Tuesday, June 26, 2007

South Of LaBrea

Well, this my second post. A lot sooner than I thought. What does that title mean, you ask. That is the title of possibly the most boring movie I ever tried to make exciting.

It's actually coming along pretty good as I have gotten YouTube, studies in sexuality, abusive relationships, close friendships, a shattered goal, the stages of grief (it was an accident), etc. into the script. The actor I want for it should love it (secret for now).

Anyway, this movie is teaching me more than I thought it would when I started. I am getting really good at scene transitions and my dialog is sharpening up tremendously.

I will definitely TriggerStreet it when it's done. Unfortunately, I can't talk too much about it yet, but after these last 30 pages fall this weekend, maybe I can loosen up some more info.

I can say that it is a story that should empower a whole lot of women. The story takes place in college but it's definitely NOT a college movie.

I'm also working on a fantasy comedy where a grandmother is actually a torture technique (I know. I'm sick).

It's coming along pretty good as I just came up with a novel way of introing the antag and main relationship character. This one shouldn't take the three months South Of La Brea is taking but I can also get away with 90- pages. It's also got this neat little trick to distingish it from other comedies like it(nothing is new after all).

Anyway, I've got to get back to the script and some database stuff I have to fix - in my real job - so I'm going to cut it here but as soon as we get to ActIII, we'll look at some screenwriting stuff featured in the excellent text "Advanced Screenwriting" by Dr. Linda Seger. I think it's the best of the four books I've read as it looks more at abstract ideas than examples (not to say it doesn't have examples) such as one that will be the gist of the next post.

She says and I quote

"A character's problem doesn't have to be negative. It may be a quality that is usually considered positive, but in a certain situation becomes a problem."

I take that to heart as the idea of a character flaw can mean so many things in every different screenplay even in the same genre.

I spoke about this on Mystery Man and I think it's the next frontier. Of course character change can provide an "intrinsic plot thread," but I don't think it should be done too "externally."

A good example is Red from Shawshank. Most people consider his last parole hearing the end of his arc, but I feel that it was just him not caring anymore. Andy had escaped, why get excited. It just so happened that those were the marbles he foreshadowed "rolling around in his head" earlier in the movie. Of course it could have been a genius plan or it could have been an arc where he finally has hope.

I'm betting on a tired old man that lost his best friend and just doesn't care anymore. Anyway, we'll save the rest for another time.

Keep writing as writing is the revealing of the soul.


oneslackmartian said...

Sounds cool and I dig your title!

Be sure to get Karl Iglesias's book Writing for Emotional Impact. He teaches screenwriting at UCLA or USC, but this is the BEST one that I've read. I got my copy off Amazon.

Anyhow, welcome to the Scribosphere!

Christian M. Howell said...

Thx for the comment and the reference. I've read your blog but I've been a little busy and haven't been able to comment everywhere.

Thx for the welcome and I hope you visit again.

I'll definitely check that out. Have you read Linda Seger's book. It's even better than GWW's "Writing Movies."

No offense to Trottier but Advanced Screenwriting is my "Bible." Trottier's text is excellent for basic formatting and intro stuff but like every writer I hope I'm beyond it and ready to create "roadmaps" to great movies.