Monday Prescriptions – Letting It Go (And Improving)

Hi Film Folk!

Good morning, Film Doctor friends. Winds of change (and some heavy gales in London) are blowing in the Film Doctor office – as you know, apart from enjoying seeing your projects grow, we also have our own little bits and pieces on the go. So in the next few months Film Doctor will be putting the money where our mouth is and working towards a feature release.

On this note, we felt fit to dedicate this week’s Monday Prescriptions to the dangers in falling in love with your own work – and how to learn to fight it.

 Film Doctor - Letting Go

Beauty Is in the Eye of the Beholder

So your screenplay is completed. And you feel really proud, obviously – finally, months of work have been transformed into these wonderful 100+ pages. Ready to shop it around? Hooold oooon… Before you pat yourself on the back and start making phone calls to production companies, why not see if your work stands the test of a few critics – friends, family, industry acquaintances that you trust? Pass the script to them and ask for full feedback – notes on what works, what doesn’t, favourite/worst part, character traits or arcs that might need improving, if anything didn’t seem to make sense, etc. We could get too close to our own work and fail to recognise its flaws, so it is always worth soliciting ‘a fresh pair of eyes’. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, they say, so be wary.

Warning: don’t ask for feedback from the writers in your circle – every writer will have their method of creating stories and would, even involuntarily, impose it on you. Different writers follow different ‘schools’, so some would not dare to step away from the 3-act structure while others hold Viki King on their night-stand – and you don’t want irrelevant ideas thrown your way, while struggling to move further with your project.

It Only Hurts the First Time…

Making cuts to your work – whether at screenplay stage or footage assembly – is never easy. But it’s like removing a plaster – if you try to pick one corner at a time, you are just prolonging the pain, so it’s better to just “get it over and done with”.

Once you start with the necessary changes, it will just flow – it’s getting past the first hurdle that usually stops most of us from improving our projects.


Don’t Put All Your Eggs in One Basket

For it to hurt less if you come across rejection, make sure you are working on more than one project at one time – so that you always have a ‘plan B’. Letting go is easier when there’s something to fall back on.

 Film Doctor - Working on your screenplay

‘Monday Prescription’ No.18 – Don’t be scared to make changes to your projects and let go of parts that don’t work. Don’t let yourself fall in love with the first version of your screenplay/film – there’s always room for improvement.


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Have a great week!
The Film Doctor Team
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