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Thursday, May 31, 2012

I enjoyed the Fresh Air interview with Hugh Laurie. I was struck by his story that he spent three days in a hotel in LA prepping for his audition for HOUSE.

Obviously Laurie knew that this was an important audition. But surely, after the first day of going over what can't have been more than a couple of scenes, he might have felt he had it all down pat. Instead he kept going.

I personally have a tendency to spread myself a little too thin. I like to finish things. Lots of things. I tend to be an ninety-five-percenter. My impulse is to get a script to where I'm pretty happy with it, and then write something else while I send the first one around.

And yet I know there's another level. I spent a year and a half polishing and reworking my comedy KIKI WILDER, because a producer kept asking me to rework it. And Lisa and I have spent a year and a half polishing and reworking our drama ALICE FOUND ALIVE, because I'm attached to direct.

And even there I know that once we have all our cast, there will be changes that suggest themselves.

Writing is rewriting.

I'm not saying rewrite endlessly. There is a point at which you've brought a script to the point where you are making things different without making them better; there's a point where you can legitimately say, "That's the best I can do right now." Only great notes or six months away can give you a better perspective. If you don't have a vision for how the script needs to be, then further rewriting will just cause the script to drift.

But still, there it is: three days in a hotel room for a couple of scenes. It paid off for him, dinnit?



I'm the same way, I like to finish a script and send it around while I work on others.

People take a while to read and give feedback, so why not work on something else while you wait?

There is something to be said about coming in after a month or two without reading something.

I compile all the notes I get from people without reading them. Then I'll re-read the script, add my notes to theirs and then go through the rewrite.

By Blogger Tyler Leisher, at 2:40 PM  

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