Monday, July 12, 2010

The Writing Week (Vol. 3) part 132 - One Last Round and Working with Another Artist

This has the potential to be a big week. With the final round of edits mostly over - just waiting on notes on one new scene - we're about ready to send the script back to the production company we're working with. My manager has informed me that this will be the final draft for this phase of development; from here, the script goes to the whole creative team at the production company for their decision as to whether or not to pursue.

Before I finally click send tonight, I'm going to do one final thing, which all writers are encouraged to do. I'm going to proof it again. While rewrites can greatly improve the script, they also run the risk of knocking something out of place or causing an incomplete tweak. If you've changed a character's name or eliminated him/her completely, you want to make sure you've done so everywhere in the script. The last thing you want is a sloppy mistake at that point in the game. So do yourself a favor and give it a final read-through. Just make sure that everything you meant to put in is there, and everything you wanted out is gone. If anything jumps out as not quite working now, this is the time to find it. 

This current draft has the great fortune of coming in at my favorite page length - 105. To me, 105 pages is the perfect length for a (action or horror) script. It's concise but with plenty of room for a good story. It's not a daunting read. And, most importantly, it can convey not only a writer's ability and skill with the craft, but also his or her knack for saying a lot with a little. At 105, chances are the descriptions are pretty tight, the dialogue snappy, and the script a solid, trim work with little fat. I usually aim for 105 (and for some perspective, various drafts of this spec have come in at 106, 122, 117, 112, and 108, to name a few). 

Finally, this week marked a bit of a first for me, a branching out of sorts. I had seen a play a year ago at the NYC Fringe Festival, which I thought was just one of the most creative things I'd ever seen. A few months ago, I was taking a general meeting, and while chit-chatting, I mentioned the play to the exec I was talking to. Yesterday, after seeing the play twice again this weekend, I met with the performer/writer, and he's working on developing the piece for film, having met with the exec that I talked to about the play. It's very cool to know that I put them in touch and - if anything happens down the line - could have helped bring a new film about. 

Part of the reason that the League was created was to help other artists benefit from our experiences (and just help other artists). To that effect, we've done some coverage, recommended books and other writing tools, offered advice, and extended our hands when possible. This marks the first time I've actively tried to get the wheels turning on a potential film. Gotta say, it's a pretty damn good feeling.

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