Writing Wednesdays: Let's talk about the script for #TKBmovie!

April 25, 2018
In this post, I talk more about how it was to see the script for the movie of The Kissing Booth and what I thought of it!
I talked a little about the script for the movie adaptation of The Kissing Booth in my vlog yesterday, but I wanted to make it a focus of Writing Wednesdays this week and talk about it in a little more detail.

How it worked

So for those of you who are curious as to how the script came to be - Komixx, the production company who initially optioned the rights for TKBmovie, found Vince Marcello and brought him on board. 

We had a Skype call shortly after, where Vince and I got to have a really good chat about his vision for the movie and the script. We talked about the changes he was considering and I got to have a lot of input at this stage, I felt. If there was something he'd proposed I really wasn't happy with, or didn't agree with, I had the chance to tell him.

It wasn't like the editing process

Honestly, I wasn't sure what to expect from the whole process - but I can tell you it was nothing like the editing process. At least, not in the case of TKBmovie.

With editing, there's a lot of back-and-forth, and ultimately, the decision lies with the writer. With the script, it was entirely in Vince's hands. 

Also, the way editing works means that as the writer, you see every little change in the tracked changes mark-up (or equivalent). With this, I gave some feedback, and then saw the final version. There was no in-between for me, like I would've had with editors for my books.

(Maybe this is different for other writers when their movies are adapted, or maybe not. Bear in mind that I was in the middle of my uni degree when a lot of this stuff happened, or was in a job where I was busy aaaaall the time because of exams, so it's no shock to me that my involvement here was relatively minimal.)

Seeing the script for the first time

After Vince had written his first draft for the movie script, I got sent a copy by Komixx. I devoured it in one sitting.

I absolutely adored what Vince had done with my story. I'd not really read a script before, and maybe it was just that I knew my characters and the story so well, but it seemed to really leap right off the page. 

I felt that Vince did a better job telling the story of The Kissing Booth far better than I ever could. I told my dad as much, only a few scenes into the script.

My input to the script

There were some changes I wanted to make to the script. That said, they were all very minor changes. There was one line from Rachel (Lee's girlfriend) that I remember feeling was just very out of character. 

There was also a point where Elle said she was about fifteen when she got her first bra - which I pointed out was just generally a bit unrealistic, as I saw it: everyone I knew had a bra by the time they were thirteen, even if it was still a training bra. 

There was a British swearword (used by a British character) that I'd just never heard of before, and nor had any of my friends. (My mum was less than thrilled that one of my contributions to the movie was a swearword, it has to be said.)

Like I said - all very, very minor things. I shot an email back to Komixx with my feedback, but also told them how much I adored the script and what a brilliant job I thought Vince had done. They took it all on board. The next time I saw the script was when I was on set last year, and very little had changed since they'd made the few tweaks I proposed.

How I felt about all the changes

The script for the movie doesn't follow the book to the letter, and I never expected it to. No movie ever does.

Vince made a few changes to the story. He changed up some parts, added others, cut some out entirely. Nothing he did felt wrong, though, and I was so worried it would. (Not through lack of faith in Vince or Komixx though - just out of the fear of the unknown. I'd never had anyone adapt my work before!)

Not everything was changed, of course. There were actually whole chunks of the script and lines of dialogue that were taken directly from the book  - something which both surprised me and made me feel strangely proud!

Actually, a few of the changes he made really frustrated me: because I read them and thought, damn, that's so brilliant! Why didn't I think of that?!

What was important to me

Like I said, I loved what Vince did with the script and the changes he made to the story.

But what I told him right from the off was that actually, I wasn't as concerned with the changes he made to the storyline. There are changes I'd make to the story even now. (But that's the same for everything I write... Which you can read more about in this Writing Wednesdays post!)

In that initial Skype call we had, I told Vince that all the kinds of changes he was suggesting were fine with me. He was staying true to the story as a whole, but what really mattered to me was that he kept the characters. 

I remember we started discussing their appearances and I said, it didn't matter to me if they looked like I'd imagined: so long as they came across the way I'd imagined.

I'd always felt that the characters are what drove the story, their personalities carried it, and it was important to me that those really came through in the adaptation. 

And honestly?

I really think they did.

Vince was incredibly understanding when I told him that and very on board with it, and it was clear when I read the script how much work he'd put into portraying the characters I'd created. I read the script and although it wasn't always events or situations I'd written, it was always my characters. 

I loved TKBmovie the moment I got to the end of page one of the script, and I loved what I saw on set, too. (I've yet to see the final product, though!)

Don't forget that The Kissing Booth will be coming to Netflix on Friday 11th May 2018 as a Netflix Original movie - it's being released worldwide on this date, and you can add it to your list now!

If you have any questions for me about TKBmovie, Tweet them to me @Reekles or add them in the comments here on my blog. I'll be pulling together a vlog answering all your questions that I'll upload just before release day - so make sure to subscribe to me on YouTube, too!


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