Friday, August 26, 2011

Locations and your script

     It goes without saying that as a screenwriter works away in isolation on a project it’s important to give serious thought to the locations where scenes are set. Imaginative and unusual settings can help raise the stakes in a story and at times can even play a significant role in moving the story’s plot forward. But it’s also worthwhile to keep in mind that once a script is greenlit and pre-production gears up, those carefully considered locations in the screenplay may very well be drastically altered as location scouting for the production commences and new and exciting possibilities start presenting themselves.

     This is exactly what happened on our feature The Sensation of Sight. The movie was set entirely in a small New England town.  Once we located the town where we wanted to shoot the film (Peterborough, NH), we set about looking for locations that would work for us.  Our locations manager Nick Koloski, writer/director Aaron Wiederspahn, and DP Christophe Lanzenberg spent many days investigating various possible settings for scenes and they found some wonderful surprises.  In fact, a number of the key scenes in the film were shot on locations that didn’t exist in the script—locations that actually demanded that the script be altered to include them. 

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

The script as a means to an end

     Last week I sat on a scriptwriting panel at the Rhode Island International Film Festival.  The focus was on the process of writing a screenplay and there was a lot of lively give and take among the panelists and with our audience.  Many interesting and useful points were discussed and I think everyone in attendance left with ample food for thought. 

     However, as the two-hour session progressed and the discussion got ever deeper into the screenwriting process, one overriding thought began to nag at me.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Developing a script that’s “ready”: What it takes

            A pattern has emerged for the projects my production company is interested in putting into development. Not that what we do is any different than most other producers.  But I thought it would be interesting to detail the process our current top-listed project has gone through in terms of script development.