You know that feeling of "Oh my god, what am I doing? I don't deserve this. I'm a big pile of poo"? I had that yesterday.
After spending Sunday working on the script, I realised it didn't work. What I had planned to be performed at Bush Bounce wasn't going to have the effect I wanted it to. By only showing the first 15 minutes it was all set-up and no pay-back, making it a whole lot of nothingness. Without the pay-back, there is no point to it. So, I had to find a way to give the audience something back.
I started brutally cutting it, which was actually quite liberating! I got it down to about 16 pages and emailed it to the director before rushing off to work. Once back from work and with a big tin of soup in my belly I called him only to hear that this version didn't work either. Because the story ends at such emotional heights, it was hard to justify this in so short a time so that the audience would think of it in regards to character, and not just action. In terms of reaction, it's the difference between "wtf?" and "omg!"... if that makes any sense.
So, we had to find a different ending. I felt a little frustrated because I didn't want to just make up a whole new ending. I've always found that writing is more a case of discovery than invention - there does seem to be that perfect story out there and it's a just a case of unearthing it. In this case, the characters are always going to end up where they end up, and so the thought of just tacking on another ending is ridiculous to me. After some discussion, we've reached a compromise that will hopefully do the trick.
The plan as it stands is to end the piece for Bush Bounce about three-quarters of the way through the story, still at a peak but one that isn't so high that we'd be over-stretching ourselves to reach it in 15 minutes, and we'll save the 'proper' ending for if we decide to develop into a full-length production. The three-quarter ending needs a bit of work to leave the audience with the feeling I want to, as obviously it isn't the intended ending. What I need to do is slightly tweak the message we're leaving; one of listening rather than inclusion. It's a challenge, but I'm not one to back down.