Friday, 17 July 2009

We are what we write II

In an unofficial follow-up to this post some other things have come in the last couple of weeks of script reading work.

Picking up from where we left off, to sum up, as writers all we have is our scripts. A revolutionary statement I know, but nevertheless, it's important to remember that those 100 or so pages we send off, represents us completely and utterly. Certainly at the beginning of our careers, when we haven't had the time yet to build up any sort of reputation.What lands on a desk may be all that that person knows about us.

I was reading the script of a client recently. And no it's not Steve this time (who outed himself here) It was the third script I'd read from this writer, and the previous two had been excellent, some of the best I've read since I started Script Reading on the Blog. But whilst this latest script was competent and structurally and motivationally sound, there was something missing. It was a bit flat. It lacked the spark of the previous stuff and I knew the writer was capable of more. You see I knew, because I was familiar with their work. So I told them what I felt and interestingly, the writer replied, in not so many words, that they had gone through the motions a little bit on this one. Something slightly similar had recently been on TV and a certain impetus had been lost. They felt they should finish the script and so did so, but without any real flair or gusto.

I found all this incredibly interesting because it was clear to me that the writer's feelings had manifested itself on the page - to the detriment of the work. It made me think back to scripts I'd written, maybe just to get them done and move onto the next thing, and wondered whether this kind of attitude had transferred itself to the script.

Because you can send what you like to me (and other readers like me) Splurge drafts, first drafts, fifth drafts, drafts full of typos. That's all fine. That's what I'm here for, to hopefully help to make things better.
But it's probably not a good idea to send something that you are not pumped up about yourself, to a production company, producer, or even a competition. It will show on the page. And if whoever is reading it does not know you or your work any better - then that's it. It could be the end of the road for you with that particular person/company before it's even really started.

Like I said last time, you never get a second chance to make a first impression.

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