I reach this point in every Screenplay. It arrived this morning in the Lahore Movie.
I have pared down the major characters.
I have wiped out all the colourful but cluttering minor characters.
I have murdered all the little darlings, those cutesy bits of dialogue or business that seemed irresistible on first creation.
The Screenplay’s first hour is now reduced to its essential elements of raw drama.
And it’s a complete turkey.
No actor would want to play any of these characters, even if offered big money. No one would pay money to watch them in a cinema. Opening night and closing night would be simultaneous. In Luke Upward’s memorable piece of theatre criticism (about himself): “One could have stored meat in the audience. Long before the end, the rattle of retracting seats was like gunfire. Even the portly and the infirm leapt over them like young ibex, in search of the exits.” The only audience left in any cinema at the end of my movie would be teenagers in the back rows, too busy “making out” to notice anything on the screen.
And there is no remedy. Not even the sudden entrance of Beppo the Wonder Dog could save this movie.
Now I have had this feeling about every screenplay I have written. Now so too have dozens of agents, directors, producers and actors. And many more serendipitous readers of the screenplays I have left in cricket grounds all around the world or abandoned in the drawers of desks later sold in the shops of exceptionally indigent charities. And perhaps all these people are right.
The Screenplay is a turkey.
Fulham lost last night.
Mandelson still lurks and smirks in our political system.
Woe, woe, woe, thrice woe!