Saturday, August 23, 2008

Jane Talks The Pulp

Jane Espensen talks about the new BSG TV Movie (aka D2DVD Movie) and cutting the script down to run in the time allotted:

"I just did a rewrite pass in which I cut twenty-four pages of script (from 113 to 89 pages total). It's incredible what you can do when you have to. Now, if you have to cut nine or ten pages from a two-hour script, you can probably do it with trims. Lose some scenes that can be moved off-screen, trim the fat off the ones that remain, and you can probably get there. But if you are in serious length trouble, and especially if you've already trimmed to the bone, you have to look at story. The trick here is to be open-minded. The things that get cut may include a part of a story that you think is absolutely necessary. It's okay. Put it all on the table."

No offense to Jane (who has a far better career profile at this point than I ) but she's having to cut because the script wasn't designed to run in the time allotted. That wastes time and effort and cuts down on production's momentum.

There's a better way.
The way to pack as much story into it as possible without blowing the budget or schedule.

Part One.

Part Two.

Part Three.

Part Four.

Seriously, by going into the process knowing that you only have 90-95 pages for your script you are freed. You are free to be as creative as possible to get as much cool story into your script as possible (visually), and discard the stuff that's "filler" (unnecessary dialog, scenes). You are free to make every moment count for something (read "is entertaining") and quickly immerse the audience into all the cool, interesting bits of the story and characters (unlike the show example here).

It's the pulp way.

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