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Fun Joel's Screenwriting Blog


-- On Screenwriting and Related Topics

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Location: Los Angeles, CA

I moved from NYC to LA in October, 2003. And though I still think NYC is the greatest city in the world, I'm truly loving life here in the City of Angels. I'm a writer, reader, and occasional picture-taker.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Safari Picture Update #2

So, work continues apace on the Untitled Safari Picture. As I said in the previous update, I had sent the first draft treatment over to the producer and then had a nice long phone follow-up meeting. We spoke for about an hour and 15 minutes, thrashing out various details until we were pretty much on the same page. I had a better understanding of what they were looking for, and where it diverged from what I had previously had in mind.

So then I set about reworking my treatment. As you know from these three posts, I started focusing on certain aspects of the script that made it more ensemble-like. The film is still not a "traditional" ensemble film, but with a few intersecting storylines it is related. I sent the revised treatment over to the producer yesterday, and should be speaking with him soon to discuss our status.

I feel that I definitely did a good job of getting a more cohesive story in there, and one which stuck more closely with their desires. I definitely cleaned it up a bit, but it still is probably more complex than it needs to be, and it may be simply a "killing my darlings" issue. I'll see. I'm also finding that I still have shortchanged one set of characters' story, and I'm not sure if they are really necessary at all. It may just be that I haven't fully connected them to the core, and that when I do, they may actually add quite a bit. Remains to be seen.

I think one of the biggest challenges I'm facing, in terms of meeting the producers' expectations, is one of realism vs. cinematic. They are pushing for this to be very realistic (which I'm all for), but at the same time many of the ideas that I have may be pushing the envelope a bit too much. Everything I mention could or even has happened, but the combination of all of them is where the realism breaks down somewhat. Whereas, if I stick purely to realism, it might be exciting in real life but it isn't a movie. So my challenge has been to strike the right balance between believable and exciting. I think I did a much better job of that in this version of the treatment, and hopefully will get even closer as we move closer to the final product.

So, that's that for now. After I speak with the producer I'll have a better idea of where we stand, when we'll be going down to Botswana (since they want to approve the treatment first), and what my next steps will be.



Blogger E.C. Henry said...

Sounds like nice, tame and easy problems to have. NOTHING for a writer of your caliber to handle, Fun_Joel. Go get 'em tiger!

How many shots are you looking at getting before going to Africa? Have you looked into that yet?

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

4:41 AM  
Blogger Dante Kleinberg said...

Africa is one of the most expensive place to visit (besides, like, Antarctica). I'm jealous! Oh well, maybe one day.

6:45 PM  
Blogger annabel said...

I am glad things are coming along well. It sounds like an exciting challenge.

P.S. Did you get my email?

11:51 PM  
Blogger Webs said...


What ensemble scripts have you read to help you with the form? Which do you recommend?

6:04 AM  
Blogger Ryan Rasmussen said...

Thanks for stopping by, Joel! How soon until you make the journey to Africa?

4:02 PM  

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