Thursday, April 19, 2007

There's Only Good News...

Got a 'regretful PASS' on a spec I sent in to a successful production company thanks to a connection I had there (always have a champion of your work!). What was really wonderful about the whole process though (which was conducted via email) was I got back their notes on what they liked and didn't like about the script.

SCORE!

You are always, always going to get people who say 'no' to your work and move on. That is a given in this industry considering the workload that is generated on the development side of the biz...but to have someone forward CONSTRUCTIVE NOTES (not how-to-do-it but here's-where-ya-lost-me-and-why ) that is PRICELESS. I also managed to snag a second read based on a further rewrite.

So great. I got notes, but where do I go from here?

Well, I go back to the OUTLINE and start plugging in those notes. KEEPING the stuff that I agree with (or see their point on) and CONSIDERING the stuff I don't necessarily agree with. They may have a point I'M not clear on. You do this at the outline stage and not at the script stage because it's simpler that way. You can see it all in 3-4 pages instead of 115.

You also have to make sure the changes they suggest don't violate the stuff they liked about it in the first place.

In my case:

- I didn't follow my own advice and keep it simple to follow.
- They liked the concept of the character, but didn't like the main character's motivations or background. He wasn't distinctive enough.
- I wasn't pushing his powers enough...and explaining what his weaknesses were (and making those distinctive enough to this particular character).
- In trying to be timeless, I came off as being old-fashioned, or staid. Something I definitely didn't want.
- They liked several of the set pieces and plot twists.

But in the few minutes since I have received those notes, I have already sparked a few ideas (and I've only had one cup of coffee - win!) so I am pleased. The new ideas are radical, but that's what's so damn exciting. Closing one door and opening another. Perspective. Writing the movie instead of the script.

This is what this writing is - rewriting. Honing. Crafting. Tossing out the been-there-seen-that for the Oh-my-Gawd!

You often don't see it until someone points it out to you...and that's good.

1 comment:

Kelly J. Compeau said...

It's always great when someone in such a position takes the time to evaluate your work so contructively, and in a way that rejuvinates your interest and excitement about the script/project in question. I've had a few people do that for me with The Black Tower. Great advice from some folks pretty high up the food chain. Alas, no sale, yet. But I haven't given up hope.

KJC