Monday, 14 January 2008

Co-writing

My friend and I decided to co-write a script and made an arrangement to meet every Saturday to write it. Now this might be the traditional face-to-face way of penning scenes and working out narrative etc. However, I was watching the making of "Rumble Fish" on DVD and was impressed that in 1983 Coppola had used the electronic blackboard to record storyboard frames. The advantage being is that they would have the entire film laid out in front of them, in consecutive order, able to be watched through electronically to not only get an over-all look of the film but also speeding up that aspect of pre-production.

Sure, we realise that new technologies such as digital distribution and wireless film festivals, not to mention non-linear editing and such is part and parcel of how we consider production from beginning to end, but what about the writing process? Already Online casting is making sourcing actors a tenfold easier and teasers for movies can now be directly sent to Producers from mobile phones to watch on the train home from work - so it makes a lot of sense to utilize new technologies right across the board all the way to the script writing process.

My co-writer and I will still meet every Saturday but meanwhile during the week I established a shared Google Doc's account where we can both work on the same script Online. Not only that but if one due to insomnia has some brilliant ideas at 4am in the morning, the other can read them at 8am in the morning by the simple uploading of Word Documents in the way of notes. It is also possible to back track on scripts, so if you have gone down the wrong track, no worries, just find the version that was created a couple of months before hand and review or start again from that point.

The other advantage is that if for whatever reason one person can't meet on that Saturday then they can work individually on the script when they have the free time making sure that no weekend is wasted.

We are also going to use Skype so that when we craving or requiring conversation to do with scenes and characters we can talk "face-to-face" Online, this also means that we an have script writing sessions where we can talk to each other as we both write.

All this cuts down those slack periods where meetings fall by the wayside or people get too busy to find the time to travel and hang out for a few hours.

If you have some tips on how you co-write I would be pleased to hear them, as the process can be particularly grueling and anyways we can swerve around that, the better for production.

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