Archive for the ‘ writing ’ Category

Rain, Beasties & Manky Wool

“The thing you have to remember about Scotland is that it rains a lot. It rains all the time. It totally does your head in if you’re not used to it.”

I love this animation so much. The script is funny and irreverent in a way I’ve never come across before and is a superb example of how a brand can be honest and authentic through humour. It also shows how the right voiceover artist can make a huge difference (kudos to Bridget McCann).

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Wonderland?

The death of the imagination, or a brave new world where reading becomes experiential?

While it probably helps to encourage kids to read, I have a feeling that it could reboot their expectations of what books should be like – and it’s where ‘reading’ comes second to ‘playing’.

On the other hand, it certainly brings Lewis Carroll’s imaginative ideas for ‘Alice’ to life… With that in mind, I reckon the iPad could really do a successful job of imagining the work of Edward Lear.

Monomyths +

Star Wars meets storybook marketing

“By using the “monomyth” idea presented in the book, Lucas was able to tell a story that people immediately engaged with and understood across many cultures because it was hard-wired into people’s human experience.”

The end of the corporate website?

“Further proof that the conversations are everywhere (and maybe not where we always want them to be).”

Branding is a dangerous concept

“Concepts, like individuals, have their histories and are just as incapable of withstanding the ravages of time.”

Coke’s Social Media policy

“Give credit where credit is due, don’t violate others’ rights… and know that the Internet is permanent.”

Philip K. Dick

Recently stumbled upon this letter on the Philip K. Dick Trust website which he wrote shortly before he died.

Having studied the adaptation of Do Androids Dream Of Electric Sheep into Blade Runner, I was surprised to discover he had never actually seen Ridley Scott’s vision of his work. However, the thoughtful and enthusiastic tone of his take on footage he had seen of the film on TV are thoroughly positive:

“Blade Runner is going to revolutionise our conceptions of what science fiction is and, more, can be… My life and creative work are justified and completed by Blade Runner.”

As an aside, this 2007 profile of Philip K Dick in the New Yorker offers, for me, both a thorough overview and compelling insight into his work and work:

“Reading his life… one has a sense not of a man of thwarted ambition but, rather, of a man burning up with ideas and observations who found in a pop form the perfect vehicle for expressing them.”

J.D. Salinger, RIP

J.D. Salinger, the reclusive author of Catcher in the Rye (published nearly 60 years ago) died today, aged 91.

Presumably, this opens the possibility that his classic book may one day be filmed because, up until his death, he remained steadfast in his opinion that ‘Catcher’ was unfilmable and that Holden Caulfield is unactable.

A Man Must Have A Code

Image courtesy

Seems like I’ve bookmarked dozens of articles / films about The Wire over the last couple of years… Here’s some of the best, including this New Yorker piece which provides a fascinating insight behind the scenes of filming in Baltimore:

“The show’s departure from Hollywood formulas may be nowhere more palpable than in its routine use of nonactors to fill the minor roles. No other television drama, it seems safe to say, features an actor whom one of the show’s lead writers helped put in prison with a thirty-four-year sentence.”

In fact, so much of The Wire’s narrative is based on ‘real life’ people and events, it’s no surprise that a new doc about the life and times of kingpin Avon Barksdale has now been created.

Meanwhile, Charlie Brooker evangelises about how the show is “truly multi-layered… an angry and intelligent show that offers no easy solution to the problems it focuses on.”

David Hepworth discusses how “for African-American actors ‘The Wire’ must be as significant as the advent of sound. It provides them with twenty key characters who are as complex and imperfect as the people their white counterparts have been playing for years. For once not hidebound by the need to present ‘positive images’ they play havoc with the archetypes.”

Nick Hornby and David Simon – a fascinating exchange which highlights some intriguing opinions on both journalism, screen-writing and ‘story telling’:

“My standard for verisimilitude is simple and I came to it when I started to write prose narrative: fuck the average reader… He knows nothing and he needs everything explained to him right away, so that exposition becomes this incredible, story-killing burden… Here’s a secret that I learned with Homicide and have held to: if you write something that is so credible that the insider will stay with you, then the outsider will follow as well.”

And for those who know the story of Omar, Bubbles, Bunk and McNulty, Rawls, Stringer, Avon, Snoop, Marlo, Cheese, Prop Joe, Clay Davis already, here’s the 100 Greatest Quotes:

Never Come Back To A Blank Page

While I’m not sure there’s actually such a thing as ‘writer’s block’, this application (“designed to let you write in a distraction-free environment”) is fantastic.

While the idea of flow can apply as much to sport, music and even cars, Hemingway’s thoughts on the subject – in terms of writing / productivity – really ring true:

“The best way is always to stop when you are going good and when you know what will happen next. If you do that every day… you will never be stuck… But if you think about it consciously or worry about it you will kill it and your brain will be tired before you start.”

I guess I should stop now then…