Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Rewrite Hell-o!!!

I'm going to make this one quick as I feel near death's door and the family dog- Silent Bob - is eyeing me suspiciously, licking his chops and hoping to get that meaty Mr. Bill McMeal instead of kibble. I'm just grateful I don't have a cat or I would have been a goner long ago. Dogs at least wait until you drop. Cats will push you down the stairs then pounce.

Craig Mazin has a great post regarding rewrites and the myth that it's harder to come up with a story whole cloth than it is to rewrite someone.

As someone who has written, has been rewritten, and has rewritten other writer's work - I'm going to say this about the subject (especially when it comes to DVD Premieres):

You will be rewritten.

It's going to happen one way or another. The director does a pass at the script. The dialogue is a bit weak so they bring someone in to punch it up. The actors paraphrase your words instead of learning the script. Improvisation happens.

In the world of low budget movies, you are expected to be part of the team. It doesn't matter if you're the first writer or the last. You're all equal. On Scarecrow Slayer, I came up with what we thought was a good story. David Latt and Joel Newman took my story and made it into a screenplay. Things changed to serve the story and the budget. It was now our screenplay. I had the hard job of coming up with the concept, and David and Joel had the hard time of making it all work.

On The Sound, I came in and rewrote three previous drafts of work. I brought a fresh perspective to it, and solved what the producers felt were 'problems'. Again, it was now our screenplay.

Get over it.
Keep writing.
If you don't hear from me in a couple of days, I name the dog as my killer.

(That is, if he ever gets off the couch)


Me said...

Hell, it was terrible only seeing just rewriting my first self produced short movies (budget problems) and then seeing them rewritten (or heavily modified, it's not the same, I guess) again by the director...
I guess either you can put a distance between you and your work, otherwise if you invest too much emotionally in it (not "this is my job", but "this is ME")'re fucked big way.

Jeff O'Brien said...

once you cash the cheque it's someone elses.

Jeff O'Brien said...
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Bill Cunningham said...