Passive or not? Any suggestions?

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    J off course
    Member

  • J off course
    replied
    Re: Passive or not? Any suggestions?

    I think (I'm a new writer and have EXTREME ACT II ANXIETY) that to the extent
    that you've described the importance of this "job" that the answer to your question,
    is he passive is no.

    Let's say the job was personating the president who is incapacitated on the eve of an
    important meeting that could decide war or peace. This actor guy looks just
    like the president and the U.S government offers him the role of a lifetime and
    they'll bankroll whatever he wants to do..just do this and that.

    complications ensue after he finds out the first lady and president were having
    marriage problems and the first lady won't leave him be and the presidents
    kids are having their problems and won't let him be and this snuck has the ability
    to mend fences here and there. That wouldn't be passive would it?

    I'd love to see Hoffman in a dress again too!

    Hairy Lime- even with hairy knuckles you have charisma for miles.

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  • elephant1978
    Member

  • elephant1978
    replied
    Re: Passive or not? Any suggestions?

    Originally posted by Hairy Lime

    ele ... why are you writing Tootsie?
    Like you don't want to see Hoffman in a dress again? I know I do.

    Ele...

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  • Hairy Lime
    Member

  • Hairy Lime
    replied
    Re: Passive or not? Any suggestions?

    Originally posted by sc111
    The stakes could be of some hairy-knuckled loanshark guy beating him up
    I'll have you know I have lovely knuckles.

    ele ... why are you writing Tootsie?

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  • sc111
    replied
    Re: Passive or not? Any suggestions?

    My opinion, take it with the proverbial grain of salt.

    Needing fast money is the catalyst for him taking this (mysterious) job. The stakes could be of some hairy-knuckled loanshark guy beating him up or having his car repo'd, but that's been done.

    How about this for stakes - he needs the job NOW but the job itself may ruin his acting career if anyone finds out. So in a pro-active way he disguises himself thinking he can finish the gig, get paid but no one's the wiser. Then things go "awry."

    Oh - and if you are writing something on par with Tootsie, you're ahead of the curve. That was also my opinion.

    :-)

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  • elephant1978
    Member

  • elephant1978
    replied
    Re: Passive or not? Any suggestions?

    Originally posted by BestWriterEver
    I'm sorry that the trvth hvrts.

    Best!
    I find it very sad that you come to a sincere thread about screenwriting and story development and turn it into an opportunity to throw around your weight -- which by the way, has not been proven in any such way.

    Attack my status as a writer all you want, but at least I'm not a friggin' jerkoff.

    Ele...

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  • elephant1978
    Member

  • elephant1978
    replied
    Re: Passive or not? Any suggestions?

    Originally posted by BestWriterEver
    You're right. You're not a "new" writer. Yet. When you make your first sale, then you'll be a "new" writer. And then someday, with luck, you won't count your unsold scripts as proof of your expertise. You'll count your sold or produced scripts.
    And maybe someday you won't be such a fvcking douchebag.

    Ele...

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  • elephant1978
    Member

  • elephant1978
    replied
    Re: Passive or not? Any suggestions?

    It's all cool, BTN. I don't take any offense with those assumptions. I have to admit that sometimes it's tough to suck it up and ask for help -- makes you feel like you're writing script number one instead of script number seven. But I guess it's all part of the process. I'm just grateful to have people around this board who can help get the wheels turning.

    Ele...

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  • BetterThanNormal
    Regular

  • BetterThanNormal
    replied
    Re: Passive or not? Any suggestions?

    Sorry, I'm not a newbie either, I've been around for years but I'm not sure of everyone's status on this board as I'm only here occasionally due to my other responsibilities and commitments. But act 2 is still a challenge for any writer regardless of their level of experience.

    I also know how frustrating it can be to post bits of your screenplay and then have others make assumptions about its content without having read the whole screenplay leaving you to try to defend it. Bloody awful.

    Good luck with it.

    BTN

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  • elephant1978
    Member

  • elephant1978
    replied
    Re: Passive or not? Any suggestions?

    Well, I'm not exactly a "new" writer. I'm not a pro. But I've written quite a few scripts -- tv and film, worked closely with a lot of pros, gotten representation...I do know a thing or two. These posts are more for me to talk the script out of my head onto the page. And everybody's posts have helped a great deal with that. It's appreciated very much.

    And it's not Tootsie. Take my word for it.

    Ele...

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  • BetterThanNormal
    Regular

  • BetterThanNormal
    replied
    Re: Passive or not? Any suggestions?

    Yeah act two, the real test of fire for new writers. But if you set up act one right, act two will write itself.

    Have you read Michael Hauges' Screenplay Structure? If not I suggest you do, it's a great help.

    Best of luck.

    BTN

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  • elephant1978
    Member

  • elephant1978
    replied
    Re: Passive or not? Any suggestions?

    Fine suggestions, BTN. I appreciate them. I have this pretty unique situation for this actor to get into (this unusual job) and it does relate to acting in a weird way. So my wish is to write it in a way that shows how his success in this job improves his acting skills so that he can get the big part. Being a comedic script, death to him is becoming his dad. Working in the corporate world. I feel this works better to keep him in this unusual job than the idea of him owing money. Because if he blows this job, there are other ways to find cash to pay off a debt. And the real meat of my story is him in this job.

    I've also found a fun way to keep him in the job whether he wants to stay or not. Basically, he needs to buckle down and grow up to complete this job, and he will be rewarded with an acting gig. The experience of the job is what allows him to be a more devoted, sincere person -- and for him to put that in his acting, which is one reason he never had the drive to make it. Not only is the job a direct means to an acting gig, it will be essential for him to have the goods to learn how to make it as an actor.

    I've actually restructured my entire 1st act in extreme detail and I'm blown away by it. I'm so very happy and feel extremely comfortable with it. Now, I'm doing the worst part -- mapping out act 2. I will not be a happy guy for a few weeks.

    Ele...

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  • BetterThanNormal
    Regular

  • BetterThanNormal
    replied
    Re: Passive or not? Any suggestions?

    Ele,

    My 2 cents, take it for what it's worth...the protags motive doesn't seem to put him in any real danger, just that if he fails he goes to work for his father. It seems that if he fails he still lands in a safe albeit regrettable state. Not very suspenseful or compelling. Perhaps it could work better if his motive were to be, as you stated earlier to pay off his debts to some mobster or he gets "whacked", maybe the mobster even threatens his family. Now you have high stakes. Now lets say the play he gets cast in is off, off, off Broadway and his paycheque is based on the box office; the more the play makes the more he makes. So now he has a vested interest in the play making money. Now to pull it off he really has to come through as an actor thus changing himself from a hack to a pro and also learning not to be so much of a screw up in the process. The goal is only attainable if the character grows and overcomes his personal shortcomings. Thus your protags external goal is tied to his internal one. Now you just have to figure out what or who is working in opposition to him achieving his goal.

    I see your protag as a likeable screw up who has disapointed and been a burden and emarassment to his family and friends for years. His career as an actor has been faltering for just as long. Perhaps he even has a drinking problem or has a bad habit of sleeping with his leading ladies. Maybe he thinks all the smaller opportunities are beneath him and he only wants big roles in important plays, etc. There's a lot to play with here and you could construct a very interesting character from it.

    Good luck

    BTN

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  • elephant1978
    Member

  • elephant1978
    replied
    Re: Passive or not? Any suggestions?

    Well, snail, I see where you're coming from and I do think you're right to a point. I guess the situation here is that I have most of this in my head and know how it's gonna play out -- stuff I haven't posted on here. But basically, yes, the story is about this actor taking an unusual job. But in order to put him in a position where he must stay in the job and see it through to the end, I need some motivation. That motivation will be his need to prove to his father that he can be a performer. I need something pushing him through this job and something that's at risk.

    What I haven't gotten into is how the job and this experience will help him become the actor he needs to be to land the gig. They are very closely related. So, while there are aspects of the job that become important in the story, it's this actor's way of dealing with them that helps him develop his skills.

    I think I'm okay with everything now. I apologize for leaving everything so vague, but everybody's input has actually helped. I think it's best for me to go and finish outlining this sucker and make sure I know what I'm doing.

    Ele...

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  • snailmale
    New User

  • snailmale
    replied
    Re: Passive or not? Any suggestions?

    Hey elephant1978,

    The focal point of your story seems to be the unusual job. If that is the case, the whole acting scenario becomes irrelevant. The unusal job is an objective that can stand on it's own without the acting objective because the unusual job has it's own oppositon, stakes, theme. The acting is just another add-on or layer to the story that does not need to be there.

    The objective should be the acting gig (directly). But since the objective is the unusual job (indirectly), it becomes a distraction because it seems the unusual job has nothing to do with acting except trying to get the acting gig.

    Look at your acts. You've set up the 1st & 3rd act as the acting goal, but the 2nd act is about something else in order to get that acting goal. This is fine if the unusual job lasts for a beat(s) or an event, but not for the entire 2nd act because then your story is about the unusual job and not the acting. The 2nd act should be about trying to pursue the acting goal directly and not pursuing another objective in order to get the acting objective.

    A logline would help clear this up a bit to pinpoint your story. I hope this makes sense. Is there something I'm missing?

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  • vig
    replied
    Re: Passive or not? Any suggestions?

    i'm king kong.

    Vig

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