Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Belated Box Office, an Interesting Weekend, and Other Musings

Call it the calm before the storm if you'd like, but basically nothing happened at the movies this weekend. Disturbia led all comers with $9.1 million, followed by the debuting The Invisible ($7.6 million) and the Nicolas Cage-driven Next ($7.2 million).

(Funny note about Next: remember that "The Best of The Wickerman" clip I posted earlier? Well, the NY Times review for Next mentioned that clip in order to highlight Nicolas Cage's horrendous taste in choosing roles. Needless to say, the review didn't get any kinder from there.)

The top five was rounded out by Fracture and Blades of Glory.

(Just to highlight how abysmal this month has been for the film industry, Blades is the only film in the top 10 that has grossed over 100 million. Assuming that the summer onslaught is about to begin, that's just...sad.)

Next week will simply be a question of how much Spider-Man 3 grosses. I'm thinking it's going to be something downright ridiculous. The hype machine has been churning since the second film premiered, all the reviews so far have been positive (but still willing to point out plenty of flaws), and this movie features one of the most popular villains in comic book history, a fan-favorite, and our hero's ultimate foil. Plus, the series just feels like it's built up to this, doesn't it? Though the second film was a great stand-alone effort, didn't you just get the feeling that it was all building toward something incredibly huge? Enter Spider-Man 3.


I finished what can only be called a "rough draft" of my script this weekend, writing a staggering 47 pages in two days. Cake Man was quick to question the quality of the pages, and he was justified in doing so - I like the ideas on the page. The execution on the other hand? Could have been better. He tried to rephrase his question before I could eek out an answer by saying, "In other words, will you just need to rewrite it all before you can show it to The League?"

The last half of the script has been an odd journey for reasons that I've brought up here before: I got excellent feedback on the first half of the script, notes that raised questions and ideas that would greatly change the first half. Those changes would, more or less, make the ideas I had for the second half almost completely moot. Sure enough, after proofreading and cleaning up the 47 pages from this weekend, I already realized that the script I had, as a whole, just didn't work. Already I had ideas for how I wanted to restructure the first act - including new scenes with different emphases that only retain the spirit of the original pages - and a much clearer idea of the characters, including one big one, who will come off as someone almost entirely different.

As I've mentioned before, the images invade my head and I can see things so clearly that I write them from there. But having finished a draft, it's like a new level of clarity has been created. To use a video gaming metaphor, it's as though the draft I finished had the graphics of early-released games for the PS1. Already, the ways I'm envisioning the scenes, the characters, and the course of the plot have taken a feel more akin to the last efforts of the original X-Box. It's just that different.

(and at some point this thing's gonna have to look like reality. Getting there...)

This is process. This isn't something that I'm bothered by, but the truth is that I don't feel a need to give anyone my rough draft for comments. There's just too many things wrong with it that I'm already aware of, that I don't think I'm going to get any helpful feedback. There is a writing group that I'm in that has seen the thing develop from the first 10 pages I submitted to them. They're a good group to work with. However, this has the feel more of an outline than a draft, a hurdle I had to get over, and so I'd rather get another draft completed before handing it out to people have no idea where it's coming from.

With that said, I would suspect that in the coming workshops I will be submitting new pages from the new draft for feedback as I go. So, for some of you in The Cartel waiting to take a look at this thing, and for anyone in The League that thought I was jumping in looking for feedback on a completed draft....well, sorry.

Write on...

No comments: