Monday 17 October 2011

"Allen Bridge" blog #28...

It's back to page 1 again as I make another tour through the script - this time with an eye to trimming as many unnecessary words as possible. I particularly want to trim Act I, as for a while now it's culminated on page 34 - although on the very first draft, it did so on page 44, so cutting out 10 pages worth was quite good in itself. However, Act I should end on page 30 - and right now I've got it ending part way into page 33, so it is crawling back somewhat. If I can't get it any further than page 31 or part way into page 32, so-be-it, I'm not going to cut stuff just for a page number - but it would be quite nice if I was able to manage this little feat of editing.

As for the rest of the script, particular focus will be on the newly added content, and especially the dialogue-heavy sequences found in Act II and the denouement. They might be heavy with dialogue, but they're also heavy with information and thematic imagery, it's not just empty words. However, if there are lines that aren't needed, they'll come out.

It's also interesting to go through my bullet points for this re-drafting process. The vast majority have been met, but there's the odd one that's much more obscure to include. For example, thinking of having the character of Jeanie - the owner and operator of the town's cafe - to be somewhat flirtatious with D.C.I. Ryman ... and while I've added a little detail here and there to suggest the possibility of an attraction, in this particular case it's not something you can really write in - if anything it'd be a piece of between-the-lines performance/motivation for the actors.

Furthermore, in all my notes on the script dating back to the very first ideas, little thoughts of things like Ryman having a broad vocabulary haven't quite fed in as much as I'd initially thought. He certainly speaks in a way that sits apart from other characters, but due to some of the stuff he has to talk about, Harland Mumper has become the character whose dialogue has a very individual ring to it. Ryman has become verbally more direct, while Harland has become verbally more inventive. Small things, almost infinitesimal things, can shift when it actually comes the time to put fingers-to-keyboard ... it's all a part of the evolution of the script.

Finally, after having spent so much time (when I'm not busy with other things) over so many months now, I'm really ready to see this script finished. Around this time in a project there is a sense of fatigue that you have to battle against - you don't want to say "ah screw it, that'll do", but you also don't want to needlessly and ridiculously nitpick over every single shred until it becomes a muddled mess - at some point you have to say "no, it's finished now" and release it so that it can be looked at by the necessary people.

As I often say "it'll be what it'll be" - the key is to do everything you can reasonably do, within the skill set and knowledge you possess at the time, to make it the best product you can, under the circumstances within which you're working. A dedicated approach, but also a practical one.

No comments: