Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The Art of Letting Go

There comes a time when you have to let your children go. In the case of scripts this usually involves locking them in a drawer, not giving them the keys to the car!

As with children (so I’ve heard), it’s some times hard to do this. But continuing to work on ‘dead’ scripts is unproductive and is time that could be spent on new projects.

It’s a realistic assessment of the merits of a project versus the cons of persisting. So in that spirit I have had to, regrettably, euthanise a few of my ‘children’. 

So Vale:

The short script Immortal which I still love but whose Memento style structural conceits make you a hard sell.

The feature script Don’t Come Monday, a ten page excerpt of which could not find a place in the recently announced 13 screenplays selected for a local workshop. What chance then the big, bad world?

The feature script The Tangled Web which has been optioned twice (and nearly a third time) but lucked out on development funding recently. Your time has come and passed.

I shall bury you all in the metaphorical backyard of my mind, in a fragrant plot next to the childhood embarrassments and ill-advised romantic entanglements.

But wait?

Does a script truly ever die?

A 15 page excerpt of The Tangled Web has been entered into a competition as a last gasp act of attention seeking.

The full draft of Don’t Come Monday has been sent to a producer who had expressed some interest in the ten pager just as the shovel was digging its final resting place.

Old scripts resurface like the short The Fifth Quarter which hadn’t seen the light of day for over 3 years but now has a very strong director attached and, as of today, a new draft.

Any completed script, yes even the ‘vomit draft’ (or rough draft as I prefer) is an entity that has some intrinsic value.

Perhaps ‘hibernate’ is a better word than ‘euthanise’.

They all remain my children, even the ugly, temperamental ones. Some just won’t get played with as much for a while…

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