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Low-budget film, high-concept script

LIKE most people, I love the movies.

Wham-bam thrillers, tear-jerking dramas, slapstick comedies, jolly musicals, I lap 'em all up.

They don't have to be brilliant, either. I've sat, engrossed, through many a potboiler that the critics snippily gave two stars to, and I've lost count of the number of favourites of mine that have swept the boards at the Golden Raspberries. In fact, you could project pretty much anything on to a screen that's more than 60 inches wide, and I'd be hooked.

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A long time ago, I used to daydream about making my own movies. Unfortunately, I had De Mille ambitions, but De Millipede pockets.

I was cheered, therefore, when I saw that film-maker Carlos Gallardo - he co-wrote, produced and starred in the 1992 cult action movie El Mariachi - was giving a masterclass in Glasgow yesterday on how to create a hit movie on a low budget, covering such essentials as screen writing, finance, casting, production and distribution.

Alas, work commitments kept me away, but it got me thinking. Heck, I can do cheap. After all, I'm the bloke who used to eat his Pot Noodle dry because it saved the expense of boiling the kettle. I have a beard because it saves on razor blades. In the days of the Speaking Clock, I'd reverse the charges.

So I'm going to do it. I'm going to direct a movie on the cheap. I have a mobile phone that takes video, and I've rolled my Herald into the shape of a megaphone. I'm all set.

I'm thinking of doing an Ice Cold In Alex-style desert movie. The neighbours' kids have a sand pit, so that's the location sorted. A cleverly framed fried egg makes a pretty good scorching sun (where else am I going to get one in Scotland?). A raid on the linen cupboard yields sheets for costumes that can be torn up ...

Update: my executive producer, aka the wife, has put a stop to that one. So it's back to the drawing board.

I think I'm going to concentrate on scripts for now. I've got several screenplays for low-budget smash hits in mind. But I'm torn between these working titles:

l Three IOUs in A Fountain;

l Youth Hostel Budapest;

l The Two Musketeers;

l The Ironing Man;

l One Dalmation;

l The Planet of The Grapes;

l My Big Fat Greek Elopement;

l Last Can of Tango in Harris.

OK, I've decided. Pass me my Herald megaphone. Lights, camera, action ... "I'm ready for my close-up, Mr Millipede ... "

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