What is ironing?
|Pic by ItsGreg via Flickr|
The scripts have been heavily rewritten six or seven times in the last six months - and tinkered with a dozen times more. There are lines that made sense three drafts ago, but aren't right now, and need tweaking. Jokes have been added. Some moved. Others deleted and a mental note made to use another time, context permitting. We try to operate a No Joke Left Behind policy so one or two jokes from scenes or bits several drafts ago have been reinstated.
Sometimes what was a joke turns out to be the set up to a better joke. Sometimes you improve a line which is now a better line that the joke that follows it - so you're probably going to cut that second joke - unless you need it to move things along, in which case, it's feels a bit eggy since it's not as good as the joke before it so you now need to de-joke that second line. Or find a way of cutting it so it's all silky smooth. (But you don't iron silk, right?)
There is always the temptation to back off, go easy and assume you can fix things on the day. When you're shooting 7 pages a day, there's no little time to fix things. Fix them now. The day of the shoot itself will throw up problems of it's own. There's also the temptation you can fix it in the edit. You can't. If you don't have the shots, you really can't do anything about it. It needs to be fixed now.
It takes ages, your brain turns to mush and sometimes you just want it be over. A bit like actual ironing. But it's worth it.