Monday, July 18, 2011

Update aka The Long and the Short of It, Part 1

Screenwriting is, of course, a very glamorous occupation where you get to party with fabulously talented actors, hang out with visionary directors and be wooed by humble and respectful producers. Then there's the late night chat show circuit, the yacht at Cannes and the huge royalty cheques in the mail. Just as well those high concept scripts write themselves... I mean, when would you find the time? To sit for hours on end... by yourself... writing and rewriting and rewriting some more. Sounds awful.

Ah, it's a pleasant fantasy. So, what the hell, let's continue with it:

CHAT SHOW HOST: So Richard, what's been happening since you were here last?
ME: You want the long or the short of it?
CHS: Do we need the seven second delay again? 
ME: Settle down. 
CHS: I'm saying, this is a family show.
ME: Since when? 
CHS: Okay, it's not but last time you were here you dumped all over the funding bodies.
ME: No, that was Burleigh. 
CHS: Told a film critic to *beep* off.
ME: That was Jimmy.
CHS: Recounted the last time you were *beeped* with your pants on.
ME: Okay, I'll give you that one, that was definitely me. 
CHS: Any good news?
ME: Well, I had to shelve a short film script.
CHS: That's good?
ME: No, that's terrible.
CHS: What happened?
ME: I had a director all lined up. Wasn't eligible for funding. Found another director who may have been. Then a producer came on board who could have been. 
CHS: Should have all been fine then...
ME: Yeah, except director number two pulled out.
CHS: Prematurely?
ME: I thought you said this was a family show?
CHS: I lied.
ME: The script was sent out to a couple more directors who liked it but said they didn't connect with it.
CHS: What does that mean? 
ME: They didn't know how to tell the producer they thought it was *beeeeeeeep*
CHS: Is it?
ME: No, not at all. But there were no takers before the deadline so now it sits gathering dust on my computer.
CHS: You really should dust your computer regularly. I'm serious. Plays havoc with the fan which overheats the hard drive which causes--
ME: It's in a drawer.
CHS: On your computer?
ME: Anyway, there's another short script.
CHS: How's this one going?
ME: Yeah, really good. It's a result of this and some of this.
CHS: You workshopped the idea with actors?
ME: No, the idea came out of improvised scenes performed by the actors.
CHS: That's a bit pedantic, isn't it?
ME: So sue me, I'm a writer. 
CHS: Big royalty cheques?
ME: *Beep* you!
CHS: Okay, you write this script from various improvised scenes... 
ME: Then the actors workshop the draft. 
CHS: And make changes?
ME: Sure.
CHS: That doesn't make your head explode?
ME: They didn't scribble all over it in crayon.
CHS: Still...
ME: I had a couple of quibbles but they didn't change the structure. Not at all. So I was fine with it.
CHS: That's very mature of you.
ME: Thank you. They even added an extra twist. 
CHS: The butler did it?
ME: No, the uncle. But that wasn't the twist.
CHS: What was the twist?
ME: You'll have to sleep on it.
CHS: Was that an in-joke?
ME: You bet! 
CHS: What happens now?
ME: You show clips of my past films and the audience applauds?
CHS: No, I meant with this script.
ME: I sent it to a director I work with.
CHS: Eligible?
ME: Not since the last time I checked.
CHS: It's the same director from the other script? 
ME: The one in the drawer?
CHS: Yes.
ME: He has, in fact, agreed to direct it. 
CHS: What about government funding?
ME: Don't need it. Why? One word... co-production.
CHS: Is that really one word? 
ME: Now who's being pedantic?
CHS: It is my show. 
ME: Granted. But these two parties, here and here, are going to make this little baby come to life.
CHS: It's currently a dead baby?
ME: I was talking metaphorically.
CHS: Sounds like it's literally a done deal. 
ME: Apparently they met today.
CHS: How'd that go?
ME: How would I know? I'm only the writer.
CHS: I'm out of questions. 
ME: Just as well. I was starting to think you were some sort of clunky writer's device.
CHS: Thought it would make a nice change around here.
ME: Okay, now it sounds like you're simply parroting the thoughts of the writer.
CHS: Is that so bad?
ME: Say goodnight Richard.
CHS: Good night, Richard.
JG: And that's how the Q&A went down. Remember to hit the subscribe button on iTunes and--
ME: That's enough inside references, Jeff. Okay?

To be continued...

1 comment:

  1. As posted online today: "Filmbites is pleased to announce our co-production with Archangel Pictures to produce the Professional Partnership Program (Filmbites advanced actors 15-21) film, Darkness. Inspired by an improvisation by actors Hannah Hugessen and Yasmine Hooper and written by Richard Hyde - Screenwriter, Darkness will be directed by WA Screen Award nominee Chris Richard-Scully."