Friday, 26 October 2007

Pakistan vs. South Africa

Profit: £0.14

Well, only £0.14 profit, but I'm much more happy about how I traded that match. I missed the bulk of the Pakistan innings at a meeting, but came in just after two wickets fell in one Andre Nel over. I laid South Africa, and watched on as the Pakistan tail put together a great collection of streaky shots. At the end of the innings, I was up if I greened out. I was tempted to watch a couple of overs of the South African reply, but I thought that that was the greed that I'd been watching out for, and so got out. Good call - South Africa got off to a stormer.

I made one trade trying to go against the flow - when South Africa had only got about 50 runs and were already down to 1.2. But it didn't work out, and I did well to cut my losses on the trade - not something I've done very well before. Then when I thought that there was no way for Pakistan to get back into the game, I backed them and held the position rather than trading out.
Generally very happy with how I did it - felt much more on top of things than I have before. But that's no excuse to get complacent - I didn't do as well as I could have, and I can improve those weaker areas of my trading technique.

After the match was over went and tried out British Military Fitness in Hyde Park - personal fitness taken by a bunch of soldiers. I'm pretty fit, but after an hour of that I was defeated, running on empty. But with a warm glow inside that'll persuade me to join up and continue to punish myself with them through the winter.

Sunday, 21 October 2007

Asian Domination

Profit: £0.37

Over the last few days I've traded three matches in South Asia: India vs. Australia's final ODI and only Twenty20, and Pakistan vs. South Africa's second ODI. The Asian teams have won all three matches; and though I've made money on the matches, I'm kicking myself for not locking in more profit when I was doing considerably better in the early each of the three games. My initial trades were strong - in each case I was up around £1 regardless of the result - but the trades I made in play were less so. And the way I handled these later trades once they were running was poor.

I'm most cross with myself for two mistakes I made repeatedly:
1. Letting my losses on certain positions run too long rather than trading out for a small loss.
2. Not levelling out the green I made across both teams as soon as I got it, and instead holding out for better odds that never came.

Both are indicative of the same deeper problem. When I've made a good trade, I can get a bit greedy. I want to take a little bit more rather than staying satisfied with the good return I've already made. And as a result I end up losing a lot of the green I've made. When the cricket returns I'll try to cut down on these and hone my trading method.

Friday, 19 October 2007

First Feedback on my Film Idea

Yesterday I got the first feedback from my fellow students and my Course Director on the feature film idea I've submitted as my final project - the movie I'm raising funds to make.

My contemporaries didn't buy it, and found it a bit gimmicky. But my Course Director thought that basing it around such a striking central idea, while brave, would make it extremely saleable if the bravery paid off. What it needs from here, she thought, was a lot of thought about genre and a really clever storyline that only becomes clear towards the end. So that's what I've got to do - sit down at my desk and force myself through a lot of hard days of thinking and writing. That will beef up my great starting point into a strong feature film.

While I was working on the idea a couple of days ago I was watching India scrape a win over Australia, struggling to get there after bowling the Aussies out cheaply. I didn't bet the market, but there were several times I thought of getting in - particularly when Australia's odds were around 4.5 at the end of their innings. If the Aussies struggle, it usually means the pitch is tricky - and sure enough, the price collapsed to 1.06 as the Indians fell to 60-odd for 6. However, even though I didn't play the markets this time I'm pleased that I identified value. Next time I'll go with my instinct.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Pakistan vs. South Africa

Profit: £0.17

Well, it's a start, but it could have been better if I hadn't been greedy or complacent.

I bet on betfair, which tends to have the best odds on the cricket markets, but importantly lets you bet either for ('back') or against ('lay') any particular outcome happening. What this means is that you're not necessarily relying on any one outcome happening - you can make a profit by backing and laying the same outcome but at different odds.

I made my first trade backing South Africa at 8 after Pakistan got off to a flyer. The price seemed way too high for the second day, and with Pakistan still around 300 runs behind. I was proved right when three quick wickets fell and I traded out for a £1.14 profit regardless of the match result by laying at 5. I built up more green -around £5.00 each on South Africa and Pakistan - but left myself with a large red on the draw, sure that the wicket would deteriorate and that quick wickets would fall. When this didn't happen, I had to lose much of my green to make sure that I wouldn't take a loss on the draw.

Still, I was only ever trading in sums of £2.00 or lower, and so a 17p profit is a return of 8.5%.

What's the story?

What's the story?

So here's how it goes. I'm a young film-maker from London, trying to break into the industry. I've made a few shorts, had a few little successes, but it's very much early days.

I've got a movie I want to make. It's got a good hook, it's going to be fairly cheap to make, and the main roles should be exciting enough to get big actors interested.

Only two problems:
1) I haven't written the script.
2) I haven't got the money to get it off the ground.

This blog's going to be about how overcome these obstacles. And here's how I plan to do it.

The writing side is taking care of itself. I'm a student on a Screenwriting MA, and I'm gradually developing the script I want to film. I'm confident that that's under control.

The money side is slightly unusual. I love cricket. Watching it, playing it, thinking about it. I obsess over cricket statistics whenever I'm trying to find something to distract me from my writing. I'm hoping that this obsessive interest means that I've got a good understanding of how a cricket match ebbs and flows. And my theory is that this understanding can give me an edge in the betting markets. I'm going to start off gently, placing small bets and hopefully making some profit. And see how it goes.

What's the plan?

This year I went with some other film-makers to the Cannes Film Festival. It was great fun. But what I learned from talking to the established industry professionals there is that it's not that difficult to get a movie made. All you need is a strong generic hook to attract an audience, a low budget to attract finance, and a great script to attract serious actors. And, if possible, a short teaser trailer to show people how you want it to look.

So that's where I want to be. I've got the concept, and I'm developing it at school. I'll have a feature script up to scratch by the end of 2008. In the meantime, I want to raise enough money to shoot a professional looking teaser trailer at the start of 2009. I'm thinking in the region of £10,000.

From there, the idea is to take it to Cannes, market it like crazy and see if I can get funding to shoot it as a feature.

Wish me luck.