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SCREEN WRITING CLASS - MODULE 3


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#81 aroundworld

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Posted 16 September 2012 - 04:08 PM

QUOTE (kkffoo @ Sep 16 2012, 09:48 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Final scene.

Jayne, Maggy's great granddaughter, cuts back branches and sees ruin of Foley Manor.She steps forward and falls through rotten floor into burnt out cellar. Witton, butler's descendent, appears with shotgun. Jayne tries to hide and finds secret passage. At end of passage she finds treasure trove. Witton follows, ties up Jayne.

Witton moves treasure, piles up ancient papers as kindling, is about to burn Jayne plus any evidence alive when.. Peter, Jayne's previously scorned love interest, arrives and knocks Witton out with vase. Vase breaks, bracelet falls out. Kiss between Peter and Jayne, Jayne hold up bracelet, it sparkles and reflects smiling ghost faces of Maggy and Tommy.

___________________________________________________

* I haven't done the maths to work out how many generations & date of first scene


This reminds me of When Susan, Edmond, Peter and Lucy discovery the ruin of the Castle at Pare Caravel in The Chronicles of Narnia. Great stuff! smile.gif

Writing the ending scene without the benefit of the rest of the story treatment IS HARD! What happened to me when I did these exercises, is I introduced more questions instead of answering them. That's what's happened in your ending. That's natural because I haven't seen the rest of the "movie". smile.gif


My first reaction to the ending was ;

Where's Maggy and Tommy?

The bracelet is in a treasure trove, but what significance does the bracelet have?

Why is the bracelet back at Foley Manor?


Lets break down your first scene to it's core:

(1) A peasant girl (MAGGY), finds a bracelet.

(2) MAGGY hides from JAMES, who wants that bracelet, and wants to kill MAGGY because she knows he killed the Lady of the manor and set fire to the manor

(3) TOMMY rescues MAGGY.


What you want to show us in your last scene is:

What happened to TOMMY and MAGGY.

What significance does the bracelet have.

What happened to JAMES.


Example ending:

A middle aged Countess is holding court in a regally appointed thrown room. Guards burst through big wooden double doors. Maggy and Tommy, grungy and worn, are hustled through the door and thrust to their knees at the steps of the thrown. A guard presents the bracelet to the Countess. She becomes angry and rises from her thrown.

COMMOTION at the door distracts the Countess! In shackles, James is violently ushered in and thrown to the floor.

Later, groomed and dressed royally, Maggy and Tommy are escorted to the thrown room and presented to the Countess. A portrait of her and the Lady of the manor together wearing identical bracelets hangs above the thrown.

The Countess presides over Maggy and Tommie's wedding and presents Maggy with the bracelet.


_______________________


Obviously you can change that, but what we don't want to do at the end of our scene (for the purpose of this exercise) is introduce new questions.

In my version:

James is vanquished for the murder of the Countess' sister.

The Countess honors Maggy and Tommy.

Maggy and Tommy get married.

___________________________

Does that make sense?




























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#82 kkffoo

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:49 AM

This may take some time!

James is hanging from the ledge of a bell tower.
Policemen line the lane beneath him and are entering the bell tower.
Tommy is lying shot on the bell tower platform.

Maggy leans over James.
She is wearing fine clothes.
She reaches to pull James back from the edge, she is wearing the bracelet.
James grabs for the bracelet instead, misses and falls to his death.

Maggy cradles Tommy in her arms.
The policemen appear.
They bow to Maggy.

#83 aroundworld

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Posted 17 September 2012 - 07:43 PM

QUOTE (kkffoo @ Sep 17 2012, 07:49 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This may take some time!

James is hanging from the ledge of a bell tower.
Policemen line the lane beneath him and are entering the bell tower.
Tommy is lying shot on the bell tower platform.

Maggy leans over James.
She is wearing fine clothes.
She reaches to pull James back from the edge, she is wearing the bracelet.
James grabs for the bracelet instead, misses and falls to his death.

Maggy cradles Tommy in her arms.
The policemen appear.
They bow to Maggy.


I commented on your work this morning (my time) but the whole thing got lost somehow.

BRAVO!!!! You have created an ending scene that gives me just enough VISUAL INFORMATION that makes me want to see the movie, and how they got here.

Because Maggy is wearing the bracelet and is dressed in royal clothing, it allows me to assume the bracelet has something to do with her change in status; from peasant girl to royalty. PAYOFF! smile.gif

What's more, is it makes me wonder if she was royalty all along and was kid-napped by James and held hostage by the Lady of the manor and James. As she escaped with the bracelet James hunts her down?

James falls to his death: PAYOFF!! smile.gif

Tommy and Maggy fell in love, and Tommy was wounded defending Maggy in the bell tower. PAYOFF!!! smile.gif

Do you see how this worked? Whether it was deliberate or not you pushed all the right buttons! If you stumbled upon it, that's even better!

Lets break it down:

TO EVERYONE!

In Kate's opening scene Maggy was a grungy peasant girl struggling to escape certain death in a fire. She grabs a bracelet form a dead woman and escapes capture and is recused by Tommy the poacher.

In the ending scene of the movie, Maggy is WEARING THE BRACELET and REGALLY DRESSED!!

This is important not only because it PAYED OFF the bracelet, but also because it demonstrated:

A CHARACTER ARC! Maggy went through a TRANSFORMATION during the story. More on this later.


With this ending you engender the right question:

How did they get here?

Instead of:

Why did that happen?


I love that Maggy tried to save James life, NICE TOUCH! She's humble and values life, even the life of those who tried to hurt her. Redemption! Great story theme!


If I was directing this, the only thing I would change is having the police a little confused about who Maggy is. When they realize her status they become reverent.


If I can clarify anything I've said, let me know.

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#84 JosephKw

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 09:29 AM

Ok, here's my ending scene with the Dett story (it's kinda hard to pull off with no middle scenes or dialogue).

Mr. Rong stares at the open safe in his office. Debt markers are spread on a table. He picks up the one on top which reads "JOHNNY DETT, $100,000.00 owed for services not rendered". Rong peers closer at the faded print at the bottom. "Services = Liquidation provider, grade AAA". Rong lowers the paper.

Flashback of Dett defeating the four burly men in the alley, of Dett driving and ramming a black sedan full of gunmen off the road, and of Dett outshooting a horde of thugs and escaping. Rong drops the paper to the floor, and it lands in a puddle of pooling blood.

Rong's gaze follows the trail of blood to the body of another burly man. Dett stands beside the corpse, his face lit with a glowing cigar. Rong's face recedes as he falls from the window to the streets twelve stories below.

Please note that Rong "inherited" the markers from a competitor, but there's no way I can convey that without additional scenes or dialogue--so it's not a plot hole.

#85 aroundworld

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Posted 18 September 2012 - 07:48 PM

QUOTE (JosephKw @ Sep 18 2012, 09:29 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Ok, here's my ending scene with the Dett story (it's kinda hard to pull off with no middle scenes or dialogue).

Mr. Rong stares at the open safe in his office. Debt markers are spread on a table. He picks up the one on top which reads "JOHNNY DETT, $100,000.00 owed for services not rendered". Rong peers closer at the faded print at the bottom. "Services = Liquidation provider, grade AAA". Rong lowers the paper.

Flashback of Dett defeating the four burly men in the alley, of Dett driving and ramming a black sedan full of gunmen off the road, and of Dett outshooting a horde of thugs and escaping. Rong drops the paper to the floor, and it lands in a puddle of pooling blood.

Rong's gaze follows the trail of blood to the body of another burly man. Dett stands beside the corpse, his face lit with a glowing cigar. Rong's face recedes as he falls from the window to the streets twelve stories below.

Please note that Rong "inherited" the markers from a competitor, but there's no way I can convey that without additional scenes or dialogue--so it's not a plot hole.


I'm glad you posted this! Thank you for the effort!

THIS STATEMENT IS A MAJOR RED FLAG: "it's kinda hard to pull off with no middle scenes or dialogue."


Is the world going to end? Of course not. smile.gif

But when ever you say this, the answer is NEVER; what can I add to make it clearer OR what can I say to make it clearer. NO! Ask yourself; WHAT CAN I CUT?

Ok, there's nothing wrong with leaving a few holes to cause the reader/audience to want to go back and read the script/see the film. Joseph, please read (if you haven't all ready) my comments on Kate's ending scene or the example I wrote for Rgr's ending scene.


You have some great subtle visuals in this, and I love that Mr. Rong goes crashing through a high window to his death. BUT, the scene feels anticlimactic. Here's why:

In your first scene AND your last scene MR. Dett wins.

If you allow Mr. Dett to get his butt kicked in the first scene, then let him win in the last scene, now you have a transformation. He's risen to the challenge and beaten Mr. Rong and his gang.


NOW, here's how we can un-complicate your last scene (of course you can change this).

Dett is brought in to Mr. Rong. Thugs stand all around. Dett tosses an envelope across a table. Rong opens it and dumps dollar size newspaper bundles on the table. Dett smiles - Rong rages - Dett takes out the guy next to him then starts on the others. Rong sees he's losing, and breaks to get away. Dett's got him and swings him through a plate glass window.Dett watches as Rong plunges to his death.

Straight forward visuals. Don't get bogged down in little details, it kills momentum! smile.gif

Does that make sense?

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

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


#86 aroundworld

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 11:16 AM

Do you guys want to move on, or is there more about this you want to discuss? I not we can get started on MOD 4 - The Central Question.



But first, tell me how we can avoid the story flaws we've discussing here! 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


#87 rgr

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 03:35 PM

QUOTE (aroundworld @ Sep 19 2012, 11:16 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Do you guys want to move on, or is there more about this you want to discuss? I not we can get started on MOD 4 - The Central Question.



But first, tell me how we can avoid the story flaws we've discussing here! smile.gif



I'm oncall for my job through 1AM next Monday, so I'm not going to be actively writing for a bit, but am trying to keep up with reading the forum. If you don't hear from me, it's because I'm swamped tongue.gif

I can avoid story flaws by reducing my text to just the parts that show the audience what matters and staying away from writing about things that either can't be seen, or don't clearly depict what I'm trying to say in my story. I'll surely need more help getting there though and thank you very much indeed for giving this class here!

#88 aroundworld

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Posted 19 September 2012 - 08:27 PM

QUOTE (rgr @ Sep 19 2012, 03:35 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
I'm oncall for my job through 1AM next Monday, so I'm not going to be actively writing for a bit, but am trying to keep up with reading the forum. If you don't hear from me, it's because I'm swamped tongue.gif

I can avoid story flaws by reducing my text to just the parts that show the audience what matters and staying away from writing about things that either can't be seen, or don't clearly depict what I'm trying to say in my story. I'll surely need more help getting there though and thank you very much indeed for giving this class here!



Everything you mentioned is FOUNDATIONAL in writing effectively for the screen. The other component is making sure we PAYOFF all the PLANTS:

The bracelet, the key and guitar, Mr. Dett's journey to courage, the children's journey to be reunited.

All of these needed to have resolution (PAYOFF) by the end of the movie!

-------------

You're welcome Rgr and thanks for participating as much as you've been able to! smile.gif

There will be plenty to read, so stay posted even if you can't do the writing. It all helps!

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

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


#89 aroundworld

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 05:56 PM

Are you guys ready to move on to MODULE 4?

There is no try, only do or do not.

 

Learn story telling in the MOVIESTORM education forum. 

 

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


#90 kkffoo

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 07:20 PM

Yes please!

#91 aroundworld

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Posted 20 September 2012 - 08:41 PM

QUOTE (kkffoo @ Sep 20 2012, 07:20 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Yes please!


OK! smile.gif

This concludes MOD 3

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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