Thursday, 23 January 2014

From Script To Screen: OGR 1


  1. OGR 23/01/14

    Hey Megan,

    I'm impressed by the structure and sequencing of you narrative, Megan - for example the newspaper coming in through the door (though delivered by a paperboy, not a postman), which tells us about the escaped lion. I like too the absurdity of the lion appearing in the kitchen like that, though there's something about this contrivance (a lion coming to a former lion-tamer's house) that seems too contrived - unless the lion is coming to see the lion-tamer 'on purpose'!

    But perhaps he is...

    I'm wondering if there might an element of a surprise here - a further enhancement of what you've already accomplished. Right now, we learn that our character is a retired lion-tamer late in the day and I like that. So what happens if you play the first part of your story full of menace; so, the newspaper tells us a lion has escaped; the camera cuts to our character - cooking a huge bloody steak. Next, we see the lion, sniffing. It can smell the steak. It enters the man's house. The camera work is very 'horror' - this creature is a predator and the man is it's prey. In classic Hitchcockian-style, you cut between the lion and the oblivious man working peacefully at his table. You need to get the audience's heart in their throats. You need them thinking, 'Don't just sit there doing whatever you're doing! There's a bloody great lion coming to eat you!' Meanwhile, we see another character - a marksman with a rifle enter the house too - the hunter is now the hunted. It's a game of cat and mouse. You're cutting between the man cooking, the approaching lion, and the marksman. You want your audience hoping the marksman will shoot the lion dead. Finally then, the lion pushes into the kitchen. He roars. At the same moment, through another door the marksmen appears and prepares to save the day by shooting the lion - except, without turning from the cooking, the man reaches back to pick up a kitchen chair (lion-tamer style!), and with it knocks the gun out of his hands. The marksman tries to go after it, but he discovers he can't move his feet. Again without so much as turning around, the man points at the big tube of superglue on the kitchen counter - a puddle of which the marksman is now standing in - and stuck fast. This all happens very quickly - a series of very snappy shots - bang, bang, bang. The man cooking the steak then turns to the lion, who is by now, sitting like a house cat and 'smiling'.

    The next scene: the man and the lion are sitting side-by-side eating their steaks together; the camera pans away from them and we see the pictures on the walls, and it's only now we learn that our character was once a lion-tamer, and this lion his best friend...

    I've just written this very quickly, but do you see how you can use the utter contrivance of the lion being in a lion tamer's house as the engine to enrich your story? It comes from the simple fact of saying 'I don't believe in coincidences' and seeking instead to exploit the connections between things. It also means you've got the opportunity to, in a Hitchcock way, utterly misdirect your audience. You've also got an opportunity here to tell a very sweet and poignant story about companionship. Anyway - your current ACT 3 is weak in terms of an ending, and you don't really have a 'story' - you've got a plot - (a series of events) but not yet a story. Have a think about the suggestions above and let's discuss!

    1. Hi Phil, thanks for this :D
      I will develop my story further :)