Saturday, August 02, 2008
The 5-2 draft
So my partner and I have written the script. We’re very happy with it. Been over it several times. It’s ready to turn in.
But first –
The 5-2 draft.
We always make one final pass and do the following – add 5 great jokes, take out 2 pages.
You can always lift two pages. You may not think so but you can. Every big speech can be trimmed. Most joke runs have one or two that are not as good as the others. Lose ‘em. Comb through the dialogue. I bet you’ll find some unnecessary lines.
“Where you going?” “The market. I haven’t shopped all week.” “Will you get some orange juice?” “Sure.” “Bye.” “See ya.”
...can be replaced with “Off to the market. Will get you your O.J.”
Take a machete to your stage directions too. This is no time to be John Updike.
And now look for spots for five more killer jokes. Some of our most memorable lines (even though I can’t remember them now) have come at this eleventh hour. Maybe you've got a good joke that could be better. Maybe there are places for jokes you just sort of skipped over before.
And yes, you might be saying but then we're adding stuff in addition to losing pages. That's right. So maybe it should be the 5-2 1/3 draft.
The bottom line is: even your best script still can be improved. The 5-2 draft is something that just seemed to evolve as we gained more experience. Other teams might have a 1-7 draft or a 3-2 draft. You're in trouble if it's a 40-10.
And after you’ve done your 5-2 draft, turn the Goddamn thing in already and don’t obsess over it. You’ve done all you can do. Go out and get a pizza.