ALLIGATORS IN A HELICOPTER

a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Monday, September 10, 2007

Big Trees and a Million Little Tims

So the wife and I impulsively decided to head north over the weekend. She booked a room in Fresno, which is about 212 miles up, though we blew through Fresno at about 1 PM and kept going up to Yosemite Park, which is about 90 miles further.

Very cool place, if you've never been. It's a long drive, on a lot of winding roads, but the drive is a lot of the point; there's nothing like immersing yourself in nature to help get your head on straight.

Saturday night we stayed at the Radisson in Fresno (nice rooms, terrible food) and then Sunday morning we headed east, to Sequoia Natural Forest. Home of the big big trees.

Giant redwoods. Too cool for words. Has to be experienced.

Nature rocks.

*****

Like a good boy, I kept up my minimum- hour-a-day screenwriting mission even though we were on the road. Saturday (while me wife was driving up a particularly boring stretch of highway) I went through a chunk of act two of my low budget thriller, which I'm rewriting, splitting one character into two.

The character used to be named Tim. The new characters are Randy and Bull.

The problem is that even though most of the "Tim"s are now "Randy's", I can't do a find-and-replace, because it'll change all the words in which the letters t-i-m appear consecutively. Like "time", or "intimate" or "stimulation" or "Timber!".

Not that anyone ever says "Timber!" in this particular script. But you get the idea.

Stupid Final Draft.

Stupid me, for naming him Tim in the first place. I should have given him some long name that wasn't going to randomly occur elsewhere.

So this morning I sat at the laptop, making all the changes, and getting rid of every last little Tim. And then going back, and looking, and finding Tims that I missed. They're like cockroaches.

It is making me process every single line again, though. Not necessarily a bad thing.

29 straight days of at least an hour of screenwriting, through today.

*******

So 3:10 to Yuma made about $14 million over the weekend. Solid, though I thought it would have done more. I think it'll hold up well though.

Maybe some people thought the title sounded too much like it was going to be about senior citizens on a bus.

Shoot 'Em Up didn't do well, only making about $5 million.

The Brothers Solomon tanked completely, making only about half a million, about $700 per screen. That's an average of 80-90 people per theater for the weekend, which divides out to an average of about 5 or 6 people in each showing. Yuck.

8 Comments:

At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Try find and replace by typing Tim with a blank space next to the m.

Also match the case.

 
At 11:25 AM, Anonymous Erik Hustad said...

You can do what the person in that first comment suggested (though be wary of some programs which will ignore what it might consider extraneous whitespace at the end of your search term), or you can check the "Find Whole Words Only" box, which will match "Tim" and "Tim" only.

I would also suggest using the Match Case box.

 
At 5:36 PM, Blogger E.C. Henry said...

wScott, you and your wife's dedication to each other is refreshing. Glad to hear you still do "road trips" together.

So you split the atom -- or in the case "Tim" and it became Randy and Bull. Not only are you reader and a screenwriter, now you're fusing scientist into the mix!
I too have had to comb through Final Draft after changing a character's name, yes it is tedious and boring. Aren't there people out there to do that for us? Sometimes when rewriting I wanna be Boss Hogg, from "The Dukes of Hazzard," and have my own Rosoe P. Coltrane that I can deligate down to with a hand waving, "Handle-it, handle-it."

I'm VERY supriced "Shoot 'Em Up" did as poorly as it did. Clive Owen has something about him, a cool elusiveness, thought he was becoming a box office draw... Guess not.

- E.C. Henry from Bonney Lake, WA

 
At 7:41 AM, Blogger Joshua said...

I loved 310 to Yuma, I thought it was one of the best films I've seen yet this year.

 
At 9:42 AM, Blogger Emily Blake said...

Or you could stop using Final Draft and use MovieMagic which prompts you on each replacement if you ask it to. Final Draft doesn't do that? Even Word does that.

I just got back from a similiar drive north. Gorgeous.

 
At 10:38 AM, Blogger Scott the Reader said...

Of course, if I was smart I would have noticed that Final Draft had built in ways to solve these problems. I'm not.

I just used the find whole words only and match case, which worked to a certain extent, though for some reason it didn't change the Tim's over the dialogue (even though that section was checked).

Weird.

 
At 10:42 AM, Anonymous Matt said...

I've used Final Draft and MovieMagic and find Final Draft to be far superior. Just saying.

 
At 6:49 AM, Anonymous Kenneth Molen said...

The reason it didn't change the Tim over the dialogue is because you checked Match Case and the dialogue Tim's are actually TIMs. If you catch my drift.

 

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