We have started rewriting the thriller. Major problem we are facing during the rewrite is how to change things that do not work without affecting elements that work. This is a tricky situation because we got some rave reviews for the first draft. So now the thing is that we don’t want to blindly go on reshuffling it when in the first place itself we have something good in our hands. It is not always necessary that the script on which you toil the most will be your best script. Sometimes it just happens and then you are scared that you will lose it if you go on shuffling with it.
We had done a lot of head banging during developing the treatment. I think that is reflecting in the first draft. We never got stuck during the first draft due to the excessive detailing. Many characters developed during the first draft. Another major thing that happened while writing the first draft was that we found a new ending half way into the story. And that ending has stuck because every one who read it found it novel.
Our major concern is regarding the first half of the thriller. According to many, it is a bit slow compared to the second half which storms past like a juggernaut. I realise why first half is a bit slow. Because it is more about character development and establishing the scenario. The second half leaps from the platform built by the first half. So the moment we make the first half faster and more eventful, second half will lose some of it’s impact. Good thrillers are about interesting characters. Good characters are what keep audience engrossed in the story. So here we may have to strike a balance. Though we intend to rewrite 3-4 scenes in the first half with this purpose in mind, we still would like to keep it a bit slow.
Another major objective for us is to shorten the script if possible. Now it clocks around 129 pages. The truth is that when we started writing the first draft, we had in our minds a 90 page script. But new and new elements got added on the way and before we knew it, we had a longer script. A longer script means more days of shooting and an elevated cost. We have a tightly wound budget. So if we can cut the corners, we can use that money to improve the technical quality of the final cut. Though we started rewriting with this objective in mind, we are facing new problems during redrafting. Though we had marked out many areas to shorten or remove, we are coming up with many other interesting elements so that page count may turn out to be still around 120 pages. This decision making is the toughest aspect of the redrafting.
Second production meeting is in this week to finalise certain things. We have a stipulated dead line to lock the script in second week of february. Preproduction is supposed to begin in 3rd week. Tentative plan is for a release in July. Let’s see what happens.
Photo by Hiroshi-K