Actor Jason Chan gets 'drafted' into boot camp - Part 2

Final Re-write of Treatment

So it’s our final day of the 5 day intensive and we had to deliver our final rewrite, of our treatment, for this camp. I’ve gone through various incarnations – I’ve killed one of my main characters, brought her back and killed her again. It’s changed from a coming of age story (of sorts) to a romance back to a late coming of age story – I think. Had a private session with Tessa which has been quite inspiring. I wasn’t quite sure how to progress my story because a lot of the plot revolved around very private scenes between the two main characters and to be honest my one page treatment glossed over those scenes with the equivalent of “and then they fell in love” !!

Tessa has helped me carve away some of my bigger concerns – like how to paint the details of the hospital, the other minor characters. “Light touches” she says – “keep these elements bubbling over - you don’t have to reveal too much – audiences can get so much out of a look or a glance or a few images”.

Lesson: it’s a series of moments and events that leads to a powerful story that therefore leads to an emotive response from an audience NOT (what we often see on tv or film) people BEING emotive and dramatic. This I know well from the acting world but not everyone knows this – not even all actors.

First Monthly Group Meeting


We’ve had a month to re-write our treatments: still only one page. So 4 of us met at my house today to discuss each other’s treatment so far. The feedback for me is: it’s still too undeveloped – there’s enough development only for a short film – it isn’t a yet a feature film.

1st Phone meeting with Tessa

I’ve now gone through at least 6 complete re-writes of my treatment. Now we’re allowed to write a 10 page treatment which seems like a luxury but isn’t. It seems to me that a film is like having a very complex argument to a simple solution. Finding those surprising and specific complexities that all relate to the simple solution is the most difficult part. That part involves thinking out of the box.various other characters: the head nurse, another love interest or complication for my protagonist, the hospital, the patient’s family.

Sure enough I was right. I was on the phone with Tessa for nothing short of one and a half hours; mostly her talking. Great feedback from Tessa, however, she was insightful and had great reasons for why each element is not currently working. Take home message at this stage is that I need to decide whether this is a love story or a story about a man learning how to live.


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