Friday, September 20, 2013

Screenwriting and the Sounds of Silence

There I was sitting in a café having a late night meeting about two months ago - option agreement, lawyer’s advice, a little haggling, a lot of momentum, a sense of excitement. In principle agreement is reached between me, my director and the two producers we’re meeting with. Plans made, actions assigned, market to attend.

Word finally filters back that there’s interest in the project – potential sales agents on two continents. Fantastic! Further details to follow. “Full steam ahead”, I think to myself.

Since then the following has happened:



There was that… oh, no, that was for something else…

We had a great meeti—hmmmm, nup, that was for the other thing…


Oh, I know!!!

No, no, don’t tell me…

It’ll come to me…

That’s right!

There was a change of government in Australia!

Think of something really quiet then attach a silencer to it then put it in a padded chest in a soundproof room with extra sound dampeners and maybe some hi-tech gear not yet invented that enhances noiselessness and that would be the extent of what I’ve heard from my producers. Well, I think they are. I’m not sure anymore.

Yep, not even crickets. I’m talking NOTHING. Not a call, “how’s it going?” Not an email to finalise the option paperwork. Not a meeting to discuss the next draft.

Nothing. Nada. Zilch. Zip. Stuff all.


My director assures me this is standard practice.

This strikes me as beyond odd.

Momentum. Interest. Excitement… Silence.

An odd sequence.

So what’s a writer to do?

Well, it’s my fucking baby so in the absence of any direction or guidance I’ll raise the damn thing how I see fit.

I have been working spasmodically on the draft, more regularly recently. And you know what? I like it. It’s got promise. It makes me excited. I’m changing things. I’m omitting a ton of scenes and really making it tighter. I’m adding stuff that addresses character issues and story points from the reading and my subsequent discussions with the director. I like delving back into the script. I’m in a writing mood.

I have absolutely no idea what the situation is with the option, the supposed market interest or what the producers are doing. Right now, I couldn’t care less. I’m simply going to write. This version of the script only exists in my head and on my netbook. You want it you have to chase me. I’m done chasing people who can afford to invent hi-tech, anti-noise technology from the future.


As a writer I hate fucking silence.

No, not the serene, peaceful, productive kind; the “why the fuck aren’t you talking to me, I thought we were a creative team on this together” kind.

I feel better now.

I’ll go work on the script some more... in silence…

The good kind.

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