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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    The August Challenge  ›  August/September 2WC Chronology Thread Moderators: Scar Tissue Films
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  Author    August/September 2WC Chronology Thread  (currently 1558 views)
Spqr
Posted: August 25th, 2019, 9:38pm Report to Moderator
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In John Wyndham's great The Day of the Triffids most of humanity is blinded by exposure to the light of a comet swarm burning up in the atmosphere. The hero, who retained his eyesight because he was recovering from eye surgery during the "wonderful" light show, is captured by a group of blind thugs and forced to lead them to food sources and shelter. Wouldn't the same thing happen to blind people in this scenario?
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stephen
Posted: August 25th, 2019, 9:52pm Report to Moderator
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That was a great article, Libby. Thanks for that.

The first thing we should hear is a foghorn. The location where this season takes place should be east of Manchester and closer to the coast. It should be summer so the foghorn would be out of place.

Another sound cue that may be interesting is dogs barking in the background before someone realizes they've all stopped because the dogs have run away or gone missing.

This has been an interesting exercise. I am not sure a modern setting serves the story best, with our access to internet, television, cell phones, processed foods etc. If the theme of this series is about people revealing their true selves under stress, why not place the setting in the summer of 1940, right before the Nazis start to bomb the UK. The arrival of the fog rachets up the pre-war hysteria and paranoia. It would mean less world building and more character work.
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ReneC
Posted: August 25th, 2019, 9:58pm Report to Moderator
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Great book.

I think the fog is a hindrance but not crippling unless it's so thick you can't see your hand in front of your face. I've been in pea soup fog like that, it's distressing, and light and sound don't behave normally.

Blind people still have all the disadvantages of being blind, they have just as much difficulty navigating unknown territory, but that's a skill they can teach. Sight is still going to be useful.

The fog shouldn't be that big a problem or the narrative will suffer. We need visuals.


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ReneC
Posted: August 25th, 2019, 10:10pm Report to Moderator
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I like the idea of variable fog. Pea soup in places or at times, thinner at others. Dry in places, sopping wet in others. Freezing or hot and humid. Ever changing by location and over time, but ever present.

As for characters, different POVs from different levels of the story: an average Joe or family, a survivalist, a reporter, a teenager, a politician, a scientist, a paramedic, a billionaire...each with a different perspective servicing different parts of the story.


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Dustin
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 2:49am Report to Moderator
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This is starting to go in all sorts of directions. Definitely too many cooks. I'm going to bow out, but good luck to the rest of you... you're gonna need it.


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 6:23am Report to Moderator
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Sorry to hear that, D.

Despite chaotic appearances, it's all funnelling nicely into a cohesive whole.  
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 6:27am Report to Moderator
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Thanks to everyone's hard work, we now have a near definitive TimeLine.

The story has naturally taken shape.

There is essentially a main through-line dealing with a small group in a local community, experiencing the Fog first hand and learning about the wider world through TV and News reports.

This group tries to protect the community but the community collapses when Migrants leave the nearby City, violently overrun it, and leave almost nothing behind.  

Our small group travels to the nearby Hospital to treat the wounds of one/some of its members, where they learn from the Doctor that the Government has announced Martial Law, and effectively abandoned the country.

From there they make a dangerous trek to a Military protected community where they are growing hydroponic crops.


In one of two side stories, we learn of the actions of the COBRA Committee (the meeting of the Government's highest ranking politicians, security advisers, Military etc) through Recorded Minutes. They give the audience the real information that the characters are denied access to and we learn the true magnitude of the situation through them.

They organise attempts to dispel the fog, which fail. Leading to a decision to try to burn the atmosphere in some way in a desperate attempt to avert even greater numbers of deaths (and for their own benefit).


In another side story, we follow a member of the local community as he descends into a kind of 'Fog Madness'.

Hearing about the abandoned prisons he leaves the community to release them.

The three strands come together when the Prison group attack the Main Character's Community and are about to succeed, but the Government's drastic plan interjects when the atmosphere erupts into cataclysmic fire..leaving the story on a dramatic cliffhanger as we wonder how anyone could possibly survive what's about to happen....and setting up Season 2 nicely.


It's a very strong structure and full of drama.

Outside the scope of those three main lines, there's also the possibility of additional POV's and side-lines that fit in along the way (for instance the Rich people hiding in bunkers idea) but those are the three critical lines which the story must be built around.

The main challenge is the madman's story-line...that will be the thing that makes or breaks it. That will give it a unique tone and a feeling of eeriness, but it needs to feel plausible as well and as far away from cliché as humanly possible.

The main through line and the Cobra side-line should be fairly simple to write.


From here we'll move on to populating the world with the characters. I'll start a new thread.

Thanks everyone. It's been a great discussion so far, and surprisingly productive in a very short time.

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Scar Tissue Films  -  August 26th, 2019, 7:15am
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 7:13am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from stephen
That was a great article, Libby. Thanks for that.

The first thing we should hear is a foghorn. The location where this season takes place should be east of Manchester and closer to the coast. It should be summer so the foghorn would be out of place.

Another sound cue that may be interesting is dogs barking in the background before someone realizes they've all stopped because the dogs have run away or gone missing.

This has been an interesting exercise. I am not sure a modern setting serves the story best, with our access to internet, television, cell phones, processed foods etc. If the theme of this series is about people revealing their true selves under stress, why not place the setting in the summer of 1940, right before the Nazis start to bomb the UK. The arrival of the fog rachets up the pre-war hysteria and paranoia. It would mean less world building and more character work.


Hi Stephen,

None of our modern peripherals are going to make any difference in a world where the food supply is rotting within days.

It's better in a contemporary setting.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 7:27am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ReneC
For the cult, I was thinking something along of lines of ones who embrace the fog as a sign, a cleansing of the wicked and the weak. Maybe the leader is a blind man since blindness seems to be a strength in this world, and ironic (the blind literally leading the blind).


Hi Rene,


I'd prefer if he could see.

I'd like the whole fog madness thing to be based around Pareidolia:


Quoted Text
Pareidolia is a type of apophenia, which is a more generalized term for seeing patterns in random data.



Basically, he starts seeing patterns and messages in the swirling fog.

Perhaps he's already inclined to this behaviour at the start, but it gets worse when he can't get his medicine anymore.

I want to take the cult idea away from established ideas of religion and such, make it more fitting in with the fog itself. A swirling mass of nothing. Or a swirling mass of nothing that he comes to believe is alive and wants to serve...perhaps by making burned offerings so that the smoke becomes part of the fog itself, adding to its power in his mind.

A kind of madness characterised by a feeling of non existence, brought on by the dampening of sounds through the fog, and the reduction of visibility...and it becomes like an existential void that he wants to fill.

Overall, I want the tone of the "cult" to feel more like a form of Mass Hysteria, like a collective madness . Almost like because they can't escape the fig, they want to become part of it.

I know that's hard to comprehend...
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 7:40am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ReneC
I like the idea of variable fog. Pea soup in places or at times, thinner at others. Dry in places, sopping wet in others. Freezing or hot and humid. Ever changing by location and over time, but ever present.

As for characters, different POVs from different levels of the story: an average Joe or family, a survivalist, a reporter, a teenager, a politician, a scientist, a paramedic, a billionaire...each with a different perspective servicing different parts of the story.


All sounds good.

I like the idea of variable fog. I think the thickness of it can be used as a way of making the story quite shocking as well.

For instance you can hear something ahead, but you can't see anything.

But then just for a brief second the swirling wind creates some clarity, and you see the terrible thing in front of you before the fog closes in again...

Maybe five heads on poles as a group sit round a campfire.

Or a released lion, stood just ten feet away....
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hawkeye
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 9:29am Report to Moderator
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Just my two cents but I agree with Rene’s timeline.

Gary


My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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Nomad
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 10:36am Report to Moderator
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Just a quick note:  

Governments would already have a contingency plan for something like this as far as the crops go.
What we're describing here is similar to a nuclear winter.
I don't know exactly what the plan would be, whether it's underground caverns, seed vaults in Norway, hydroponic crop centers...

They wouldn't have to scramble to come up with a plan, they would just need to modify an existing plan.


2 cents:

  • The blind character is too much like The Book Of Eli/Bird Box.
  • A roving army of zealots sounds like The Postman.


-Jordan


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 10:42am Report to Moderator
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Good notes.

I'll try and find out about a contingency plan.
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FrankM
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 11:10am Report to Moderator
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Keep in mind that professional sports matches will end the first day the Fog is thick.

If religion is the opiate of the masses, sport is their cocaine.

Maybe the local football team lost badly, and they have to live with having lost the last football game EVER. Minor point, but could motivate a footballer to try and prove his worth during an emergency.


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ReneC
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 12:08pm Report to Moderator
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Just had something spring to mind and want to throw it out there.

Season 1 cliffhanger is the climactic battle interrupted by a firestorm and not knowing if anyone will survive.

Season 2 opener: Ashes, cinders, singes, survivors picking themselves up, everything kind of stunned still. The air is clear. Completely clear. Devastation for miles, but the sun shines brightly and everything is still. People on both sides just stand there in the sun for the first time in months and drink it all in.

And then the fog starts to rise, straight from the ground, pools in low lying areas, billowing upwards, cascades towards them, engulfs them, and robs them of the sun again.


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