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SCREEN WRITING CLASS - MOD 1


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#1 aroundworld

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 03:52 PM

Interruption of Routine



For the sake of uniform example we'll use the scenario I've posted here. Shortly we'll be getting into your own routines and interruptions and how they take on a marvelous journey with your characters!


1. Using a grocery store as an environment, write a list of routines that you would expect to see.
For example, you might see people stocking shelves, cashiers ringing food orders, customer service helping people. Or you might see the same man or women everyday at the same time buying candy...etc

2. After you’ve come up with your routines, choose one and come up with three interruptions for that particular routine. Note: Interruptions for your routine should take the story in a new direction.

Purpose: To understand the utility of the routine/interruption concept in the practice of story writing.

The assignment is due by next Tuesday

Any questions?

NOTE: These lessons are modified concepts originally taught by my friend and mentor Philip Chidell; Sundance winner of the audience award.

His feature film Subject Two, can be seen on the Sci-fi channel, Amazon and Netflix.


The following module to this, Audience Expectation, can be found here:
http://www.moviestor...p...c=13203&hl=


MOD 3 - Story flaws and the Payoff
http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13231




SYLLABIS FOR CLASS MODULES


YOU ARE HERE >>MODULE 1


Understand the concept of routine and interruption.

MODULE 2

Understand and use the concept of plant and payoff.

Combining Routine and Interruption with Plant and Payoff

MODULE 3

Identify and avoid the most common flaws when developing a story. Utilize the payoff by mining material that has been introduced into the story.

Practice the art of visual storytelling.

Assignments:

1. Assignment Outline for a Visual Movie Opening

Discussion:

1. When you think of great visual filmmakers, who comes to mind and why?



MODULE 4


Understand the concept of the central question.

Assignments:

Central Question exercise: (What is the single most important goal of the protagonist and will he/she achieve it?)


MODULE 5

Understand the different movie Genres and the concept of Genre.

Explore the art of adapting a story for a movie.

What are the benefits of adaptation?


Assignments:

Assignment: Adaptation Assignment

Discussion:
Talk about a movie that you liked which was adapted from a book that you have read. What was similar to the book? What was different?



Module 6

Troubleshooting a Story

Troubleshoot a story.

Critically evaluate a story’s obstacles. Reconsider the central question. Brainstorm for obstacles.

Assignments:

Assignment Obstacle Brainstorm

Discussion:
1. Provide an example of a creative solution to obstacles faced by a character in a recent movie that you've seen.


Module 7

The Hook, Through-Line and Place Markers

Student Outcomes:

Understand the importance of the hook when telling a story.

Use a through-line in a narrative.

Understand what a cute meet is in screenwriting.

Utilize place markers when writing.

Assignments:

1. Discussion Exercise: Cute Meet
2. Assignment: Place Marker Sketch

Discussion:
1. Talk about any issues or problems you have had with identifying Through-Lines or using Place Markers.



Module 8

Defining Characters

Student Outcomes:

Understand the pleasure and necessity of researching material for stories.

Learn about the importance of story drivers.

Explore how characters can be defined by their reactions.

Address the issue of moral choices that characters make.

Assignments:

1. Assignment: Distinct Reactions


Discussion:

Describe an example of a moral choice made by a character in a movie you've seen.




Module 9

The Message

Understand how a message can drive what the characters do.

Understand the importance of the message in a movie.

Utilize a message that can lead to a premise.

Assignments:

Messages Assignment: Define what the message of your story is.

Discussion:

Discuss the last message you saw in a feature film. Did it resonate effectively?


Module 10:

Developing Characters

Understand what goes into creating a memorable character.

Utilize different methods to sketch out a character.

Understand the importance of the character arc.

Assignments:

Write a Fictitious Character Profile

Discussion:
List a couple of examples of character arcs from films you've seen recently.




Module 11

Story Endings


Identify the different types of endings for movies, including open- ended story and the story with a surprise ending.

Understand that loose ends are usually tied up in a good ending.

Write an opening scene and an ending scene for a movie.

Assignments:

Opening Scene and Ending scene for a movie

Post a story ending that did not work in a movie that you've seen recently. Explain why you feel it didn't work.


Module 12

Character Voices


Understand some of the factors that influence a character’s voice.

Write in the voice of an invented character.

Understand the benefit to the screenwriter of having a broad base of knowledge.

Assignments:

1. Character Voice Monologue: Write a small scene were your character expresses an emotion or opinion…etc

2. Talk about one of your favorite movie characters with a unique and distinctive voice. What is it about the character and their voice that you like?



Module 13

Supporting and Main Characters
Writing Log-lines and Synopsys for your story

Understand what goes into creating a complete story

Know how to formulate a pitch for a story for film Comprehend the use and importance of supporting characters.

Assignments:

Assignment: The Pitch Assignment; writing Log-line and synopsis

Discussion:
Discuss the most challenging aspects of putting together your pitch assignment.


Module 14

Gathering Information for Your Story


Know how to gather and research material for writing a screenplay.

Explore use of the Internet for research.

Look at mimicking a character’s lifestyle and locale.

Understand the value of nurturing relationships for information and professional connections.

Understand the advantage of reading and relevant research.

Assignments:

The Pitch Assignment: Review your classmate's submissions from
Module 13 and share feedback with the class.

Discussion:
1. After reviewing your classmate's pitches, how would you change the presentation of your pitch? What about their work inspired you to make changes?



Module 15: Conclusion:

Subplots and Naming Your Film

Define different kinds of subplots, including romantic interests, inner demons and problems with family and friends.

Understand how to name a film and some of the sources for film titles.

Assignments:

No assignments in this module

Discussion:

Describe one of your favorite subplots from a film you've recently seen. Did it support the main plot line?



There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#2 JosephKw

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Posted 12 August 2012 - 10:33 PM

Do you wish us to post our assignments here as a reply, or just have it handy for your next post/lesson? In other words, do you want us to "turn it in" to you somehow?

#3 aroundworld

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Posted 13 August 2012 - 12:22 AM

QUOTE (JosephKw @ Aug 12 2012, 10:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Do you wish us to post our assignments here as a reply, or just have it handy for your next post/lesson? In other words, do you want us to "turn it in" to you somehow?


Yes, please turn them in here so we can discuss them. Thanks Joesph (Joe?).

If any of you have questions as you go a long in this assignment, please don't hesitate to ask! I'll check in here a few time a day to see how I can help.

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#4 JosephKw

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 05:43 AM

Ok, here's my homework smile.gif

First, the grocery store routines.
Store doors are closed, but employees are busy restocking in the early hours.
A large 18-wheeler parks in front of the store and workers busily unload the pallettes and cart them inside.
The doors are open and patrons trickle in.
A security guard stands by the door to greet customers (and act as a visible deterrence for shoplifters).
Workers in the aisles restock the items but are also available for assisting customers.
Cashiers open a single cash register for the slow morning, but open more as more patrons appear.
Maintenance constantly patrols and mops the aisles looking to remove any potential slip and fall lawsuits.
Barney the bum drops by in the late morning and sits outside asking for a handout. The manager does nothing about him since this is a rundown neighborhood. The security guard asks the manager if he wishes Barney to be run off--mainly as an opportunity to wield his power. He asks this every day, hoping for action.
Kids from the local high school drop by after school, causing the security guard to hover near the alcoholic beverages section since that is source of the greatest loss for the store.
The next working shift arrives to replace the day shift workers.
In the evening Barney walks into the store and purchases a bottle of booze with the money he acquired that day. He then wanders off into the night.
The patrons trickle down as the night draws on.
The store closes, and the manager locks up the cash in the safe. Employees are busy restocking the store within. Although the doors are closed to the public, there's always a shift working within the store.


The three interrupts. I'll choose the 18-wheeler restocking truck routine to interrupt.
1. The truck does not arrive. The manager calls and discovers it had engine trouble, but will be en route again soon. The morning shift is about to end, and via union rules, only they are allowed to remove the pallettes from the truck. That means the manager will have to give the morning shift workers overtime pay to wait for the truck to roll in. The manager's mistress is one of the morning shift workers, and today his wife drops in to surprise him. His mistress isn't the brightest bulb on the tree, and has a gift of gab. Hopefully she won't say anything to the wife to give away her relationship with the manager husband.

2. The truck arrives, but cannot park in the usually-vacant loading zone in front of the store. A sedan is parked there instead, even though the store is closed. The driver gets out, suspecting the car must be one of the store's worker's. The car belongs to the store manager, and the manager is dead in the driver's seat. Perhaps a random robbery? Or perhaps a crime of passion?

3. The truck arrives and parks in the usual spot. The employees come out to cart out the pallettes. One of the workers walks by the manager while pushing a pallette and complains that it's a lot heavier than normal. The manager thinks nothing of it until another worker complains of the same thing. The manager inspects the crates and boxes and the labels are all as they should be--produce, primarily, but the boxes do seem heavier than usual. The manager also notices that although the truck is now unloaded, it has not left the spot in front of the store. The truck driver is off talking to a group of men and gesturing towards the grocery store, then they all march towards the store entrance. The manager takes a box cutter and quickly opens up a box to find out what is truly inside, and why it's been delivered to his store. Perhaps alien body-snatcher pods, or maybe explosives for some elaborate heist?

I hope that covers the assignment requirements.

#5 kkffoo

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 08:20 AM

1) woman wiping shelves in meat area
2) woman cleaning window at front of store
3) man maintaining cash register
4) man stacking shelves
5) woman pulling dairy products to front of fridge
6) security guard walking up and down by entrance to store
7) woman restocking cream cakes in chill counter (from rear)


7)
Interrupts

1) proposal of marriage
2) a cream cake explodes
3) someone asks to buy a car tyre xxx - this one


Pristine grocery store mid afternoon. A few customers are milling in the aisles. A large woman in a hairy checked coat picks up vinegar bottles, then replaces each one after reading the label watched from the distance by a man in a store uniform waistcoat and bow tie.
Middle aged shop assistant is standing behind a glass fronted chilled bakery counter, carefully placing custard slices into herringbone patterns.
She is part way through the second layer, working at 180 degrees to the first when a man approaches the counter.
The man is slightly shabby looking, needs a hair cut and a shave, and is wearing somewhat ill matched and badly fitting clothes.
His trousers are a little too short and expose well worn canvas beach shoes, one of which is fastened with a length of fuse wire.
He leans on the glass front of the counter, ducking a little to attract her eye without having to speak.
She is stands upright suddenly as she sees him, and wipes both her hands on a cloth. (which is hanging from the pocket on her apron)

Man: I have a coupon.

The man takes out a stack of clipped cardboard coupons. They are neatly arranged and held together with a strong bull clip. He slightly opens the bull clip, selects a coupon and places it on the bakery counter.

Man: Week beginning the 12th April. Today is Monday, which is the 12th.

The woman picks up the coupon, and wipes the spot where it was placed on the counter with the cloth. She examines it, shakes her head and places the coupon back on the counter. We see that the coupon is for a free car tyre.
The man pushes the coupon back towards the woman.

Man: Today is Monday.

The woman tries to catch the eye of her manager, who is now inspecting vinegar bottles with his back to the counter, a few feet away. (The large woman in the hairy coat has moved on out of sight.)

Wom: Mr Waverley!

The manager pauses his examination, rotates a vinegar bottle 3 degrees anti-clockwise, pauses again, then swivels on his heels to face the bakery stall exactly. He then walks in precise steps in a straight line towards the counter.

MrW: How can I help you Miss Stones?

The woman indicates her customer by eye movement, keeping her head perfectly still.
The manager sighs, and adjusts his rotation to face the customer.
The man is holding out his coupon, the manager takes the coupon, reads it then touches the man on the elbow.

MrW: I'll deal with it Miss Stones thank you.

The manager attempts to lead the man away from but he resists, and starts whirling around erratically.

Man: Where you taking me? I've got a coupon......

Wom: Mr Waverley!!

The woman screams as the customer pulls out a gun.

Man: (screams) Today is Monday!

We see hairy coat woman duck behind the cash register conveyor with the cashier. Several cans of baby food fall out of her pocket. The cashier leans around and presses the panic button behind his till. The two exchange a glance and he hands the woman the cans, She replaces them back in her pocket.

In the background Mr Waverley is kneeling in the vinegar aisle with his hands behind his head, the crazy customer waves his gun. The hairy coated woman pulls out some rosary beads from around her neck and kisses the cross, looking upwards as she does.



#6 aroundworld

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 07:01 PM

First of all, thanks for doing the assignment guys! laugh.gif

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#7 squirrelygirl

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Posted 14 August 2012 - 09:12 PM

Routines:

1) Lula restocks maple bars in the bakery.
2) Betty restocks restocks the sliced honey ham in the deli.
3) Josh checks people out in the 10 items or less lane.
4) Shandra checks people out in lane 2.
5) Mike, the manager, runs the customer service desk while he waits for JT to get back from break.
6) Gary restocks the orange in the produce section.
7) Audra weighs out a trout for old Mr. Cline who comes in once a week.
8) Brent pushes a broom around the store.

Interruptions:

We'll focus on Betty in the deli.

1) Betty looks up to notice two customers at her counter. As she turns to walk to the counter the woman gives out a horrid scream. Betty rushes over to help only to discover that the woman has gone into labor.

2) The phone rings. Betty answers and finds a police officer on the other end. Her husband was in a terrible accident and has been transported to the hospital.

3) Betty finishes restocking the honey ham, but when she turns around a young girl is standing next to her. The girls looks at Betty and asks, "Are you my mother?"

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#8 aroundworld

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 12:55 AM

QUOTE (kkffoo @ Aug 14 2012, 08:20 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
1) woman wiping shelves in meat area
2) woman cleaning window at front of store
3) man maintaining cash register
4) man stacking shelves
5) woman pulling dairy products to front of fridge
6) security guard walking up and down by entrance to store
7) woman restocking cream cakes in chill counter (from rear)


7)
Interrupts

1) proposal of marriage
2) a cream cake explodes
3) someone asks to buy a car tyre xxx - this one


Pristine grocery store mid afternoon. A few customers are milling in the aisles. A large woman in a hairy checked coat picks up vinegar bottles, then replaces each one after reading the label watched from the distance by a man in a store uniform waistcoat and bow tie.
Middle aged shop assistant is standing behind a glass fronted chilled bakery counter, carefully placing custard slices into herringbone patterns.
She is part way through the second layer, working at 180 degrees to the first when a man approaches the counter.
The man is slightly shabby looking, needs a hair cut and a shave, and is wearing somewhat ill matched and badly fitting clothes.
His trousers are a little too short and expose well worn canvas beach shoes, one of which is fastened with a length of fuse wire.
He leans on the glass front of the counter, ducking a little to attract her eye without having to speak.
She is stands upright suddenly as she sees him, and wipes both her hands on a cloth. (which is hanging from the pocket on her apron)

Man: I have a coupon.

The man takes out a stack of clipped cardboard coupons. They are neatly arranged and held together with a strong bull clip. He slightly opens the bull clip, selects a coupon and places it on the bakery counter.

Man: Week beginning the 12th April. Today is Monday, which is the 12th.

The woman picks up the coupon, and wipes the spot where it was placed on the counter with the cloth. She examines it, shakes her head and places the coupon back on the counter. We see that the coupon is for a free car tyre.
The man pushes the coupon back towards the woman.

Man: Today is Monday.

The woman tries to catch the eye of her manager, who is now inspecting vinegar bottles with his back to the counter, a few feet away. (The large woman in the hairy coat has moved on out of sight.)

Wom: Mr Waverley!

The manager pauses his examination, rotates a vinegar bottle 3 degrees anti-clockwise, pauses again, then swivels on his heels to face the bakery stall exactly. He then walks in precise steps in a straight line towards the counter.

MrW: How can I help you Miss Stones?

The woman indicates her customer by eye movement, keeping her head perfectly still.
The manager sighs, and adjusts his rotation to face the customer.
The man is holding out his coupon, the manager takes the coupon, reads it then touches the man on the elbow.

MrW: I'll deal with it Miss Stones thank you.

The manager attempts to lead the man away from but he resists, and starts whirling around erratically.

Man: Where you taking me? I've got a coupon......

Wom: Mr Waverley!!

The woman screams as the customer pulls out a gun.

Man: (screams) Today is Monday!

We see hairy coat woman duck behind the cash register conveyor with the cashier. Several cans of baby food fall out of her pocket. The cashier leans around and presses the panic button behind his till. The two exchange a glance and he hands the woman the cans, She replaces them back in her pocket.

In the background Mr Waverley is kneeling in the vinegar aisle with his hands behind his head, the crazy customer waves his gun. The hairy coated woman pulls out some rosary beads from around her neck and kisses the cross, looking upwards as she does.


"3) someone asks to buy a car tyre xxx - this one"

You mean "tires". I get words and spellings mixed up, so I'm doing both of us a favor. smile.gif


Hi kate, thanks for diving in! This is a very funny scene with some imaginative moments, I enjoyed reading it!!! You have a knack for comedic drama. Nice!

A couple of things. You went waaayy beyond what you need for this assignment, which is perfect because that's exactly what I did when I first did this assignment!



You have a good grasp of story here — and your ideas are clearly fun and imaginative. But for the purposes of this assignment, — simplify! smile.gif Your routine and interruption is almost a short story, but right now lets keep it simple. We just want basic examples of a routine being interrupted.

Basically, an Interruption is something that CHANGES THE AGENDA of the character. Just the idea that she must get the manager to intervene with coupon man is enough. So, you have two routines interrupted; stock woman and the manger's (2 for 1)!.

This is important. —It's very easy to go overboard and miss the simplicity of the tools being taught. If you over-complicate any of these storytelling tools, they won't come in handy when you need them later. Make sense?

Ok, so take your scenario; remove the dialog, the extra characters, descriptions of clothes and re-write the interruption of routine using only the stock woman, coupon man and manager.

We're off and running! smile.gif

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#9 aroundworld

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:02 AM

QUOTE (JosephKw @ Aug 14 2012, 05:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ok, here's my homework smile.gif

First, the grocery store routines.
Store doors are closed, but employees are busy restocking in the early hours.
A large 18-wheeler parks in front of the store and workers busily unload the pallettes and cart them inside.
The doors are open and patrons trickle in.
A security guard stands by the door to greet customers (and act as a visible deterrence for shoplifters).
Workers in the aisles restock the items but are also available for assisting customers.
Cashiers open a single cash register for the slow morning, but open more as more patrons appear.
Maintenance constantly patrols and mops the aisles looking to remove any potential slip and fall lawsuits.
Barney the bum drops by in the late morning and sits outside asking for a handout. The manager does nothing about him since this is a rundown neighborhood. The security guard asks the manager if he wishes Barney to be run off--mainly as an opportunity to wield his power. He asks this every day, hoping for action.
Kids from the local high school drop by after school, causing the security guard to hover near the alcoholic beverages section since that is source of the greatest loss for the store.
The next working shift arrives to replace the day shift workers.
In the evening Barney walks into the store and purchases a bottle of booze with the money he acquired that day. He then wanders off into the night.
The patrons trickle down as the night draws on.
The store closes, and the manager locks up the cash in the safe. Employees are busy restocking the store within. Although the doors are closed to the public, there's always a shift working within the store.


The three interrupts. I'll choose the 18-wheeler restocking truck routine to interrupt.
1. The truck does not arrive. The manager calls and discovers it had engine trouble, but will be en route again soon. The morning shift is about to end, and via union rules, only they are allowed to remove the pallettes from the truck. That means the manager will have to give the morning shift workers overtime pay to wait for the truck to roll in. The manager's mistress is one of the morning shift workers, and today his wife drops in to surprise him. His mistress isn't the brightest bulb on the tree, and has a gift of gab. Hopefully she won't say anything to the wife to give away her relationship with the manager husband.

2. The truck arrives, but cannot park in the usually-vacant loading zone in front of the store. A sedan is parked there instead, even though the store is closed. The driver gets out, suspecting the car must be one of the store's worker's. The car belongs to the store manager, and the manager is dead in the driver's seat. Perhaps a random robbery? Or perhaps a crime of passion?

3. The truck arrives and parks in the usual spot. The employees come out to cart out the pallettes. One of the workers walks by the manager while pushing a pallette and complains that it's a lot heavier than normal. The manager thinks nothing of it until another worker complains of the same thing. The manager inspects the crates and boxes and the labels are all as they should be--produce, primarily, but the boxes do seem heavier than usual. The manager also notices that although the truck is now unloaded, it has not left the spot in front of the store. The truck driver is off talking to a group of men and gesturing towards the grocery store, then they all march towards the store entrance. The manager takes a box cutter and quickly opens up a box to find out what is truly inside, and why it's been delivered to his store. Perhaps alien body-snatcher pods, or maybe explosives for some elaborate heist?

I hope that covers the assignment requirements.


Hi Joseph, thanks for jumping in!!

Great idea and you've got my interest. However you and Kate did the same thing I did when I first did this assignment. I over complicated my scenario. As I told Kate, "this is good, it's how we learn! smile.gif.

You obviously have a grasp on story telling, and you're using (as Kate did) some advanced story tools (misleads, hook...etc. But right now we want to keep it simple. we want to understand why interruption works in the story. Adding other cool stuff like you and Kate did, at this point, dilutes the process.
For our purposes, lets simplify. Sound good?

Interruption CHANGES THE MAIN CHARACTER'S AGENDA and takes the story in a new direction. smile.gif

Lets simplify your scenario:

The store manager is standing by checking off the boxes of produce as the stock crew wheels them by on a dolly. After complaints of the boxes being heavier than normal, the manager opens one to check it out.

Makes sence?

Ok, pick one of the other routines, strip it down to bare bones like I did above and see how it works. Good effort, now we're moving!!! smile.gif




There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#10 aroundworld

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:48 AM

moved

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#11 aroundworld

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:27 AM

QUOTE (squirrelygirl @ Aug 14 2012, 09:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Routines:

1) Lula restocks maple bars in the bakery.
2) Betty restocks restocks the sliced honey ham in the deli.
3) Josh checks people out in the 10 items or less lane.
4) Shandra checks people out in lane 2.
5) Mike, the manager, runs the customer service desk while he waits for JT to get back from break.
6) Gary restocks the orange in the produce section.
7) Audra weighs out a trout for old Mr. Cline who comes in once a week.
8) Brent pushes a broom around the store.

Interruptions:

We'll focus on Betty in the deli.

1) Betty looks up to notice two customers at her counter. As she turns to walk to the counter the woman gives out a horrid scream. Betty rushes over to help only to discover that the woman has gone into labor.

2) The phone rings. Betty answers and finds a police officer on the other end. Her husband was in a terrible accident and has been transported to the hospital.

3) Betty finishes restocking the honey ham, but when she turns around a young girl is standing next to her. The girls looks at Betty and asks, "Are you my mother?"


Shirl, I didn't see you!!! Sneaky, like a squirrel. Welcome! smile.gif

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I'M LOOKING FOR!!!!!!!

Everybody! All two of you! tongue.gif Please note how simply Shirl has approached her interruptions to routine.

Note that there's no dialog, descriptions of surroundings...etc. No other activity is mentioned. Only the character and the core agenda of Betty and the customer and how that is changed. Any one of your examples will work. Nice Job!!

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#12 aroundworld

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:30 AM

Ok, Guy and Gals,

An extra aid in helping you see interruption and routine in action: WHEN YOU HAVE TIME! Please visit this link.

Watch the trailer to: Premium Rush:

Strip it down to only two elements. THE ROUTINE (what the main character normally does) not what he's wearing, or who he talks to...etc. And THE INTERRUPTION (what is it that sends his life in another direction.) Write only the circumstance that CHANGES THE CHARACTER'S AGENDA.

This should only be about two to three sentences.

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#13 iceaxe

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 01:55 PM

QUOTE (aroundworld @ Aug 15 2012, 12:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
You mean "tires". I get words and spellings mixed up, so I'm doing both of us a favor. smile.gif


Nope. I think Kate meant what she said. You're not doing her a favour at all! smile.gif

QUOTE (aroundworld @ Aug 15 2012, 12:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ok, so take your scenario; remove the dialog, the extra characters, descriptions of clothes and re-write the interruption of routine using only the stock woman, coupon man and manager.


Why? I thought it was excellent.

(You do know Kate is a very accomplished story teller - right?)

#14 kkffoo

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 04:31 PM

I think it is about focusing on the element of interruption itself Iceaxe?

To simplify story elements down to their fundamentals, so you can identify these, and use them as tools in other settings?

I actually mixed up elements from both AW's threads without realising it.

Have a go!

#15 aroundworld

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 05:19 PM

QUOTE (iceaxe @ Aug 15 2012, 01:55 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Nope. I think Kate meant what she said. You're not doing her a favour at all! smile.gif



Why? I thought it was excellent.

(You do know Kate is a very accomplished story teller - right?)


HI Ice,

I've seen her website...etc. And I don't doubt her ability. I offered a screen writing class and she signed up. So I will fulfill my responsibility to her to the best of my ability. I want to keep this "class" clear of extraneous remarks that have nothing to do with learning professional elements of story telling. If you'd like to get in on the fun, dive in! My remarks are based only on my training and aren't meant to denigrate anyone's skill level. They are based on what I know work in the real world. smile.gif

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#16 aroundworld

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 12:34 AM

Dear Kate, Shirl and Joseph,


Please know that nothing I say is meant to be hurtful in my critiques of your work. I've never learned anything form anyone that insulted me for making my best effort or any effort for that matter. I'm excited that we have a class at all! And I want to give you a solid foundation in story and screen structure. So, please if you think I'm coming across a bit strong, please tell me. I want this to be fun, not a drudgery.

And if you have any questions at all, ANYTHING. (That has to do with screen writing tongue.gif ) please ask. I'll do everything I can to clear up the confusion.

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#17 rgr

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 01:14 AM

QUOTE (aroundworld @ Aug 12 2012, 03:52 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
For the sake of uniform example we'll use the scenario I've posted here. Shortly we'll be getting into your own routines and interruptions and how they take on a marvelous journey with your characters!


1. Using a grocery store as an environment, write a list of routines that you would expect to see.
For example, you might see people stocking shelves, cashiers ringing food orders, customer service helping people. Or you might see the same man or women everyday at the same time buying candy...etc

2. After you’ve come up with your routines, choose one and come up with three interruptions for that particular routine. Note: Interruptions for your routine should take the story in a new direction.

Purpose: To understand the utility of the routine/interruption concept in the practice of story writing.

The assignment is due by next Tuesday

Any questions?

NOTE: These lessons are modified concepts originally taught by my friend and mentor Philip Chidell; Sundance winner of the audience award.

His feature film Subject Two, can be seen on the Sci-fi channel, Amazon and Netflix.


Having had the benefit of the other posts, I'll give this a shot.

Routine:
a cashier talks to her friend on her bluetooth headset whilst checking out a customer
a vendor stocks product on a shelf, blocking the aisle with a push cart
an elderly couple walk so slowly through the produce section they even piss off the other elderly people*
a manager surveys the checkout area, and greets customers as they approach
customers mill around shopping

* I realize this is gratuitous, but I couldn't resist smile.gif

I had a hard time choosing one of the routines, but ultimately chose the cashier:

interruption 1) customer reaches over the checkout counter and yanks the bluetooth headset out of the cashier's ear, throws it on the ground and steps on it, and loudly rebukes her

interruption 2) the friend the cashier is talking to on the headset suddenly screams, a shot rings out on the other end of the phone, then the line goes dead

interruption 3) an impossibly loud crash comes from somewhere outside the building, then a jet plane engine crashes down and skids across the road in front of the store window the cashier is standing at, and debris rains down everywhere outside

OK, so I'm not clear on how far I should have taken the interruption. I didn't take it past the incident itself, but will if you like. From Shirley's example, it seemed like maybe this is as far as I should take it?

Thanks so much for doing this!

rgr

#18 aroundworld

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 02:15 AM

QUOTE (rgr @ Aug 16 2012, 01:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Having had the benefit of the other posts, I'll give this a shot.

Routine:
a cashier talks to her friend on her bluetooth headset whilst checking out a customer
a vendor stocks product on a shelf, blocking the aisle with a push cart
an elderly couple walk so slowly through the produce section they even piss off the other elderly people*
a manager surveys the checkout area, and greets customers as they approach
customers mill around shopping

* I realize this is gratuitous, but I couldn't resist smile.gif

I had a hard time choosing one of the routines, but ultimately chose the cashier:

interruption 1) customer reaches over the checkout counter and yanks the bluetooth headset out of the cashier's ear, throws it on the ground and steps on it, and loudly rebukes her

interruption 2) the friend the cashier is talking to on the headset suddenly screams, a shot rings out on the other end of the phone, then the line goes dead

interruption 3) an impossibly loud crash comes from somewhere outside the building, then a jet plane engine crashes down and skids across the road in front of the store window the cashier is standing at, and debris rains down everywhere outside

OK, so I'm not clear on how far I should have taken the interruption. I didn't take it past the incident itself, but will if you like. From Shirley's example, it seemed like maybe this is as far as I should take it?

Thanks so much for doing this!

rgr


Rgr! I was hoping you'd join in! It will make the discussion all the more engaging! smile.gif

These all work very well, and thank you for reading the other posts. If you don't mind, please watch the Premium Rush trailer and break that down only to the routine of the character and the interruption. The trailer is a little convoluted, but I think you'll see this principal in action. Break it down just like you did with the grocery store routine/interruption.




There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

START HERE:  http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13153


#19 JosephKw

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 04:26 AM

Ok, watched the "Premium Rush" trailer and analyzed it. Routine = pick up items and deliver it ASAP. Interrupt = Other parties wish to intercept his package and thus prevent his completion of the routine.

Assignment redo:
I'll choose Barney the bum who, after a day of begging, buys a bottle of booze, and wanders off into the night.


1. Instead of walking off, Barney is picked up by a limosine. The driver opens the door, nods at Barney, and Barney nonchalantly gets in and rides off.
2. Barney enters the store, but instead of buying a bottle of booze, hands a sheet of paper to the manager. It's Barney's last will and testament and he wishes the manager to be a witness.
3. Barney receives a "Premium Rush" delivery by a messenger on a bike, opens it, and finds a coupon for a free tyre iron (LOL, couldn't resist that).

Regarding the "harshness" of any criticisms, be as harsh as necessary with me. I don't mind. I've learned the most from some of the more harsh instructors in my life, and I'm here to learn (besides, I'm into S&M so lay it on! JK).

#20 kkffoo

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 07:56 AM

I found breaking down the premium rush trailer quite difficult. Joseph's answer above was really helpful;

A bike courier tries to deliver a package. Other people don't want the package delivered and try to stop him.

My own interrupt scene rewritten;

Pearl is stacking cakes. A man approaches the counter and hands her a coupon. The coupon is invalid. Pearl calls the manager over.




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