I’ve not forgotten about you, (whomsoever the target of that statement proves to be, is it YOU dear reader or is it the money that goes out of my account periodically to facilitate this being available for your eyes..?) it’s just life, thankfully, keeps on happening, and now feels to be riddled with children and associated responsibilities.
I am working on stuff quietly in the world, which is too often an afterthought in between real life bits of my Clark Kent life, and it is all too rare that I make time to spin around in a phone box. I was working on a story about a dog, whose owner dies, and the grieving friend that goes to extreme lengths to ensure the animal still gets sufficient exercise. That idea mostly sprung from Adam Buxton sounding like poor weather can stop him from walking his beloved hound Rosie for a couple of days at a time.
http://adam-buxton.co.uk/podcasts (LOVE IT!)
Additional inspiration comes from our neighbour’s dog, she’s a “yappy dog”, that they don’t feel needs be walked every day and think she’ll EVENTUALLY grow out of barking in the garden for hours on end…
Sidebar: She won’t.
I won’t get into my dog psychology waffle right now, other than to construct this flimsy metaphor: A bucket left to catch dripping water needs to be emptied regularly otherwise it’ll overflow and ruin your house, and then your neighbour might murder you in your bed because your f**king dog is making an endless deafening racket in the garden!
That idea isn’t going anywhere fast so I’m finally giving in to my brother’s pleas to come on board to write a film about the insufficiently remembered “Czech Locomotive”. This is the story of legendary, long-distance running, gold medal winning, world record-breaking, government defying, mythically uranium digging Emil Zatopek!
I wasn’t intending to get into this, but here we go!
A few years ago my ‘big bruva’ began banging on about this bloke as the personification of the potential humans possesses to push themselves beyond the limits of endurance and discomfort while remaining a bloody nice chap. At the time I loved the idea, the imagery alone is incredible, his story sounds like an inspiring mash-up of Sea Biscuit and Forrest Gump. My problem was that it was HIS passion project and not mine, therefore he should be the one to write it. My brother is not a screenwriter but I lent him a book to teach him the broad strokes, and then maybe I could step back in to claim some glory when all the heavy lifting’s been done, by moulding the mass into something movie-able.
I was focusing on my much-vaulted opus Queensferry Rules at the time and was pretty sure I’d be too rich by now to ever have to ever entertain silly ideas from non-creative mortals. But here we are, and that didn’t happen.
He had no sudden desire to become a writer, he just wanted the story to be told.
While I was marinading in malady at around the time of my last post, following the underfoot carpet snatch of my screenwriting career going predictably off plan, big bruv had started reading a book that he thought might get me on board.
There are other books about Emil Zatopek in the world, but this one brings the man significantly more to life, and the author seems like a super chap too! I’m about 50 pages from the end but I can totally see a film coming from the life the author depicts. I’m super torn about sharing any of the specific information about it for fear that someone with more skill and better resources will swoop before I can try and sort something out.
The big difference between now and the previous times he’s asked me to help write something is basic common sense. As a writer, you can write as many original ideas as you can muster, but the likelihood is, in the current industry you’ll end up working on someone else’s baby. Whether it’s an adaptation, a reboot, a re-imagining, it sounds like there’s more faith in proven ideas, and a well-lived life, once celebrated but too easily forgotten could have some value to the ‘money over art’ folks. Another handy factor is that ‘our kid’ has connections to some very financially secure individuals who make poor monetary choices, almost as a hobby, so attracting some seed money, with a workable idea is a very real, if hugely cynical, possibility!
I’d LOVE to get into this a bit more but I’m conscious of quite how close the cat is from escaping the bag completely, and I’ve got some mounting Clark work to do. I just wanted to check back in with a quick paragraph to keep things fresh, but things seem to have gotten away from me a touch.
Anyway, be well, and keep on (insert appropriate activity here)ing.
Stay tuned, but make sure to take regular breaks.