Thursday, November 12, 2009

11,000 Days...

Last Tuesday, 10th November, 2009, marked a milestone for me: It was my 11,000th day on this planet! That's right, I've been around the axis of the Earth 11,000 times. Compare that to the mere 30.12 times I've been around the Sun and it starts sounding a lot more impressive.

With 1,000 days working out to just under 2 years and 9 months, it means that my 10,000th day passed by, unnoticed, on the 14th February, 2007. Looking back, about the only thing of note that happened then, was that it was roughly when I started reading Lovecraft. I ordered the book, H. P. Lovecraft: Tales (Library of America), from Amazon on the 7th January that year, so it would have arrived around the start of February. I don't know the exact date of arrival, but I still think it's quite a cool coincidence.

The average male lifespan in Australia is approximately 29,000 days, which means that I'm only about 38% of the way through my life. I'll most certainly be looking forward to the remaining 18,000!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009


Early in 2008 I had the idea to create a screenplay based on H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu Mythos that wasn't like the rest. Most simply adapt Lovecraft's stories or are just horror films using various elements from them. I wanted to leave the cosmic horror behind and create a story that was more of a personal and character-based drama, though still having its roots in the Mythos. And so was born, Tainted...


The screenplay began small. I wanted to write something that could be made on a shoe-string budget because I thought that some independent film-maker would be more likely to pick it up if they saw it was affordable. It had just two main cast, and only one or two supporting, and was set in only a handful of easily-found locations. There were no effects shots at all, though it did require some minor make-up effects. Everything seemed OK until I gave it to a few people to read and they had no idea why certain things were happening. It was only then that I realised I'd written it solely for Mythos-familiar Lovecraft fans. It made no sense to the rest of the world. So I decided to add a prologue.


I wrote a whole introductory scene for the screenplay that explained the necessary missing details, but in doing so, had added a handful of extra cast and the need for a boat, which I'm sure would pump up the budget considerably. Regardless, I handed it back out and everyone loved it... except me. I didn't like the intro. It seemed clunky and hammy. However, despite my dislike for it, I had no better ideas, so just left it. All 30 pages.

Coming Back...

It wasn't until over a year later that I came up with a new and improved intro. I'd given up on the idea of anyone ever wanting to make it, so just thought I'd create it with no considerations of budget. I was still sticking with my initial concept of a character-based drama, but I now thought I'd spice it up a little. I scrapped the whole intro and re-wrote a new one, which now included a life-sized Deep One costume! The budget was now most certainly out the door. However, I finally had an intro I was happy with. I had to make a few other minor changes for this new intro to tie-in, and in doing so, ended up changing a few scenes I also wasn't that happy with, and eventually ended up with the resulting 44-pages. Now this in itself proved a problem because short films are generally less than 30 pages and feature-length films are at least 80... so mine, with its 44 pages, was in film limbo. Despite this, I handed it back out to a few people and they all came back with very positive comments. So not only was I now happy with the new story, but it seemed everyone else was too.

Note: If you're interested in reading the screenplay at this stage of writing, it can be found here, on Google Docs.

The Director's Cut...

Despite the fact that I had resigned myself to the fact that this screenplay would never be made, it irked me that it didn't fit into a specific length category. I knew I wouldn't be able to trim it down, so I decided to aim for a feature. I didn't want to re-write the whole thing, so I drew up a timeline of events to see what I could see. It turned out that there were three rather large gaps in time that I had not included. They were alluded to in other scenes, but the "viewer" would never see them. I decided that these would be my best shot at extending the screenplay so I jotted down what would have been happening during the missing time. I've currently written in the middle gap, but have yet to finish off the other two. I'm hoping I can scrape in 80 pages once I'm through.


In case anyone is reading this and is curious what the screenplay is about, I'll give a brief run-down...

16 YEARS AGO - Two men walking along a beach on their way back from a night's fishing when they stumble upon an apparently dead Deep One. They debate what to do with the creature and decide to take it home and figure it out in the morning. As you expect, the creature wakes up, killing the two men, but leaving the wife of one of the men unconscious. She wakes up in a hospital and is later informed that she in pregnant. She is elated as her and her husband had been trying to a child for some time.

CURRENT DAY - A teenage girl meets up with a boy and they walk down to a nearby abandoned church. They ring its bell for fun and then head home. On the way they discover a black goo in the water. The next day the girl is having her birthday party when she falls ill. I escalates the next night and she is rushed to hospital. She escapes the hospital however and returns to her friend who looks after her. She quickly starts changing - skin turning bluish, eyes un-blinking, teeth falling out - and runs away. The boy tracks her down to the beach where it is revealed that she has turned into a Deep One herself!


The teenage boy and girl in the story are the main characters and their personal tragedy provides the framework for the whole story so I just thought I'd provide a little appendix, as it were, to describe and show you how I envision these two characters if you choose to (or have already) read the linked screenplay:


She is one of the "popular" girls at school and despite her and Charlie's differences, the fact that she has known Charlie most of her life means that they are still best of friends.


Charlie is a bit of a loner and knows that if he hadn't known Marina for so long, they would otherwise have not have been friends.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


For some time now, I've been mentally tossing over a Cthulhu Mythos-based screenplay idea. In fact, it basically is a re-telling of The Call of Cthulhu. The plot, though centering on only one main character, is quite grand in scale and is well beyond the scope of the usual fan-made fare. For this fact alone, I know it will never be used, yet I am still compelled to complete it, if only so it's out of my head and I can stop thinking about it.

Here is the introductory scene of the first draft for your perusal:


A MAN walks up to the edge of a lookout. Before
him lies the ruins of a large city. Most of the
city is rubble and the buildings that are still
standing have large sections missing. A giant
bipedal creature, the size of the tallest visible
skyscraper, is seen slowly ambling between them.
It is green, bat-winged, and has a face full of
tentacles. The creature casually brushes past a
building and its wall collapses.

The man watches on.

MAN (V.O.)
This is what has become of the
world: reduced to nothing more than
rubble and dust. It has been this
way now for over a year. Ever since
that abomination and its army
revealed themselves from beneath
the waves to wage war on humanity.

The man watches the creature carelessly destroy
another building.

I call it a war, however, truth be
said, it was more like a massacre.
For the most part, the attack was
unexpected, unprovoked and
particularly brutal.

The man looks saddened.

There were some who were forewarned
of this apocalypse however. A
select few who were sensitive
enough to hear the creature's calls
through their dreams. I probably
wouldn't have believed it
possible... if I hadn't been one of

From there it will cut back to the present day and detail how the planet came to be in this state.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Thing about Lovecraft...

I feel my first official blog entry should be about H.P. Lovecraft, the creator of the blog's namesake, and how I came to discover him and his writings:


Back when I was in my teens, my Dad took me to a bookshop where I found a nice, thick horror-story omnibus. I had soon read a few of the stories within, one of which was titled "Pickman's Model" by an author I'd never heard of, named H.P. Lovecraft...

The Thing

John Carpenter's "The Thing" has been one of my favourite films since I first saw it. I can't remember when that was exactly, but I know that I have watched it many times since. It was at the end of 2006 that I decided to look the movie up online and try to find any information I could about it. It seemed that every website I came across had references to this H.P. Lovecraft fellow. At the time, I thought I recognised the name, but couldn't think where from, so I started to research further. I found a bibliography and noticed a story named "Pickman's Model"... and then it clicked!

An Obsession Begins

I began looking further into his writings and with the help of certain websites, in particular, Wikipedia, I started learning about his "Cthulhu Mythos" and quickly found myself fascinated. On January 7, 2007, I ordered a book of Lovecraft's works off of Amazon. It took me a while to get through it, but with each story I read, my obsession grew.

Modernising The Mythos

As with most major fiction writers through history, several of Lovecraft's works have been translated into film, and even into games. I quickly compiled information on many of these, trying to find the ones worth watching. It turned out that I had actually heard of a few of them in the past, the most notable of these being Stuart Gordon's "Re-Animator". Though I'd never seen the film, I did know of it. I sadly learned that most of the adaptations were rather bad, however I did discover a few gems amidst the dirt. As well as the films, I discovered a computer game called "Call of Cthulhu: Dark Corners of the Earth", and being an avid gamer, procured myself a copy post-haste. While not being the greatest game in the world, I did enjoy it, and thought it did more justice to the mythos than any of the movies.

I'm Not The Only One

Now with my obsession in full-swing, I found myself searching for "Lovecraft" in any avenue possible, and discovered a mass of fans, not just on dedicated forums, but on MySpace, Facebook, and now even Twitter! It seems that the bulk of these are from the U.S., which is understandable being that's where Lovecraft's from, but however limited, his reach seems to be global, which I think is truly deserving.


And so that brings me to this blog, titled from a popular line within H.P. Lovecraft's story, "The Call of Cthulhu", and which will most-likely have entries referring to him or his work at some point, seeing as my obsession certainly doesn't appear to be going anywhere any time soon...