1. Sylvester
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    Sylvester Member

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    Dual Identities

    Discussion in 'General Writing' started by Sylvester, Dec 18, 2009.

    In heading dialog in a script where characters have alter egos, do you use just one name or is it per character?

    For example Bruce Wayne and Batman are one and the same. Should dialog headers change when he's in or out of costume?
     
  2. TragicJuliet
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    TragicJuliet Senior Member

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    I don't know but I would look up some scripts that have alter ego's and see what they did
     
  3. Sylvester
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    Sylvester Member

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    Great idea.

    I found the script for Batman Forever and they still have him as Bruce when he's Batman. I was worried that it might get a little confusing.

    Thanks.
     
  4. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    characters must be referred to and have their dialog headed by the 'character' they are at the time... so dual-persona characters will have the appropriate name used in each scene where they appear, or are referred to...

    are you sure that what you found is an actual script and not a 'transcript'?...

    i've just checked a production script for that film and when acting as batman [on pg 47], wayne is referred to as batman in the action element and his dialog is headed 'batman' as well... so you may not be seeing a real script, but only what some fan has transcribed from the movie...

    for good actual scripts:
    www.script-o-rama.com
    or
    www.imsdb.com
     
  5. Sylvester
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    Sylvester Member

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    It was a production script. Bruce is called Bruce as he's about to leave the batcave early on as Batman ("I get drive thru.") That is what I saw. Later they break it up listing him as Bruce or Batman.

    What do you suggest?
     
  6. ManhattanMss
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    ManhattanMss Contributing Member

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    I think you'd just have to be sure that when the alter-ego is first introduced, it's made clear in the scene description who he actually is (having already been introduced earlier in the film in his day job or whatever). Then, you'd use his alter-character name for those parts (in order to avoid any confusion by the rest of the folks responsible for costuming, stage direction, and so forth).
     
  7. hszmv
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    hszmv Member

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    To further complicate it, but how I decide is determin who the character sees himself as first. For instance, I believe Clark Kent occasionally pretends to be Superman, while Batman occasionally pretends to be Bruce Wayne. So, in text, Clark Kent is refered to internally while in tights, where as Batman is refered to while in an executive board meeting for Wayne Industries.
     
  8. nacht
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    nacht Member

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    My take on this is:

    When you have more than one persona in a single character, and each persona has its own name, or a group of persona go by a certain name -- for instance, if you have a normal teenage boy who is schizo (like me!) and he has more than one alternation, he may call the group of "other selves" just that, his other selves; He may also give them a group title, like "The Outsiders", or something of the like -- (continuing from the previously started sentence) then you should address them separately.

    Going off of your aforementioned Batman reference, you'll note that prior to him being called Batman, Bruce was not differentiated from Batman altogether. In other words, Alfred and Bruce both know that Bruce is Batman, but the people do not know that Bruce and Batman are one and the same. You should treat your reader the same way, at the beginning of the story. What you are trying to (convey in this instance) is that mystery to your readers. That is, if the POV is that of a pedestrian.
    Bruce Wayne, however, may talk about Batman while at a press conference, or something, in a third-person perspective, but Batman may refer to himself, in thought, as Bruce Wayne while fighting crime.

    So really, I guess, it depends on the POV. Personally, when I wrote about a schizo kid, I addressed each personality as a separate character; It was up to ME to dim down the confusion.
     
  9. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    this is not a story being asked about, but a screenplay, where the requirements are quite different from prose fiction...

    the character MUST be referred to as whichever character he IS IN THE SCENE... thus, when he's costumed and acting as wayne, he's referred to in the action element and in dialog heads as wayne... and when costumed and acting as batman, referred to in the action element and dialog heads as batman...

    in that production script we're both referring to, he's transitioning from one character to the other in that scene and imo his dialog should actually have been headed 'batman' but that was either overlooked or thought not important, since it's a shooting script, so everyone reading it knew who was who and what was what...
     
  10. afinemess
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    afinemess Active Member

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    I would think the best way to go would be to label it as which personality the character is at the time. Less confusing.
     
  11. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    yes, afinemess, that is the way the pros do it in a script... and the way it should be done, per industry standards...
     

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