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Old 02-06-2012, 12:05 PM   #1
wheatgrinder
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Script Changes

Hi all,

I have a script written by another person, I like it but I am also making big changes. I don't want credit for the changes, I feel its the same story, just has my fingerprints on it..

I wonder how writers react if there work is changed but everyone still thinks they wrote it? Im guessing this is pretty normal but again Im a noob.

Thanks for your comments in advance.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:15 PM   #2
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It depends on the writer. Some get very upset, some don't care.

In my theatre days, I've seen entire productions get cancelled because the writer and director were fighting so much.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:15 PM   #3
directorik
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I suspect most writers would be fine if the changes you make
are "good" and most would be upset if the changes you make
are "bad".

In the pro world it is very, very rare that the script the writer
wrote and gets credit for is word for word the same as what is
on the finished product. I'll go a step farther - it never happens.
Scripts are ALWAYS changed by someone.

"Big" changes can be upsetting to a writer.

If this writer gave you the script thinking that you would shoot
it exactly as written, the writer will not be happy with your changes.
If the understanding is you can change what you want but will
not take a writing credit then the writer may not like your changes
but will be, at least, prepared.

The newer the writer, the more they are hoping their script will
not be changed at all. I always expect my writing to be changed.
What did you tell the writer?
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:25 PM   #4
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well, from your replies, I think I should table this discussion until I see if the other participant is "cool" with open discussions here... as I don't want to offend another awesome IT member.
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Old 02-06-2012, 12:48 PM   #5
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From the tens of dozens of DVD feature film director/producer/actor/writer commentaries I've closely paid attention to - "significant" changes regarding plot lines and character introduction/removal involve the writer as per union guidelines (and the director et al is probably standing right over their shoulder, metaphorically speaking, telling them A, B, C, D changes they want); but "minor" changes regarding locations, lines, and delivery are changed at the discretion of the director/actor/editor.

On a non-union short... depends upon your relationship with the writer is my guess.
Personal politics and producer's skills.

GL. I'm sure you'll figure out something satisfactory, fingerprints and all.

(I watched "J. J. Abrams'" SUPER 8, produced by Steven Spielberg, the other day.
It had Spielberg's fingers and more all up that girl's... all over that production.
Legal precedent? I dunno. Just sayin').

Last edited by rayw; 02-06-2012 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 02-06-2012, 01:19 PM   #6
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The other party, NickClapper, is cool with open discussion..

In short I think we're "cool" I don't believe my changes have offended him, though he would not DO It the same way..
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Old 02-07-2012, 09:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wheatgrinder View Post
The other party, NickClapper, is cool with open discussion..

In short I think we're "cool" I don't believe my changes have offended him, though he would not DO It the same way..


But, as I've said, it's you who's going to be behind the camera and I think the most important thing is that you're comfortable with the material you're shooting.

I've always been a big fan of having that slightly uneasy ambiguity both in my writing and direction. But I'm perfectly happy to cede that point to you if that's not the film you want to make.

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Old 02-07-2012, 11:23 AM   #8
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It seems like it will all get smoothed out and, one hopes, will turn into another IT collaborative success story. Happy re-writing and shooting!
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:26 AM   #9
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Take out the smiles and I read a bit of irritation.. thats ok, I have the effect on some people.

Letting the rest of the world in on this.. I took Nicks edgy slice of life short script and fully Americanized it with an upbeat and tidy happy ending and a laugh track.. no wonder hes irritated.. lol
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:32 AM   #10
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Quote:
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Take out the smiles and I read a bit of irritation.. thats ok, I have the effect on some people.

Letting the rest of the world in on this.. I took Nicks edgy slice of life short script and fully Americanized it with an upbeat and tidy happy ending and a laugh track.. no wonder hes irritated.. lol
So long as the laugh track is a joke then I'm genuinely fine with it
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Old 02-07-2012, 11:49 AM   #11
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Will there be Wilhelm screams involved?
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:07 PM   #12
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If not, just take Nick out back with a tire iron and show him what "american filmmaking" is all about ;-)
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:22 PM   #13
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If not, just take Nick out back with a tire iron and show him what "american filmmaking" is all about ;-)
Ugh.

For no particular rational reason I just got a disturbing image for a film scene: Twinkie freshmeat in prison is getting broken in on his first man-date and the bull is making him scream "WILHELM! WILHELM! WILHELM!" as the other subordinates in line waiting for sloppy seconds and thirds and fourths laugh.

Wretched and rotten.
Horrible.

The dumb stuff that pops in one's mental eye...
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Old 02-07-2012, 12:33 PM   #14
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ray, I take comfort in the fact that you and I are both disturbed people, in completely different ways.

That said, I laughed at it!
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Old 02-07-2012, 01:09 PM   #15
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Ray, you just made me laugh out loud.
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