You ever have that feeling where you’re almost done with a project? And you can’t quite get over it? I have been looking at the third draft of my full-length feature script all day. I got it bound this morning and ever since then, I have been reading, taking notes, editing where necessary, and generally not knowing where to go next.
The script is done, but it’s not quite. It needs a serious trim from 108 pages to about one hundred because it’s a comedy and I know audiences start to shift in their seats after ninety minutes. There are some scenes that are clunky, the set-ups in others are tenuous, and the entire premise falls apart when you spend a few days thinking about it. Yet like a house, the foundation is there, and after the third draft, the walls are up too. Maybe the roof is not complete, nor are the decorations set in place, but I have ideas. I know which windows I want to spruce up and which door fixtures I want to get rid of entirely.
It’s an exciting process because I don’t know if this script will get made. It could never. In fact, this blog post may be the only time you hear about “My Father the Agent,” AKA what Jon worked on all summer. Or it could be the start of something meaningful.
In fact, the mere existence of this script is meaningful to me. It is a third draft, fine, but it is also a complete script, one, if given a mandate, I could hand out to someone in a couple of days (although I need more than a couple of weeks to make it perfect (if that’s even possible)). And that’s a first for me, at least in terms of full-length screenplays. I’m almost there. Now all I need is some encouragement.
Have you sent it out, or are you going to shorten it first? By the way, I really enjoy this blog!
I know exactly how you feel 😉 I just finished the fifth draft and claim this to be the final – registered it with the WGAw and submitted it to a film fest. But something in the back of my head is always telling me “Hey, stupid idiot… check your grammar again!” or the like. Well, an artist’s mind… you just think it’s never finished. *G The more you rewrite, the more uncertain you become about your script.
By the way… I’ve always been wondering, when do you speak of a new draft? – I use to call it a new draft if I drastically change the style of action and sometimes change some dialogue. Once I’m through and think it’s done and I find some more parts I could change of the latest draft, I call it the next draft.
Ha ha, I know! Especially when you’re not turning in those drafts, it gets difficult to count.
For me, every time I print out my script and get it bound, that’s a new draft. That written, some of my drafts have simply had a few less typos–but every improvement counts, right?