It might not look like much, but this is it – the next stage of my script’s development. I’m laying the script out on an editing timeline, placing a marker for each scene.

In script-writing, typically 1 page of script represents 1 minute of film time. So by judging the length of a scene on a page, I’ve stretched each scene marker to match that length of screen time. Some markers are 10 seconds, others 3 minutes. But by looking at this timeline, I get a pretty good idea of where the film slows down, and where the scene changes speed up the pace.

I’ve also started recording the voices of actors and am about to start laying these sounds up. And with music and SFX. it’ll start sounding like a radio play, but at this early stage, there’s not a lot of emphasis on performance, it’s more about timing and how the story plays out.

In between the scene cards I’m going to start placing simple storyboard images, (just one for each scene to start with). It’s a lot of work, but it’s giving me a great feel for the pace of the script.

This is a very organic process of trying to get as much done as possible to make it easier for producers to ‘see’ my movie. It’s about taking out as much risk as possible. It seems pretty logical to me and I know animation movies follow a similar path. Pixar typically spend the 1 year of a 3 year development cycle doing just this – giving a script to a storyboard artist and working and reworking an animatic with a director, recording voices, placing temporary music and SFX.

Hopefully my process won’t take a year… I’m aiming for getting it done in 2-3 months. Let’s see how it goes…