Friday, July 29, 2011

Submitting your script: Is it ready?

The degree to which a script has to be truly ready before submitting to producers and agents was brought home to me several years ago in a rather vivid and unforgettable way. 

Monday, July 25, 2011

Patience and perspective in script development

     There’s been a lot written about the development process that the vast majority of scripts go through before they’re finally made into films or produced on the stage.  What comes through loud and clear from these accounts is that rarely is this a solo experience with the writer working alone through a number of drafts. More likely it’s an arduous undertaking involving many professionals giving input and taking up to a year or more of work.

But what’s the point of it all?

Monday, July 18, 2011

Designing story: a script consulting experience, part III

My last two blog posts have attempted to lay out a recent day-long script consulting experience I had with a client where we worked through his story scene by scene and engineered a solid structural framework.  Here’s how the session concluded: 

By the end of the day (actually it was relatively late that night), we were exhausted, but we had on the table four dozen cards divided into three distinct acts that represented a definite structural roadmap for a story that excited us.  We sensed that the script based on this outline would really deliver the goods and make the kind of statement that the writer wanted to make.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Designing story: a script consulting experience, part II

    My last post introduced a day-long script consulting session I recently had with a client.  Here is how it unfolded:

    Basically what we spent the day doing was a very hands-on working through of the story scene by scene and crafting a structure that would fit into the basic three act framework.  I started by writing “Act I” on a card, then “Act II” on another, and “Act III” on a third and placing them on the table, a couple of feet apart.  This gave us from the start a simple structural design to build on—dividing the story into these three time-honored parts of setup, struggle, and solution.  (I’ve posted several blogs on these structural story components—see, for example this one from last month.)

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Designing story: a script consulting experience, part I

    A couple of weeks ago I invited a script client of mine to my mountaintop home in New Hampshire to do some intensive work on a promising project he’d been developing. We’d been working on it over the phone and via email for some time and we both agreed that it would be optimal if the two of us could actually grapple with the script together in person and hopefully pin it to the mat once and for all.