Click here for Done Deal Pro home page

Done Deal Pro Home Page

Loading

Go Back   Done Deal Pro Forums > About the Craft > Screenwriting
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 01-11-2020, 02:50 AM   #11
nmstevens
Member
 
Join Date: Jun 2012
Posts: 853
Default Re: Exorcising Cliche

Quote:
Originally Posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
Hi HM, thanks for contributing. The thing is, though, it's not an issue about writing priests (or any other character) or of how the exorcist and demon relate to the protagonist's internal/external conflict, but in the act itself. Every exorcism I've ever seen has been along the same lines with the exorcist (priest, medium, whoever) reading holy/trusted passages, demanding the demon leaves, and imploring the victim to fight it, usually topped off with a distraught loved-one crying from the sidelines and being the one thing that empowers the possessed to force the demon out. (How my eyes rolled when the much-vaunted The Conjuring had this very scene).



To show that it doesn't work, that no-one can help, that it ends badly for those who try to interfere, leaving the affected feeling isolated and helpless. It demonstrates the power of the demon, the size of the task, the growing desperation of the protag, and kicks off the ticking clock.

The first thing the characters do once they accept they're dealing with a possession is get the exorcists in and they find out it's not that simple.



I'm not seeing how this applies as it's the process of the exorcism itself that I'm having trouble with, seeing only cliche in how an exorcism is performed, not internal/external conflict of a character.



It's a group of mediums but again, I stress it's not the characters that are my issue, but of cliche in how an exorcist goes about an exorcism.


The good news is that I think I've come up with a novel way for this to go down. It starts off with the usual cliches (as I can't see a way around them) but have managed to play out the carnage without having to have it off-screen. However, I'm really interested in hearing your response because I don't like not understanding what you're telling me and all help is appreciated.

What I'm saying is -- There Is No One Way -- for anything to be done.

Okay -- here's a big secret.

Posession -- I mean people actually being possessed by demons -- isn't real. It doesn't actually happen. So any means by which demons have been putatively exorcised is just stuff that people have made up.

Some of those ways have been depicted in movies often enough that they've become cliches. Others, by the way, have not. The fact that you don't know about them only indicates that you haven't bothered to do the work necessary to find about them. Sorry, Hard Truth. Also, additional fact -- there are many different forms of possession itself, depending on culture - and the ways and means of exorcising those demons, likewise, are highly dependent on the culture.

The New Testament describes Jesus exorcising a demon (or demons by taking the demons out of a possessed person and putting them into some pigs which then fled into a lake and drowned.

When was the last time you saw that on screen?

More to the point (a point I thought I made clear) -- none of this is real, and so all of this is purely subject to your imagination. The nature of the possession, the nature of what is doing the possessing, and the nature of the means by which whatever is doing the possessing is going to get exorcises.

It doesn't have to be a priest or priests doing the exorcising. It doesn't have to involve any member of an official religious order.

It could be -- as I thought I indicated -- a psychic or a channeler, or a team of psychic investigators -- that is, it could be the equivalent of a "scientific" -- or really a pseudo-scientific exorcism.

It could be absolutely, totally, completely, in every way conceivable -- something that no human being who have every lived on the face of the earth -- has ever seen before.

All that's necessary is for you to get off your lazy ass and make it up instead of just dragging some bullshit cliche that you saw in The Exorcist twenty years ago (and which filmmakers have already ripped off fifty times) off the freaking shelf.

If you asked me right now to come up with a way to perform an exorcism that hasn't been seen before, I could probably come up with five different ways to do it without breaking a sweat.

And I'll tell you another secret -- pretty much any professional writer, faced with a similar problem, could probably do the same thing.

That, I'm afraid, is the only secret there is. These are the creative "muscles" that you have to develop if you want to become a professional writer, because solving these kinds of story problems without resorting to cliches are the sorts of things that you'll have to be dealing with on essentially every project or assignment you tackle.

NMS
nmstevens is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2020, 03:34 PM   #12
KitchonaSteve
Regular
 
KitchonaSteve's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Burbank, CA
Posts: 423
Default Re: Exorcising Cliche

Quote:
Originally Posted by nmstevens View Post
... Posession -- I mean people actually being possessed by demons -- isn't real. It doesn't actually happen. So any means by which demons have been putatively exorcised is just stuff that people have made up.
So the bottom line is that no pigs or demons were harmed in the making of the New Testament. That's so good to know.
__________________
Just my 2 cents, your mileage may vary.

-Steve Trautmann
3rd & Fairfax: The WGAW Podcast
KitchonaSteve is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-11-2020, 06:26 PM   #13
SundownInRetreat
Member
 
SundownInRetreat's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Posts: 1,971
Default Re: Exorcising Cliche

Quote:
Originally Posted by KitchonaSteve View Post
So the bottom line is that no pigs or demons were harmed in the making of the New Testament. That's so good to know.
And that my lazy ass sticks to bullshit cliche 'cause I'm a hapless amateur.
__________________
'I got nowhere else to go!'

Last edited by SundownInRetreat : 01-11-2020 at 06:41 PM.
SundownInRetreat is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2020, 10:38 PM   #14
Julysses
User
 
Join Date: Dec 2017
Posts: 48
Default Re: Exorcising Cliche

Quote:
Originally Posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
How can I show this without devolving into hackneyed cliche?
usually, when a scene has a fresh take on something, it's because the writer has observed a multitude of scenes and feels they can create something better

Quote:
Originally Posted by SundownInRetreat View Post
Priests chanting religious passages, the possessed person thrashing around, the demon saying hurtful things to break everyone's resolve, cries of 'fight it!' by a spouse, before the demon is eventually driven out by the spouse insisting 'I love you, baby!'
sorta like being a therapist here, but sounds like you have a laundry list of things you would like to change about an exorcism to make it feel original

I would start with a list and write the opposite -- turn it on its head
  • preist chanting = nonreligious person reading from a google website
    demon speech = psychical actions of chaos?
    love one fights against spirit = stranger runs in fear?

probably a lot of nonsensical stuff, but you can brainstorm and come up with something and see how it plays -- just get creative
Julysses is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 01-16-2020, 10:48 PM   #15
Mark Somers
Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Posts: 2,195
Default Re: Exorcising Cliche

This might be helpful. Exorcising exorcisms.




Good luck.
__________________


Hey! You might do it in your house, but in this house we don't lick our butts. -- Mother Teresa

Mark Somers is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -6. The time now is 12:11 PM.


Powered by vBulletin Version 3.6.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Done Deal Pro

eXTReMe Tracker