Phil Alden Robinson (Screenwriter Field of Dreams) at the hearings against film colorization held in Los Angeles in January 1990 before the U.S. House of Representatives.
“When we begin to write a motion picture, life stops. We write for months and months, draft after draft, and then when we’re finally done…we re-write for months and months; changing, questioning, doubting, discovering, experimenting, honing, throwing things out and putting things back. After about ten or twelve drafts, we put a title page on it that says First Draft. We think it’s pretty good. We show it to a friend who tells us it stinks. We know he’s right. So we do six or eight more drafts and put a new title page on it. It still says First Draft.
After a few more of those we finally get the nerve to turn one in to the studio. The read it. Pretty soon, we get to enjoy the helpful suggestions of studio executives who may or may not have a clue what we’re trying to do…. So we do five or six more drafts, slap on a title page that says Second Draft and turn it in. Now the suggestions come not just from studio executives, but from their assistants, their friends, their mothers, their friends’ mothers, and their children. Actually the children give pretty good notes.
After a long time, if we’re really, really lucky, we then get notes from a director who may have a completely different vision of the movie…from actors who feel that their character wouldn’t say this or do that…we find that scenes we labored over for months cannot be filmed, or are completely changed during production, or are cut out entirely during editing….and yet we endure all of this. We endure it for one reason-it’s not the money, and it’s certainly not the glamour; it’s for that slim wisp of hope that at the end of all the pain and angst and self-doubt and pride swallowing and politicking and fighting and accommodating and tap dancing and seven-day weeks and fourteen-hour days and sleepless nights-that at the end of it all-after years of all that- a MOVIE is made, a movie that somehow miraculously reflects that original vision you had long, long ago sitting by yourself with the blank piece of paper.
And maybe all over America and all over the world people will sit in dark rooms and watch something that existed only in your head. And they’ll be moved, or entertained, or enlightened, or touched…and a part of it will stay with them and become a piece of their memories, a piece of their life. And this movie that you imagined, and that is the product of so many people working so hard for so long, this movie that against all odds turned out pretty good, this movie that bears your name, will outlive you. You will have succeeded in leaving something behind with the power to touch people. Something that says I was here. And I tried. And this is what I did when I was here…to have even a chance of accomplishing that is the prime reason we create.”