I walk down the street, people come up and ask me. I'm at work, folks are forever stopping by my desk with an inquisitive look. More than once in the last few days, I've been driving along, minding my own business and then been flagged down by strangers keen to discover what it's all about.
"Tell me," they'll plead, a look of longing in their eyes, "what is this Big Exciting Thingy of which you speak?"
Oh blimey. I hope I've not hyped this up too much. Those of you expecting the dramatic life-changing experiences you get on other blogs are going to be desperately disappointed in me. OK, here goes.
I've been asked to write a screenplay.
A few weeks ago we went to the premiere of a film written and directed by a friend of ours. Having gone through the process, Chris was keen to get back in the saddle again, but having finished the third film of a trilogy he needed some new ideas.
A whole bunch of us had gone out for my birthday the following week, and Mike (he of the official MLH camera-wielding skills) sat me down and asked if I'd like a challenge.
Me: "Not the firewalking again, Mike, I still get flashbacks whenever I order from Burger King."
Mike: "No, you great pillock, we want you to write a screenplay."
I'm convinced this is how George Lucas got started.
Anyway, it turns out that I'm now, officially, working on a screenplay for a short film. And I'm not just adapting something, either - I've been given free rein to come up with the initial concept, create the story, the characters, the whole shebang.
Clearly there was a strokey-beard meeting at some point. And the questions were raised:
- Who do we know who can come up with random situations that people might want to see?
- Are they available?
- And cheap?
- Sorry, by 'cheap', I meant 'free'. (I know that, strictly speaking, that's not a question. Go easy on me, will you?)
So far I've come up with three different story synopses which a few of us have gone through. We decided on one, although we might be changing our mind as we kind of like one of the others, too. Writing for a 30-minute short is actually quite a challenge, I'm discovering. It does come with its own advantages, though. When I'm asked what I'm doing at the weekend, I can stare into the middle distance, finish the remaining dregs of my drink and airily reply:
"Oh, nothing much. Just working on a screenplay. Another pint of Timothy Taylor?"
Haven't actually tried that one yet, you understand, but I'm waiting for the opportunity. So that's my Big Exciting Thingy. And I'm sorry for those of you who guessed, incorrectly as it turned out, that I was appearing in summer season at the Bellagio in Vegas. It'll be a cold day in Hell before I play second fiddle to Tom Jones. Not after the last time.