Monday, April 18, 2011

ScriptFrenzy 2011, part the second

I have been remiss and not blogged for a while.

But I have been busy, among other things with ScriptFrenzy, however while battering my way through the first draft of this 100 page feature script this evening I had a passing thought which I thought I'd share with you. Because you are my friend.

It's to do with what you call your characters in your script ... or perhaps it's to do with what I call my characters in my script. I don't mean the choice of name (although that is relevant, of course), but how you say it.

I have a character called George Hadfield, he is the father of Victoria Hadfield. She is the protagonist, and the story is set in 1911.

It's been bugging me for some time now - actually through the entire script that I refer to him as "George". This is very very wrong because it communicates entirely the wrong message. Apart from the bit where Victoria shouts "Daddy, my Daddy" (ok, this is a first draft, that will be going) she refers to him as "Father" because that is the appropriate level of respect.

You've seen Mary Poppins? Of course you have. The children refer to their Father as Father.

Since Victoria is the protagonist and the audience will be identifying with her, they will have to have the same level of respect.

But, you may say, they won't be reading the script. This is true, but people will be reading the script - script readers to name but one variety of person who will. And they will get the wrong idea, they will not have the right level of respect for George, or rather, for Mr Hadfield.

So there, I thought I'd share that with you. What we call people in the script can be important.

I hope you're thoroughly impressed. Now I must stop procrastinating, I need to finish up to at least page 60 tonight to stay on schedule, but that's only a couple of pages to go and I do have it all mapped out now.

Perhaps I shouldn't worry, he's going to be dead within the next five pages, and Victoria is going to very sad.

What's on the turntable? "Shining Morn" by Gordon Giltrap from "Shining Morn"


Liz Holliday said...

Slightly confused here (when not?) - are you talking about what Victoria calls him in dialogue ('Father'= dead on right) or what you call him in the action lines and his character name for dialogue? Because calling him Father there would seem odd to me. I think I'd go for 'Hadfield'. (In the script I'm working on, I consistently call my good guys by their first names and the cops and bad guys by their surnames. Works for me. Did the same in Under London, though there the cops were the good guys.

I got nowhere with Scriptfrenzy because I had a total epiphany about another script... and since that has a rather well known producer (and my agent) waiting to see it, it took priority.

Adaddinsane said...

I write gibberish fluently.

I meant I call him "George" in the script - too familiar. I'll probably change it to "Mr Hadfield".

Good guys bad guys thing - absolutely, you want distance between you and the bad guys, while the good guys should be close friends.

I think we can accept your reason for not doing Screnzy :-)