Wednesday, 22 October 2008

Don't Fear the Reader...

Yay for horrible blog title puns! 

Before I get started, I just got back from the Dr. John gig which was amazing. He is very, very cool and it was definitely one of the most enjoyable and perfect sounding performances I've been to. Also I wasn't the youngest person in the room as I suspected I would be - there were lots of Brighton trendy folk there too, leaving me feeling both too young and too old at the same time.

Anyway, the blog title is more than a mere pun in reference to the recent script reader condemnation and subsequent defence raging along on Shooting People at the moment - it's actually an unrelated revelation. Some time ago I mentioned my fear of script readers following some particularly soul destroying coverage. Or I might be imagining I mentioned it as I can't seem to find the entry to link to - I need better labels! Anyway, the story goes that the only time I got proper script reader coverage was when I paid to enter a scriptwriting competition, the name of which escapes me, a good few years ago. So I submitted the shiny new third draft of the script that I'd written as part of my MA and at the time was pretty happy with. Some people even rather liked it. I didn't win, obviously, but I did get my coverage and it was quite mean. And stupid. I'm better at taking criticism than I used to be and I'd like to think that perhaps I would not react so badly if receiving the same coverage today, but my problem was more that the reader quite seriously missed the point. The film was about a young woman who sells her soul in exchange for a successful music career in a rock band, written in the days when I used to listen to new music and went to more than one gig a year. It was suggested by my reader that I was behind the times and that it would be more suitable if my white, occult obsessed heroine should pursue a career in rap music instead. Because that's what all the kids are listening to these days.


So I decided not to bother with competitions for a while and developed the aforementioned fear of the script reader, although I knew that I would have to face my fear one day as it's an inevitable part of the business. And I was even coming round to the idea of sending The Dark Room to a professional script reader, partly to get over my fear, partly because I could do with some strong notes to take it forward in the quickest possible time. Then last night I get a script report on one of the other features I wrote earlier this year. And it was quite good.


We're in the realms of not being able to say much here as it's all still up in the air, but I knew the script was with a production company and after some time had pretty much given up on the idea that they would take an interest in that particular project. Then I got the script coverage. It wasn't glowing, but the criticisms were things that had been brought up in the feedback I got recently so I was prepared for most of it. What I wasn't prepared for was that I got pretty good scores at the end of the coverage and a tick in the box that says 'recommended'.

I've just read that back and realise I sound like an arrogant arse. I'm basically saying don't worry about script readers unless you've got a bad script, which mine obviously isn't cos someone said so. I think I'll shut up now.

Another random recommendation which most people probably know about anyway - you can now get Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog on iTunes. Even if you are anti-iTunes it's worth selling your soul and getting an account just for this. Unless you're waiting for it to come out on DVD, which is probably more sensible. Anyway, I think it's one of the most perfect pieces of story-telling ever created, which may sound like excessive praise for a comedy musical about super-villains. I won't go on about it too much - if you've seen it you know what I mean, if you haven't you need to find a way to see it now.

I am aware that Contains Nuts has tagged me with his Procrastination meme but I need time to think up witty and/or honest answers. Or rather I need time to decide whether to be witty or honest. So I'm working on it.

1 comment:

containsnuts said...

Mwahahaha... my plan worked!