I have received feedback on my script, a common and expected point that has been made is an obvious one…its too long, so this draft will go through editing it down and maybe changing a lot of aspects of progression. The fact is, I really liked how I went about the characters and their dialogue, especially for something that pretty much my first time but I am welcome to feedback of all kinds, I’ll address whats been said first, talk about what aspects I will change and such but I also want to just cover why I had particular ideas in the first place.
There has been a lot about making the characters more different; suggestions like make one lazy, one more determined–these more I dare say more…stereotypical characters. That’s not to say mine aren’t; the theme that is directing the characters, story and setting has been cyberpunk (something I want to note, that without the Bar Scene is impossible to see right now through the script and is more left to the art direction more than anything now.): I’m still having to more stiff upper lip leading, detective—Ford—and the more down-to-earth, light hearted support character, Nick, though through development of the script Nick has moved to a more leading role. I have just tried to make them more believable and falling back on creating one lazy, the other determined kind of takes away a lot of that; this isn’t to say it would make things a lot easy for me and the viewer as these characteristics are easily more accessible and easier to show.
They both want to be here to find the evidence; they just have differences in how they want to handle the situation: For Nick the case they are involved doesn’t mean everything to him, and he’s able to let his concentration and his attitude remain more relaxed and get distracted—he makes his way for the view first thing as it’s such a contrast to where he comes from, he doesn’t stress at the idea they might not be able to get into the safe first go around as he knows they can come back compared to Ford: he sets a plan up immediately and when it’s revealed they could potentially not be able to get the info the first time around it’s a big deal, getting angry towards Nick—like I’ve said nothing spectacular or original but still something at the least.
They were also there to experiment with blocking character positions, something I addressed and was learning in a previous blog that I still need to get back to. Their positions directing the characters focus and how they move to support who has the high ground in arguments or to help us understand about the antagonist:
- Nick moves directly to window as it attracts his view and remains there for a short time whilst Ford goes over the job.
- Ford stands at the centre and takes the set in—his focus on finding the information.
- When they first argue, Nick adopts a relaxed stance, resting his weight on his knee but then comes to Fords level and height when he gains control of the argument.
- When they split, Ford takes the lower level and Nick the upper, Ford is there to develop the antagonist, revealing the kind of life his lives where he feels the need for only one of everything and such—he’s a loner, the fact he handles company information physically supports this as well as with Nicks discoveries. This is all to push more to the reveal of when the information is rigged with a trap: he’s a man who holds his things close, and is willing to destroy them and is paranoid enough to be ready for someone to come in his home.
- When Nick discovers the safe, he rushes in, almost triggering the trap, as such calls down to Ford, who comes up, onto his level now and then takes charge of the situation.
Looking at it I believe I can keep a lot of these little interactions, just dial them down, speed them up, or have them happen over each other so this shouldn’t be a problem.
There is a lot of long pans, establishing shots and such to set the scene, to give the viewer a sense of the geography so that when the two characters split, we know where they are when the focus is on another. Somethings can be edited though:
- There is the suggestion to ignore the establishing shot of the building—without the Bar Scene the entire theaming of it being cyberpunk is pointless in my eyes, there is no contrast of scenes now from the dense city to the open apartments and there wasn’t even any futuristic elements to show since the antagonist literally avoids using technology. Anyway—the establishing shot of the apartment building isn’t necessary, we can establish that same setting just from the set alone and maybe an exterior view from the window into the flat.
- The opening. This could start at two points, it all depends on how they establish the location and characters;
- The first could pick up with them walking down the corridor and stopping at the doorway. This scene was imagined as being filmed with them walking towards the camera first: we see their faces, who they are and their clothing could give hints to their jobs implying the reason they are here. This also allows me to establish the apartment, and its occupant with the name card above the door.
- The second could open on them coming through the doorway which was one of the suggestions. We can get the same introduction to our protagonist on their entry as they enter the apartment but skip a few vitals seconds. This brings with it the problem of understanding the antagonist as this time we don’t see the apartment ID, but this problem can resolves with a voice comm welcoming the residents entry.
Draft #4 Rundown
- Ford and Nick stand at the entrance to the apartment, Ford gestures to Nick by tapping his watch and Nick nods—he swipes his card to open the door and Ford moves in, weapon at the ready with Nick in tow.
- They move swiftly through the entrance into the main room and conclude its empty, Ford lowers his weapon, Nick holsters his and his attention is attracted to the scenic backdrop.
- Ford clicks his finger to attract Nicks attention and points upstairs telling him to look for It there. Nick nods, gets too.
- Ford searches the kitchen with pace while Nick runs into the bedroom, back into the bathroom then sits down at the computer to search it. He works his way through the files and finds a command that opens a panel on the wall to his right. He rushes to the panel, and finds a second panel within, he opens it and notices the wire just before it fully opens shutting it closed. There is a moment of pause as he reflects internally on rushing, then calls up Ford.
- Scene plays out how it was in Draft #3 from then.
This is considerably denser than the previous draft in terms of what happens: character building for the antagonist is pretty much out of the window now in terms of being discussed by Nick and Ford as well as the whole idea of each characters conflict with the each other the situation.