Monday, July 7, 2003

Trigger Street

by Suw on July 7, 2003

Having decided to give more time to my writing, today I visited (requires registration), the site backed by Kevin Spacey for wannabe script writers and film makers. And it’s kind of a strange space, really. On the one hand, it’s a forum for gaining constructive criticism, networking and getting advice. On the other hand, there’s a system whereby you have to review other people’s films or screenplays before you can get your own reviewed, and although that’s a perfectly reasonable premise, I suspect that there are cliques amongst the regular contributors that could result in the unwary getting their throats torn out. The way the site works is also far from transparent ? you have to get in to it and play about with it to make any sense of it.

Which meant that today I downloaded and read someone’s script, and then reviewed it. And I hate doing reviews. When I worked as a music journalist, I refused to do reviews on principle ? I didn’t believe that it was appropriate for me to publicly review music when I had not been through the full music creation process myself. My opinion was only so much meaningless hot air, and I refused to publish what was to my mind worthless.

I don’t feel quite so bad about reviewing people’s writing, because as an ex-professional writer I feel that I have a reasonable grip on what is good and what could be improved, but I still feel a little uncomfortable about it. Whilst those posting screenplays to be reviewed are actively soliciting feedback, it’s still difficult because each script is someone’s baby and I feel an obligation to be both honest and compassionate when reviewing, and that requires putting time and effort into it. Yet I don’t want to be spending lots of time reading and rereading scripts and writing and rewriting reviews. I have a hard enough time fitting everything in to my life as it is!

Still, I’m sure that it’s going to be interesting to lurk on the site and see what gives. And who knows, maybe one day I’ll post a screen play of my own to be torn to shreds by the wolves.

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