Is my script is doomed?

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  • #16
    Re: Is my script is doomed?

    I really think you've got a good thing going -- obseission with death is about as strong a subject as you can find -- but what I think is most important, and that hasn't really been talked about, is where our protag stands in all this.

    Is he in on it? Does he know what everyone's up to? Do the audience know more than your hero (drama in itself) or does he learn everything we learn too?
    And does he really like the idea of slicing himself to pieces, or is he only trying too hard to find friends?

    Just as everybody else in this thread, I believe the fact that the kids are into playing with death does NOT in itself tell me how the movie's gonna end!
    It presents a threat, and as long as our protag doesn't know what his friends are up to, acheiving his goal of becoming one of them is also the worst thing that can happen to him. That's cool in itself.
    And when (if) he realizes what they're doing, we get one really interesting dilemma: what price are you willing to pay for having friends? Is loneliness worse than death?

    Anyway, what we (the audience) will be worrying about is: Will he realize what they're up to? Will he then do it himself just to stay inside the group? Will he? Will he? Will he? Etc.
    And we'll think, oh god, don't stay there. And then he does and we'll think, okay, but don't go any further... and then he doesn't and we'll be relieved and then he changes his mind and comes back and we'll be screaming DON'T!

    See what I mean? As long as your story is about our protag, the situation, and the fact that he's not really interested in dying, you're sitting on a really strong story!

    And if you execute (no pun intended) it right, the fact that we know how things MAY end, and how they problably WILL end for everybody except our hero who still has a choice, will have us even further out on the edges of our seats the more we know about their interests from the beginning.

    So: go, go, go!

    /L.A.

    If a tree falls in the forest and there's nobody there,
    is it O.S or V.O?

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    • #17
      Re: Is my script is doomed?

      Originally posted by echo2218
      Is the script doomed because it's obvious what will happen, though not how?
      At the core of every screen story is a central dramatic queston. The audience's desire to know how the dramatic question is resolved keeps them interested.

      If the central dramatic question posed in your story is...

      "How far will one lonely kid go to make or keep friends?

      ... and the answer (obvious from early in act 2) is...

      "All the way to self-destruction."

      ...then there is no unanswered question and it will be difficult to keep the audience interested.

      Here's a possible solution. Tell the story in flashback. Open with the kid in a totally bizzarre situation that is the result of his misguided efforts to fit in. Now the central dramatic question becomes, "HOW did he arrive at that point?", rather than, "WILL he arrive at that point?" To pull this off you'll need some clever twists and turns along the way, and a real surprise at the end.

      Some films to watch for insperation:
      THE USUAL SUSPECTS
      AMERICAN BEAUTY
      AMADEUS

      Hope this helps...

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      • #18
        Re: Is my script is doomed?


        My advisor hates the script I'm writing and that's okay, there are a lot of times when I hate it too. There have been problems all along, but they seemed small or things that could be dealt with in revision, but now she pointed out a problem that I'm not sure I can get around and I think it could be the fatal blow.

        A 16 year old geeky kid becomes friends with kids who are "obsessed" with death.

        So the problem is, according to her, the audience can see it coming from the beginning of act 2. It may not be clear exactly how they're going to die, but it is obvious some are going to die.
        Hmm I believe the audience will see it coming. However is your script doomed? I think it depends on how you wanted to tell the story.

        In American Beauty the audience knew that the protagonist was going to die but we didn't know how. That was the mystery.

        I think your script will be doomed if we can predict how he's going to die.

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        • #19
          Re: Is my script is doomed?

          If everyone knows without a doubt that the kid's gonna die by the beginning of act two, simply have the kid live. Easy.



          But seriously, finish the thing! And consider the excellent advice you've received here (my own excluded). Good luck with it.

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