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SCREEN WRITING CLASS - MOD 1


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#61 kkffoo

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 07:12 PM

As Squirrelygirl says I have also tended to launch in.

This started me thinking about Bond movies. Classic Bond starts out with a 'side adventure', he gets away from the bad guys, this is his routine, getting away from bad guys.
Then we find out about a new menace when he gets called back to headquarters, and the he is out there again, fighting & escaping from the bad guys..and chatting up women.

So Bond's life, his routine doesn't seem to change, just the bad guys change.
At the end of the movie he ends up where he started, it is more like a situation comedy set up, where at the end of the episode / film everything goes back to square one.

So is this something different?

#62 aroundworld

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 08:34 PM

QUOTE (kkffoo @ Aug 22 2012, 07:47 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm finding that more and more examples of this format occur to me, not just movies, but books as well.
I recently re-read The Midwich Cuckoos by John Wyndham.
http://en.wikipedia....Midwich_Cuckoos
The book is really skillful in seting up the atmosphere and normal routine of the village of Midwich, before a mysterious alien force field literally stops everyone in their tracks. Everyone, and everything within the village is interrupted and the inhabitants are put into a sleep state. When they finally awake all the female inhabitants are found to be mysteriously pregnant (with alien children as it turns out...the cuckoos).

If I get the opportunity, I'd like to try making a film using this structure, also I'm really keen to find out what the next lesson is!!




I checked out the Wiki link, Kate. This really looks like a cool story. I'm going to have a look at the 1960's film that was adapted to the book. I love the older sci-fi films!

It's amazing what we see after we learn a story element. Interruption and rutine can be found in real life (where it originated wink.gif) In novels, films, plays, radio shows...etc. Amazing tool; Interruption of Routine.

The next subject we'll be covering is Audience Expectation I just want to get a feel for what each of you got out of this module.



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#63 aroundworld

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 09:10 PM

QUOTE (squirrelygirl @ Aug 22 2012, 08:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It has made me understand the importance of establishing a routine before the interruption. I tend to like to get to the action, but I see that may not be the best thing.

If you do action up front it's still INTERRUPTION. But now you have the task of explaining what ROUTINE you've changed. So you're working backwards, a'la Quentin Tarantino, Guy Ritchie...etc

In the recent Mission Impossible the movie starts with an American spy about to leave Russia (?) with sensitive documents but he's killed. Later Tom Cruis explains, and we see in cut scenes what ROUTINE (stealing sensitive documents) was INTERRUPTED and why THE TANGIBLE REASON for ACTION was taken against the spy.


Taking a look at the movie Legend of the Guardians that I recently watched with my kids: We are introduced to the owl family then the two oldest owl children are practicing flying from branch to branch, they fall, and their lives are forever changed.

TANGIBLE EXTERNAL FORCE causing the change.

I also noticed them in books, like kkffoo pointed out. For instance in The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon the routine of the main character, in this case a young girl, is established. Her mother takes her and her older brother hiking on a trail in the woods. The girl decides to step off the trail without telling anyone because her mother and brother are fighting and she's sick of listening to them. Her decision changes her life forever because she can't find her way back to the trail.

The above is a more subtle approach to interruption of routine. The CHARACTER MADE A DECISION that INTERRUPTED HER ROUTINE (LIFE) forever. But her decision made sense didn't it? There was a tangible PLAUSIBLE reason for her to want to get off that path! She was tired of listening to her brother and mom fight!


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


#64 aroundworld

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 09:31 PM

I want to address this subtlety that Shirl has pointed out.



I also noticed them in books, like kkffoo pointed out. For instance in The Girl Who Loved Tom Gordon the routine of the main character, in this case a young girl, is established. Her mother takes her and her older brother hiking on a trail in the woods. The girl decides to step off the trail without telling anyone because her mother and brother are fighting and she's sick of listening to them. Her decision changes her life forever because she can't find her way back to the trail.


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The above is a more subtle approach to interruption of routine. The CHARACTER MADE A DECISION that INTERRUPTED HER ROUTINE (LIFE) forever. But her decision made sense didn't it? There was a tangible PLAUSIBLE reason for her to want to get off that path! She was tired of listening to her brother and mom fight!

I want to stress this: HER DECISION WAS PLAUSIBLE! It was a believable action followed by an equally believable result. This made the self inflicted interruption even more compelling.


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


#65 aroundworld

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Posted 22 August 2012 - 09:49 PM

QUOTE (kkffoo @ Aug 22 2012, 07:12 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
As Squirrelygirl says I have also tended to launch in.

This started me thinking about Bond movies. Classic Bond starts out with a 'side adventure', he gets away from the bad guys, this is his routine, getting away from bad guys.

No. His routine is clandestine espionage. Bad guys are the tangible interruption to that routine. smile.gif


Then we find out about a new menace when he gets called back to headquarters, and the he is out there again, fighting & escaping from the bad guys..and chatting up women.

So Bond's life, his routine doesn't seem to change, just the bad guys change.
At the end of the movie he ends up where he started, it is more like a situation comedy set up, where at the end of the episode / film everything goes back to square one.

So is this something different?


No, it's the same thing in a different pattern. What we see at the beginning of a Bond film is the interruption with out seeing the routine (mission). Because we're familiar with Bond, we know his cover's been blown and he's running for his life. So we understand his routine's been interrupted. Usually we find out why he was running when things settle down so plausibility is reserved.

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

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


#66 kkffoo

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 07:14 AM

Thanks AW...I get the feeling there's a lot to this topic.
This last example makes me think of Hitchcok's MacGuffin

QUOTE
In fiction, a MacGuffin (sometimes McGuffin or maguffin) is a plot device in the form of some goal, desired object, or other motivator that the protagonist (and sometimes the antagonist) is willing to do and sacrifice almost anything to pursue, often with little or no narrative explanation as to why it is considered so desirable.


I also wondered what was Mr Punch's routine.... traditional puppet show...
http://en.wikipedia..../Punch_and_Judy
as all I remember is him hitting people smile.gif
It turns out that Punch's routine is to 'mind the baby' & like Bond this is just a device.

So the routine isn't what usually happens to the character in a film or story, it is what the character set out to do originally, however unwillingly (Mr Punch minding the baby, Tom Sawyer painting the fence)

& some routines are defined by a profession? Such as spy, pirate.

#67 aroundworld

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 11:18 AM

QUOTE (kkffoo @ Aug 23 2012, 07:14 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Thanks AW...I get the feeling there's a lot to this topic.
This last example makes me think of Hitchcok's MacGuffin

Ah yes, the MacGuffin! The object of desire. Every story has one and many times it is an object that sets our characters off on their journeys to "complete" their lives.

Indiana Jone's MacGuffin was the Arc of the covenant.

In Gold Finger, it was the gold at fort knox.

In Hunt for Red October it was the Submarine.

BUT! The MacGuffin is always more than an object of desire. It always represents or reflects a DEEPER DESIRE of the character, what they REALLY WANT. More on this later. smile.gif



I also wondered what was Mr Punch's routine.... traditional puppet show...
http://en.wikipedia..../Punch_and_Judy
as all I remember is him hitting people smile.gif
It turns out that Punch's routine is to 'mind the baby' & like Bond this is just a device.

So the routine isn't what usually happens to the character in a film or story, it is what the character set out to do originally, however unwillingly (Mr Punch minding the baby, Tom Sawyer painting the fence)

& some routines are defined by a profession? Such as spy, pirate.


Yes! Routines can be defined by; an ordinary life, being a spy, minding the baby, pirate, daily job, no job, a way of life or deliberate agenda of the character is their routine.


There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

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


#68 aroundworld

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Posted 23 August 2012 - 06:27 PM

WHAT A ROUTINE IS NOT!


Being happy, sad, angry, psychotic, insane...etc.

The above are states of being! These are intrinsic qualities found in ones personality.



Your character may do something (their routine) while being in a certain mood or habitual state of mind that CAUSES their ROUTINE. If you INTERRUPT that state of mind that causes them to do this routine, with a TANGIBLE EXTERNAL FORCE, what have you done?


You still interrupted routine, it's just set up differently.

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

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


#69 aroundworld

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 04:34 AM

Routines and Interruptions throughout the three act structure.


If a screenplay is roughly 120 pages then the first act should end somewhere between pages 25 and 30. The second act will then finish somewhere around page 90 and the remaining 30 pages will comprise the third act. Of course, these numbers are merely guides and aren’t meant to be taken literally. ©AAU2012






ACT I

We meet the main character, their routine is established.

Midway through ACT I your character experiences a small disturbance in there life. Something that ruffles them but not enough to get them totally out of their normal world.

End of ACT I, the big interruption (inciting incident). An external force has caused your character's life to change for ever! Now the adventure begins.


ACT II

A NEW ROUTINE is established! Yep, the routine of the old world is gone and now they must; hide from the police, run from spies that want the Macguffin, hunt for the killer, get the money back...etc. Their lives are in a fight for survival (new routine) or what ever you decide for your character, BUT IT MUST BE A DIFFERENT SITUATION FROM ACT I and still tie in to the story.

FIRST TURN AROUND (PLOT TWIST)

Your character has entered a little moment of reflection. Maybe they learn a new skill, they're relaxing just a little, trying to get their "breath", think through things. Then BAM! A friend betrays them or they have to shoot their way out the of the hiding place, the monster is actually their partner...etc.

SECOND TURN AROUND (PLOT TWIST)

After your character has recovered from the first plot twist and beaten the odds, the audience is rooting for them and the character is confident about their NEW ROUTINE (LIFE) of adventure; shaken the police, found the money, given the spies what they want or eluded them, made a deal and is "free to go". BUT THEN, BAM!!!!!
Our hero/heroin is INTERRUPTED, down for the count. I mean really OUT OF THE GAME!

There's seemingly no escape, you know; Bruce Wayne trapped in a prison cave, James Bond about to get sliced by a laser, Brick Top is about to dice up Turkish. Your character has an INESCAPABLE OBSTETRICAL! Then a friend they thought was dead helps, or the skill they learned earlier gets them out of the jam, they remember something their nemesis said (they put the pieces together), they realize all they had to do was click their heels together three times...etc.

YOUR CHARACTER RISES UP!!! And meets the challenge!!!!

ACT III

THE BIG FIGHT

Now we're off and ready to meet insurmountable challenges and obstacles. Your character has the momentum and is after the bad guys/monsters, beating the zombies, fighting fire with A BIGGER FIRE, or using their wits and new skill to exploit the enemies weakness, or better yet, maybe your character's weakness was their strength all along and now they're using it to win!

THE VICTORY

So your character wins the battle, gets the girl, money, destroys the secret Macguffin that would have blown up the world.

THE RESOLUTION

Your hero/heroin has succeeded. Can they go back to their previous life? Maybe? Maybe they don't want to. Perhaps all that's left is the girl or boy that finely loves them for who they are. Maybe they take the 10 million and save the children's shelter. In any case (typically) the resolution leaves our characters in a new ROUTINE who's only interruption is the end of the movie and the audience, hopefully, is left with a good feeling and glad they saw it. Maybe they were even changed in some way.




There is no try, only do or do not.

 

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


#70 JosephKw

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 01:12 PM

Thanks for describing the 3 acts so concisely. I heard of the term, but now I know what it entails. Looking at some of the films mentioned already in this discussion, I can see how they fit this classic structure. Pretty nifty smile.gif

#71 kkffoo

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 02:32 PM

I copied this down and put in my writing folder...I have been looking for this kind of thing for a long while, and it hasn't been easy to find!

#72 aroundworld

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 06:38 PM

QUOTE (kkffoo @ Aug 24 2012, 02:32 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I copied this down and put in my writing folder...I have been looking for this kind of thing for a long while, and it hasn't been easy to find!



MUSIC TO MY EARS!!!!!!!! cool.gif biggrin.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


#73 aroundworld

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Posted 24 August 2012 - 09:01 PM

OK, Last call for INTERRUPTION OF ROUTINE!


Questions, concerns, is there anything else about this subject you guys would like to discuss?


Also, I want to recommend a book to you guys (any stormer) that will change your stories forever if you envest some time in reading it and applying it's principals.

The Writer's Journey.

http://www.amazon.co...4671117-6878311


And no, I'm not advertising. 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


#74 JosephKw

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 08:28 AM

QUOTE (aroundworld @ Aug 24 2012, 09:01 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>


And no, I'm not advertising. smile.gif

So your real name isn't Christopher Vogler? wink.gif

I have to mention that I, too, like Kate, have been taking notes on your teachings. I also have a notebook on filmmaking which I've been compiling for the last few years--but it's only on technical topics (such as AfterEffects effects and the proper format for screenplay conventions). Finally, with your help, I am now beefing it up with screenwriting tips as well (guess I'll need to get a bigger binder).

#75 aroundworld

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 01:22 PM

QUOTE (JosephKw @ Aug 25 2012, 08:28 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
So your real name isn't Christopher Vogler? wink.gif

I have to mention that I, too, like Kate, have been taking notes on your teachings. I also have a notebook on filmmaking which I've been compiling for the last few years--but it's only on technical topics (such as AfterEffects effects and the proper format for screenplay conventions). Finally, with your help, I am now beefing it up with screenwriting tips as well (guess I'll need to get a bigger binder).


I'm glad this has helped Joseph! I promise as you use these tools, you'll find creative ways to utilize interruption of routine and you'll see how it helps make a more cohesive film.

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

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


#76 aroundworld

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Posted 25 August 2012 - 04:33 PM

Ok, we're moving on, let's consider this topic closed for the sake of direct study. Interruption of Routine will dovetail into our next topic; Audience Expectation.

That can be found here:

http://www.moviestor...showtopic=13203

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

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



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