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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 5091 views)
DarrenJamesSeeley
Posted: August 30th, 2019, 7:06am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Nomad
I like the idea of news sources slowly disappearing.  It builds tension.
.


For awhile there, I thought I would not be interested much in this challenge.  I still feel the same way, my hands are basically bound up. This quip reminded me of John Carpenter's The Fog a little bit, and I also started thinking about the 80s cult hit Night Of The Comet.

I'm getting the vibe that unlike other OWC, the entries won't be anonymous. Threads have been building up character types and scenarios, and I'm not sure when the deadlines are. If it's tonight, I'm really out for obvious reasons.  I'm still not sold on the overall concept, feels a little bit Mist TV series for me. I'm not even entirely feeling this challenge.

BUT
I really like the idea of "The Last Broadcast" - and it's been brought up in the other thread regarding radio and podcast DJs, where in the early to mid section of the timeline folks can call in and get a few answers. I'll even throw in a TV station (local) whose reporters are getting lost, killed  or stranded, and have to rely on the on;y footage they have and/or one "reporter and cameraman" risking life and limb to gather more information. I kind of like that.  At one point they can even cross paths with The Cult Leader, who may want to control "The Last Station" as his propaganda mouthpiece.  There's a lot of potential with the media angle; but I feel that this overall scope is a bit much.






  


"I know you want to work for Mo Fuzz. And Mo Fuzz wants you to. But first, I'm going to need to you do something for me... on spec." - Mo Fuzz, Tapeheads, 1988
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 30th, 2019, 10:21am Report to Moderator
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It's not going to be anonymous. It's a big, open collaboration between everyone. Which didn't actually mean you have to collaborate, as when the episodes are planned, a single writer can write an episode or a story strand, if they desire. But it will be read by everyone after the event and tweaked to make it better, more consistent etc

The original deadline was 7th September with the idea we'd plan over a week, then try to bash out a large part over the next week.


What actually happens is whiter matter. I've seen enough from the contributions to know that's its more than a viable project, so it's more about getting it right, whether that is, than deadlines. But deadlines help to give an impetus.

In terms of the concept, it's the Mist, the Walking Dead, Game of Thrones thrown into one without any definitively supernatural elements. The key to its success will be the underlying psychology of it, a certain tone, which I can feel and hear in my head, but don't feel the need to particularly explain as I think it will come about naturally as we write  and edit... But it's uniqueness  will essentially  come from its exploration of humanity and  its exploration into perception.
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Zack
Posted: August 30th, 2019, 10:24am Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films


Starting to worry he's getting too old for his wife. Particularly as she's got a younger, male partner...


Any details on Jane's younger male partner? If not, I'd like to take a stab at him.

As for the family being mixed, not a bad idea. But how will that come into play? Maybe one of the older locals is a racist?
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 30th, 2019, 10:26am Report to Moderator
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Go for it.

I don't want them to be having an affair, just yet, I don't think. But there's a certain chemistry and the husband's insecurity is kicking in.
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Zack
Posted: August 30th, 2019, 10:28am Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
Go for it.

I don't want them to be having an affair, just yet, I don't think. But there's a certain chemistry and the husband's insecurity is kicking in.


Gotcha. I'm at work now, but I'll see what I can come up with. How young were you thinking of making him? Around Jane's age? Younger?
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 30th, 2019, 10:32am Report to Moderator
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This is where we're upto, so far with the Pub cast list. Might be too long. Maybe we can merge characters. I've put the son and daughter in there as well, because they live upstairs. There are also rooms to rent.


Quoted Text


Melvin O'Donnell, 54, bus driver, divorced. A regular, someone who knows the city well and knows people along his route.

Teacher. Barbara Pierce, 50. Knows Freddie and his friends from school. Suspended Freddie. They despise each other., Melvin's ex-wife, comes looking for him when she can't get a hold of their 20 year old son Rupert soon after the fog hits.


Psychologist. Very adamant that the effects of the fog are all Psycholgical. But is having doubts about their own state of mind.

Hardcore drunk.  Lost his wife tragically some years before. He's one of the people that becomes affected by the fog. Starts to imagine that his wife is in the fog after hearing similar reports from people on the radio. Goes off to look for her?

George Prescott, 26, recently geology graduate, is on a date with Kim Libby, 25, American on a work visa. George is soon heading to Cornwall to work in the re-opening tin mine. His grandfather was a miner, but George will be working in a lab.

Accountant.Extremely Right Wing viewpoints,both socially and financially. Thinks lefties are all communists and layabouts.

Small business owner. Female.  Lifestyle guru/Business consultant. Control freak. Haughty. Aggressive. Slowly goes insane.

Elderley Couple. Old man on insulin for Diabetes. The kind of  couple that were childhood sweethearts and are still madly in love even though they're in their late 70's/early 80's.

Daughter: (19)Royal Armoured Corps. Always been very sporty and athletic. Loud, outspoken, confident.

Son: Michael(15): Rebellious. Attracted to some of the more extreme ideas. Long term, Leans toward the teachings of antagonist.
Perhaps one of his best friends is the brother of local gang leader, Freddie. So he's attracted to that crowd.


Freddie, 22: Local gang leader, piece of shit, drug addict, thief, hooligan, probably killed someone but he won't say for sure.
Freddie's friends.


Later Arrivals from out of the Fog?

Walter, 42: Davyhulme West Police Sergeant, has a grudge against Main Characters Husband over something in their past from working on the police force together. He has feelings for Jane.
Accident Victim
Someone unusually susceptible to the psychological effects of the fog. Perhaps the scizophrenic character Frank worked on.
Someone unusually susceptible to the physical effects of the fog...asthmatic.
Priest.
Some out of towners staying in the rooms upstairs, as suggested by PK. American Youtubers?
Heroine addict...customer of Freddie?
Helicopter/Airplane Pilot...has his own small jet over at Barton airfield. Quite close, if it wasn't for the fog.
Small business owner. Female. Perhaps the woman I developed before as a potential main character. Lifestyle guru/Business consultant. Control freak. Haughty. Aggressive. Slowly goes insane.





As I was collating the list, I noticed there's an interesting spread of characters, by accident or subconscious design.

There's the Army girl, Financial People, the Science expert (either the teacher or the drunk) , the psychologist, the criminal element and then when the Priest shows up....you've got the main factors that will come into play throughout the whole story arc...essentially the most common ways of looking at humanity, all in one room.

If we stick a bit of a conspiracy loon in there...the drunk, the heroine addict, or even the son or the teacher, you've got most strands that will come into play all present at the start.

Which is good.

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Scar Tissue Films  -  August 30th, 2019, 11:16am
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 30th, 2019, 10:33am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Zack


Gotcha. I'm at work now, but I'll see what I can come up with. How young were you thinking of making him? Around Jane's age? Younger?


Bit younger than Jane. 32-37 maybe?
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Nomad
Posted: August 30th, 2019, 10:39am Report to Moderator
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As far as the characters in the pub, we need them to serve several purposes:  World building, introduce main characters, introduce problem, and come up with a plan of action to solve said problem.

The beauty of the pub is that we can have an eclectic mix of people.

Right now here's who I see in the pub:

  • Pub owner (husband of main character)
  • Science teacher - (Scottish) explains the basics of the science behind the fog.
  • Town drunk - (slurred speech) used to question everything the audience will question.
  • Jane - main character.  She shows up right after the fog rolls in and people start to freak out. She has news of the extent of the fog and let's us know that it's no ordinary fog. The fog needs to be frighteningly thick at first to really set the tone. You can barely see your outstretched hand. The sky is dark. Almost biblical "act of God" kind of fear. She should come in to diffuse a situation and flex her character. She's strong, smart, and a leader.
  • American vloggers - (male and female) they're waiting to fly back home but that never comes. They help flesh out the world.
  • Injured head guy (young, uses a lot of slang)- brings news of train accident. Vloggers aren't going anywhere right now.
  • Local gang member (dumb, sounds dumb, says dumb things)- He's the guy that the main character was called to deal with. He introduces...
  • Freddie - (raspy voice. speaks slowly, calulating) local gang leader. Main reason for this guy is conflict. Everyone is freaking out over the fog, but he's just looking to capitalize on it any way he can. He needs his gang on the streets to cause havock, and can't afford one of them to be locked up, so he and the main character go back and forth over this guy. Freddie threatens to escalate the situation, the main character is more concerned about the people in the pub and let's them go with a warning.


Again, these are just ideas, nothing set in stone.
We need the characters to have unique voices to easily distinguish who's speaking.

-Jordan


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
MADE FOR EACH OTHER-FILMED
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ReneC
Posted: August 30th, 2019, 10:51am Report to Moderator
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Barbara Pierce can be the teacher. That eliminates one character and gives her another relationship dynamic.


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Scar Tissue Films
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Quoted from Nomad
As far as the characters in the pub, we need them to serve several purposes:  World building, introduce main characters, introduce problem, and come up with a plan of action to solve said problem.

The beauty of the pub is that we can have an eclectic mix of people.

Right now here's who I see in the pub:

  • Pub owner (husband of main character)
  • Science teacher - (Scottish) explains the basics of the science behind the fog.
  • Town drunk - (slurred speech) used to question everything the audience will question.
  • Jane - main character.  She shows up right after the fog rolls in and people start to freak out. She has news of the extent of the fog and let's us know that it's no ordinary fog. The fog needs to be frighteningly thick at first to really set the tone. You can barely see your outstretched hand. The sky is dark. Almost biblical "act of God" kind of fear. She should come in to diffuse a situation and flex her character. She's strong, smart, and a leader.
  • American vloggers - (male and female) they're waiting to fly back home but that never comes. They help flesh out the world.
  • Injured head guy (young, uses a lot of slang)- brings news of train accident. Vloggers aren't going anywhere right now.
  • Local gang member (dumb, sounds dumb, says dumb things)- He's the guy that the main character was called to deal with. He introduces...
  • Freddie - (raspy voice. speaks slowly, calulating) local gang leader. Main reason for this guy is conflict. Everyone is freaking out over the fog, but he's just looking to capitalize on it any way he can. He needs his gang on the streets to cause havock, and can't afford one of them to be locked up, so he and the main character go back and forth over this guy. Freddie threatens to escalate the situation, the main character is more concerned about the people in the pub and let's them go with a warning.


Again, these are just ideas, nothing set in stone.
We need the characters to have unique voices to easily distinguish who's speaking.

-Jordan


Looks good. Some nice points to jump off from as well.

Originally, it seemed like we were going to have the fog thickening over time, but it seems to have developed that it literally just rolls in.

Is that OK with everyone? It's fine by me.

Probably there would be some concern it was a chemical cloud at the start.. Oil refinery explosion (there's a huge Shell refinery nearby) or even chemical attack.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 30th, 2019, 11:12am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ReneC
Barbara Pierce can be the teacher. That eliminates one character and gives her another relationship dynamic.


Nice work.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 30th, 2019, 11:24am Report to Moderator
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Accessed from the Pub will be some other characters:


National News/International News, playing on the TV.


Local Radio Guy. They can use their phones to access the local news, and perhaps Freddie or one of his friends has a Bluetooth Speaker they all huddle round to listen to.


QUERY: Is it too much to have the main antagonist present in the pub at the start? Minding his own business on his laptop. He quickly leaves because he doesn't like being round people.

It's on his walk home that the first intimations that the fog affects him are understood.

From that point we can follow his story separately.


That would introduce us to all the major strands of the story at the outset. With the story spreading out from the pub once we know the characters well enough.


COBRA aspect can be handled either as opening scene at the start of an episode.

Or a News Reporter on the TV can question one of the characters in question. He gives an official answer....then we follow him into the meeting, and hear the real truth.
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ReneC
Posted: August 30th, 2019, 11:27am Report to Moderator
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Thick fog around Manchester isn't unusual. At first there's nothing to be alarmed about. The suddenness of the fog and that it wasn't expected to begin with is a cause for concern and the cause for much of the chaos. The tension will then rise further when it's revealed the fog is affecting a much larger area than normal. A phone conversation can reveal the fog is even somewhere that fog never occurs, but still somewhat local.

The global phenomenon is going to come out quickly. As long as news and social media work, it's going to be reported. My thinking for this is the fog doesn't spring up everywhere at once, it starts in patches all over the globe where fog typically appears and slowly spreads until it covers everything.


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 30th, 2019, 11:30am Report to Moderator
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That works for me.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 30th, 2019, 11:48am Report to Moderator
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To trim the numbers in the pub down :

Could we merge the hardcore drunk with one of the other characters?

I think we'll merge the accountant and the small business owner into one financial consultant type.

Also, maybe the young couple are the accident victims who come a bit later.

I think we might move the backpackers to the City Centre for the time being as well.

They would come into it when the City empties and they head towards the town. A News report can mention it. They can cut to an eyes on the ground reporter who can interview or be accosted by the Americans who want their families to know they're all right. Then we follow their tale for a bit. Walking with the people leaving the city, looking for food.
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