Collaboration, sorry. I meant Collaboration will be shot.
On film. You know, with a camera.
I can assure you, right now, this post doesn’t get any better. Now is a really good time to give up and read something else.
Sometimes this blog may give the impression that everyone I work with is a clueless fucking idiot with the talent of … um … me and the intelligence of … well, me again.
Hmm … it’s a bad day when I’m the most insulting thing I can think of to use as a comparison. What can I say? There’s a mirror in front of me and I’m severely lacking in imagination.
Anyway, the clueless idiots scenario – it’s just not true. It’s mostly true, but not completely true. Occasionally I do work with people I respect.
Just not very much.
Last Sunday, however, was one of those days; an afternoon spent lounging around with the guys behind LVJ, working on the webshow. One of those great days with no egos and no bad ideas – just a pile of suggestions to use or discard.
Obviously there are some bad ideas, things so stupid they’re instantly mocked and derided; but all in exceptionally good humour and I hardly cried much at all.
But that’s the fun, isn’t it? You just say whatever crosses your mind and some of it works and some of it doesn’t. Sometimes the bad ideas spark off great ideas and sometimes they don’t. When you get stuck, you have a cup of tea and load up on chocolate digestives until someone mentions something about zombie rabbits and suddenly you’re off and running again.
Plus, on this occasion, there was Thai food.
And chocolate digestives. Did I mention the chocolate digestives?
I did? Good. Biscuits make me happy.
And so does collaboration. Or at least, good collaboration. The projects I really enjoy working on are the ones where I can sit down with the producer or director or other writers and talk things over, work out what the next step is going to be together. When I first started writing, it used to really bug me: why the fuck do they want to change things? Don’t they know I’m a fucking genius?
Now, I get an attack of the collywobbles when no one questions the script. What do you mean you’re just going to shoot it? Are you fucking mental? It’s a first draft! You can’t shoot a first fucking draft you retarded sparrow chomper.
And it’s a shame really, that when you’re first writing stuff on spec, you tend to do it alone in your bedroom. A spec script has to work so much harder than a commissioned draft. A commissioned draft isn’t expected to be perfect, it’s expected to be a work in progress. A spec script is expected to be perfect and there’s just very little chance when you’re writing it on your own with no outside help.
That’s why it’s absolutely vital to find people to help you. You don’t have to collaborate on every spec script, but you should at least seek other opinions. Find people, preferably other writers, who will read your script and, most importantly, be a complete cunt about it.
Or honest. I mean honest.
If you’re working on your own without any input from anyone else, you’re trying to work harder than any professional scriptwriter. You’re just making life harder for yourself.
And you have to buy your own chocolate biscuits. It’s just madness.
Film making is a collaborative process. We all know that, but so is scriptwriting. Even writing on spec – find someone to help you.
Who knows, one day you too could find yourself in the middle of a script meeting showing a bunch of bemused filmmakers a video of your kettle boiling whilst explaining how, one day soon, you’re going to project a photo of your balls onto their faces.
Living the dream, baby. Living the dream.