Posted November 11, 2012
People seemed to enjoy the writing process of VGHS article, so I thought I would share something a little special. And by special, I mean very embarrassing and something we should never show anyone.
The first draft of VGHS.
We have talked at length about the process of getting VGHS Season 1 written. In the beginning, we really had no idea what sort of show we were writing. Just four dumb kids thinking they can mix gunfights, teenagers, and videogames into something remotely similar to Freaks and Geeks meets John Woo. We ended up with something different, and I think better.
However, I think seeing the process may be good for some of you who are starting to write your own scripts. The most important thing to take away from this is this – nothing is sacred. You will delete much more than you write, and you should.
Be prepared to FIND the story, not to FORCE the story you think you have.
Anyways, I can’t promise you will enjoy the first draft, but I have no objectivity on the matter. It makes me bang my head in shame at the silliness and ineptness of the storytelling. The long drawn out scenes of dialog that more nothing forward. The plot points that disappear, the lack of character for Ki, or Jenny… or anyone.
But it is fun to look back and see how many of the pieces were there; how much we circled around basic truths that seem evident now; How the Janitor was just taking up valuable space that was later used to reinforce the friendships.
Ah yes… the Janitor. Say hello to this lost character. In concept, not a bad idea. A good one even. But the moment we took him out, is the moment we started writing a good show.
Enjoy, and hope you learn something. And don’t judge too harshly, it is just a first draft!
NOTES ON THE DRAFTS:
1st: This is a slightly edited version of separate scripts done by Will, Brian, Freddie and myself. They were written after extensive outlining, and then notes from each other. This is really, the FIRST written draft .
Final: This is the draft we went into preproduction with. If you read this, you will notice many differences between it and what is on page. Some of those were come up with on set, most of those were written by us the night before the shoot, or in the few weeks leading up to the shoot. But those page changes are scattered all over the place. Some day I will try to compile all of our last minute rewrites into the most complete and readable script. However, this is the more important one to read in regards to the writing process. This is what the entire team worked towards building. Filmmaking is about being flexible, whether it is cheaper effects, a cast change, can’t lock down a location, or rewriting once again hours before a shoot.
FIRST DRAFT (Feb 2011): VGHS_1stDRAFT
FINAL DRAFT (Oct 2011): Video Game High School- Season 1 V.3.4