“Great scripts are not written, they are re-written, and re-written and re-written” is a statement Robert Downey Jr. made at a Q&A after a screening of Sherlock Holmes at the Director’s Guild of America a few years back.
He was responding to the question ‘how long in advance do you start memorizing your lines’. He emphatically retorted something to the effect of “why would I memorize lines that I’m not going to say?” and continued on about the process of re-writing a script and how for Holmes lines were still changing the morning before the scene was going to be shot.
With film, you’ve got to get it right the first time, once you shoot it, that’s pretty much it, you’ve blown your load and your budget.
The beauty of theatre is the time for process and development. If something doesn’t work one night, you can change it the next…
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