Sunday, July 13, 2008

Are We Done Yet?

A friend recently asked me, How do you know when your script is finished? Well ... this is kind of a difficult question and it's taken me a long time to find an answer, but here's what I got.

Never. It's never finished.

People rewrite scripts up until the first day of shooting. And many times while they're shooting. To be a little more general, scripts are rewritten while editing the films even after they've been shot.

I can go through 7 - 10 drafts of something before I'm satisfied with it. I put myself through script read throughs, send it to friends, my intern ... But I also know that once I'm finished with it, other people are not.

If you're submitting to industry types, you have to understand that everyone wants to put in their two cents. Take it or leave it. People will give you "notes" until the cows come home. But you aim to get fewer and fewer notes as you go along. So understand that even when you think your script is done, done, done, when producers, agents ... whoever gets a hold of it, you'll continue to make changes.

My gauge for when a script is finished is when people tell you they LOVE it. And I don't mean your mom. Cause my mom LOVES anything I do, bless her heart. But that's what mom's say. I have one script that I've written that I feel is closer than anything to being done. And that's a script called Brain Brawl. I feel like that story and the way it's written is tight, tight, tight. Could it use more work? Maybe a little. But that's the thing. You'll give it to a few different production companies or producers and they'll want to do different things to it. So it's hard to listen to everyone unless they have a check in their hand ready to fund it.

The more I write, the more it becomes a gut feeling. Sometimes it's a gut feeling that I ignore, but I know it's there.

So I'm working on a script right now. It still doesn't have a name. I'm in my 6th draft. It probably will go through at least 3 or 4 more drafts. It's not the best thing I've ever written. In fact, it's pretty average in terms of story. But it's an average story that I think is pretty good. It's something I'd sell. But most importantly, it's something I've enjoyed writing.

I'm about to start a new script. Something fantastical. Something big and weird. I've been taking notes, jotting down ideas, bouncing story lines off Mark. It'll be a fun one. Something that'll stretch my imagination all over the place. I'm ready for that.

Did I answer the question?

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