Friday, November 18, 2005

"The pen is the tongue of the mind."
M. Cervantes

My agent emailed to say A-list producer is going to call me now instead. Wow, I better get my act together, reread my script and have my questions in order. It's been three months and I've moved on to other projects -- but everything has to be fresh for when he calls. We've spoken once already (in August) and he was very insightful and easy to talk with, so I think the call will be helpful in rewriting the sports script... however, I hope he emails notes too so I don't have to take them over the phone.

I shot the TV interview with playwright Bill C. Davis and it went very well. Mark Molaro was the host and did a great job. Bill is a fascinating Broadway playwright with lots to say on areas of sexuality, religion, politics and artistry. Once the interview is edited, I'll let you know where it will air. In the future, Bill might also post it on his website.

One thing Bill said that was interesting is how "plays aren't written -- they're rewritten" -- and workshopped until it takes on a life of its own. I think it's the same in many areas of writing -- screenwriting in particular because you tend to write your version and then revise it for a committee of readers (your agent, the producer, the director, the actors). So really that first version is your baby before everybody else gets their eyes and hands on it... I heard an actor say once that he loved the auditioning process because it's the only time when the performance was all his.... before the director and producer makes you "act" their way.

Because I'm an editor by trade, I'm used to adjusting material, taking suggestions and making revisions . For most writers, myself included, it's hard to take criticism and to tackle those rewrites again and again. Hemingway said "all first drafts are shit" for a reason. But it's still daunting -- afterall, we're the ones who face that blank page, create the characters, the dialogue, the plot, revise the script a million times... and then someone reads it and decides if it's good or it's terrible. It's all so subjective, but yet as a writer you write for those subjective eyes and pray that, hopefully, they will get it.

We writers are brave souls. It takes a lot of confidence, perserverance, and sweat to stay in this game. So easy to say screw it and throw in the towel. But then you get that idea... that vision of a story... or character in your head... and you sit back down at the desk.

Or you wait for that subjective A-list producer to call.

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