Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Albion – the first version (5 of 5)

Why did I move on so fundamentally from this first version?

I realised that the script didn’t work. I knew it wasn’t working after I’d given it to at least one reader who gave a reasonably polite assessment, but really wasn’t enthused. I wanted her to love it, and her ‘ho-hum’ response was pretty telling.

The concerns I think I had at the time:

  • Questioning whether Albion really was a better place. I’ve mentioned in an earlier post that I was looking for Albion to truly be a better society, and what I’d presented here didn’t really seem to do it. There’s a scene where two ‘peasants’ are effectively arguing what the standard measurement for rope is, and the King has to make a decision… That didn’t really seem an improvement on our world.
  • The script is overlong and overwritten. It’s 123 pages long and not formatted like a normal script. It would probably be about 160 pages long if properly formatted. For non-screenwriters, that’s very long as the rule of thumb is one page equals one minute of screentime.)
  • There’s a lack of subtext. Everyone pretty much says what they mean.
  • The events were large-scale and felt unreal. In particular, the King taking over the entire country felt too big.
  • I realised that the characters needed more depth.

My solution to these perceived problems was to throw the entire version out the window, and try to come up with a whole different approach to the story that solved them all.

So there’s an insight into my personality!


morgue said...

I'm loving these posts Sean - verra astute, verra interresing. Look forward to what came next!

Sean said...

Thanks Morgue - glad you're enjoying them. I've been wondering whether they were a good idea or not, so I appreciate the feedback.

d f mamea said...

a great insight into your process, in particular when you look back at it, sparkles, flaws and all. thanks for sharing.

and looking forward to the next draft.