Cheltenham SWF: The Scribomeet
In the weeks running up to the SWF, Piers Beckley and I announced that we would be holding a Scribomeet event on Monday, June 30 - the night before the event began. The idea was to give nervous networkers a chance to meet fellow delegates in an informal, comfortable way. We wrote it on our blogs, and I posted a piece on Shooting People's Screenwriting Bulletin.
With these kind of ventures, there's always the lurking worry that it will just be the pair of you, sitting there, weeping and playing Ludo. Thankfully, we still would have been delighted with each other's company. Still, it was nice when people started pouring in. There were familiar faces from the World Of Blog, including some I'd never seen in the flesh before: I'm talkin' 'bout those of Lee Thomson (a shockingly smiley face it was too), Gavin Williams and Steve Turnball.
The event reminded me, once again, that it's not just fellow bloggers who read Bloggery-Pokery and Between The Pavement And The Stars. Several people, almost all writers, had read our open invitations and decided to come along, which was very pleasing. The only vague downside I hadn't entirely planned for, was the vague stress of hosting - worrying that everyone's okay and not feeling neglected or downright ignored. Hopefully we did well on this score - hosting is certainly something which comes naturally to Piers. He could patently organise a piss-up in the Pope's front garden without undue repercussions.
At any one time during the night, we had around 20 people. And all told, I'd say we pulled in around 50 - probably over 10 per cent of the festival's delegates. Not too shabby then, my friends. Not. Too. Shabby. And good God, screenwriting guru Adrian Mead turned up! It simply doesn't get better than that - especially as it was this man's now-legendary Insider's Guide To Writing For Television session in March 2007 which inspired me to start this very blog.
My favourite Ludicrous Thing Of The Night, if I'm honest, was Stuart Perry's transformation into The Dark Arrow, a formidable superhero. The self-styled "Lord Of Backing Down". If I may, I'd like to chart Mr Perry's transformation during the evening, via the medium of video...
BEFORE (somewhere around 8pm): Perfectly normal Perry. No discernible super powers.
AFTER (somewhere towards last orders): Transformation is complete. The Dark Arrow has arrived! We are saved! (Note: if you're reading this shortly after I posted it, this video may not be available for a while. But The Dark Arrow is worth waiting for. Yes.)
While I'm on the subject of the Perry, which clearly I am, here are his five finest quotes during the festival's entirety:
1) "I have left my itinerary on the booze-table."
2) [At the bar] "I need a bottle of red wine and a bottle of white wine. If I don't have enough money, I shall simply have to owe you."
3) "I am a poltroon. I dream of being a buffoon."
4) "Why are you so mental?"
5) "I'm very drunk now, but we need to get me to 'terribly drunk', else I shan't sleep."
Incidentally, tonight's Doctor Who finale starts on BBC One at 6.40pm. I'm so excited that I've just vomited my own shins. Something I do not recommend.