Handling Revisions for a Locked Shooting Script

 Handling Revisions for a Locked Shooting Script


A big part of screenwriting is handling script revisions for a locked shooting script that’s already filming. Locked shooting scripts are basically the road map of what’s to b anti-recoil macrosrust e filmed with page numbers, scene numbers etc.

There will always be script revisions for a locked shooting script. The unknown for a screenwriter is at what point and when these script revisions will pop up and have to be handled to keep the show on budget and schedule.

The Hollywood screenwriter working in the studio system and being represented by a power agent like fictional Ari Gold from Entourage works in a different arena than a screenwriter who is cutting their teeth with nonunion indie film writing gigs as they build their name.

I’m not going touch on the Writers Guild of America and contracts struck between multimillionaire agents, multimillionaire producers and screenwriters writing the latest Hollywood blockbuster. I’m working hard like other fellow screenwriters to get to that land of milk of honey.

The nonunion indie film scene runs different than the Hollywood film scene for screenwriters. It’s much more common for an indie movie director to also be one of the screenwriters. This makes handling script revisions on the fly easier because in essence the screenwriter is also on set at all times and knows what’s going on.

Even if the indie movie director is not a screenwriter usually the screenwriter is on set as part of the production team. Indie cinema is all about people wearing different hats to get a movie done.

Making changes to the locked shooting script can be done on the fly without losing too much time as long as an indie movie director and screenwriter can be creatively flexible. The key to survival during shooting of an indie film is to handle script revisions as quickly as possible.

That’s why I feel it is important to always have the screenwriter(s) on set during filming if possible. It saves time calling them or trying to explain what’s needed. Then waiting to see how long it will take them to write a script revision and send it over. Being on set puts a screenwriter in the thick of things on the frontline with the actors and crew too.

A screenwriter on their game won’t get rattled if they have to write script revisions right there on set while actors and crew take 10 minutes. Burning an hour or two to handle a script revision wastes time and money an indie film budget cannot afford.

Sometimes the script revision to a scene banged out in the heat of the filmmaking battle is better than the original one that took hours or days to write. Pressure can create a situation where a screenwriter enters the zone and is able to write gold spur of the moment. They’re not over thinking. They’re creative writer’s mind takes over on instinct.

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