Monday, July 9, 2007

A.D.'ing my own script... Day 1

I've been light on posting recently because I've been moving into production with Mr. Gary on the Feedback Show, a script I co-wrote with the director, Lise Swenson. I had a couple requests to give a daily wrap up, but I'm friggin' exhausted and it's only day 1 of 3. So no promises.

I'm the assistant director. What does an A.D. do? If there's a job to be done, it usually falls to the A.D. You're in charge of making sure everything is in place, on time. You're coordinating the camera people, keeping the actors happy, looking for the lost prop, and locating dinner for 9. You're the guy in the middle.

If you're the writer, then you're in the middle of your own script. This is good and this is bad. On one hand, you remember that it takes an hour or more to get a scene of an elderly woman walking down the hallway. Now go through your scripts, and find the three-page conversation you staged in front of the burning building. Oh yeah. You might want to rethink that one. There's nothing like production to really force you to simplify and think through what's important, and what's on screen.

Of course, it also reminds you that if you do it right, you have a tremendous array of truly talented people all working together on the same page. We were deep in the middle of a scene today, working out inscrutable lighting issues in a tight little space. I was running around looking for a prop and trying to get the caterer the lunch order and working out scheduling for tomorrow when I looked up at the monitor, and there she was: the character that until then had only existed in our heads. My imagination was right there, in real life, on the screen. What more could a writer ask for?

A nice scotch and eight hours' sleep, of course. But I'm going to bed happy tonight nevertheless.

2 comments:

Janis said...

Hey Rich -

Do you mind if I link to your blog on my website? (it's not actually up yet, but I hope to put it up this weekend) The website's nothing to fancy, just my resume, contact, etc. (janisrobertson.com)

thanks!
Janis

Scriptwrangler said...

I'd be thrilled!