Sunday, March 18, 2007

MeadKerr seminar

Went off with Good Dog to “that London” on Saturday to experience Adrian Mead chatting about what steps screenwriters should take to maximise their careers.

An affable and disarming chap, Adrian’s insights into the various aspects of writerdom were presented in densely-packed sessions of a couple of hours across the day, interspersed with coffee-breaks and lunch, all followed by a trip to the Museum Arms pub. As with any one-day course, you often take along pad, pen and sundry other note-taking materials, unsure whether there’ll actually be any point in using them other than to doodle hysterically more complex mandalas (or crude representations of genitalia, depending on one’s artistic preference). I’m glad to say that several sides of A4 were covered in copious notes, as almost every sentence out of Adrian’s mouth either needed copying down verbatim or inspired some jotting regarding one or other of the projects currently on the go.

Adrian, like most of us, has had a career that one might term chequered. Among other jobs, once a hairdresser, also a bouncer (and for a period both at the same time - nice), he had managed to raise finance for his first short film, New York Diary (shot on 35mm in New York and with a UK/US crew) by working every hour there was and not heeding those in his circle of friends that just raised eyebrows when he stated his intentions to be a film-maker. As GD wryly commented, during this period, it was probably not a good idea to have got him to cut your hair late on a Friday afternoon... Though he now confesses that NYD was total “arty bollocks”, it was definitely an assured step in the direction his heart told him to go. He also mentions on the MeadKerr website that it seemed a more practical idea for him than spending three or four years at film school. Fair play. I’ve always learned more “on the job” as ’twere and can entirely see his viewpoint.

Though, by the very nature of the subject matter, plenty of jumping around had to be done to cover ground and to clarify things based on where audience questions took him, Adrian managed to pack a day full of useful, real-world tips and tried and tested techniques for making the most of a writer’s efforts. As he himself says, “it’s not complicated, but it is hard work”.

As GD and I had arrived early that morning, we grabbed an outside table at a nearby cafe and sat with coffee, mulling over the coming day’s activities and wondering whether we’d get away with not having any coloured pens. After about ten minutes, other bloggers that GD knew started turning up. Lucy, Lianne, Lara, Dom and the fragrant and fascinating Potdoll expanded the crowd around our little table and, by the time the day was through, Pillock had made himself known. I’d held forth on why blogging was useful to so many non-bloggers that I was starting to sound like a salesman for Blogger, and copious quantities of cards had been exchanged.

After the day’s do, almost the entire audience shot off the Museum Arms pub for a couple of swifties before heading home. Lara and I had spent a good half hour in some actorly bitching for laughs at the end of the bar, and it seems from dispatches that GD had ended up groping cute Lucy’s butt (but this may have all been incited by Lucy grabbing Lianne’s boob...). Most of the bloggers, on meeting for the first time, are usually surprised by the appearance of the person with whom they’ve been corresponding for possibly months. Luckily for me, virtually no-one over here reads my rantings (or comes near me without a taser close to hand), so I escaped having any preconceptions. Having said that, Mister Sibley, next time you’ve got a free afternoon somewhere near London, let me know and I’ll stump up for lunch! Actually, that stands for any of the bloggers who’ve had the stamina to sit through any of my charming, sophisticated and erudite meanderings over the past whatever-it’s-been. Hey, I’m off to meet up with lots of terribly kind and undoubtedly beautiful people in the second largest country in the world when I go to stay with Caroline in May, so I don’t think London (or anywhere else in Europe for that matter) should be that much of a stretch.

Huge kudos for the whole MeadKerr team who schlepped down to London to put the day’s course on. The only thing I’d suggest they do is a bit of a revamp of their website, to make the courses more prominent!

And Adrian? That photo of you on the website’s fooling no-one. We all know you’re a cheery soul now... And where’s Claire’s pic? Bad boy.

To the bloggers - what an undiluted pleasure you all are. Thanks for playing nice.


At 10:19 am, Blogger potdoll said...

Fragrant and fascinating!!?? are you being sarcastic?

Do I smell?

You were EXACTLY how I imagined you because I see your photo floating around my laptop most days. You look younger in real life though. like a little babba wearing a bonnet.

At 12:52 pm, Blogger Alex said...

Hmmm. I get the feeling I'm the only one reading your blog who isn't a bona-fide writer. (Not that I don't want to be, I just don't.)

Unless one can call 'writing' computer games real writing as well. (In this case 'writing' would be programming.)

At 3:14 pm, Blogger Riddley Walker said...

Potdoll, both fragrant and fascinating are meant entirely as compliments, m’dear.

The hat is currently keeping the messy hair under control... ;-)

At 6:45 pm, Blogger potdoll said...

aw that's a nice thing to say!

Bad perm? I've been there. ;)

At 7:10 pm, Blogger Pillock said...

Great meeting you Riddley.


Post a Comment

<< Home