BIPOC Community Page - - NOTES! Pt.1

This isn't just for all our writers or editors, we are in a collective medium and each of will have to give or receive notes at some point of our career.

Let's start it off simple, with a saying that we all know: *What's the Note behind the Note*

What does that mean exactly?

With the term "constructive criticism" deemed too negative, there has to be a way that we can protect our little creative brains and still hear that there are changes to be made to our project. The key is knowing what advice to take and what not to take.

If your instinct is to throw all the notes away, that's a defense mechanism. Here's the thing: No one WANTS to give notes, so if someone has taken the time to write the note, give them the respect to dig a little bit deeper. Don't throw the note away, what's the note behind the note.

It means the note isn't necessarily what the words mean, it means they took the time to write the note, they bumped on something.

Give it a little thought, WHY do they think (for example:) your main character should be a woman? It might not have to do with too many men in the rest of your script or that there's a trend to cast women as leads and it might make the project easier to sell - give it a think and address the note with what YOU want to do.

So if you respected them enough to get them to look at your work, then respect the thoughts they give you. You are allowed to respectfully ask for clarification. But ALWAYS GIVE YOURSELF 24 HOURS to sleep on the notes.

Personal story - I got notes from a senior writer, digging, page one rewrite kind of notes. And I wailed, I'm an idiot, the writer was an idiot, that writing is stupid and never wanted to do it again. Slept on it, reread the notes, grumbled and then slept on it again. The second morning everything had fallen into place. Sure it was a page one rewrite, but that rewrite turned into a better script.

Next, we'll talk about the etiquette around getting and giving notes. In the meantime, let's share some stories about getting notes, and our own personal ways we deal with The Note behind The Note:

Gillian MullerComment