So we have a first draft of the script now; it took a full 22 months less than the first draft of The Beacon. And is about 22 times better. It was kinda fundy to read James’ half, which stuck to my outline a lot more closely than I was expecting. Things that I had put in, not really liking them but having no better alternatives at the time, he had fleshed out into really good sequences. The last ten pages of course were pretty much pure action – though very much driven by the character relationships – and I had expected to go through a process much like The Beacon did, where the third act’s cacophony of action sequences changed radically from draft to draft, but James has nailed it first time. I guess part of that is down to the fact that this script is so character-based, so there is a solid foundation to start from, ie. “What does the character need to be put through now in order to progress their arc?” rather than just “What cool thing can happen next?”, to which the answer could be almost anything.
Needless to say, given the way we split the writing chores, there are discrepancies between the two halves. These are mainly to do with the supporting characters, some of whom have been portrayed quite differently in the two halves. In one case at least, we plan to solve this by creating a smooth development of the character in the middle of the film from one type to the other, rather than rewriting all their stuff in one half to match the other. There were also a couple of little subplots I had added into my half to flesh the thing out which will need paying off in part two.
We also had a flick through some mythology books and thought a bit more about what the monsters would look like. James’ idea of them having tattooed faces, which I initially disliked, is now growing on me and we expanded it a little, starting to think of them as tribal, so perhaps some groups of demons could have a more Celtic look, whereas others might have an Egyptian feel or whatever to their make-up, and then each group could have different weapons and/or powers.
I’m off to London for a week now to shoot a corporate, so there won’t be any updates for a few days. In the meantime James is going to redraft the script according to the changes we decided on today, and I’m going to try to find time to rewrite one or two scenes which I have a particularly strong vision of.