Saturday, 29 November 2008

Which brings me on to the subject of ... rewrites

If you're looking at your story and having a bit of a mare, you might want to check out these posts from the scribosphere:

Phillip Barron on the rewrite process.

DMc on What Happened, What Will Happen, and why the Why It Happened is a big mistake.

And John August has several: This and This and This amongst many others.

There was a long old post on the subject somewhere that I've been trying to find ... but I've run out of time and I've got to get on with the day job. *sigh*


Uncooperative scripts.

The American collaboration screenplay has hit a slight snag. The story is being uncooperative.

I'm looking at what I want in the rewrite, and the effing thing is laughing at me!


Have no fear. I shall pummel it into shape. I just need to work out the best angle of attack. :)

Monday, 17 November 2008

Holding your breath ...

... is universally a bad idea.

Aside from the whole turning blue, keeling over, and waking up with a bunch of strangers staring at you worriedly thing. - - That's normal. Bunch of strangers staring at me worriedly happens every day*. Virtually everyone I meet or pass on the street reacts like that. - - Aside from that, there's the whole time wasting aspect to it (which could be classed as procrastination I suppose, or maybe a variation on writer's block?) where you are waiting instead of doing.

In this case I have not been wholly holding my breath as I wait for the verdict on The Grim; I've been mulling other projects, but not actively working on them the way I should have been. Bad Eleanor!

Producer No#1 was kind enough to let me know there has been no decision as yet, because they are having a BIG RUCK over the script. He loves it as is. The folks behind the scenes want to transfer the setting from the UK to the USA. - - Hmm. If you've read the story you'll realise that I think Producer No#1 is a man of rare insight and spectacular story know-how who should be listened to at all times.
... However, if it really comes down to it, I can always write them a brand new script about a monster eating people in the USA it just won't be this monster. Maybe it's cousin?

So, it looks like interesting times (the Chinese type) are headed my way. Again. Oh joy.

I'd better pull my finger out and get back to working on the other story with my American co-writers ... before they lynch me for falling off the face of the planet. :)

*Well, every day that I venture out of my cave into the view of other people.

Thursday, 6 November 2008

Errors In Judgement

The production company who love my screenplay ... indications are that after the rewrite, not so much.

So what changed? I followed their notes, it's a much stronger story and Producer No#1 is still very keen, but it seems to have cooled down a bit behind the scenes. So why is that? Afterall, it is essentially the same script with some tweaks.
- - I think I have an inkling.
Although before you read this as discovered wisdom, bare in mind I have almost no exposure to the process and I could be talking total bollocks, as is my usual want. D'oh!

But, I think I can point to a change I made in the third act - climax, penultimate battle ... previously I had not intercut the scenes, or split them with slugs. It read really smoothly, but wasn't particularly in proper format. So I added the slugs, thinking they've already said they like it. This change will bring it that one tiny millimeter closer to shooting script layout, so that change helps me visualise all the extra things I need to do to get this set of scenes to that next step.

However, this is still supposed to be a reading script, and by adding those slugs, instead of an intercut (which in hindsight is the option I should have taken) I just made it LESS READER FRIENDLY. Removing some of the flow adds distance between the words on paper and the consumer of those words.

At least, I think that's what is happening here. Still waiting for a verdict, so this is a huge guess on my part. But in the next pass I'm going to change it to intercut and see if it flies any better.

Then again, maybe it's a budget thing, or some other screenplay has turned up and knocked their socks off? *sigh*

Moral of the story? - - Even when you think it's in the bag, never relax!
Oh, and the perennial - - assumption makes an ass of you and me.

Guess I'll have to wait to see how the damage translates. ... Then again, it's such a small nit-pick, maybe it's a budget thing?

UPDATE: 17th November 2008.
D'oh! Okay, that's not it at all! Phew! Although something to bear in mind for next time I start getting all ahead of myself. Keep a reading script a reading script. Worry about the next step after the contracts are signed.