The best thing about producing movies is watching talented people bounce off each other, and the evolution of an idea.
The second best thing is watching a project escalate from one single idea inside one person’s head to become the shared purpose of dozens – if not hundreds – of people.
Neither of these traits are exclusive to film, you’ll find this on any large engineering project, but unlike building a bridge or an airport concepts for an original film are often borderline insanity (see: Tusk) and to have people latch onto a story and run with development until it finally exists as a film … pretty amazing.
Script writing tends to be a fairly isolated process – in the case of the script being read in the photos, Arne and Joe have been beavering away for quite some time on [title redacted]. Editing a script for the sake of production extends the sphere of people beyond the writers but even at that point the words never really leave the page.
The very first moment a film comes to life is during the first script reading. Several actors take on a number of characters and the whole story is read aloud, and for the first time the ‘film’ exists as a continuous train of thought inside the heads of everyone around the table. Perhaps even more curious is that during this first reading actors are simultaneously the audience and vice versa; at no point during the film’s life will this ever occur again.
After last Wednesday’s reading most of the [title redacted] script works great, a few bits clunk, laughs appear in a unexpected places, and there are a few points of ambiguity, but those issues are nothing more than easily addressed technicalities. What fascinates me – a technical guy, not an actor or in this situation a writer – was how some B-part characters take on far more importance when lines are delivered by a competent actor and unwritten relationships begin to appear: Listening to a script reading (as a DOP) I begin to see shots in terms of story and character relationships, as opposed to just light and movement.
Stay tuned here for more updates on this project. For the sake of being able to search the blog look for posts tagged with ‘Project T’ although once we lock down full funding then development info will be a little less secretive!