Author Topic: 1SO's Screenwriting Adventure  (Read 17344 times)

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: 1SO's Screenwriting Adventure
« Reply #20 on: January 03, 2013, 12:14:55 AM »
Do you think that knowing those differences will make a difference, given TV and Movies are not all that great on providing accurate information on much at all?

I ask because I have seen how a deep understanding of a subject can allow for great insight or comedy on that subject, but I have also seen great films that are clearly inaccurate (the action genre is full of inaccuracies and even has some great films).

1SO

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Re: 1SO's Screenwriting Adventure
« Reply #21 on: January 03, 2013, 01:17:39 AM »
Truthfully no. I'm paranoid and don't want to end up with one of those scripts that makes no sense. I'm worried that someone will be a semi-expert on Retirement Homes and will rip my script to shreds because it's completely inaccurate. No matter how much research you do, you're always taking liberties because of the story. Even Zero Dark Thirty which feels thoroughly researched, there are some changes made in the name of good drama. But once I learn a few things they seem like really large plot holes that I need to address.

I have another script about female vice officers who work undercover. I have a great story, but I really want to thoroughly interview someone who actually does it, mostly to learn the psychology. I know I'm going to learn some things that will conflict with my detailed plot, but I'd be very hesitant to rework the plot in the name of realism.

Dave the Necrobumper

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Re: 1SO's Screenwriting Adventure
« Reply #22 on: January 03, 2013, 05:33:03 AM »
That kind of paranoia I can understand.

The female vice officers story sounds like an excellent challenge, do you find writing for women harder, the same or easier than writing for men? It is great that you are planning to do that, as good female roles just are not as common as good male roles.

1SO

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Re: 1SO's Screenwriting Adventure
« Reply #23 on: January 03, 2013, 09:32:41 PM »
I don't have a preference or level of difficulty for a character's sex. A good/interesting character is just that. I will say I have a harder time with a character that exists to serve a plot function. (The love interest, the red herring, the comic relief, the nice one who dies). The fact that I label them as such a stock shows I haven't given them enough dimension to work on their own. I've written a lot of cop thrillers and the henchmen are usually the least interesting because they're ultimately there to be threatening or cannon fodder. They usually don't introduce themselves so I even give them functional names like Muntz or Switchblade Sam.


BTW, Meeting with The Producer Monday morning. Getting all his notes.

1SO

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Re: 1SO's Screenwriting Adventure
« Reply #24 on: January 07, 2013, 06:53:38 PM »
10AM Notes Meeting with The Producer. Was expecting it to take a couple of hours, but we had to rush the end so he could make a 2PM meeting.

More agreeable than most Producers when it comes to notes. When you're a new writer these meetings usually generate a lot of tension because you feel the need to defend your choices. They say something's not working, then you try to convince them that it does. That they just read it wrong. Didn't get the meaning. This is a rookie mistake, mainly because it makes the writer appear difficult and unbending. You don't go into these meetings to fight for your ideas. (Those battles come later.) You want to hear THEM out and understand THEIR reasoning. They're not looking to destroy your script. Remember, they took the meeting which means there's interest in actually filming this.

The Producer went through it page by page pointing out things that didn't make sense ("What were you going for with this?") and suggesting his own ideas ("what do you think if..."). Meanwhile I'm writing all the notes down to look at and work on later.

Final Draft contains Scriptnotes. Just press 2 keys and a window pops up anywhere on the script. You can type in whatever you need and the window collapses into a small square, none of which will print along with the script. So anytime The Producer has something to say, I make a Scriptnote in the appropriate area. The meeting yielded 95 notes ranging from "more tension" to "awkward" to specific ideas about the scene or character behaviors that can be better. There are 2 scenes I would label Difficult. I knew when writing it I didn't quite have it. They saw it too, and they're vital moments in the story.

What was great about this meeting is that where some Producers just ramble on and send the writer off to make changes. This Producer was always asking for my immediate reaction to each note. The occasional reminder of my willingness to make the changes actually made him less forceful in his suggestions. There's a scene towards the end that repeats a lot of information. He brought that to my attention. However, we realize the repetition may be necessary, or I may be hitting things too hard. He ultimately decided that we should leave the scene alone because it might work as a good alternate if we need to edit bits out elsewhere. Now I want to cut the scene and he wants to keep it.

The ball is back in my hands. First I will go through and work on the 24 easy notes. Awkward phrases, grammar. We're changing the name of one character. Tomorrow I will work on the notes that involve tightening up dialogue and removing repetition. Meanwhile my brain reads the other notes and starts thinking of solutions. (Those 2 difficult scenes will always be in my mind.) This will be the routine for the next week(s) until eventually I'm satisfied that each change has made the script better. Then it goes back to The Producer who will either read it or pass it along to The Manager.

Personally, I left the meeting with increased confidence in the script. Usually there's a major logic note that requires a complete reworking of a section in order to fix. Nothing here. The Producer was also very open about telling me lines and scenes he liked. Stuff he hopes I don't start 2nd guessing on my own.
« Last Edit: January 07, 2013, 07:33:07 PM by 1SO »

jdc

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Re: 1SO's Screenwriting Adventure
« Reply #25 on: January 07, 2013, 07:33:40 PM »
Enjoying your thread... hoping to follow it to the final product:)
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Junior

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Re: 1SO's Screenwriting Adventure
« Reply #26 on: January 07, 2013, 07:34:45 PM »
This is really fascinating stuff. I'm pulling for you.
Check out my blog of many topics

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1SO

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Re: 1SO's Screenwriting Adventure
« Reply #27 on: January 13, 2013, 11:02:04 PM »
A week later. 17 notes to go. These are tough. Research is required. Stuff that affects the entire script in small ways. (Deleting 1 character. Adding another.) Still some problems I haven't figured out solutions for. Hoping to get this done in 2 weeks.

Melvil

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Re: 1SO's Screenwriting Adventure
« Reply #28 on: January 14, 2013, 02:04:45 AM »
Is there pressure to have a quick turnaround of a revised script?

1SO

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Re: 1SO's Screenwriting Adventure
« Reply #29 on: January 22, 2013, 07:21:42 PM »
Big Breakthrough today. I had to come up with a clue subtle enough to sail past an audience but solid enough to not be a cheat. Remember in Inglorious Bastards when Fassbender holds up 3 fingers? That's what the script needed. The setup is within the first 15 pages. The payoff is 70 pages later, buried inside a very emotional monologue.

I sent the two scenes directly to The Producer who read them right away and said he had to re-read to figure out what was wrong. He still didn't quite grasp it until I explained it. For anyone watching the movie, if they pick up on the contradiction they will assume it's a logic flaw, something that makes the script weak. They're not likely to see it as a lie until 20 pages later when the two different stories are brought up and revealed to be contradictions.

Now that I have this, I know what to do with the final notes. The rest of the revision should fall into place rather quickly. I'm very excited.



Is there pressure to have a quick turnaround of a revised script?

Sorry I didn't see this earlier. Yes, there's always pressure to move quickly because a Producer will fall out of love with an idea just as quickly as they will fall in love. They're anxious to read the changes, and after a week they lose interest in the whole project. However, you don't want to be too quick because you don't want to give the impression that you just slapped the notes in. I'd say a week is too soon and a month is too long.

 

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