Saturday, 9 April 2011


So I'm at the end of a ridiculously busy month. Except I'm not, I'm at the beginning of the month after the ridiculously busy month by which time everything was supposed to be finished. It isn't. I've still got a couple of script polishes to finish. And I need to finish (well, really I need to properly start) the other rewrite I was supposed to be doing last month.

The biggest reason things didn't go to plan was that the script I got paid to rewrite turned out to be THE MOST DIFFICULT SCRIPT I HAVE EVER WORKED ON. Here's what happened. I was approached to fix the dialogue as English isn't the first language of the director who wrote the original script. It was written in English, just the grammar and sentence structure was off in places. Fine, that should be easy. Only when I read the script I noticed a few problems. Well, I'll be honest - I found the script a real struggle to get through. The first Act was okay, but after that it just kind of meandered towards the end. It was just a bunch of scenes. At one point when I got into rewriting it I was really struggling to work out the plot so I wrote a breakdown of the scenes in the original draft and wrote down exactly how the plot moved forward in each scene. It hardly moved at all. It almost seemed to be going backwards. By the 3rd Act everyone was the same as they were at the beginning and nothing had really changed. So I suggested some fixes.

What started as just fixing the dialogue turned into an epic rewrite. The first Act was deceptively easy. I could use a lot of the original material and it was just a case of reordering some scenes, adding a few new ones and rewriting the dialogue. But the second Act needed a complete overhaul, and the more I changed the more original material I had to write. By the third Act the original script became irrelevant - all my characters were in different places now. I was writing a completely new 25-30 pages. It was slow progress, and I spent at least a week going back over what I'd already written and trying to figure out where to go. The issue was I hadn't planned anything. Usually I'd have the whole script and structure outlined, but I'd been relying on the original script to do that for me. Which it couldn't do because I'd changed everything. So I went back to the drawing board, planned it all out, went back and changed bits earlier on to make my newly planned 3rd Act work.

I finished it at around 2am Friday morning - the second time last week I'd been up that late writing on a school night, which might explain why my driving lesson after work mostly involved me driving onto the pavement. Now I'm concerned that what I've produced is a completely difference script and not at all what I was asked to do. I know it's 100 times better and I hope that will be obvious, but given the director had trouble seeing the problems with the original draft I think convincing everyone else this is the better version may take some perseverance But I'll worry about that next week.

MovieBar was last Monday and Rich Badley has done a full write-up with links to all the films here

This was the third one I've run and a bit of an odd one this time. On the one hand it was fantastic - we showed some great films and had brilliant guests. I got to catch up with some old friends and met Jobbing Scriptwriter himself Phill Barron who wrote some very nice things about the event on his blog. At the same time we were sharing the pub with some very loud groups of people who refused to keep quiet which made it a little frustrating. I think it may be time we found another venue, which seems like rather a lot of effort but if anyone knows of anywhere in Brighton that might be suitable please let me know. It needs to be a pub, otherwise it will stop being MovieBar and just becomes Movie, which was the name of a surreal detective game on the Spectrum with bouncing dogs:

Ideally we need somewhere that either has a separate screening room or is somewhere we can take over completely. I have a meeting with one place next week but I could do with a few options.

On a random note, Brother Pete has written a very well thought-out  review of universally hated film Sucker Punch here. I haven't seen it so can't comment, but I'm all in favour of positve reviews and especially those that rally against the general opinion of the entire internet.

And while I'm mentioning random things I've been listening to Creeping Alopecia by Laura Moody a lot since I heard it a couple of weeks ago. It's a perfect mix of awesomeness and insanity and I love it:

Next week I'm going to Italy to meet a director of another project I'm working on. He wants to show me some locations. I am excited and also slightly apprehensive as it may all be a bit weird. I will keep a diary and post it here.

1 comment:

Pete Regan said...

I tried listening but got scared. Shame about the script hopefully the people "in charge" will listen.