Darabont on Screenwriting

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  • #31
    Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

    I'm amazed to hear that so many people write novels without outlines yet outline their scripts. To me, it's much harder to rewrite, cut, change, fix 400 solid pages of prose than 100 pages of script, which has a much fluider and flexible flow, despite the necessary structure.
    delicious delirium

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    • #32
      Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

      ** It was interesting to hear how well Darabont worked with Cruise on Mission Impossible III script, even moved into his house. What's even more interesting is in the end the script that Cruise is shooting now, isn't the one Darabont wrote.**

      Landis

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      • #33
        Re: Darabont on Screenwriting



        IMHO



        Wild Wild Sea

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        • #34
          Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

          My understanding is that due to prior obligations, Darabont had to leave the MI3 script unfinished. He had done a few drafts but it was still only half a movie with a lot of work that still needed to be done on the script to make it work.

          Another problem with MI3 is that when the new people at Paramount, who have a lot of TV experience but not much feature experience, didn't do a very good job of vetting the budget so the P&L came back looking pretty grim so they decided to scrap Darabont's script.

          The execs at Paramount were pretty upset considering that had already sunk 20 million into the project and had to start over from scratch which meant Paramount would have no summer movie. Cruise promised to make it up to them and brought War of the Worlds to Paramount so they could are share the production with Dream Works.
          Last edited by Deus Ex Machine; 06-05-2005, 10:20 AM.
          Fortune favors the bold - Virgil

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          • #35
            Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

            Originally posted by Deus Ex Machine
            I think this touches on the heart of the misunderstanding about those who outline vs those who do not. Every writer lets their stories go where their stories need to go.
            there's no misunderstanding here. i neither suggested nor implied that writers who outline don't let the story go where it needs to go. that has absolutely nothing to do with the point i was trying to make, which is simply that both approaches -- using an outline and writing the first draft without an outline -- are perfectly valid and work well for different writers.

            Originally posted by Deus Ex Machine
            Ted Elliot and Terry Rossio have talked about this and said in their opinion those who do not begin with an outline are essentially using their first draft the same way some would use the first draft of their outline.
            i disagree. 110 pages of script is not comparable to 10 pages of outline. you write a 10 page outline, you still have 110 pages of script to write; you write 110 page script (with or without use of an outline first), you have 110 pages of script to work with. the difference is not a minor one.

            Originally posted by Deus Ex Machine
            The only difference is that the outline is only 10 or 20 pages and the script is 110 or 120 pages which means it's faster to figure out your story via an outline than it is with a script.
            perhaps. but having a script to work with is not comparable to having a 10 page outline. with the script, you move on to subsequent drafts because you have all the materials with which you will be working laid out in front of you, even if they are there in rough form. with an outline, you still have to get to the business of writing the script, and then move on to rewrites. again, i'm not saying that outlines are not valid. i think they are. there are plenty of writers whose work i respect who use them and swear by them. all i'm saying is that using outlines is not somehow better from any objective standpoint.

            Originally posted by Deus Ex Machine
            An outline is not a straitjacket you try to cram your story into. An outline is a tool that simplifies and accelerates the process of exploring and developing your story.
            for those to whom outlines are useful, that's true. other writers have other methods that work for them -- and for those writers it's not true.
            Last edited by captain bligh; 06-05-2005, 11:51 AM.
            "Though he is a person to whom things do not happen, perhaps they may when he is on the other side."
            -- Edward Gorey, The Unstrung Harp

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            • #36
              Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

              The argument seems to be about '' do ''successful'' writers do outlines? I guess that the question is really did he do outlines before he hit it big?
              http://wasitsomethingiwrote.blogspot.com/

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              • #37
                Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

                Originally posted by dgrunert
                On Friday's episode of Dinner For Five, Frank Darabont gave some interesting insight into his writing process. He said that he's done everything from starting with a treatment/outline to using the notecard approach. But he prefers not doing any prep before starting a script. As he put it, he usually doesn't know what's going to happen in Act 2 until he gets there. He says it can be very scary to write a screenplay this way, but he likes the organic approach.

                I threw my hands up in the air and said hallelujah! I hate working on an outline or a treatment before I sit down to hammer out a script. But whenever I start something without a hard outline, I feel like I'm not being professional. To hear Darabont say this made me feel so much better about my writing habits.
                Amen!

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                • #38
                  Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

                  I don't outline. I tried it a few times before but my stories always ended up going in a direction that was not only slightly different from what I originally imagined, but also slightly better. I can put days worth of thinking into a movie, but when I finally sit down to write it, things can change. I get more/better ideas when I'm actually playing the scene out while typing it up. Ideas that I probably would not have thought of if I was not directly dealing with a certain situation at that moment.

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                  • #39
                    Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

                    I agree Biohazard... I am the same way. I've tried using outlines and index cards to put my ideas down, but I found that they hindered my progress. I've always sat down and just started writing. The ideas would keep coming, and if there were too many for me to remember, then I would write them down, in case I wanted to go with another idea or character arc later.

                    Everyone has their own way of writing, and what feels comfortable for them.
                    The past is a cashed check. The future is a promissory note. Today is the only hard cash that any of us ever have. Spend it well and wisely.

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                    • #40
                      Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

                      Who cares about the writing process? A prospective producer won't care. As long as you got the goods: a script he or she likes.

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                      • #41
                        Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

                        Oh ****. You know, it just struck me that I seem to approach a script like a football game. The defense and offense lined up against each other. I know the play I'm going to run. But ****, suddenly the defense shifts. An audible is called to adjust to the defense. Suddenly, I realize I need to pass the ball instead of handing it off. Some ******* misses a block, ****, the quarterback has to run for his life. He's about to get demolished by a linebacker, but he suddenly sees an open teammate. But it's too late, the quarterback is crushed by the linebacker, fumbles the ball. There, the ball flops around, the Super Bowl hinging on getting that ball back. But the quarterback is smothered by the linebacker, the ball just beyond his fingertips. Suddenly, the same ******* who missed the block, pounces on the ball. And the quarterback is allowed one more set of downs.

                        Does that make any sense to you guys?

                        Anyway, I was surprised to read in an interview with darabont in which he said that he wrote a draft for spielberg and lucas for indy 4. And he says he's sitting there having no idea what's going on with his draft. Even him! And he's best of friends with spielberg! Lucas ended up not liking the draft. So, sadly, they said thanks but no thanks to darabont. I'm sure you all know that spielberg and lucas have an agreement that they both have to like it in order to go with a certain draft.

                        Thanks for humoring me, guys and gals.

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                        • #42
                          Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

                          Originally posted by Fixer-Upper Brother
                          Who cares about the writing process? A prospective producer won't care. As long as you got the goods: a script he or she likes.

                          Who cares about the writing process? UUm- writers?
                          http://wasitsomethingiwrote.blogspot.com/

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                          • #43
                            Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

                            I do the organic style approach until I find the story...then I usually outline a bit. I'll write scene after scene...sometimes they follow and sometimes they don't...until I find a story. Usually this means I see an ending or a reason for a particular scene. Then I look at all the scenes I have written and pull the ones that go along with the blossoming story. Then I will either write out scene lists or a small treatment sort of thing. Then I write the draft. Then I sell it. Then I win the Academy Award.

                            I have two scripts that I'm 'working on' right now. They were written pretty much as I described above. Two early drafts that need much rewriting...but the story is there if I can just wrestle it into shape. It's funny to have a story in your head but find it so hard to get it on paper. Such is the life of the mind.

                            I have written purely organically as well and it ****s me up if I go too far with it. I am far too tagentially minded to do that. I have to impose some structure on myself or I will write nothing but nonsense.

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                            • #44
                              Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

                              I wrote a psycho serial killer thriller and I kept painting my characters into seemingly impossible corners and I got the biggest thrill out of finding surprising but logical ways for them to evade, escape and overcome.

                              I wrote all of it in real time as I went, living the moment with the characters. I loved figuring out practical ways for them to escape things like tied ropes, sealed rooms and padlocked burning cabins.

                              I remember walking around Wal-Mart looking at things in the Sporting Goods department that might be used to help someone escape a hunting cabin.

                              My thrill is sharing the fear, elevated blood pressure, anger and/or laughter of my characters as they flee for their lives or stalk and kill the dirty rotten POS who has been killing so many innocents. I also love bringing the killer to new diabolical heights of evil where the stakes keep getting higher and higher and the situation becomes increasingly more hopeless for the good guys.

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                              • #45
                                Re: Darabont on Screenwriting

                                Originally posted by Inkdaub
                                I have written purely organically as well and it ****s me up if I go too far with it. I am far too tagentially minded to do that. I have to impose some structure on myself or I will write nothing but nonsense.
                                So it's not just me. Phew!
                                "If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you"
                                "If I didn't have inner peace I'd totally go psycho on you guys all the time." - Carl Carlson

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