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You have given that child up to a new home. It now becomes the vision of the producer and director.
This is some info in response to Ben's comment about writers and directors. And this is only from my experience, other writers have other experiences.
Sure it's exciting to sell a script. But it will also scare the crap out of you when you have the contract in front of you that says, "your baby is now mine!" At this point, you may be out of the loop. All your hard work and vision is in the hands of other people. You may have no control at all, depending on your agreement.
After months of negotiations, I agreed to the terms that the producer owns the project and I have first right of refusal on rewrites. So now, it's frightening. You wonder what will become of your baby.
I had no idea if he would keep me in the loop, even though according to the contract, he didn't have to keep me informed at all.
To my surprise, he began sending me head shots of the actors he wanted. I gave my input and he listened. And let me tell you, during negotiations, it got pretty hot and almost ugly at times. I didn't know what the future held, but both of us put on our professional hats, and moved past all that. Respect and learning to listen and communicate is key.
Then a director was brought on. Now the director has his own vision. Perception is reality and his perception of the script and mine, may be different. In this case, he got it. He saw my vision.
Then I get the call saying, we rewrote some scenes to reflect location changes. I was nervous. It took me two days to open the file and read the new version of the script. My stomach was all in knots, but to my surprise, he was right. The script had very little changes. And the few location changes or minor scene changes, were needed for filming purposes. I was pleased.
Then in the screen tests, the director may see how some dialogue would work better by adding this or taking away that. You now have actors giving their input on what "feels right" to them. So the director is taking your words that you wrote to get a message across and capture a moment on screen, and if a change is needed to do that, then so be it.
So the producer would call and say, what if this character said this or that instead. If it felt right, I would say sure. If I disagreed, I would say so. Respect comes in to play again because then he says, "well, you know these characters better than anyone, so you tell me your opinion." As a writer, you are lucky to get that.
At this point, the producer and director know the story and characters almost as well as I do, so when they made choices, I really did agree with them. We were all on the same page. Even when they added a scene that changed something minor in the story. At first I wasn't so sure about that, but after I thought about it, it made sense to make that change. You have to be flexible. As long as the end result is what you intended.
Then on the set during shooting, the director may make more changes due to "happy accidents" Opportunities that may come up. Such as, a prop used on set to dress the scene and the director may get an idea on how to use that prop to demonstrate something by showing without telling. A whole scene of dialogue may get deleted and replaced with a scene using this prop. He is getting the same message across, only more powerful because he is showing and not telling. This is where the Director's talents come out and the vision is truly his at this point.
I won't even go in to editing because that's a whole other story. But I think you get the idea here.
Congratulations. It's graduation day for you. You have successfully treaded water and not only survivied the swift waters, but have learned what it takes to be a part of a team. Many writers never learn your lesson. Nevermind the directors or producers who do not. Her, we who are writers, must learn thoselessons in order to have a complete collaboration on the project so it is a success for all concerned, and it's result gives all parties a a chance to "do it again"; to play inthe bog snadbox woth the kids who are most fun to play with.
Congratulations, once again. Do it again.
I have been very lucky to be able to surround myself with amazing and talented people.
It's all about preparation meeting opportunity. And then trusting your gut as you move through the jungle.
I totally hear you with regards to the baby out of the arms.
A short I just sold has been changed so many times now that I can almost sell the original again and it would come off as a new project.
They changed the title, added 10 minutes to the project, two locations and 5 characters.
I am going to the shoot in a couple of weeks in Toronto and have been asked to participate as a script supervisor.
I was pissed about the changes until I read and saw what they wanted to do.
Now I can hardly wait for the finished project...afterall, its their dime, their vision now but I've shown a professionalism to them to carry on with new and bigger projects.
I guess we have to be able to check our ego at the door.
Good on ya!
And Good for YOU!! Aside from talent, it's all about relationships. You show them you are easy to work with and they will want more from you.
And you're right, it's THEIR dime. They are the one taking the huge financial risk. We are selling them a product, once they have it, they can do whatever they want.
When word started getting out about my script, a writer went to my producer offering to rewrite the script for xx amount of money. The producer said, "why would I have paid this money to buy the script if I want it rewritten by someone else?"
Then talking to the actors and director and hearing how much they love the story, I knew didn't have to worry about the producer compromising the integrity of the story.
Good for you on your sale. And yes your stomach will turn in knots because things will be changed in your script. You might not like, but you have to accept it. It's out of your hands basically.
Hope all turns out well and the story stays close to what you wrote.
Congratulations. You're a better writer for this experience and it will show in your next screenplay.
Give us release dates, title etc. so we can support this movie when it comes out.
David E. Lucas, Author of Death Benefits and proud member of the Batcave
Thanks for your support guys!
I'll keep you posted. I have a few other projects in development with other people as well. And the phone is ringing with the question, "what else have ya got?" It's a nice feeling and even nicer when I can say, I have 9 scripts ready to go.
Damn, that's awesome, congrats!
Shooting begins tomorrow. Everyone keep your fingers crossed. Now it's up to the Actors, Director, DP and Producer.
The cast is amazing and I'm so pleased. Of course I wish I could be there, but I did give this baby up and it's out of my hands. All I can do is pray to the movie Gods!
Sounds pretty hard to let the baby walk alone, right?
Anyway, that's awesome. Ill keep my fingers crossed for you!
**crosses them** :D
First Day of Shooting...
So I pop online and see the producer was trying to IM me but I was away. So I called to see what was up. He just wanted to tell me that they were getting ready to shoot and everything was in place and how amazing the set looked. They rented a ton of stuff from Universal.
I was gone all day after that, and came home late and hopped online and the producer IM's with, "I need to talk to you." And I'm thinking, crap, what is going on.
So he calls and I am thinking it's gonna be bad. But it wasn't. He said everything went so great today except for one scene. The director decided to improvise a scene and add to it and it just didn't work. So the producer asked what I would do with that scene.
The scene itself was a short one, that I wrote to establish an alter ego of the character. It was sort of a set up to make you think one thing and later you find out another.
So he put me on the spot and asked what I saw the character doing in this situation. The director had gone over the top with the scene during the shoot because he didn't completely understand or have a grasp on this secret side of the character. It's very psychological.
I suddenly saw that the intention of this scene was interpreted as much more than what I had written. I knew what the director was trying to get across, but he didn't know how, because I didn't write in as much intention as they were reading into it. So I pulled something out of my ass and said...
OK, have her walk in as written but instead of showing everything in a wide shot like the director did today, do a medium shot on the character and only imply what she is doing without showing the whole thing, then cut to a quick shot of blah blah blah and then cut to this, blah blah blah and then she ends the scene with this..blah blah blah.
So he says, YES, that's it! Here, tell the director. So he puts the director on the phone and I explain the scene to him and he says, "yes that is what I was trying to get across!" Then he says, "I wish you were here."
I will be there soon, but not soon enough. But how lucky I am to have them want to be so true to the story to ask my opinion and use it. I am so lucky that egos are not getting in the way of making a good film.
I feel truly blessed! I'm so lucky to be working with these professional, amazing men.
Linda, you are leading a charmed life! Congratulations on selling your baby to parents who will allow you to visit, love, and nurture her.
O.K. I was afraid this would happen. Evertyone, Linda is about to enter a new world of which she is not yet prepared, but if we all band together and do not abandon her, she will live through it.
Linda...I hate to be the one to tell you, but you are just going to have to accept it. Are you sitting down? Well, sit down. O.K. Linda, you are becomeing a hyphenate: You are becoming a "writer/director". I know, I know. Who the hell am I to make such an accusation? Takes one to know one. You'll need to go back to all my past rants and memorize some of my "bad attitudes" of which I have been charged with, but beieve me, once the bug has bitten you, it's all over. It came close the other day when you merely mentioned the use of the medium shot over the wide shot in order to hide some of the action and then use a reveal at the end of the shot to clue in the audience. It will all happen when the D.P. looks at you and says,"we're ready" and then the 1st A.D. looks at you for a nod and says "roll tape" and then you hear "roll sound, rolling..." and everyone waits for you to say "action", or as some of us like to say, "anytime you're ready Mr. Travolta." You'll be torn between looking at the video monitor and the actual actors themselves, but you'll eventually find the happy medium. Then it dosen't stop with "cut"; No, it only continues with the discussion with the D.P. or sound engineer who didn't like it for some reason, so you have to coax the actors into doing it all over again, making sure they understand it was not their fault. Oh, yes, the arrows and slings of directing. God, we do love it.
I just hope no one else reads this post, Linda. God knows what would happen if it got out that the life of a writer/director is even better than the "just a writer" one.
Thanks Terry, yes I found her a good home!
And Randy, OMG, I just thought I was developing multiple personality disorder and had been struck by lightning. But then I looked in the mirror and you are right, there was a hyphenate stuck in the middle of my head.
I took it out, but the scar is still there and I'm guessing it shall remain. The doctors said I'll recover just fine. :) The xanex is helping though ;)
Sorry, Linda, but once you've been hyphenated, there's no going back. It's like being a trans-sexual -- even if you have restorative surgery, the best you can hope for is to be a retro-sexual. An intervention might help, but it would only be cosmetic, as deep inside you've gone over to the dark side of The Force. The real world pollutes.
Goodbye from the Ivory Tower
There have been mumbles about me directing in the future. I am all for it. In time, we shall see what will happen. For now, I'm very content taking meetings and getting these other projects off the ground.
I feel good about my relationships with these other interested parties and I will be grateful for whatever involvement they allow me to have in the projects.
Please check your basement. I feel certain that there is a pod growing down there! If you find one, you must drink coffee and do whatever is necessary to stay awake. Otherwise, you will wake up a writer/director. That's like being hyphenated -- once you ar slashed, you can never go back. Eventually, the writer part will die off and you'll be, I shudder to write it, a director, and you will join forces with producers to hunt down and destroy writers.
Seriously, though, I (and I'm sure all the others who post or just kibbitz here) wish you nothing but success, even as a writerslashdirector. Please don't forget to pass along amusing or instructive anecdotes and advice and phone numbers and raw gossip.
Well Terry, I went into my basement and the only thing I saw that was kinda glowing, OK, more like steaming, was a nice little pile of shit one of my baby dogs left for me. But I'll keep an eye on it.
I will be gone for a while, heading to LA in two weeks and not sure yet how long I'll be there. Showing up for the last week of shooting and for the wrap party and meetings.
As far as raw gossip, I'm too good at keeping secrets. All the juicy stuff I know gets put in the vault and stays there. As for numbers, you have the most important one and you know how to use it ;)
The producer called me tonight and said, "shh, just listen." and I could hear.."ACTION" Then one of my scenes began filming as I quietly listened. Then he told me dailies look great and we are on our way.
Awesome! You go, girl!
Just skimming the queue.
Good for you, Linda, hopefully you made your life a bit financial easier, plus get your words to a movie for a big audience to see. Excellent bonuses.
That is great news Linda. The sale, the filming and :-) the hyphenate.
I just dove in this summer myself. Was asked, made the decision in half a second and there you go. Another Writer-director.
And soon to become HD editor since I can't find any in the area. I am so looking forward to learning this.
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