Do you knnow how much text you have to put onto a paper before it is ready to be filmed?

Robert McKee states in his book that, for a good writer and a good finished product, one has to write at least five times the amount of text, if not even ten times. Because otherwise, if the result you see in your draft is the first version with only some dialogue changes, you in fact have written nothing.

And I have to admit it: he is damn right!

In the last few days, besides the redesign works on my page and some other things, I could finish the writing of a short biography, or in Syd Fields words, the inner life of a character. But I didn’t write the biography of the small robot, but of a character, you will never directly see in this movie (but hopefully feel his presence). In other words, I started to write more than you will see in the final draft.

At first I didn’t believe McKee and Field that writing more (in this case the inner life) can help the script and story, but I nevertheless went with it. And the result was really remarkable. While I was writing the biography of “the unseen one”, the world of my short movie really began to widen and to expand.

Details emerged, possiblities came up and even some thematic ideas made their way into my mind. I started to see objects in the setting, which could add subtle yet for the interested viewer important facts about the tragic past and main motivation of the unseen character, which in the end directly results in the small robot you will see in my short.

When I do it right, the surplus writing will make the world of my story much more believable, interesting and consistent.

So, in the end, McKee is damn right: you have to write much more text compared to the result in the final script…


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