This holiday weekend, I spent the whole of Saturday and Monday writing a different short script for the ishorts deadline. As I was “with muse” for the first time in months, I turned my attention briefly to Invisible Girl to try and shoulder my way through the script notes I received from Lucy a few months ago.
Rather than reading through my last abandoned draft with the same despair I had when I left it, I read it eagerly and GOT what needed to happen in order for it to click. I could read off the page where the problems were BEFORE I referred back to Lucy’s notes.
As it was, the notes were enacted in about 45 minutes as I reengaged with the characters and the story and a new draft was sent out to the interested parties within the hour.
I’ve had a couple of people come back already – one Lucy, with two slight “have you thought about this” notes and two, Judy – my good old LSF buddy – who I am committed to put a script into ishorts with. Both positive. Both “I get it”. Both “it’s almost there”.
We are, on Invisible Girl, for the record on draft ten. I reckon it’s about 90% there. And it’s the last 10% tweak that will make the difference. It’s the sense check, comedy pass, director pass, logistical pass, characterisation pass and “anything I can think off to make sure I’d be happy to send it to my dream actors to ask if they want to be involved” pass.
It goes to show me two things – I am a slow learner, by the way, and need to re learn this lesson once every six months or so.
1) Time gives perspective on scripts – you need to let scripts marinade and you need to give yourself the perspective to be able to react to the notes sanely and rationally. IF you dash in feet first and try and “fix” something you don’t agree is broken, you’ll fuck it up.
2) Scripts will “pop” in when ready – Take the other script I spent a considerable amount of time on Saturday and Monday on – it’s called Dans le Boudoir and is about Body Image and Boudoir Photography. I’d called about four writer friends at the tail end of last week about this idea AND spoken at length to my friend Mel about Boudoir Photography to get the insights I needed from her angle. I love the idea, I know what I’m trying to do but the script is not right, the story is not working…it too will need the perspective marinade and a whole heap of thinking time before I can be happy with it.
Gail Hackston is a filmmaker, screenwriter and producer. Her blog is about getting things made in the UK Film Industry.