Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Box? What Box?


TWP and I learned a hard lesson this weekend, but hard in a way that felt like a break through as opposed to a break down.

I did like I always do on weekends: haul the lap top out to the dining room table, pull the blinds so I won't be tempted to stare out at our gorgeous view (and block out the sun, because the sun and I are not friends), and flip on the TV for background noise. Hello, SyFy Saturday movies. 

Here's the thing: ten pages into the script (which we'd revised now two or three times) I realized something. I called up TWP and asked him for his impressions. Our conversation went something like this:

Me: So, I'm ten pages in.
TWP: What're you thinking?
Me: I have thoughts about this, but tell me what you're thinking, because I want to see if we're thinking the same thing.
TWP: Something's missing.

At this point, my roommate walked by me and gave me the "why are you crazy" eye.

I needed to have TWP say it first because if I'd brought up the idea of massive changes, he's have been resistant. TWP and CHANGE don't get along. Needless to say, I was relieved that we were on the same page. Hence, the caps lock.

The realization we both came to was that, while we were revising like crazy, we were only revising within the setup and outline that we'd already locked in. We could only go so far. What was truly needed was for both of us to take a step back and really look at what could be overhauled to make the script as good as it could possibly be. It turned out that included a completely new first act and the addition of a whole new character.

We needed to step outside the box we'd locked ourselves in. By doing so, we're going to turn a good script into a great script. A script we're finally happy with.


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