Right now I feel like a plate spinner. I’ve got three treatments that I need to keep moving so that they don’t slow down and fall off the sticks they are spinning on. Keeping them going at the same time is the trick. So how am I doing so far?
Treatment one is the farthest along. I finished writing the first round of notes last week and now the writer is working on the revisions. If I had to do one thing over again I would have given myself more time for this first round. Why? Because I spent a great deal of my time lining up story analysts instead of writing notes and I didn’t allow enough time to get the analysts’ coverage back in this first round. This means that there is a possibility that the second round of notes could require more changes than the first. That’s not an ideal situation, but we’ll play it by ear and make the best of whatever happens and, thankfully, the writer is very cool about working with me on this.
I’ve got one of the analyst’s coverage back already and expect the second analyst’s coverage in about a week. The first analyst did a good job and I agree with most of his notes, but I’m especially looking forward to hearing what the second analyst has to say about the story. He is a former Pixar story analyst who teaches screenwriting at a local university. He’s excited to be helping me out and I’m just as excited to have someone with his credentials helping me out.
The producer/writer agreement for this treatment has been signed by the writer and I expect to receive it next week. I’ll then sign the copies and mail the writer back copies for her records. The writing and reading period for this treatment has been compressed into two months. That has me a bit worried because that’s not a lot of time, but we’re going to try to make it work.
I’m almost two weeks into my four-week mentorship program with the screenwriter/author. Let me tell you, this guy is tough. Nothing gets by him. Everything gets questioned. And I’ve had to justify a lot of my decisions. I’ve, also, had to scrap some of my ideas and try new ones. But he’s pushing me to make it better and that’s what I need…to make the story the best it can possibly be. Because, truth be told, I think I was starting to fall into the trap a lot of writers fall into…falling in love with a story. So getting the flaws pointed out and then having to fix them…while being a somewhat painful process, is also a very necessary process. And the story keeps getting better because of it.
Really, all three stories need to be great. I want to feel good about taking on the task of producing any of them, so I’m going to be pushing to make sure they all are in top shape before I show them to the cast. I won’t submit a story before its time. Doing otherwise would be a mistake.