Happy New Year – What’s in store for 2017?

As part of a New Years resolution (one of those things you do for a few weeks and then forget about) I’m going to try and write more article content on this site. So, not just reposted content from NGB but proper actual waffling like wot I used to do way back when. Let’s see how that goes then…

2016, eh! That was a thing, wasn’t it. Largely decried as an absolutely terrible year, we leave it with a feeling of distinct uncertainty. It was definitely, to put it crassly, a shitter. Slicing through all the celebrity deaths and political woes, there were a few things going on personally for me that were less than great, from family losses to work related things and a general sense of moving through treacle with regards our work at ShortOrme Productions. It felt like the culmination of several years of gradual slowdown and I’m glad to see the back of it.

So 2017 – the year in which we’re being told we all need to take back control not in a Trump/Brexit kind of silly, self destructive way, but in a real, positive way to help bring this ship back on target for progressive thinking and equality, I feel that I also need to bring a few aspects of my personal life around and give them a good old Paddington hard stare in an attempt to kick them into gear.

The first is, as I pointed out in the introductory paragraph of this article, I want to write more. Not just game related content for NGB, but little articles like this one, short stories, scripts. I’ve got so many ideas that I want to flesh out but I don’t just want to vomit a few words into a document and move on – I want to make those words meaningful and focus on projects I know I’m going to finish. So, here’s my proposal:

  • Complete two new screenplays – this is a little bit of a cheat. I’m currently halfway through a two very different screenplays so, technically, if I can get the first draft of both of these done then that’s a win! They’re both stories I’ve gotten myself deeply invested in as well, so I’m more than happy to get stuck in and finish them off.
  • Write at least one new short film – Something I’ve been doing somewhat less of over the last couple of years is writing shorts. Perhaps this is because we’ve been filming less (more on that later) but I want to rectify that this year and work on another short form script.
  • Write at least one new short story – again, something else I’ve not really been focussing on is prose fiction. Time has certainly got the better of me on that one but I’d like to rectify that too.
  • Write more on here – I’ll reiterate that one again; I want to get at least one general article on here per month. I’ve opted to reduce the amount I’m writing for NGB so that should be do-able. Expect more brain farts and musings to crop up from time to time. If you like that sort of thing.

So, yeah, more writing. I’d also like to be more transparent with WHAT I’m writing so I’ll try to talk about things that I’m working on semi-regularly.

Aside from writing, I also want to get things back on track with filming. Last year I started working with the NGB chaps on some YouTube based content and I’m hoping to get some quantity and consistency on that this year. I’m also hoping to finish the perpetually in production short, Duality (more on that here: https://shortormeproductions.co.uk/2015/11/10/duality-in-production/) so that we at ShortOrme can move onto other things. Here’s a general list of what those other things might be:

  • Start production on a feature film – we might as well go headlong into this one. One of the two script’s I’ve mentioned above I have earmarked for self production. It’s a fairly straightforward film that could be made on a micro-budget so I’m going to be investigating funding opportunities and moving forward on that in the second quarter of the year.
  • Produce more YouTube content for ShortOrme – in addition to some more “skit” based shorts, I’d also like ShortOrme to be putting out more non-film content on YouTube. We’ve got some ideas and I’m hoping to get something sorted out in the next few weeks.
  • Look at producing an ongoing web series – this is unrelated to the above proposal. There are a few ideas floating round for an actual series. This may or may not start coming to fruition in 2017. We’ll see.

So, that’s a lot of stuff I’ve got planned. That’s not including working on more music, something I’m not going to entirely commit to as I’m in a bind with that at the moment, trying to decide on a genre for the next Stage of History release. I also want to flesh out the portfolio sections of this site to reflect the work I’ve done in film and music, so some tweaks will have to be made.

But, more importantly to me, there are a few things I want to do to simply help myself feel better:

  • Restrict access to “the news” – Seriously, “the news” was probably the single worst thing of last year. The internet has to take a lot of the blame here and I’m sure you’ve read articles everywhere decrying fake news and biassed political opinions. But, personally, the immediacy of “the news” led me to a point in 2016 where I found myself hanging on every site, waiting to see what catastrophe happened next. There were times when I felt utterly miserable and I don’t want that to happen again. So, in 2017 I am limiting my consumption of “the news” to mornings, lunchtime and evenings. Like it used to be before 24 hour news telly. And the internet. Seriously, internet – you’re the worst…
  • Restrict access to “the socials” – Yes, Twitter, Facebook et al – I’m going to be turning off my notifications, checking you far less frequently and trying not to get wound up by the fact that you are, on a whole, cesspools full of idiots. That’s a bit of an over exaggeration, yes – there are some lovely people on the internet willing to take part in meaningful, well balanced conversation. If you’ve got here from my Twitter or Facebook feed then you’re likely one of them. Hello! But there is a grimier side of social media that is beginning to make itself apparent, especially as the media finds itself fascinated more and more with how people can be horrible to each other online. The ‘net is becoming a far nastier place than it was a few years back and, as someone who has been interacting online in one form or another since the late 90’s it genuinely disheartens me. So, less social media, don’t look at internet comments (although I’m making an exception for the Den of Geek community who are a genuinely lovely bunch of people).

Does the above sound too much like sticking my head in the sand? Maybe, but I feel like I need to do it if only til the summer. I left 2015 with anxieties about my health which turned out to be unfounded – even if I don’t let it show as a whole, I am a naturally anxious person so the slightest thing can set me off. I vowed to be less anxious in 2016 which, of course, fell flat on it’s arse when the year itself conspired against me. So, in 2017 I’m going to restrict the possibilities for anxiety. I’m going to be more productive. I’m going to be more positive. And I’m going to have fun.

Thanks for reading! Watch this space…

(Fireworks photo by Flickr user Jdmoar – https://flic.kr/p/onPTmd)

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