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Old 05-20-2019, 02:03 PM   #1
finalact4
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Default Subtitle Format for Special Use...

hello all:
i have a scene in my script that i flashback to at the end of the script which provides a revelation to the hero. it's sort of like a play on The Sixth Sense where we flashback and see the scenes in a new way, a new light, right?

the first time we see the scene the subtext is not revealed.

when we flashback to that scene, the parenthetical will now be subtitles ON SCREEN, and it will reveal the subtext of each character in the parenthetical as they speak their line. it might not need the subtitle, but i don't want it to be lost on the reader/audience.

the key to the revelation that the hero thinks she and her mother are saying the same thing, but she realizes when we flash back, they aren't.

Annie Hall does it in a line of action like so:

Anne's thoughts pop on screen: He probably thinks i'm a yo-yo.

which do you think is clearer? it's a phone conversation, so we only see one person on screen.
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Old 05-20-2019, 04:04 PM   #2
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Default Re: Subtitle Format for Special Use...

it's all about the subtext of the scene and how it relates the the audience... you can do anything if the audience buys it

the whole idea is so much more complex than what you've described, obviously it is how you've written the entire screenplay that determines if overdub subtext will work for an audience... again, your referring to a comedy and Woody Allen, who is known for this type of approach

I think you would be better off having the daughter yell back at the mother, "that's not what you said before", and the mother responds with, "I always said...", then you can have the flashback or better yet reveal the truth in conspicuous matter... I don't know the story or characters, but you can orchestrate her understanding of her mother finally in another way

to be honest if the story major turn relies on the daughter misunderstanding the mother, without any real reason to deceive herself, you might have a weak plot point

if it wasn't verbal, and a text, then the daughter could look up the message?
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Old 05-20-2019, 05:04 PM   #3
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Default Re: Subtitle Format for Special Use...

I think it depends, but Annie Hall and Sixth Sense specs are great things to see what they did and copy so it works for you.

But both those scenes are for the audience, not the characters. I haven't seen sixth sense in a long time, but wasnt' it the wedding ring that finally made him realize?

Anyway -- I think you can write the scene format wise in many different ways. I'd pick the one that reads the cleanest, less formatting stuff. Annie Hall seems perfect from what I'm gathering. However, that was used for humors sake and they didn't flash back to it. It was 1 scene...

I do share concern about how it plays out in the story... in real life, at least me, you have the same conversations with your mother and kids and family over and over, at different places. And the story keeps changing. So to me you have it the same setting, similar things are said, but then new things are said by the daughter who realizes now... for the first time that's not what the mother meant. To me, just watching as a viewer, flashbacks are a crutch... and it just seems much more powerful to watch the character figure it out along with us...
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Old 05-21-2019, 10:30 AM   #4
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Default Re: Subtitle Format for Special Use...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julysses View Post
it's all about the subtext of the scene and how it relates the the audience... you can do anything if the audience buys it

the whole idea is so much more complex than what you've described, obviously it is how you've written the entire screenplay that determines if overdub subtext will work for an audience... again, your referring to a comedy and Woody Allen, who is known for this type of approach

I think you would be better off having the daughter yell back at the mother, "that's not what you said before", and the mother responds with, "I always said...", then you can have the flashback or better yet reveal the truth in conspicuous matter... I don't know the story or characters, but you can orchestrate her understanding of her mother finally in another way

to be honest if the story major turn relies on the daughter misunderstanding the mother, without any real reason to deceive herself, you might have a weak plot point

if it wasn't verbal, and a text, then the daughter could look up the message?
it's possible that the subtext alone will be clear. when the hero "flashes back" to the moment, it is definitely clear. and, honestly, i've been thinking she may not need to flashback at all. this scene might work better without it.

the first time both characters are in the scene you can feel they are uncomfortable and choosing their words carefully. not really wanting to "go there."

i've considered taking out any reference to the subtext because when the mother says: "it wasn't your father that had the affair." there is a reaction shot on the hero, as we watch her move from confusion to revelation-- the flash back is under 30 sec. i think i can make the set up stronger.

any audience member can go back to that original moment and see how the hero was confused-- how she wanted to believe what she wanted to believe. i just had an idea how to make this stronger.

i do show the moment the hero makes the initial error (earlier) which is an assumption we would all make, too. she doesn't see the entire document before it is ripped from her grasp. in her anger and pain she leaps to an assumption. it is set up in a way that shows this was her initial error.

thanks for the advice, Julysses. i appreciate the help.
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Old 05-21-2019, 11:23 AM   #5
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Default Re: Subtitle Format for Special Use...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bono View Post
I think it depends, but Annie Hall and Sixth Sense specs are great things to see what they did and copy so it works for you.

But both those scenes are for the audience, not the characters. I haven't seen sixth sense in a long time, but wasnt' it the wedding ring that finally made him realize?

Anyway -- I think you can write the scene format wise in many different ways. I'd pick the one that reads the cleanest, less formatting stuff. Annie Hall seems perfect from what I'm gathering. However, that was used for humors sake and they didn't flash back to it. It was 1 scene...

I do share concern about how it plays out in the story... in real life, at least me, you have the same conversations with your mother and kids and family over and over, at different places. And the story keeps changing. So to me you have it the same setting, similar things are said, but then new things are said by the daughter who realizes now... for the first time that's not what the mother meant. To me, just watching as a viewer, flashbacks are a crutch... and it just seems much more powerful to watch the character figure it out along with us...
yes, the wife drops her wedding band and says, "why did you leave me?" then the jump cuts of the flashback happen. the flashback is for both the character and the audience, imo.

i hear you about what family talks about and how they can talk it to death, but when it comes to affairs and infidelity between parents, i do not agree that this is something that parents discuss with their children at all.

when parents get divorced they do not share the details with their children, unless it's something that is obvious that "people" have told the children about. but when a couple gets divorced they don't sit there and talk about infidelity. and, imo, any parent that does is either an idiot, self-centered, or just plain bad parents.

i'm speaking from personal experience on many fronts. first, when my ex-husband had an affair and got a 20 year-old pregnant when he was 40, i didn't tell my daughter about it ever. until a moment when her father wanted her to know she had a brother. and even then he lied about how it happened. haha.

my brother-n-law, then slept with my ex-huband's (second) 20 year-old girlfriend in his own house with his entire family downstairs celebrating his mother's birthday party. it nearly destroyed their marriage, not to mention the two brother's relationship, but their children have never known their father was a serial cheater their entire marriage. there are some things children should never know. that's what this is.

i spent my entire childhood from 5 years old to 19 believing that my mother kept me from my biological father because she didn't want me to know the truth, she didn't want me to think badly about my real father-- that he never paid her a dime of support for four kids. i learned on my own that he went to prison because he was drunk and shot a man at a gas station. it gets worse, but that's not the point.

my point is, and a point in this film, as in real life, parents protect their children from information that is none of their concern. parents with good intentions do not want to shade their significant other in their children's eyes because of the huge detrimental impact it can have on their development. they want to ensure they feel safe and secure. that they don't blame themselves.

sorry for the sidetrack... haha.

flashbacks can be a crutch because they are not done well. a well placed, effective flashback can create a huge revelation for characters. i use them, but only after really carefully thinking about it. i'm rethinking whether that is or is not best here.

i'm more inclined to strengthen the three set ups that, hopefully, make this moment more powerful. it's almost ready, so i'll be sending it to you soon-- lucky you!

thanks for the help, Bono.
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Old 05-24-2019, 10:50 AM   #6
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Default Re: Subtitle Format for Special Use...

Quote:
Originally Posted by finalact4 View Post
the first time both characters are in the scene you can feel they are uncomfortable and choosing their words carefully. not really wanting to "go there."
there are a few idioms that come to mind,

"if it's not on the page, then it's not..."
"kill your darlings"
"raise the stakes"

I think it's all about the set up and execution, in that, the more build up you have to the situation the bigger impact the situation will have, what stakes have been raise, does her confronting her mother change her life

you might be relying too much on internal conflict and not enough of external conflict to push the story forward

in PTA's Magnolia, when she confronts her mother about the incest, we know the father pay her rent and she lose everything... she has help from the police officer who believes in her, to make this transformation

the stakes are very real and build up to that moment
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Old 05-27-2019, 08:12 PM   #7
finalact4
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Default Re: Subtitle Format for Special Use...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Julysses View Post
there are a few idioms that come to mind,

"if it's not on the page, then it's not..."
"kill your darlings"
"raise the stakes"

I think it's all about the set up and execution, in that, the more build up you have to the situation the bigger impact the situation will have, what stakes have been raise, does her confronting her mother change her life

you might be relying too much on internal conflict and not enough of external conflict to push the story forward

in PTA's Magnolia, when she confronts her mother about the incest, we know the father pay her rent and she lose everything... she has help from the police officer who believes in her, to make this transformation

the stakes are very real and build up to that moment
hi Julyesses:
thanks for the comments. this is a subplot and basically a misunderstanding for the hero who is blaming her father for something she thinks he did, and learns her assumption was wrong. now i'm not using the flashback.

i did leave the parentheticals but feel i can safely remove them as the i think it's clear. i think.

it's out for coverage and reads, so i'll know one way other the other in about two weeks or so.

it's not the major thrust and certainly not the external thrust of the story, but it is her assumption that has partly made her cynical about love.

now onto researching who i want to query-- a daunting task for sure.
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