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Star Wars Movie Draft Game *Discussion*

Discussion in 'General Movie Discussion' started by RoyleRancor, Dec 23, 2020.

  1. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    [​IMG]
     
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  2. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    To be fair guys, since quite a few of you appear to be using the one-pager I threw out as a talking point.

    I used a variation of the template.
    Instead of going with a strict one-pager, I used the template and converted it into a light treatment with an attached light pitch-deck that covers the actors and some imagery showcases for the world and objects a bit.

    Since there's still time, if anyone suddenly thinks, "Oh!"...I'm assuming you likely have time to expand out the one-pager into a treatment (I did about 3 pages-ish of text).

    Here's a quick example of what that looks like (redacted, of course).
    Picture3.png

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  3. DarthSnow

    DarthSnow Master of Coin
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    :eek:
    Let me just do my best to squash these sudden, rising feelings of inadequacy I am experiencing.... hahaha.
     
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  4. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    On the flip side...the more you write, the more chances you have to write something that jars wrong in a reader's mind. :p

    The single best pitch ever created was three words long: "Jaws in space." - Ridley Scott pitching Alien.

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  5. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    My Brain: Hey, you should add another layer of unnecessary complexity to your draft casting list.
    Me: But that doesn't ADD anything, and this role is already filled!
    My Brain: Sure they do! They have everything you worried about before.
    Me: But I already have more than enough draft picks!
    My Brain: Having extra picks just in case isn't a bad thing...
    Me: ...
    My Brain: ...
    Me: *puts person on the list*
    Me: Just so you know, this makes things harder for us, not easier.
    My Brain: And you love it that way.
     
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  6. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    I turned mine in....on time and on budget ......LOL
     
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  7. DarthSnow

    DarthSnow Master of Coin
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    I am late and under budget.
    :D

    I'm going back and forth struggling with the level of detail. Like I have more mapped out than the one-pager would let on, but not quite enough for a bigger story treatment. Instead of doing the hybrid I think I'm just gonna keep it at the one-page and save any remaining details for the roundtable discussion after voting.
     
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  8. oldbert

    oldbert Guardian of Coffee Breaks

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  9. DarthSnow

    DarthSnow Master of Coin
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    Yessir! My goal is tonight but that's a bit dependent on how the work day goes. I keep changing my mind on so many things... I just need to make a decision and be at peace with it, haha.
     
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  10. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    You can always do what I did and make revisions after you turn it in, and then plan to discuss those revisions once we get to the afterparty!
     
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  11. DarthSnow

    DarthSnow Master of Coin
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    Movies aren't even out yet and we're already thinking Special Edition.... George would be proud. :D
     
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  12. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    2 rules to write film ideas by until you can afford to get away with breaking them:
    1) Follow one path.
    2) Follow the contrast.

    Meaning.....

    RULE 1
    First, the definition of a PATH.
    A "path" is both referring to the narrative and the identity of the world and the characters in it.
    You can't have multi-dimensional properties of the world and the characters and the narrative all at once.

    Ideally, you want one narrative that appropriately fits one character in the way that ice cream is sweet and melts. Ice Cream is the character. The character of ice cream is sweet. The inherent narrative of ice cream is that it melts.

    Whether you get to eat it or not before it melts away defines the difference between a triumph and a tragedy.

    And you want that one character and that one inherent narrative to fit into a world with one twist to it.

    In a film called, "Ice Cream", the twist is that it's Summer.

    And you need one primary obstacle that defies the inherent narrative. That is, the "obvious" chain of events. Whatever the "obvious" (or as I prefer, inherent) chain of events is, that's what you essentially want to say the character is trying to make NOT happen.

    Then you give the opposite of that inherent narrative as the motive for the character.

    So the character of ice cream is "Sweet", and will "Melt", but Sweet doesn't want to melt without meaning, so Sweet wants to get to "Mouth" before they Melt.

    Which makes the PATH: Ice Cream is a film about a character named Sweet who struggles to not Melt because of Summer before they get to the Mouth.

    Or, basically, Olaf from Frozen with a bit more motivation.

    So that's the identity of a PATH.

    What it means to have ONE PATH is if you do have a story about a special operations team encountering aliens. You don't have a story about a special operations team with psionic powers from Merlin encountering aliens.

    If you're newspaper pitch reads, "When a team of special operations soldiers held prisoner struggle to escape from terrorists, they find that they must survive aliens who have broken loose from a nearby secret government base."

    Alright, sort of The Great Escape meets Predator. Cool.

    If you're newspaper pitch reads, "When a team of special operations soldiers trained by the mystical Merlin in the arts of psionics struggle to escape terrorists who are holding them prisoner, they find that they must survive aliens who have broken loose from a nearby secret government base."

    I mean, yeah...this kind of thing can lead to some, "LOL...What?!" laughs, but it's no good.

    So we have...what exactly? The Great Escape meets The Sorcerer's Apprentice meets Predator?
    Alright, that might actually be cool, BUT you'll never really easily be able to engage very many people with it.

    If you need a third film to describe what's going on in terms of elements, then you might have too many things going on.

    Like mine? Mine is essentially Empire of the Sun meets Avatar.

    One thread of thought in definition. That's it. One PATH of identity.

    RULE 2
    Paths are interesting. We don't go into the woods because the path is boring.

    Theatrics = Contrast = Interest.

    That is:
    We like interesting, and what makes films interesting is contrast, and having good contrast is what makes good theatrics.

    Throwing s*** at the screen that goes "boom" a hundred times a minute isn't contrast. It's just lots of abrupt motion for our lizard brain to pay attention to, and if our lizard brain can get accustomed to tuning out the expanse and invasiveness that is New York when you live there, then it can surely tune out and dead-drool to 5,000 shiny sci-fi Lego blocks flying around the screen every minute.

    Even a cat will become done with watching just a fast moving array of objects if there's no engaging contrast - most things on this planet will (dogs are...well..."special"). Take 50 laser pointers and wave them around really fast. Cat will be super interested for a moment, and then just kind of piss off or just kind of idly sit there. Take one laser pointer and move it in sneaky stop-hide-jerk motion and the cat will go bonkers.

    We're not terribly different.

    Contrast isn't just visual (though I'm a big advocate that it should be as often as possible).
    It's narrative, sound, psychological, meta (the film and the audience, the film and the industry, etc...), emotions of characters, dialogue, motives of actions, the idea or relevant sense of movement in a mode of transportation, clothing styles, ways people walk, types of people in the story, types of situations those types of people are in, etc...

    This is contrast.
    Contrast is E.T. and Elliot sharing a psychic connection that makes everything one experiences affect the other.


    BUT, you can only have one main contrast.

    Every good film has one main contrast that defines the film.
    The original Star Wars' one main contrast is a Good Rural Bumpkin facing off against an Evil Technocratic Empire.

    I mean...just look at that. That's just the most genius distillation of minimalism and exactness. It's a narrative scalpel of precision.

    Good vs Evil
    Rural vs Empire
    Bumpkin vs Technocracy

    That's the main contrast. Most films a bit harder to identify the main contrast because they aren't about a straight forward compare/contrast like ANH is topically, visually, ... and everything-y.
    Usually it's a bit more grey, like say, Queen's Gambit. That gets a bit harder.

    But it's there. An abandoned and awkward outsider of society uncannily makes a home and family for herself inside of an exclusively niche society.
    That's really the main contrast.

    Which, coincidentally, is the same main contrast of Harry Potter; just change the pronoun and switch from Chess to Magic.

    Refine it further: Awkward outcast vs niche society.

    The simpler, the better.

    A Nazi helps Jewish prisoners.
    Refine is further: Evil helps Good.

    Boom. That's almost as powerful as the first Star Wars in terms of contrast.

    That's what you're looking for. Something in your story that summarizes the contrast as the main contrast that defines the film.

    If you're having trouble doing that, then grab some paper and cut a strip about the size of a fortune cookie from it.
    Now, on that single strip...define your film in one contrast.

    Once you get that, then read every thought in your pitch or treatment and ask if it directly supports the movement of that contrast.
    If not, then mark it for consideration of tossing it.

    For example, mine is (going a bit vague here because I don't want to give too much away - it's less vague in reality...sorry), powerlessness of peace vs the power of destruction.
    Refined down: Powerlessness vs Powerfulness.

    Technically, it's more like Star Wars':
    Powerless vs Powerful
    Peace vs Destruction

    My advice? Don't try the three tier chocolate cake like Lucas until you get one tier under your belt. Single contrast stories first (and there's nothing bad about that...Queen's Gambit and Schindler's list are single contrast stories!). Then you can work on contrasts that fold more contrasts inside themselves like ANH.

    Now ideally, any and every contrast you have is a sub-tangent off of that main contrast, in like style as an eddy is from a wave of water.
    The action you have, for example, should be linked thematically to the main contrast conceptually.

    If it's about old people vs young people, then the action could be defined by being yanked around things - so situations and action that pulls the older character into things they don't want to be involved in, but find themselves having to be. Style of characters to match - for example, think of Gran Torino or the Grumpy Old Men movies.

    Fortune cookie strip of paper. Start scratching out things that don't directly support that contrast.

    ONE PATH. ONE CONTRAST.
    City Slickers-Just one thing.jpg

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  13. oldbert

    oldbert Guardian of Coffee Breaks

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    uh.. oh.. @Jayson, after reading your lines above and
    thinking back about my typical "bumpkin" like and naive way to just jump into it and write sthg down from beginning to end and sending it in its pure (or poor?) roughness to @RoyleRancor afterwards..
    Meanwhile, I feel a "little bit" uneasy about my draft..
    Maybe I should look through it at least once.

    (*I have a strange (or bad) feeling about my absolute unprofessional approach right now*)

    :)
     
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  14. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    If you had fun with your story and your approach, and feel proud of what you made, then don't worry about the rest! At the end of the day, we're all here to have fun. If we learn something about filmmaking, screenwriting, or ourselves along the way, then it's a bonus! ;)
     
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  15. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    I'll echo what @Use the Falchion said.
    If you were able to put together something you like and are happy with, then rules can go f*** themselves.

    Rules are only there in case you find things aren't working, and serve as simply a means to figure out how to get out from being stuck in a jam.

    Rules are basically a sort of reverse-beer goggles for creativity.
    If you're having a blast, however, beer goggle away!

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  16. Use the Falchion

    Use the Falchion Jedi Contrarian

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    So @Jayson I'm using your method of "actors first, story second" to fill out another potential prompt (...and to procrastinate on studying...) and it's been pretty fun!
     
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  17. Jayson

    Jayson Resident Lucasian

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    It's interesting.
    It's almost sort of like a writer's version of improv.

    "Who's dialogue is this anyway?"

    Cheers,
    Jayson
     
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  18. Lock_S_Foils

    Lock_S_Foils Red Leader

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    So hey, uhhhhh, @RoyleRancor and everyone.....can we do the big reveal and voting etc etc? Would really like to see what everyone else came up with .....
     
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  19. RoyleRancor

    RoyleRancor Car'a'Carn

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    I'm fine posting the ones I have and just going with that.
     
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  20. Embo and His Pet Anooba

    Embo and His Pet Anooba Force Sensitive

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    add 1 million sitcom actors
     
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