Write, Rewrite, Rewrite Again

I’m making a film.

Feels so great to say that. Thus far, I’ve taken four meetings this week that will have varying degrees of affect upon my career. The more hands I shake, the closer I get to realizing my goals.

I will be done the first draft of the short film script today and sending it off to Alan this afternoon, along with a package of other odds and ends we’ll need to assemble our proposal.

Yesterday was ‘Take Your Kid to Work’ Day in Toronto. Felt a lot like, ‘Let Jazzy Sleep In, Then Force Her to Hang Out With Me.’ She read an early draft of the short film script with me, then I took her to a meeting with a Director/Script Editor I know from Saskatchewan. We discussed Room 31 for two hours.

I have been collecting notes from a variety of sources for the past two weeks, and they all added up to a lot of unanswered questions. During my meeting yesterday, I came to realize that condensing my previous draft down to 37 pages was merely the first step in figuring out where my story begins. This current draft has three acts but ends too abruptly. Rather than being a cliff hanger that will make the reader want to read (watch) the next episode, it annoys them because there is very little resolution.

The script needs to get back to the 50-60 page mark – it needs Acts 4 and 5 to be added. I can use those acts to go deeper into the rest of my characters – bring out a C Story, then weave that story (along with the B Story) back into the A Story by the end of Act 5. In doing so, I can give this series much more of an episodic feel (where each episode is self contained), which in turn will make the series more marketable because broadcasters LOVE episodic television.

My next step with this script is to write out an actual outline – plot the act breaks and key story beats. Normally this is the very first step towards writing a script, but I began this thing 18 months ago as a way to amuse myself and my friends during the Spring Festival of New Plays in Regina. Between then and now, much (virtual) ink has been spent on the story, and only two scenes remain from that very first draft – and even those have been altered to a great degree.

The fastest way to move forward from here is to actually tear the script apart – break it down to its bones. Analyze. Plot. Reassemble. Write. Rewrite. Rewrite again. Keep rewriting.

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