Katie Mccullough Talks and Writes

Words will get written here and some videoblogs will appear. You don't have to look but it would be nice if you did.

Firehouse Films – The Result! July 6, 2013

Here’s the resulting film from the Firehouse Film Creative inaugural film challenge I was invited to do. Six writers, six directors, one room. We’re all paired off after being picked at random from a hat and we’re all played the same stimulus. It’s a recording of a woman talking about how she remembers her grandmother being the life and soul of the party, a real chatterbox. But as age takes over she slowly begins to talk less and less, a former shadow of herself.

 


 

So there was our stimulus which we could take anyway we wanted. I was paired with director/producer-duo Dave Thomas and Nell Garfath-Cox who were living in Worthing when we started the project together. I’ve mentioned before how I like to have imposed restrictions as it gets the ideas flowing thick and fast, so this was no different. Although I’d never had to do something so restrictive over a prolonged period of time. A month. One month to write, shoot, edit and finalise a short film with no budget. I was worried that the initial adrenaline rush would drop once we were out of that room and as the days ticked over. But I knuckled down to the script and vomited something down as soon as I could so the momentum would tide us over. And collaboratively myself and Dave worked great together – we’d email the drafts with notes and work out where we both wanted to go, and it worked. People seem to avoid particular areas of collaboration because they feel exposed, or that they feel they have to bend to somebody else’s whim. That’s definitely not the case. You discuss points and open them up. You never have to take on every note, but you’ve got to have a good reason for going against it. And if you can articulate that reason well, then there’s nothing to worry about.
 
Anyways. Script done.
 
Then we had an issue with a location. I’d written the script for one location, but it was proving difficult. So much so that the script that was written so soon after our initial meeting… Was actually shot on the last weekend of the month. It was so close to not happening at all. But then the lovely Beatrice Curnew stepped in and saved the day by letting us take over her house (and cook a whole roast meal) for the short. Thank you Bea!
 
Here are some shots of the filming in action.
 

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I thoroughly enjoyed watching Ingvild Deila, Ian Houghton, Dorothy Lawrence, Oliver Malam, Dave Thomas, Nell Garfath-Cox and Sarita Tam all work. I know that I’ve made some friends from this, and there’s more delights to come.

 

Twitter Whore Who Wrote Secret Writings July 1, 2010

Twitter has been a staple of my daily doings for over a year now. What started as a toe-dip into what all the fuss was about (and the persistence of my Bigger Brother) made me curious to see if anyone had already taken the username @KatieMcCullough. They had not. Well, not until I nabbed it. Now it’s mine and I’m glad I did it.

 

Through the simple act of being myself and tweeting my ramblings and even going as far as tweeting my mundane doings I’ve garnered a steady amount of followers and I follow a whole lot of people back. If you’re unsure what I’m jabbering about then you’ve been living under a rock. Even if you don’t tweet you’ll know what it is, surely? Anywho. I’ve ‘met‘ some Lovely people on there and at my fingertips are a plethora of people who give me advice, support and motivation. And who wouldn’t want that? I say ‘met‘ because I’ve got to know these fine folk online. But then due to the wonder of technology and being open to anything I’ve actually properly met some of these people. And they’re just as Lovely in real life as their online personas are.

 

The biggest wave of people I met in one go had to have been at the Screenwriters’ Festival in Cheltenham where I had many people come up to me knowing who I was and me not having a clue who they were. Mention the word Twitter or screen names and it all becomes vividly clear. I remember my Bosses being a little overwhelmed at how many people I knew considering we were in a large room full of potential strangers.

 

Skip forward a bit and I’ve been to parties of people I barely knew and had a great rolicking time. I’ve been to film festivals and sketch shows and panel discussions and talks and screenings and all with, by or because of the people I’ve met on Twitter. The circles are getting smaller and smaller in my life which more than often surprises me but sometimes goes to show that things happen for a reason.

 

Par examplar… An actor I used for an ICA Lab called Adam Lannon (@adamlannon) had a show on in Edinburgh whilst I was there. Because we’d kept in contact via Facebook/email/text and Twitter I went along. At the same time they launched the Edinburgh review site just for Twitter. So being a sporting kind of chapess I gladly tweeted about it and Adam Lannon tweeted his thanks. And in that tweet he mentioned that both I and @drgonzolives were present at the show. Subsequently @drgonzolives started to follow me and we got on like a house on fire loving the same music/films/and everything else. Skip forward a few months and because I work with film distribution to film festivals I tweeted about some festival I had got a film into which I’d been trying to for a number of years. What resulted was a conversation about film festivals which then resulted in us talking about Filmstock (which ran in Luton and finished this year with an almighty hearty bang) to which I said that I’d submitted a film into on behalf of the same company I was working for. And whaddyasay who runs this aforementioned film festival? Yes, the one and only @drgonzolives. Which meant I had been emailing Neil years previously and whose website I used to check every year with the intention of going and because the site was lush looking. Who then put me in touch with the guy who designs their website Chris Henley (@24exp). Neil has become a close friend to whom I have a lot of time for and who is remarkably Lovely.

 

 

As a result of getting on so incredibly well with @drgonzolives a fair few of his followers decided to take a punt on me. Including the delicious @loo_rah, @oneandonlycarly and @markofrespect. Carly is someone who can make things happen and who makes me laugh and generally makes me feel good. We got chatting on Twitter a while back and simply clicked. And what’s more she took a further punt on me by coming to see my play “The White Room” which was not only heartwarming but equally terrifying as the original it was adapted from, “The Yellow Wallpaper”, is one of her favourite stories. Cue the nerves. And not only did she come but she brought along a small gaggle of women who all enjoyed it – and one of them was @loo_rah. Now I’d met @loo_rah (Laura) before whilst we were both drunk where she promptly told me she followed me and knew who I was. I was flattered at the time and because we were both drunk and dancing along to Interpol it didn’t seem sinister at all. (On a side note I will mention the whole reason we were together in the first place was because of @drgonzolives closing party for the previously mentioned Filmstock…).

 

Anywho I digress. Basically Twitter is a great place for me to make a whole bunch of new friends and what’s more follow it up in real life. Not long ago I went to @oneandonlycarly‘s 10 year wedding anniversary/graduation party where not only did I get drunk again with @loo_rah and dance to Interpol (it’s obviously becoming our anthem Laura!) but I met a whole load of MORE people who I now chat to on Twitter and who I will inevitably converse with in real life (@tepatie@xlaux@peterrory@KisAndie@Abers1@woody_ben). As a very busy (alternative reading – lonely) person who works an incredible amount at their computer this is not only handy but really entertaining. They’re true friends who I have a lot of time for and who I worry for when they’re not feeling so good, am elated for when good things happen to them and who I know would go out of their way to do the same for me.

 

Once again I digress terribly. I apologise, I came here to do something different. As a result of going to see a sketch show written and performed by @drgonzolives I went with @oneandonlycarly and @loo_rah and as a surprise guest @markofrespect appeared. The person who made it happen? Yuppers, it was @oneandonlycarly. And what followed was a fantastic night where after talking to Mark online for a long time it was finally time to see if he stood up as being such a nice chap in real life. And he was. He was down from Glasgow where he lives for a short time and I’m insanely glad I got to meet him. We talked about allsorts and minions with French cigarettes but that’s another story. What happened was we had a wicked time and I have a lot of love for not only him but for all my new found friends on this here Twitter. I know that’s an extremely naff sentence to write and to the outsider it might sound incredibly sickening, but it’s the truth. It was Mark’s birthday on Sunday just gone and myself, @drgonzolives and @oneandonlycarly all sent him birthday presents. In a passing comment Mark had said he wanted to read some of my writing. I said I didn’t have anything to hand that I felt I could show him without tying him to a whole manuscript. So I said that I’d possibly write something just for him when I had the time. I made a promise. And I stuck to it without him even realising and secretly wrote something. I asked him for one of his favourite songs as a stimulus and then wrote this for him (click For Mark Jennings below the photograph, it should open up for you):

 

(Song: “A Forest” – The Cure)

 

 

For Mark Jennings

 

There are so many people that I wanted to talk about but for fear of sounding like a goo monster full of loving snot I demand that you just have a look at who I follow and see for yourself. They’re extremely wonderful. I have a whole lot of respect for my followers because we talk and that’s something I regard as highly important. And what’s more we have fun whilst doing so.