I got some great notes from my buddies Dan and Chris a few weeks ago on my latest draft of ‘The Prey.’ It was the kind of solid constructive criticism you hope to receive when you sent out a script for notes. They pointed out what wasn’t working, and more importantly why. In addition, there were some solid suggestions on how to attack some of the parts of the script that could be better. It’s not that ‘The Prey’ wasn’t “good” or entertaining, it’s just that there were things I needed to do to make it that much better, if you know what I mean.
One of the things I kept in mind while going through this latest drafts was, “Does this feel original?” I really took note of how I wrote the action scenes and tried to make sure I did a few things that I know I hadn’t seen on film before.
Will they all work out? I’m not sure. But they felt good when I wrote them down. My feelings might change as I read them over. But I was pushing, trying to be unique, trying to do something different.
We’ve all seen movies that all follow the same formula. We know the beats before they even happen. That’s not always a bad thing. It’s when the beats all play out the same way that we start to get bored. There has to be some sort of unique take on at least some of what goes down.
‘Haywire’ is a good example of what I’m talking about. It didn’t add anything new in the story department. But what it did bring to the table was a female who fought in a way I hadn’t seen any other woman fight before. A level of gritty realism that was new. Maybe it was in the script, maybe it wasn’t, I don’t know, but on screen it certainly seemed new to me, and that kept me interested.
And really, keeping people interested is what it’s all about…
[NOTE: I’m not actually saying that ‘The Prey’ is good, I’m just saying that it’s not terrible. Hence my quotes about around the word good.]