Character Intros - 20 years later?

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  • Character Intros - 20 years later?

    How do I format this?

    At the beginning of my screenplay I have a scene where my characters are 5 and 6 years old. It's a sports scene, they are all wearing jerseys complete with last names and numbers.

    20 years later, we meet the characters again. Do I cap the characters names in the childhood scene or wait until they are introduced as young adults.

    I thought about identifying them in the early scene by jersey numbers only however there is a critical element in the childhood scene that sets up the personality of the antagonist. I don't want to confuse the reader by introducing 4 characters all at once either. If I stay true to the sport, there is no way I can relate the childhood number to the character as an adult.

    Thoughts?

    If this makes no sense, I have been up all night.
    ~Well behaved women seldom make history~

    ~My first pitch~ I felt like I had a mouth full of marbles and every synapse in my brain was firing at once - Dreadful.~


  • #2
    Re: Character Intros - 20 years later?

    I've done the same thing...introduced characters as children and then a few pages later as adults. I CAP'd them as kids, and CAP'd them again as adults, as they may be the same character, but played by different actors in a different place and time. Never had any complaints after being read by story editors, agents, etc.

    I'm not sure I understand the significance of the numbers. But if they play a pivotal role as kids, and are meant to signify something later, I would highlight it in the action description. Identifying the kids by their numbers would confuse me as a reader if we were identifying them by name as adults later. Or, I dunno.

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    • #3
      Re: Character Intros - 20 years later?

      Cap them again as adults. You're introducing a new character (new actor). It'll also draw attention to the fact that you've moved forward 20 years in your story, which is probably fairly important for the reader to know.
      Reaction time is a factor, so please pay attention.

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      • #4
        Re: Character Intros - 20 years later?

        The young versions are different actors than the old versions - so both get CAPPED. Aside from names on jerseys (which aren't going to be subtitled, and 67% of your audience is overseas and may not read English) find another way to bridge from young version to old version.

        And the 20 years later version probably needs some further character info along with the CAPS because they probably aren't still *defined* by playing soccer on a playground.

        - Bill
        Free Script Tips:
        http://www.scriptsecrets.net

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        • #5
          Re: Character Intros - 20 years later?

          Welcome back Bill. Your wisdom has been missed.
          Never let the competition know what you're thinking... and never tell the unseen masses your story idea.

          -- Rule 85, Ferengi Rules of Acquisition (updated by cmmora)

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          • #6
            Re: Character Intros - 20 years later?

            Yeah, I don't know where I misplaced that danged wisdom, but I'm posting anyway.

            - Bill
            Free Script Tips:
            http://www.scriptsecrets.net

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            • #7
              Re: Character Intros - 20 years later?

              Thanks Bill for your renewed input. I won't be making it to the CS Expo this year, so your "Dr Phil of Screenwriting" wisdom that was sorely missed is now very welcome.
              "There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you."
              -Maya Angelou

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