The end of the month can’t get here soon enough. I’m so freakin’ excited to be shooting again and everything comes together like a John Lennon song. Rehearsals are going fantastic, the crew has almost entirely come together, and I’m so ready for this. This will be the next step in my evolution as a filmmaker.
Again, the re-writing that comes from rehearsal constantly improves the dialogue, which is a weak spot for me. A few years ago, I really let a few people’s opinions that I sucked as a writer get to me. I wasn’t that confident in my writing, as I never really aspired to be a writer. So when these 3-4 people told me it was not my strongest asset, I decided to give up on writing for the most part. I’d take the Spielberg/Bryan Singer approach of being a producer/director who shaped the script as the one in charge, but take no credit as a writer or even “story by”. The title of DIRECTOR would be good enough.
My quest began by trying to find and work with other writers. This was not the most fun experience because there are so few screenwriters who will work for either spec (meaning no money up front) or the ones that will, have no idea the collaborative nature of making a movie and writing a script as a group. I kept going to these guys and saying “these are the elements that are etched in stone and cannot be changed” and inevitably those things would get changed. It wasn’t enough to use certain sections a play ground, so invariably, I’d have to get rid of them. In the end, I’m writing by myself again. With the last few scripts and shorts I’ve made, my confidence in screenwriting has improved, but because I know it’s not perfect, I’m much more accepting of criticism and making changes.
I used to think Peter Jackson was nuts for the number of revisions and the constant re-writing he did on THE FRIGHTENERS, LORD OF THE RINGS, and KING KONG, but I think he’s completely right on now. I inadvertently adopted his style of nearly free-form writing and collaborating with actors to shape the dialogue as long as the basic “intent” remains the same.
I’m working on my shot list for the latest draft of this 5 page script. I couldn’t be more excited. Every movie still feels like the first time. I get giddy like a child on Xmas morning. That’s how I know I’m doing what I was supposed to do. The magic hasn’t faded.
Anywho, that’s my big update for now.