The Writer vs The Producer

TypewriterThe screenplay for Dead Hunt has gone through 7 major rewrites including changing the location. I cut a lot of scenes, expanded on others, reworked the dialog more times than I care to count, and ended up with a 108 page screenplay. My goal was to finish with a script that was 90 pages. Those few extra pages may not sound like a lot, but each page of a screenplay typically works out to be roughly a minute of screen time. So it’s only an extra 18 minutes long, no big deal right?

It doesn’t sound like much until you consider that each scene has to be set-up, blocked, rehearsed and lit before we actually shoot the scene. Then we need to shoot it from different angles to capture the other characters when they are speaking, and to get their reaction shots. Add in the retakes for flubbed lines, technical issues and everything else Murphy’s Law is going to throw at us during the shoot, and those extra few pages quickly add up to several more hours of production time – and time is money, especially on an indie film set.

We don’t have a money hose to wash problems away so we need to plan for as many variables as possible for each scene in pre-production, not when we’re on set and the cameras are rolling. That’s why story-boarding every single shot is going to be crucial part of the film making puzzle, but I can’t begin story-boarding it or working on scene breakdowns until the script is finished, which brings me right back to where I started… do I want to shoot a 90 page script or a 108 page script?

The writer and director side of me wants to shoot the 108 page version because it’s a great script – the producer and editor side of me wants more cuts. The writer in me is thinking artistically and visually, the producer is thinking logistically and financially… and the so the battle continues.

I could write and tweak this thing forever but that won’t make it a movie – it’ll just a make a screenplay that has been polished to death. I didn’t write a screenplay to write a screenplay – I wrote it to make a movie! With that in mind I decided to give it one final pass and if anything sticks out that could be cut or trimmed, then it’s gone. If not, then we’ll color this script done and move on to the next stage in the process – story boarding.

Crowdfunding Dead Hunt

We will be launching a crowdfunding campaign in the near future. I did a lot of research and decided that our best option will be Indiegogo, and we have some really cool perks available to everyone that contributes. In the meantime, If you are shopping on, please click this link first and I will receive a small commission on everything you buy in the form of an Amazon credit. Everything we raise will go directly towards the equipment and supplies needed to make the movie this summer. Clicking this link doesn’t cost you anything, and the price of what you’re buying will not change, but you will be helping us make the movie. On behalf of everyone at Dead Hunt, THANK YOU.

About Kenn

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