I read a great interview with Mad Men writer-producer Matthew Weiner (he eschews the term 'showrunner'). While lots of his responses tickled me as a fan, what stuck with me as a writer was this little nugget:
"You work on a script or story for three months and then you hand it to somebody and they have 24 hours with it, and you're like, "Why don't they get it?" Well, guess what! A) You might not have achieved what you want to do in terms of clarity, and B) Why don't you wait and see what they find on their own?"
A) is a reality I'm All Too Familiar With and already spend enough time whingeing about, so I was most interested in his take on B). Weiner goes on to share a recent example (which I won't for spoiler reasons). But in short, the way the actors interpreted a scene was different than how he'd intended for it to be performed. And it became more "real" (his words). So even Weiner— who has created characters so layered and full-feeling that they've become archetypes in our culture, and who knows his characters so intimately— still doesn't always know what a scene or storyline is really about until he hands it off to someone else.
Sending one's work out for editing/interpretation is equal parts thrilling and nauseating. I don't know about you, but each time I hit 'send', this little voice (which, FYI, sounds an awful lot like Marcel the Shell with Shoes On) pipes up from the dead centre of my gut and says: "My gosh, I hope they pick up what I've put down there." But lately, I've noticed a follow up exclamation, where the emphasis is taken off of me entirely, and instead the little voice says, "I wonder what they'll see that I can't see yet."