Archive for February 12, 2013

So — that’s all done, then.

To any of you that have stuck through the serialized posting of my little screenplay (assuming anyone did), I honestly do appreciate it. Now for a few final notes before I drop the subject and get back to reviewing movies (and the occasional comic) around here:

1. While the screenplay proper was written in conventional “master scene” format, WordPress doesn’t allow for that kind of thing within the margins of their pages, so I had to adapt on the fly when transcribing it here. Hopefully it’s all perfectly readable.

2. Obviously, this is an “early draft” — I’ve purposely left out much info by way of camera instruction, wardrobe, etc. I figure that kind of thing would — and should — be decided on by a director and if said hypothetical director were interested in developing this thing further, I would happily incorporate their suggestions and whip up a final shooting script — as well as several pre-final shooting scripts, as necessary, along the way. This is a fairly basic skeletal structure of a script, and that’s entirely intentional.

3. While this thing might push the envelope as far as “micro-budget” filmmaking is concerned, the small case, limited locations, etc. are all quite intentional, as well. It was written with a very limited budget in mind, even if it can’t all be filmed indoors, in one house in one day, as many of the “micro-budgeters” are.

4. The biggest expense as making this thing goes, if such a thing were ever to happen, is obviously getting clearances for the songs. That’s expensive as hell, and I know it. That being said, the script as written doesn’t call for the inclusion of any actual songs themselves, and that reduces the cost a lot right there. Clearances still need to be obtained to even feature people singing any particular song in a movie, but that’s a lot cheaper, from what I understand, than getting clearance to use the actual songs themselves. Also, apart from Al Stewart’s “Year Of The Cat,” which we’re pretty much stuck with, any of the other karaoke numbers can easily be replaced with other, less expensive, songs to use.

5. Okay, biggest flaw — obviously, it’s a very “talky” piece and not much happens in it. What can I say? If you’re trying to right a cheap-to-film script, that’s what you end up with. I think the characters themselves are pretty interesting and easy to relate to, and the script itself has a little something to say about both older people (maybe) developing romantic relationships — a subject Hollywood seldom addresses — and people facing illness alone — a subject Hollywood ignores altogether. Which leads us directly to the next subject —

6 . For a “talky” flick, some of the dialogue can get a bit clunky in places. What can I say? I’m new at this, and every time I go through and edit the script itself, I find things to improve upon, and I imagine that I’ll continue to do so. For the most part, I feel like the dialogue is fairly strong, and generally pretty realistic, even if I do go a bit overboard on the whole rural Wisconsin vernacular thing.

7 . Weird as it sounds, I didn’t really have an exact place in mind when I wrote this thing. There are plenty of artsy-fartsy little towns along the Mississippi river on both the Minnesota and Wisconsin sides. Stillwater was the first, but it’s too big now for the script as written  —not that it couldn’t be changed easily enough. In fact, the river setting iteself isn’t even all that necessary at all, since any of the “walking around” scenes, and even the scene at the end where they see Frank walking along from June’s porch, could be altered to fit small town, or even city, streets easily enough.

8. Finally, I’ve tried to time this thing out to be right around 90 minutes. If anything, it may run a little long, but there’s certainly excess fat, dialogue-wise, that could be cut from it here and there to fit this thing into a good, solid, hour-and-a-half. Overall, though, each scene both gives the characters — pardon my while I get pretentious here — “room to breathe,” while also advancing the plot, so any cuts necessary for length could probably come from a line or two here and there in the various scenes. Excising any scenes in their entirety probably isn’t terribly necessary, in my own humble opinion.

Okay, that’s a wrap then — as I said, I plan on returning to this material and tightening things up here and there in my spare time, so if you feel so inclined, keep an eye on these posts, as there may be both slight, and rather noticeable, changes made to them when — time to get pretentious again — “the muse” strikes me. On the whole, though, I’m pretty pleased with it as a first effort, and what the hell — I enjoyed writing the thing. Hopefully you — whoever you might be — enjoyed reading it, as well.

Now, let’s get back to the business of reviewing movies that somebody else has already gone to the trouble of making, shall we?