Category Archives: screenwriting

Goodbye 2013… You were the year that was!

fate, writing, author, screenwriterSo that’s it, almost done. Another year, another 12 months of highs and lows which when bundled together, forge the latest instalment of the soap opera that is my life.

I’m not normally one to look backwards and indeed, recently tweeted ‘just because the past taps you on the shoulder, it doesn’t mean you have to look back’ which kind of sums up my outlook on life these days. However, 2013 is worthy of a bit of retrospect if only because in terms of my career, it was a game changer.

Key to this was inevitably Top Dog. Indeed, 12 months ago the very idea of my ten year old novel hitting the big screen was little more than a very distant pipe dream yet here we are, teetering on the edge of a first screening and all the furore which will (hopefully) come with a release. Thanks for that must go largely to Jonathan Sothcott, Martin Kemp and of course, Leo Gregory who have driven it through from concept to reality and along the way taught me more about the creative process than any college or university could ever have.

To say it’s been an experience would be an understatement but unlike working on Green Street which was nothing less than a bloody nightmare, this time round it’s been a blast and I can only say thanks to everyone who made it so. The entire cast and crew were magnificent to work with and fingers crossed, we’ll do it all again very soon.

On the publishing front, it’s been a brilliant year and I’m very proud of the fact that I now have books going back into print with more lined up to follow. That would not have happened without the combined efforts of Matt at the eBook partnership and Darren of Caffeine Nights Publishing and I owe a huge debt of gratitude to you both.

But equally, I have to say a massive thank you to everyone who has continued to support me by buying my books because in many ways, you are the most important people of all in my creative life. I certainly wouldn’t be sitting here writing this without your support and rest assured, you are and always will sit firmly at the top of my ‘keep happy’ list because without you, god only know’s where I’d be!

And so it’s onto 2014. A year which will see Top Dog hit the screens, the filming and release of We Still Kill the Old Way as well as the publication of at least two books. And that’s just what I have confirmed at the moment because the truth is, there could be more. Much more.

Indeed, whilst I’ll long remember this last year for all kinds of reasons, the one thing that will stick with me forever is that fate has method in its madness.

So goodbye 2013, you really were something special. But 2014 is going to blow you out of the water.

Happy new year everyone. Bring it on.

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The Crew. Top Dog, Green Street, Leo Gregory, British film, thrillerDespite having been around for what seems like forever, The Crew continues to sell well in both paper and eBook format which I suspect has much to do with the revised cover featuring a certain Mr Gregory. To answer a number of questions on the subject, no, the picture is not a still from Top Dog (you can see lots of those by clicking here) but was actually taken before filming commenced. When Top Dog is reissued it will feature a similar style cover as will the third book in the series which will hopefully be ready for publication late next year.

Wings of a Sparrow is also selling well in both formats and yes, I totally agree with everyone who has told me it would make a great movie! Sadly, whilst I have a script written it is not I who has to put up the money to make it but trust me, finding that finance is high on my ‘to do’ list for 2014!

Indie author or not indie author. That is the question!

indie, self publishing, soccer, money, eastenders, danny dyer, football, soccer, brimson, top dog, green streetThe other day, whilst talking about the subject of publishing, I was referred to as an indie-author and then asked if I was comfortable with the label.

My response was seemingly the cause of some angst to my inquisitor who, from what I could gather, was hoping their question would illicit a rambling and angry diatribe about the evil empire that is traditional publishing. What they got instead, after about a milli-second of thought, was the response that not only do I not know, I don’t actually care.

However, since the question was asked I have actually given it some consideration and eventually I goggled the obvious question; what is an indie author? The response was extremely interesting with the top answer being provided by the Alliance of Independent Authors who define it thus:

  • You have self-published at least one book.
  • You recognise that ‘indie’ does not necessarily mean ‘self-publishing only’ and acknowledge that even the most indie-spirited self-publisher works in collaboration with other publishing professionals (editors, designers, distributors) to produce a good book and reach readers.
  • You are open to mutual beneficial partnerships, including trade publishing deals where appropriate for you, so long as the author’s status as creative director of the book is acknowledged.
  • You expect your status in the partnership to be reflected in contracts and terms, not just lip service.
  • You recognise that you are central to a revolutionary shift in publishing which is moving from seeing the author as resource (in the new parlance ‘content provider’) to respecting the author as creative director.
  • You are proud of your indie status, which you carry into all your ventures, negotiations and collaborations for your own benefit and to the benefit of all writers.

Now if that’s the standard definition, I’m actually none the wiser. After all, I’ve never self-published a book and I certainly don’t do anything for the benefit of other writers (why should I? They’ve never done much for me!) so that pegs me firmly in the NOT camp. However, I most certainly do involve other people in my work and since without me, there will be no more Dougie Brimson books, it’s fairly obvious that I am both the creative director and very much my own boss which puts me squarely in the AM category.

But, and here’s the key point, as anyone who knows anything about me or who has taken the trouble to read a blog post or two will know full well, I’m barely comfortable calling myself an author let alone prefixing that with anything else.

I write books and I sell books, that’s as far as it goes for me and if someone wants to tag me as this or that label, that’s their business. It’s certainly not mine because I’m too busy writing.

Which is actually how it should be.

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indie, self publishing, soccer, money, eastenders, danny dyer, football, soccer, brimson, top dog, green streetI’ve been receiving lots of questions about Top Dog and in particular, requests for information about when it will hit the big screen.

The answer to that is that I don’t actually know for sure and whilst that sounds hard to believe I promise you it’s true. I might be the writer but the whole thing is in the hands of the editor at the moment and until he’s worked his magic, I’m firmly out of the loop. Rest assured though, as soon as I have news, it’ll be all over Facebook and Twitter. In the meantime, I’m really looking forward to getting my teeth into my next movie project We Still Kill The Old Way which is starting to look really exciting.

On the subject of books, both The Crew and Wings of a Sparrow are now available in both print and eBook format from all online and high street book stores. Top Dog will also be re-released next spring as a movie tie-in.

Finally, could I say a huge thanks to all those people who have contacted me about Billy’s Log lately. For some reason (and I wish I knew what it was) it’s started to sell really well again and I’ve had a flood of mails asking me about a sequel.

I’m happy to tell you that there is indeed going to be a second instalment and indeed, it’s all mapped out so as soon as time allows, I’ll get my teeth into it. Promise!

Top Dog – done and almost dusted.

clapper, film, kemp, sothcott, greens street, top dog, brimson, gregory

 

So that’s that. Whilst there are still a couple of days filming to go, to all intents and purposes my role as the writer of the movie adaptation of Top Dog finished when I drove out of 3 Mills Studio’s in East London last night. To say it has been quite a few weeks would be an understatement.

It’s no secret that my previous experience as a full-on feature film screenwriter wasn’t exactly great but it’s fair to say that as polar opposites go, Top Dog sits firmly in the epic category. Indeed, in all my time on set (and I was on set almost every day) I only had one gripe and that was yesterday evening after what had been a very long, cold and tough day. And no, I’m not going to tell you what it was or who it was with.

Credit for that must go to the amazing production team put together by producer Jonathan Sothcott who not only worked miracles at times but put up with me wandering around asking questions and poking my nose in.

Ironically, as a former military sort where every single thing is religiously and meticulously planned, organised and structured, film sets are actually something of a nightmare as they are, to say the least, chaotic places. Yet to a man (and woman!) the crew on Top Dog were truly brilliant and I doff my cap to them all for what they’ve done these last few weeks.

Much the same can be said of the entire cast who, from the simply awesome Leo Gregory through to the numerous supporting artists (or ‘lads’ as I prefer to call them) who came along simply for the experience of being in a movie, breathed life into my humble script. But I’m not going to talk about them purely because I don’t need to. You’ll soon see for yourselves how good they all were. Believe me, you will.

However the real star of the Top Dog shoot has for me been the director, Martin Kemp. As genuinely nice as you imagine him to be and frighteningly talented, he led from the front every single day and was an absolute pleasure to be around. Just as importantly, as I have previously blogged, he’s taught me so much about the process of developing a script and has even got me to the point where I’ve started to think that I might actually be half-decent at it! Who would have thought?

And so now it’s done, and now I wait. Don’t ask me what comes next because I have no idea. People talk about seeing rough cuts and afternoons in screening rooms but this isn’t my world and so I simply nod my head as if I know what they’re talking about.

What I do know is that when Top Dog is finally put together, it’s going to look fucking amazing. Because I watched it being made, and it was the absolute bollocks.

I cannot wait to do it all again.


top dog, brimson. hooligans, author, film, screenwriting, violence, crime, thriller
 Top Dog will be released next spring/summer but in the meantime, if you’d like to read the book that started it all, you can download it from Amazon by clicking on here

And don’t forget, Top Dog is actually the sequel to #1 best-seller The Crew which is not only available to download as an ebook, but has just been re-issued in paperback. Again, you can purchase that simply by clicking this link. 

5 reasons why adapting your own novel for the screen is a great idea.

readers, film, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew, green street, elijah wood, leo gregory, charlie hunnam, essex boys

*This blog was written a few months ago but with the film done, dusted and heading for release, I thought it worth posting again because.*

As I sit here typing this, on the other side of London (Croydon to be precise), a crew and some awesome actors are filming scenes from my own adaptation of my novel Top Dog.

For various reasons, not least the fact that I abhor the area around Croydon with a passion, I have stayed away from the set today and am instead, sitting at home. However, with no game to occupy me thanks to the FA’s obsession with international football, I thought it might be an idea to write a short blog about a question which has been repeatedly asked of me since the shoot began. To be specific, what’s it like watching both my book and my script come to life?

In a nutshell, it’s bloody awesome. But for five very specific reasons most of which wouldn’t apply if I’d handed the novel to someone else to adapt. So…

  1. As a writer, when you construct a novel or a screenplay, you play every single scene out in your head even before you commit it to paper (or keyboard). Seeing and hearing it unfold in 3D in front of your eyes is an incredible experience because it proves you’re not actually mad after all.
  2. Watching great actors actually act is an amazing thing (and we have GREAT actors on Top Dog). Not only do they give everything you’ve written a depth you cannot really put into a paper version, but they work with your words to make them even better. Understanding this can only make you a better screenwriter.
  3. Every once in a while, the actors will perform a scene EXACTLY as you imagined it when you wrote it. This has happened a few times on Top Dog and the feeling is indescribable.
  4.  It’s fabulous for the ego. And by that I mean that as a screenwriter, nothing will ever dispel your self-doubt faster than the sound of a director saying ‘Cut. That’s brilliant’.
  5. Standing on a film set surrounded by amazing people and knowing that they’re only there because of you gives you a feeling that makes all the hours, days, weeks and months spent at a keyboard worthwhile. Not because it’s a power trip (it isn’t) but because it’s proof that if you keep at it long enough, dreams can come true. And on top of that, you get paid. What’s not to like?

Thankfully, we still have a week of filming to go and whilst I’ll obviously be sad when this stage of Top Dog comes to an end, I know that the final wrap will signal the start of the next stage of what’s proving to be a fabulous journey. And on top of that, I’ve another film slated to start in March 2014 so I’ll be able to do it all again.

How cool is that?

The Crew. Top Dog, Green Street, Leo Gregory, British film, thriller

It has hopefully not escaped your attention that my novel The Crew has this week been re-issued in print thanks to the wonderful folk at Caffeine Nights Publishing.

It can be found sitting on the shelves of WH Smiths and all decent bookstores alongside Wings of a Sparrow which also completed the journey from eBook to paper last week.

Wingscover

Both books are available to order online from Amazon, iTunes, etc if you’d prefer and are of course, still available in eBook format.

And yes, Top Dog will also be re-released in paperback around the same time as the film is released. But like all of my work, there will be a twist in the tail…. 😉

Why all writers are mad… sort of.

writer, brimson, lazy, ebooks, amazon, itunes, screenwriting, author, novel, green street, sex, monkey, imac, windowsAs a writer, you inevitably spend a good portion of your time alone. The process is after all, fairly solitary and in truth, that’s one of the great attractions. At least it is for me. I’m not really a people person you see. Or to be more specific, I’m not really a real people person.

For on most days, I’m not actually alone at all, I’m in the company of all kinds of characters. Men, women, kids, hooligans, old men, glamorous women, thieves, thugs, hero’s… the list is endless. In fact it’s limited only by my imagination, because that’s where they live.

The joy of that is that they exist purely at my bidding and are real only for as long as I want them to be. Some I will meet only once, others will remain for a long time. Sometimes we have fun, sometimes I put them through all kinds of grief, sometimes I just watch what they do and feed off them. People are amazing, even imaginary ones. 

Now I know this makes me sound like some kind of mental case and if I were to chop off the first paragraph of this post and read it aloud to my doctor, she’d be quite justified in having me sectioned.

But the key word in that first paragraph is ‘writer’. Creating is what I do and my vivid imagination is my primary and most important tool. That’s how I can get away with having a mind which is a cross between a bizarre soap opera with only one viewer and a computer game with only one player. Both of which are me.

Sometimes however, it all goes horribly wrong. Or rather, fabulously wrong. Yesterday was one such occasion because filming began on my own adaptation of Top Dog. A novel I wrote well over ten years ago and which itself is the sequel to a book which first hit the bookshelves over thirteen years ago! And as I sat on set watching scenes I had created in my head actually being played out for real, I was frequently struck by how different it all looked from how I had imagined it. And the truth is, it looked a whole lot better in 3D.

That has taught me a very important lesson and it’s one which is almost certainly going to make me a better screenwriter. 

Because actors are real, locations are real. And as a writer, if you want to give your characters and situations life, the best way to do it is to understand that unlike the people in your head, they already have it. 

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wings of a sparrow, the crew, top dog, football, screenwriting, leo gregory, hooligan, martin kemp, jonathan sothcott

Aside from the commencement of filming on Top Dog which will continue for a while yet, this week will also see two of my novels hit the shelves of WH Smiths (and all decent bookshops).

The first is the print edition of my most recent book, Wings of a Sparrow and the second is a re-issue of The Crew which continues to hold on to the #1 slot on the sports download charts. A position it’s held for well over two years now.

All in all, not a bad few days for me then. 

5 reasons for my blog fail.

writing, script, film, football, green street, hooliganThis may or may not have escaped your attention, but I haven’t written a blog for some considerable time. There are numerous reasons behind this dismal failure some of which I’ve tweeted about (@dougiebrimson if you didn’t know), others which I haven’t. However, after being nagged about my absence quite a lot recently it seems only right and proper that I take a bit of time out to come clean on a few of the more time consuming and relevant excuses.

1. Top Dog. As you are hopefully aware, the film adaptation of my novel begins filming in November and I’m sure you can appreciate how much work is involved in getting a script to the point where everyone is happy. Except you can’t.

I’ve actually lost count of the number of times I’ve rewritten the screenplay for this and unless you’ve actually done it yourself, you cannot imagine the angst of having to repeatedly change a story which is itself based on a novel which you yourself wrote.

Tough doesn’t come close to describing it but thanks to the brilliant vision and guidance of Martin Kemp who will direct, it’s now pretty damn awesome.

2. We Still Kill The Old Way. A movie I’ve written with my old mate Gary Lawrence, this project came straight out of left-field via Jonathan Sothcott of Richwater Films (the man behind Top Dog) and dumped a desperate timescale into my lap.

It’s an urban thriller best described as Harry Brown on crack and is certainly going to surprise a few people but with filming slated to commence in the spring, you can imagine the pressure we faced to deliver a decent script straight out of the box. However, after a good few long days and nights, we cracked it and the second draft is now with the production company. 

3. A new book. Yep, that’s right, I’ve been working hard on a new book. I can’t say too much about it at this stage but suffice to say, it’s a thriller and will be released in the spring.

4. Wings of a Sparrow. With the ebook having been out for a while now, the release of the paperback version is imminent (21st October) which has involved a fair amount of work on my part. On top of that, I’ve written a script based on the story and that’s involved a fair amount of tweaking as notes have come back to me from various people.

All being well, I will have some news on that score fairly soon.

5. Another movie. This is a project I’ve been developing with Leo Gregory for a while now and we’re extremely excited about it. I can’t say much at the moment other than it has nothing to do with football, is a thriller and we have a really strong script ready to go.

There’s more, much more actually, but you get the gist. I’m a busy bee. However, I’m certainly not complaining as these kind of opportunities have been a long time coming so I intend to make the most of them!

Happy days!

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If you’d like any more information on anything I’m doing or indeed, have done, please visit my website at www.dougiebrimson.com which is packed full of stuff!

5 reasons for my blog fail.

writing, script, film, football, green street, hooliganThis may or may not have escaped your attention, but I haven’t written a blog for some considerable time. There are numerous reasons behind this dismal failure some of which I’ve tweeted about (@dougiebrimson if you didn’t know), others which I haven’t. However, after being nagged about my absence quite a lot recently it seems only right and proper that I take a bit of time out to come clean on a few of the more time consuming and relevant excuses.

1. Top Dog. As you are hopefully aware, the film adaptation of my novel begins filming in November and I’m sure you can appreciate how much work is involved in getting a script to the point where everyone is happy. Except you can’t.

I’ve actually lost count of the number of times I’ve rewritten the screenplay for this and unless you’ve actually done it yourself, you cannot imagine the angst of having to repeatedly change a story which is itself based on a novel which you yourself wrote.

Tough doesn’t come close to describing it but thanks to the brilliant vision and guidance of Martin Kemp who will direct, it’s now pretty damn awesome.

2. We Still Kill The Old Way. A movie I’ve written with my old mate Gary Lawrence, this project came straight out of left-field via Jonathan Sothcott of Richwater Films (the man behind Top Dog) and dumped a desperate timescale into my lap.

It’s an urban thriller best described as Harry Brown on crack and is certainly going to surprise a few people but with filming slated to commence in the spring, you can imagine the pressure we faced to deliver a decent script straight out of the box. However, after a good few long days and nights, we cracked it and the second draft is now with the production company. 

3. A new book. Yep, that’s right, I’ve been working hard on a new book. I can’t say too much about it at this stage but suffice to say, it’s a thriller and will be released in the spring.

4. Wings of a Sparrow. With the ebook having been out for a while now, the release of the paperback version is imminent (21st October) which has involved a fair amount of work on my part. On top of that, I’ve written a script based on the story and that’s involved a fair amount of tweaking as notes have come back to me from various people.

All being well, I will have some news on that score fairly soon.

5. Another movie. This is a project I’ve been developing with Leo Gregory for a while now and we’re extremely excited about it. I can’t say much at the moment other than it has nothing to do with football, is a thriller and we have a really strong script ready to go.

There’s more, much more actually, but you get the gist. I’m a busy bee. However, I’m certainly not complaining as these kind of opportunities have been a long time coming so I intend to make the most of them!

Happy days!

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If you’d like any more information on anything I’m doing or indeed, have done, please visit my website at www.dougiebrimson.com which is packed full of stuff!

Book signings? That’ll be a no…. mostly.

russia, st. petersburg, author, green street, top dog, wings of a sparrowWhen I first became an author, one of the things I looked forward to was the opportunity to go on book tours. These, I imagined, would be huge affairs where people would queue around blocks waiting for me to sign books whilst at the same time fawning all over me telling me how awesome I am and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want that?

For some people I suspect, that’s exactly what they’re like. For me however, they are slightly different. Well OK, they are totally different. Alright then, I don’t do them at all. At least not in the UK.

The reasons for this are many and varied but the primary one is that as someone who still struggles to come to terms with the fact that I’m actually getting away with writing for a living, the idea that people would actually take time out of their busy lives to come and see me in the flesh simply because I am an ‘author’ that they like does not actually compute. That’s not false modesty, it’s fact.

There is however, an exception to this and it’s one which has in many respects, crept up on me. Because for some bizarre reason, my books are becoming increasingly popular abroad and if an overseas publisher invites me, I always go and I always sign. And I love it!

I mention this now because I have just returned from St. Petersburg where I did a shed load of PR to launch the Russian translation of Wings of a Sparrow.

This was actually my third visit to the city and I really do love it there which is ironic given that I spent 18 years helping to repel the might of the Soviet Union as a member of Her Majesties armed forces. To say it the trip was a blast is an understatement and as always, it was a series of brilliant experiences punctuated with the odd bout of terror. Let me tell you, being driven at speed through the suburbs of a Russian city by four blokes you’ve never seen before and no idea of your destination certainly focusses the mind!

Of course as always, I had nothing to worry about because that’s just the way things are done over there. Indeed, everyone I met was amazingly warm and generous and all of the signings and events were brilliant. So much so in fact, that plans are already afoot to go back next year. This time equipped with some better Russian language skills I hope!

readers, film, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew, green street, elijah wood, leo gregory, charlie hunnam, essex boysThe success of the trip has however, got me thinking. For with Wings of a Sparrow and The Crew due to hit the bookshelves of the UK before the end of November and both Top Dog and We Still Kill The Old Way heading for filming within the next six months, has the time come to actually think about doing some signings over here?

Or would that, as I suspect and indeed, fear, be too pretentious?

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Wings of a Sparrow will be published by Caffeine Nights Publishing on October 21st. It is available to pre-order from Amazon by clicking here. If you would prefer an eBook, you can download it now via here.

Further information can be found at dougiebrimson.com

Book signings? That’ll be a no…. mostly.

russia, st. petersburg, author, green street, top dog, wings of a sparrowWhen I first became an author, one of the things I looked forward to was the opportunity to go on book tours. These, I imagined, would be huge affairs where people would queue around blocks waiting for me to sign books whilst at the same time fawning all over me telling me how awesome I am and let’s be honest, who wouldn’t want that?

For some people I suspect, that’s exactly what they’re like. For me however, they are slightly different. Well OK, they are totally different. Alright then, I don’t do them at all. At least not in the UK.

The reasons for this are many and varied but the primary one is that as someone who still struggles to come to terms with the fact that I’m actually getting away with writing for a living, the idea that people would actually take time out of their busy lives to come and see me in the flesh simply because I am an ‘author’ that they like does not actually compute. That’s not false modesty, it’s fact.

There is however, an exception to this and it’s one which has in many respects, crept up on me. Because for some bizarre reason, my books are becoming increasingly popular abroad and if an overseas publisher invites me, I always go and I always sign. And I love it!

I mention this now because I have just returned from St. Petersburg where I did a shed load of PR to launch the Russian translation of Wings of a Sparrow.

This was actually my third visit to the city and I really do love it there which is ironic given that I spent 18 years helping to repel the might of the Soviet Union as a member of Her Majesties armed forces. To say it the trip was a blast is an understatement and as always, it was a series of brilliant experiences punctuated with the odd bout of terror. Let me tell you, being driven at speed through the suburbs of a Russian city by four blokes you’ve never seen before and no idea of your destination certainly focusses the mind!

Of course as always, I had nothing to worry about because that’s just the way things are done over there. Indeed, everyone I met was amazingly warm and generous and all of the signings and events were brilliant. So much so in fact, that plans are already afoot to go back next year. This time equipped with some better Russian language skills I hope!

readers, film, ebooks, itunes, amazon, blog, publishing, author, writing, top dog, brimson, screenwriting, the crew, green street, elijah wood, leo gregory, charlie hunnam, essex boysThe success of the trip has however, got me thinking. For with Wings of a Sparrow and The Crew due to hit the bookshelves of the UK before the end of November and both Top Dog and We Still Kill The Old Way heading for filming within the next six months, has the time come to actually think about doing some signings over here?

Or would that, as I suspect and indeed, fear, be too pretentious?

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Wings of a Sparrow will be published by Caffeine Nights Publishing on October 21st. It is available to pre-order from Amazon by clicking here. If you would prefer an eBook, you can download it now via here.

Further information can be found at dougiebrimson.com

5 ways football could be made even better.

green street, top dog, football, ebooks, flares, pyro, soccer, NFL, EPL, screenwriting, authorIn a matter of days, English football will wake from it’s enforced slumber and return to it’s rightful position of being the most important topic of conversation in the land. Forget royal babies, Big Brother, the Tour De France, the economy, Syria or any of the numerous trivialities we’ve been forced to think about over the last few months, the worlds greatest game is what it’s really all about.

Now as I do each and every year, I have avoided the constant stream of bullshit which has surrounded the close-season transfer market so that when I walk into Vicarage Road next saturday to watch the first home pre-season friendly -traditionally the start of my season- it will be as if it’s all fresh and new. Although given everything that’s been going on at Watford lately, in this instance it actually will be!

However, I have kept my beady eyes on everything else and not for the first time, have noticed that there has been little news of any change which might impact on the role of possibly the games greatest asset, the fans.

This is far from a shock of course because I’ve been around long enough to know that whilst the game is totally reliant on us for pretty much everything and TV is busy selling the game on the back of the atmosphere that we create, the reality is that it doesn’t really give a shit about us.

But then again it doesn’t have to because we’re obsessed. The game knows full well that we’ll turn up week in, week out and pour money into the tills no matter how good or bad the product. Just as importantly, even when things go horribly wrong we have to put up with them because we are totally impotent in terms of either power or influence. We have no legitimate voice, football doesn’t want us to have a voice! Perish the thought that the game which is wholly reliant on us would actually listen to us let alone care about what we think! Football is after all, the only industry not driven by its consumers.

If it wasn’t, do you think for one second games that would be moved around on the whim of a copper or a TV scheduler with no thought for how fans are going to get home? And that’s just the start.

The list of things we can legally do inside grounds grows ever shorter whilst the restrictions placed upon us in and around grounds get more draconian by the season. As a consequence the passion, humour and even the shear excitement of being at football is diminishing year on year yet no one with the power to change things seems to care because no one with the power to change things has to care.

Can you honestly say that going to watch English football these days is the occasion it once was? Do you not look at fans in Italy, Spain, Russia, Germany, Turkey even countries like Greece and wish that our stadia were like that on match days? I bloody do. Every single week.

The irony is that it wouldn’t take much to get our game up to a par, if not beyond what we see in the rest of Europe. After all, there is nothing like an English football ground when it’s fired up. The question is, how?

Well how about this for starters:

  1. Start treating fans like adults instead of sheep. We don’t want much from football, but we do want to be treated with respect. Hooliganism inside grounds is a thing of the past and much of that is down to the actual fans themselves so how about the game not only recognising it but rewarding it? Stop hiding behind the fear of it.
  2. Bring back standing. It’s proven to work in Germany and there is absolutely no reason why it wouldn’t and shouldn’t work here. But the most important reason is that we want it. Period.
  3. Scrap designated seating. It’s a good idea in principle but in practice it’s the single biggest factor in the destruction of atmosphere inside our grounds. That is a cast iron fact.
  4. Allow flares inside grounds. They look astonishing and contribute to the sense of  occasion. When used correctly they are perfectly safe as we see right across the continent  every single week. Again, you can’t continue to hide behind the past and in truth you don’t need to.
  5. Allow drinking on the terraces. Yes, keep the rules regarding being hammered and enforce them accordingly but we’re adults for fucks sake.

Sadly, none of the above will happen because the game cannot see what is happening in front of its face and more importantly, the police are wary of giving up any degree of control however small.

But it’s nice to dream and maybe one day, when the football party come to power, some of it will actually turn to reality.

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football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritance, premiership, england, watford, zola, football, soccer, brimson, wembley, crystal palace, top dog, green streetCouple of bits of news; As you may or may not have seen,Martin Kemp has been announced as the director of Top Dog which is brilliant news for all concerned not least because he’s a bloody good director!

We’ve been battering the script into shape and I’m happy to say that it’s now pretty much locked and ready for filming in November. I can’t wait!

In addition, my latest novel Wings of a Sparrow continues to attract great reviews and is selling so well that we’ll be bringing it out in paperback later this year. It’s also coming out in Russia in August and I’ll be visiting St. Petersburg and possibly Moscow in September to do some PR.

Wings, together with The Crew and Top Dog will also be making their way across the Atlantic later this year but more of that closer the time.

On top of that, I’m about to start work on another movie and am currently writing a new book. It’s going to be something very special and as far as I know, has never actually been done before so we’re all very excited about it but that’s all you’re getting for now.

Watch this space!

 

top dog, green street, the crew. hooligans, violence, sex, racism, self-publishing, author, screenwriting, writing, writer