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SCREEN WRITING CLASS - MOD 1


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#21 squirrelygirl

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:38 AM

Premium Rush Trailer

The Routine: the main character is a bike messenger so his routine is to pick up messages and deliver them quickly to whoever they are intended for.

The Interruption: Someone wants a message that the main character picks up and that someone will do anything to get it.

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#22 aroundworld

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 06:12 PM

QUOTE (squirrelygirl @ Aug 16 2012, 08:38 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Premium Rush Trailer

The Routine: the main character is a bike messenger so his routine is to pick up messages and deliver them quickly to whoever they are intended for.

The Interruption: Someone wants a message that the main character picks up and that someone will do anything to get it.


Good. How does this change his routine?

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#23 squirrelygirl

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:30 PM

QUOTE (aroundworld @ Aug 16 2012, 10:12 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Good. How does this change his routine?


Instead of delivering the message, as he has done with all the others, he opens it.

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#24 aroundworld

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 08:56 PM

QUOTE (JosephKw @ Aug 16 2012, 04:26 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
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). GOOD ONE! I laughed out loud!!!!!! laugh.gif

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).


Ok, your proclivities a side, I'll use every Monty Python technique I know to prod into understanding these principals. rolleyes.gif

Assignment redo: Nice! Everyone of those interruptions take the character in a different direction and GET THE AUDIENCE/READER TO ASK THE QUESTION; "What happens next?"

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#25 aroundworld

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 09:16 PM

QUOTE (kkffoo @ Aug 16 2012, 07:56 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I found breaking down the premium rush trailer quite difficult. Joseph's answer above was really helpful;

Sorry, when I chose the trailer it lead to a simpler version than this one. I'm glad JK's answer helped, that's one of the benefits of on-line class. We can read others work and learn from it. smile.gif

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.


Assignment redo: This is it! It's the bear bones seemingly non important event in Pearls day, that changes her life and starts us a journey with her.



There is no try, only do or do not.

 

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#26 aroundworld

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 09:23 PM

QUOTE (squirrelygirl @ Aug 16 2012, 08:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Instead of delivering the message, as he has done with all the others, he opens it.


Yes, his life is already changed because now instead of making his ROUTINE rush delivery, he's interrupted by thugs that want that message. Now he has to run for his life.

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

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#27 rgr

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 10:02 PM

QUOTE (aroundworld @ Aug 16 2012, 02:15 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
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.


Again, late to the party here so I have the benefit of the other responses, but I confess I had a hard time seeing this in terms of routine and interruption ... looked like a lot of interruption was part of the routine.

So, routine is bike messenger in NYC, risking life and limb for the delivery company and getting off on the rush. High powered clients with urgent demands are also part of the routine.

First disruption I can sort of see is the cop wanting the messenger to give the package back, which causes him to run away from something (the cops?) instead of or in addition to riding towards the delivery target.

I can view this a few different ways though. This was a little tough, I admit.

#28 aroundworld

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 10:41 PM

moved

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

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#29 aroundworld

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 11:02 PM

QUOTE (rgr @ Aug 16 2012, 10:02 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Again, late to the party here so I have the benefit of the other responses, but I confess I had a hard time seeing this in terms of routine and interruption ... looked like a lot of interruption was part of the routine.

So, routine is bike messenger in NYC, risking life and limb for the delivery company and getting off on the rush. High powered clients with urgent demands are also part of the routine.

First disruption I can sort of see is the cop wanting the messenger to give the package back, which causes him to run away from something (the cops?) instead of or in addition to riding towards the delivery target.

I can view this a few different ways though. This was a little tough, I admit.


Rgr, the fact that you took the time to watch the trailer at all is awesome. THANK YOU!!!

The main thing I want you to take away from this is ROUTINE establishes your character's life
(we get to know them) INTERRUPTION CHANGES THE LIFE OF your character. It's not just something that happens. It's something that CHANGES THE CHARACTER'S DESTINY! smile.gif Good Job!

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#30 aroundworld

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Posted 16 August 2012 - 11:03 PM

Rgr, forgive me for not waiting on your replay to the trailer; please post your response anyway; it's the act of participation that helps us remember! smile.gif


OK, so INTERRUPTION does what? It changes the ROUTINE of your MAIN CHARACTER.

In Premium Rush, the INTERRUPTION didn't just keep the courier from delivering messages/packages, the interruption CHANGED HIS LIFE!!!!!!

You ESTABLISH the ROUTINE of your character; Pearl stocks cream cakes, the bum always shows up at 12:00pm to buy his drink, Betty works in the deli, the cashier daily annoys customers by talking on her Bluetooth.

The INTERRUPTION begins a cascade of events that change your characters life:

Pearl realizes the coupons are sixty years old. The police are called when oddly dressed man becomes violent. She later learns the man's money, ID, everything is from the past. Pearl ends up going back in time to find her parents.

Betty delivers a baby girl, but the mother dies. Betty adopts the child only to learn that she is the last heir to the throne of Slambovia, and there are men who want her dead.

The bum comes in to buy his drink, but dies right there in the bar. A note to the bartender is found on the bum, it takes the bartender on a journey of self discovery, leading to his long lost son.

A customer smashes the Bluetooth of the cashier. The cashier is fired, but the customer has to pay for the Bluetooth. As the cashier looks for another job, she applies for a nanny position and ends up at the customer's house to interview.

In all the examples above, I took your interruptions and CHANGED YOUR CHARACTERS LIVES and took them in a totally new direction.


Now, whats the main purpose of ROUTINE; it allows us to SEE YOUR CHARACTER'S NORMAL WORLD, and get to know them!!

The main purpose of INTERRUPTION? IT CHANGES YOUR CHARACTER'S LIFE!!!!!

As writers/film makers, it's our job to take a seemingly insignificant event OR BIG EVENT, depending on your story and lead the audience on a fabulous journey!

[b]So lets discuss what we've learned so far. Any comments, questions?

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#31 JosephKw

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 05:03 AM

I think I understand the concept now of routine and interruption. The routine establishes the normal life of the character. The interrupt changes his/her life significantly (even if the interrupt may seem mundane to everyone else). So for example, for Howard Hughs, who fears germs, we would establish a routine of him using tissues to touch everything from door handles to phone receivers, and for the interrupt we can use something as simple as a sneeze. To everyone else a sneeze is hardly an interrupt, but for our established character's routine, it is life-changing (using tissues to blow his nose instead of as a shield against germs).

#32 rgr

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 07:30 PM

trying to map this into my brain and bumping into stuff from other screen writing instruction, so bear with me. The routine is what Blake Snyder referred to as the "world before the story", and the "disruption" is what he referred to as the "inciting incident" or "catalyst for the story", I think. We establish routine to set up the disruption, or start the journey. Yes?

So, if Jaws started out with a shark eating people, it would be a very different movie than it starting out with a depiction of a quiet New England town, then a shark starts eating people.

In that film though, the setup and disruption are not discrete events. The quiet town theme continues to get developed after the introduction of the shark, and the disruption of the shark happens in stages, so maybe that's not the best film to use as an analogy?

Anyway, this exercise is clarifying elements of story that I think I sort of have some intuitive notion about, but never really gave specific thought to. So I'm definitely learning a lot.

#33 aroundworld

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 08:11 PM

QUOTE (JosephKw @ Aug 17 2012, 05:03 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I think I understand the concept now of routine and interruption. The routine establishes the normal life of the character. The interrupt changes his/her life significantly (even if the interrupt may seem mundane to everyone else). So for example, for Howard Hughs, who fears germs, we would establish a routine of him using tissues to touch everything from door handles to phone receivers, and for the interrupt we can use something as simple as a sneeze. To everyone else a sneeze is hardly an interrupt, but for our established character's routine, it is life-changing (using tissues to blow his nose instead of as a shield against germs).


This is an excellent question! I say this respectfully, NO! It's to subtle. Lets take a "look" at the Aviator.

When DiCaprio (playing Hughs), snaps out of his months long psychosis, it's because of an EXTERNAL INFLUENCE which is (congress lying about his use of taxpayer money). What happens? Congress accuses him of essentially stealing Government money. Hughs had a spotless (business) reputation up to that point.

Lets break it down:

ROUTINE: Hughs is in a bad mental state; pissing in jars and delusional everyday.

INTERRUPTION: He gets news of a congressional hearing focusing on him (misuse of government money)

This interruption to his mental illness is EXTERNAL and it is not subtle.

CHARACTERS move through films because of EXTERNAL FORCES acting on them.

Lana Turner (?) Talks him into going before Congress = EXTERNAL INFLUENCE

It get's Hughs angry enough to recover and come to his senses and defend his reputation.


With the tissue you get the question: WHY DID HE DO THAT? How many times have you come from a movie and say "It was pretty good, but all of a sudden the main character just got better or knew how to_____etc".

The tissue is not an external force.

See the difference?

ROUTINE = Daily life; mental illness, responsibilities and habitual activities; Job, hanging with friends, the wife and kids.

INTERRUPTION = EXTERNAL FORCE changing the character's life (routine) and leading them in another direction.








There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

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


#34 aroundworld

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 09:09 PM

QUOTE (rgr @ Aug 17 2012, 07:30 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
trying to map this into my brain and bumping into stuff from other screen writing instruction, so bear with me. The routine is what Blake Snyder referred to as the "world before the story", and the "disruption" is what he referred to as the "inciting incident" or "catalyst for the story", I think. We establish routine to set up the disruption, or start the journey. Yes?

To start the journey we have a ROUTINE life INTERRUPTED! smile.gif

EXACTLY! The world before the story (ROUTINE) sets up the: INTERRUPTION, CATALYST, INCITING INCIDENT. All of those are the same thing.

So, if Jaws started out with a shark eating people, it would be a very different movie than it starting out with a depiction of a quiet New England town, then a shark starts eating people.

No, it would have been the same film, only with a different beginning. Now you're dealing with audience expectation. I don't want to get a head of ourselves. Lets leave that subject sleep a little longer. We'll get there I promise you!! laugh.gif


In that film though, the setup and disruption are not discrete events. The quiet town theme continues to get developed after the introduction of the shark, and the disruption of the shark happens in stages, so maybe that's not the best film to use as an analogy?

You're going in a great direction! Some times INTERRUPTIONS HAPPEN IN STAGES before the big one!.


Anyway, this exercise is clarifying elements of story that I think I sort of have some intuitive notion about, but never really gave specific thought to. So I'm definitely learning a lot. That's music to me ears!! 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


#35 aroundworld

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Posted 17 August 2012 - 09:55 PM

Rgr made a great observation guys!


"In that film though, the setup (ROUTINE) and disruption (INTERRUPTION) are not discrete events. The quiet town theme continues to get developed after the introduction of the shark, and the disruption (INTERRUPTION) of the shark happens in stages, so maybe that's not the best film to use as an analogy?"


This is a fine analogy, and if you stop and think about it, films are a series of ROUTINES and INTERRUPTIONS!

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

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


#36 aroundworld

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 12:57 AM

This is great!! Take some time, and read over what we've discussed. Look over your work so far and consider how ROUTINE and INTERRUPTION work in some movies you have seen. Good work everybody!

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#37 JosephKw

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 07:16 AM

Hm, but for my germ-phobia Howard Hughs scenario, the external force is not the tissue, but germs making him sneeze. This changes the routine of him being afraid of germs, and instead makes his staff afraid to catch Hugh's germs (well, that's how the story "germ"inates so that the tables are turned). Is that then suitable for this exercise if viewed from that perspective?

#38 aroundworld

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 01:34 PM

QUOTE (JosephKw @ Aug 18 2012, 07:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Hm, but for my germ-phobia Howard Hughs scenario, the external force is not the tissue, but germs making him sneeze. This changes the routine of him being afraid of germs, and instead makes his staff afraid to catch Hugh's germs (well, that's how the story "germ"inates so that the tables are turned). Is that then suitable for this exercise if viewed from that perspective?


"germ"inates HA!!!! that's a good one!! smile.gif

My answer again is NO.

Where is the cause (external force) that brings the germ (interruption) that makes Hughs sick and his staff afraid? The audience can't see the story from your perspective, you must see it from theirs.

It's not enough, that Hughs is sick, and his staff is afraid. We must see where the germ originated. Maybe a bio lab in the next town accidentally vented a virus or he contracted the sickness from a pet. Both of those examples are external forces/sources of the interruption.

As I said earlier, to make the tissue and germ scenario VISIBLE and menacing enough to hold audience attention, their must be a VISIBLE, SOLID, CONCRETE and TANGIBLE EXTERNAL FORCE that initiates his germ illness that the staff is afraid of.

You could have Howard's staff afraid of his germ-illness and Howard sneezing till the cows come home. But the audience is going to ask "WHY IS HE SICK? WHERE DID HE GET THE GERM?

To satisfy audience curiosity, you have to SHOW what caused the INTERRUPTION not tell, how he got sick.

In the movie Outbreak, a town is plagued by a virus brought in the country by a monkey. This is a tangible reason for INTERRUPTION that caused the germ.

The cause of interruption must be tangible. The audience has to understand why something is happening, otherwise why are they watching it?


There is no try, only do or do not.

 

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


#39 aroundworld

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Posted 18 August 2012 - 07:15 PM

Hi all,

We'll be moving on shortly, I promise you! Please, when you have a moment view the clip. And we'll talk about it in class.

This is a link to a video that has a very clear establishment of routine and interruption. This clip originated from the University I attended. I changed the intro and and post comments to protect the innocent. I hope you'll take the time to view this, it covers a great deal of what we've been discussing. It's about 10min long.



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


#40 JosephKw

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 06:08 AM

I guess I should've quit when I was ahead then. Well, I'm ready to move on without any further "interruption" wink.gif

Nice video clip, by the way. I haven't seen that film for decades.


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