Sunday, March 29, 2009

Help! I need somebody! Help! Not just anybody!

I could use some reviews of the Stareater script, if anyone out there has the time or interest. It weighs in at 96 pages and takes a solid hour to get through even if you're hustling. 

A few things:

  • It's my first script, so I'm probably not observing all the rules of proper screenwriting -- i.e. the action prose is probably a little wordy, there are probably too many parenthetical digressions, I probably use the word "then" too much. I welcome comments on presentation, but since I don't intend to submit the script to anybody, I'm not too worried about stuff that doesn't relate to story or dialog. This is just a working document to help me build the storyboards.
  • There are probably major plot/logic holes. THESE I need pointed out.
  • I'd be especially grateful for help with dialog. Anything clunky/unnatural.
  • There are some brutal chunks of exposition. I'm still working on trimming these down. Still, you may whine about them.
If you're still interested after all that, contact me at nate.simpson@gmail.com. I'll send you a link to a Google doc.

Thanks!

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Ta-dah!

First draft complete! Celebratory donut consumed!

It feels good.

Stay on Target...

Seventy minutes written.  I'm sprinting for Friday, but it's going to be a close shave.

Once the first draft is done, I'm hoping to take a couple of weeks to do some basic concepting while I make script revisions.  Before I start storyboarding, I'd like at least a general notion of what the characters, vehicles, and settings look like.  I feel like parts of my brain have atrophied over the last two months -- it'll be nice to push the stylus around a little bit.

Also good: once the sketching starts, I'll have something concrete to share on this blog.   

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bobsledian

I can see the end now.  I'm not there yet, but over the last week the sensation has changed from Sisyphian to bobsledian.  I'm writing the act two climax, and stuff is starting to pour out.  For me, it's a rare thing to finish something.  I feel good about it.  

There's a lot of salty language in this script.  It may be overdone -- sometimes I wonder if any of it is even necessary.  Once the script is complete, I'll try doing a PG version just to see if it's diminished at all.  There's a character who would probably stick a couple of f-bombs in every sentence if she were a real person. Hm.  Maybe there isn't enough cussing. 

Also, there's a sex scene now.  Well, post-sex.  I'm pretty sure Watchmen has permanently put me off depicting the act, itself.  Jiyoung sort of made a "whaa?" noise when she read the scene, so I wonder if it fits.  

Jiyoung has turned out to be a very good editor.  She's got a knack for detecting inconsistencies of logic and tone.  I think she's been pretty honest, too -- she lets me know if something doesn't work, and I've made some deep cuts in response to her feedback.  It must take a huge amount of patience and compassion to slog through an hour of dialogue, especially when it's written by an amateur like me.

Anyway, she says it's good so far!  She couldn't be biased, could she?

I've come across two interesting resources.  The first is a book called Dream Worlds, written by a Disney production designer named Hans Bacher.  Some very useful insights on research, storyboarding, and shot composition.  The storyboard thumbnails alone are worth investigating -- he limits himself to five values, very rough linework. I want to try for something similar for my first draft storyboards.  

The other discovery is a transcript of the Indiana Jones story conference. Lucas, Spielberg, and Kasdan hashed out the entire story over a couple of days in a hotel room. They recorded the whole thing on tape. I still haven't found the time to dig too deeply into the pdf, but it's a rare treat to see those minds in action. You can tell they're having fun.

 

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Secret Ingredient? Profanity.

Here's my super-short elevator pitch for Stareater:

The Manchurian Candidate meets Star Wars.  Add small amounts of Blade Runner and the Matrix to taste.  The secret ingredient?  The Wire.

Hopefully there's some original stuff in there, as well.

43 minutes of script written.  I've got the third act in my sights.