Sunday, April 29, 2007

The Limit - proofing

I've been:

1. making sure there's the same number of spaces after each full-stop
2. making all the '...' in the script consistently spaced
3. spell-checking stuff. Turns out that adding words to the dictionary makes the process go faster
4. formatting all the remaining dialogue. I used Page Preview for this. Next time, I really need to set up a script template with macros.

Gripping stuff, I know. But getting the presentation right is important at a "It's a good read" level.

As usual, I stalled on doing this, then found it was much quicker than I anticipated. (All hail the Auto-replace function.)

Next up, I'll be:

5. putting the (CONT.) into the script
6. making sure the scene headings are formatted consistently (in style and names of locations).

Then to print it out, and reverse-proof it - starting from the end of the script and going back a sentence at a time.

After that's all done, I've got to:

- enter the final changes
- paginate it all
- turn it into a PDF (which may be unnecessary)
- register it with the NZWG
- send it off to a producer.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Script - What finishing feels like

I think it's worth noting that when I finished making changes to The Limit last night, the sense of quiet satisfaction I felt seemed exactly the same as what I feel when I finish any project - of whatever magnitude. To be specific, finishing the script after seven years gave me the same amount of satisfaction as working on a 48-hour film, writing a role-playing game, or locking down a well-constructed sketch.

I wasn't expecting a flood of adrenalin or a massive epiphany; it's just that what I did feel surprised me.

Unbundling this further:

  • the script isn't yet finished finished as there's still proofing to go
  • I found the writing process itself to be rewarding - challenging, sure, but satisfying and worthwhile
  • from working on hopeless, I'm aware that there are many moments that you celebrate during the life of a script (including realising you're filming a scene that matches up to your imagination; seeing a cut of the film that finally works; and the Premiere)
  • there are also future rewards, specific to this script.

Those possible future rewards include stuff like:

  • reading the script with fresh eyes in, say, a year & enjoying it
  • selling the script
  • getting positive feedback from people I respect
  • having a script that I think is special enough that it could generate royalties for me
  • having a sample script that could open doors to new jobs for me.

The point is that there wasn't some big Hollywood rush of triumph. It was a quiet moment. If anything, I would call it contentment.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

The Limit

It's done.

Proofing will commence sometime in the next couple of days, but for now time for a glass of wine, and a sense of reflective satisfaction.


Monday, April 23, 2007

The Limit - Good progress

I'm about 80% through typing in the changes I've made. This stage always goes faster than I anticipate. And, as a bonus, I'm happy with all the ideas that I've come up with over the last couple of months.

Now entering the third act, where there's a lot of new material.

Hopefully finished by Wednesday, and then the proofing begins.

Sunday, April 15, 2007

[The Limit] The end of marking up the script

Friday night, I finished revising the exposition scene in the middle of the script. That's the last big change I had to make, and it involved quite a bit of research.

So, that's the end of the big creative-thinking part of the script. Now to type in the changes, with hopefully only a few areas where I have to come up with new ideas. I expect that phase will have a lot of tightening of dialogue in it.

A couple of months back,
Morgue described writing a second draft as

... like being inside a giant and massively complex sudoku puzzle, erasing and checking and erasing again as you try and get the damn thing to have the right balance of numbers. Equal parts fascinating and frustrating, but always compelling.

I'd add to that, that there's a constant deepening of your understanding of the characters. Every scene that's been problematic in this rewrite, I've had to say why is it in the script? That question has led to me amping up its structural importance (the sudoku aspect, above), but I've also had to 'get' previously minor characters. That deeper understanding feeds back into the start of the script and affects how other characters react to each other.

Anyway, like I said, typing, proofing, and sending out are next. I expect the secondary project I'll focus on now is to collect all of these script writing posts and start to refine and publish my process.