June 3, 2015 at 8:51PM

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Adapting a script.

I've been given the opportunity to work with a local writer who's written a script and wants someone to direct it. So my question or discussion topic to you is have you ever had a similar experience and what was it like taking someone else's vision and making it your own? I'm also not 100% sold on the script so how would you go about asking for changes even if they're from small dialect changes to essentially scene removal? Thanks for looking!

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These are great questions. The first thing you have to remind yourself is that the person asking you to direct their film is asking you for *your expertise* in filmmaking. They are bringing you on because you have skills and abilities that they do not, so don't be afraid to give feedback and make suggestions based on your expertise. It's okay to say "Hey, I love the script *and* I would like to make some suggestions for some things I think will make your vision come through better on the camera and on the screen...." I believe this is part of the job of being the director. Just be ready to be flexible.

I like to be positive about making changes to other people's work, so the "yes, and..." approach is always better than the "yes, but..." when giving your feedback. However, you have to be honest, too. Make sure that you actually *want* to be a part of the project before taking it on. Do you believe in the script overall, but just want to make some creative choices you think will make it better? Does the writer/creative partner want to treat this like a truly collaborative effort? Then it might be the right project for you. If the writer is too combative about making creative changes and seems hard to get along with, then *maybe* you don't want to work with this person. However, you have to think about your own tolerance levels and goals. Good luck, and I hope this helps!

August 2, 2020 at 8:54AM

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Cedrick May
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