19 August, 2009

Script reading

Script Collector has been sharing scripts via Twitter but due to popular demand they've brought their blog back.

Although always check who wrote the script to avoid disappointment. "The Time Traveller's Wife (2009)" and "The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3 (2009)" are not the movie versions. Although there might be an interest in working out why those earlier drafts were rejected.

The former is by Jeremy Leven but Bruce Joel Rubin was brought in at the last moment for what appears to be a page 1 re-write as he gets sole credit. Having read the first twenty pages, it seems obvious why. It's not that Leven's writing is bad but I prefer Rubin's choices.

The latter is by David Koepp who I'm a fan of although he does get bad mouthed often. His version is more faithful to the novel and Brian Helgeland's page 1 rewrite basically updates the film.

Script Collector recently had a Hitchcock weekend where they posted 8 scripts and promises more specials. I now have a fresh crisp print-out of my favourite - North by Northwest by Ernest Lehman - to read and can barely contain my excitement. Yay! Yahoo! (Sorry, I couldn't contain it any longer)

Also worth a bookmark is Scriptshadow who posts and reviews scripts being shopped around. Although you sometimes have a limited time to download before he's ceased and desisted. Following him on Twitter lets you know as soon as scripts are posted.

His current review is of a comedy that sold for 1.75 million bucks but which isn't very good. Putting aside the jealousy that I can't sell my crap scripts for that much, the review is insightful and of a practical help when concepting and outlining our own comedies.


Andy Conway said...

Interesting re the differences between Rubin's and Leven's scripts. Are you going off the actual film or do you have Rubin's draft?

I read Leven's a while back and thought it was good but not great (which is pretty much what I'm expecting of the film from the trailers).

Robin Kelly said...

I'm going off the film, I haven't got the script.

My first impression is that Leven felt he had to sell the premise more than he had to. We get it, just tell the story!

Also he spent way too much time in the childhoods, it's about the adult relationship.

I'm about to read the book and maybe Leven was being more faithful to it but I understand Rubin stripped extraneous characters and got to the heart of the story.

Andy Conway said...


I've seen it now and I agree: Rubin's choices are bolder. It's an inspired choice to deal with the whole chrono-impairment premise and Henry's childhood flits in the scene of his mother's death, right up front, rather than all that stuff in the museum at night - which is charming but not very dramatic.

I also like how he changes the location of their final meeting to the meadow rather than the daughter's museum trip (again with the museums!). One of those choices that makes you slap your forehead and say 'Of course. How simple. How right.'

And if you read to the end of Leven's draft, the final scene is just so SO wrong that it ruins everything that's gone before. I'm imagining that was the very first delete on Rubin's list.