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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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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 23rd, 2019, 5:03pm Report to Moderator
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Thanks to everyone's hard work, we now have a near definitive Timeline, so everybody can see what's happening and when.




_______________Start of Season _______________

EPISODE ONE

Day One: Date: JANUARY 1ST.

Dramatic Appearance of Fog.
People outside or in cars find themselves trapped in the fog.
Many car crashes, especially on the Motorways.
Local roads blocked from collisions.
People make their way blindly to wherever they can.
Our characters head towards the local pub which has switched all its lights on.
Altercation in the Pub between Freddie and others. He's not wanted there.
Jane (Main Character) called.
Jane Turns up with her Partner in tow to deal with the altercation.


Foreshadowing that the fog effects some people.
TV. Government recommends people don't travel.
Police and Emergency crews lead the stranded to safety.
Police and Fire Brigade set up lights/beacons/radio systems to inform the populace whereabouts they find themselves.

TV. Commercial flights delayed.
TV. Schools Shut.
TV. Trains operational, but cancelled. Lot of people stranded in Train Stations.
People wondering how long it will last.
TV. News reporting that it's everywhere.

Day 2

Motorways and many local roads blocked from Road Traffic Accidents.
Police evacuating people stuck on the motorways.
Police trying to find ways to direct the lost home.
Emergency crews can't clear the roads enough for civilians. Too many accidents. Too dangerous.
First Meeting of the COBRA committee.
TV and local news instructing everyone to stay indoors and only leave for emergencies.
Keep phones on you at all times and make sure you know where you are.
The roads are only avilable to Emergency Services.
TV. Commercial flights grounded indefinitely.
TV. Supplies, including Medical Supplies disrupted. These include medicine for conditions such as Diabetes, as well as anti-psychotics and such but Government assures any delays are only temporary and solutions will be found.
Livestock on motorways, trapped in lorries?
Trains only running emergency supplies.
GPS etc still active.
People putting lights up to light the way.

Day 3
Some people still missing.
Army called in to help Emergency services?
Some Work shuts down. Most offices close. Others try to soldier through.
Some treating it like a holiday. Going to the pub.
Hospitals and Power Stations still operating.

Day 4

Local gangs playing up a bit.
Mild harassment. Vandalism. Burglary. Foreshadowing of them being dangerous later.


Day 5

Guy who later become cult leader starts staring intently at the patterns in the fog.
He begins recording his experiences on a Journal.
Psychological Effects and Potential Physiological effects becoming clearer.


Day 6

Local Community Meeting to discuss situation.
Anger expressed at situation.
Pleas for calm.


Day 7


Satellites/ Iss space station reporting that the fog is worldwide, with only mountains clear.
COBRA.First sign of real trouble...Farmers reporting crops are wilting nationwide.
COBRA. Government scientists informing them that if it continues indefinitely crops will fail.
COBRA. Government does not release the information for fear of creating panic.
Local Radio. Knowledge that the crop damage is worldwide starts to leak out. Farmers phoning up.
Just have to hope that the Fog clears.
TV. Religious groups offer prayers.

EPISODE 2

Day 8

COBRA/TV. Period of scientific observation of the fog.
COBRA/TV. Discussion of possible causes.
COBRA/TV/Pub. Discussion of how long it can last.
TV/Pub. Economy suffering. Economists discussing effect on local and Global economies. People complaining about not being able to work.



Day 9

People reporting first stages of Fog Mania. Feeling of mild depression, isolation, of nothingness.
Demand for answers.
TV/Local  Radio. Crop situation worse. Food production/crops affected. Certain food types still OK. Mushrooms.
MAIN STORY. JANE. The first people begin to stockpile food.
TV. Government tries to reassure public that there are food reserves and that the Fog is a natural, if unusual weather phenomenon and will disappear.


Day 10

Scientist says that because we do not know what's casuing it, it's impossible to say whether it will disappear without intervention.
Stories are already running rampant about who is responsible. Conspiracy theory about plot to reduce population?
Others claim it's Climate Change.
Developing psychological effects amongst some people.
First disappearances. Possible murderer on the loose suffering from 'Fog Mania', or something else? Is the Fog taking them?
Search parties organised.
People start to believe there are things in the Fog.


EPISODE 3

Day 20

Conclusions about the nature of the Fog from scientific observation. They understand the composition. They are baffled about it's scale.
COBRA Meeting. Have to start planning for the fact it's here to stay.
Worries that supplies, including Medical Supplies will be disrupted. These include medicine for conditions such as Diabetes, as well as anti-psychotics and such.

Publically, Government assures any delays are only temporary and solutions will be found.
People begin stockpiling food in droves.
Scenes of violence at Supermarkets.

Day 21

Some people already without food. Food banks have no stock.
Rise of crime. Local gangs causing trouble. Burglary on the increase.￿
Local Communities organise Neighbourhood Watch schemes.


Day 22

Beginning of scapegoating of minorities or specific groups due to conspiracy theories.

Developments of fog mania. More people experiencing Depression and mild hallucinations brought on by Sensory Deprivation.
Future cult guy  continuing descent into insanity.

Medical shortages? Diabetics etc?

First attempt to clear the fog using Military means.

[Calcium chloride, calcium sulfate, activated carbon, zeolites and silica gel are all common desiccants that could theoretically remove moisture from the air. It would take great quantities spread efficiently through the atmosphere. Think crop planes seeding the air, military jets].

After a moderate success, it fails. They will try again.

EPISODE 4

Day 31￿ FEBRUARY 1st.

Winter comes. Freezing fog.
Livestock dying. Others fleeing to escape cold.
Asthmatics and people with breathing difficulties start to die.
Birds falling from the sky, frozen to death.￿
Major Food shortage. Majority of crops fail due to the freezing fog.

DAY 31

Government response. COBRA meeting.
Scientists inform them that they cannot predict the length it will last.
Government announces financial measures. Temporary freezing of debts due to situation.
Imports from other countries effected.
Second attempt to clear the fog using Military means. Fails.
Rationing introduced.
Government orders Police and Military to protect food supplies.
Camps will be established to distribute food.
Government instigates hydroponic crop growing and other emergency food growing measures.
Angry response...it's going to take too long to complete.
Government asks for calm, but are already aware that they are right...it's not going to be enough.

DAY 32

Fog mania getting worse. People saying they see things in the fog. That there are patterns. People trying to make sense of the patterns.
Another murder/disappearance. Future Cult Leader again.
Maybe Cult Leader is gathering together with other people who are slowly going crazy.
Shocking scene.
People trying to escape the fog by going to high ground.
They take tents, what food they have and head for the hills.
Rich elite put their survival plans into operation. They retreat to their bunkers.



EPISODE 5

Day 40

Food riots. Looting. Mass violence.
Mass Migration from Cities into suburbia and countryside in search of food.
Local communities build haphazard defences against predicted influx.
The local communities desperately try to barricade their homes and hide their vauluables and their food.
The Migrants appear.
Local Communities attempt to head them off at the ends of roads and re-direct them elsewhere.
Altercations take place. Fights ensue.
Defences fail.
Huge number of migrants from cities swarm through into the local town.
Suburbs overrun.
People's houses raided for their food.
Lots of violence, several deaths of characters.

EPISODE SIX

Day 41

Aftermath of town attack.
People check on each other and on the damage.
They bury their dead. Or not.
One of main characters is wounded.
They take him/her to Trafford General Hospital.
Main characters meet the Doctor.

Local communities gather what little they have left. It's not going to be enough.
Survivors go off try to find a community or To find a Government Hydroponic installation.

EPISODE SEVEN

Day 42

At the Hospital they learn that:

Martial Law declared.
Looters will be shot on sight.

Low risk Prisoners released from Prison.
Decision made to abandon high risk inmates.
Hospitals have been abandoned.
The Hospitals have no food. Their patients will die.
Despite Patients abandoned in hospitals, Doctor stays with them.
Future Cult Leader overhears part about the Prisons.
He leaves the Hospital and makes his way to a Prison.


COBRA meeting.

Government officials collude with heads of Military and selected Scientists to discuss problem.
We hav to start worrying about our own survival.
Government attempt to burn Fog away in some way with Military.

They are aware of the extreme nature of the risk, but believe they can contain it.

Government officials disappear.
Updates from Politicians on News stop.
People turn solely to local news.


Survivors from local community travelling cross country:

Barter economy. People willing to do anything for food.
People eating cats and dogs.
Others hunting for food. Learning to trap etc
Packs of starving dogs now on the prowl.

Starving people target zoos and animal centres to eat them.￿
PETA and or/zoo owners release animals to give them a chance of survival.
Animals now lurking amidst the Fog.

Witness a crashed Police Helicopter.
Local Gangs celebrate round the burning wreckage. Then drag the dead bodies out to eat them.
Main characters are shocked and terrified.
They head for a Hydroponic community mentioned by the Doctor.


EPISODE EIGHT

Day 50

Government/Military attempts to grow crops are thwarted as people overrun installations to get food.
Military fire on civilians to protect food.
Military and Police disband and form their own Militias. Some try to protect the people, some are out for themselves.
Bad Militias take food from people. Create their own encampment/village. Take control of one of the hydroponic towers to keep food for themselves.

Day 55

Future Cult Leader arrives at a Prison for a  group of high risk, criminally insane inmates. He releases them.
Weird, creepy scenes.

The high risk criminals act as a tribe and will stop at nothing to get food.

They gather forces with the Local Gangs.

Day 60

The psychos/cult hunt down the Rich Elites attempting to find and infiltrate their Bunkers or they chance over a community trying to establish itself.


First people affected by the disruption to Medical Supplies start to die.


EPISODE NINE

Day 70

Main characters reach a community. Protected by decent Military.

All society has fallen. Individuals run, hide, defend. New communities band together to survive and defend.

Cult army moves through the fog conscripting or slaughtering everyone they come across.

COBRA MEETING

Decision made to try to burn the atmosphere to dispel fog.



EPISODE TEN

Day 90

The cult army discovers the community. The army has the firepower, the community has adapted to defending themselves in the fog. Good vs. evil. David vs. Goliath. The inevitable clash nearly destroys both sides.

The cult is going to win, but at that point the Military attempt their atmospheric experiment.

Catastrophic result. Atmospheric burning goes out of control and burns everything in sight.

We leave the Season on a cliffhanger not knowing who, or how they are going to survive.....

______________________End Season _____________


Coal powered stations go offline?
Parts of country without power?

Sanitation and water go off in effected areas.

Disease  begins


Nuclear power still functional.


Beginning of cannibalism?

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Scar Tissue Films  -  September 2nd, 2019, 3:51pm
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Who will we be following through this story? Will each episode feature new characters dealing with a new scenario? I think that would be kind of cool.

And how would this "event" affect the prison systems? Could be a juicy little tale there.


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Scar Tissue Films
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Quoted from Zack
Who will we be following through this story? Will each episode feature new characters dealing with a new scenario? I think that would be kind of cool.

And how would this "event" affect the prison systems? Could be a juicy little tale there.


We're not sure yet. First we're going to establish a time-line for everyone, then we'll work on the characters and stories.

Prison is interesting.

Choices: Leave them to die. Kill them. Let them go. They're abandoned, but escape...or are freed.
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Scar Tissue Films
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Some other possible events:

Mass Migration from countries.
Countries invading other countries.

New Cold War as countries blame each other?
Nuclear War?


Attempt to establish some kind of community/city above Fog line?
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films

Beginning of cannibalism?


That escalated quickly.

I like the idea of the temperature during winter being well below freezing but the fog doesn't go away.  More mystery.

We can create a journey to an elevated position to see if the fog has a ceiling, or we could just have someone come from a skyscraper and tell everyone that the fog is all the way up there too.

What do they see from space? Maybe the ISS informs everyone that the fog is global.

How thick is the fog?
How much light gets through?
Will that be enough for the plants to survive or does the world have dying crops and that is a major problem to overcome?
Do infrared goggles penetrate the fog?

The military and police would be pretty helpless as far as being proactive if they can't see through the fog.

We need to go over the basics of the world this story takes place in, and then come up with the bones of the story:  
A family's survival?
Communities band together?
World peace?
Aliens terraforming Earth? (Bad idea. Not winning.)

-Jordan


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
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SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
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I'll throw out some timeline ideas, trying not to repeat the above too much:

- There is a period of time where governments full-on lie about the realities of the fog; no one is willing to admit that the fog has covered everything everywhere for fear of creating a panic, so this information comes out in bits and pieces

- Period of scientific observation of the fog; at the same time, stories are already running rampant about who is responsible, and every advance in knowledge by those studying the fog immediately becomes distorted/politicized/etc. to the point where they can't really get their message out (and they don't know much anyway)

- Once the fog has really settled in everything comes screaming to a halt pretty quick. People can't see, so people can't work; people can't drive/fly, so goods can't travel. Crime follows this almost immediately, then an attempt at martial law that is basically useless, riots, looting -- lawlessness sets in

- Loss of power, running water, internet, etc.

- Mass deaths of especially the poor lead to powerful diseases that run rampant through heavily populated areas

- The rich and powerful have a variety of escape plans set up, but most of these involve air travel and will not work. Underground bunkers -- the major ones, like Raven Rock (does the UK have equivalents?) -- become a major gathering place for the powerful due to their freedom from the fog.

- There's basically a top-down effect once it becomes clear that the fog's not leaving anytime soon; first the richest and most powerful abandon the world for the safety of bunkers etc., many at the top of the military chain of command disappear

- As military communication breaks down, military sites become dangerous and violent places, as they are an obvious place to flee to. Generally bereft of leadership, many army groups essentially become independent militias. Same for police stations, prisons, etc.

- Some sort of widespread witch hunt occurs: [whatever unlucky group] becomes blamed for the fog to an extent that they are in frequent mortal danger from strangers

And obviously at some point the cannibals develop their own kung fu style that's based primarily on teeth attacks.


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I personally think the key success to this is to build the world and have it established but have the central story and characters smallish scale - Birdbox, A Quiet Place,  The Silence, The Road, Children Of Men, all focus on a small group of central survivors.

If you look at even grand scale backdrop movies like 28 Days Later, I Am Legend, Work War Z, with world changing events their success in terms of audience appeal is that we follow a small band of central survivors. Take this on a grand scale I fear it might be a mess of too many cooks in the kitchen and way too many story strands. Jmho.


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Health issues?  Does being in the fog itself create respiratory problems, skin issues, blindness?

Maybe it drives animal crazy.  Causes them to stampede into the suburbs, destroying property, killing people.  Animals have to be put down, but if you eat animals killed, it causes death in the consumer. Thus, food shortages abound.

Is the fog worldwide, or is it contained to America, for example?  That could present interesting scenarios as people flee the states to Mexico, but are turned away, arrested, sent back to the U.S.  Too political?

If it's not worldwide, what does the end of the fog look like?  is it a wall, or does it slowly dissipate?  How thick is the fog? In most fogs, you can see a certain distance in front of you, say ten yards or so, but then everything beyond that is a haze or completely invisible.  Could lead to cases of mistaken identity or things suddenly appearing out of the mist (what a title! I think I used that in the writer's tournament!).

Do we have an ultimate resolution to the fog?  Or do people just adapt to it?  Could this be a mechanism developed by the Russians in an ultimate attempt to take us over?

Can technology be developed to "see" through the fog?

Just a personal opinion from me -- but we have to have hope for our main characters.  This can't just be bad things happening over and over and then there's a neat or abrupt resolution at the end.  Think about "Lost". They were on this island, seemingly no chance of escape, and then polar bears show up, and they find the hatch and then other people on another part of the island. So likewise, we can build layers where there are surprises that keep coming, and with it, the hope that somehow there is a way out of this situation.

Does the financial system collapse? Do certain items become valuable to use in bartering?  For example, is a bottle of water more valuable than a gold brick?

Basic hygiene.  Is that out the window?  Do toilets and showers function?  

If people are dying in the streets, how are they being disposed of?  Can they even be found in the fog?  Does the fog disrupt the sense of smell?

IS THE FOG A METAPHOR FOR SOMETHING ELSE (e.g., hatred taking over our country)??

So enough questions from me.


My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site

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khamanna
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That's a nice thing you're doing here.

I really like communities banding together among other stuff. Maybe fighting each other over old relics or something valuable. Like a valuable weapon or a device. Like device that reads minds or something.
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Dustin
Posted: August 24th, 2019, 3:19am Report to Moderator
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RE: Too many story strands... I don't think this matters too much. I'm put in mind of the series, Lost.

All great ideas and suggestions so far. Like space... maybe a cliche, but we could have astronaut characters who can see all.

I like people going crazy... but this should be left open as to whether the situation is driving them mad, or there's something in the fog causing it.

We need a scientist character.

A character that takes advantage of the situation, uses it to further his/her own ends from a criminal and domination perspective.

An ordinary family... maybe Mom's a climatologist.

How far into the fog can people go? Do they just disappear? Do they scream first or are they just gone?


Maybe we should just jump right into the story... so the fog has landed heavy right away. No warning. It's just there one morning when the world wakes. This could also be a world-wide thing. We could have US, UK, and AUS characters. Perhaps others too.... Russian, Chinese... etc.


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Scar Tissue Films
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You can travel as far into the fog as you want.

The vibe I want is that the characters and the audience don't know for sure if there is anything in the fog, or if there isn't. So it's always a mystery and people come to believe things about it, that aren't necessarily true.


So someone can go into the fog and disappear.. But we don't know if they've fallen down a storn drain, been murdered by a crook, been eaten by a pack of starving dogs or whatever... But people will start to believe there are things there, even if maybe there aren't.

That whole scepticism vs belief, "is there /isn't there" should play a strong part all the way through, for me. Because it will keep you listening to find out.

Trying to find out will almost certainly become part of any central story as well, I imagine..
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Dustin
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Just throwing this out there, but I'm guessing that there are writers like myself that prefer working alone. Even with a good writer here, I feel our styles will clash.

We could still collaborate but perhaps this would be better done after the fact. So we all treat this as a normal OWC. We take your frameowrk and create characters within it. Then we all review each others' scripts like normal and then the best storylines are worked on by two or more writers.

We could also write about our own places - where we live. The people we know and see. I still live on a council estate... a couple of gangs around here. How would a family living in that situation cope?

Does anybody else feel uncomfortable jumping straight into a collab?


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Two background strands that can intersect with the foreground story as convenient:

Science, Certainty, and Skepticism:
Since an audio play cant just show newspaper headlines or computer screens, someone needs to say out loud what they think is happening. The mouthpiece can be a climate scientist, meteorologist, etc. but that only makes sense if were going to involve that person in the global hunt for the Fogs nature. A second choice could be some conspiracy nut or climate skeptic character (Hey, I dont remember the IPCC predicting a Fog.) giving this part of the story an Unreliable Narrator vibe. What we should not do is fall into the trap of using a generic scientist whos good at all things sciency. So if we go with some third choice (for example a pediatrician or engineer or something) that person would be explicitly out of their field trying to explain the climate stuff to the other characters.

Semi-regular arguments between a skeptic and a non-climate scientist might fulfill the exposition needs, and allow for getting unhinged as the story goes on, but it means not having the central characters involved in the global effort to solve the mystery.

Transportation:
Most forms of commercial transport shrug off fog as an inconvenience. Now a Fog that scatters radar signals would pretty much end civilian aviation. There are military craft that can substitute for control towers (e.g., AWACS planes), but the simple fact that those towers are moving make everything non-routine. Sea planes have the least need for aviation infrastructure, and would be the last to cease operations.

Fog that scatters radar would also make shipping significantly more dangerous, but long-range shipping existed for centuries before radar was invented. If nothing else, every docking becomes a hair-raising experience prone to catastrophe. Its a given that Fog screws up celestial navigation, so they would rely on GPS, and LORAN might be brought out of mothballs as a backup.

Fog that messes up GPS signals would bring shipping to a halt, and make a mess of ground transportation. Trains would be the most robust to this because the tracks are all in known locations, but this also makes them prime targets for bandits. Pipelines (including aquifers) arent affected by Fog at all, but need to be maintained and might also attract bandits.

Failing transportation networks can feed into foreground stories via the availability of things to the heroes. Are there local sources of food? Fuel? Medicine? Probably not enough to keep everyone in good shape, and someone can explicitly mention how interdependent communities have become.


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Dustin
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We can have more than one scientist. I don't think we should approach this in the usual storyline manner. This isn't a movie. It can be a collection of podcasts of different characters experiences. So long as the framework remains consistent then we could have multiple story strands... as each strand will merely be about survival and not solving the fog issue. The good thing with this idea is that we will appeal to the broadest possible audience.

The way we solve the fog issue or give reason for it can be decided way, way down the line... if ever.


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Quoted from Dustin


Does anybody else feel uncomfortable jumping straight into a collab?


I, too, am a bit worried. I've never had much success collaborating with other writers. That said, I'm very open to it. Could be a pretty good learning experience.


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How would this event affect livestock?


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This is interesting, and sorta answers your question, Zack::

In the spring and summer of 1816, a persistent "dry fog" was observed in parts of the eastern United States. The fog reddened and dimmed the sunlight, such that sunspots were visible to the naked eye. Neither wind nor rainfall dispersed the "fog". It has been characterized as a "stratospheric sulfate aerosol veil".[7]

Year without a Summer:
Read on, it's very interesting - food shortages, riots, the whole gamut.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer
https://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2016/05/26/year-without-a-summer-1816-mount-tambora/84855694/

Frozen birds dropped dead in the streets of Montreal, and lambs died from exposure in Vermont, the New England Historical Society said.




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Zack
Posted: August 24th, 2019, 9:51am Report to Moderator
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Interesting stuff, Libby. That's crazy that birds dropped out of the sky. That should definitely be worked into this.


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Heretic
Posted: August 24th, 2019, 10:24am Report to Moderator
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My two cents on some timeline questions/ideas:


Quoted Text
Is the fog worldwide, or is it contained to America, for example?  That could present interesting scenarios as people flee the states to Mexico, but are turned away, arrested, sent back to the U.S.  Too political?


I thought worldwide -- but at the same time, the point is kinda that nobody has the means to find out? It's probably but maybe not worldwide, and rumours of "clear" spaces abound?


Quoted Text
Does the financial system collapse? Do certain items become valuable to use in bartering?  For example, is a bottle of water more valuable than a gold brick?


I don't think so -- I think this is one of the really interesting things about this concept, that everyone is waiting for the fog to potentially lift at any moment. Those in need would trade gold for water, but I think those with a bit of a setup are probably still stockpiling typical things of value.


Quoted Text
Basic hygiene.  Is that out the window?  Do toilets and showers function?


This raises an interesting question: can we harvest this mysterious fog for water? Does it act like a normal fog in that way? Or is this maybe one of the solutions that is tried, but it makes people sick, suggesting that something is different about this fog?


Quoted Text
Like space... maybe a cliche, but we could have astronaut characters who can see all.


Love this for a one-off sequence midway through. Stranded astronauts who can see everything but have been left to die.


Quoted Text
So someone can go into the fog and disappear.. But we don't know if they've fallen down a storn drain, been murdered by a crook, been eaten by a pack of starving dogs or whatever... But people will start to believe there are things there, even if maybe there aren't.


It seems like eventually there's a divide: rooted communities that refuse to travel further through the fog than necessary, and have varying levels of suspicion about the fog and anything in it; and others, who constantly travel, seeking a solution or money or better weapons or trade or whatever.


Quoted Text
...but it means not having the central characters involved in the global effort to solve the mystery.


I think this is the way to go. It's a show about how we react to the unknown, first and foremost.


Quoted Text
Most forms of commercial transport shrug off fog as an inconvenience.


The way I'm imagining the fog -- just there and impenetrable one morning -- kinda precludes this. Planes and ships could move, and will in emergencies, but for the most part, who's there to operate them? No one can drive or really get anywhere in a city. No one's going to work. No one's at any other jobs to coordinate things. I think the normal flow of work/commerce breaks down very quickly and essentially becomes unrecoverable, including transport.


Quoted Text
Frozen birds dropped dead in the streets of Montreal


Agreed with Zack that this has to go in there -- either as a sequence, or through a character reciting their memory, depending on where in the timeline the story ends up starting.


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FrankM
Posted: August 24th, 2019, 12:00pm Report to Moderator
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Heretic, people wouldnt simply give up on getting to work. I can easily get to work with five feet of visibility (to pick a range out of the hat), though if the Fog was in subway tunnels the trains would run slower. Those outside major cities would have a harder time, but theyre not the major ports and airports. (Edit: Mayor DiBlasio would LOVE to have an excuse to ban privately-owned cars from NYC.)

What five feet of visibility does is make loading and unloading cargo an accident-prone adventure. Collisions in port wont happen very often because the harbormaster will slow entries down to a crawl, but the pace will probably slow down enough to have serious consequences.

Things basically get more expensive before any widespread outages and occur.


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 24th, 2019, 12:18pm Report to Moderator
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This fog is a bit different, though, as it's not temporary and isn't localised.

https://www.business-standard......-110012500064_1.html

After jus a few days if heavy fog, the crops started wilting in the above example.

So they die quite rapidly.

Because this is happening all over the world, people's minds are going to be on survival fairly quickly.
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JEStaats
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- Fog or mist? Needs to be fog as mist usually provides greater visibility to 1.5 miles.

- Are we going with 'normal' fog but just global coverage and it doesn't go away? Or is there something unnatural to it like phosphorescence, static or tingling when you travel through it? I'd vote for something unnatural or mysterious. No creatures in the fog though, just bad people and behavior.

- If the fog has unnatural attributes, it could first present itself as a novelty with children playing in it as it swirls around their ankles and 'crackles'. As it rises, the fear factor kicks in and it starts messing with GPS, communications, CELL PHONES (OMG), but compasses still work but only for direction since you have no visual bearings.

- Topography comes into play now: The masses 'head for the hills! Mountains are now islands in the sky. Chaos escalates as islands shrink and people fear going back into the fog.

- Religion needs to play a big part in this. New religions formed around self-proclaimed zealots. Revert back to mass accusations and claims of witchcraft. Burn her! Unless she weighs more than a duck. Or a small stone.

- I still lean towards individual shorts that can be linked by a common thread.

The well is dry for now... I'll give it a couple hours....
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Scar Tissue Films
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Quoted from JEStaats
- Fog or mist? Needs to be fog as mist usually provides greater visibility to 1.5 miles.

- Are we going with 'normal' fog but just global coverage and it doesn't go away? Or is there something unnatural to it like phosphorescence, static or tingling when you travel through it? I'd vote for something unnatural or mysterious. No creatures in the fog though, just bad people and behavior.

- If the fog has unnatural attributes, it could first present itself as a novelty with children playing in it as it swirls around their ankles and 'crackles'. As it rises, the fear factor kicks in and it starts messing with GPS, communications, CELL PHONES (OMG), but compasses still work but only for direction since you have no visual bearings.

- Topography comes into play now: The masses 'head for the hills! Mountains are now islands in the sky. Chaos escalates as islands shrink and people fear going back into the fog.

- Religion needs to play a big part in this. New religions formed around self-proclaimed zealots. Revert back to mass accusations and claims of witchcraft. Burn her! Unless she weighs more than a duck. Or a small stone.

- I still lean towards individual shorts that can be linked by a common thread.

The well is dry for now... I'll give it a couple hours....


It'll probably just be standard (if unusual) fog. I like the images of the phosphorescence though. I think if we were making a film it would be a good shout, but I reckon when it's just audio just a thick fog is creepy enough.

Yeah, there's some religious beats missing...I'll find a way to stick that in.

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Zack
Posted: August 24th, 2019, 2:06pm Report to Moderator
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All of the ideas that keep coming to me are very visual. Gonna be really tough trying to shift to audio only storytelling.


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Scar Tissue Films
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Quoted from Zack
All of the ideas that keep coming to me are very visual. Gonna be really tough trying to shift to audio only storytelling.


That's fine.

Cinematic is good, even on a Podcast.
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Scar Tissue Films
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Quoted from LC
This is interesting, and sorta answers your question, Zack::

In the spring and summer of 1816, a persistent "dry fog" was observed in parts of the eastern United States. The fog reddened and dimmed the sunlight, such that sunspots were visible to the naked eye. Neither wind nor rainfall dispersed the "fog". It has been characterized as a "stratospheric sulfate aerosol veil".[7]

Year without a Summer:
Read on, it's very interesting - food shortages, riots, the whole gamut.

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Year_Without_a_Summer
https://www.usatoday.com/story/weather/2016/05/26/year-without-a-summer-1816-mount-tambora/84855694/

Frozen birds dropped dead in the streets of Montreal, and lambs died from exposure in Vermont, the New England Historical Society said.




This is great, Libby.

Like others have said, we'll definitely have to put that in.
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Dustin
Posted: August 24th, 2019, 3:54pm Report to Moderator
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All descriptions will have to be cleverly woven into dialogue. You want phosphorescence, then it can be done. The magic of radio is that we can have whatever we like.... blow the budget!


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stephen
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I am with LC about centering the first season around a smaller group of characters and build out from there. Here are some of my ideas:

Information about the heavy fog could come in piecemeal initially from various characters or radio reports as a curiosity and as soon as the characters suspect something is amiss and the fog is of concern, the power goes out so no internet and no TV. If the fog can destroy crops and knock birds out of the sky in a matter of days, imagine what it can do to a power grid.

Our central characters could be located in the countryside so they know each other. They gather and provide bits of information. Volunteers venture into the fog to seek resources in Manchester but some do not return. The remaining characters split on how to proceed and tensions rise. Maybe another small group shows up seeking help. They may be desperate. No sign of any authority yet.

The fog is thick and cold. Some who have ventured out and returned claim the ground was frozen beneath their feet only yards away from their refuge. Others claim they hear voices or see shadows in the fog. No one is sure about the cause but most pray it will pass.

I feel the season one ending could be a doorway into the larger world. Maybe a helicopter crashes on top of the group and that brings the authorities. They are whisked away to Manchester for season two.

I imagine season one taking place over a two to three week period. Not sure how the rest of you feel. Once we lock down the story, we should chart the story beats and find where the cliffhangers will be, like the episode one cliffhanger can be when the group loses power or contact with outside world. This way we can determine if the story warrants ten episodes.
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JEStaats
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Okay, got it...

We could do the podcast as a call-in radio show with each episode being another week or so into the fogs presence. The 'DJs' are the central characters that ties each episode together as the common thread. Each episode could have a guest (e.g. scientist, clergy, celebrity, etc.) and callers could ask questions, comment or give recounts of their experience with the fog. Desperation mounts each week as does the guest status.

SS writers could collaborate or write as individual assignments?
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 25th, 2019, 1:22pm Report to Moderator
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@Stephen

Some lovely ideas. All noted.

@JeStaats

I really like the idea of the radio station. I had an idea surrounding that as well, which I'll expand upon later.
I dunt know if we'll do the whole show in that format, but I reckon that should be a part of each episode.
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ReneC
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Coming into this cold, here are my thoughts.

I don't want to undermine the great work that's been done here so far. I just think it's too ambitious. The scale of events is great for backstory and to draw from, but not everything should be included. It also needs a clear antagonist other than the fog but related to it or a result of it.

The pace is a problem. It's breakneck. So much happening on a macro level so quickly it doesn't leave much room for character and individual stories. It should start off slower and escalate.

Each episode should be centered around a theme or problem and a season story arcing through them. Act one is introducing the fog and how it affects everyone. Act two is the attempts to resolve the problem, the effects of the prolonged fog, the rise of new problems as a result, and culminates with the breakdown of society. Act three climaxes with the inevitable clashes that culminate in the new world, a world of fog with some people adapting and others surviving by any means necessary.

For the episodes themselves, this is what I came up with from what is already here, from character perspectives:

Episode 1: The fog appears. Initial reactions from people affected, government, scientists, and first responders. Physical and psychological effects.

Episode 2: Worsening of effects, demands for answers, and larger problems caused by prolonged fog. Some people mostly unaffected by the fog, others already in crisis.

Episode 3: The first real attempt to clear the fog fails. Reactions from scientists and government, reactions from people affected. Religious clamorings rise and criminal elements become a larger problem.

Episode 4: Food crisis revealed, leading to another attempt to clear the fog with catastrophic results. Panic sets in, leading to riots and hoarding.

Episode 5: Leaders and military try to quell the violence as a cult leader emerges to encourage it. The violence gets worse. People flee from urban centers but many are ill prepared for the fog-enshrouded rural environs and the people defending their land.

Episode 6: The cult gains followers. They sabotage another effort to end the fog and disrupt hydroponic food growth. Power cuts out. Communication lines fail. People going insane. Religious groups slaughtered. People travel in groups for safety but travel extremely difficult in the fog.

Episode 7: Government and scientists forced into hiding. Max security prisons abandoned. Commerce stops. People settle into surviving. Violence ebbs as freezing fog sets in. The cult leader frees max security prisoners.

Episode 8: Patients abandoned in hospitals but some doctors stay with them. Cult kidnaps some. One doctor finds a new community formed in the country. Military breaks down, some bases secured, others fall into cult hands.

Episode 9: All society has fallen. Individuals run, hide, defend. New communities band together to survive and defend. Cult army moves through the fog conscripting or slaughtering everyone they come across. The doctor's community is joined by a military commander with weapons.

Episode 10: The cult army discovers the doctor's community. The army has the firepower, the community has adapted to defending themselves in the fog. Good vs. evil. David vs. Goliath. The inevitable clash nearly destroys both sides. The cult limps away leaving the decimated community to rebuild.

That's the overall story I came up with based on all the events when picturing individual characters in the episodes. The organic process and the need for some antagonist force caused the rest of the changes. Maybe some of it is useful.


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PKCardinal
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Expanding on the radio idea... those interactions can be the handoff. DJ/Newsman gives an update (beginning of each episode). Takes callers or interviews an expert.

If an expert... asks a few questions, we drop some new exposition, then the interview slides/melts into their storyline. Follow him/her for a bit.

Back to the station, take a caller... normal person dealing with the fog, few questions, end of call, stay with the caller and learn more of their story.

The station acts as a central clearing point for every angle of the story.


Other thoughts... we definitely need to have "normal" people that we follow. Makes it easier for more people to identify with the story. Experts and soldiers, etc are cool and necessary... but, the main focus should be on the everyday citizen. (Another vote for the smaller story.)

For some reason, bats keep coming into my brain. I guess because in this world, we'd all be blind as a bat. Their navigation wouldn't change at all, unlike our's.  Just tossing it out there. Not expecting anything to come of it.

I think it'd be a good idea to establish a hard timeline. Episode one... how many days into this thing? Day one?

Episode two: X days later. Etc., Etc.

And, even getting day specific might be helpful. If episode one is Sept. 15, for example... we know when the weather changes. And, when the New Year hits, etc.



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FrankM
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Sounds like the bones of a decent arc. The cult leader should be someone from the focal community who disappears into the Fog one day (fairly early on) and doesnt return. This person would be about averagely unhinged at the time of disappearance, but some of the things he/she says make a lot more sense in hindsight when the leaders identity is learned.

Could be the radio station engineer or similar so that his/her absence would be noted, but not crippling to the community.

Remember, a prophet is never appreciated at home.


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 25th, 2019, 4:43pm Report to Moderator
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@ Rene.

Welcome aboard. Some interesting thoughts.

The chronology at the start is not a plot line. It's just an attempt to create a semi realistic order of events happening in the world.

So it doesn't include much of what the people are doing regarding the events. Which is why it seems so sudden. It'll be a slow build up at first, mysterious.

According to the research we did, crops start wilting just days after being in heavy fog. So the world's supply of food dies out very rapidly, hence the rapid breakdown of society.

Within about three weeks of the fog starting most of the world's crops have gone. So it's already a battle for survival after just a month or so.

I think we'll probably start at the point the fog's been around for a few days. Before that, the only thing they would have to talk about is the weather, because they'd just be at work, not knowing what's to come. Nothing they could do would have much bearing on what's to come.

I'm thinking a local community meeting with the local Councillor in a Church hall or something... Very English. Everyone introduces themselves before they say their piece. At that point everyone is still themselves and is expecting the Government to get things back to normal. So they're angry with the Government at the disruption. News reports then inform us that the problem is worldwide and is baffling experts...but is expected to be just a temporary phenomenon.

In terms of the cult stuff, I like it but I think you're rushing it a bit. The forces of antagonism with be smaller scale at first, local problems with gangs, the mystery of the fog, disappearances from the local area, then the major problems with people leaving cities.

The cult will develop slowly as the madness kicks in. I like what Frank said about a local community guy. He can go loopy, and be the one that releases prisoners. Then they'll be the major antagonists for season 2.

Bear in mind three 30 minute episodes are the equivalent of a Trilogy of feature films, with another episode on the side... So there's a hell of a lot of time to develop the characters, but also to include a slow build, plus a lot of action.

All the chronological events listed well be interspersed with characters talking, recording their thoughts, moments of levity.

The plan was to stay discussing characters and story lines tomorrow...but we're here now!

One thing is be interested in is any ideas you have for trying to remove the fog. The only thing that seemed reasonable to me was literally trying to burn the atmosphere, which would be a last resort, which is why they only do it at the end of the season. They could try it on a smaller scale, I suppose. Try to bomb the air in a remote location.

God to have you aboard.
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Scar Tissue Films
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Quoted Text
Expanding on the radio idea... those interactions can be the handoff. DJ/Newsman gives an update (beginning of each episode). Takes callers or interviews an expert.

If an expert... asks a few questions, we drop some new exposition, then the interview slides/melts into their storyline. Follow him/her for a bit.

Back to the station, take a caller... normal person dealing with the fog, few questions, end of call, stay with the caller and learn more of their story.

The station acts as a central clearing point for every angle of the story.


Other thoughts... we definitely need to have "normal" people that we follow. Makes it easier for more people to identify with the story. Experts and soldiers, etc are cool and necessary... but, the main focus should be on the everyday citizen. (Another vote for the smaller story.)

For some reason, bats keep coming into my brain. I guess because in this world, we'd all be blind as a bat. Their navigation wouldn't change at all, unlike our's.  Just tossing it out there. Not expecting anything to come of it.

I think it'd be a good idea to establish a hard timeline. Episode one... how many days into this thing? Day one?

Episode two: X days later. Etc., Etc.

And, even getting day specific might be helpful. If episode one is Sept. 15, for example... we know when the weather changes. And, when the New Year hits, etc.


Yes, we'll have ordinary people. I imagine they will be the bulk of the story. I always imagined a small community of people. In a town such as Davyhulme.. A small suburb of Manchester between the City and the Countryside.. So in the way of people leaving the City.

The military/ Government stuff is the background to what's happening, but it's not necessarily the central thing we're showing. It could be rumours they hear, leaks, a News Report, things they witness at a distance etc. That's just what's happening around them.

The specific time line is something I'd like a lot. You can start throwing some dates out, if you want.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 25th, 2019, 5:08pm Report to Moderator
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What do people think?

Start the day the thick fog appears?

That might be the best.

Characters wake up, and bang, it's there. That gives us a bit of time to ease into the story and get to know people...
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FrankM
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RADIO HOST
...and there you have the Government's
official statement. Now, if anyone out
there understands a word of what I just
read, our phone lines are open.


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ReneC
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Okay, ideas for countering the fog. That gets into the rules of the fog.

How high is it? Is it the same height everywhere regardless of elevation or always the same height above ground? Is it so thick it covers even Mount Everest?

It's global, but does that mean it encompasses the earth or just settles over land?

I pictured skyscrapers being above the fog, looking down on an endless sea of fog, but while that's visually neat it might make things too easy on the people. And it's kind of clich.

Really thick fog would cover water as much as land and would be much more difficult to deal with. The lower you are to sea level, the thicker and wetter everything would be. Electronics would be highly susceptible to it unless they are water resistant. Everything would become wet. People would be constantly dripping wet if outdoors. Mold would start to form early. Soil would become unstable. Couple that with the reduced sunlight and all manner of vegetation would suffer. All great things from a story perspective and all really difficult to deal with.

For countering the fog, the idea is to reduce moisture in the air. Fire wouldn't be very effective if everything is so wet. A catastrophic failure could come from seeding the atmosphere with something that burns readily but getting the concentration right would be a real trick and easily miscalculated, especially if the fog isn't fully understood. Too little and nothing happens, too much and boom.

It could be chemical, trying to bond hydrogen atoms out of the air. Charged particles could create water, and should work, but if the fog is being renewed too rapidly it would prove ineffective.

Electricity could try to turn the water in the air into hydrogen gas, which could also be disastrous or ineffective.

Atmospheric water generators could be used, but there's so much fog it wouldn't work unless it's on a massive scale in size or quantity. That could be a plan to pursue though.

There's nanotech solutions but none could be produced on the scale necessary to deal with even localized fog. Solutions that require sunlight are likewise impractical if the fog is so thick there isn't enough direct sunlight.

Those are some off the top of my head and with a brief bit of research.



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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 25th, 2019, 5:41pm Report to Moderator
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That's great stuff. I love the stuff about the mould. That really adds something.

The chemical bond stuff sounds like the most promising line to follow. In the kind of terms a Newsperson would use to describe it...what would they need to attempt it?


You are right about it escalating too quickly, btw.


I'm trying to do it Day by Day at the moment, to try to get it realistic. Some things in the list are too early.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 25th, 2019, 5:44pm Report to Moderator
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Height of the Fog: Open to debate.

High enough to prevent a huge number of people escaping to high ground, but low enough that you can still escape it, I reckon.

It could also change over time...start to go higher and higher.
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Zack
Posted: August 25th, 2019, 6:07pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films


Start the day the thick fog appears?

That might be the best.

Characters wake up, and bang, it's there. That gives us a bit of time to ease into the story and get to know people...


I think this is definitely the way to start this thing.


Quoted from Scar Tissue Films


It could also change over time...start to go higher and higher.


The fog slowly rising is an interesting idea. Could be a great starting point for a season 2.


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Scar Tissue Films
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OK. I've made a stab at putting some specific dates in and separating it into Days.

I'd love it if people could look at it, and pick out the things that happen too early, or too late, so we can get a reasonably solid time-line.

For instance: The Government trying to build hydroponic towers looks basically impossible given the time-frame.

Also, make a note of any interlinking events you can think of, or anything else that occurs to you that would happen.

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Zack
Posted: August 25th, 2019, 6:18pm Report to Moderator
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Really like the outline you provided, Rene. It has some real potential. I agree with Frank that the Cult Leader should be someone from the local community who disappears early in the fog. Maybe a local Priest?


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ReneC
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Calcium chloride, calcium sulfate, activated carbon, zeolites and silica gel are all common desiccants that could theoretically remove moisture from the air. It would take great quantities spread efficiently through the atmosphere. Think crop planes seeding the air, military jets, etc.

It might even start to work, before the fog increases.

Cooling air holds less moisture. If the fog persists even during cold periods it would be a game-changer, not normal at all.


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FrankM
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Quoted from ReneC
Calcium chloride, calcium sulfate, activated carbon, zeolites and silica gel are all common desiccants that could theoretically remove moisture from the air. It would take great quantities spread efficiently through the atmosphere. Think crop planes seeding the air, military jets, etc.

It might even start to work, before the fog increases.

Cooling air holds less moisture. If the fog persists even during cold periods it would be a game-changer, not normal at all.


It could be some aerosol like the one Libby found, and not water-based at all.

Having it build up to greater heights over time would help drive tension.

There is no particular reason this would affect spacecraft or spacecraft launches, though landing might be out of the question. Someone should have a bird's-eye view and see that it's global. They would also know if the thickness and height are basically the same everywhere or vary in some meaningful way.


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Scar Tissue Films
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How long do we reckon it would take for a Government to be able to build centres growing crops hydroponically?

To build itself, and for the first crops to grow?
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Scar Tissue Films
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Another thing:

How long would total food reserves last?

At what point would the Government decide to do something drastic like attempting to burn the atmosphere to try to dispel the fog?
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FrankM
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
Another thing:

How long would total food reserves last?

At what point would the Government decide to do something drastic like attempting to burn the atmosphere to try to dispel the fog?


Well, depending on the time of year, there could be a considerable amount of food onboard ships. Livestock also would not wilt as fast as fast as the plants, and countries will have some strategic stockpiles, so there would be a trailing off of the food supply rather than a sudden collapse. This trailing off is probably more useful dramatically anyway.

I think governments would start drawing up plans as soon as the Fog shows any persistence. Haste in actually trying something would be based on (need for food) times (technical capability), which leads me back to China trying stuff.

Next steps after bonding agents and cloud seeding would be trying to force convection with the Fog-less levels of the atmosphere. Then people start trying to set fire to things.


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Scar Tissue Films
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Quoted from Zack
Really like the outline you provided, Rene. It has some real potential. I agree with Frank that the Cult Leader should be someone from the local community who disappears early in the fog. Maybe a local Priest?


Yeah, it's a good outline.

I was thinking the Cult developed a bit quickly, but now I'm thinking the Cult could be a group of people badly affected by the fog, lead astray by the strange ramblings of one particular individual, so it could start relatively early.
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Scar Tissue Films
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Quoted from FrankM


Well, depending on the time of year, there could be a considerable amount of food onboard ships. Livestock also would not wilt as fast as fast as the plants, and countries will have some strategic stockpiles, so there would be a trailing off of the food supply rather than a sudden collapse. This trailing off is probably more useful dramatically anyway.

I think governments would start drawing up plans as soon as the Fog shows any persistence. Haste in actually trying something would be based on (need for food) times (technical capability), which leads me back to China trying stuff.

Next steps after bonding agents and cloud seeding would be trying to force convection with the Fog-less levels of the atmosphere. Then people start trying to set fire to things.


At the moment the start date is January 1st, so that a month later a February freeze hits.

You're the man, Frank.

Give a plausible figure for the point at which food is basically gone. Bearing in mind the Government would withhold some supplies for the Military, Key Personnel etc.
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ReneC
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Food runs out in less than three days after supply ends. There just isn't enough. After that, rationing or first come first serve.

Hydroponics can be built quickly and yield leafy greens quickly, but there's no way to make enough. It would service small communities only.


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ReneC
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If the fog starts off close to sea level, elevated crops would still function. Food shortages can start small and grow worse until it's a crisis for everyone.

Space isn't needed for a global scale. Mass communication does that. News, pictures, YouTube would show it.

But space is another possible solution. Mirror satellites or reflectors could focus solar energy to burn off fog.


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Zack
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films


Yeah, it's a good outline.

I was thinking the Cult developed a bit quickly, but now I'm thinking the Cult could be a group of people badly affected by the fog, lead astray by the strange ramblings of one particular individual, so it could start relatively early.


What if people and animals who are exposed to the fog for too long start to have mold actually grow on them? Again, I'm thinking in terms of visuals. I think it'd be pretty cool, though maybe not very realistic.


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ReneC
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Jungle rot, trench foot, and respiratory damage can all occur with prolonged exposure to wet conditions.


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FrankM
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What Rene and I were saying are compatible... food doesnt physically run out in three days (warehouses hold more than that), but once the end of supply is in sight rationing starts. Within days ports of entry may not let food pass through to the interior... except under armed guard to specific places where Important People are.

It would take military or paramilitary force to continue food distribution, and thats assuming you arent in a country where the armed folks would simply seize the food.


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Quoted from ReneC
Jungle rot, trench foot, and respiratory damage can all occur with prolonged exposure to wet conditions.


Since there is basically no escape from the Fog, I think it might help story-wise if this was a dry Fog. Would also be more plausible that it covers everything from jungle to desert to tundra (even if not at equal thickness). Having the entire human race come down with jungle rot (in warm climes) and trench foot (in cold ones) is probably too deadly.


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For a while here we're going to get a jumble of ideas until we hit on a consensus.

I'm not keen on all this focus on cult stuff and science first. It was the one thing about this series: 8 Days https://www.imdb.com/title/tt6374028/
- that threatened to derail the whole thing.

I still think keep storyline/plot small against a larger world is the way to go.

I think we all agree on one thing so far though and that is that we open on the fog. Right?

I'm new to fiction Podcasts so did a bit of digging. There are tons of guiding links like this one below to keep us audio newbs on track.

https://electricliterature.com/how-to-write-a-fiction-podcast/

It all comes down to what are we going to hear first, what's going to appeal to and make an audience riveted from the outset?

For me that'd be the pandemonium, the sound of sirens, distressed voices,  DJ/Newscasters reports all overlapping,the sound of smashing metal and glass, (cars colliding) all building to a crescendo - then we rewind, or, perhaps one voice emerges - either a narrator (maybe a child) or, our hero - this dulcet voice cuts through the rabble of white noise to say something about what a spectacle it was at first - perhaps the fog was a bit of fun, a novelty and people gathered in awe (similar to the spectators of Chernobyl) then it turned sinister and things went haywire.

We need imho to focus on characters. We need individual voices reacting to the first impact of this fog before they join forces. Perhaps a blind character helps a child navigate the fog, she's getting hysterical - walking home from school has suddenly turned into a nightmare - but he's always been in the dark. Perhaps she's just crawled out of a car crash - parents dead.

We need to think characters first, what happened to them when the fog first hit, and then a larger goal/plot - what are they going to do now to survive?

The science of it all, the politics, riots and starvation, emerges later.



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Scar Tissue Films
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For me, I was imagining that the cult stuff would kick in proper in the second season, when society has completely collapsed and small pockets of survivors are living in separate societies and developing their own identities/cultures.

It's not even that they're a cult as such, they've just got an altered sense of reality and are adapting to the way things are.

I think the first season should probably focus more on just a sense of growing madness, and disassociation. A slow, eerie creep of weirdness and insanity.

I think what we have with the mad guy letting out the prisoners is enough, foreshadowing it for the second season.

But then we need some other suitable climax....

@LC

I just wanted to get a relatively realistic time line on things, so we'd know what the characters had to deal with and when and so everyone had a way of knowing where their stories begin and end.


The sort of stuff you're talking about is absolutely key, but that's more for at the point we're ready to write it. Because there will be multiple writers we can't let characters lead the way at first, or everyone will be writing events that are incompatible.

We're nearly done with this, anyway.

I think the first 5 episodes are fairly solid.

At the point the community gets completely destroyed, they need to get a new plan. Maybe the Main Characters have to go to the hospital after being injured during the struggle, and that's where they meet Rene's Doctor character.


Personally I think the Season should end with the Government burning everything, and we leave it on a cliffhanger as to how they could possibly survive...but they do...perhaps some Military rescue them and they go off together at the start of Season 2 to build a sustainable community in the Mountains ...meanwhile the loonys are growing in force down in the Fog.

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Scar Tissue Films
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Anyway, it's three AM here, so I've got to hit the sack.

Tomorrow what I was going to do is settle this issue:


"I know there's a difference of opinion on whether it should be a Shared Universe story or a smaller, contained story. Some people have suggested a mix

So state your preference and give your reasons, and brief suggestions how it'd work, then we'll weigh up the options and make a definitive decision.


My preference was for a smaller, contained story that would then branch out into the world, but I'm open to persuasion".



...and start work on character suggestions.
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ReneC
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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).


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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
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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
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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
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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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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
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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
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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
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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
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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
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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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Just my two cents but I agree with Renes timeline.

Gary


My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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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.


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Scar Tissue Films
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Good notes.

I'll try and find out about a contingency plan.
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FrankM
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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
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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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I am bowing out as well at this point. I've never worked on a radio drama or been to the UK so I feel my lack of experience will only hinder your progress. Can't wait to hear what you guys come up with. Much luck and success!

Before I go, here is another script with updated formatting that may be more familiar to the writers here. Hope this helps.
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Wolverine: The Long Night and a podcast called Darkest Night are great examples of narrative podcasts done right. That's what I imagine for something like this.


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Scar Tissue Films
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That's perfect.



Haha. You can almost taste the disappointment.
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