Wednesday, April 30, 2008

New deadlines

I'm settling into my life here in Reading, Berks. Heading towards the end of my third week it's all ticking along pleasantly. Apart from the fact I slept badly last night because I had things to do.

Things to do.

So, on one of my script writing mailing lists, up pops a fascinating little project: it already has funding, has two major actors attached and no script. They want a character piece. And they're taking submissions (a treatment and sample scene) by the end of May. I shall call it the Bohemian Project henceforth.

As we all know I have a fondness for deadlines. Really. It's all those years I spent generating newsstand magazines every 4 weeks. And I really do mean every 4 weeks, we did 13 issues per year.

Can I write a character piece? I have no idea. However I did not know whether I could write a contemporary rom-com a month ago, and apparently I can. (It may not be brilliant, but I can do it.) We shall see.

But there's still the Blockbuster treatment for the Hollywood director to do and my TV script dialogue.

Tight deadlines. Even more fun.

I spent this evening mapping out a new version of the Blockbuster treatment. My professional readers really hadn't liked it much so I went back to square one and thought it through. I worked up some action plot lines for the four main groups of people. Then mapped them out on my Storylines software, I find it useful for getting things in order.

One of the problems with my treatment had been that it was all action and very little in the way of character. There is a problem with the source material for this adaptation in that there isn't a lot of character anyway. However I've already taken liberties with the plot so there's no reason for not taking liberties with the characters as well. (To a point.)

Screenwriting books will tell you lots of interesting things about External Conflict, Internal Conflict and Fatal Flaws. I'm not going to repeat it in detail here but while I didn't need this particular tool for "Une Nuit a Paris" (because the characters flowed well), it was definitely a tool for this treatment.

I wrote out those three things for each of the eight main characters (including the antagonists) and then thought what would be key scenes to go with these traits. Very interesting. I came up with some quite juicy ones and it turned one of the main bad guys into a potentially fascinating, and even tragic, character even though he gets very few scenes in this film. (He gets more in the sequel.)

Having done that I went back to my Storylines software and inserted the key scenes in the appropriate places so now I have both action and emotion. I can now re-write the Blockbuster treatment and hopefully make something better out of it.

I also realised that some of the interesting stuff with my bad guy would transfer very nicely to one of the principle characters in the Bohemian Project. Nice.

What's on the turntable? "Where Opposites Meet" by Sky from "Sky"

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