Buffalo Soldiers
Buffalo Soldiers

Don’t show anything until it’s ready

They always want to see something sooner rather than
later, but I’ve shown something early to a producer and I’ve regretted
it. They’re not your co-writers, they’re your producers. The last
thing you want is them barraging you with bad ideas to fix something
you already knew you should have fixed in the first place.

Learn how to listen to criticism.

Just because a producer does give you a bad idea,
that’s no reason to dismiss it. It’s sometimes their way to fix
a very real problem with the script that 1) they haven’t been able
to clearly identify, or 2) they have identified it, but they’re
just too polite to say, "your opening scene sucks."

Keep looking for ways to improve the work

The old adage about writing is rewriting-is so true.
That’s the mark of a professional. To be able to return to a piece
of material, not to lose your perspective, to always keep your eyes
on the prize and always looking for ways to make it better. There’s
always a way to make it better, you just have to find it.

You will be rewritten.

A script is not an end in itself; it’s a blueprint.
During production, locations may fall through, necessitating last
minute changes in the script. Actors, in the moment, may ad lib
lines to enrich a scene. In the editing room, more discoveries are
made by the director and editor. It’s a collaborative process, with
the material being constantly rewritten and re-examined at every
stage of the production.

You never finish a script?

You surrender it.