Alan Miller: A Short Biography
Alan Miller has been writing professionally for the film and television industry for three decades. Asking for a typewriter for Christmas while most of his contemporaries were requesting ‘Action Men’ (with realistic hair and gripping hands), he pounded out stories and a multipage ‘thesis’ on Steven Spielberg without actually knowing then what a ‘thesis’ was. While he trained as a film editor at the BBC in Cardiff, South Wales, he was set a task by a friend to produce a 3,000 word short story every week based on that friend’s key word or phrase. One of these eventually mutated into his first novel, Nigh. Alan took menial jobs on any feature films he could, being employed on two by Rick McCallum (Star Wars fans, vent elsewhere).
After coming runner up in The Lloyds National Screenwriting Competition in the late 80s, Alan decamped to London and was astounded at how many producers failed to smash his door down begging him to make their sagging second act work. Speaking of work, he suddenly realised that rumbling stomachs don’t un-rumble themselves without sustenance so he walked into the first production company he could find and started doing what he’d been trained to do. At Partridge Films he learned how to tell stories, worked on some award winning wildlife films and figured out that working with people with real fire in their bellies was something he grew to love. You don’t get rich making wildlife films. Moses himself, Charlton Heston, performed Alan’s first professional script.
While editing a BBC Natural World, Alan got a chance to direct a documentary back at the BBC based on the fans of the greatest TV show ever made™, The Prisoner (the 1967 original, of course). Despite the lure of the animal world into which he was immersing himself, he was anxious to break out into fiction writing. Back at Partridge, he continued to learn how to tell stories and was eventually entrusted with writing, directing, and producing a four part series on those who work in the Serengeti National Park. Alan was offered the first Steve Irwin show to direct (he turned it down out of a concern about where the genre was heading – Need a clue? Celebrity). He started work in Holland editing features. He wrote, directed, and cut numerous documentaries for a Dutch company and managed to squeeze out a few screenplays (one of which got a commendation from an American competition).
And then it hit him after getting a Kindle for Christmas. Writing for the American market was a skill and a craft (most films he worked on were co-productions with American companies) but writing for himself or a perceived audience suddenly became very attractive. If you asked Alan what he did more than anything else, the obvious answer would be ‘read’. It was time for his ideas to reach the playground. In the Pulitzer Prize winning musical, Sunday In The Park With George by Stephen Sondheim, the artist George is bemoaning his fate as an artist. He says “But there’s nothing that’s not been said.” His girlfriend replies “But not by you, George…” That’s the philosophy of Alan’s current efforts via this site, www.camuspublishing.co.uk.