Film Update – The Readable Draft

I seem to remember the first post I made on this blog promising something like ‘a post daily’ The word ‘Pah!’ springs to mind.

This is my first post in several weeks for which I am sorry – there have been things worth writing about on my journey to feature film director, but all of my writing time and most of the hours between eating, sleeping and the day job, have been taken up by the screenwriting process itself.

I have attempted to keep an account of how this process has gone and over the next few weeks, a number of posts will be about some of the things I have discovered along the way.

So, where am I with the script? I am proud to say that as of Thursday, 10th May 2012, at approximately 7:30 pm GMT, after 9 months, countless ‘how to’ books, several workshops, over 300 index cards, 4 notepads and the purchase of a giant cork board (you can tell I’ve been writing drama, can’t you), and four drafts, I HAVE A READABLE SCRIPT!

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Me, under laptop.

The experience itself?

In all honesty, it has so far been the most all consuming, exuberant, fearful, joyous, self deflating, self realising, unrelenting, mind boggling, task I have ever undertaken.

How good does it feel to hold a copy in my hands? The temptation to remake Lionel Richie’s ‘Dancing on the Ceiling’ springs to mind. Except instead of dancers, they’d be printers shooting reams of paper up into the air like giant pieces of confetti… maybe a giant typewriter as the set piece to with me tap dancing over the keys…

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“We’re gonna need a bigger board.” (For scale, that’s a 40″ TV)

‘Hang on’, you might well say, scrolling back a couple of paragraphs. What do you mean by ‘READABLE’ script?

What I mean is I have a version of the script that I feel comfortably tells the entire story and that I can show to the rest I my production team so we can start to plan for shooting.

Are there too many ideas within it? Probably, but since the logistics require a home-made approach we will probably be able to shoot all these ideas and edit them down in post production.

Is the dialogue clunky in places? It better be or I bought a red Sharpie for nothing – and I love throwing things out. Editing is by far the most enjoyable moment of the process.

To loosely paraphrase Robert McKee – the writer must first use his imagination to write actions and spoken words, and then step back and look at what he/she has done and ask ‘Does it work?’ ‘Can it be improved?’ ‘Is there a better way?’ This is honing the craft of screenwriting.

This is where I am and it feels great to have come this far.

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