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June 14, 1999:


Good grief. I decided to take a break from my screenplay and work on a new one. Lots of books and columnists and such warn you not to do this, and it's good advice. You may have 50% of the script written and be only 20% of the way done, so stopping when you "seem to be" 50% or 75% done and working on something else may be an indicator that you're successful at the "easy" part (the time when you have lots and lots of ideas) and unsuccessful at the hard part (patiently winding everything together).

But, ok, I was reading around on the net and found eight pages of script from one of the Naked Gun movies. I thought that was kind of fun, and an idea for a similar movie came to me, and then I kept coming up with ideas and ideas and ideas, and, ok, fine, yesterday I just sat down and wrote it.

Now, this is a very different kind of movie. A lot of the traditional rules don't apply. And it relies on me being funny (which I can't tell whether it's working or not by myself, to tell the truth). And not very many of these movies get made. Airplane! was by Zucker, Abrahams, and Zucker, as was the first Naked Gun movie; since then, one of the Zuckers has done the other Naked Gun movies, and Abrahams the Hot Shots! series. And those guys write their own movies. And maybe there's no room for anybody else.

But, look, it was fun. Everything just rolled off the page. Yeah, I'll want to go through and tighten things up, remove some bits. I'll want to bounce it off other people and find out what's funny and what's not. Nonetheless, because it's nowhere near as intricate, I can just write it straight through. I don't have to mess with outlines, worry about plot holes, worry about the character arcs. The last half of the script should be as easy to write as the first half.

And, yeah, I wrote the first half in one day.

(Ok, I have 2300 lines, and I want around 5000 lines.)

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