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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board    One Week Challenge    The August Challenge  ›  August/September Character Discussion Moderators: Scar Tissue Films
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  Author    August/September Character Discussion  (currently 4096 views)
Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 7:02am Report to Moderator
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We've got a great skeleton together already (well done all!) which we'll now start expanding by developing the characters.

Making reference to the events established in the Chronology thread, write down some ideas for:

Necessary characters. Write down the characters that HAVE to be in the script. Eg Main Character, Scientist,  etc

Standard Characters. Write down the characters youï¿¿d EXPECT to be in the script. Eg Police Officer. Priest. Soldiers. Anyone in the local community etc

Unusual Characters. Write down characters that COULD be in the script, but it might be strange.  EG. Head of Nasa. Archbishop of Canterbury. Famous footballer/actor.

Outlandish characters. Write down characters that COULD NOT POSSIBLY be in the script.  Eg Sherlock Holmes, Cleopatra, Man on the Moon. John F. Kennedy.


The latter one might seem ridiculous, but there's method in the madness. While it's unlikely we'll use any of them literally, it can suggest unique characters and idiosyncrasies.

Such as the local Palm reader who thinks she's the reincarnation of an Egyptian Goddess.

Sherlock Holmes might become a super efficient Detective, or just an annoying local man who is an avid reader of those stories who thinks he can solve crimes and gets in the way of Police Investigations.

The Man in the Moon might suggest one of the characters has gone mad from the Fog and believes the Moon itself is talking to him.

It gives us very strange little beats that make minor characters more interesting to listen to and helps to distinguish them and make them feel more complete without having to spend a long time establishing them.

So, just pop down whatever/whoever comes into your head without thinking too much about it. The connections afterwards are very easy to create.






NOTE ON CHARACTERS:

There should be a good mix of people of differing gender, race, religion, ability and from different levels of society as the story events will effect everybody. I  think the UK is about 83% White altogether.

Davyhulme, where I'm thinking it should be set is probably about 90% White. Manchester itself is very mixed.


Potential Ideas for the Main Character:


Female. Town Councillor
Married to a Police Officer  (this gives them both access to resources, and a place at the centre of their community)
They have a teenage daughter who is blind.   A good stakes character and an excuse to describe things to her for the audience's sake.



'Madman'.


Under psychiatric care. We hear his sessions through recorded interviews with his Psychiatrist.
Goes even more insane due to inability to get his drugs anymore.

With the fog creating problems for everyone, his ideas slowly start to cause some kind of Mass Hysteria.

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Scar Tissue Films  -  August 26th, 2019, 7:28am
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Zack
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 7:24am Report to Moderator
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Ian Dunn, 20, a popular youtuber who specializes in critiquing classic black and white horror films, just finished his third year of college. Despite his interest in macabre stories and a dark sense of humor, Ian is actually very sweet. Almost to a fault. He's constantly putting others before him. Ian is actually the one who convinced David to go backpacking across Europe, thinking it would help get his mind off of his loss. He and David have been best friends since gradeschool.

David Clifton, 20, the man behind the camera on Ian's youtube channel, also just finished his third year of college. Shares Ian's love for classic horror films. A huge, intimidating Dude, David is actually just a big lovable teddy bear. A little immature, constantly pulling pranks on his friends and family.  Recently lost his fiance and highschool sweetheart, Jessica, to a tragic accident. Just wants forget about everything for a while. That's what the whole vacation is about. Just see the world.

Once the event happens, David and Ian become stranded in the small community. Ian stays cool and collected, even manages to update his youtube channel, but David slips into a further depression. As the days go on and the fog remains, David swears he is seeing and hearing things out there. He's certain he's heard Jessica's voice... And even claims to have seen her in the fog.

Kind of just spit-balling, but I figured I'd share.


MY RATING SYSTEM

  -  5/5
  -  4/5
  -  3/5
  -  2/5
  -  1/5
  -  0/5

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Zack  -  August 27th, 2019, 2:10pm
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 7:36am Report to Moderator
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Are you going to act out the dialogue for us?
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FrankM
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 7:48am Report to Moderator
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Though the madman's actions are fine, I think it's a bit cliche to have this be some mentally ill person off his meds. People regard the mentally ill as walking time bombs already without writers adding to it. It also makes the antagonist less relatable/sympathetic, which is something we'd like to have in a back pocket for Season Two.

Not sure of the best replacement for schizophrenia here... maybe someone "driven mad" by grief. Pre-Fog, this would be the guy who comes up with the best descriptions of cloud shapes.


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 8:02am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from FrankM
Though the madman's actions are fine, I think it's a bit cliche to have this be some mentally ill person off his meds. People regard the mentally ill as walking time bombs already without writers adding to it. It also makes the antagonist less relatable/sympathetic, which is something we'd like to have in a back pocket for Season Two.

Not sure of the best replacement for schizophrenia here... maybe someone "driven mad" by grief. Pre-Fog, this would be the guy who comes up with the best descriptions of cloud shapes.


True.

I just really wanted to get the psychiatrist on there because they record audio.  

Maybe we can go the entire opposite route.

He's not mad, he's sane. A kind of intense rationality that's taken to extremes.
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FrankM
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 8:15am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films


True.

I just really wanted to get the psychiatrist on there because they record audio.  

Maybe we can go the entire opposite route.

He's not mad, he's sane. A kind of intense rationality that's taken to extremes.


It might actually work better if the recording was not done by a psychological professional, so they only get "analyzed" in hindsight. Recorded job interview, news interview, supervised child visit, conversation in a bank line, etc.


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 8:16am Report to Moderator
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OK, so the world is full of lies, fake news, conspiracy theories, people saying there are things in the fog.

He spends time staring at it, watching it swirl around everything, but sees it entirely for what it is.. Just a fog. But it also represents the truth to him. The grey mist to which the Universe must return. The Void which will devour life and humanity and all human ideas.

So he starts desiring to feed all the liars (which is anyone and everyone) to it.

I quite like that.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 8:17am Report to Moderator
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A character I haven't thought about before but would make sense in the current world : a YouTuber.

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Zack
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 8:33am Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
Are you going to act out the dialogue for us?


Well, I've got the equipment to record. But the acting talent to pull it off? Ha.


MY RATING SYSTEM

  -  5/5
  -  4/5
  -  3/5
  -  2/5
  -  1/5
  -  0/5
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FrankM
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 9:58am Report to Moderator
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One “unusual character” could be an actual schizophrenic trying to stretch out his/her meds. By the third episode or so they are seeing things, but this person is used to it, and actually has some measure of protection from the sensory deprivation affecting everyone else.

Some can find it comforting to have someone acting the same as they always have, even if they are nutty.


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ReneC
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 10:10am Report to Moderator
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For the madman, maybe he was normal before the fog, an average person with issues but no more than anyone else. The fog is going to make many people go nuts, let this guy be the extreme of that.

He shouldn't be totally off his rocker. If he's going to be a leader, he has to be rational. He has to be the hero of his own story. He's the only one who sees the truth, whatever that truth is, and the only one with the will to do what's necessary. Like Thanos or that photocopier salesman from The Postman, he has a vision the fog gave him and it's compelling enough that people will follow him (even if it's just a join the biggest gang, might makes right sort of way).

I don't think he should leave the community to go free the prisoners. He should have already left the community, either pushed out or left because they're all fools doomed to die, and when he learns of the prisoners he goes to free them. We don't even need to show that, the prison plight can be learned by our main characters and the...let's call him visionary shows up after that as an opportunist to sway the desperate prisoners to his cause.

I'll keep the character ideas as general for now until we narrow things down.

Necessary characters:
Agree that main should be female and a local official. A blind character can be a useful device but having it be her daughter might be an anchor.

Paramedic or other first responder
Military leader (mid- to high-level)
Scientist

Standard characters:
Survivalist
Police
Female CEO
Small business owner
Farmer
Helicopter pilot
Teacher
Psychiatrist or psychologist
Priest or nun
Meteorologist

Unusual characters:
Fisherman
Rising college football star
Heroine addict
Hardcore drunk
Tech billionaire
Accountant
Park ranger


Outlandish characters:
A member of the royal family
President of the United States
The Pope
African warlord
Jesus Christ
The Man in Black
Pennywise
Stephen King
Vladimir Putin
Ghosts
Zombies
Werewolves
Vampires
The Thing


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FrankM
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 11:11am Report to Moderator
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In my rough draft, all of those Outlandish Characters were written in straight


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ReneC
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Quoted from FrankM
In my rough draft, all of those Outlandish Characters were written in straight


I'm not surprised.  


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PKCardinal
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
A character I haven't thought about before but would make sense in Tyne current world : a YouTuber.


I was going to suggest that our American backpackers might be YouTubers... recording and transmitting their experience to the rest of the world. Starts off normal, then chaos... then, maybe cut off from their vital technology hit. Have to adjust to a life that doesn't value their only skill anymore.


PaulKWrites.com

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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PKCardinal
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 1:26pm Report to Moderator
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Side note: the more I read, the more I want Rene to write the first episode... and we try and follow his lead for the remaining 9.  


PaulKWrites.com

60 Feet Under - Low budget, contained thriller/Feature
The Hand of God - Low budget, semi-contained thriller/Feature

Many shorts available for production: comedy, thriller, drama, light horror
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