08 June, 2006

14 Day Screenplay: Progress Report #2

12 pages. Looking on the bright side, if it was the 28 Day Screenplay I’d be doing really well.

In my rom-com I had arrived at the cute meet between Ziggy and Amanda but it was too early according to the 14 Day Screenplay beat sheet. That doesn’t necessarily mean it was too early for my script but, actually, it was. Looking back, I hadn’t really introduced Ziggy properly and I hadn’t introduced his sister and her family properly. I had written light funny introductions but was missing a bit of emotional depth, showing what made them tick. So I went back and wrote a couple more scenes and the problem was solved.

On another blog, can’t remember which, the writer talked about doing scenes out of order. I try and avoid writing out of order and if I get stuck I just stay at that place until I solve the problem. However, now I’m seeing that if I am struggling with a difficult scene then as long as the structure is sound then there’s maybe nothing wrong with just writing an easy scene later on in the beat sheet instead. At least that way you keep going.

My page count also reflects the difference between a very rough beat sheet and a proper outline or treatment. So while I’ve put time aside to actually write, I’m going to have to find some extra time to work up my beat sheet properly. The beauty of it is, as I said before, this can be done while you’re doing other things as it’s just thinking and solving puzzles.

I am regretting not heeding my own advice and doing more character work in the pre-write so I’m having to do it on the fly. Character work, like questionnaires, makes sure you put in as much effort with all the characters as you do with your favourites.

I love Ziggy and can see him quite clearly. However, Amanda’s a bit of a blur at the moment. I suspect she may be just a cipher, only in my rom-com as a prize for Ziggy being good. Which would be a bad thing, obviously. So I need to make sure that she’s more than a pretty bait with a comedy trait. I’ll do that by emphasising her own arc and making her a bit more rounded.

It's worth it because the better written Amanda is the more likely a big-name actor will want to play her. Can Scarlett Johansson do a Brummie accent? Just imagine. Spielberg will encourage me to visit the set during filming and ask me for advice on camera angles, I’ll chat with Scarlett and she’ll compliment me on the best written script she has ever read, we’ll do it in her trailer like wild raging beasts, we’ll get married and live happily ever after. They’ll be none of this Notting Hill, “Oh, she’s too famous, I can’t”, floppy-hair, whinging bollocks. I’ll be right in there.

OK, I think I may have gotten ahead of myself a little there as I’m only on page 12, after all. But that possible scenario is certainly an incentive to keep going and finish.


Optimistic_Reader said...

Hi Robin - you've probably already spotted it, but lest you haven't there's a great Billy Mernit article up on the Writer's Guild site at the moment which you might find helpful. Although I'm sure my script is a mess at the moment, I'm confident that I know what it's really about thematically, which Billy Mernit emphasizes.

Robin Kelly said...

Yes, I linked to it while you were writing your comnment.

Having read it I realise how I can make the Amanda character work better - by making her arc relevant to the theme.

mernitman said...

Thanks for reading me and all but wait a second, Scarlett's in MY trailer, dammit, do you mean to tell me she's a slut?! I'm calling the Muse Board to register a complaint...

Good luck with your completion, at any rate.

Robin Kelly said...

Thanks for stopping by and your words of encouragement. No thanks at all for the devastating news about Scarlett. I would complain as well but it would be two-faced as I'm two-timing her with Kate Beckinsale...