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Old 10-15-2008, 06:29 AM   #1
Cayden Black
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Default Detailing the "plan" to be carried out! Help please!

Hello, thanks in advance for any and all assistance. The question I have is:

Do I have to have my characters sit around and describe their plan to be carried out to the audience?

For instance, like in:

Jay Simpson's Armored:

The characters sit around the bar and one of them describes to Ty, exactly how the plan of robbing the armored truck is to be carried out.

I've also seen this in a lot of other movies, where they pretty much tell exactly what they are going to do before they do it and rely on some sort of plot twist. Nothing wrong with this, but I was wondering if I had to detail the plan for the audience, or could I just delve write into it after it's been established what the characters goal are (i.e. rob an armored truck)?

I hope I explained that good enough.
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Old 10-15-2008, 07:46 AM   #2
Raw_and_Vital
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Default Re: Detailing the "plan" to be carried out! Help please!

I think it all depends on what story you are telling.

If you look at "Armored", they talk about their plan in the bar with the protag. This sets up a period of time for the main character to reflect on his ****ty lifestyle, etc. In my opinion it's effective in a couple ways. Telling the audience what is to be/could be expected and gives the protag a period of time to look at his life/lifestyle. I also think this is what jump starts the story, aka the Inciting Incident.

But if you look at a movie like "Point Break", the bank robbers don't reveal to the audience they are going to include Reeve's in their next heist. It just happens suddently.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:39 AM   #3
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Default Re: Detailing the "plan" to be carried out! Help please!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cayden Black View Post
Hello, thanks in advance for any and all assistance. The question I have is:

Do I have to have my characters sit around and describe their plan to be carried out to the audience?

For instance, like in:

Jay Simpson's Armored:

The characters sit around the bar and one of them describes to Ty, exactly how the plan of robbing the armored truck is to be carried out.

I've also seen this in a lot of other movies, where they pretty much tell exactly what they are going to do before they do it and rely on some sort of plot twist. Nothing wrong with this, but I was wondering if I had to detail the plan for the audience, or could I just delve write into it after it's been established what the characters goal are (i.e. rob an armored truck)?

I hope I explained that good enough.
The quick answer is NO, you don't have to. It depends on how you are telling the story.

In fact, the characters should not sit and and discuss the plan for the heist unless there is a specific reason to do so, and you should look at the films that do this to understand what that reason is.

Most often, it's about establishing the geography and timeline so that the audience knows how close they are to accomplishing their plan or allowing the audience to understand what was supposed to happen when the plan went wrong.

Of course, there are times where you can create more tension by having the audience play catch-up. It just depends on what works best for the narrative.

The weakest thing you could do, though, is have the characters describe exactly what's going to happen in the heist, and then have exactly that happen.
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:45 AM   #4
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Default Re: Detailing the "plan" to be carried out! Help please!

Watch RIFIFI.















Now!
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Old 10-15-2008, 09:47 AM   #5
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Default Re: Detailing the "plan" to be carried out! Help please!

Holy crap!
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:00 AM   #6
Cayden Black
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Default Re: Detailing the "plan" to be carried out! Help please!

First off, thank you both for responding.

If you look at "Armored", they talk about their plan in the bar with the protag. This sets up a period of time for the main character to reflect on his ****ty lifestyle, etc. In my opinion it's effective in a couple ways. Telling the audience what is to be/could be expected and gives the protag a period of time to look at his life/lifestyle. I also think this is what jump starts the story, aka the Inciting Incident.

So, in other words, if it's not my Inciting Incident, then I could leave it out. My Inciting Incident deals with a guy getting "kicked out of college", then needing money to resolve another situation stemming from him being kicked out. He tells the gang what he plans to do, but I don't necessarily want him to revela how he plans to do it....

...which leads me to...

Of course, there are times where you can create more tension by having the audience play catch-up. It just depends on what works best for the narrative.

The weakest thing you could do, though, is have the characters describe exactly what's going to happen in the heist, and then have exactly that happen.

Thinking that, that would be perfectly fine to leave out that portion and just have them go straight into the execution of said plan.



Another example would be Ocean's 11...
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Old 10-15-2008, 10:59 AM   #7
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Default Re: Detailing the "plan" to be carried out! Help please!

Overall, if it does nothing for your story, you don't need it.

Armored took that route because it needed it in my opinion. The protag was part of their team. He rode in the trucks with everyone who was "IN" on the heist. In order for them to successfully pull of the heist without any hiccups, they needed to convince the protag to take part in the heist.

Secondly, Who is this gang you refer to in your story? Friends of his? Why does he have to tell the gang anything.

LUNCH TIME!

Answer my questions and we can go from there.
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Old 10-15-2008, 12:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: Detailing the "plan" to be carried out! Help please!

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Another example would be Ocean's 11...
Yeah, Ocean's 11 is a good example concerning how much they tell you. What they lay out, in their discussion, is all the obstacles in their way. Essentially "to get in, we have to get past this, this, this and this" and then through the second act they show you how they plan to accomplish each, and all the while, leave you in the dark about how they intend to get out. A very well-paced, nicely structured heist film.

There's also what David Mamet also does, and Spartan is actually a better example than Heist, where the audience is constantly primed to expect one circumstance and then the action is subverted. Tell the audience that you're about to take a left, and then take a right. It's a very difficult narrative trick to master, though, because if done poorly it will infuriate the audience. It has to raise the stakes and be more interesting than what you told the audience was going to happen.
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Old 10-15-2008, 02:50 PM   #9
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Default Re: Detailing the "plan" to be carried out! Help please!

Or The Dark Knight- at the beginning, no explaining really, just a balls to the wall bank heist right off the bat.
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Old 10-15-2008, 03:10 PM   #10
Cayden Black
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Default Re: Detailing the "plan" to be carried out! Help please!

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Originally Posted by Raw_and_Vital View Post
Overall, if it does nothing for your story, you don't need it.

Armored took that route because it needed it in my opinion. The protag was part of their team. He rode in the trucks with everyone who was "IN" on the heist. In order for them to successfully pull of the heist without any hiccups, they needed to convince the protag to take part in the heist.

Secondly, Who is this gang you refer to in your story? Friends of his? Why does he have to tell the gang anything.

LUNCH TIME!

Answer my questions and we can go from there.

Exactly my thinking. The "gang", I'm referring to, are his friends. But they've all been convinced to come aboard at this point. So, I was wondering if I needed to have that sort of scene "detailing their plan" of execution, or if I could just start with the plan, since they all already know what's at stake and pretty much know their role(s).

Again thanks for the help.
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