I sat down to read the script for the first time in nearly two months. For the past few weeks my practical side was preparing me for mediocrity, while my ego was preparing the Oscar speech. Unfortunately, the pragmatism whispered by the practical side was drowned out by the cacophonous marching band of my ego, and all rational thinking had been thrown out the window. I started to read, readying myself for the best screenplay this side of Chinatown.
Well, it ain’t no Chinatown. It ain’t even Big Trouble in Little China. It’s nothing if not Nothing But Trouble.
The problems starting hitting me almost from the beginning. The story alternates between moving at a glacial pace to leapfrogging over important facts. Two different characters sound exactly the same, and could very well be the same character. The arc of my lead character at times was a horizontal line. The ending was so abrupt it was if I ran out of time at the computer lab in college.
It’s bad. The worst script I have ever read. The worst script ever written. If I succeeded in anything, it was making Joe Esterhaus look like Arthur Miller, and Ed Wood look like William Shakespeare. I have elevated everyone else in the pond by sinking like a stone.
Okay. Breathe. Is it truly that terrible? Focus on something good, man.
Okay. Well. Some of the plot twists took me by surprise, and I wrote them. The story is still original and compelling. The ending sucks but mostly because I gave myself a deadline and didn’t finish it properly, and only a few (admittedly large) tweaks will fix that up. Also, there are some jokes, and they aren’t terrible.
So is it a terrible script? Or is it a great script?
Neither, of course.
But of more importance, at this stage of the game it’s still MY script. I’m not sharing it with anyone, not even my trusted close confidants who are the first to read my scripts.
In short: I’m exactly where I am supposed to be.
Just make it less sucky.