My key to productivity is that I’m a planner. I’ve written before about the James Caan movie where someone said something about the 5P principle.
I discovered how effective being a planner is. My articles over the last week show that. I’m writing scripts at a pace seven times faster than other screenwriters.
And you know, there’s indeed the possibility that because of my writing volume, that I may end up with a job as Script doctor – one of those guys who takes other people’s scripts that don’t work, and get them to work. There are some professional Script Doctors who Hollywood studios actually buy a script from an unknown, send it to the script doctor who changes it all around, and the script doctor’s name is the one you see on the movie credits. Two of my favorite movies “Black Hawk Down” and “Patton” were done exactly that way. Although I’ll point out that the director of Patton felt, after reading Coppola’s original, that the doctored version removed the essence of Patton. So he took all the parts the studio heads hated about Coppola’s script and stuck them right back in!
There is justice. The same thing was done with Black Hawk Down, where one man had it, a script doctor was brought in, and then the producers felt the essence of the movie was removed, so they brought back in the original guy. “You got a passport? Be in Casablanca the day after tomorrow. We’re shooting.”
Anyway, getting back to my original point (if I had one), there’s a way to set goals. If you’re writing a novel, it’s this: 1,667 pages a day. Do that.
If it’s a screenplay, it’s as many pages as you can write in a day. I can do 8-10, so I set it at 7 to be safe. I then go to Microsoft office online, and add in a to-do every day. “Name of script, page #” is the reminder. I have to be at page 21 tonight, or so.
Trust me. Try that.
Your movie will be done in no time, because those reminders force you to get busy. Plus, if you’re already working with a producer, he knows when I’m working on the script!
So, no minesweeper for you!