01/11/16

Script Comes To Life

Notes from IFP's Live Screenplay Series

Directors Diary

When we started work on the script, I don’t think we anticipated it would first be read aloud in a theater at the Lincoln Center with SAG actors. IFP hosts a Live Screenplay Series each year and kindly invited us to partake. It all seemed pretty dreamy – Stephanie Yankwitt (Birdman) was tasked to cast a group of New York’s finest to perform an excerpt from our script. Pretty lucky to debut in that setting.

But truthfully, it was also a little scary. We’d spent months writing and re-writing dialogue, with little sense as to how it would actually sound out loud. Maybe it would be a disaster? Fortunately, I had Emma Nicholls – my co-writer and resident theater nerd – by my side. While I watched our actors perform our lone run-though in a sort of dumb-founded daze (it’s really weird hearing words your wrote come to life), Emma furiously scribbled notes, cutting unnecessary description and dialogue that didn’t track.

When they performed it on stage ten minutes later in front of an ample crowd, it went very well…or so I’m told. I was off somewhere backstage chewing my fingernails off, but occasionally some laughter would permeate through the walls, and it seemed like it was at the right parts.