No apologies necessary

Another day, another email/phone call from the set asking for changes to the script – prefaced, as always, with an apology.

Some writers get pissed off at this sort of thing – why can’t they just film the damned script as it is? Are they really so fucking incompetent they can’t schedule/cast/budget the fucking thing properly? Why do I have to compromise my artistic vision to satisfy their pedestrian problems?

Because you do, get over it.

Things crop up in production which can’t be avoided. Time runs short, locations turn out not to be suitable, actors suddenly become unavailable, an unplanned sequel might be in the offing … there are a myriad of reasons why a script can’t always be shot as is.

Sometimes, it’s necessary to make changes.

Actually, no.

It’s nearly always necessary to make changes. On very, very rare occasions scripts get filmed as they were written – these are an exception to the rule.

When a producer/director rings/emails you and asks for changes – it’s a good thing, one which doesn’t need apologising for, because if you’re doing the changes then NO ONE ELSE IS.

The times they should be apologising for is when they haven’t asked you to write any new scenes – because those are the times when the actors have just improvised a new scene on the spot (one which contradicts every other scene in the film and gives away the ending in the first minute; or the director has decided to cut out the love interest in a Rom-Com because … he’s a fucking twat; or somebody’s fucking mate, who’s always wanted to be a writer but never really bothered to put the time in, happens to be hanging around the set trying to see actresses naked and scribbled some nonsensical words on the back of your script using a fucking crayon and the producer loves it because it’s got a nob gag in it and anyway this guy is soooo funny down the pub – let;s face it, inaccurately repeating a famous stand-up comedian’s jokes is perfect training for writing a movie.

Oddly enough, no one ever apologises for that – they just keep quiet.

So instead of getting annoyed when some is asking you to do your job (write stuff) think of it in the opposite terms. If you’ve got a film shooting and no one contacts you and asks you to fix the latest production catastrophe RUN! RUN TO THE SET! RUN LIKE THE WIND! Because you can guarantee someone else is about to make a shit load of mistakes you’ll get the blame for.

Categories: Industry Musings, Rants, Writing and life | 2 Comments

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2 thoughts on “No apologies necessary

  1. 🙂

  2. Pingback: 2011 « The Jobbing Scriptwriter

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