Follow up on INCARNATION reading…

This got posted all around the globe this morning…more later from the OLU angle.  We gots lotsa catching up to do.  I promise that in the next day or so, as the smoke starts to clear, we’ll be kickin’ it again OLU-style.  ~B

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Dean and I want to express our sincere and heartfelt thanks to Robb Mitchell, the Screenwriters Workshop, and the great actors who lent their talent to the recent reading of INCARNATION at the Ritz.  We also want to thank the folks who came out last Tuesday night to experience this stage in the script’s evolution.

Feedback sheets have been compiled and scores tallied on the INCARNATION reading.  The first question on the sheet was: "How did you feel overall about INCARNATION?"  Respondents were asked to rate it on a scale from 1-5, with 5 being "excellent".

I am happy to announce that INCARNATION received an overall rating of 4 on the surveys.

Of course, Dean and I would have loved it if the script would have garnered 5s across the board on this survey, but neither of us expected that.  In fact, I think either of us would be hard-pressed to rate it there, ourselves.  We know that it is a work in progress, and we appreciate all of the constructive feedback the ScriptNight process has yielded.

Three weeks ago, I was having lunch in LA with a former studio exec at Paramount who is starting up a production company with the former head of Paramount Classics.  This person, by the way, loved the current draft of INCARNATION (though he was far less fond of even the last draft), and is one of several Hollywood folks interested in it.  Anyway, he told me that as a writer, you know you’re on to something when people either absolutely love or absolutely hate your script…if all of your feedback is just okay, you’ve failed artistically as well as commercially.  This is one of the "truths" this man believes has been revealed to him over 25 years in the Hollywood development trenches.

Well, I am happy to say that it looks like INCARNATION successfully passed another milestone.  People love it, and people hate it.

I guess we’re on to something.

As I write this, Dean and I are considering opportunities presented by at least three players with Hollywood ties to produce INCARNATION.  And these are just the expressions of interest that came to us as a direct result of the reading.  Again…what a debt of gratitude we owe to Robb and company for providing us a venue to make that happen.

We’re in the process of compiling and considering all the great feedback we’ve received, weighing it against what we experienced and the feedback we’ve gotten from Hollywood production companies that have expressed interest in the project.  The next incarnation of…well, INCARNATION already feels palpable, as you’ve helped us to see a number of ways to make it a better movie.

One person that attended the reading had, I believe, the most insightful perspective on INCARNATION in its present form.  He had read the script two drafts ago and wanted to see how it had changed over the two subsequent drafts.  His comment was that he really liked the “quiet and touching art house version” of the script he read before, and he also thought that we would like the “emerging Hollywood movie” that the current draft represents.  His take, however, was that it felt like the script was still in transition—wanting to be one or the other, but not quite deciding which one it wants to be yet.

That comment made perfect sense to me.  It’s what I knew, what I felt, but it was an amazing thing to have someone else speak it back to me.  The cool thing about this script right now is that there is so much commercial interest and audience interest from both sides of the fence—art house and mainstream—that our job now is to land on one side or the other, then to hone the thing to a sharp edge.  Because that’s all part of the process.  We know that the company and the people we opt to work with to bring INCARNATION to the screen will help us in that, and we’re excited to take that next step in this journey.

So…INCARNATION.  Thanks for loving it, and thanks for hating it.  Thanks for sharing this moment with us.  It means everything to us.  And everything to our project.

And thanks for your encouragement, for your voices, and for your ongoing support of filmmakers who decide to live here.

One thought on “Follow up on INCARNATION reading…

  1. Interesting problem…but maybe it’s not a problem. The great Hollywood movies are all really art-house at heart. If you remember back even Star Wars was gritty and artsy, philosophical to a fault and just bizarre – as well as exciting and cool. Nobody could make heads or tails of it – but they felt it was real, and it became so.
    My comment on the movie is that the ending was surprising but hopeful and it felt…uh, true.

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