Room for Collaboration
Updated: Nov 16, 2021
As a producer-director who struggles a bit with screenwriting, I envy those writing rooms on series television. The writing is often so good, I believe, because so many minds are working in concert to outthink the audience. Great work can be done by a single writer, but we're not all geniuses like Michaela Coel or Scott Frank.
So what's an indie screenwriter to do? I've tried finding a writing partner, but that's as tricky as finding a romantic partner. Here in San Francisco, I'm lucky enough to have a couple of screenwriting groups to turn to, like Scene Reads on Meetup. But generally that means reading 10-15 pages at a time, which can be frustrating for everyone involved.
Happily, there's a new group in town that promises something more. Bay Area Indies is a new coalition of local filmmakers dedicated to helping each other out, with online screenings ("Reel Talk"), a regular writer's group, shared resources, and more. Now they've offered a platform for reading a feature film script in its entirety.
I was eager to volunteer for a trial run. In addition to getting feedback from a bunch of fellow filmmakers (who presumably can visualize from a script better than your average reader), we'll enlist actors to read all the parts, which means that they will bring their sensibilities to the process, far in advance of being on set.
It may not be a writer's room, but I expect to learn a lot.