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Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Creative Dorset

I met Dominic Tambling and family in the tea tent of the Langton Village Fair on Saturday.  Congratulations on the birth of Baby Rudy but sad, sad news that Creative Dorset  is to cease operations and Dominic is out of work. 

The sad thing is that, despite its very limited budget, Creative Dorset actually undertook to support creative practitioners where and when it could. Twice I rang up Dominic and asked for some funds to suport some training I wanted to undertake and twice he gave me the go ahead over the phone.  This is the correct way to support the arts not to create the humiliating obstacle courses that most funding organisations have in place.
I commend the work of Creative Dorset and of Dominic.  If you know a way to use his exceptional talents then find him on LinkdIn

This is the statement from the Creative Dorset website:

In view of the changed economic climate and recent disappointing outcomes to funding applications, Dominic Tambling is leaving Creative Dorset and the company is temporarily suspending operations.
The Board will take the opportunity to review Creative Dorset’s work and position in the context of the proposed Dorset Local Enterprise Partnership, and the new Creative England initiative.  If you would like some general business support please contact Business Link
For more specific creative industry support you could try: 
Creative England
Arts Matrix 
Reshaping Tool Kit 

And if you have an idea or question about arts and culture more generally you might want to contact:
Dorset County Council
Bournemouth Borough Council http://www.bournemouth.gov.uk/LeisureCultureLibraries/Culture/Arts.aspx
Poole Borough Council http://boroughofpoole.com/directory/themes/learning/ref:T45F196DC4D392/
Creative Dorset
Mike Hoskin, Chair

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Making Money from old Scripts

I was having coffee with a friend of mine, another playwright, whom I hadn’t seen for fifteen years.  He was telling me about the success he was having with online publishing and recommended me to try it.  I don’t mean vanity publishing, I mean publishing through a proper online agency that collects fees and royalties on the writer’s behalf.  Jamie, my friend, told me that he was making a bit of a wedge from it.  So I thought I’d give it a go.  The problem I have is that a lot of my saleable stuff is from the days long ago before I had a word processor, let alone a computer.  I have rows of potentially juicy income generating scripts sitting on my bookshelf but how am i going to get them into a digital format for online distribution?  The simple answer is to type them all up word by word.   After all, I will need to make revisions and format them differently for current readers. But, do you know, that’s a lot of work and I’ve got other things to do with my life.  There is another way, however. Optical character Recognition (OCR from now onwards).  You scan your hardcopy and OCR converts the scan into actual words in a text file.  Brilliant.  But where do i obtain such a piece of wonder software?  Without paying for it, of course.  I trawled the online chatrooms and i found that the soft ware most recommended by writers was a Microsoft own brand which is part of the Office 2007 suite.  Wait a minute, I’ve never seen it there.   No, because its one of those many features you pay for when you buy MS Office but isn’t activated.   To activate it you have to go through quite a rigmarole to find it in the program files (If you want the technical stuff I’ll put it in the comment section below) and, yes now I have OCR which works a treat.  It’s not 100% reliable but that’s fine because I still need to go through the material to edit it but it’s certainly taken the drudgery out of the process.  Except that now my scanner has blown up.  Back to manual labour.