Still thinking about music. And sound.
Tomorrow will be an interesting day. We're doing a read-through. What
that means is, we assemble the *full* production team: line producer,
production manager, production designer, art director, director, director of
cinematography, writer/producer (me), efx director, wardrobe person, and a
bunch of others, along with several actors (just for that job, not on the
series) who then read through the entire script, page by page, and everyone
gets a chance to stop it and ask questions and discuss what's needed. It's a
long and painstaking process that will probably take at least half the day.
As well as doing all the production stuff with the rest of the team, I'm
going to be listening very carefully to the dialogue, since this will be the
first time I've heard the whole thing spoken aloud. Invariably, once you see
how your words fit in somebody's mouth, you trim, rearrange, and otherwise
futz with things. The goal to make the whole thing as airtight as possible.
Sat and talked for a long time with the director today, Richard Compton,
and he's even more excited about the project than when he began and he was
pretty excited *then*. And found out something I didn't know until we spoke.
Our script was "published" a week ago Wednesday. (Published here means
that the script has been broken down and each scene numbered for production
purposes, and that draft, now called the shooting script, is given to all
production staff, sent to agents locally, that sort of thing.) The following
day, Thursday, Richard arrived in New York to help with casting. What he
discovered was that suddenly he was getting calls from practically every
actor's agent in town about the show, AND THAT THEY ALL HAD THE SCRIPT AND HAD
ALL **READ** THE SCRIPT!
These were agents to whom we had not SENT the script. Apparently, as
near as he was able to determine, the script was being bootlegged all over
town, faxed and messengered and people were demanding copies. It's sort of
"the" ticket in town now is to get a copy of the script. And the agents, and
their clients, went nuts. I'd heard that people were coming out of the
woodwork (and I'd mentioned it in passing here), but I had no idea really how
it was happening. Actors were circulaing copies of the script among
themselves and calling their agents and the casting director trying
everywhichway to get in on the auditions, convinced from what they saw in the
script that it was going to be a hit.
None of this I knew in detail until today. I was astonished. The
director just sat there and smiled. "You've never heard your script read,
have you?" he asked. I allowed as how I hadn't. That smile again: "You're
always mentioning how much you know of the story that isn't in the
script...well, there's things *in* the script that I'd bet even YOU don't know
are there, because they're things you put in subconsciously...but an actor can
find them. And during the auditions, they did. They just chewed the
dialogue, savored it. Loved it. Found all these wonderful little corners and
subtext. Wait," he said, "just wait until you see the audition tapes
tomorrow. You'll die."
This sounds awful, I know, but the truth is, I just sat there and beamed.
Sonuvabitch...y'know, this might actually *work*.
We've decided, btw, to extend casting another 2 weeks. We've got some
GREAT prospects, but Richard feels, and I agree, that since we've got the
time, don't rush. Make the best choice possible. We've got the script, we've
got the production team, we've got the EFX, we've got the director, we've got
a terrific design on the sets...the last thing and the most important thing we
need is the cast. If we can pull that part off...we've got it nailed.