Film Courage: Your first draft…how much weight do you let it carry and then how much time (you talk about giving time/space to actually reading the story), doing other things, trying to forget about it, then coming back to it. What about the first draft?
Phyllis Nagy: In what do you mean, do I let it sit for awhile?
Film Courage: How much weight do you actually give it or obsess over it…you know they call it the vomit draft…
Phyllis Nagy: Yeah, I’m not a vomiter. And mostly I think that when scripts are not right fundamentally in their first drafts, they never will be, hence four, five, six writers being called on to something in service that wasn’t right to begin with. So you should get a new take rather than try to put a bandaid on something that doesn’t work. I wish more weight and more time were given to first drafts because they are often the draft that’s closest to something electric whether you’re writing a thriller or a quiet little movie or a comedy and subsequent drafts and however long someone works on something in the end and it always ends up going back to an earlier state when you’ve got the right people working on something. It’s always (in my experience) goes back to its first fundamental state with improvements.