1. Jaz.Ayres
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    Jaz.Ayres New Member

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    Short film script - help needed!

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Jaz.Ayres, Nov 25, 2013.

    Hi everyone.
    I'm currently writing a script for a short (5ish mins) film.

    The plot:
    A man goes into surgery for a tonsillectomy but wakes up to find he's being injected with various liquids by reptile/lizard-like surgeons (think reptilians). He tells his wife but blames it on hallucinations / dreams. Over the next few scenes he slowly turns into a reptilian and at the end we discover his wife was in on it.

    The problem I'm having is how to portray him turning into a reptilian over a good 5 or so short scenes. So far I have him washing his face in the bathroom sink and looking up to see his eyes flicker into lizard eyes then go back to normal, but him brushing it off as fatigue.

    Ideas:
    Cold-blooded
    Skin rash - looking like scaly reptile skin
    Starting to eat plants / insects
    Long split tongue

    I'm struggling to put these ideas into some sort of order to show the descent of him changing rather than suddenly turning into a reptilian.

    Also, I am unsure on exactly how to end it and if I want it to be comical or serious.

    I really like this idea, it's just a shame I'm struggling so much with writing it.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks,
    Jaz
     
  2. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    i've been mentoring aspiring screenwriters for years and will be happy to help you with this... i'm only a mouse-click away...

    love and hugs, maia
    maia3maia@hotmail.com
     
  3. GingerCoffee
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    GingerCoffee Web Surfer Girl Contributor

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    You have enough to start writing it without worrying about the planning so much. Then you see what you have and the ideas will usually come to you as you edit.

    I was just commenting today to my son about the story I'm writing for the sci-fi contest. I write in a two steps forward, fix the first step process. I like what I've written and edited, while the last stuff I added was hokey. But then it becomes clear to me how to rewrite that section and I start the process over again, leaving the new stuff and coming back to it later. It looks very different after I've let it simmer. On the re-read, the new and better ideas pop right out.


    Welcome to the forum, BTW. :D
     
  4. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    Well, I think for certain, you'll want to use dissolves as they imply a sense of time elapse. However, in the time of your story, over how long is this change going to take place? Days? Months?
     
  5. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    The type of scene transition (dissolves or cuts) is a director decision. It doesn't belong in the script.

    I don't touch script writing, but that's a distinction even I have absorbed from following discussions here.
     
  6. Robert_S
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    Robert_S Contributing Member

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    I don't buy that. It's part of the story telling tied to the medium. CUT TOs, FADE TOs, DISSOLVE TOs are scene transitions types and acceptable. I wouldn't put camera angles in (you can write the action so that it points the director in that direction), but scene transitions are acceptable.

    I use a SMASH CUT in the second script as a transition from dream/nightmare to the MC waking up from it. I also use SMASH CUTs in the first script as the MC is recalling a locked up memory store, to go from the now to the then. It's part of the story telling on how it impacts the character.

    I don't use them to excess, but only when and where it makes the biggest impact.
     
    Last edited: Nov 26, 2013
  7. barcelonic
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    barcelonic Member

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    From what I understand, Cogito is correct in the sense that although a screenwriter feels compelled (and can even find it difficult to avoid) to include such instructions, these days that is not what filmmakers are looking for. The directors do not like these in the script except where absolutely necessary. These days in cinema and TV the technical directors are more sought after than the 'talent' directors (those who coach the actors well) and the importance of the screenwriter is abysmally undervalued in these industries too; this results in a situation in which Cogito's advice is sound - it is harder to sell a script with too many camera instructions and I believe it is usually advised to strongly consider this when writing screenplays.
     
  8. mammamaia
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    mammamaia nit-picker-in-chief Contributor

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    you're right, barcelonic!... as is cog...

    put all those [or any] editing directions in a spec script and it screams 'amateur' and will not be taken seriously...

    editing and camera directions are the province of the director, period!... so, if you're only a screenwriter trying to sell a spec script, and not intending to produce and direct your own work, best leave 'em all out...
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2013
    barcelonic likes this.
  9. wolftamer9
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    wolftamer9 New Member

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    "Know the diff between a script and a spec, it's a test, just the stage directions left and no camera angles to use. A novice script may seem strange in this format, but like any other business it's a standard that the writer gets used to." - John Flansburg, "Protagonist"

    Anyway, you'll definitely want to do the skin rash and cold blood before the split tongue and the eating habits. You could also change his mannerisms, like if he was lazy before, he scurries and blinks a lot now, or turns his head back and forth quickly. I don't know, what else do lizards do?
     
  10. DrWhozit
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    DrWhozit Banned

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    Are you planning on making this film on your own or is it a writing assignment? What is your time frame? Have you begun a storyboard? If doing this on your own as a demo per se, do you have actors?
     

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