Screenwriting: 20 August Draft Responses

So I've had some people reading the first draft of the screen version of 20 August. It is, first off, only the first draft. And script reading is a very subjective thing. As with any book or film or bit of music, some people love some things and some people really don't. The game in the media biz is to figure out if enough people will love something to make it worth producing.

Here are the highlights of what I've heard regarding 20 August thus far:

  1. Every reader has really, really liked the dialogue. (I'm good at dialogue. Some people aren't, but I am. Just one of those things. Play to your strengths, right?)
  2. Pretty much every reader has liked the characters.
  3. Most readers think the script should be longer. I get that, but I do have trouble padding things for the sake of padding them. So what I'd want to know (and have yet to hear) is where or how the script should be longer.
  4. One reader thought there should be more humor. I'll admit it's a heavy subject/story, and I do understand the need to cut in with some levity, but . . . I'm afraid if I add too much it'll just seem forced. So I'll have to think about that.
  5. Everyone says it will really come down to who stars and who directs. This is true of any little independent type film, though, isn't it? Hell, it's true of every film, really. But it weighs more in smaller films because you're not distracting the audience with big FX.

I've got a couple other projects to work on before I go back to tinkering with this one (unless/until one of the two producers who have expressed interest in it come poke me with a stick and a contract). Progress has been made. Baby steps. But that's how things go in this industry: a lot of talk before anything actually happens. If it ever does. Which is why you should never pin all you have on just one script or project. Keep swimming.

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