Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Project Wilson Phillips - Team Carnie: Day 1

We're continuing our look at the results of the Collaborative Writing Project, with the first comments from the writers who picked up where I left off.

The Team Carnie version of the screenplay is available here.

Meg (p. 11-20): I really enjoyed the challenge in Operation Wilson Phillips (Team Carnie). Being in first (or is it technically second?) position allowed for some major freedom in terms of the direction I could take. I wanted to amp up the cheese factor and go for almost a cartoonized version of action characters. I hoped to begin to weave the different characters and scenes to one interlocking story. I wanted to, hopefully, add layers to the relationships between the characters and provide some fun reveals. My process is different on everything that I write. For this one, I brainstormed a lot, made a ton of notes on the pages Bitter provided, and then just tried to have fun with action and dialogue. I’m kicking myself now for some glaring typos. But I can’t wait to see how the story ended. Or how the other teams took the story.

Stephen (21-29): When I got the e-mail from the Bitter Script Reader on Sunday night, I decided not to look at the pages until I printed them out to read at the coffee shop where I do all my writing. I'm not a fan of reading scripts in PDF form on my monitor. I think it lowers the amount of attention you dedicate to reading. Printing off the script, I did notice that I would be writing pages 20-30. My first thought, "Great! I get to end Act I." Not a bad place to be. You get to decide the direction the rest of the script goes and ask the main question of the film. Sounded like a ton of fun.

Reading the pages, though, made me realize there was a lot more I'd have to do. There seemed to be a major shift at page 9, where I assume the 2nd writer took over, and I realized there were two issued I'd have to address. 1) Right at page 9, an entirely new protagonist appeared: Jackson Mack. Doug Taylor, who seemed to be the main character up to this point, only showed up for one scene in the second ten pages. 2) Viper became Nina, Doug's missing partner from the newspaper and Jackson's sister, but I couldn't get over the fact that in the opening scene, she killed a guy for no apparent reason.

When I sat down to write, my goals were to bring Doug back into the story without completely dismissing Jackson, explain the contradiction in Viper/Nina's actions, and hit a dramatic enough point that works as an act break. I came up with several possibilities, but my main idea ended up way to complicated to get across in just ten pages. In the end, I decided that my primary goal should be to give the next writer room to take the script where he/she wanted. I did my best to eliminate or explain the issues I saw, so whoever took over from me would have an open field to run and play. I think I accomplished that, though I'd be interested to see if that next writer agreed.

CTScanHollywood (p. 30-38): With my pages, I wanted to slow the pace just a tad because there was so much action at the beginning. I wanted to show the relationship between the guys more, and also to catch the reader up a bit on what was going on- who's who, what the hell just happened etc..

Tomorrow we'll hear from the rest of the writers, and please feel free to leave your comments about the screenplay in any of these threads!


  1. I hope each of the writers above have read the complete script and can offer feedback or comment on their thoughts with the story compared to what they envisioned after writing their 10 pages.

    It seems to me that Stephen's explanation for Nina's actions did what he hoped in deciding the direction of the script.

  2. Coming from another team, it's both strange and exciting seeing the direction taken by another team's script.

    I really like the Act One break - it felt really definite.