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Entries in Draft Mentality (1)

Wednesday
Dec152010

GIVE YOURSELF PERMISSION TO DO A TRASH DRAFT (or how to not go insane)

I once edited a music video and I wanted it to be perfect.  Awesome goal, right?  The only problem was that like all heroes, I had a fatal flaw.  I wanted it to be perfect...the first time through.  Well, as you can imagine it took me 14 years to finish a first cut*...and I went insane.

Merlin Mann of 43 Folders once said, quoting someone else I believe, that you need to give yourself permission to crank out a trash draft.  I've found this idea hugely helpful in screenwriting and editing (and life for that matter). 

The "draft mentality" as we at Vinegar Hill have begun calling it is simple: when beginning to write a screenplay or edit a film, our first objective is to pump out a draft or cut as fast as possible.  It doesn't matter if it's terrible, we just do it and do it at breakneck speed.  We can always go back and re-write the script or polish up the edit.  It's just crucial to have something on the page or timeline to work with. 

My dad's an incredible painter and he works this way.  He doesn't start trying to get every blade of grass just perfect.  Rather, he starts by quickly blocking in the composition and establishing a light and dark pattern.  That way he can get an idea of what he's working with...he can see the big picture before diving into the details.

So, do yourself a favor and adopt the draft mentality.  Give yourself permission to do a trash draft.

David

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*Hyperbole...but you get the point