Which way is better?

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  • Which way is better?

    I will be starting a scene in a few days and was wondering what you guys thought would be the best way to SHOW it.

    To set the scene: The two main characters are sitting by the pool talking. SHE ask HIM to tell her about an event that happened 20 years ago. She was too young (only 2) to remember the event.

    Which way is better?
    Have him voice over the event as it's being shown.
    Do a FLASHBACK as it happened with no voice over.
    Or him just telling her what happened.

    I value the opinion of this board
    Thank you
    all I know is that I know nothing at all. - Me

  • #2
    Re: Which way is better?

    As with almost everything else, it depends--

    -Are you going to do anything like this elsewhere in the script? You may want a consistency of approach for artistic reasons.

    -What kind of budget are you looking for? Recreating the scene will be expensive. It sounds like you'll have to recast some characters.

    -How long is the story he's telling? Nobody will want to just stare at these people for a whole page as he tells the story. And no reader will want to see a big block of dialogue.

    -What kind of pace does the script have? If it's a faster pace, you'll want to jump from a slow by-the-pool scene to the faster flashback or voiceover scene. If it's a slower pace, telling the story might fit better.

    kullervo

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    • #3
      Re: Which way is better?

      All the above - and how important is it? And do you have to have them by a pool side. Movies move. Can't they be doing something more active?
      http://wasitsomethingiwrote.blogspot.com/

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      • #4
        Re: Which way is better?

        I guess I didn't give very much detail.

        The event in question has to do with a car accident, but he only discribles the after effect. I was thinking about him telling her how it happened and then switching to after it happened.

        It will be quick, not a lot of talk. I don't want it to drag.

        Thanks again.
        all I know is that I know nothing at all. - Me

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        • #5
          Re: Which way is better?

          All of the above are wonderful things to think through and consider. I'm wondering how what is told will affect the characters. Are you trying to establish something between them? Is this a well known fact, is he revealing something secret? In my opinion if it's not really important I would just have him tell her about it. jmho

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          • #6
            Re: Which way is better?

            Thanks Jmho for your input.

            The thing is that 20 years ago, he caused a serious accident that claimed the life of two very good people (her parents). she had just found out that he was the cause of it. After all the angry and heartache she has at and toward him settles. For closure in her life she needs to know about the night her parents died. From the only person could know. Even thought she was in the car, she was 2 at the time and doesn't remember.
            thanks again

            One more thing: it is (in my eyes) imortant and there is a big secret behind it all.
            all I know is that I know nothing at all. - Me

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            • #7
              Re: Which way is better?

              Originally posted by timmytoo
              One more thing: it is (in my eyes) imortant and there is a big secret behind it all.
              If the secret plays an important part in the script plot-wise I, as an audience member, would want to see the event in a flashback (probably with him doing VO over it so we can get a sense of his remorse now and make it even that more powerful of a scene). I'd feel ripped off if I never saw the accident. An example off the top of my head is Signs - we see the car accident that took Mel's wife and ripped him of his faith.

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              • #8
                Re: Which way is better?

                I would use a flashback with the actual dialogue.

                However, I would also introduce the flashback with a short voice-over just as you see the first images. The voice-over would set the scene.

                Of course, you know you can complicate this situation if you want to. For example, you could tell part of it in dialogue (current time), then have some in flashback introduced by voice-over, then come back to current time and some more dialogue.

                I would keep it pretty simple.

                "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.

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                • #9
                  Re: Which way is better?

                  I think you said it already,

                  It will be quick, not a lot of talk. I don't want it to drag
                  This scene depends on the fact that if HE lives a life of regret or guilt or is now suicidal because of what he has done. How he tells her will make the difference in the world if it affected and changed his life.

                  What happened isn't as important as what it has done to change the person.

                  Technically, not relying on flashbacks are always preferred. Voice-over for what?
                  Set up the mood. Coax us into listening to these to people. Then simply have them talk as subtle, as real as you can make it.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Which way is better?

                    Thanks so much for the input guys. Are your responses are note and considered. The movie opens with the accident itself. Showing how it happens. Up until the crash. This sence tells the story of the after math. Of how he talks briefly with her dad as he lays there dying.

                    I know it might not seem important, but the story really turns because of this.

                    Thanks again for your comments.
                    all I know is that I know nothing at all. - Me

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                    • #11
                      Re: Which way is better?

                      If she can't remember it, and she's the main character, then why show it?

                      There's no reason to.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Which way is better?

                        Because she was only 2 when it happened. I know that if it were me, I'd want to know. And there is no better place than the person who cause the accident to find out how and why it happened.

                        I understand your point. Some time it's better to let sleeping dogs lie, they say. This part of the script is a vital part of the story. It bring a lot out into the open.

                        Thanks for your comments.
                        all I know is that I know nothing at all. - Me

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                        • #13
                          Re: Which way is better?

                          My 2-cents:

                          If he is the cause of the car accident, and it's clear that he's the cause in the flashback - - i.e. show he was the only survivor stumbling from the wreckage- - I would open with the car accident and no voice-over.

                          However, I would need to know the logline - - is the girl the protag or the man?
                          Because I'm wondering why you want to reveal his feelings of guilt to her so early in the script.
                          Advice from writer, Kelly Sue DeConnick. "Try this: if you can replace your female character with a sexy lamp and the story still basically works, maybe you need another draft.-

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