Welcome to Jen and Sam make a movie! Today we’re talking to you about table reads, and how they can help you hone your script.
We’ve had some fun experiences with table reads. In our first read, we treated it like an opportunity to:
- Improve the script: we got a feel for what jokes were landing, what were falling flat, etc. This helped us a lot as we were submitting to contests!
- Test out some possible actors in a low-key, non-threatening, non-audition environment. Helped us make some serious decisions about casting later!
Table read as focus group:
In our case, specifically, our first table read also helped us with some of our transracial testing. Because our script takes risks and addresses some racial issues (we have one scene in particular that’s pretty racially charged), it was important to us to have perspectives from Asian and Black film enthusiasts. It’s kind of a “Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner,” with all of the challenges of honoring your parents vs. honoring your spouse, and it was really interesting to see how people with different cultural backgrounds responded.
The scene went over really well, and we’re really excited about showing it to you!
Our next table read is more of a fun opportunity to get people excited. It’s like a minimalist theatre performance. A dramatic read open to the public for only the first 50 people who apply.
Ticket-holders will have a chance to meet our lead actress, network with our producer, and see our script performed live for the public for the first time EVER. Challenges in putting together this table read include:
- Finding a space: as creatives at this point, with very little funding, it’s challenging to find a free/cheap space for the low ticket prices we’re charging
- To food or not to food? (We decided to food. Eating is an important part of the movie after all!)