Monday, November 13, 2006

There she goes again

Today I FADED OUT on my rough draft of THE MIDDLE AGES.

I’m not whooping it up just yet.

I think it’s a pretty un-rough draft, actually, but I haven't read the thing straight through from page 1, yet, and I’d hate to whoop prematurely.

I’ve never worked that way before – the “not reading it” thing. I had a good outline and treatment and, of course, The Board, and think I adhered to them well and ventured away from them when it made sense and all, but really… god knows what-all’s in there.

I haven’t printed a page of it, yet, either. Ever. It’s tempting to fire up the printer and feel the weight and warmth of my new baby, but first I wanna be sure it has all its fingers and toes. And fully-developed lungs. And a spine. I don’t mind letting it incubate a little longer to give it a better chance at life when it finally comes out.

The draft came in on the short side. I anticipated 100-105 pages and it ended on 97. Not terrible. I’m sure it’ll flesh out in the rewrite. I actually cut five pages a couple days ago – Act 2 was getting long and there was an extraneous scene and a half in there. The brevity problem lies fully in the third act, and I expect to find some loose threads hanging off of the first that need weaving in at the end.

For those interested in such things, I finished my treatment September 15th , got the thumbs-up from my manager September 18th, spent a couple weeks turning my treatment into index cards on a board and filling in the holes, then began really writing the script October 2nd.

So, just under six weeks to a first draft. I could’ve done it faster, but I was away three weekends in October, plus a few extra days in Austin, then there were a bunch of days post-Austin where the clock struck 3:00 p.m. and knocked me out cold until dinnertime.

Not such a long time for a draft, really. However, I struggled to come up with the idea for about four months before I wrote that treatment.

So… tomorrow, I read. Hopefully, I’ll still be smiling.

p.s. Last I heard, POOL BOY went to AFM, the budget is looking bigger and shooting has been bumped to February.


Blogger Brett said...





1:08 AM  
Blogger Ryan Rasmussen said...

Well done, nice pace. How long did spend on the treatment?

5:49 PM  
Blogger Julie O. said...

Thanks, guys.

Ryan- I went from beat outline to nine-page treatment in about two weeks. Not sure how long the beat outline took... probably a few weeks or so, but it incorporated a lot of stuff I'd spent months chewing on when fleshing out the original premise.

6:08 PM  
Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

I'll give you a "whhop!" anyway.

12:31 AM  
Blogger Patrick J. Rodio said...

Crap, I made a typo. Story of my life.

I meant WHOOP of course. Here, I'll give you another one, 'cause that's how I roll....WHOOP!

12:32 AM  
Blogger melon said...

So, are you still smiling? Your icon is...

I can't believe that you can write an entire screenplay without re-reading.

I re-read everything to death. All that prelimninary work you do definitely pays off.

BTW, I took your advice (even though it was for someone else) and read Save the Cat. Can I buy you a beer while you explain all this 3 act 15 beat stuff?

12:14 PM  
Blogger Ryan Rasmussen said...

Thanks Julie. That sounds about right. I'm always curious about method, working on doing more up-front work than I used to.

10:22 PM  
Blogger Julie O. said...

Thanks, Pat!

Jeff -- Yeah, I'm still smiling. Happy to report the draft doesn't suck and all the notes I've gotten (thus far) from my Beloved Gluttons for Punishment (tm) urge me to turn screws I've already got in place.

And Jeff, for Chrissake, you're a limnologist! You gotta be some kind of smart to go to limnology school right? If I can figure this shit out, I know you can. ;)

10:55 AM  
Blogger Systemaddict said...

You do well, young pretty one...

Keep me posted on the rewrite.

And it better not suck, or slaps will be falling on backsides...

12:46 PM  
Blogger melon said...


Never confuse liking to get wet with being smart -- it could get you in trouble.

In an attempt to understand this stuff of which you speak, I re-watched my favorite Harold Ramis and Mel Brooks movies looking for beats and acts. I just don't get it.

BTW, in Ghostbusters, just when you expect a save the cat you get Bill Murray torturing a nice guy with electrodes.

7:43 AM  
Blogger Thomas Crymes said...

Good to see you are being productive. Meanwhile I'm still trying to get my story in readable shape.

It is nice to plow through a story knowing you've done most of the work up front. Definitely a good feeling.

Keep it up, and my fingers are crossed that Pool Boy turns out to be more than you imagine.

11:49 AM  

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