With the script having been revised several times for several reasons (characters being added or deleted; change of locations; a particular performer interested; or the director’s continuing refinement of his vision), we finally get to a stage where it is considered “done!” – that is, for now. We know there will be changes throughout the principal photography phase (hopefully slight ones and typically having to do with dialogue), but “done” in the sense that it goes to the Line Producer and his team to begin breaking down for budgetary and scheduling purposes. We finally get to bind the script with brass tabs and a cover page. At this stage, the script gets duplicated into multiple copies with white covers and white pages. The cover and page colors will change with each new version once principal photography begins. The color coding helps insure we’re all on the same page of the same script at the same time.
Because I am not only the screenwriter on this project but a Department Head of HMPE and a Producing Associate to the Director, I write several other kinds of materials as well. This includes everything from bios of each character in the screenplay as well as promotional and financial-related documents, letters for multiple purposes, and anything else that needs help with saying it creatively and clearly.
Then there are those other tasks that keep this writing life exciting and unpredictable. For example, while scouting locations with the Director we took 360 degree photos in several locations as well as aerial drone footage. We had a drone specialist with us, also from HMPE and the footage we captured was fantastic. There were night shot tests along the railroad tracks and during one of our late afternoon tests, we found ourselves padlocked within a 360 degree boundary fence, after hours and with no clear understanding of who to call. We got out of that one. I won’t tell you exactly how we did it but I will declare it to be a very creative solution! See you next post!