Sunday, 8 October 2017

So, what's new with me? Projects update (8/10/17)

Alright, so with my reviewing career confined to the depths of internet history, what have I been filling the time with instead? As it turns out, several things.

First, I'm now in development on a short film for the Masters course. A post-apocalyptic drama about an age-divided society, in fact. Treatment's been signed off and now, I can get to work on actually writing a draft. Unlike the experience of writing Spider-Fly back in 2015, I feel there's been a greater understanding of time and budgetary limitations on the project, and a willingness to work within them.

Second, my own writing projects are progressing slowly but very steadily: my first children's TV pilot, Spring-Heeled Jack, has recieved feedback both from a development assistant as well as a professional screenwriter whose been gracious enough to give me his time for free, given he liked the premise enough (I'll talk more about it when it gains a little more traction). Work on a second, a swashbuckler set in 1840s Spain, has just completed its first draft, and I aim to have a second out by the end of the month. It's a love letter to properties like Three Musketeers and Zorro, and it has been quite fun to write. Especially the villain.

And third, I'm currently hammering out a treatment for a feature about the Spanish Civil War. An LGBT love story, in fact, set amidst the chaos of the conflict between Nationalists and Republicans. It was originally meant to be a miniseries, but feedback from trusted peers has advised otehrwise, feeling the core relationship is better suited to the shroter medium. Like with the pilots, once this gets more set, I'll let you know more.

And that's that for now. Thanks to everyone who wished me well when I announced retirement from reviews, and I hope to hear from you again soon.

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Ending an era of Reviews (2010-2017)

There comes a moment in life, and it's never once, where we have to stand up and say, 'Well, time to move on.' It hurts: us humans are a consevrative bunch, taking comfort and even pleasure in routines, schedules and a general sense of 'normalacy'. However, for the sake of development, knowledge and even just plain old survival, we have to change. Lose what isn't working or not pulling its weight, and instead, focus on what is.

To that end, I am declaring my retirement from active online film and television criticism, after seven years and multiple platforms, running from Youtube, Deviantart and Blogger, to professional media and news sites like, Viral Thread and Blasting News. Decisions like these are not made lightly, but the simple fact is, I can't justify it anymore. I'm not a teenage movie geek with loads of free time anymore: I'm an adult with studies and employment to worry about, using what time he has wisely and with a clear goal in mind.

Recent years have not been kind to online content producers who don't come with a complete team at their disposal: between dwindling traffic thanks to all the competition from bigger, more professional sites, the constant tinkering of search algorithms that mess with any type of content planning and the utter collapse of ad revenue (not that I ever made a real penny from it during 'better' times) have made it very hard to justify devoting time to what is little more than an overblown hobby.

My passions lie in writing film, television, just writing period, not writing ABOUT them: I'm working like crazy to set myself up as, at the very least, a working screenwriter exploring all and any avenues to the industry, Two eyars of poor professional judgements and career moves have forced me to really sit down and prioritize what I want form life and sadly, that's not with reviews anymore. The time devoted to them is needed elsewhere, and what's the point in doing it if I feel far less drive than I did before?

A big thanks to everyone who stuck with me for a near decade and seen me change and evolve.

Wednesday, 30 August 2017

Monthly Round-Up (Reviews, articles and more) - August 2017

Summer draws to a close, and so too, I fear, will anothr chapter in my online quest.It wasn't an easy choice to make, and took much thought, internal debate and even libation, but I feel it was the right decision. But enough about that (more in the next post), let's get back to new reviews. As always, follow me on my official page for all news:

On ThirdActFilm I give you a special ITCFTBB review as I tackle the Christian animated tv movie, 'Joshua and the Promised Land':

Next, I do a Throwback Review on the 90s Tim Burton-produced cult hit, 'Cabin Boy':

Then, I return to an 80s oddball as I re-examine Robert Altman's 'Popeye':

And finally, I give you my own tips and tricks as I explain how to start being a film critic:

Get your copy of Time Shadows here and support a really good cause for the disabled:

And a final, but important, update on my own animated series, Agents In Odd (nay Very Strange Things), here:

Wednesday, 2 August 2017

Feedback from Big Finish - The Paul Spragg 2017 Short Trip Competition

Normally I don't write about when I enter any sort of scheme, contest or opportunity aimed at writers: not just because, like many a Catholic boy, I fear jinxes, but also becuase it's rather pointlss to do so. Why make a big deal out of something that isn't a certainty?

But this is different. And very nice.

Ian Atkins is the editor for the Short Trips, a range of Doctor Who audio short stories produced by Big Finish. For the last two years, they've held an annual contest to find new writing talent. How? Write a 30 minute short story, or rather its outline and opening, and then submit. The top 100 of their selection are the only ones who recieve feedback from Ian, given the sheer amount of submissions they get.

So, lookie lookie what popped into my inbox:

Hi Abel,

Thanks for writing in. We had hundreds of submissions (as last year) and I couldn't reply to all of them. However, in some cases I wanted to make an effort where although the work didn't quite make the final short list, it was very, very good. I thought this was a wonderfully human story, beautifully character-driven even when neither protagonist is actually human, which takes some real skill. Thanks for letting me read it,

Best wishes, and do keep writing,


This was a real pick-me-up, and I am very, very grateful for the kind words and encouragement from Ian and the BF crew.

Sunday, 30 July 2017

Monthly Round-Up (Reviews, articles and more) - July 2017

So, it's been a bit of a wet and windy summer in the UK, but hey, it's a proper English summer. I'm currently hard at work on a new TV pilot, as well as planning a couple of projects for the future. As always, follow my Official Facebook, for all news and updates:

Now, onto the reviews. On Blasting News, I cover the subversive Sherlock Holmes novel, 'The Veiled Detective':

Now, back to ThirdActFilm's WHOCap reviews. I bring Series 10 to a close when 'The Doctor Falls':

Next, I applaud the webhead's arrival in the MCU with 'Spider-man Homecoming':

Then, I tackle an 80s comedy giant in a Throwback review for 'Police Academy'':

I then do another top 4 list of war movies, inspired by Nolan's 'Dunkirk':

And finally, I tackle one of the mythical 'missing stories' from Classic Who, 'The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve':

Get your copy of Time Shadows here and support a really good cause for the disabled:

And be sure to check out the ongoing journey of my own animated series, Agents In Odd (nay Very Strange Things), here:

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Monthly Round-Up (Reviews, articles and more) - June 2017

It's boiling right now in London, but my time at MetFilm is still proving to be mighty fun. I'm drawing to a close on writing a Western screenplay, and just began sending out a book to publishers. As always, follow my Official Facebook for all news and updates as they happen:

This month will be the last full month devoted to Series 10 of Doctor Who on ThirdActFilm. But first, a brand new theatrical release review. On Blasting News, I cover the latest seafaring adventure of Jack Sparrow in 'Dead Men Tell No Tales':

Now, back to WHOCap. The Extremis trilogy draws to a rather underwhelming close in 'The Lie of the Land':

Next, the TARDIS team find Victorian soldiers on Mars, where the Ice Warriors are lying in wait, in Mark Gatiss' 'Empress of Mars':

Then, Classic Who veteran Rona Munro returns to write for the show as she ponders the disappearance of the Ninth Legion in 'The Eaters of Light':

And finally, the time has come for the series finale, as two Masters and Mondasian Cybermen turn up in 'World Enough and Time':

Get your copy of Time Shadows here and support a really good cause for the disabled:

And be sure to check out the ongoing journey of my own animated series, Agents In Odd (nay Very Strange Things), here:

Tuesday, 20 June 2017

Monthly Round-Up (Reviews, articles and more) - May 2017

It's that time again! Both my life and the weather match: they're heating up. MetFilm is still proving to be one of the brigthest and most rewarding ideas I've had in a good while, and I'm now confidently at the head two, going on three, screenplays. As always, follow my Official Facebook for all news and updates as they happen:

This month'll be very simple, as I continue covering every episode of Series 10 Doctor Who for ThirdActFilm's WHOCap series. First, Poirot himself, David Suchet, stars as the sinister LandLord of a creepy house that gobbles students in 'Knock Knock':

Next, the TARDIS team find themselves running out of time and air in 'Oxygen', signalling the return of wunderkind writer Jamie Matheson:

Then, we get the first of the series' three parter, as the Doctor must seek 'Veritas' within the depths of the Vatican in 'Extremis':

And finally, the Doctor investigates a mysterious pyramid, smack dab in the middle of an international warzone, in the second part, 'The Pyramid At The End of The World':

Get your copy of Time Shadows here and support a really good cause for the disabled:

And be sure to check out the ongoing journey of my own animated series, Agents In Odd (nay Very Strange Things), here: