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.