I had a little wobble today. Yesterday I finished a feature re-write and today I had to go straight into a second. Not normally a problem, I tend to be mulling over everything I’m working on anyway, plus several projects I’d like to write sometime and several I know I never will.
These two features are completely different, total opposites. Yesterday’s was ‘The Last King of Wales v The Beefeaters’ and today’s is a tragic romance, set against the fall of Socialism at the end of the ’80s, provisionally called ‘The Return’ but soon to be renamed on the grounds there are already way too many films with the same name.
Now, ‘The Return’ needs a a totally new subplot, for which I have a 12 point list from Garip Aksut, the director. Fair enough, I knew the original one wasn’t right when I did the first draft, but the scenes served as placeholders. The problem is, I have no idea how many scenes there are in the first draft, but I’m pretty sure it’s a lot less than 12. Probably closer to 6.
So there’s the problem, I need an overview of the script, a way to see where to slot in the new scenes. This is not normally a problem for me, it’s all instinctive. I can see the movie in my head and the scenes just drop in where they’re needed.
Not this time.
I don’t know if it’s because of just finishing a different script or if it’s lack of sleep or maybe I’ve finally lost my scriptwriting superpowers; but I couldn’t visualise where these scenes belong.
And so I went and bought something I’ve always meant to, but never quite felt I needed:
And here it is:
Isn’t it lovely? Took me about thirty seconds to find out where the subplot scenes belonged. They’re the yellow ones by the way.
Hopefully this will speed up all future re-writes. I think it’s a great tool and something I’ve always meant to get, but I’ve never quite got round to it. I guess, prior to now, I’ve only worked on one or two things at a time and I’ve never had to replace an entire B story in one go.
I’m quite pleased with my new purchase and I’m looking forward to using it as often as possible. Plus I got to drill some holes in the wall, always a bit of fun.
I almost feel like a proper writer now.