Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Script to Screen- OGR


  1. OGR 23/01/2014

    Hey Ayunie,

    A Year 1 Facebook page? How enterprising! Good stuff - just keep it professional on there - no pictures of kittens wearing hats ;)

    Okay, so we've been having lots of discussion about this story and I think you're sorted, but now you've got to streamline your storytelling, and achieve more with less. It's reading as 'long' at the moment - probably too long in terms of the running time, so I think you need to start cutting the right kind of corners. For example:

    Act: combine the arts supplies scene with 'seeing the zoo' - so, he sees the zoo sign while he's still in the art supplies shop (as opposed to crossing some generic road). I also think you need to 'show' your character's thinking - which you can do very easily now he's looking at the zoo sign through the art supplies window; so, he looks at shelves of paintbrushes and sees the sign "Gold Standard Animal Bristles Brushes - Made From 100% Animal Hair" - then he looks out at the Zoo sign - and then back at the paintbrush sign; then he looks down at his own poor old brush and then we see him smile evilly. Think how Hitchcock would run those shots together to make sure we know exactly what the artist is thinking.

    ACT 2 needs to get much shorter and economic. Personally, I'd start ACT 2 by introducing the zookeeper right away - and have the artist setting up his easel from the zookeeper's point-of-view, so we already know that he is aware of the artist. He's not suspicious at this stage, it just makes sense to me to have the zookeeper in the same shot as the artist setting up - this way you get two scenes for the price of one - and it's this kind of visual economy you need to get clever with. I don't think you've got time to show us the artist observing and planning his crimes; you've got to get straight into it. How about doing it this way:

    ACT 2 begins with zookeeper watching artist get his easel out; zookeeper looks at his watch, which says 5.45pm. He looks at the zoo sign that says Zoo closes 6pm. The zookeeper shrugs and walks out of shot. You could do all this in the opening scene of ACT 2, which establishes the zookeeper, establishes his knowledge of the artist, and also establishes that the artist is coming to the zoo late so he can pinch stuff.

    Next shot - now the zookeeper has left; our artist friend pulls out a fishing rod (it's animation remember, the logic of this doesn't matter) with a big exaggerated hook on the end, and we see him cast it out and down into the enclosure. We hear a startled animal yelp, and then we see him reeling up the creature. I don't think at any point in your film we actually need to see an animal being harmed or how he removes the bristles or any of that. I think as he reels in the fishing line, but before we see what's on the end of it, you cut to the next scene.

    Next scene; artist in studio, cursing, looking at calendar date, stressed - the bristles aren't right etc.

    Next scene, should be a basic repeat of the first; the artist arrives at different enclosure, the zookeeper notices him, looks at his watch, it's 5.45pm - strange - he walks on, and then the artist pulls out the fishing line and casts it out again...

    Next scene: the artist snapping another paintbrush or whatever.

    Next scene - cut to newspaper headlines - 'More Animals Go Missing from Zoo.' etc. Here you can show newspaper images of the Zoo Keeper looking concerned, and pointing at empty enclosures or whatever.

  2. ACT 3 - Zookeeper watches artist set-up, but this time waits; see's the fishing rod. ah ha! Confronts the artist; Confrontation depicted in shadow or in Psycho shower scene style cuts, thus confusing who is who. A man falls over into the enclosure with a blood curdling scream...

    Next scene: opening night of the exhibition; artist is happy, painting his perfect; people are taking pictures; the camera pulls out of the gallery, pulls out into the street, where we see a copy of a newspaper on the wet pavement outside - the front page of which shows the dead-zookeeper with half his moustache missing - The End!

    I'd suggest ending on this reveal is much stronger for the audience reaction than ending on the artist.

    What you need to do is take this treatment, and just look at each and everyway to do away with any surplus connecting scenes, and just make every moment push the story along. Your treatment can go both leaner and meaner. It might be easier now to even work this out through some thumbnailing and laying out scenes to their best effect.

    Oh - and personally, I think your artist should be dressed in black - and he should, in character design terms, be 'pointier' and more obviously a baddie...

  3. *painting is perfect* - sorry!

    1. Thanks Phil :) I have taken everything you said into account and I will work on it :) As for the Facebook page, it's only school related things are allowed :) Definitely no animals wearing hats, let alone kittens! Haha :D