Sunday, June 3, 2007

Script Frenzy: The Problem

I am not happy with my script, as the saying goes, as it is currently construed. The problem, I think, stems from a lack of preparation. Although I have a pretty sizable outline document it's proving to be next to worthless. It's nothing more than a collection of plot ideas and character hooks.

Have you ever seen that one Seinfeld episode? The one where he had a brilliant idea in the middle of the night? Scratched it down on a handy notepad, chuckling all the while. Wakes up the next day and it's an incoherent mess. The rest of the episode he's showing everyone his note trying to make heads or tails of the scribble thinking it's got to be devastatingly funny. Finally, at the end, he understands what he's written and goes, “Oh. Well, that's just not funny.” That's how I feel about my outline. I had what seemed like a good idea at the time but it's not doing me any good at the moment.

It's not a story. It's a collection of random elements. Not something that's lending itself to creating an actual plot. And, as you might imagine, it's turning into a rambling, ball of nonsense. I was hoping that, as things went on, I'd be able to pull some order out of the chaos but it's not happening right now.

Another thing bothering me about the script is also how it's getting away from me. I'm not quite sure how long exactly a movie should be – I mean, I know one page equals roughly a minute of film time, but how much story do you pack into a 20k word script? So, I tried to have as much going on as possible, as many ways of padding, if need be. But, at the moment, I figure I've got about 2k worth of words down. Or roughly 10% of the script done. Based on that, I have way too many subplots and stories to resolve. I've got enough for a few movies, not just the one I'm writing. Fixing it means taking an axe to it, which I'm not ready to do just yet.

I don't know, something's got to give.

Well, I had other things going on today, so I'm going to get my hour or so of writing in for the night now. We'll see how that goes.

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