Friday, 25 January 2013

To finish a work? To finish a picture? What nonsense!

To finish it means to be through with it, to kill it, to rid it of its soul, to give it its final blow, the coup de grace for the painter as well as for the picture.

A wee visual clue to let you know who said this, if you didn't already know.

So, today I MIGHT finish - as in the conventional sense - the first draft of a screenplay for an NYC director. It's called Creep Like A Rat...

That finishing is only the beginning.

I once optioned a script to a producer, for the princely sum of £25. Believe me, for a short film script that IS a princely sum, because usually the amount paid is a...

However, although the contract I signed was twice as long as the script itself - go figure! - nowhere in it, not even in the small print, did it say that because I had been paid I was no longer interested in what happened to it.

The producer seemed to think it did. Or rather, he CHOSE to think that. He even told the director that I was no longer interested. (And, by the way, wouldn't tell me who the director was!) The director, bless him, was so surprised he contacted me in private...and we collaborated happily.

I am NOT completely precious about everything I write. I am more than happy to receive - in fact I seek out - constructive criticism and new ideas and then I'll quite likely amend and rewrite - as long as I can make it organic and not compromise the spirit of the original piece.

But no longer interested? To consider my work is finished just because it's in someone else's hands?