Tag Archives: indie

My year in film: 2014.

film, cinema, screenwriting, writer, script, indie, hooligan, war, Kajaki, Brad Pitt, streep, I forgot to do this in my blog yesterday so, since I’ve no intention of doing anything today other than watching movies, I thought I’d do a quick resume of some of the best and worst movies I saw last year.

Obviously, I’ve not included my own films (primarily because I’ve only watched two-thirds of one and haven’t seen the other at all) but have instead, covered my five from the top and five from the bottom. Feel free to let me know what you think.

My movie of the year was without a doubt, The Grand Budapest Hotel. What I can only describe as a visual and comedy masterpiece, it is Wes Anderson at his absolute finest. I can’t speak highly enough of it other than to say it’s one of those films I’ll happily watch for the rest of my life.

Close behind was a movie released in 2013 but which I saw in the US in February so I’m counting it. If you’re a fan of great acting, then August, Orange County is a must watch. Meryl Streep gives a performance which is quite simply staggering but she’s matched in every scene by the rest of the cast. I watched it again last night and it was just as breathtaking as the first time I saw it.

Another movie I saw whilst in the US at the same time was Inside Llewyn Davies. It’s one of those films where nothing much actually happens but it just swallows you up and is gone before you know it. Loved it.

Two war movies blew me away this year (no pun intended) but for different reasons. Whilst the story was a bit lacking in parts, I have to say that I thought Fury was stunning. However, for sheer tension and realism, Kajaki beats it hands down. The fact that it’s based on a true story makes it even more amazing and if you haven’t seen it, you must.

A number of films promised much but ultimately disappointed me last year. Northern Soul was perhaps the biggest let down because I so wanted to love it to bits and all the hype promised great things. Don’t get me wrong, the music was brilliant and it looked amazing but the story was way off to me.

Another film I really wanted to love was The Hooligan Factory and to be fair, I almost did. The idea of a film which takes the piss out of the whole hoolie-genre was pure genius and all credit to the hugely talented Nick Nevern for getting it to the screen because it almost worked perfectly. But almost is the word which springs to mind whenever I think of it because it could have been Airplane funny and it wasn’t. I actually saw this with Gary Lawrence, my co-writer on We Still Kill The Old Way, and we both made exactly the same comments. I mean, how can you parody Green Street and not include a single hobbit joke?

On the subject of hobbits, as a huge fan of Tolkien, I’ve wallowed in the film adaptations but whilst it remains my favourite all time book, The Hobbit has really disappointed on screen and The Battle of the Five Armies is certainly the worst of the three. If I want to watch a dragged out computer game, I’ll do that. I certainly don’t want to go to the cinema to do it.

Finally, the worst film I saw in 2014 was without doubt, The Other Woman. I don’t even know where to start with the things I hated about this film other than to say if anyone ever wants to torture me, just sit me in front of a DVD player and put it on a loop. I’ll tell you everything you want to know inside 15 minutes.

 script, screenwriting, author, writing, film, cinema, streep, brad pitt, hooligan, gangster, dyer

Screenwriting – Why you should take notice of dreams.

script, screenwriting, screenplays, author, writing, kindle, amazon, ebooks, self publishing, top dog, green street,As a writer, one of the questions I am most frequently asked is how I get my ideas.

This is of course, a perfectly reasonable question and my standard answer is always the same. I don’t get ideas for stories, I get ideas for endings. For me, as anyone who has read The Crew or Top Dog will know, it’s all about the last few pages or the last ten minutes and everything else is about getting the reader or viewer to that point.

Recently however, I found myself the recipient of an idea. It came courtesy of my subconscious and was delivered in the form of a dream. Yes, that’s right. I woke up with a fully formed three-act outline in my head.

Now this would be great if I’d gone to bed thinking about the relevant subject matter or had eaten cheese on toast before retiring but this came entirely out of left field. It’s not even in my usual genre, or anywhere close to it. But so vivid was it that I wrote it down and then mailed it to my agent for comment.

His response was almost immediate and the upshot is that I had this dream four weeks ago today and this afternoon, mailed him a first draft of the script. All being well, this will be in front of an eager studio boss ahead of our meeting next week.

Watch this space.

screenplay, independent, film, writer, gangster, murder, As I mentioned the other day, We Still Kill The Old Way is released on December 26th.

This will be my second movie of 2014 which is not to be sniffed at although if all goes to plan, that number will be bettered in 2015. Anyway, if you fancy it -and why wouldn’t you?- you can click here to pre-order.

Finally, the vast majority of my titles are now available in ebook format with the majority either free or just 99p to download. The full listing can be found here.

 

screenwriting, writing, author, indie film, self publishing, green street, top dog, 

 

From novel to screen – The joy of adaptation.

manchester united, david moyes, liverpool, british film, ryan giggs, old traffordWith Top Dog heading for release on Monday, the PR machine has been running at full speed and one question which has repeatedly cropped up is how I found the process of adapting my own novel for the screen.

Rather than go into it all here, I’ll point you in the direction of an article I wrote for PureMovies.com which not only goes into it in some depth, but also talks about how the movie actually came about.

Thankfully, the screenings thus far have gone really well and everyone seems more than happy which is all I could hope for. But now comes the really important bit and that’s the public reaction so if you fancy a look and haven’t ordered a copy, you can do so via Amazon. Either that or simply head down to your local DVD/Blu-ray retailer early next week.

All being well, the reissued paperback will be not far behind as copies have already rolled off the presses. That can also be ordered online via Amazon or if you can’t wait and fancy the eBook version, that can be downloaded right here right now for the princely sum of £1.99p! It’s also available via iBooks of course.

kill, indie, british film, hooligans, krays, violence, gangsAway from Top Dog, work on We Still Kill The Old Way is almost complete with the final scenes being shot in Spain early next week. I visited the set a couple of times and have to say that there was a real buzz amongst everyone that something really special is coming together.

It’s a great script, the crew are fabulous and it’s being helmed by an excellent director in Sacha Bennett but the really exciting thing about this project is the amazing cast we have working on it. A cast which includes legendary names such as Ian Ogilvy, James Cosmo, Chris Ellison, Steven Berkoff and Lysette Anthony as well as a raft of brilliant young actors led by Danny-Boy Hatchard and Danni Dyer.

If that lot doesn’t get your juices flowing, nothing will. You’re going to have to wait for a few months yet but believe me, it will be worth it.

Exciting times.

 

 green street, top dog, martin kemp, elijah wood, hooligans, gangs, violence, crime writing, indie film, writing, screenwriting, leo gregory, brimson, 

Top Dog – movie trailer released.

Top Dog Film Poster

Just a very brief note to say that the trailer for Top Dog has finally been released and you can view it right here!

The movie will his the screens at the end of May and I’m delighted to say that the original novel which has been such a hit in eBook format, will be re-issued in print as a movie tie-in at about the same time. You can pre-order it from Amazon by clicking here.

In other news, casting is underway for We Still Kill The Old Way with shooting die to commence on May 5th whilst work is still progressing feverishly to bring both Wings of a Sparrow, Mister One Hundred, Three Greens and Our Boy to the screen.

I can also announce that after years of going it alone, SMA Talent have taken me under their very experienced wing and will be looking after me from now on.

Exciting times!

krays, martin kemp, leo gregory, hooligans, russia, world cup, screenwriting, author, writer, writing, litchat, violence, England, football, soccer 

Top Dog – movie trailer released.

Top Dog Film Poster

Just a very brief note to say that the trailer for Top Dog has finally been released and you can view it right here!

The movie will his the screens at the end of May and I’m delighted to say that the original novel which has been such a hit in eBook format, will be re-issued in print as a movie tie-in at about the same time. You can pre-order it from Amazon by clicking here.

In other news, casting is underway for We Still Kill The Old Way with shooting die to commence on May 5th whilst work is still progressing feverishly to bring both Wings of a Sparrow, Mister One Hundred, Three Greens and Our Boy to the screen.

I can also announce that after years of going it alone, SMA Talent have taken me under their very experienced wing and will be looking after me from now on.

Exciting times!

krays, martin kemp, leo gregory, hooligans, russia, world cup, screenwriting, author, writer, writing, litchat, violence, England, football, soccer 

Are you an author, a screenwriter or simply a writer?

writing, author, screenwriter, british film, football, hooligan, soccerYesterday, I made a comment that the difference between being an author and being a screenwriter is the same as the difference between an immaculate conception and an egg donation.

Now as someone who writes both novels and scripts, this is a fairly obvious and totally accurate statement yet for some reason it seemed to cause confusion in certain writing circles and it struck me that it might be worthwhile expanding on it a bit. So what follows is a slightly tongue-in-cheek guide to the essential difference between the creative processes involved with the two very different disciplines. 

As an author, when you write a novel, it is your baby. You sit, plot, write, edit, rewrite, edit again and then when you’re happy, you send it off to a publisher who more often than not, will be the first person to read it.

They will then come back with some comments to which your response will be to either reluctantly agree or to tell them to get stuffed. You then do a bit of polishing, send it off to a proper editor who, amongst other things, will fix your appalling grammar and then when everyone is happy, it heads off to print. 

Yet from concept to shelf or kindle, as the writer you retain pretty much total creative control and as such, the finished article remains in essence, all your own work. From that point on, it’s all about you. Have you ever seen a book publicised as ‘edited by….’? Of course not. 

It’s you who do the PR and you who get the accolades or the grief. Hence the immaculate conception. 

A screenplay is totally different because in terms of the creative process, you as the writer have very little power over what finally ends up on screen. Yes, you might well come up with the initial concept and you will certainly put the initial layer of flesh on the bones but generally speaking, your place is and always will be on the bottom rung of a very long development ladder. Indeed, a script will go through so many rewrites it might as well be written in pencil and it’s certainly safe to say that by the time it gets to the point when a director calls ‘action’, the shooting script will be very different from your initial draft

There are of course, very specific reasons for this be they creative improvements the director has made or something as mundane as location, cast or budget. Yet however much it might irritate you as the writer, everything is underpinned by one very simple fact and that is that everyone involved in the process wants to get the best thing on screen that they possibly can. 

And that is the key difference. For unlike a novel, a script is a true collaboration and your pages are usually the starting point. Or to use my original statement, the egg.

You see, simple. 

This is of course, totally different if you write a novel and then adapt it for the screen as I have just done with Top Dog. But that’s an entirely different subject which I will no doubt end up talking about in therapy one day!

writing, author, screenwriter, british film, football, hooligan, soccerMention of Top Dog leads me nicely into the latest news and that is that the release date for the DVD is 26th May. I’m also hoping that the novel will be reissued in print about the same time and that can be pre-ordered from Amazon but if you’re desperate, you can download it by clicking here.

There has been talk of a London premiere as well as some screenings and news of those will be posted on Twitter and Facebook as soon as the details are released.

Casting is currently underway on We Still Kill The Old Way with shooting due to start on May 5th. I’ve seen a provisional list and if even half of it comes off, it’ll be amazing!

Again, keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook for details. 

Happy days indeed. 

 

top dog, green street, sothcott, gang, gangster, violence, british film, self publishing, ibooks, indie publishing, martin kemp, spandau ballet, elijah wood, hooligans, england, sex, racism, krays, pornography, london 

Are you an author, a screenwriter or simply a writer?

writing, author, screenwriter, british film, football, hooligan, soccerYesterday, I made a comment that the difference between being an author and being a screenwriter is the same as the difference between an immaculate conception and an egg donation.

Now as someone who writes both novels and scripts, this is a fairly obvious and totally accurate statement yet for some reason it seemed to cause confusion in certain writing circles and it struck me that it might be worthwhile expanding on it a bit. So what follows is a slightly tongue-in-cheek guide to the essential difference between the creative processes involved with the two very different disciplines. 

As an author, when you write a novel, it is your baby. You sit, plot, write, edit, rewrite, edit again and then when you’re happy, you send it off to a publisher who more often than not, will be the first person to read it.

They will then come back with some comments to which your response will be to either reluctantly agree or to tell them to get stuffed. You then do a bit of polishing, send it off to a proper editor who, amongst other things, will fix your appalling grammar and then when everyone is happy, it heads off to print. 

Yet from concept to shelf or kindle, as the writer you retain pretty much total creative control and as such, the finished article remains in essence, all your own work. From that point on, it’s all about you. Have you ever seen a book publicised as ‘edited by….’? Of course not. 

It’s you who do the PR and you who get the accolades or the grief. Hence the immaculate conception. 

A screenplay is totally different because in terms of the creative process, you as the writer have very little power over what finally ends up on screen. Yes, you might well come up with the initial concept and you will certainly put the initial layer of flesh on the bones but generally speaking, your place is and always will be on the bottom rung of a very long development ladder. Indeed, a script will go through so many rewrites it might as well be written in pencil and it’s certainly safe to say that by the time it gets to the point when a director calls ‘action’, the shooting script will be very different from your initial draft

There are of course, very specific reasons for this be they creative improvements the director has made or something as mundane as location, cast or budget. Yet however much it might irritate you as the writer, everything is underpinned by one very simple fact and that is that everyone involved in the process wants to get the best thing on screen that they possibly can. 

And that is the key difference. For unlike a novel, a script is a true collaboration and your pages are usually the starting point. Or to use my original statement, the egg.

You see, simple. 

This is of course, totally different if you write a novel and then adapt it for the screen as I have just done with Top Dog. But that’s an entirely different subject which I will no doubt end up talking about in therapy one day!

writing, author, screenwriter, british film, football, hooligan, soccerMention of Top Dog leads me nicely into the latest news and that is that the release date for the DVD is 26th May. I’m also hoping that the novel will be reissued in print about the same time and that can be pre-ordered from Amazon but if you’re desperate, you can download it by clicking here.

There has been talk of a London premiere as well as some screenings and news of those will be posted on Twitter and Facebook as soon as the details are released.

Casting is currently underway on We Still Kill The Old Way with shooting due to start on May 5th. I’ve seen a provisional list and if even half of it comes off, it’ll be amazing!

Again, keep an eye on Twitter and Facebook for details. 

Happy days indeed. 

 

top dog, green street, sothcott, gang, gangster, violence, british film, self publishing, ibooks, indie publishing, martin kemp, spandau ballet, elijah wood, hooligans, england, sex, racism, krays, pornography, london 

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.

.

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!

Men are from Mars, women just want Mars. And perhaps a Twix.

sex, masturbation, vibrator, bullet, chocolate, football, women, oral, orgasm, pornographyThere’s a great deal of talk in the media today about a survey which claims that almost a quarter of all women would rather give up sex than chocolate.

The reporting, naturally, is full of inferences and double entendre’s but it is generally and inevitably slanted toward the female of the species and as always with such things, attempts to undermine the average bloke by inferring he is a poor substitute for a Dime bar.

However, all of this reporting has missed one very important fact. A fact which actually sits at the very heart of the ongoing battle of the sexes and the position we blokes currently find ourselves in.

I won’t go into it all too deeply because I’ve written about it plenty of times before and in reality, I don’t really need to. Instead, let me just ask the males reading this two simple questions:

A)     How would you react if you’re partner joked that she’d rather forgo you than Dairy Milk?

B)      How would your partner react if you jokingly told her that you’d rather give up her than football?

Let me take a punt here and say that most of you will provide something similar to the following answers:

A)     Make some smart arsed comment along the lines of ‘I’ll just pop down the shops now then’ or simply laugh it off and then instantly forget it.

B)      Either she would: take it personally and go into a sulk AND log it into her memory bank to be wheeled out at some point in the future as proof that I didn’t care/love her AND she would almost certainly use it as the basis for some kind of future test to prove my love/commitment OR I wouldn’t dare ask that for the reasons already outlined.

Do I really need say any more? We really do need to start manning up a bit…

football, self publishing, soccer, money, inheritance

As (hopefully) most people know by now, my new book Wings of a Sparrow was published last weekend and is currently selling ahead of expectations which is both awesome and humbling. As yet, it’s only available on Amazon but the iTunes version should be available any day now which should boost sales even further.

Anyway, what I wanted to say is thanks to everyone who has downloaded it thus far and to those of you who have helped spread the word around the on-line community.

For indie authors such as myself (because that’s what going wholly digital actually means I now am) word of mouth is the best publicity we can possibly have which is why I try and involve my readers (that’s you guys) in the whole process.

As I’ve said thousands of times, the reader is the most important person in the entire publishing process and that’s never been more true than it is in these days of kindles and the like.

So once again, thanks and please, keep spreading the word because if people keep buying them, I’ll keep writing them. On which note, in response to both feedback and sales, I’m currently working on the third book in the Billy Evans trilogy. I won’t say too much at this point but I can tell you that it’s already shaping up to be the best (and most violent) book of the three.

Should be ready by late spring.

Happy days!

Happy Days, Wings of a sparrow

Yes, you read that right… I am indeed happy!

The reason for this astonishing change in my mood is that I have finally finished work on my 15th book, Wings of a Sparrow. A comedy about a fanzine editor who inherits ownership of his hated local rivals (think Brewster’s Million’s meets Fever Pitch).

I first had the idea for this book over 6 years ago and indeed, actually posted the first few chapters online to see how people would react to it. Yet in spite of the feedback being universally positive, I became sidetracked by other projects and it kept getting put on hold. Now, thanks largely to the freedom provided by epublishing, I’ve been able to go back to it and well, it’s done!

The plan is to release it just before Christmas but I will of course post all news of that both here and on my website at dougiebrimson.com

Just to remind everyone, I recently dropped the prices of all of my titles across the board with, it has to be said, huge success. When it comes to eBooks, price low, sell loads definitely seems to be the way to go!!!

Most, including The Art of Fart are now just 99p with Top Dog and Billy’s Log being pegged at £1.99. The Crew is, as always, totally free to download and remains at #1 on all of it’s charts. That’s well into 14 straight months now!

See, happy days! But don’t worry, it won’t last. My normal grumpy service will be resumed shortly!