prized object

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  • prized object

    Questioning my choice, so I'm running it by the forum...

    A character in my story stumbles upon an item of value and decides to sell it. It shows up many times throughout the script and I suppose eats up (in an indirect way) a substantial amount of screen time. Now I'm not married to the item I chose, but I think it is relevant considering my target audience. (family film, item I chose is an antique robot). Do I need a more prominent item? I figured something like a Van Gogh, or historical relic wouldn't connect with children.

    Any comments?

    Thanks to all-
    zim

  • #2
    Re: prized object

    The robot sounds fine if it suits your story and your audience. An antique robot in a children's story sounds like it could be a character like ET or The Indian in the Cupboard, but it doesn't have to be. Many stories have what's called a McGuffin -- i.e. whatever the prized object is that the characters are looking for. It generally doesn't matter what it is, but only that the characters want it.

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    • #3
      Re: prized object

      More on the MacGuffin:

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MacGuffin

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      • #4
        Re: prized object

        Interesting question. I ran into this conundrum some years ago when working on a script about a war photographer who unthinkingly captures the fringes of a crime-in-progress while covering the first months of the Iraq war. My manager at the time told me that the crime had to be big. "You weren't thinking of something like some soldier found out that another soldier had been sleeping with his wife, huh?"

        That was exactly what I was thinking. He told me to ramp it up big-time. So I turned the crime into the stealing of an ancient Mesopotamian amphora that, legend had it, held the end of the world. And that if opened or broken would bring about total destruction.

        He wanted big-time, I gave him big-time.

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        • #5
          Re: prized object

          I appreciate the responses. I'm going to try to keep my choice, but heighten the stakes.

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          • #6
            Re: prized object

            Another option is to reveal a little more about the object each time, so it is a mystery rather than a simple.

            Look at the role of the automon in 'The Invention of Hugo Cabret' - the object is a broken down 'robot' which is slowly repaired .. revealing more about the mystery each time.

            Mac
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