The Voiceover Arteeste

What I think people are missing is the vital role of the voice arteeste. Because if you think about it, all True Art Is Incomprehensible. I don’t like to sound as if I’m speaking in capital letters, but…

I get called lots of things: voice talent, voice over talent, voice-over-talent with hyphens, voice actor, voice over actor, voice artist, but I prefer voice artiste.

Well, it’s better than “that pretentious b**** in the corner.”

I don’t think it can be understated that, really, the podcast is about me. I mean, how else is anyone going to know about the magazine and the feedback and the contact points unless I provide that information? The boys are terribly sweet and everything. A bit dim actually, but they mean well. And they have promised me my own show sometime in the next season.

I think reading aloud is a very under-rated talent. Some of the best voices in entertainment make a very good living out of it. Orson Wells, Sean Bean, Ronnie Corbett. And I’m much taller than him.

No, the Full Circle gig isn’t the best payday I’ve ever had. At all. In fact, we still haven’t ironed out the final contract with my agent.

It’s not as if it’s my main job. If I’m honest, I’m only using this to promote my new Fantasy Novel, “Darkness Invisible.” It’s out as an e-book later in the year on the flying Carpet imprint…

[The Voice Arteeste is a comic monologue originally performed on Full Circle Podcast Episode 28, Jan 18, 2012

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Bleak Outlook for Screenwriting – Robert McKee on World Update

Robert McKee, author of 'Story'BBC World Service – World Update, 02/01/2012

Robert McKee is the author of Story: Substance, Structure, Style and the Principles of Screenwriting. McKee has in his list of students 35 Oscar winners, acknowledgements from other screen-writing greats such as Goldman and Goldsmith. Engaged for lectures by bodies such as the New Zealand film Council where attendees included Peter Jackson and Jane Campion, McKee is regarded as an authority on screenwriting.

Appearing on the BBC World Service programme World Update (Jan 2, 2012), McKee presented a bleak outlook for film-making in 2012. Citing the expense of making a major Hollywood picture and the risk-averse character of the ‘expert’ executives in charge, we can expect more blockbusters in the mould of Pirates of the Caribbean 3, which McKee cited with undisguised contempt. Continue reading

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Review: Anonymous

Anonymous movie posterRoland Emmerich (yes, that Roland Emmerich) combines every Shakespearean conspiracy theory into this movie which posits that ‘William Shakespeare’ was the pen-name of one Edward De Vere, Earl of Oxford and that Wil Shakespeare of the Rose, Swan and Globe theatres was in fact an illiterate hack actor fronting for the aristocrat.

Anonymous wraps up the Shakespeare mystery in the intrigues and plots of the Elizabethan Tudor court over forty years, made precarious by Elizabeth’s lack of a successor and the rivalries of courtiers and aristocrats. Filled with vain-glorious, flawed characters from the monarch down, Emmerich delivers a costume-soap-opera that is itself vain-glorious and flawed in equal measure. Continue reading

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Creative Writing Workshops – Lymington

Image Fountain Pen, version 3 by ~TeGadzsodillouTeA series of Creative Writing Workshops with writer, blogger & journalist Robin Catling will be taking place in Lymington, Hampshire UK, in November.

•  Creative Well-Spring Writing Workshop

•  Short Story Writing Workshop

•  Writing Your Life Story Workshop Continue reading

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Tips from a Screenwriter

Brideshead Revisited Movie 2008 adaption Jeremy BrockTV and movie screen-writer Jeremy Brock  (co-creator of BBC’s Casualty, writer of Last King of Scotland, Mrs Brown and Brideshead Revisited) could be heard on BBC World Service Radio this morning (Sat 24th Sept, 2011) to talk about screen adaptations.

Brock discussed adapting novels and fact-based projects for film.

On adapting the novel

  • Don’t keep the dialogue – most of it won’t work on screen, it’s too long, too dense.
  • Respect the spirit of the work – but don’t try to reproduce it on screen. Don’t be too literal or literary
  • Be bold in the process of contraction to fit the novel into the screen-time
  • Find an equivalent voice – the novel has the interior life and voice of it’s characters. You may try to reproduce this in voice-over, but it’s not a skilful movie technique and has limited use.
  • Short stories often provide more ‘room’ to adapt to the screen, it certainly sounds like the writer gets more creative fun filling-in a full script

On adapting ‘true stories’

  • Reality is sequential, the screenplay is consequential. Merely putting a sequence of events on screen will fail; we need to see the motivation and consequences of those events.


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Not Out

Frankly its a humiliation when you’re a good middle-order batsman pushed down the order behind the bowlers and the keeper. That’s where I found myself for that one-day game.

The recurring knee injury that would eventually put me out of the game had twanged in the field in the morning session, so I got pushed down to tail-end Charlie for our innings in the afternoon. The boys were holding the league leaders to a close finish when, late on, Johno got himself out with only one over left. That put me in with Bates, usually the bunny at number eleven. I turned down the offer of a runner, which I regretted as I tried not to limp on the walk out to the crease. Continue reading

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Two grandfathers. One tall, straight, cheerful. Always sunny. One, short, slumped, slightly mournful, slightly sad. They had both been through the War.

The tall one pulled his comrades out of the water when the landing craft beached at Normandy, dragged a few of the drowning and wounded up the beach at Normandy through a hail of bullets. This one came back to work at Watneys, but never drank. Retirement was never enough, he got a job at Tescos in the Arndale; talk to anyone, friends with anyone. The hospital screwed up and he died young at sixty-two. Continue reading

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