Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Redesigning Judge Dredd's Helmet

Bug Eyes
Originally uploaded by mathieson_jamie.
When I doodle, I often redesign Judge Dredd's Helmet.

This is an activity that calms me greatly. I hope that by setting this example, one day redesigning Judge Dredd's helmet will become a national pastime.


Jamie Mathieson Warped
Originally uploaded by mathieson_jamie.
Here's a photo I took today of myself while browsing in the local Apple shop. It took about ten seconds to take and then e-mail to the missus.

I am surprised no-one has set up little webcam enabled "Wish-you-were-here" booths, for people to e-mail photos direct to the folks back home.

If they do, I want a cut.

Friday, July 21, 2006

What Are You Doing?

It’s tricky, this whole being a writer thing.

On one hand, I prefer telling people what I do for a living when I first meet them. Saying “I’m a stand-up comic.” used to have such an odd effect on people. They would get excited and their eyes would shine and they would start trying to be really funny themselves, as if I had started a funny competition and entered us both. And not in a sexy way.

read moreThey would also laugh at anything I said, even if all I was saying was stuff like “What time is it?” or “You’re freaking me out, I’m going over there now.”

Now, when I say “I’m a writer”, barely an eyebrow rises. Which makes for a more restful evening and on the whole, I prefer. No pressure to perform or desire to run away from randomly laughing people.

I suppose a reason for people’s low reaction to saying you’re a writer is that it’s such a catch-all term. It could mean anything, from; “I’ve got a blog that my family and two old college buddies read. Occasionally.” or “I’ve got some lyrics in a folder under my bed which I’ve never shown to anyone but which will one day, I’m sure, form the basis of a hit West End Musical. The main themes are toejam and skin tags.”

Or, as is my case, I am earning enough money from writing to pay the mortgage and eat. Which I am really pleased about.

As to what I am writing about, well, at the moment, I can’t tell you. I’d love to spill the beans on everything; every pointless meeting, every ridiculous studio note, every actor who turns out to be a nice guy, or a knob.

But that kind of thing simply isn’t done in this business. At least, not if you want to stay in it.

So broadly, here’s what’s currently happening;

1) Rewrites on my own comedy film script about time travel. Which is on course to become a proper film.
2) A teenage sex comedy – a rewrite of someone else’s script.
3) A fantasy thriller television series of mine is being optioned by a major broadcaster.
4) I’m also writing a spec script of my own of comedy sketches. Which not even my agent has seen.

Bask in my cuspdom! This time next year I’ll be eating caviar out of ladyboy’s navels.

As opposed to Pot Noodle. Which is what I am currently eating out of ladyboy’s navels.

That is all.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Baker Street Facade

Baker Street North, London
Originally uploaded by focalplane.
Last week I visited Baker Street, home of Sherlock Holmes. Literally a few doors down from 221b there is some massive construction work underway. By the looks of it, they are attempting to preserve a grand old frontage, while constructing a totally new building behind it.

It struck me how ironic this was, considering that Sherlock Holmes was a master of deducing inner truths based upon outer clues. It also struck me as a nice metaphor for today’s surface obsessed society.

Then, thankfully, my internal editor kicked in and I realised that both observations were trite, pompous and contrived. I gave myself a good smack and went about my business.

Jesus Joke Payback

I happened to have a drink with stand-up Dan Antopolski the other night where I told him the following story:

When I first began trying to do stand up in 1996 I had a beard and long hair and thus began every set with a Jesus joke. It was a good joke, almost guaranteed to work and I soon came to depend upon it to set the laughs rolling.

This was all well and good until one fateful night at a gig at the Dry Dock in Leeds. My opening Jesus joke, my banker, my comedy jewel, - got nothing. Absolutely nothing. Not a titter. And I died on my arse.

read moreI couldn’t understand it. Until someone pointed out to me that the crowd were all regulars. And that last week there had been an act on with a beard and long hair – doing an opening joke where he alluded to looking like Jesus. That act’s name was Dan Antopolski.

That was 1998. And the other night, I found myself explaining to Dan how eight years previously he had been responsible for me getting a shave and a haircut and writing a new opening joke.

We laughed at the idea and drank some more wine. Talk began to move onto other things, but I wasn’t done. I reached into my rucksack and produced a clear plastic bag containing a darkish lump.

“What’s that?” said Dan, his smile looking a little uncertain.

“It’s my old hair and beard.” I said. “I kept it, just in case I ever ran into you.”

Dan looked confused as I handed him the bag. The hair was mottled green with a little mould, nothing too severe. It was eight years old, after all.

“What’s this? What do you mean?” said Dan.

“You’re going to eat it.” I said. “And I’m going to watch you.”

Dan blinked. I didn’t. Neither of us were smiling now.

“Is this a joke?” said Dan. He looked hopeful.

“What do you think?” I said, head cocked.

I handed him the salt.