Friday, June 22, 2007

Now with wolves, IN SPACE!*

Blog's suffering a bit at the moment, as I''ve been finishing the third draft of Hero Trip, although I did stumble across The Movie Binge, highly recommended if you want a film review website that treats you like a grown-up and doesn't run to triple exclamation marks.

The Film Council (god bless them all) commissioned two more drafts of HT and gave me a script editor, Camilla, who knows about plots and structure and all that stuff that Green Wing didn't really have. Camilla is tops, basically.

The story got broken down, and plotted out on a whiteboard (I used index cards at one point, which made me feel like randomly shouting 'Go away, I'm working!' even though no-one was there), and Camilla said things like 'ah, you see, the plot's already there, you just have to bring it out a bit', which was nice of her, if, I suspect, not entirely true.

whiteboardsmall

I think the whiteboard successfully shows that writing is HARD WORK and not sitting around going 'ummm' and sighing a lot. Note that I have blown up a thumbnail picture of the whiteboard which means you can see the shape, not any of the individual words, so no-one can steal my genius idea THIS MEANS YOU SPIELBERG.

Thus far, the drafts seem to have perfectly followed the Universal Law of Film Drafts:

DRAFT ONE (ORIGINAL): great characters, fun dialogue, lots of entertaining moments, not really a plot, you could probably put the majority of the scenes in any order and it would still make just as much sense. Doesn't so much end as peter out.

DRAFT TWO: now an bristling, plot-driven machine of a piece, pumped up with extra rah. Except it didn't have room for much of the fun 'two blokes in a car' stuff, which was what people really liked about the original draft.

DRAFT THREE: back to the spirit of the first draft, but now with more actual, you know, events, so that although there's still lots of two blokes in a car talking, things actually happen and progress during those conversations, with repercussions further down the line. It's a whole new thing, and I think it might catch on.

WHAT HAPPENS NEXT: I have no idea.


* There aren't any wolves. But one bit is nearly in space.




16 comments:

Oli said...

If you're using the whiteboard to predict Total Film's predicted interest curve, looks like it might need some work at about the 80 minute mark. I suggest some sort of space-wolf.

james henry said...

Ah, that's not a TF-style PIC, it's an IoECbtTMC('Indicator of Emotional Closeness between the Two Main Characters', as found in yer classic road movies like Plane Trains and Automobiles and that other one).

I might save up the space-wolf for a later draft. Or perhaps the sequel.

james henry said...

Midnight Run, that's the one I was thinking of.

Piers said...

With my image-enhancing software I can zoom in on and resolve every detail of this picture, thus enabling me to read the text and steal every plot beat of your next motion picture!

Now I shall use my elite hacking skills to get into the police computers by typing random letters on my keyboard.

imo said...

Gosh what a serious whiteboard - look there are no doodles!

Sylvia said...

Yes but did you use the correct pen or is the ink permanent.....

Fat Roland said...

I ruined my whiteboard when wiping off what I had written. I rubbed too hard, so even the correct pens leave a dirty stain.

That whole sentence made me feel dirty.

Jen said...

Pentex pens are the bain of my life... what;s the point in 'whiteboard pens' that don't rub off?

You could call any pen a whiteboard-pen on that logic. Except maybe a laser-pen.

Oooh. Reminds me - How much cooler is the Master's screwdriver?

james henry said...

I've been thinking about it, and I think he should have had a Quantum Screwdriver. Just because.

Jen said...

So what did you think of it? The direction couldn't have been more different to that in the first part... all those low and jaunty angles, slo-mos and flashbacks...

james henry said...

I thought it was great, which hasn't always been the case with RTD finales. Loved the references to previous episodes, thought Simn has created an excellent new Master (with some hints of the old ones in there still), and if the plot was slightly wobbly (who took away all the dead cabinet members?) it cracked along fast enough there wasn't time to worry about it.

Nice to see celebrity endorsements being used satirically as well, rather than the 'LOL it's Trinny And Susannah!' stuff that's happened before.

9/10ths Full of Penguins said...

I thought it was a curiously British type of Apocalypse.

I was watching it thinking that if Dr Who was from the US, it would have be slicker and more serious but somehow less entertaining.

james henry said...

Yes, it's the slight wonkiness of Who that makes it so infuriating when it's bad, but so unlike anything else when it's good.

Can't help thinking that after Daleks and now round shiny things raining destruction from the sky, most of the inhabitants of London would have moved underground by now...

kirsten said...

I absolutely love it that the guy has a TARDIS and still always seems to end up in London, like the TARDIS refuses to go anywhere else in the world.

Skeadugenga said...

Being a time machine its attracted to Greenwich? Another wonky bit was when Martha was running across a field, with hordes of shiny alien things firing randomly above her..and none of them fancied an easy target.

Jennifer said...

Dem ballz gots da uvva thangs on dey mindz, innit?