Author Topic: Untitled WIP  (Read 18373 times)

Patron

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Re: Untitled WIP
« Reply #30 on: March 18, 2012, 11:56:48 PM »
I am so sorry I fell asleep last night.

It would seem that the older I get, the easier sleep seems to come, yet also harder. I tend to be tired earlier in the evenings than when I was younger, yet I wake up at all kinds of crazy morning hours and either watch class D movies on T.V. that drive me insane because as I watch this drivel of writing, directing and producing, I find myself glued to the very end to see how it really ends, and only to be disappointed with a truly fatefully and poorly written ending. On the other hand I sometimes fall back asleep with a glass of milk for a few unrested hours and my writing side of the brain decides that sleep is certainly not needed and I am driven to the computer. It's a catch 22, as I find I still need that required sleep and it always catches up to me at some point.
 :D

Sincerely;


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Re: Untitled WIP
« Reply #31 on: March 19, 2012, 12:58:49 AM »
 Ok, let's jump in. Blue and alfiemama, here we go.

If you either of you want to jump to P.M. it is fine but as I personally want to make the screenplay side of MWC become a stronger division, I think many future screenplay writers can gain something from this.

Blue, I know, having read many of your submissions you already know most of what we will be discussing. However, we writers are a sort of strange breed, in that you can pound the rules into our brains until we are numb, and we will continue to break them as we see fit. It works! It only works when you have become an established writer and you have earned the right to break the rules, unfortunately.

Blue this was your opening statement, on your last submission;

The old agage of get in late and leave early.  This is the first minute of my script - the hook/catalyst that takes the MC out of his status quo.

You are absolutely right on this statement and I do not know which bible rule it is, but it certainly is very important. So let’s start with your opening. This is going to catch your reader, which will turn to future clients. Keep in mind that many of these readers are just that. I am probably going to upset a few here, but these, readers are generally grads or future grads looking to break into the industry and they are what I feel, unfortunately hired to read screenplays and basically they weed out the worst and send in the best, mind you they have little to no experience in the industry to speak of, but they learned a set of rules, and this is their basic guideline.

I will continue…………


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Re: Untitled WIP
« Reply #32 on: March 19, 2012, 01:56:26 AM »

Continued.....

These readers are looking for format, first and foremost.

You have done a great job with the, FADE IN the scene description and this is exactly what is necessary.

However your scene description is boring. Sorry, but it lacks everything.

Think about this. I could be in a high end sport car shop designed to sell to the most discriminating buyers of the world, or I could be in a mortuary shop which is in effect a shop, by the way. Or I could be in a washing machine repair shop or whatever. You get my point. Yes late you do describe flowers which you have designed to take us into a flower shop, garden, greenhouse or whatever.

This you said is your opening and your first minute of play. I am going by the one minute a page standard of writing and I remember you said your project would be a 30 minute screenplay. This we will address in a minute more. So your opening has left the reader first, mind you and now later you are pushing a wanna-be director to design your baby. I am sorry, but this is completely out of line. This is your baby. This is your creation and I can't stand to see a writer screwed over by the wanna bees. if you have made it thus far, meaning production level, and they take your creation and run it with their own futile ideas because the poor writer did not take the effort to design into the script a strong working format that will not give much latitude to those that seem to think they can make it better.

This is a very strong opening I wrote and I want you to identify what you wrote versus what I wrote and mine was in three minutes time. Mind you we are looking at a one minute screentime per one page of writing.


EXT. NATIVE ISLAND IN THE ATLANTIC OCEAN - VILLAGE - NIGHT
Open into a moonless night, on a wide open beach. A dozen row boats filled with 15th Century heavily armed Spanish soldiers, beach themselves scrambling onto the beach.
CAMERA WIDE
Hundred of rowed boats, filled with Spanish soldiers, enter a large lagoon from ships anchored in the distance. As the boats find the beach, the soldiers disembark and form up into ranks.
EXT. ISLAND - NATIVE VILLAGE - SAME
A celebration lasting into the early hours of the morning has these villagers, passed out where they lie sleeping and unaware. We see the natives dressed in plumes and paint for an offering to the God’s. Most lie passed out, sprawled out on the ground. The huts, occupied by the women and children, are silent in the late hour.
EXT. SOLDIERS - SAME
The scene on the narrow beach becomes chaotic as commanders sort out the ranks, while more boats disembark and more soldiers arrive.
EXT. BEACH - NEARBY
Several larger oared boats beach themselves in the moonless night. Cry’s of nervous horses abound as the boats drop their bow ramps to the sand and heavily armored clad, calvary descend onto the beach, as the horses happy to feel mother earth trot in triumphant circles.
EXT. DEEP IN THE JUNGLE
An owl sits on a branch and turns its head almost a full turn, tuned in to the strange sounds emanating from the beach.
EXT. BEACH - SAME
The calvary forms up behind the hardened soldiers, facing the jungle line. On a simple arm command from a Spanish commander, the foot soldiers converge hell bent into the jungle; the village, their target. We watch as they machete their way through the dense foliage without remorse.

Continued.....
« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 01:58:23 AM by Patron »

Patron

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Re: Untitled WIP
« Reply #33 on: March 19, 2012, 02:40:45 AM »
I will be back in a bit. I need to do a bit of cooking, as I really enjoy cooking.
 ;D

Sincerely;


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Offline midnight candle

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Re: Untitled WIP
« Reply #34 on: March 19, 2012, 04:23:08 AM »
 ;D

Thanks Patron. Don't worry about about criticising my script - i'm ready to slaughter my baby. I trust your judgment and can take anything you say about it. I'll wait till you eat  ;D

Daryl
« Last Edit: March 19, 2012, 05:29:55 AM by midnight candle »

Offline midnight candle

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Re: Untitled WIP
« Reply #35 on: March 19, 2012, 05:39:18 AM »
Okay, so yours gets straight into the heart of the conflict - well armed and trained cavalry and soldiers ready to slaughter the sleeping drunken natives. The scenery is descriptions are sparse but say volumes (producing a conflict for the army before they get ready to slaughter). I like it a lot. The shots gather momentum and pull in the reader, making it easy for the reader to visualise the images. Nice work.

This is a very action packed sequence, but what if your drama will be a slow starter like the movies SIDEWAYS (which is one of my favourite movies and a fantastic piece of scriptwriting)? My script will not be action packed, but I'm aiming towards kitchen sink drama which the British do best (in my humble opinion).

So having read your excerpt and the beginning to SIDEWAYS this morning, I can still see what my script is lacking. The sideways script is full of subtlety (like the wines in the film) and the subtext is rich. I want to rework my script - so shall I hang on for further comments or get on with it?

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Re: Untitled WIP
« Reply #36 on: March 20, 2012, 10:41:17 PM »
Hello Blue;

Sorry it took me a bit getting back. You’re right, what I sent you is designed to slam the audience quickly down into their seats. Opening pages are everything.

I also know this isn't the way you are intending your script. Their is however, a method to my madness. This was only to show you the importance of scene structure and description, first with openings then action etc. The most crucial of course is your first ten minutes. Their is nothing wrong with slow starters. They sell every day. It doesn't matter whether it's full of action or simply the way you started. Let's look at your opening.

FADE IN:

INT. SHOP. DAY.

A white lily. The sound of sprayed water. The Lily glistens. Then we see the watery sheen on lily leaves.


Follow me as I explain this like a camera and what our audience is seeing. I believe you are saying we open the shot with a white lily. We hear the sound of sprayed water. The lily we see glistens or is already wet? Then we see the watery sheen on lily leaves. Is the camera panning down to leaves or are we taking a different shot?

I am not asking you to direct the camera because that is the director’s job. I’m asking you to write it so that when we read this we can visualize the picture, which is the way you should be writing this.

I don not want you change your scenes or your style but I want to build some intensity into your scene, so that when I read it stands up and slaps me in the face, so I have no choice but to continue to read. This can be done without intense action.

Let’s start from FADE IN:
INT. SHOP. MORNING.

Open with a long shot from above of,  (maybe a greenhouse? You mentioned the wreath for a special customer) long shot maybe a pan view and we slow focus down to a lily. Now I want you to imagine a lily in a greenhouse as we here water spraying. Water spraying is sound O.S. We can visualize a lily after hearing water and slow focus into our picture, that this lily we are going to see is glistening. You don not need to tell us that. That should come to mind automatically. You are writing for the big screen. Now, I am going to upset a couple of directors; their job is not rocket science. They are there to pull this whole creation together into a budget wise visual film that will hopefully sell. Your job comes way before that and you are attempting to keep a reader of your screenplay intrigued to turn page after page until they decide to ship it up to the production people. So we do not need to read it glistens. ;)

I also changed your time of day to morning as most greenhouses and nurseries, water in the early times of day.

I will start the next part in the following post.

Sincerely;

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Offline 510bhan

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Re: Untitled WIP
« Reply #37 on: March 20, 2012, 10:46:44 PM »
Would the MORNING direction be suitable though if the action takes place in the afternoon and the character leaves the shop when the clock is showing five? :-[

Also -- how/why would a greenhouse fit in with the florist's shop to focus in on the lily wreath?

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Re: Untitled WIP
« Reply #38 on: March 20, 2012, 11:17:11 PM »
I agree 510bhan,

I just think this could be strengthened but I  should respect the story and leave it as written. Scenes and description however are very important, especially when dealing with the first ten minutes of the screenplay and more importantly with the opening. Just my thoughts. :-[

So Blue, let’s run the time and shop as you have it. I do not want to re-write your story. :)

I am going to try and do this in larger sections to make the point.


FADE IN:

INT. SHOP. DAY.

A white lily. The sound of sprayed water. The Lily glistens. Then we see the watery sheen on lily leaves.

Scar tissue from a bullet wound on a hand tending to the flowers. A satisfied sound of someone breathing in the scent.

The lilies form the central part of a huge wreath for a special customer.

DANIEL, mid-fifties, clean shaven and side-parted greying hair wearing a starched white shirt, tie and green apron. Surrounded by other exotic plants, flowers, shrubs and wreaths.

The clock reads five. Daniel swaps the green apron for his suit jacket. He turns the notice on the shop door and grabs a freshly prepared bouquet of red roses.


I guess what I am saying is that this scene reads very scattered and broken. It should flow evenly and force the mind to see the picture. The part about Daniel turning the sign etc. is fine. But before that is just is somewhat bumpy. Try to lead the picture for us. It is hard because I don’t want to rewrite, but I can see where the problem lies but I do not want to take charge either. So, try to rewrite those first three action lines so that they are smooth. I do not mean complete sentences either, because this style is quite popular these days and does work. Try to however, combine them a bit. It is three lines that could be written into two, or one for that matter, and it could give us some great visual.

Does that make any sense?

Sincerely;

Patron
« Last Edit: March 21, 2012, 12:12:26 AM by Patron »

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Re: Untitled WIP
« Reply #39 on: March 21, 2012, 12:06:05 AM »
Hello Blue;

I liked the second scene better. Their are some structural issues I would question but I like how you have drawn us the picture. With this scene we can clearly see it on screen.

I would prefer to have learned an understanding of who Tracy is and her meaning to Daniel. Just a bit, because if you are using the three act structure, much of this can be developed in the second act. :)

Hope this helps.

Sincerely;


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Offline Dawn

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Re: Untitled WIP
« Reply #40 on: March 21, 2012, 02:06:35 AM »
Do we need to know who Daniel is when you talk about the hand?  In a novel I can see this as being intriguing. However, in a script would it be best to set it out. I'm not sure and don't know the answer as just learning. It is just a thought.
Time to take it serious and get the job done

Offline midnight candle

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Re: Untitled WIP
« Reply #41 on: March 21, 2012, 03:57:31 AM »
Just a quick answer to some of the issues raised. Tracy becomes a kind of mentor during the second act - in the same way as obi wan kenobi  in star wars, dead but spurring him on through a letter she wrote for him. The scar tissue becomes clear near end of the first act.

Patron, thanks so much for taking the time to do all this - invaluable. Please don't worry about rewriting my words if you can show me better by doing so. Rewrite coming later on.

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Re: Untitled WIP
« Reply #42 on: March 22, 2012, 02:05:20 AM »
Blue and alfiemama,

I had some things to discuss, based on the previous posts.

However, I took a moment and thought about some things. I do not want to hijack your post. Sorry for that.

I want to thank you for your sincere thoughts and interest in my help. I’m thrilled that I do have some time to help. I really want to give back, and help in every way I can, not just for the both of you but also for every member of this beautiful website.

I also want to take a moment of silence, for those we have lost. We’ve lost some friends and they will always be missed. I ask you to pray for their families in hopes they can stand strong and survive their loss.

Thank you, blue and alfi for your kind comments and I hope that I can help you and every person that has the courage to join,  to stay strong all the while learning their craft through MWC.

I want to say thank you to Nick, the Mods and every member that continues to make this website what it is……..! Thank you all….! Let us all work together and make this the best writers, den of hope, that we can make it. Thank’s to all of MWC’s support including all the forgotten IT group. Without you, none of this is possible. Thank you very much!

Sincerely;

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Offline midnight candle

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Re: Untitled WIP
« Reply #43 on: March 22, 2012, 03:20:24 AM »
Thanks Patron,

I've thought about all the advice and tried to write the opening in a more linear and logical sequence. So here is the rewrite, including the added action/conflict which also foreshadows the main story in the script.

------


FADE IN:

INT. FLORIST SHOP. DAY.

Scar tissue from a bullet wound on a hand tending to flowers.

          RADIO VOICE (V.O.)
     Tensions over the Falkland Islands increase
     ahead of the thirtieth anniversary of Argentina's
     invasion in 1982.

A white lily which forms the central part of a huge wreath. Other exotic plants, flowers and shrubs surround it.

          RADIO VOICE (V.0.)
     Outside the British embassy in Buenos Aires...

DANIEL, mid-fifties. Regimented. He looks older than he should and his strong hands look out of place nurturing flowers.

          RADIO VOICE (V.0.)
     ... Demonstrators burned the Union Jack.

Daniel wrenches the radio plug from the socket. He picks up a bouquet of red roses and exits through the back door.
« Last Edit: March 22, 2012, 03:22:18 AM by midnight candle »

Offline Annmarie

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Re: Untitled WIP
« Reply #44 on: March 22, 2012, 05:21:32 AM »
Am following all this with much interest.

I don't feel qualified to critique the newest version, daryl. Just a little iffy on the opening line. The first image we see is scar tissue? The average viewer wouldn't know it's from a bullet wound, but a scriptwriter puts it in for the producers/directors?

I'm a little confused on what you put in a script for the benefit of filmmakers, and what you put in that viewers will actually see or figure out.
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