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Create 50 : The Impact

Falling Asteroids

Those of you who know me well may remember that I entered the 50 Kisses competition a couple of years ago. This was a fantastic idea – 50 scripts, 50 shorts, 1 feature film. It was also a great opportunity, a chance to get my work read and potentially noticed. I wrote Geek Love, which is now a short film trilogy that has been screened at the Derby Quad cinema.

This happened because, of course, I didn’t make it through to the final 50 in the competition. But I was longlisted, which gave me a lovely warm gooey feeling inside. I was also asked to write a blog post about my experience and what it meant to me.

So you can imagine my excitement when I saw that there’s a new competition – The Impact : same portmanteau format, now with an exciting scifi-tinged premise. There is a colossal asteroid heading for Earth, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. The short films that make up the feature will chronicle mankind’s final minutes before its inevitable extinction.

The aim of the competition is to shoot for substance and emotion rather than spectacle and effects, which is just as well because you only have 2 pages to tell a self-contained story about staring oblivion in the face. It’s going to be tricky, but what’s writing without a challenge?

My aim is to submit 3 scripts for consideration. The reasoning behind this is that I’d quite like to to try my hand at different styles for it. I’ve today finished the first draft of the first one, a Geek-Love-esque vignette that will hopefully bring a smile to a few faces. With the other two I’m aiming for darker territory. I’ve not quite cemented the ideas, but I’m working on it. I’ve had a couple of thoughts, but they were exactly what you’d think they would be, so they’re on the back-burner. Cliché is all very well and good, but only if you can do something interesting with it.

I’ve got a good feeling about this competition. Not necessarily an I’m-going-to-win good feeling, just a vague sense of impending accomplishment and fulfilment. And who doesn’t like accomplishment and fulfilment?

Stick around, more news on this as it comes.

Picture: Falling Asteroids by Robert Davies, CC-BY-NC 2.0

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Updates

A very quick post to let everyone know I’ve updated the site a little – I’ve added a section for my films, a section for my short stories and a section for my non-fiction.

I’ve only updated the films page so far, but I intend to use these pages as a portfolio, a way of showcasing a selection of my work. It’s by no means meant to be a comprehensive collection of everything I’ve ever done in the history of ever – it’s just a selection of works I’m proud of.

Those familiar with the short films I’ve made will be pleased to see the links and the scripts to many that I’ve already unleashed on you – but please be sure to check out The Tree, A Done Deal, Innocence and Snapshots – these are scripts I have written which have not (yet) been filmed. Let me know what you think!

Speaking of letting me know what you think – suggestions, comments, demands and thinly-veiled-threats-against-my-wellbeing-should-I-stop-writing are all gratefully accepted – let me know in the comments and all will be addressed!

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For The Times They Are a-Changin’

Earlier today, I finished a draft of a short script that’s been in my head for a while now. As I returned to the living room from my newly-installed writing cave, my wife Tonks (still an odd phrase to get used to, even after a year and a half) asked me an important question.

She said “Sam, how many finished scripts do you have now?”

I did a quick tally, thinking that I’d get about 5 or 6.  I was shocked to realise that I’ve now finished something like 15 short scripts, counting ones I’ve co-written. Some of them have even been made. Two of them were polished in a professional screenwriting course. One was longlisted in the 50 Kisses screenplay competition. All of them are works to be proud of (though the perfectionist in me insists that they’re far from excellent).

I haven’t yet finished the feature-length screenplay I was working on last month, but I have about 15 shorts under my belt. I haven’t counted the number of short stories I’ve finished (they’re far outweighed by the number I’ve abandoned), but I have a short story that’s due to be published in an anthology by grass-roots Steampunk publishing company The Last Line, so soon I’ll have had my writing unleashed on an unsuspecting public in more ways than one.

The time is right. I need… A Change.

It is with a heavy heart that I bid farewell to Blogger, where I intended to write many dazzling and witty blog posts. Instead I leave a layer of cyberdust 3 inches deep and a hamfisted attempt at journal blogging. I’ve never been good at journal blogging. My day to day activities just aren’t interesting enough for journal blogging. I wake up, I go to work, I try to write, I play video games. for much of the time, that’s it for me.

Well, no more.

I have a writing cave. I have 15 or more finished scripts. I have a wife who is more than happy to crack the whip if I get sedentary. And I have a need to get my work out there. Because there’s no point in writing a script if only a handful of people will ever see the finished film. Don’t get me wrong, I love my friends and I’m overwhelmed by the support they show when I put out a new film or story… but I need to get bigger. I need to get Out There. I need to succeed. Because I’m not going to be in the rat race forever.

That’s why I’ve created this WordPress blog. That’s why I now own http://www.samkurd.co.uk and am in the process of trying to get that address to point to this blog. That’s why I’m going to revisit my stories and get editing. And that’s why I’m going to try and get off my backside and sell a story. That’s why I’m going to work hard at this. I’m cutting back on the video games (although when payday comes around Life is Strange part 3 is coming my way because WOW that game is amazing). I’m cutting back on the mindless net surfing. I’m cutting back on Tumblr… er, well… let’s not go overboard.

From now, I’ll be blogging every other day. If I don’t have anything to say, I’ll make it up. I’m a writer, after all. All writing is good writing because just the mere act of stringing words together helps me grow as a writer. I can’t let my creative muscles atrophy, or I might as well just put my head down and plod through my life.

It’ll take years. I’m not an idiot. I’m not going to succeed overnight. But I’ve already started on the journey. I started on the journey the day I signed up for the screenwriting class. I started on the journey the day my friend James approached me and said ‘That short story “Jeremy” you wrote, I’d like to make it into a film…’. I started on the journey the day I opened a deviantart account and started posting my literary doodles there. I started on the journey the day I first stroked a keyboard, the day I first picked up a pen.

I start the journey over and over, a hundred different times, each time better armed and better prepared. And this time might not be the time that I don’t give up. It might not be the time that I get my name out and finally start writing professionally. It might not be the time when I find myself looking back and thinking ‘bloody hell, I’ve made it.’

But that’s ok. Because that time is coming. Mark my words. That time is coming.

Stay tuned for tweaks to the site format, frenzied attempts to get the everything about the blog just right and the customary panic and self-doubt that precedes two months of inactivity.