Today's topic is back story; when do you use it, when don't you include it? While we were procrastinating about this post, we actually realized a nifty way to introduce back story without flashbacks or boring exposition.
After all, back story usually comes out like "when I was a kid we had to...."
In my mind the best way to cover back stroy is through a dream. Why a dream you ask? Well, because a dream has no "structure" you can put anything in you want - just make sure it's filmable - and it can be a precursor to an event, the reaction to a previous event or even a look into the psyche without dialogue or exposition.
As usual I used this in my favorite script, South of La Brea (Ascha's Song - new title). I changed it because I may be able to get the whole budget by using Louisiana instead of Los Angeles (get it - South of La Brea).
At any rate, there are two places where I use a dream to reveal story or character. The first is near the middle and the character is just getting used to being on her own.
She had a kind of bad day (almost everyday after the near-rape of a virgin) and as mos people know what is on TV while you sleep may affect what you dream about. Anyway, the idea is that we wanted to show that her mother died in a car accident so we give her a dream about it while her roommate is watching "Days of Thunder."
Lights fill the void, screeching tires break the silence.
A car horn.
The next one comes later in the film and we use it for several things. The first is that the protag's grandmother died, so we show an old lady reaching out. The second is we want to show that the protag now understands what "gay" is - she has a friend that is gay. I also use this dream as a look back at her college life and how she's changed.
Anyway, so that's out spiel about back story. I hope it is of use to the two of you.
"Keep writing as writing is the revealing of the soul"
On a side note, I have lost my fucking mind today. I hate being the good guy. Sometimes I wish just once I could be the asshole that only cares about himself, but then I remember that I like being me. A LOT!!
Monday, November 12, 2007
Posted by Christian H. at 4:24 PM