Jump to content


Photo

SCREEN WRITING CLASS - MODULE 6


  • Please log in to reply
53 replies to this topic

#1 aroundworld

aroundworld

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 873 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:Film - writing - directing - aviation - traveling - machinema - reading - acting -

Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:27 AM

Module 6



Troubleshooting a Story


In this class we will:

Use the SCENE BEAT to begin building a three act mini outline for a feature film, based on the opening scene you wrote earlier in the semester.

Troubleshoot a story.

Critically evaluate a story’s obstacles. Brainstorm for obstacles.


Assignments:

Use the SCENE BEAT to begin building a three act mini outline for a feature film, based on the opening scene you wrote earlier in the semester.


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.

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 aroundworld

aroundworld

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 873 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:Film - writing - directing - aviation - traveling - machinema - reading - acting -

Posted 17 October 2012 - 11:35 AM

Assignment Obstacle Brainstorm



Discussion:

Post one or two creative solutions to obstacles faced by a character in a recent movie that you've seen.

How did they overcome the obstacle keeping them from their goal?

What was creative / clever about it?

Can you think of another obstacle that would have worked?


There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

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


#3 JosephKw

JosephKw

    Director

  • Pioneers
  • 135 posts

Posted 17 October 2012 - 12:45 PM

Although it's an old film, I did watch it recently smile.gif

"Enter the Dragon" with Bruce Lee. In the finale battle, our hero is lured into a maze of mirrors which his opponent built. Bruce sees his opponent's reflections, but cannot differentiate between the real opponent and the reflections. His opponent uses his knowledge of the maze to stage successful ambush attacks on Bruce. Bruce finally overcomes this obstacle by smashing the mirrors so he can tell which is foe and which is a reflection.

Alternatively, I can envision Bruce breaking one mirror to bits, and throwing the shards all around him onto the floor. Now when the opponent approaches, Bruce can hear his feet stepping onto the shards, thus giving his true location away. Alternatively, Bruce can smash all the overhead lights to plunge the maze into darkness so as to even the playing field.

#4 kkffoo

kkffoo

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 3262 posts

Posted 17 October 2012 - 03:12 PM

In Smiley's people, the Benedict Cumberthingy character needed to get documents out of his workplace. However all bags had to be checked in to the reception desk. So an accomplice rung the reception desk pretending to be a garage mechanic...this allowed BC to naturally ask the reception desk for his bag back briefly while he pretended to sort out details with the garage, actually he was using the time to slip stolen documents into the 'already checked' bag.

(as an interesting double payoff, BC later hears one of the staff members singing the same tune that was playing in the background at the garage, so he knows this person was listening in to the call)

#5 aroundworld

aroundworld

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 873 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:Film - writing - directing - aviation - traveling - machinema - reading - acting -

Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:06 PM

QUOTE (kkffoo @ Oct 17 2012, 03:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
In Smiley's people, the Benedict Cumberthingy character needed to get documents out of his workplace. However all bags had to be checked in to the reception desk. So an accomplice rung the reception desk pretending to be a garage mechanic...this allowed BC to naturally ask the reception desk for his bag back briefly while he pretended to sort out details with the garage, actually he was using the time to slip stolen documents into the 'already checked' bag.

(as an interesting double payoff, BC later hears one of the staff members singing the same tune that was playing in the background at the garage, so he knows this person was listening in to the call)


Tinker, Taylor, Soldier, Spy. Great movie and great example. smile.gif

Is there another way you could imagine him getting around the checked back obstacle?

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

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


#6 aroundworld

aroundworld

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 873 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:Film - writing - directing - aviation - traveling - machinema - reading - acting -

Posted 17 October 2012 - 06:10 PM

QUOTE (JosephKw @ Oct 17 2012, 12:45 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Although it's an old film, I did watch it recently smile.gif

"Enter the Dragon" with Bruce Lee. In the finale battle, our hero is lured into a maze of mirrors which his opponent built. Bruce sees his opponent's reflections, but cannot differentiate between the real opponent and the reflections. His opponent uses his knowledge of the maze to stage successful ambush attacks on Bruce. Bruce finally overcomes this obstacle by smashing the mirrors so he can tell which is foe and which is a reflection.

Alternatively, I can envision Bruce breaking one mirror to bits, and throwing the shards all around him onto the floor. Now when the opponent approaches, Bruce can hear his feet stepping onto the shards, thus giving his true location away. Alternatively, Bruce can smash all the overhead lights to plunge the maze into darkness so as to even the playing field.


Great example JK! I love that movie too!

Your alternate strategy for overcoming the mirror obstacle is well imagined, GOOD JOB! smile.gif

This is exactly what I'm looking for.

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 kkffoo

kkffoo

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 3262 posts

Posted 17 October 2012 - 07:11 PM

The classic spy movie thing is to work late, or early and have accomplice on cleaning staff..slip something into the mop trolley maybe?

#8 aroundworld

aroundworld

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 873 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:Film - writing - directing - aviation - traveling - machinema - reading - acting -

Posted 18 October 2012 - 12:46 AM

QUOTE (kkffoo @ Oct 17 2012, 07:11 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The classic spy movie thing is to work late, or early and have accomplice on cleaning staff..slip something into the mop trolley maybe?


That could work! suppose they they had some plastic bag they could put the stuff in and slush it under the water/mop?

Good deal!


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 squirrelygirl

squirrelygirl

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 1903 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 18 October 2012 - 05:43 AM

Although I have watched it before I recently watched "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles." There's a scene where Del is driving his rental car, after the fire, and he is pulled over by an officer who says he has to tow the car because it's not safe to let Del and Neal continue, but Neal is trying to make it home for the holiday. Del calls someone to drive them to the nearest train station. (this is summing up a lot).

I thought the obstacle worked well because it tied in with the fire scene and it was one more piece of bad luck.

Another obstacle that might have worked would be if they stopped in the next town for lunch and the rental car was stolen as Del and Neal watched through the diner window.

modsnmore_logo.jpg


#10 aroundworld

aroundworld

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 873 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:Film - writing - directing - aviation - traveling - machinema - reading - acting -

Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:10 AM

QUOTE (squirrelygirl @ Oct 18 2012, 05:43 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Although I have watched it before I recently watched "Planes, Trains, and Automobiles." There's a scene where Del is driving his rental car, after the fire, and he is pulled over by an officer who says he has to tow the car because it's not safe to let Del and Neal continue, but Neal is trying to make it home for the holiday. Del calls someone to drive them to the nearest train station. (this is summing up a lot).

I thought the obstacle worked well because it tied in with the fire scene and it was one more piece of bad luck.

Another obstacle that might have worked would be if they stopped in the next town for lunch and the rental car was stolen as Del and Neal watched through the diner window.


I loved that movie!

Great example! The burned up car getting stolen as they watch is funny and would work well.

WELL DONE!


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

aroundworld

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 873 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:Film - writing - directing - aviation - traveling - machinema - reading - acting -

Posted 18 October 2012 - 11:21 AM




Lets turn this around.

What are some films you've seen where the obstacle was to simple, to easy to get passed.

What obstacle would you have placed in hero's way?

How do you think it make the story better?




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 kkffoo

kkffoo

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 3262 posts

Posted 18 October 2012 - 02:42 PM

I have always been annoyed by the last scene of Romeo and Juliet (many film versions). I think Shakespeare gets away with really terrible plotting at times and the 'everyone drinks the poison' ending feels rushed and illogical and turns Romeo, handsome lead, from romantic hero to total nitwit with zero common sense.
Some of fight with a wild animal would have finished this off much better, possibly a bear...they could poison the bear, or grab some sort of decorative sword and finish it off that way.
Maybe Juliet could have whacked it with something, a large tapestry frame possibly.

#13 aroundworld

aroundworld

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 873 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:Film - writing - directing - aviation - traveling - machinema - reading - acting -

Posted 18 October 2012 - 07:55 PM

QUOTE (kkffoo @ Oct 18 2012, 02:42 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I have always been annoyed by the last scene of Romeo and Juliet (many film versions). I think Shakespeare gets away with really terrible plotting at times and the 'everyone drinks the poison' ending feels rushed and illogical and turns Romeo, handsome lead, from romantic hero to total nitwit with zero common sense.
Some of fight with a wild animal would have finished this off much better, possibly a bear...they could poison the bear, or grab some sort of decorative sword and finish it off that way.
Maybe Juliet could have whacked it with something, a large tapestry frame possibly.



HA HA HA HA HA HA HA!!!! Great observation!

There are some Bond films that have this issue. One of the things I think is interesting, is that if we like the characters we're more forgiving.


There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

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


#14 aroundworld

aroundworld

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 873 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:Film - writing - directing - aviation - traveling - machinema - reading - acting -

Posted 19 October 2012 - 06:21 PM

QUOTE (aroundworld @ Oct 18 2012, 11:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Lets turn this around.

What are some films you've seen where the obstacle was to simple, to easy to get passed.

What obstacle would you have placed in hero's way?

How do you think it make the story better?






REPOST. SHirl, JK, looking for your input! rolleyes.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


#15 squirrelygirl

squirrelygirl

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 1903 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 19 October 2012 - 07:01 PM

I recently watched an Australian film called "Tomorrow When the War Began." The film is about seven teens who are out camping and return home to find that an army has invaded their country and taken most of the people in their town prisoner. The teens decide to blow up a bridge that allows the army to come and go from the town. Instead I would have either had them free the prisoners or connect with a rebel force and go after the army by sabotage.

modsnmore_logo.jpg


#16 aroundworld

aroundworld

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 873 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:Film - writing - directing - aviation - traveling - machinema - reading - acting -

Posted 20 October 2012 - 03:29 AM

QUOTE (squirrelygirl @ Oct 19 2012, 07:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I recently watched an Australian film called "Tomorrow When the War Began." The film is about seven teens who are out camping and return home to find that an army has invaded their country and taken most of the people in their town prisoner. The teens decide to blow up a bridge that allows the army to come and go from the town. Instead I would have either had them free the prisoners or connect with a rebel force and go after the army by sabotage.



This sounds something like Red Dawn. The movie about the Russians invading the U.S. I would have to agree that the teens joining the resistance is more plausible than all of a sudden becoming demolition experts.

Good example!

I remember in the movie Speed 2, Sandra Bullock suddenly knows the cruise ship inside out and saves the day. But Sandra Bullock fans were forgiving because they like watching her perform.

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 squirrelygirl

squirrelygirl

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 1903 posts
  • Gender:Female

Posted 20 October 2012 - 04:30 AM

I've seen a few instances where a character knows more than they should. I think the biggest urks I have are shows/movies that bounce around so much you can't follow the story, people doing things completely out of character for no reason, and movies where the ending doesn't justify the tension buildup.

modsnmore_logo.jpg


#18 aroundworld

aroundworld

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 873 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:Film - writing - directing - aviation - traveling - machinema - reading - acting -

Posted 20 October 2012 - 11:13 AM

QUOTE (squirrelygirl @ Oct 20 2012, 04:30 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I've seen a few instances where a character knows more than they should. I think the biggest urks I have are shows/movies that bounce around so much you can't follow the story, people doing things completely out of character for no reason, and movies where the ending doesn't justify the tension buildup.


"shows/movies that bounce around so much you can't follow the story, people doing things completely out of character for no reason, and movies where the ending doesn't justify the tension buildup."


GREAT POINT! In light of what we've been covering in this class, what specifically, do you think are some of the reasons for those story flaws?

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

JosephKw

    Director

  • Pioneers
  • 135 posts

Posted 21 October 2012 - 08:47 AM

There's one cliched escape method which tons of films and TV shows use repeatedly...the one in which the hero (or villain) takes out one of his pursuers and dons that person's uniform, then simply walks away. Being a layman, it does seems plausible in a chaotic situation, but it's been used SO often that it's become predictable. Whenever I see a bunch of uniformed people searching through a building for their quarry, I always think they're going to use the uniform/costume switch trick again--and oftentimes I'm right.

Perhaps the reason they use it so often is because to most people I would imagine it seems doable and reasonable. It also makes the hero/villain seem clever to have thought up of this trick (or else portrays him as a couch potato and has this trick ingrained into his psyche).

I guess one way to add spice to this is have the hero (already in his newly-acquired uniform) stopped at the door by two police officers. They ask why he's alone since everyone is assigned to a partner for the search (just to foil the uniform switcheroo trick). One of the officers start to radio in the hero's badge ID to check to see if it's legit, while the other puts his hand on the butt of his gun in case our hero's ID doesn't match. Things look grim. Suddenly their captain walks in and vouches for our hero, thus allowing him to leave and escape. This reveals that the captain is also in on this, and was a secret ally of our hero. Perhaps it even makes our hero uneasy knowing there are higher powers involved with his assignment--thus adding more tension and intrigue to the storyline.

#20 aroundworld

aroundworld

    Master Director

  • Pioneers
  • 873 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:USA
  • Interests:Film - writing - directing - aviation - traveling - machinema - reading - acting -

Posted 21 October 2012 - 01:12 PM

QUOTE (JosephKw @ Oct 21 2012, 08:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
There's one cliched escape method which tons of films and TV shows use repeatedly...the one in which the hero (or villain) takes out one of his pursuers and dons that person's uniform, then simply walks away. Being a layman, it does seems plausible in a chaotic situation, but it's been used SO often that it's become predictable. Whenever I see a bunch of uniformed people searching through a building for their quarry, I always think they're going to use the uniform/costume switch trick again--and oftentimes I'm right.


Perhaps the reason they use it so often is because to most people I would imagine it seems doable and reasonable. It also makes the hero/villain seem clever to have thought up of this trick (or else portrays him as a couch potato and has this trick ingrained into his psyche).

I guess one way to add spice to this is have the hero (already in his newly-acquired uniform) stopped at the door by two police officers. They ask why he's alone since everyone is assigned to a partner for the search (just to foil the uniform switcheroo trick). One of the officers start to radio in the hero's badge ID to check to see if it's legit, while the other puts his hand on the butt of his gun in case our hero's ID doesn't match. Things look grim. Suddenly their captain walks in and vouches for our hero, thus allowing him to leave and escape. This reveals that the captain is also in on this, and was a secret ally of our hero. Perhaps it even makes our hero uneasy knowing there are higher powers involved with his assignment--thus adding more tension and intrigue to the storyline.



That would help to legitimize on old trick for sure! Good point! As I was reading your post it reminded me of the scene where Indiana Jones (Raiders) knocks out the the Nazi guard and puts on his Uniform, but it doesn't fit. At the time it was a fun twist on an old gag.

But there two reasons why it worked:

1. We liked the character

2.The clothes didn't fit


No. 2, actually legitimized that scene and made it more believable.



There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

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



  • Please log in to reply


0 user(s) are reading this topic

0 members, 0 guests, 0 anonymous users