Friday, November 24, 2006

Questions about the Script

Did the movie change much from the script? And how much do the actors bring to it?

Yay--script questions!

::Betsy rolls up her sleeves::

Okay, it’s important to realize that a script is just a blueprint. From the day you type "FADE IN" until the day the film opens, the project is constantly evolving.

How did Ten Inch Hero evolve? Early on, we had some minor changes, which is typical.

Once the cast was in place, David, Mark, and I had some marathon sessions, where we went over the script practically word by word.

Even with that, the script continued to change once filming started.

Sometimes, it was pure logistics. For example, we had to cut a favorite line, because the script called for Trucker (John Doe) to be washing his hands when Zo (Alice Krige) comes in and gives the line. And there was no sink anywhere near that part of the shop.

Other times, David would say "Let's try it this way." Or the actors had ideas. David would sometimes film things in several different ways to decide later what worked best.

It's just part of the collaborative process.

This evolution continues after filming, as they edit and piece the film together.

As for what the actors bring...they bring the life! They take your 2-D words and create 3-D characters.

Here's an example of the process:

There's a tender scene toward the end where Priestly (Jensen Ackles) breaks the mood with a joke. It's one of those "laugh through the tears" moments.

By the time we were ready to film, David felt the joke sounded a little stale. So he, Mark, and I batted it around until we found a line we all liked better.

When they were filming that scene, I was listening on earphones with several people. The mood was all heartfelt and sweet...then Jensen delivered the line. And his delivery was so funny, it made the joke much better than it was on the page.

This was a line we had read over and over...and nevertheless we all busted up when we heard it through the earphones.

So writer came up with the line, the director made it better, and the actor improved it even more. And that's what makes a movie.

(Good God, look at the length of this answer. See? NEVER ask a writer to talk about her script. ::wink::)

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