2 characters, same location, parallel universe logline help please

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  • 2 characters, same location, parallel universe logline help please

    One of my main characters leaves a hotel room and when they come back the other main character isn't there. There is no indication they ever were. I'm struggling to figure out how to word the scene heading so it indicates that each character is in the same room at the same time but in a parallel universe so they don't know each other is there. (if that makes sense).

    Would be something like?.

    INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY (for one)

    INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY - SAME (for the other)

    And then just continue with the action/dialogue for each character as normal and let that tell the reader what's happening?.

    It's probably very simple but it's driving me mad not being able to figure it out. Any help would be most welcome, thank you.

  • #2
    Re: 2 characters, same location, parallel universe logline help please.

    Use INTERCUT WITH.

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    • #3
      Re: 2 characters, same location, parallel universe logline help please.

      Ah!, thank you. I'll give that a try.

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      • #4
        Re: 2 characters, same location, parallel universe logline help please.

        How about saying it in the scene headings? And/or can you focus on something that would tell us they're same but different? Total brain fart:

        INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY

        The bed is unmade, worn clothes are scattered around, Bob is not the tidiest person in the world. He leaves the room, shuts the door. Clock says 11:45

        INT. HOTEL ROOM IN PARALLEL UNIVERSE - DAY

        Bob enters the room which is tidy, the bed is made. Clock says 11:45

        ...that's telling the script reader what's happening plus also giving the viewing audience clues. Maybe.
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        in Writing Exercises forum

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        • #5
          Re: 2 characters, same location, parallel universe logline help please

          I think I could. Part of the problem I'm having is that both characters are no longer in the real world so I want to tell the reader that character A is in the hotel room in a scene trying to figure out where character B has gone (they came together), and then in the next scene character B is in the same room at the same time of day trying to figure out where character A has gone, etc.

          The idea from Cyfress I like for when the two characters say pass each other in a corridor (but obviously can't see each other)

          Maybe it could be

          INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY - CHARACTER A NAMES UNIVERSE

          INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY - CHARACTER B NAMES UNIVERSE

          Then at the end when they finally come together I could use,

          INT. HOTEL ROOM - DAY - REAL WORLD

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          • #6
            Re: 2 characters, same location, parallel universe logline help please

            Just me... but I'd go for something like

            INT. HOTEL ROOM (LINE_A) - INT

            INT. HOTEL ROOM (LINE_B) - INT


            that gives you the ability to very clearly define to any reader where they are irrespective of who's inhabiting that universe at that time. It also gives you 24 other universe and really that should be enough for anyone
            I heard the starting gun


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            • #7
              Re: 2 characters, same location, parallel universe logline help please

              Thank you for the reply an suggestion. I'm going to do a rough draft of a couple of scenes with the suggestions I've had and see which reads the best.

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              • #8
                Re: 2 characters, same location, parallel universe logline help please

                You could do a few things to help keep it clear. One giving the room a "room number" would help to identify that it is the SAME room.

                Then within the action line you can add clarity. That's what's most important. You can also use different transitions to give a sense of three different realities.


                INT. HALLWAY, HOTEL ROOM #224 - DAY

                A MAID knocks on the door labeled #224.
                She unlocks the door, grabs several fresh towels and
                enters the room.

                INT. HOTEL ROOM #224 - DAY

                The Maid looks around, confused... everything is in order.
                She enters the--

                BATHROOM
                Towels are hung. Countertop
                clean, as if no one has been in the room.

                As she moves back into the main room we--

                WIPE LEFT:

                INT. HOTEL ROOM #224 - SAME

                Jake from State Farm rushes into the room.
                He is alone.

                JAKE
                Okay, it's all clear. Mark?
                Mark?!

                The room is empty. As he rushes into the
                bathroom we--

                WIPE RIGHT:

                INT. HOTEL ROOM #224, BATHROOM - SAME

                Mark strides from the bathroom into the main
                room. He is alone.

                MARK
                Jake?

                The hotel room is empty. He opens the door,
                glancing down the hallway.

                MARK
                Jake?!

                We realize there are three different universes as we--

                JUMP CUT TO:

                The Maid vacuums the carpet...

                JUMP CUT TO:

                Mark stands in the center of the SAME ROOM alone...

                JUMP CUT TO:

                Jake closes the room door, sits on the bed, running his hands
                through his hair, confused. He is alone in the SAME ROOM.
                That's ONE WAY. Don't be worried about taking more page space to give it clarity. You could also use a TRIPLE PANEL to show that all three characters in one frame are all in the same room.

                These are stylistic choices to consider. You'll want to opt for the one(s) that work with the rest of the narrative. You don't want to use it once and done, because it can be jarring and feel like a different film if it's the only time you use the stylistic choice.

                If it's important to know that all three are in the room AT THE SAME TIME, then do everything possible to make it clear. You'll figure it out.

                Good luck.
                FA4
                "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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                • #9
                  Re: 2 characters, same location, parallel universe logline help please

                  Thank you for your input. I'm already making sure to use the room number to make it clear. Once I've done a rough draft of a couple of scenes I'll read through it a couple of times to see if it makes sense.

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                  • #10
                    Re: 2 characters, same location, parallel universe logline help please

                    The groundwork for the parallel universe has to start from the onset of the script. I picture you are trying to do something like Inception where there are two worlds. In Inception it is the dream world and reality. The set-up or the foreshadow to the dream world was done immediately, the reader is prepared for there to be jumping forth between two worlds.

                    You're gonna have to do the same thing, effectively. If you do, you will not be paranoid about confusing the reader. I've read Inception before I saw the movie right when it came out. It is a LONG read and Nolan is a chunky writer, longwinded. Probably because he knows he is directing so he can get as descriptive as he wants. I'd suggest you read it

                    Plus, I wouldn't worry about what you are worried about right now. It's not like it will be ready to go out wide the second you hit fade out.

                    Also, make one world a little bit unique. Maybe numbers are backwards in the parallel universe. In Inception every character had their charm they held with them to let them know if they were dreaming or not.

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                    • #11
                      Re: 2 characters, same location, parallel universe logline help please

                      The script is for an hour long TV episode, I've done 5 so far with rough drafts for a further two, this is meant to be the 8th. I thought it would be a good idea to do a quick story run through to see if it worked within 60-65 pages but it's proving to be the hardest now I've got to around page 6 and the whole parallel universe part is starting. In my head it's easy, but getting the slugline info right is harder.

                      It basically involves my two main characters going on a romantic getaway to a hotel. When they wake the next morning some things are not right and it's only when one of them goes to reception he ends up in a different universe and she goes to look for him and the same happens to her. Each universe is populated by different characters but all have one thing in common. At the end the hotels secret is figured out and the two universes come together bringing all the hotel guests back to the real world.

                      I will definitely read inception though, it may give me some ideas, plus I bet it's a good read in it's own right. Thank you for the reply.

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