1. Ommonite
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    Ommonite Senior Member

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    They Will Die

    Discussion in 'Plot Development' started by Ommonite, Nov 11, 2008.

    You know how Romeo and Juliet begins by telling you that the title characters are going to die, which makes things all the more meaningful throughout?

    I have an idea for a movie, wherein a catholic priest gives confession to four people. The first person releases a gas that paralyzes and eventually kills the priest, which he tells the priest, who is shocked during the next confession.

    The priest is rather clam for the third, but for the forth he is in complete shock that he is going to die. The forth confessor is "just there to talk" and barely notices the priest's emotional state. She leaves slightly after he is dead, unbeknown to her.

    My problem before I start writing is whether to show everything in chronological order, or to waint until during the final confession to have a flashback to the first?

    Obviously I haven't said much about why the dude kills him or what the confession will be about, but I'm still unsure on much of those things myself.
     
  2. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    A certain level of foreknowledgeis necessary if you wish to have an atmosphere of suspense. However, too much forknowledge weakens suspense.

    It's not an all-or-nothing decision, though. I'd leave out revealing that he will die, or at least leave some hope of rescue just out of reach. You could pop back and forth = not saying you should, but it's an option.
     
  3. Show
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    Hmmmmm, I'm curious as to how four confessions would last an entire movie. Maybe a short story but confessions generally are not that long.

    I am also confused how the priest goes from shock to clam and back to shock again. Personally, I think it'd work better to have it go from shock, to less shock, to calm, making the confessions sort of like a therapy for the priest to accept his own death. But that's just my advice. If you don't show it in chronological order, I can imagine it would get very confusing. If you do show it in chronological order like that, it becomes a little too predictable. Anyway, that's the best I can give. Sorry if I wasn't any help.
     
  4. Alex_Hartman
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    Alex_Hartman Contributing Member

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    I wouldn't give away all of it at the same time. Pretty much what Cog said.
     
  5. Ommonite
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    Ommonite Senior Member

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    what?


    anyway it was meant to be a short film, maybe 15 minutes
     
  6. Show
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    Sorry, I know that didn't make much sense. I was saying that as you described it, if you go out of order like you considered, it'd get confusing. But just going in order might make the story a bit predictable.(Meaning first we see the guy unleash the gas and then the priest dies at the end.)(question, why don't the people confessing die from the poison gas? Wouldn't the gas leak over through that window and do the same to them as well?) My advice was that maybe you should rearrange the details a little so that going in order isn't as predictable.(ie the priest being poisoned, freaking out, and then dying.)

    And it's only a sort film, ok, that's different then. Again, sorry if I wasn't any help to you.
     
  7. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I'd prefer not knowing for sure that someone is going to die before they do. To me, that heightens the impact when they do die. I can't recall how "Romeo & Juliet" pulled it off since it was so long ago I read it, but IMO the punch is stronger when the reader/viewer doesn't really know until it happens. "R&J" seems like it would be more shocking if people didn't know that the two main characters aren't going to make it to the end of the play.

    But maybe that's just me. *shrug*

    You will notice, however, that even in TV shows when they start with a crisis and then for the rest of the episode flash back to the events that led up to the crisis, they usually don't start the episode telling the viewer who's going to die. They usually show the crisis in progress, leave the viewer hanging wondering who MIGHT die, then flash back and let the story play out until the viewer learns for themselves. That lets the viewer know what's at stake without giving it all away. I'm just saying.
     
  8. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    The beauty of romeo and juliet is the way it was said. At firs tin the beginning of the play, you don't really know they are going to die, you just know something tragic is going to happen. Then when they do die, it's like, BAM, and that opening monologue makes total sense because some parts took a knew meaning with that knowledge.

    I've said it in other threads like this so I'll say it again. This sort of thing for me, is all about execution. Execute it well and it'll rock, but execute it wrong and it'll destroy the whole thing. The execution may not be worth the trouble though.
     
  9. Forkfoot
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    Forkfoot Contributing Member Contributor

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    The Sacrament of Reconciliation is sacred and pretty darn solemn; I've never heard of anyone going "just to talk". Might wanna ask a priest first if that ever happens to them.
     
  10. Show
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    Just to talk is putting it pretty casually, but I do believe that people do on occassion go for reasons other than confessing sins, possibly to ask the priest advice on a problem that is currently going on in their lives. It's possible that they seek to do this through the anonynimity of confession and also under the confessional seal . That's my take on it. But if somebody comes in wanting to talk about football or the latest episode of Gossip Girl, then yes, that'd be more than a bit unrealistic.
     
  11. Ommonite
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    Ommonite Senior Member

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    I've gone to catholic school forever and we're always invited to just chat, and not undergo the 'bless me father for i have sinned" stuff. even non-Catholics are invited in.

    anyway, The gas was to be a small amount in the face, like in Signs.

    I was thinking about having the first scene be part of the killer's 'confession' then we see him leave, without learned about his true intentions.

    then he's in shock for the rest of it, but small leaks of info and flashbacks fill the film until a full flashback during the 'just to talk' confessor's rambles, where we see the gas. sorta-kinda post credits there would be the killer just outside the church, as another confessor leaves, he then calls an ambulance.
     
  12. Emerald
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    Emerald Contributing Member

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    What's the theme/point you're trying to make with it?
     

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