"Scriptwriting for Beginners"

Location Park in Red Lion Square | Mood Inspired | Date 28 April 2007
Author (full name): 
Franny Armstrong
Park in Red Lion Square
Traffic, traffic, bloody traffic
Cuts on arm from over-exuberant playfight with cat. Looks like I'm bad at injecting my heroin.
28 April 2007
Current crisis: 
Cracks in my house
Current silver lining: 
Loads of tips from filmmaking hero

Am totally stuck on the animation script, so decided to try to do something - anything - positive and cleaned up three years of cat shit from my roof. Then started clearing the overgrown ivy with the thought of planting some veg up there. But as soon as the ivy went I could see a bloody great big crack in the wall.

Called up the insurance company who said: not to worry, it's most likely the London clay drying out cos of the warm summers we've had the last few years. You mean global warming? I guess so. Mr Insurance then proceeded to explain how they are chopping down thousands of trees all across London to stop them causing more cracks by sucking up the water from the dry soil caused by global warming exacerbated by not having enough trees...

Met my filmmaking hero Adam Curtis (he of The Power of Nightmares , The Trap etc) in a nearby park. He was bursting full of great tips, I could hardly write them down fast enough. My favourite was this: if you just write a list of the first archive shots you think of and give them to an archive researcher, then they'll go off and get exactly what you asked for. The audience are so sophisticated now that they switch off if you give them the cliches - in fact, all the archive shots you come up with will be the ones the audience are half-expecting. Cos they're just as smart as you. Whereas if you or your editor sit and watch tonnes of archive around your subject you will see stuff that can make your points in unusual ways and keep the audience on their toes. Specially if "you're a nightmare to work with, which I can see you are". I took that as a compliment.

Seems there's no getting round the fact that I have to spend a month in a basement.

Called in on D the E on the way home who handed me his unread copy of "Scriptwriting for Beginners" from when he was at film school. How the hell has it come to this? I'm sure we were making a documentary. I never said I could write a feature film...