Friday, July 28, 2006

It's never really over

Just when I'm trying to concentrate on the third draft, the Sofia film festival gets in touch to say they want to screen home. Only we gave them a DVD with some changes (less music and one shot cut shorter), so now I have to find a beta edit suite and make changes to the beta copy I have that I'm going to send them. It's a diversion, but I'm not complaining.

Well, OK, I will complain a bit, because I finally got round to seeing Andrea Arnold's film Wasp on filmfour last night, and thought it was fantastic, and then spent hours wondering what Home would have been like if we'd shot it in the same style as Wasp.

Gave up wondering in the end. Came to the ocnclusion that you have to stick with what you know, and locked off shots are what I know, not hand held faux verite. So that's settled it then. Except, I wonder what Home would have been like had I shot it hand held like Wasp? What would One, two, three, four be like if we shot it really hand held? How much would it change the characters and the situations (Answer: shit loads)? In the end come to the conclusion that there's no point trying to copy someone else's style. Use different stylistic elements within a film to show varied emotions / pace, but know what your style and look is first of all. Like Tom Waits said, he makes records because he can't find the ones he wants in the record store, so what's the point in merely aping someone else's style, they've already done it.

I may have used that Waits quote before here, but I'm buggered if I'm going to read through all this rubbish to check. I've got far more important things to worry about, like what would Home have looked like if I'd shot it like wasp?

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Third draft

Worked my way through the script a second time, many, many changes. Characters came and went, plot lines disappeared and things came more into focus. Stevie, the main character, had a girlfriend who left him, and even though she was a strong character and their scenes together were fun, she was just getting in the way. So she's gone.

Billy, the guitarist has become more defined, but the only one who was causing problems was Gemma, the bass player. Well, that was until yesterday. It suddenly hit me that apart from the obvious rom com stuff, it was hard to pinpoint what the story was really about, and that was because the goals the main character had were just too wooly and in conflict with what happened. So I gave him Billy's desires, and moved his concerns over to Gemma, and hey presto, it all makes sense now. Suddenly it's a story about someone being so desperate to escape their life and achieve something that they lose sight of what they really want. Now the story actually makes sense, has a purpose, and most importantly, a main character who actually changes.

It's odd how these things come about. Like the main character I couldn't see the wood for the trees, couldn't see what was wrong (though I knew it was something). But in thinking about it all the time your brain does weird things, like those screen saver programmes that run in down time calculating SETI data or world pollution. And so it was that in the middle of the night these changes came to me and it all became clear, so much so that I was forced to put the light on and scribble them down on a bit of paper in case I woke up the next morning knowing I'd cracked the main problem but unable to remember how (see also: my plans for Cold Fission).

So third draft it is now, halfway through and it's coming together nicely. All I need to do now is find a way to add some wizards and ninjas and maybe a bear that fires lazer beams through its eyes and I will have a solid gold hit.

Monday, July 03, 2006

Round one

First draft completed. It's a bit mixed up, but it's always a relief to get the first draft done, not least for the fact that it's good to have 90 pages of script in front of you. Changes are already pretty obvious. Mian character needs more incentive, relationship with love interest needs flagging up more, and the secondary characters all need defining more. Seems so much more straightforward and easy to write when you're just making changes though. There's something about not having to look at a blank page that makes the world seem a better place. It also gives me something to think about rather than England once again going out of the World Cup.