Finding Joy in Collaboration & Critiques

Finding Joy in Collaboration & Critiques

Finding Joy in Collaboration & Critiques

Rosalind Winton
Rosalind Winton
2 years ago

Sometimes, someone comes along who suddenly propels you into an inspirational state that you never felt before.

I worked with someone called, Shibu Thomas, who wrote a screenplay and asked me if I would become script consultant and editor. I read the script and edited it for him, but the story was so intriguing and so clever, I was happy to continue to help him work on it.

He then made pitches to producers and received great feedback, he had very good written critiques from professionals in the industry and over the months worked tirelessly to improve the script on what he had been advised, not only that, I thought this guy was super human, because whenever he received a critique, it was like he had been injected with a boost of kryptonite or something, because within no time at all, he had happily made the improvements and I was always amazed at the speed in which he worked, if I suggested something he liked, it was done and included straight away, if he had to do re-writes, I received drafts to edit quicker than you can say, "cut", I honestly did not know how he did it.

Even the gentleman who wrote the critique was very impressed with how quickly Shibu implemented his recommendations and sent the script back.

Finding Joy in Collaboration  Critiques

The critiques on the script are always kind and constructive and though there were one or two things that we didn't particularly agree with, the changes suggested were usually always been made.

The thing about Shibu Thomas was he never once complained, he never moaned about the advice he was given on his script, which evolved so drastically since the very first draft, that it was like watching a child grow into an adult in double quick time, changing, evolving, becoming more focussed, more mature and becoming the script it was always meant to be.

Shibu was also happy to request a critique every now and then, so that he could make sure he was on track and that the script was being developed in the right way.

We spent hours going through the script together on Skype (he is in the US, I am in the UK), coming up with ideas and it was so much fun. When a great idea strikes, it's like striking gold and it's such a buzz when something works really well.

Sometimes we thought something would work and on another read through realized it was the wrong thing to do and it was not going to work for one reason or another, so we took it out and congratulated ourselves on the fact that we did the right thing.

The positivity that was being poured into the working of this script was palpable, infectious, compelling and even though sometimes there were life constraints and time differences that dictated when we could get together, it was still being done in double quick time. I have always been a positive person, but when you meet someone who thrives on critique, you can learn a different way of implementing positivity. I learned so much while working with Shibu.

That if you really believe in something, if you love something you are working on so much, if you constantly think positively about it, if you never doubt that what you are doing is great, if you talk about your work with enthusiasm and belief to anyone who will listen and I don't mean just with writing scripts, I mean with anything you do in your life, if you believe that you are already successful, just by someone saying they like what you do, then you're made.

Finding Joy in Collaboration  Critiques

Through the critiques that Shibu received on the script, I learned so much more about how to develop a screenplay, how to format it and how to improve the dialogue, character development and how readers of the script would perceive certain things. Sometimes you can read a script over and over and over and when someone else points something out, we realize that it was something that was right there in front of us all the time, but we just didn't see it and we would have to either change it somehow or take it out, nine times out of ten, it's the right thing to do.

This has helped me greatly with understanding certain things, so that I can help other writers with their scripts and be much more knowledgeable in my work.

Through it all, the integrity of the story and Shibu's vision of it has always remained the same, the twists and turns, the build up and the killer ending are still there and those are things that were not been compromised through the development of the script, but what I loved about working with Shibu was, that he was always happy to listen and to implement the advice he was being given and the advice was usually 99% always correct, so don't dismiss getting advice on your script, it is scary and you may not always agree, but I have seen first-hand that it is always worth it and when you receive the advice, don't immediately dismiss it.

It may seem like someone is tearing your ideas apart, but take time to read the critique through a few times before making rash decisions on it and think of it from the point of view of the person critiquing it.

Finding Joy in Collaboration  Critiques

A lot of people apply for critiques, thinking the report is going to come back saying their script is the best thing they have ever read and it's film ready, but you must be prepared for the opposite to happen and to realize that their advice is for the good of the script, not to boost your ego.

Remember, the people you are gaining advice from know exactly what is required in the industry and also, what the times and audiences of the day require, they know what will make your script stand out from everyone else's, they know that your very first draft will never make it to a producer's desk without improvement and it may take many, many drafts before it's ready. Instead of being disheartened by a critique, think of it as a way of getting your script one step closer to production.

Enjoy the process, enjoy the actual writing of the script and revel in it's development, it's such a joy, it's so satisfying and it could make a huge difference in it's success.

Shibu Thomas was an inspiration and a great role model to adhere to, his total commitment to his script, his work ethic and also his belief in me to advise him correctly on the editing of the script was much appreciated and I look forward to one day, not in the too distant future, seeing the script come to life on screen.

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About the Author

Hi Everyone. I live in South West Hertfordshire, which is just outside London, England, I run my own literary Editing business, ONE VOICE EDITING SERVICES. After I left school at 17, I went straight into the workplace as a secretary and worked for various companies over the years in permanent...

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