And I’m back. My script rewrite is now in the past tense.
Maybe not an out-and-out rewrite per se, but taking a script and reformatting it into script form. My instructions were to work my magic on the action lines and leave the dialogue alone. Mea culpa – I tinkered with some of that too.
I’ll start off by saying the idea behind the story was good, and there were faint glimmers of potential, but I had lots of problems with the execution. I don’t know if this was a first draft, but it sure looked and read like one.
-Huge blocks of text in both the wide margins and the dialogue.
-Starting a scene in one room, then having it go to one, two or more locations, without starting a new scene
-Not giving the reader any idea who the main character is, nor establishing what was at stake, if anything.
-Characters who disappear for long stretches of time.
-Tons of unnecessary and unfilmable details.
-Story details that come out of nowhere based on nothing the reader has already read.
-Dialogue that’s pure exposition. Sometimes repeated several times in several different scenes.
-Scenes without any conflict, or at least nothing to move the story forward, that drag on and on.
-Characters saying each other’s names over and over and over again in each scene.
-Using the same verbs and adjectives throughout the whole thing.
The whole time I was working on this, there were quite a lot of times I couldn’t help but roll my eyes in disbelief. But the main point is: I’m done with it.
The Nicholl deadline is next week. No way am I going to make it. I figure I can work on the DREAMSHIP rewrite, then pump out a first draft of LUCY.
Movie of the Moment: MAN OF THE CENTURY. A fun, small independent film from ’99 about a man who lives in then-modern NYC as if it were the 1920s. I’d heard about it when it was originally released, which was for about a week in the arthouse circuit. If you get a kick out of the early days of talkies, or at least the dialogue, then you’ll enjoy this. Only complaint – they never explain why the guy is like this.
Turns out the star and director also wrote it. They must have spent a lot of time researching the slang and catchphrases of the day, because they’re prevalent throughout the whole thing.
I was also impressed with how they had about eight different storylines each tie up nice and clean in the last five minutes.
I’d love to know how they got Frank Gorshin involved. I thought he was in it for a cameo, but he was one of the subplots.
-I got to read a phenomenal action script yesterday. It was fast-moving, exciting and just a blast to read. It’s what I hope LUCY can be like.