From Script to Picture


Hey y'all.

Just wanted to make a thread about the differences, changes and edits made with a script as it changes after the movie is edited. Share your thoughts on some scripts that seem to be different (or the same) to a particular movie.

I recently watched Dunkirk while reading the script at the same time and found a number of differences. It was really interesting! The ending has the burning plane as the final shot but the movie cuts to Tommy for just a second before the movie ends. There were also many more edits when it came to all the action scenes during the halfway point of the film. The scenes played longer in the script but the movie has them chopped up more and scattered about. There is one scene cut I actually really liked in the script but it got changed in the movie.

I would love to know more about the editing process of this movie now! I'm sure most movies change a lot from the original script.
I read and watched the Bird Box. In the movie, comparing to script, the death of some characters are different and so are their names.
But what got to me most was the difference in Malorie's personality. In the movie she is much more agressive and cold, and her relationship to the children are rather forgotten, which I think takes a lot from the fear and anxiety we feel in the scene where they are trying to find the sanctuary. I think the movie failed to create a connection with the audience is terms of us caring about the characters we see. I LOVED the script and the movie tho.
any other thoughts?


Staff member
From personal experience, I can tell you that we re-cut my feature DETOURS after getting feedback from a filmmaking pro whose opinion I greatly respect.

The roadtrip from NYC to Florida no longer runs in full geographic order, but was re-cut to better reflect the emotions of the story. It starts out darker/sadder, has an inflection point in the middle, and becomes gradually happier toward the end.

It's on Vimeo on Demand, so it's available anywhere in the world - the link is here:

I'd be happy to share the screenplay for comparison, if anyone is interested.


That happens almost every time. The end in The Sixth Sense script seems childish.. thank God MN changed it while he was giving life to black letters on white papers and so had a different view of his ideas.


IndieTalk Founder
Staff member
It can happen during shooting or in the edit, but it can also happen in the shooting script which is different than the screenplay.


IndieTalk's Resident Guru
Yes, if script is very good, there are usually no significant changes (because rewriting is costly)
This is incorrect.

Rewriting is far less costly than reshooting. And "very good" is subjective. What
is "very good" to the writer is rarely "good" to the producer. Or the director or
the actor or...

There are many, many people who will offer suggestions and notes before production
starts. And well into production. There are almost no films made that didn't go
through significant changes from the time the script is commissioned - even when
the writer is also the director.
You write the script.

Then you rewrite the script, and rewrite the script again, and again, and again. Your agent markets the script.

Finally someone thinks it's pretty damned good.

Script conference - rewrite.
Script conference - rewrite.
Script conference - rewrite.
Script conference - rewrite.

After everyone approves the script goes into preproduction.

Budget inhibits ___________. Rewrite.
Budget inhibits ___________. Rewrite again
Budget inhibits ___________. Rewrite again
Budget inhibits ___________. Rewrite again.

Shooting script is approved. Assembly of cast, crew and technology begins.

Director won't cast the mistress/girlfriend/whatever of one of the producers. Producer pulls out with all his money. Budget is now 20% less than before.

Frantic search for new funding. Only about 1/2 of the withdrawn funds are obtained.

Script conference - rewrite.
Script conference - rewrite.
Script conference - rewrite.
Script conference - rewrite.

New shooting script is approved. Assembly of cast, crew and technology recommences.

The delays negate two important locations. Frantic search for new locations.

No suitable locations found.


Production commences.

Production issues/problems cause changes in the script. A few of the more talented actors improvise improving on the characters.

Shooting wraps.

The editor realigns the sequencing, cuts scenes for pacing. The director objects. Re-cut. Director and editor are finally simpatico. The producer chimes in, doesn't like it. Re-cut.

Sound editing team (DX editing) adjusts the dialog. Editor objects, director is on board, producer is ambivalent.

More visual and sound tweaking.

Finally, everyone is happy.

Project is moderately successful. Every writer, director, editor and SD/SSE thinks they could have done it better.