Sunday, January 08, 2012

Killing and Cutting.

I've never worked with a writing partner. I try to harvest my bff D.'s brain as often as possible, and once I got through a first act based off an idea we had, but I've never worked straight on with a writing partner.

Working with V. is the closest I've ever been to writing with a partner. We meet every week and discuss the story, I get notes, I take notes, etc. Usually I just nod and write down what he says. I need to ruminate before I give input, so usually my voice comes through just in my writing, not when we're actually discussing the script (which means that if V. disagrees with me, I'll most likely have to rewrite it).

I usually agree with the notes he gives me. Then again, he hasn't given me a ton of notes yet so I don't have much fodder to disagree with yet. But last week, he asked me to cut a scene that I liked, that I thought was necessary, at the very least, addressed a question we needed to answer. I actually didn't mind cutting the scene, as long as the protagonist had to wrestle with the question at some point.

Most of our meeting was preoccupied with that problem -- do we have to have this scene? And do we have to have this problem at all? And I thought I won. I really really thought I had proved my point.

And then he emailed and he found a way to bypass it, all together! I was disappointed. I thought the problem presented a moral and ethical conundrum that it would have been interesting to see our main character wrestle with. I wanted to test her. And I was disappointed that we weren't going to test her to that extreme.

But I said yes, I said I would cut it. Because we're shooting ultra low budget and by cutting that scene we cut a character and a location. I want to see this made and I don't want making it to be difficult. If I was writing this story as a spec, maybe I'd argue this point. Maybe I'll consider it some more, how passionate I feel about this particular problem for our character.

But this script is already over budget. I've populated it with so many characters and so many locations, I'm going to have to cut a whole bunch of scenes anyway. So, in the interest of the movie -- perhaps over the interest over the script -- I'll cut the scene and I'll barrel ahead.

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