This is still a great scene. But here’s a comparison of the scene as written and the scene as filmed. The differences are remarkable.
While that scene looks like it would have been easy to write, I’m betting it was one of the more logistically challenging moments in the screenplay. For example, how many doctors need to be in the scene to make it funny?
What’s more, the actual typing of the scene would have been a pain in the buttocks. Keeping track of where everyone is, and who has said what, when all they are saying is the same word, is tough. Try typing the same word over and over again, and you’ll soon be tripping over your own fingers.
I recently improved my ability to write more productively with one simple trick. It had the added benefit of lifting my energy levels for the whole day, improving focus, and I think, even increasing my creativity.
So, how did I do it?
First, I watched this video.
I had my doubts, but I decided to try some simple exercise the following morning. I chose digging up a flowerbed in the garden, because it needed to be done, and it meant I didn’t have to go for a hateful run or anything.
My focus and concentration for the rest of the day were amazing, and I managed to get my daily word count done in about half the normal time. I even found starting the day’s writing easier to do.
And it wasn’t a fluke.
I’ve done some exertion inducing exercise every morning, and the results have been the same. And on the day or two when I haven’t done this, I have felt crappy, slow-witted, and lethargic all day.
So, you can improve your writing, and get a nice garden in the process.
Having recently re-watched the first two Pirates Of The Caribbean films, it occurred to me that Jack Sparrow is Han Solo.
That’s not to say they’re the same character, more that they share similar character arcs.
Both spend their first movies as characters with their own agendas, returning towards the end to help save the day. In the second movie, they spend their time running from their past debts, and find themselves ‘dead’ at the end (Solo is frozen in carbonite, Sparrow is in limbo). At the start of the third movie, their friends band together to mount a rescue, before they all head off to defeat an evil empire.
Here’s something I’ve started doing recently with my scripts. It may be something that everyone does, and I’ve been remiss in not doing so.
I call it The Character Pass.
I read my script through, focusing solely on one character. That way, you get a better sense of how they’re fitting into the structure of the piece, when they feel absent, and when they feel they have outstayed their welcome. Moreover, you can really dial in to their voice, and you quickly hear how their lines can be improved, reshaped, or trimmed.
By doing this yesterday, I greatly improved a character that had until then been feeling weak on the page.
This focus on one character plays into the idea that all characters think they are the hero of their own story. When you read that story from their perspective only, things fall into shape for them much more easily, and it’s quickly apparent if they have agency or not.
I shall be doing a character pass on everything, and for everyone, from now on.