Fade out, not fade away

Over at the LA Observed Script Project, Eric Estrin writes a working screenwriter's two sweetest words: fade out.

In the seven or eight months since this site has been active, 20 different people have contributed serially to our script “Right of Way,” some of them multiple times. I’ve posted 29 installments in all, one each week, beginning February 7, 2008, with only two weeks off for vacation.

Today, with pages 116-121, I made the last such post. The pages were written by the same guy who kicked the story off, lo those many months ago. But unless you’ve been keeping up all along, don’t just jump in at the end. You can read the whole thing starting here.

Be warned: I promised readers a dark, fictional look at the underbelly of LA transportation politics, complete with glamour, corruption, overweening ambition, betrayal and murder, and that’s what my 19 collaborators and I have delivered.

It’s a funny exercise, writing a spec feature in public for the whole world to see. One of my first bosses in TV used to say in the writers’ room we would be “seeing each other in our underwear.” I tended to give him a wide berth when our paths crossed after that, but eventually I came to understand what he meant: Constructing the bare bones of a story can be a messy and revealing business, best kept shielded from the eyes of the audience.

In the story, L.A.'s fictional subway-building Mayor Russell Napolitano escapes death and——well you'll just have to read it to see what happened, won't you? Eric talks more about the project at his Script Notes blog.


More by Kevin Roderick:
Ralph Lawler of the Clippers and the age of Aquarius
Riding the Expo Line to USC 'just magical'
Last bastion of free parking? Loyola Marymount to charge students
Matt Kemp, Dodgers and Kings start big weekend the right way
LA Times writers revisit their '92 riots observations
Recent LAO Script Project stories on LA Observed:
Return of the LAO Script Project
LA Observed on KCRW
Fade out, not fade away
Last two weeks of 'Right of Way'
Script Project limps toward the end

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