In the last series of articles, we have discussed the script from the writer’s point of view. We can do nothing on a project until the script is done so this whole process starts with the writer. However, before we cross over the line from development to pre-production, the script needs to transform into a project.
A project has attachments. Attachments are the elements required to get the project made. A script without attachments is just a collection of words. A writer takes his or her script out to others and pitches it to them to get them on board, to get them attached to the project. The more attachments a project has, the easier it is to get other attachments.
A producer has the ability to bring other attachments to the project; in fact, a producer worth the name has a track record of doing so. A good producer has relationships with people who would be of value to the production and has the ability to convince them to attach themselves to the project. A savvy writer will find a valuable attachment first – a known actor, a talented director, an investor – and pitch their script to them first and get them excited about it. Once they are on board, it is a lot easier to convince a producer to come on board. Remember, attachments draw other attachments.
A strong script makes it far easier to bring these attachments to the project. Strong, three dimensional characters in a compelling story attract actors and impel them to want to work on a project. At a professional level, actors will either work on your project for money or for the script. If you plan on doing an independent film and want to work with a name actor, your script had better be exceptional.
Unique and compelling imagery in a cinematic script provides exciting fodder for the director’s imagination. If a director can see an exciting movie in your script, they will jump at the chance to be at the helm of your story. Even vendors and crew will be easier to attach to your project if your script is strong. If you are producing an independent project on a constrained budget, any of your key crew worth their salt will want to read the script before they say “yes”.
A strong script paves a golden path for the producer. A flawed or weak script makes for an unpleasant battle through lukewarm responses or unqualified rejection. You will be facing an uphill battle regardless of the strength of your script, and you will have to deal with rejection, but you are dragging an albatross around your neck with a bad script.