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 ThirdActFilm.com, 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:
https://www.facebook.com/abeldiazwrites/

On ThirdActFilm I give you a special ITCFTBB review as I tackle the Christian animated tv movie, 'Joshua and the Promised Land':
http://thirdactfilm.com/came-from-the-bargain-bin-joshua-and-the-promised-land-2004/


Next, I do a Throwback Review on the 90s Tim Burton-produced cult hit, 'Cabin Boy': http://thirdactfilm.com/throwback-review-cabin-boy-1994/


Then, I return to an 80s oddball as I re-examine Robert Altman's 'Popeye':
http://thirdactfilm.com/defense-robert-altmans-popeye/


And finally, I give you my own tips and tricks as I explain how to start being a film critic:
http://thirdactfilm.com/guidelines-to-be-an-online-reviewer/


Get your copy of Time Shadows here and support a really good cause for the disabled:
http://pseudoscopepublishing.com/timeshadows/

And a final, but important, update on my own animated series, Agents In Odd (nay Very Strange Things), here: http://verystrangethingsanimated.blogspot.co.uk/

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,


Ian 

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:
https://www.facebook.com/abeldiazwrites/

Now, onto the reviews. On Blasting News, I cover the subversive Sherlock Holmes novel, 'The Veiled Detective': http://uk.blastingnews.com/opinion/2017/06/the-veiled-detective-review-sherlock-inverted-001812973.html

Now, back to ThirdActFilm's WHOCap reviews. I bring Series 10 to a close when 'The Doctor Falls':
http://thirdactfilm.com/whocap-review-the-doctor-falls-s10-ep12/


Next, I applaud the webhead's arrival in the MCU with 'Spider-man Homecoming':
http://thirdactfilm.com/spider-man-homecoming-review/

Then, I tackle an 80s comedy giant in a Throwback review for 'Police Academy'':
http://thirdactfilm.com/throwback-review-police-academy-1984/

I then do another top 4 list of war movies, inspired by Nolan's 'Dunkirk':
http://thirdactfilm.com/like-dunkirk-heres-more-war-movies-youll-love/


And finally, I tackle one of the mythical 'missing stories' from Classic Who, 'The Massacre of St Bartholomew's Eve': http://thirdactfilm.com/massacre-of-st-bart-review/

Get your copy of Time Shadows here and support a really good cause for the disabled:
http://pseudoscopepublishing.com/timeshadows/

And be sure to check out the ongoing journey of my own animated series, Agents In Odd (nay Very Strange Things), here: http://verystrangethingsanimated.blogspot.co.uk/

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:
https://www.facebook.com/abeldiazwrites/

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':
http://uk.blastingnews.com/opinion/2017/05/pirates-of-the-caribbean-dead-men-tell-no-tales-review-jack-is-back-001732619.html



Now, back to WHOCap. The Extremis trilogy draws to a rather underwhelming close in 'The Lie of the Land':
http://thirdactfilm.com/whocap-review-the-lie-the-land-s10-ep8/

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

http://thirdactfilm.com/whocap-review-empress-mars-s10-ep9/


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':
http://thirdactfilm.com/whocap-review-the-eaters-light-s10-ep10/


And finally, the time has come for the series finale, as two Masters and Mondasian Cybermen turn up in 'World Enough and Time':
http://thirdactfilm.com/whocap-review-world-enough-and-time-s10-ep11/

Get your copy of Time Shadows here and support a really good cause for the disabled:
http://pseudoscopepublishing.com/timeshadows/

And be sure to check out the ongoing journey of my own animated series, Agents In Odd (nay Very Strange Things), here: http://verystrangethingsanimated.blogspot.co.uk/

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:
https://www.facebook.com/abeldiazwrites/

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':
http://thirdactfilm.com/whocap-review-knock-knock-s10-ep4/




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

http://thirdactfilm.com/whocap-review-oxygen-s10-ep5/



Then, we get the first of the series' three parter, as the Doctor must seek 'Veritas' within the depths of the Vatican in 'Extremis':
http://thirdactfilm.com/whocap-review-extremis-s10-ep6/

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':
http://thirdactfilm.com/whocap-review-the-pyramid-the-end-the-world-s10-ep7/

Get your copy of Time Shadows here and support a really good cause for the disabled:
http://pseudoscopepublishing.com/timeshadows/

And be sure to check out the ongoing journey of my own animated series, Agents In Odd (nay Very Strange Things), here: http://verystrangethingsanimated.blogspot.co.uk/

Saturday, 13 May 2017

A 'State of the projects' address (13/5/17)

So, a quick update on the world beyond reviews (which you will be updated on, as always, later this month) and what I've been up to in terms of my own creative efforts:

  • First term at Met Film School is done, with the second well underway. I developed a fun little fantasy comedy about demons in an office that helped reaffirm my love of creative writing, as well as the proper processes to generate it. Generic and overused as it is to say, I was fortunate to have a great class, great atmosphere, and great teaching. Even saw Andy Serkis' car one time as I was walking out of the facilities (and I can't say more than that, lest I breach some rule).
  • My children's novel, 'Eyes of Ra' has now completed its fourth draft, finished in an outstanding five days. I hadn't touched it in over two months, so this was a rather exciting, as well as refreshing, endeavour to work on. I even had some notes handy froma trusted individual from my school days who really know her way around a story.
  • I've been drafted in to help develop a feature: a pseudo sci-fi comedy adventure tale set at a university. Can't say much more than that at the moment, as its still in the treatment stage, but the producers are young, really game and determined so, 'break a leg', that this becomes something big and very, very rewarding. It'll be a lot of work, make no mistake, but every step counts in this type of business.
And well, that's all from me.

Sunday, 30 April 2017

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

It's that time again, updating you on all the critical goodies, and where to find them. It's proven to be quite a busy but rewarding month for me personally, and MetFilm is going quite nicely. As always, follow my Official Facebook for all news and updates as they happen:
https://www.facebook.com/abeldiazwrites/

Over on Blasting News, I talk about the recently released historical epic, 'Outlaws' (also known as For Greater Glory), starring Andy Garcia:
uk.blastingnews.com/opinion/2017/04/outlaws-review-lord-of-the-rings-veteran-tries-catholic-epic-001639509.html


After, on ThirdActFilm, I talk about what many see as the end of Williams' sap years in the 1999 holocaust dramaedy, 'Jakob The Liar':
http://thirdactfilm.com/throwback-review-jakob-the-liar-1999/

Next, in the newest installment of ICFTBB, I talk about Ireland's own 'Fast and Furious' film... made just before the first 'F&F' was even shot, in 'Accelerator': http://thirdactfilm.com/it-came-from-the-bargain-bin-accelerator-2000/

And finally,  I cover every episode of Series 10 Doctor Who for ThirdActFilm's WHOCap series, beginning with 'The Pilot':
http://thirdactfilm.com/whocap-review-the-pilot-s10-ep1/


Followed by evil emoji robots in a WHOCap for 'Smile'.
thirdactfilm.com/whocap-review-smile-s10-ep2/

And now, with ludicrous speed, the 'Thin Ice' WHOCap review:
http://thirdactfilm.com/whocap-review-thin-ice-s10-ep3/

Get your copy of Time Shadows here and support a really good cause for the disabled:
http://pseudoscopepublishing.com/timeshadows/

And be sure to check out the ongoing journey of my own animated series, Agents In Odd (nay Very Strange Things), here: http://verystrangethingsanimated.blogspot.co.uk/

Sunday, 26 March 2017

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

Time again, updating you on all the goodies, and where to find them. My Official Facebook, for all news and updates as they happen:
https://www.facebook.com/abeldiazwrites/

First, a double bill of reviews on Blasting News, starting with Hugh Jackman's final show as Wolverine, Logan: http://uk.blastingnews.com/opinion/2017/03/logan-review-a-sombre-and-satisfying-conclusion-001524317.html

And second, the latest 'Monsterverse' romp, Kong: Skull Island: http://uk.blastingnews.com/opinion/2017/03/kong-skull-island-review-cinematic-wish-fulfillment-001524323.html


Next, over on ThirdActFilm, a Kong double bill, beginning with a Throwback Review for the 1976 version, starring Jeff Bridges: http://thirdactfilm.com/throwback-review-king-kong-1976/

Then, a brand new ICFTBB review of a King Kong remake you've never heard of: http://thirdactfilm.com/came-from-the-bargain-bin-jack-buchanans-king-kong-2016/

And finally, a new recommendations list for 'Beauty and The Beast' if you're hungry for fantasy:
http://thirdactfilm.com/like-beauty-and-the-beast-heres-more-fantasies-youll-love/



For more, also pay a visit to the SavageScribe DA Profile: http://savagescribe.deviantart.com/

Get your copy of Time Shadows here and support a really good cause for the disabled:
http://pseudoscopepublishing.com/timeshadows/

Also, be sure to check out the ongoing journey of my own animated series, Agents In Odd, here: http://verystrangethingsanimated.blogspot.co.uk/

Sunday, 5 March 2017

Back To School - Beginning my Masters Degree at Met Film (5/3/17)

Two years after I handed in my last bit of academic work, and now, I'm returning to higher education. I'm getting into film school, specifically the Ealing Studios based Met Film School, for a MA in Screenwriting. The course covers both the process as well as (most importantly for me) the business angle, including the much sought after questions of agents, as well as pitches, development and whatnot. It also offers in-course work experience and a post-grad programme with active industry links.


Like many things in life, this was not an easy decision. Aside from the hefty cost (partially paid for with my own savings from different jobs), I had hoped to be able to achieve my goals once I had left University with just my BA. Call it youthful hubris, or just plain arrogance, but I've tried going alone for two years, and it hasn't worked. Pitch after pitch has collapsed, never mind the slew of projects that never made it or I couldn't crack. As time went on, though I didn't want to admit it, I needed someone bigger, smarter and more experienced than me, to make things happen and show me a potentially better path.

The course runs from March 2017 to this time next year. Don't know yet if it'll also require a running log like Middlesex, so whether or not I'll be actively archiving what goes on I can't say yet. 

 
So, the next question arises: how will this affect online content for ThirdAct, Blasting News, Youtube etc.? Thankfully, I have a bunch of stuff already prepared ahead of time, including a double bill of Kong reviews, a list related to Beauty and The Beast, another Robin Williams movie review and, of course, weekly reviews for S10 of Doctor Who when it hits in April. Pitching for Agents In Odd will also slow for a time, though it'll never be far from my mind.

Buckling up right now, because things are about to get bumpy, but undeniably, exciting too...

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

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

Time again, updating you on all the goodies, and where to find them. My Official Facebook, for all news and updates as they happen:
https://www.facebook.com/abeldiazwrites/

First, a review of the new Michael Keaton McDonalds biopic, The Founder, on Blasting News:
http://uk.blastingnews.com/opinion/2017/02/the-founder-review-the-harsh-origins-of-mcdonalds-001465305.html

Next, a brand new ICFTBB review of The Asylum's Transmorphers on ThirdActFilm:
http://thirdactfilm.com/came-from-the-bargain-bin-transmorphers-2007/

Then, if you liked the new Magnificent Seven, I've got some Western Recommendations:
http://thirdactfilm.com/like-the-magnificent-seven-heres-more-westerns-youll-love/

And finally, a lengthy article on the significance of the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise:
http://thirdactfilm.com/why-fifty-shades-grey-may-the-worst-franchise-entertainment-history/


For more, also pay a visit to the SavageScribe DA Profile: http://savagescribe.deviantart.com/

Get your copy of Time Shadows here and support a really good cause for the disabled:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/matt-grady-and-samuel-gibb/time-shadows/paperback/product-22750801.html

Also, be sure to check out the ongoing journey of my own animated series, Agents In Odd, here (fun ahead!): http://verystrangethingsanimated.blogspot.co.uk/

Sunday, 29 January 2017

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

Well, it's a little later than I would've liked, but at last, I'm updating you on all the goodies in January, and where to find them..

As always, you can keep up with my Official Facebook page, for all news and updates relating to me and my projects:
https://www.facebook.com/abeldiazwrites/

So, first up, reviews for all episodes of Series 4 of BBC's Sherlock. To start, The Six Thatchers review on Blasting News:
http://uk.blastingnews.com/opinion/2017/01/sherlock-season-4-ep1-the-six-thatchers-review-001362169.html


And next, a two for one deal with The Lying Detective and The Final Problem reviews:
http://uk.blastingnews.com/opinion/2017/01/sherlock-s4-ep2-and-3-the-lying-detective-and-the-final-problem-review-001431437.html

Over on ThirdActFilm.com, I review one of the year's first, and best, films, A Monster Calls:
http://thirdactfilm.com/monster-calls/

Next, I do a WHOCAP on 4 New to Classic Who Recommendations:
http://thirdactfilm.com/whocap-new-classic-doctor-who-recommendations/

Then, a review of 1975's Royal Flash, based on the Flashman novels:
http://thirdactfilm.com/throwback-review-royal-flash-1975/

An article on my thoughts on Noel Clarke's Brotherhood, the third and final part of the Hood trilogy:
http://thirdactfilm.com/why-brotherhood-was-disappointment/

More goodies over on my SavageScribe DA Profile: http://savagescribe.deviantart.com/

Get your copy of Time Shadows here and support a really good cause for the disabled:
http://www.lulu.com/shop/matt-grady-and-samuel-gibb/time-shadows/paperback/product-22750801.html

Also, be sure to check out the ongoing journey of my own animated series, Agents In Odd (nay Very Strange Things), here (fun ahead!): http://verystrangethingsanimated.blogspot.co.uk/

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Moving into the New Year - 2016 in review and plans (3/1/17)

Happy New Year! 2016 is done, and it's feels redundant to make any kind of remark about it, as it's been more than well spoken for by social media. But putting all the political shenanigans to one side, I wish to say that this was an important year for me as a creative mind:

A few major stumbles, having followed a turbulent period in mid 2015 that juxtaposed graduation with the loss of a very valued collaborator and the resulting collapse of our project, forced me to really reevaluate how I want to go forward with my work. It not only hit home the fact that you have to go through a lot of pain and strife if you really believe in something's merit as a work, but to have a proper plan. Not a fancy buzzword or some vague thing in your mind, but an actual design to cover you in the event of failure. Having a Plan B through H is vital in something as turbulent as Film and TV.

I admit it: I got the balance wrong. I put so much stock in one thing that when it failed, I was lost. I made bad calls, blundered into situations unprepared and took on more than was advisable. I believed in quantity over quality, and lost focus of the things that I value most in my creations. I stopped saying and making what I wanted to, and just threw stuff at the wall in vain.

2016 made me decide: either commit to the long haul and fight, sodding those who want to hold you back for their own goals, or stop messing around with a pipe dream and do something else. Coming soon: Agents In Odd will starting its round of pitching within the next week, so break a few legs that that bears some fruit. The children's novel, The Eyes of Ra, is set for a third draft very soon, and that should be cranked by February. Some outside negotiations and the development contract should have some further advents in the next two months, so hopeful there too.

2017 means much to a lot of people, and for me, it'll be the first year in a while that I feel optimistic about, knowing that there may be something over the proverbial horizon.