If You Ain't Rewritin', Whatchu Doin?
Updated: Feb 4, 2020
I'm currently on the 11th draft of Bloed Susters. YES, MY 11th!!! If you're a writer, then you've heard the mantra, "Writing is rewriting." Well, it's the got damn truth!
I had never written an experimental film before this. And I've done a handful. But, with this, I didn't have a choice. To be quite honest, a script was required if my thesis was going to be greenlit, but beyond that, I would not have had a real grasp on the vision without one.
So why so many drafts? Well, there a couple reasons. One main reason is to keep track of changes. Creating a new draft to work on gives the freedom to go as far as need be without the fear of losing what was already written.
Another major reason, the first draft is never THEE draft. Ever! And very rarely is the second or third.
With this particular script, it started bare. VERY bare. My characters...one dimensional and lacking any real movement or action. It took time to build it out. The world, the characters, the themes.
Getting feedback from other people; screenwriters, directors, DPs, movie lovers, book readers...helped a lot. I got critiques about what worked, what needed work, what was missing. But sometimes I became discouraged.
There was a point where I didn't look at the script for at least a month, maybe two, perhaps a little longer. Breaking is also a part, a necessary part, of the rewriting process. It gives an opportunity to reset so that when it's time to revisit, the eyes are fresh.
What also helped me tremendously was breaking down the script. I was given a series of exercises in one of my grad classes that enabled me to think critically about every aspect of the script. It gave me a clear view of what was lacking, but also provided me with solutions to fill the voids.
I now have a solid script. A script that serves as a strong visual blueprint for filming, but is also a great story in its own right. It took a lot time to get to this point, but I'm thankful.