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Take it Back and Start All Over – Shoot


I’m delighted to have wrapped principal photography on my debut feature film Take it Back and Start All Over.

Shooting took place over 5 days 9th-13th December with the most dedicated and talented team I could have hoped for. It was tough but it was also a lot of fun and everything seemed to fall into place, even the weather, which has since been horrendous.

It was such an incredible experience; exhaustion, delight, frustration, tears, happiness, tantrums and joy. It was unlike anything I have ever done and I am very pleased to have experienced it.

It really would never have been possible without everyone involved who all gave everything they had to the production.  From the runners who were on set for a day or two to the core creative team – we nailed it and I’m excited to get into the edit suite in 2014.

I highly recommend everyone who was involved. Please seek them out, check out their work, hire them and follow them. A brilliant set of collaborators in front and behind the camera.

Take it Back and Start All Over on IMDb. 

Fun Final Crew 2

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Director of Photography Grant McPhee

grantpicDirector of Photography Grant McPhee will be shooting my début feature film; Take it Back and Start All Over.

Grant has over 12 years experience as film camera assistant on over 20 features and 150 commercials. Working daily as a DIT with Arri Alexa, Red MX, Red Epic. Credits include World War Z, Cloud Atlas, Under The Skin, Doomsday and The Jacket.

Grant has also worked at Director of Photography on various short films and this year shot and directed his first feature film To Here Know When.


I am absolutely delighted to have Grant on board with the film, in fact it wouldn’t be happening without Grant as he pushed me to go for it after Bootleg NYC. I know that Grant will make the film look beautiful, bringing his own creative eye and visual style to the project.

More announcements to follow.




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Take it Back and Start All Over – Feature Film


So I’m shooting a feature film.

Here’s the Synopsis:

Take it Back and Start All Over is a relationship drama following 33 year-old Jennie who yearns to rediscover her past glories and break out of the domestic prison that she now finds herself in.

Life was never meant to turn out like this.

Ten years ago Jennie was a fairly well known singer/songwriter in the local music scene. Now she is the mother of a two year old girl, the wife of an unemployed depressed husband and a barmaid behind the bars she used to play in.

When a guitarist from her past takes an interest in her; both musically and physically, Jennie sees a way to relive her past and the potential for a better future.

As one relationship blossoms, the other unravels racing towards a climax that will ultimately define the rest of her life.

The film takes place over a long weekend in December.

We shoot in December on the RED ONE.

Loads of stuff to do including casting and crewing up but some great talent already involved.

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Merrily We Go To Hell – Screenplay

For anyone who may be interested, here’s the original screenplay for my short film Merrily We Go To Hell.

Since I started teaching screenwriting I realised how hard it it to find short film scripts online, so have decided to publish my screenplays in case they are of any use to anyone.

I suggest you watch the film first then read the script.

Merrily We Go To Hell

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What I learned from repairing a bicycle puncture…

flat tyre

It’s amazing what you learn about yourself from the most mundane and simple of tasks but today I had one of those moments where you realise that what you have just done is a metaphor for your entire life.

I’ve had a bicycle chained up in my flat stairwell for two and half years… and never touched it.

I decided it was time to rectify that and in the spirit of “getting in shape” I decided to cycle to work. I did it all last week and absolutely loved it.

I felt rejuvenated. I am a cyclist I announced to my wife. All these “lazy people” in their cars and on the bus… I am out there doing what I said I would. I am a borderline athlete.

Then on Friday I went to cycle from home and realised as I exited our complex that I had a puncture on the back tyre.

No worries I thought; I’ve bought a puncture repair kit – I’m prepared.

So I jumped off, turned the bike over and did what I thought was needed to repair the puncture (bearing in mind the last time I repaired a puncture to any bicycle was when I was around 13).

I located the puncture (quite quickly, must be my cyclist blood), I applied the glue and stuck a patch on (at the second attempt). I stuffed the inner tube back in the tyre and fitted it all back around the wheel. I pumped up the tyre… and it began to deflate again. Shit I thought. A full thirty minutes and I hadn’t sorted it. Damn. I’d have to go home, change and get the bus to work.

I was actually gutted – I really had enjoyed cycling to work – oh well, I’ll fix it over the weekend I thought – maybe watch a video online to make sure that my intuition/adolescent memories where right and anyway, it was obviously the bike that was the issue and not me.

So tonight (Sunday) I set about tackling the problem – I brought the bike into my flat and set up my work station – all men do repairs in the kitchen right? I watched a video on Youtube about repairing a puncture (well, I skim watched it, maybe watched a bit of the beginning, what it mainly showed me was how to take the wheel off the frame – if you have a quick release wheel).

I went to my bike. I didn’t have a quick release wheel.

Who cares, I’ll do what I did the last time, take the tyre tread off, get the inner tube out, locate the puncture and fix it.

I did just that, this time a little more skilled. The puncture was just to the side of where I thought it had been before – that was it, I must have put the patch in the wrong place, the first time. Okay, this time quick on with the glue (the video had said that you should wait until it dried then add more, then the patch – I didn’t need that kind of waiting). I added the patch, inflated and it seemed fine.

I stuffed the inner tube back in, it was harder this time, my intuition was off, must have been because it was Sunday.

I pumped the tyre up and I thought it was fine.

Then I felt the tyre again and it was going flat. Fuck.

Fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck.

I took it all out again and found another puncture further down the inner tube. Shit I thought, there were multiple punctures, that’s what was wrong. Idiot. I fixed that puncture, put it all back together and pumped it up…. victorious.


It deflated again.

Well over an hour this had taken…. it hadn’t worked. There must have been even more punctures. Fuck.

I took a breather. Contemplated leaving it for another day. Things would be clearer another day.

But I knew something. If I didn’t fix it today then I’d probably put it off for a while. I’d slip back into getting the bus to work and I’d never win the Tour de France.

I had to fix it tonight.

I went back. I attempted to take the wheel off this time, thinking the problem wasn’t that I was not fixing the puncture but that I did not have the wheel off the frame and so could not find the several punctures there must be on the inner tube.

I had no luck. One of the nuts has rusted shut, tight.


I’ll do it the old way but this time check the full inner tube. I did and the puncture was where the last puncture was. Idiot. I didn’t patch it properly. I didn’t wait for the glue to dry properly. That was the problem.

So this time I was patient. I did the preparation on the tyre. I added the glue and went off to wait for it to dry. I then went to the computer and thought that I should maybe re-watch the repairing  a puncture video – I did and it didn’t help. So I watched another one.

This one said that I should check the inside of the tyre tread for anything sharp stuck in it that caused the puncture. Oh, maybe I should do that, I thought.

So I went through to my work station (the kitchen) and had a wee feel. Ow, I thought, as I sliced my finger on something sharp. Looking closer I found a metal spike in the tyre. Damn, that’s what caused the puncture…

…and all the other punctures.

So I had been fixing the inner tube the whole time but because I hadn’t been thorough in my research or my application I was sabotaging the process the whole time. I was basically puncturing the tyre time after time and not even realising it.

I pulled the metal spike out, did the repairs on the inner tube, packed it all in, pumped it up and guess what. It’s fixed.

So I WILL win the Tour de France after all.


What I learned from repairing a bicycle puncture;

The whole thing is a metaphor for the way I approach and apply myself in life.

  1. I’m impatient, I’m always looking for the quickest/easiest way to achieve something.
  2. I approach tasks and problems through jumping into them believing that; 1) I’ll find my way around them and work out how to do what needs to be done by actually doing it, 2) that what I did when I was a kid will somehow help me now I’m an adult and 3) that using what I believe to be, the rational approach, will workout any problem.
  3. I don’t appreciate the need to learn and follow instructions, directions etc. I would rather jump in blind than take the necessary time to ensure I am prepared.
  4. When it doesn’t work out I believe that it must have just been a mistake and my first response is to repeat how I did it before.
  5. When that doesn’t work I think that I must be being stupid and I repeat what I just did more carefully, but essentially do exactly the same as I did before.
  6. It doesn’t work.
  7. I get frustrated and throw it all in. It’s over, there’s no point in going forward because if it’s going to take this much effort, well then, what’s the point?
  8. I give up (this has been the end of many things in my life).
  9. I decide to give it one last chance. This is something I really want, so I need to at least try; one…. last…. time.
  10. I reassess and decide that I need to seek out another way to do something or I see if I potentially missed something the first time around. I go back to the preparation stage and do what I should have done in the first place; thoroughly prepare
  11. It works.
  12. I am delighted and happy that I can move forward.
  13. The next time something happens I have a bit more experience but ultimately I’ll repeat all of the above steps.
  14. The (bi)cycle continues, around and around and I wonder why I never achieve everything that I want to achieve.


What a reflective Sunday.

Now how do I take the wheel off again?


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I Can. I Will. I Did. Bootleg and the Bootlegacy


I recently completed this project, which is a multi-media assembly of text, audio, video and research portraying the history and legacy of the Bootleg Film Festival after its founder Tom Wilton announced that it was closing its door for the last time.

I have had the pleasure of being part of the journey with Tom and many others and felt that what had been achieved and experienced needed to be preserved in some small way.

You can experience the whole thing here and be warned its loooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooog.