On Friday, the eleventh of July, we had a table reading of my indie script at CAA. Such readings are quite common in the business, and I have attended a few. They give the writer and/or director a chance to hear the work as rendered by good actors, to time it and to make adjustments as they occur to him or her.
I am always a little shy about such readings because they often involve asking professionals to donate their time and talents to what may prove to be a project for which they are not hired. Why actors do this, frankly, is a mystery to me, but I am grateful for it. In our case, we had eleven very talented people at the table, all of whom, clearly, had spent a good deal of time preparing for the read. The result was far better than I could have hoped. They did brilliantly, shading and fleshing out the parts, taking chances, having fun. Indeed, the reading was the most fun I've had in the business in quite a long time, and my expressions of gratitude to them were entirely sincere.
The reading not only allowed me to think about the script in new ways; it also boosted my enthusiasm for actually making the film, which is to say, for getting out and trying to raise the two million or so necessary to make it. And I do want to work with the people who were gracious enough to read for me - they are a fine, fun group of professionals who will, I hope, form the core of my proposed enterprise.
All this is by way of saying that, after fifteen years of often frustrating work as a screenwriter, I was suddenly reminded of how enjoyable film making can and ought to be. So far, we are off to a wonderful start.