Script Frenzy – Winner!

Monday 2 May 2011

If you’ve been reading during the last month you might have wondered what all this “Script Frenzy” stuff is about, but, then again, you probably weren’t as you were too busy making little bunnies

Script Frenzy is an international writing event in which participants take on the challenge of writing 100 pages of scripted material in the month of April. It’s like NaNoWriMo (where your write a 50,000 novel in the month of November, an event I failed dismally when I first attempted) but you write a script instead. The counting system differs as while a novel writer could use a gamut of fonts or spacing sizes, meaning their 50,000 word novel could fill an unknowable number of pages, script writing is very precise and governed by formatting rules. How I’ve dumped my writing scraps sort of mimics the layout, but only just. The notion is that in true script formatting one page of script is equal to one minute of screen time, so a 100 page script is 100 minutes, the average length of most films.

Every writer who completes the goal of 100 pages wins, and – yay me! – I wrote 115 pages during the month. (Click on the icon on the right for more info on Script Frenzy.)

So what did I win? I win the bragging rights to say I wrote a script in a month. I also won this:

Pretty nifty, hey?

My script (which was also chosen as a 30 Posters, 30 Days entry) is still going. I’m only up to the morning of the Final Battle and, I must admit, am having a bit of trouble trying to work out what happens next. To keep the momentum going I’m sticking with the daily page requirements, writing at least three pages a day, until it’s finished. It might be all rubbish at the end but at least I will have it out of the head and on to the page, and in a few months time I’ll be able to go back and edit the hell out if it.

Ernest Hemingway wrote “The first draft of anything is shit.” Mark Haddon said “Crossing out was the secret of all good writing.” Justice Louis Brandeis remarked “There is no great writing, only great rewriting.” And Richard Back noted “A professional writer is an amateur who didn’t quit.”

Me, I’m with Winnie-the-Pooh:

For I am a bear of very little brain
and long words bother me.

Hope you keep enjoying.


Script Frenzy – Scene: The First National Bank of Business City

Friday 29 April 2011


The Van pulls up in front of the First National Bank of Business City. Ultimate Bad jumps from the Van. The Henchmen all jump out, squinting in the sun light.


Where now?


Looks like Main Street.


But where on Main Street?

Lex turns to face the Bank.


The First National.

Sally is getting out of the Van. She freezes when she hears Lex’s line. He lifts her out of the Van.


What did you say?


The First National Bank of Business City. I suppose we’re going to rob that.



The First National?

She turns and sees that she’s out front of the Bank. She panics, taking a few steps away.


I… I… can’t do this.

She backs into Lex who holds on to her more for comfort than for security.


Sally, what’s wrong?


Please, I have to go!





She breaks from his grip and runs away down the street, disappearing into the crowd.

Lex watches puzzled. Jim and Thunderhead join him.


What’s with her?


Something about the Bank.


Hmph, probably didn’t give her a loan or something. Come on, we’re on duty.

Jim leads the concerned Lex away by the arm.

Ultimate Bad stands before his Henchmen.


Are you ready Minions? Let’s make this one interesting: the Minion who brings me the largest bag of cash gets to keep it!


You can all keep your hands to yourselves!

There are all the Sidekicks – Audacious-Boy, Spirit-Girl, Hardy-Boy, Net-Girl and Battle-Boy – all standing in the front of the Bank’s door.


Not one step closer you high collared villain, you’re under arrest!

Ultimate Bad rolls his eyes.


I don’t have time for this.

From up his sleeve drops a small black orb, about the size of a grapefruit. He click-click-clicks its two halves against each other – it starts to flash and beep.


Here, catch!

He tosses the orb at the Sidekicks. Battle-Boy catches it. He looks at the orb mystified.


Umm, Battle-Boy, you might want to get rid of that.

Battle-Boy suddenly realises he’s holding a bomb. He throws it into the air and the Sidekicks scatter.

The orb falls and B-O-O-O-M!!

The door – and half the wall – have all been blown away. Rubble and fallen Henchmen lie everywhere.

Ultimate Bad, who had simply protected himself by holding up his sleeve, brushes the dust off his robe.


Onward footman soldiers!

He strides off over the rubble and through where the doors used to be. He sticks his head back out and gestures at the Sidekicks.


(to his Henchmen)

Deal with them first though, will you?

The Sidekicks and the Henchmen all get themselves up, aching all over.  Jim pants heavily.


Can’t we just call this one a draw?

A RANDOM HENCHMAN near him is suddenly swept away by one of Audacious-Boy’s bolos.


Obviously not.

He roars and runs at the Sidekicks. Other Henchmen follow.


Alarms wail everywhere. Customers hide in the corners, cowering as Ultimate Bad strolls past and up to the inquiry counter. He D-I-N-G-S the bell.

No one comes to his assistance. After a moment he looks over the counter.

There crouching on the floor is the BANK MANAGER.



The Bank Manager looks up.


Ca… ca… can I help you?

Ultimate beams a lovely wide smile.


Yes. I’d like to withdraw all your money please.


Ultimate Bad steps back out through the door frame, in his hand he has a bank cheque which he is checking the details. As he walks along he folds the cheque in half and slips it into his pocket.

A Henchman flies past him. One of Net-Girl’s nets splats against the wall, narrowly missing Ultimate. The battle is still going, but all the Sidekicks and Henchmen are down to their final ounces of strength. Already some of the Henchmen, and Hardy-Boy, Battle-Boy and Spirit-Girl, are knocked out and lying about the ground.

As Ultimate Bad steps across the bodies more and more people fall. The closer Ultimate makes it to the Van all that is left standing is Audacious-Boy and Lex. They wearily throw punches at each other until Audacious completely misses Lex and he falls down zonked onto the ground.


Yay me.

Lex falls zonked onto the ground.

Ultimate is by the Van.


Well come on, I haven’t got all day!

The Henchmen drag themselves, some carrying others, into the back of the Van. Battle-Boy pulls himself upright.


Quick! They’re getting away!

Battle-Boy hobbles over to the Henchmen to keep fighting. Thunderhead pushes Battle-Boy on his forehead and he falls back down.

As the Van drives away Audacious-Boy’s mobile phone rings. Then Net-Girl’s phone rings. Then Hardy-Boy’s. Then Battle-Boys. Then Spirit-Girl’s. They each look at their phone screens and grimace.


Who wants to go first?


The full wall monitor blares with the image of the Mayor. Not in his mayoral robes he wears a just as blaring suit.


What the hell is going on with you people?

Let’s Make: Little Bunnies!

Saturday 23 April 2011

In one of those walking home bursts of pure inspiration I decided this Easter to give everyone in the office a chocolate egg. Nice gesture you may say, but the inspiring part was I was going to make little bunny covers for them all – Brilliant!

Little Bunnies 9

Here’s how you can make some too.

You will need:

  • scraps of fabric: cottons, polycottons, that sort of thing (I’m using up a pile of gingham I’ve had for ages)
  • light pink 13mm pom poms
  • white 20mm pom poms
  • googly eyes (I’m using 12mm stick ons)
  • black embroidery thread (or a black texta pen such as an Artline 70)

Little Bunnies 1.

You’ll also need the pattern (download here). Finished bunnies are 90mm tall by 70mm wide, big enough to fit over a chook egg. A 5mm seam allowance is included in the pattern, though I used the width of the foot as my guide and even then was pretty slapdash. You may wish to adjust the pattern accordingly. Please note I’ve provided the pattern twice on the sheet – share with a friend!

What to do:

Using the pattern sheet cut out 2 bodies and 2 ears each from your outer and lining fabrics.

(As I’m using scraps of gingham for all pieces I’m just grabbing colours randomly but you may wish to have a particular lining fabric and a more bunny-coloured outer fabric.) 

You will have 4 body pieces and 4 ear pieces for each bunny.

(I mention this as I realised when I started sewing that I’d only cut half the number of pieces I was supposed to and had to go back and cut the rest. This is probably a good time to mention that I bought twice as many bunny noses and tails too. And I topped Maths back at high school…)

Little Bunnies 2

For the body, take an outer and lining piece and sew right sides together (RST) along the short edge. Trim loose threads.

(You may also notice from the photos that I’m using different bobbin and upper thread colours. No reason besides me grabbing whatever I had a lot of. Remember, for me this is a quick project but please take as much as much care as you wish.)

Little Bunnies 3

For the ears, take an outer and lining piece and sew RST, this time along the long arched edge. Trim loose threads. Clip the seam allowance to make it easier to turn RS out, then turn RS out using your fingers to push all the way to the tips of the ears. Lightly press with an iron.

(I must say that the ears are really tedious to do and are far more fiddly than I had originally thought. Still, you get on a roll and they’re soon done. Perhaps try not to do 80 odd ears at a time though.)

Little Bunnies 4

Next, fold each corner of an ear across itself so the unsewn edge of each ear is now a third as wide. Sew along this edge to hold these folds in place. Press lightly.

(Great chance here for a bit of individuality as how tight the angle you fold will then affect how streamlined or floppy each ear is. Don’t bother cutting the threads in between each one – let them flow on to form a bunting of bunny ears.)

Little Bunnies 5

Now, let’s sew it all together. Lay one body piece flat RS facing up, and lay two ears across the top of the outer fabric end, lining the raw ear ends with the raw fabric. You’ll end up crossing the ears something like this:

Little Bunnies 6

(This is another of those wonderful chances to express some uniqueness to your work. the closer the ears are to the top of the body piece, the higher they will be on the final bunny. Enjoy, have fun, play around.)

Top with another body piece, RST and matching the outer ends together and the same with the lining end of the body pieces. Pin all together so that the ears are sandwiched in between. Sew everything together starting at the inner lining end and around, leaving a small gap, about an inch (that’s 25mm) on the round part of the lining end to turn the piece RS out. Once turned inside out, give it a light press.

Now, proper people would whipstitch or ladderstitich or whateverstitch the opening closed. Me, not being proper-like, did a quick running stitch on the old sewing machine. However way you sew up the opening, once you done it, tuck the lining part of the body inside the out part of the body and give another quick press. And that’s pretty much your bunny done.!

Little Bunnies 7

All that’s left is the details. Stick the tail, nose and eyes on.

Little Bunnies 8

One last thing – the whiskers. Now, if I had been more prepared (and wasn’t just a teensy bit over the whole thing) I would have sewed little crosses with the embroidery thread, but considering I have run out of time (and am quite a bit over the whole thing) I’ve drawn little crosses with my trusty Artline 70. Sewing the whiskers would have looked better but, really, I’ve got better things to do!

And that’s that! All you do now is place one over each Easter egg. I used Heritage Fine Chocolate eggs, which claim to be “The Tastiest Chocolate in the World”. Bold claim, but the perfect size for my little bunnies.

Little Bunnies 9

And there you go! Hope this inspires you and please send me a photo if you get a little crazy inspired yourself!

And Happy Easter Nail-a-Man-to-a-Two-by-Four Day Five-Day Piss-Up Long Weekend!


Script Frenzy – Scene: Weapons Training

Tuesday 19 April 2011


A large sunny high walled quadrangle. Half the Recruits are milling around the other end of the area. Gormenghast stands raised on a platform near a large painted “X” on the ground. Cronies still stand guard.


Weapons are one of the most important tools of being a Henchman. Not only does it give you the opportunity to easily kill someone, it also means you have the ability to do it from quite some distance away. Now, you’ve all got your partners. Pair Number One!

SHOOTER #1 timidly approaches the “X”. He is holding a convoluted futuristic rifle.

Against the wall shuffles his partner TARGET #1. He is holding a large bull’s eye target, which he holds out at arm’s length to his side.

Shooter #1 takes aim, then reconsiders.


(to Gormenghast)

Are you sure about this?


Do you want to swap places?

Shooter #1 takes aim again.

Target #1 starts to wobble.


I’m not feeling comfortable about this Sam!


Just stop wiggling, will ya!

Target #1 hold out the target even further.

BANG! Shooter #1 shoots, completely missing the bull’s eye, but shooting Target #1 dead. Two Cronies come and drag the body away.


Dean, are you all right? … Dean?



(to Shooter #1)

Go practicing your aiming.

SHOOTER #2 enters and takes up her spot with a larger barrelled firearm than the previous one. TARGET #2 is pushed in place by a couple of Cronies.


You’ve done this before, haven’t you Ruth?


Once at the county fair.


Did you win anything.


… No.


Just do your best.

Shooter #2 takes aim. She is shaking so much the gun barrel looks like it’s beating time.

BANG! Target #2 is now only hold half a smoking bull’s-eye. Target #2 looks over the top, terrified.

Shooter #2 is elated and jumps out in rapture.


I hit it! I hit it! I hit it!


Yes, very good. Next!

It’s Thunderhead. He’s got some sort of machine gun with the ammunition belt rapped over his shoulders like a sash. Against the wall shuffles Jim with his bull’s eye target.

Jim gulps and holds the target above his head. He shuts his eyes tight.

Thunderhead begins to take aim then looks up at Gormenghast.


Dude, I’m a pacifist!


You’ll be a dead pacifist if you don’t aim at that target.

Thunderhead takes up aim again.


I’m sorry Jim Dude!


(eyes still clenched)

It’s all right Thunder, I believe in you!

Thunderhead shoot – POW POW POW POW POW POW POW! – the bullets go everywhere, eventually running out of ammo. He looks across through the smoke to the wall.



As the smoke clears, there is Jim with his bull’s eye target intact, but all around him in the wall is dotted row of bullet holes.

He falls FLUMP! face down onto the ground, stiff as a board, leaving the perfect bullet outline in full view.

Thunderhead rushes to help his friend.


Dude, you all right?

The shell-shocked Jim looks at the wall.


You see Thunder, I told you I believed in you!



Thunderhead helps his friend away as Sally, carrying an enormous weapon, and Lex, with a bull’s eye target take their places.

Sally can barely carry her weapon.


I’m sorry but you don’t think that this… thing might just be the wrong size for me?


Hmmm, perhaps you’re right.

Gormenghast clicks his fingers and Cronies surround Sally. When they disappear she now has a bazooka cannon strapped to her shoulder.


Try that instead.


(calls out)

Come on Sally, you can do it!


But I’ll kill you!


No you won’t! I’ll just hold the target out really far like this.

He holds out the weapon at arm’s length in front of him and spreads his legs to get a better balance.


See, I’m all protected now!


Lex, are you kidding? If I push this button you’ll be –

She accidentally pushes the button. The force of the recoil of the cannon throws Sally back into a pile of garbage bins and old boxes by the Kitchen entrance at the far end of the Quadrangle. Meanwhile Lex has been blown through the wall. He lies there amongst a bunch of school desks, still holding the target in front of him.

He rubs his head trying to sit up. Likewise, so does Sally.


(about Sally)

Ooooo, that’s gonna hurt.


Sally in a singlet top is examining her bruise – her entire shoulder is an alarming purply red. It looks extremely painful.

Script Frenzy – Scene: Ultimate Bad and the Cookie Jar

Sunday 10 April 2011


All the trainees are lined up military style. Ultimate Bad is out the front finishing his pep talk.


By the end of your training you will be my perfectly trained and able army of lackeys… you’re lucky to be my lackeys, give yourself a pat on the back, you’ve earned it. Feel the love, feel the love. Now, is there any questions?

A THUGGY FELLOW slowly puts up his hand. Ultimate smiles like the cat about to get the cream.


Yes? You there!

He waves to Thuggy who moves to the front of the crowd.


You have something you wish to say?

Thuggy puffs out his chest.


Yeah. What if I don’t want to join your army of lackeys?

A murmur runs through the trainees.


You don’t want to be one of my self effacing servants and help me overtake the world?



Ultimate considers this.


Is there anything else?

Thuggy tries his luck.


Yeah. I’m hungry.




Yeah. I haven’t had a bite since you dragged me from that bar.

Ultimate nods to Gormenghast, who clicks his fingers to a SERVANT, who clicks his fingers to ANOTHER SERVANT. This happens down the line till from the main building saunters a RAVISHING SLAVE GIRL carrying an ordinary cookie jar as if it was a Ming vase.

The Slave Girl passes the jar to Gormenghast who delivers it to Ultimate.


Then perhaps you’ll like …. a cookie?

Another murmur mutters through the crowd. Thuggy looks around him for support but receives none.

He puffs out his chest even further, sets his jaw.



Sure. Why not.

He swaggers closer to Ultimate and takes the lid off the jar. He looks into the jar to get his cookie. SWOOSH! A VENOMOUS COBRA springs out and attaches itself to his face.

Thuggy tumbles to the ground and writhes, screaming in pain, until the Snake has finished him off. Thuggy lies there dead, the snake curls itself up on its new kill.

Ultimate addresses the masses.


What we have just witnessed there are two very important lessons. One: Never disobey me or I will kill you! And the second: Never takes candy from strangers, didn’t your parents teach you anything?!

Ultimate hands back the jar to Gormenghast.


And now, I leave you in the capable hands of my Number Two. Gormenghast, they’re all yours.

Gormenghast salutes his master and Ultimate strides back to the main building.


(to Slave Girl)

Come Annabelle. I’m in desperate need of a hard rub down.

Ultimate and the Slave Girl return to the main building.

Gormenghast is still holding the cookie jar. He suddenly feels foolish, so drops the jar and steps away.