The Bag Means Your Mind

A delightful mix of insightful comments and ignorant assumptions about screenwriting... and such.

Saturday, March 10, 2007


I'd like to thank the Academy and Pfizer and Santa Claus for making this all possible. Starting out at 165 pages I never thought this day would come. 120 is so sweet. When I hit 125 I thought I had trimmed all of the fat, and to a certain extent I did. To trim off five pages all I had to do was go over every scene and try to eliminate all but the bare essentials. It only took me 72 pages (scary). Is the script better for it? I'll have to save judgment on that for now, but I suspect it is.

I'm guessing that this is the sort of thing that a writer should do for every script he/she writes. I'm doing it because I wanted to get rid of as many pages as possible. If my script were 110 pages, would I still have a burning desire to shrink, shrink, shrink? I think not. As a result I have some valuable lessons to grow from*.

With this monkey removed from my back, I can breath easy and focus on what really matters, making the resulting script as good as it can be right now. That's not to say that it won't be completely rewritten at some point in the future when I come to my senses and realize that I should have been writing the great American soccer movie. But I can't worry about the future. I can only worry about right now. And worry I will.

But for now, I feel good, real good. Cue the James Brown music and the flamenco dancers.

*Note to future Tom: Stop ending scenes with a character saying something inane or describing a facial expression and then adding dialog that pretty much expresses the same thing again. You moron.

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