Tag Archives: screenplay

The Book of Judas – out now on Amazon.


Did Christ really die on the cross? Or was he rescued by the man charged with his betrayal? And could it be that Christ was an ancestor of Mohammed? The Book of Judas is a historical epic screenplay set at the turn of the 12th century after the First Crusade, about a French crusading knight who discovers The Book of Judas in Jerusalem.

BOJ-COV-KNIGHT

The Book is Judas’ version of events surrounding the crucifixion, and his alleged betrayal of Christ and his subsequent exile in Medina. Xavier de Crecie’s dilemma is whether The Book should be seen by the world’s nobility, thus throwing Christianity and Islam into question, or whether it should be suppressed for the good of both religions.

Few people know of The Book’s existence. The Catholic Church want to get their hands on The Book to suppress its contents. The Baron of Kent would also like to acquire it so he can use it as collateral against funding an army to depose the King of England. Whilst the Moorish Amir wants it back to protect Islam.

The antagonists will stop at nothing to wrestle The Book from Xavier’s grasp – including kidnapping his wife, the sublime and beautiful Duchess of Brittany – who is as much of an adversary as any knight, as the Duke of Kent and the King of England are about to find out.

Buy it here on Amazon.

2 Comments

Filed under Books, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Film, Ideas, Inspiration, Screenplays, Writing

The Boating Party – with Patrick Chapman


Renoir, luncheon of the boating party, 1881

Luncheon of the Boating Party, 1881. By Pierre-Auguste Renoir.

The Boating Party is a brand new feature on my blog. It’s a series of interviews with writers, artists, photographers, filmmakers and the like.

In times of economic hardship the Arts are usually the first things to be axed. But, in my view, the Arts are the most important aspect of our civilisation. Without the arts, we have no culture. Without culture, we have no society. Without society, we have no civilisation. And without civilisation, we have anarchy. Which, in itself, is paradoxical, because so many artists view themselves as rebels to society.

Artists aren’t rebels, they are pioneers.

And perhaps, most importantly; without the Arts, where’s the creativity that will solve the world’s problems? Including economic and scientific ones?

I hope a brief glimpse into their lives is as inspiring to you as it is to me.

First up, Irish writer, Patrick Chapman. Poet, screenwriter, short story writer and all round raconteur. Not only is Patrick a great friend, he’s been a constant source of encouragement and inspiration, for my own writing.

Patrick Chapman

Patrick Chapman

What’s your greatest personal or career achievement?

I hesitate to nominate a ‘greatest personal achievement’. As a person, I’m not entirely sure I’ve achieved anything apart from not dying. As a writer, I could nominate working with the Daleks on a Doctor Who audio play – but that’d be just the most fun. It’d have to be my New & Selected Poems, A Promiscuity of Spines, which spans 25 years of work. The book has an elegant cover art-directed by Vaughan Oliver, one of my design heroes. It was a pleasure to be able to commission him and find out that he’s a lovely bloke to work with.

What’s been your greatest sacrifice?

That’s difficult to say, as I live in the so-called First world. Someone takes away my iPad and I cite the Geneva Convention. You could say I’ve sacrificed having a regular life in order to be a writer – which to me isn’t a sacrifice.

To whom do you owe a debt of gratitude?

Too many people to list them all. There was Macdara Woods, a venerable Irish poet who, 25 years ago, gave me vital encouragement starting off. Before that, my teacher of English, Paddy Nangle, let me write short stories instead of essays.

Who and what inspire you?

People who don’t think they can write but who really can. I taught budding writers a couple of years ago and was struck by the quiet ones in the class – they hesitated and even resisted reading in front of the others but when they did, their work shone. Quiet geniuses inspire me. As for what rather than who? Everything and anything. I tend to get obsessed by a thought or an idea that won’t let go until I’ve wrestled it into a poem. Happiness, therefore, is a blank screen filled.

What was the last thing that inspired you?

It was Steven Shainberg’s film, Fur, which is an imaginary portrait of Diane Arbus. Not at all biographical in the conventional sense. Nicole Kidman and Robert Downey Jr are both superb in it. The poster for Fur showed Downey without all the hair – for most of that film he looks like a Wookiee but the marketing department, presumably, didn’t want it to come across as a sequel to Beauty and the Beast.

What makes you unhappy?

Right now it’s the thought that we’re quite possibly heading into a world of six degrees of global warming. That’s not Earth, it’s Venus. Nobody in power wants to think about it and it’s almost too terrible to contemplate, so people carry on regardless.

What makes you smile?

Woody Allen when he’s on form. His early, funny ones still crack me up, especially Take the Money and Run, and Love & Death. Annie Hall and Manhattan are my two favourites. I also have a fondness for his darker films, such as Husbands and Wives and Deconstructing Harry. Cassandra’s Dream was terrible, however.

What are you reading?

The Beginning of Infinity by David Deutsch. I loved his earlier book, The Fabric of Reality, and this one is as good. I recently finished Wetlands by Charlotte Roche, which was a hoot, especially as I was about to undergo a colonoscopy shortly after reading it.

Who, or what, are you listening to?

Dark Wood, the new e.p. by my current favourite band Abagail Grey, plus the Go-Betweens compilation, Quiet Heart, the Pet Shop Boys album, Elysium, and the David Byrne and St. Vincent record, Love This Giant.

What’s your favourite film?

Blade Runner. For thirty years I’ve loved its melancholy and its pessimism and its art direction, and Sean Young with that hair and those shoulder pads. It’s such a poetic portrait of lost souls in hell, and it’s got a great soundtrack by Vangelis. It’s also Harrison Ford’s finest two hours on film.

What frightens you?

The future. I have no idea how to manipulate it so that I don’t end up dead within the next hundred years.

What can’t you live without?

Apart from the obvious – air, water, coffee, etc – it’s the ability to write. This is what keeps me going. Without writing, I don’t really exist.

What’s your motto?

“The world is not enough.” If it’s good enough for James Bond, it’s good enough for me.

If you could be anyone other than yourself, who would it be?

J.G. Ballard, for his vision but not necessarily for his demons, though the two are inextricable. He gave a very good answer to the Paris Review when asked about his writing schedule: “Two hours in the late morning, two in the early afternoon, followed by a walk along the river to think over the next day. Then at six, Scotch and soda, and oblivion.”

If you only had one year to live what would you do?
Ignore all the warnings.

Up whose arse would you like to stick a rocket, and why?

The Catholic Church. But that’s a lot of rockets and a lot of arses. It would be only part payback, and poetic justice, for their former practice of torturing infidels to death by shoving hot pokers up their bottoms. That said, let’s not even get started on the Catholic Church and bottoms.

Who would you like to be stuck in an elevator with?

Steven Moffat. He’s a writing hero, not just for Doctor Who and Sherlock. I loved Coupling and Jekyll as well. I assume from all of this, plus his former Twitter feed, that he’d be interesting company at close quarters. I’d just let him do all the talking, and would write everything down.

What are you working on at the moment?

I’ve just put the New & Selected Poems to bed and am now turning to a collection of short stories, due out next year. Also, my physique. One of these projects is going better than the other.

Which six people would you invite to your boating party?

You know when you’ve just come down with a sudden, life-threatening illness in public and someone asks ‘Who’s your doctor?’ and you say ‘Tom Baker’? That’s how you know you’re a nerd. I’d ask Tom Baker first, not just because he was ‘my’ Doctor growing up but because I really enjoyed the tales of Soho in his autobiography – getting drunk with Francis Bacon – and his disturbing and brilliant book for children, The Boy Who Kicked Pigs. Jessica Hynes would be on the list too because I’ve admired her work since Spaced. Kate Bush, simply because she’s Kate Bush. Richard Dawkins, because he’s fascinating as a scientist, and I’m in his camp when it comes to religion. Alan Turing, just so I could tell him he’s been vindicated. And Douglas Adams, because he was very, very tall.

What question would you have liked me to ask?

Would you rather be happy than right?

I’d rather not be happy than wrong.

Thank you, Patrick.

Patrick Chapman

A Promiscuity of Spines by Patrick Chapman

Patrick Chapman was born in 1968 and lives in Dublin, Ireland. He is the author of six poetry collections, the latest of which, A Promiscuity of Spines: New & Selected Poems, is published on October 10th by Salmon Poetry. His other collections are Jazztown (1991), The New Pornography (1996), Breaking Hearts and Traffic Lights (2007), A Shopping Mall on Mars (2008), and The Darwin Vampires (2010). He has also written a book of stories, The Wow Signal (2007); an award-winning film, Burning the Bed; episodes of the Cbeebies series Garth & Bev; and a Doctor Who audio play, Fear of the Daleks. In 2010 his work was nominated for a Pushcart Prize.

Weblink.
http://www.salmonpoetry.com/

4 Comments

Filed under Art, Books, Children, Children's stories, Contemporary Arts, Creativity, Ideas, Inspiration, Literature, Poetry, Screenplays, Short stories, The Boating Party, Writing

The Antagonistic Protagonist


I was reading a rather excellent blog on ‘The roots determining the structure of your novel’, by Sara Toole Miller.

It talks about ‘left brain’ planning and ‘right brain’ writing. But before I’d made it halfway through the post, I had to pause to write a little poem.

So, thank you, Sara. It might not be an 80,000 word novel, but it’s a start.

THE ANTAGONISTIC PROTAGONIST

By David Milligan-Croft

I am the protagonist of my story.
(As you are in yours.)
But in my story,
What you have to decide,
Is whether you are an ally,
Or an antagonist.

Before you decide,
You should know that,
As it is my story,
Rest assured,
I shall prevail.

Anyone who knows me, might say I’m actually the Antagonist in, not only my own story, but theirs too!

Even if you’re not planning on writing a novel, but do enjoy writing, it’s good advice.

http://saratoolemiller.wordpress.com/2012/02/14/the-roots-determining-the-structure-of-your-novel-novel-writing-prep-series/

2 Comments

Filed under Art, Books, Comedy, Contemporary Arts, Ideas, Inspiration, Literature, Poetry, Screenplays, Short stories, Strategy, Writing

Dog Kinky


A synopsis of the feature film: “DOG KINKY”.

© David Milligan Croft

Based on the short story, ‘Woman’s Best Friend’, by the same author, which was shortlisted for The Independent on Sunday short story competition and published by Bloomsbury: IOS new short stories.

dog kinky, boxer dog, woman's best friend, david milligan-croft

What’s not to die for?

DOG KINKY

A black-comedy feature film set in a surreal rural community in the West of Somewheresville, about an 11-year-old boy who repeatedly tries to murder a retired Judge in revenge for him killing his beloved dog.

Inadvertently, the boy keeps “accidentally” killing other people in the village whose dogs have also been murdered by The Judge in the most bizarre and elaborate ways.

Whilst trying to reap his revenge, the young lad uncovers a salacious plot by The Judge to blackmail the love of his life – his schoolteacher, in return for kinky sexual favours.

TREATMENT

The film opens when JOE COSTELLO arrives home from school to find his father kissing and canoodling with a woman of ill repute. Joe’s mother passed away several years previously and has been left to be brought up by his dad, Walter, and his older brother, Brett. The only constant in Joe’s life is his relationship with his dog, Amber, a gift from his mother before she died. This relationship is brought to an early demise by Judge McGlinchy.

Joe has a crush on his teacher, Sarah. Though, she is only concerned for Joe’s welfare, which he mistakes for affection. He is heartbroken when he learns that Sarah is involved in some kinky fetishy affair with the very man he wants to kill. Sarah is forced into these lurid acts because of her husband’s attempts to embezzle money from the local law enforcement benevolent fund, which The Judge has evidence of.

Joe’s first attempt to murder the Judge ends in disaster when he accidentally electrocutes Mary Mac, a psychiatric nurse, who pays The Judge a visit in connection with the demise of her own dog, Sabre. Next, to meet their demise, is Robbie Flowers, whose dog only had to enter the Judge’s garden to meet his fate. Unfortunately, so does Robbie, at the hands of Joe, in the form of an elaborate Heath-Robinson type contraption with an axe at the end of it.

Unfortunately, Joe’s father is implicated in both the murders and is duly whisked off to jail leaving the two brothers to fend for themselves. That is, until the fearsome, Aunt Catherine arrives on the scene to lick the boys into shape.

Next on Joe’s list, is his Dad’s defence attorney who’s in league with the bad old Judge. Fortunately, this does mean that Walter is innocent of the spate of serial killings as he was ‘inside’ at the time of the latest crime.

Joe professes his love for his teacher, Sarah, but is gently knocked back. Though, not so gently by his brother, Brett, who finds the whole thing highly amusing and proceeds to humiliate his younger sibling.

Sarah’s husband, Pierse, decides to put an end to all the blackmailing shenanigans by topping himself. But The Judge has one more trick up his sleeve to get Sarah into her cat suit one last time, and that is to kidnap her dog, Mitsy.

The stage is set for the final showdown. Sarah arms herself to the teeth and pays The Judge one last visit, where he unveils his piéce du resistance: a suit made up of all the dogs he has murdered. Oh, and an electric chair he managed to pick up from an old prison.

Joe, meanwhile, is also about to pay The Judge a final visit. He too, arms himself to the teeth, but this time with a less contrived weapon of mass destruction: Molotov cocktails. He duly torches The Judges crib, accidentally torching the love of his life in the process.

Joe manages to rescue Sarah and the pair try to outrun the pursuing Cops. Cornered in the local dog pound, Joe creates a diversion for Sarah to escape, by releasing all the caged hounds. Unfortunately, Joe is captured and sentenced to 15 years for arson and murder.

All turns out rosy when Sarah arrives on his release with a little surprise for the best friend a woman could ever have.

Drop me a line if you’d like to see the first draft of my screenplay.

Leave a comment

Filed under Comedy, Film, Screenplays, Writing