but I can’t speak to that.

I was lucky enough recently to attend the test screening of the film. You can read more about what happened that night over at Arnopp’s gaff, but there’s one moment I want to talk about in particular.

About five or ten minutes into the film, there’s a big scare. It’s the first of many, but this is the one I want to concentrate on.

It made me jump in my seat, and it made the woman sitting behind me let out a loud scream.

Now, if you’re ever doing standup comedy – and especially if you’re the first act on or you’re doing the whole thing yourself – one of the first things you need to do is to get a laugh out of the audience.

It’s called the Permission Laugh.

The first laugh tells everyone: it’s OK. You’re here to be entertained, and this person can do it. You don’t have to just sit there and smile wryly at the gags. It’s OK to laugh out loud. You’re in safe hands.

Once you’ve got the Permission Laugh, all of the others are easier.

So as I fell back onto my seat and heard the woman behind me let out a loud scream, I thought:

It’s OK.

I’m in safe hands.