Monday, May 17, 2010

The Writing Week (Vol. 3) part 124 - The Evolution of a Script

Last week was quite the busy one. By midnight on Sunday, I had gotten a revised draft of my post-Apocalyptic spec to my producer, incorporating notes that she had from reading it earlier in the week. By Tuesday night, I had more notes from her - primarily edits in an attempt to bring the page count down from 117. Oddly enough, the final page count for the current draft wound up being 112, the original target goal I had a few weeks ago after bringing the draft in at 122 originally. 

As of now, we're waiting on notes from the production company. They got the script on Friday morning, and I'm hoping to hear from them some time this week. Waiting to hear back regarding a draft can be difficult, unnerving. Do I expect them to call us up and say that they think the new draft is absolutely perfect and they want to buy it as is? No, of course I don't. I anticipate receiving some notes from them. Do I think they'll be monumental notes? I certainly hope not.

I gave Onyx the script to read over this weekend, and he had a few notes. Most of them would be easy to incorporate without altering too much of the existing structure. Other notes might make things a bit clearer for the reader - at this point, my producer and I have been dealing with the material for so long that it's easy to see what's not there (and forget that others won't). 

It's been really interesting to think about the evolution of a script. In the nearly two and a half years that I've been working on this project, so many different elements have come and gone that at times it seems like I've written four different movies. Characters that were integral to the plot for over two years just vanished on this most recent go-around. The world has shifted considerably as certain events have been pushed up in time. New characters, relationships, and personality traits have been brought in. As the script has evolved (and, at times, devolved), there have always been a few core elements that stayed in place, too. Perhaps that's the most interesting thing about it - what has remained from draft to draft. The protagonist's motives and status quo have held this entire time, which I suppose is perhaps the most important thing to hold onto as a script changes (at least, it was in this instance for me). The reveal at the end has stayed the same, also. And, certainly, there are things about the world that have not changed.

One day, if this sells, I think it would be interesting to plot the course of the script by taking a look at a few key drafts and tracking their trajectory. I wouldn't be surprised if they seemed like multiple writers' take on the same logline. And I know they will be different enough that many movies could be pulled from them (though those key similarities mentioned above would certainly be apparent). For now, though, I wait as patiently as I can for notes. Luckily, I'm off to Florida for vacation, so at least I get to wait by the beach this time. 

No comments: