One of the things I love about the whole ‘collaborative medium’ of film making is the sheer difference between the idea and the finished product. Yeah, sometimes it can be a bad thing which leaves you speechless, staring at the screen and shaking in numb horror; while a single thought echoes round and round your brain:
“What the fuck have you done to my script?”
Other times though, the divergence is a good thing and produces unexpected results. I’ve been watching a few rough cuts of scenes from Fleeced* and at first I thought one of the characters had been completely miscast. He’s so far removed from the character I’d envisaged, I struggled to accept him as my creation; but then that’s the point – he isn’t.
I wrote the character one way, but the director interpreted him completely differently. The actor has come along and added his own spin and before you know it the result is the polar opposite of the character I originally intended. It’s amazing how you can have him saying the same dialogue in the same story and yet have a completely different result.
And you know, once I got over the initial ‘that’s all wrong’ reaction – I really like the way he’s come out. I don’t know if he’s better than my intention; but he’s certainly no worse and works really well in the context of the film.
You could argue if I’d described him better there wouldn’t be any ambiguity to exploit – but I like seeing how things differ by the time they reach the screen. It’s a part of the process I find fascinating; I love finding out how others interpret my work. If I didn’t, I’d write, direct and produce my own stuff; but apart from that sounding like a hell of a lot of work and me being too lazy, I think it’s a shame to miss out on that melting pot evolution of ideas.
Most writers can’t write, most directors can’t direct and most producers can’t produce fuck all. Hyphenates are usually people who fail at more than one thing and I’d rather specialise in being distinctly average in one area. Plus, I get the added excitement of having to wait to see how it comes out.
Sure, sometimes it goes wrong, but sometimes it goes so right.
* I really should re-write that synopsis, it’s not my finest hour.