One Gets Overexcited

A conversation with a promising new writer has got me thinking about the perils of getting overexcited.  Not that I got hot and steamy over their well constructed first sitcom script, that would be weird.  I can promise that I did not get excited during the phone call either, that would also be weird and highly inappropriate.

There’s a thin line between unrealistic excitement and sounding like you don’t give a shit.  I try to sound genuine and be honest, but sometimes I can feel myself overcompensating for the inner worry that I’m sounding like I’m not arsed about a project the creator has put their blood, sweat, tears and possibly more into.

If I’m talking to someone about a project of mine I hate it if they are either not bothered or are ‘passionate’ to the point where the bullshit alarm starts screaming and I think there’s no way this is ever going to happen… you, mate, are just too enthusiastic, you should have been a kids television presenter.  This is nonsense, this project is not the best thing since The Office.1  Somewhere in the middle, that’s what to aim for.

It reminds me of the time I went to the televisual trade fair MipCom in Cannes.  Sounds glamorous.  It isn’t.  Or, rather, it wasn’t for me.  Want clips of men’s trousers falling down or boobs exploding Babs Windsor style on big screens?  Then this is the place for you.  I’m sure behind all this there are lots of serious meetings, deals being done and then champagne being drunk, but I was on a subsidised trip with very little to sell so what the hell.  What I did have is a series of ludicrous meetings where people from across the globe got incredibly excited about my projects and guess what happened to them… that’s right, absolutely diddly-squat.  This didn’t surprise me and, like the sugar coated triple chocolate honey smeared candies or Murphy’s apparently, I’m not bitter.

What I’m trying to say is that it is great to be excited about a project, but it’s also good to be realistic and understand the hard work that’s still to come once you’ve written a good pilot script, made a good taster or short film.  So if you’re talking to different people about your script or idea, listen carefully to what they’re saying, their thoughts and ideas for how to take it forward as much as their enthusiasm and passion.

Of course, you may only have one person interested.  In that case cling onto their coattails until they make you rich and famous and if you thought they were a dick then you can always ditch them once you’ve leapt from the stinking gutter into the glorious cosmic beauty of the stars.

1 No one has ever said this to me.

New Year, New Me, You or Something…


Happy New Year.  Can I stop saying that yet?  I’d like to stop saying it. Not in a negative sense, it’s not as if I don’t want to send out positive vibes, but I’d just like to avoid January clichés.  And yet I know in about a week’s time I’ll be writing an email, struggling for a pleasant throwaway opening and I’ll think about typing something like that. Writing this will cement my resolve not to do so.

It’s a strange time in the world of television.  Unless you’re in production everything goes quiet from mid-December through to about mid-January.  Decisions unmade before Christmas will linger well into the new year and it can feel like being in limbo, purgatory or on hold to your internet service provider which has taken your direct debit payment, but still can’t seem to get you logged on for a week.

I’m trying to stimulate the start of the year by reading, writing, watching stuff and catching up with people in a bid to forge a great myth in my own head… that 2015 will be the best year ever.  The fact that I’m typing this in bed in no way negates the fact.  Absolutely not.

So good luck if you’re picking up on unfinished projects from 2014 or creating new ones.  I am confident 2015 will be your best year ever.

Oh and just a quick mention for Arts Emergency, a charity I support which is doing a great job campaigning for the arts and giving young people from less privileged backgrounds access and information about the arts and media.  Have a look at what they do.  It’s good.

Can I still say that I hope you had a great Christmas?

Best wishes to you all.