-My western failed to make it through the first round of Scriptapalooza, which makes me 0 for 4 so far this year. I’m not counting the top 20 percent ranking for the Nicholl; that’s like getting Honorable Mention. At this point, I’ve pretty much written off its chances for Austin.
My problem was overconfidence in the script. I thought it was solid enough, but apparently not. It’s not the first time this has happened to me, but I’ll be more careful about it in the future.
I still believe in this script, which is why I’ve been so gung-ho about rewriting it. The past two weeks have been all about making it better. After completing the latest round of edits, it’s now 8 pages shorter, and still some further fine-tuning to do, which hopefully won’t add more than 2-3.
-Never realized how much my characters repeat things in dialogue. “I need you go to the store.” “The store? Why?” Must be the influence of listening to so much old-time radio. Cutting all of those probably amounted to at least half a page.
-I cut at least 5(!) separate situations where the Wilhelm Scream could be used.
-Had a great lunch-chat with one of my working writer pals yesterday. While he was very supportive and encouraging, he also reminded me of the almost insurmountable task of a new, unproven writer breaking in with a high-budget script.
“Your chances improve when you offer something that won’t cost a lot to make. A lot more people can get something made for under $5 million, rather than $50 million, let alone $100-200 million.”
As it should have, it got me thinking. Do I have any stories like that? It took the bike ride home and digging through some old flash drives to discover I did. Maybe about 5 or 6, all of them just a logline and not much else.
It’s a start.
-Movie of the Moment: GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (2014). Loved it. Great story, great characters (and their development). Maybe my only complaint was the bombardment of exposition in the first 20 minutes. Other than that, a lot of fun.
Biggest pleasant surprise: Dave Bautista as Drax.
Biggest almost-catastrophe: Adam Sandler as a potential voice for Rocket. Somebody thought this was a good idea?
It’s really impressive how much of an effort Marvel puts into their stories and characters. I sincerely hope DC and Warner Brothers can take a lesson from this.