I have no idea if other writers go through this, but being of Indian background, when I initially wrote the mother and father characters in Raspberry Magic, their voices were Indian accented. I think when people read the script, they could sense that, and it made the piece a bit funny and unique. But then in this revision, I took out that Indian accented voice, because I felt that it was bogging the script down, that I couldn't figure out the deeper sense of the characters because of the whole accent thing. But when my husband read the draft, he said he felt that the characters were too white washed, that they had lost their unique style and voice. This really stressed me out, because every person who has read the script has liked the voice of those adult characters. So now, I'm taking the characters I have and adding back that flavor. I think this is sometimes tough for writers from an ethnic background. I had an African American student in one of my writing classes whose characters were distinctly black and very unique. But then in some of the critiques, people said one of her characters was too angry, so she scaled back so much that her characters lost their voice. I told her she shouldn't lose the voice because it's what would make her writing stand out. I think it's really about finding balance--making the characters ring true, but still giving them that way of speaking with makes them stand out.
My producer and I have been very hard at work putting together our business plan and budget, which is a process I was unfamiliar with before going through it. My producer is excellent at this, as she has done it for other films, and really knows what she is doing. One of the toughest parts of it for me has been the director's statement because it's got to be compelling and inspiring without being pretentious. And, it really needs to speak to why I was driven to write this story. I wrote a first pass of the director's statement a couple of months ago, then went back and revised it a couple of days ago. I think my revised version is much, much better than the earlier pass, but it's always tough. Some people might wonder, well, why is it hard to actually write down what inspired you to make this film? Well, for Raspberry Magic, I literally wrote a first draft almost five years ago. With all of the different versions and all of the anxiety of getting the script to a place where you really want it, you almost forget about that deeper inspiration that's driving you to make the film. Finally, I'm in a place where I am truly happy with the script. I am sure there will be more tweaks, but I made some more revisions, and this pass allowed me to delve into some thematic elements. In dealing with theme, I think I finally reconnected with the deeper reasons of why I have to make this film. On some level, it's a coming-of-age story about a young girl, but it's also about parents who feel alienated by their own disappointments. Once we put the website up and get all of the visual collateral together, I'll post the director's statement... I'm just glad it's finally done!!