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Shan writes...

You've mentioned collaborating on a (I presume spec) feature script with your brother Jon. Without intruding on your brother's privacy too much, is he within enough distance of you that it's practical to work together in person on semi-regular occasions?

My sister and I are back collaborating again on some projects, but only because technology has caught up to us. We worked together for years when we lived at home, but when she got married and moved to Seattle and I moved to Los Angeles (which happened within a 6 month timespan), the level of development on Internet for the masses wasn't quite on our side then. Now we both have our own Internet accounts (versus subaccounts on Dad's AOL), email, and Final Draft 5. It feels like we're getting a lot done, and I'm glad to have the interaction back, but it's not quite the same thing.

The question I'm leading to is this: If you had to (or actually do) all your work by Internet with Jon, do you think (or do you feel) you could still create the same quality and level of product? Or in your mind is there just no replacement for the in-person collaboration experience?

If this turns out to be a hypothetical, I apologize since I know you don't prefer those.

Greg responds...

My brother and I both live in Los Angeles. We have very different lives, so getting together isn't particularly easy, but we manage.

When writing the outline, we worked the story out in person. Then took turns writing and rewriting each other.

When writing the screenplay, we did the reverse. Took turns writing and rewriting each other, by sending the material back and forth over the net. When we were done, we got together to polish the first draft.

Then we sent it out for notes. When we got those notes, we got together again to work out a plan for what and how we were going to change. Then September 11th. We haven't worked on it since, but he's coming over to my office this Friday to work on the second draft.

In essence, a lot can be done these days over the internet. But I tend to think that something is lost when people don't get to gether in person.

Response recorded on October 10, 2001