Script development is a changing seascape, dependent on the weather (in this case money), riding waves of notes and feedback from funders and investors. As film makers we have to focus on the story we want to tell but adaptable to changes as the film progresses. A film maker who sets their story in amber is likely to not get far.
‘Arena’ is a difficult story to realise as a film and we’re ambitious. However, our ambition at times outstrips the budget we have. Does this mean the film should stop? No. The great thing about film making is having the ability to rewrite. You can tell the same story a thousand different ways. What’s important is what YOU want to say but to also realise that expressing the same story differently is just as powerful. Time is literally our ally in film making. We manipulate time to tell the story. Sometimes having a break away from the constant pressures of a film gives us space to rethink, to reconsider new approaches that help make the story inside a writers head a reality instead of a dream on paper.
Rewriting is your ally and the best tool in your arsenal. Better than any camera, production design or acting. It saves films. Makes films better. It’s also nice when you discover that your core creative team is on the same page, open to rewriting and reconsidering how a project can be achieved.
Yesterday both Mike (our writer/director) and Naomi (producer) met to discuss the way forward for ‘Arena’. They discovered that, although they’d been away working on other productions, they’d been thinking along the same lines about what to do next with ‘Arena’. A productive brain storming session later and the project is re-tooled, re-purposed, made more effective and stronger a story. Although the film was delayed we used the time to reassess, to find a better path.
This is the power of rewriting. Shun it at your peril.