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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 4103 views)
khamanna
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 1:40pm Report to Moderator
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A vet for a doctor who is a racist too and refuses to help people of different races. Letís do - he is against Asians because he believes they went ahead at his school and became doctors/surgeons but he had ed. debt and could not.
So they struggle with him and make him help all. He could fall for an Asian patient later too unless itís too cliche
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FrankM
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 1:54pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from khamanna
A vet for a doctor who is a racist too and refuses to help people of different races. Letís do - he is against Asians because he believes they went ahead at his school and became doctors/surgeons but he had ed. debt and could not.
So they struggle with him and make him help all. He could fall for an Asian patient later too unless itís too cliche


Outside of rural farming areas, any town big enough for a vet will have proper doctors as well. Of course, something unfortunate could happen to the doctors, so you end up with a psychiatrist, veterinarian, and a nephrology nurse (dialysis specialist) as the town's medical team.

Someone having a problem with a specific minority... or all of them... will be useful for storytelling.


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hawkeye
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 4:15pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from PKCardinal
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.  


Or have him write the first 9 and we could all take credit for a kick ass season finale!


My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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ReneC
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 10:24pm Report to Moderator
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Um...let's not get ahead of ourselves.  

No more character suggestions???


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hawkeye
Posted: August 26th, 2019, 10:31pm Report to Moderator
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I would suggest that we have a couple of strong, smart powerful women in lead roles who arenít dependent on men to save them or explain things to them because (a) itís demeaning and stupid to do otherwise and (b) more and more women make up the podcast audience and will start bailing if you make the women weak and panicked at the first sign of the fog. Make them scientists and soldiers and politicians. Let them provide explanations and solutions.


My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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LC
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 12:34am Report to Moderator
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Good for you, Gary! I'm right with you. The only thing I might add is that any female character doesn't necessarily have to have a professional title or occupation to still possess those strong and capable qualities.

Tons of characters run around in my head...    

I like the idea of a shut-in character, perhaps an INFJ - a creative, smart but introverted character previously able to live and work from home, obtain everything online for their prior existence, now forced to join the human race.



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Dustin
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 3:28am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from hawkeye
I would suggest that we have a couple of strong, smart powerful women in lead roles who arenít dependent on men to save them or explain things to them because (a) itís demeaning and stupid to do otherwise and (b) more and more women make up the podcast audience and will start bailing if you make the women weak and panicked at the first sign of the fog. Make them scientists and soldiers and politicians. Let them provide explanations and solutions.


Did that really need to be said?

Any writer that isn't with this these days might as well forget about it.


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 3:51am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ReneC
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.


Hi Rene,

Good post. I'll come back to your other suggestions in a bit. First I want to discuss the Madman. I think we're largely on the same page, just one slight difference:

The way the story seems to be developing, we're following a group in a small, suburban town (which makes sense in a lot of ways...not just story/Production wise, but also in the Demographics of the people who listen to Podcasts, I imagine).


It make sense that our "madman" lives in that area. So he's a part of the community, in the sense that a small town is a "Local Community". He's not necessarily playing an active role, or plays cards with other characters.

I actually think Libby might have stumbled on the Madman:

I like the idea of a shut-in character, perhaps an INFJ - a creative, smart but introverted character previously able to live and work from home, obtain everything online for their prior existence, now forced to join the human race.


Super intelligent, but socially isolated. He records his own journal everyday.

He's our POV for seeing the psychological effects of the Fog. He gives us an insight into what people are experiencing, probably just at the extremes.

This journal will give the Podcast a very unusual feel, underlying the events taking place. He's very smart, so he thinks about thinks on a deep level, but we see how those thoughts, while intelligent, are slowly twisting into something dangerous and creepy.

So, he lives in our Local Community...a few streets from our Main Characters, perhaps. But he's also apart from the community, socially.


I also think we've stumbled perfectly onto his Character Arc:

He's in his house when the Starving Diaspora from the City descends on the town.

Following his journal, we've already witnessed him descending into an unusual, and dark place.

He has come to see the Fog as an agent of change. Maybe nothing sent it or maybe The Nothing has sent it....but it's here, it's Absolutely Real, and it will do one thing, it will kill people. It will cleanse the Earth (similar to what you mentioned about the weak being killed off).

So it's not based on religious ideas, but simply something that's palpably true...there is an undeniable force at work that is here to eradicate and change.

Anyway, the invasion into his home, and his private world, is the moment where there's a definitive break made.

At first he's brushed aside by the invaders and suffers a minor head injury, but then something changes in him, a revelatory moment that the old world is dead (perhaps represented by his computer/work being knocked off a table by the invaders) and he clinically dispatches them in some way....maybe with something nasty like a Meat Hammer from the kitchen.

One of them, though gravely wounded, is still alive.

Here's where it gets nasty.

He drags him out into the garden, douses him in lighter fluid from his barbecue, then sets him on fire...and describes the process in his journal.

In his mind he has become a "Servant of the Fog" (that doesn't need to be explicit). By burning the man, he is sending his essence, through the smoke, into the Fog itself.

He can also notice, casually, that the man is little more than "Noisy Meat"...foreshadowing the onset of Cannibalism and showing how he's mentally distancing himself from his fellow man.


After the Invasion has ended. The surviving members of the local community do door to door checks. Paramedics etc

They find our man, bleeding from his minor injury, and seemingly in a state of shock due to his psychological state. They take him to the Hospital where are main characters are talking to the Doctor and the Nurses.

He overhears a conversation about how the Hospitals and Prisons have been abandoned. He takes it as a 'Sign' and leaves the Hospital and the Local Community, to set off on his Mission.

At the Prison itself, he will simply have to tell the Prisoners the truth..that they've been abandoned by the same State that imprisoned them like Rats in a cage has betrayed them and left them to die, and that together they can find food, and get their revenge.

He can deliver this message over the Prison Tannoy system if we like. A disturbing, unsettling address that is nevertheless completely true.

That way they already have self interest to essentially follow him...Hunger and Revenge. So it's fairly plausible and he doesn't need to be some super leader, there's just self interest at play, and a certain level of gratitude for releasing them.

That seems pretty perfect to me. The journal allows us to slowly and naturally develop and experience the Fog Mania first hand, and the antagonists Arc...and it all fits in perfectly with the other story-lines.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 4:55am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from PKCardinal


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.


This makes sense to me.

They could be amidst the large group of people who are leaving the City of Manchester, giving us a POV on all them and their experiences.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 5:01am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from FrankM
One ďunusual characterĒ 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.


Yes. I like it.

It's also gives a wider sense of the worsening drug shortage, and lets us know that there are other people in the same situation.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 5:17am Report to Moderator
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@Rene


"A blind character can be a useful device but having it be her daughter might be an anchor".


This seems a fair comment.


I have a mind a scene where our main group leaves the Hospital to search for one of the Hydroponic Communities.

I consider it crucial, because it will allow us to become tourists for a while as we venture through the fog and get to see the effect the situation is having on a wider scale.

Because they're passing through, we can see little snap shots of events...evidence of racism, religious mania, the growing collective hysteria...without having to have long story lines establishing it.

I imagine it being very interesting to listen to as well...the journey into the unknown.

I reckon the blind character would be useful there, so perhaps it's someone they pick up at the Hospital?

Libby...didn't you have ideas surrounding a blind person? What were you thinking?

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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 5:26am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from hawkeye
I would suggest that we have a couple of strong, smart powerful women in lead roles who arenít dependent on men to save them or explain things to them because (a) itís demeaning and stupid to do otherwise and (b) more and more women make up the podcast audience and will start bailing if you make the women weak and panicked at the first sign of the fog. Make them scientists and soldiers and politicians. Let them provide explanations and solutions.


Yes, essentially.

We'll keep it realistic, though. I don't want superhero type characters throwing grown men ten foot across the room, or whole 'mansplaining' scenes.

We'll have strong, competent women and men, and also vulnerable people.
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LC
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 5:39am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Frankie Forest
One ďunusual characterĒ 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.



Quoted from Scar Tissue Films
Yes. I like it.
It's also gives a wider sense of the worsening drug shortage, and lets us know that there are other people in the same situation.


I hate to rain on your parade but you'll want to exercise caution here. Re a character suffering schizophrenic episodes:

A sufferer of any mental illness does not get used to their symptoms - auditory or visual hallucinations or delusions are not fun. It's a scary illness. I'd stay away from Hollywood stereotypical portrayals of mental illness lest you offend or alienate some listeners.

The aspect of a character running out of meds they need to survive is a good story strand...


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 5:43am Report to Moderator
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OK, some other characters to throw into the mix.


In the story, the Government are putting contingency plans into place...including rationing, and the development of Hydroponic communities.

They also try to use technological means to dispel the Fog...starting with climate control techniques, and culminating in a an attempt to burn it away that is catastrophic.

In the UK, the people in charge of these things would be the C.O.B.R.A committee.

https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2002/oct/21/Whitehall.uk

In this situation the people on the Committee would no doubt be numerous:

The Prime Minister would almost certainly Chair the meeting.
Fire service minister.
Police
Ministry of Defence.  
The Department of Transport
The Home Office Minister
Foreign Minister
UK security services: MI5 (internal affairs) MI6 (external affairs).


They'd probably be joined quite rapidly by:

Representatives from DEFRA (The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs
Climatologists discussing what the fog is and how to get rid of it.
Meteorologist. Probably disagrees with the Climatologist over something,
Someone representing the National Health Service to discuss physical effects of fog, increased likelihood of injury, and the psychological effects.


This is essentially a contained story within itself:

Starting with the Group convening and discussing the situation, moving through to the point they're taking strong action.


The skill required will be to humanise all the characters and create drama through disagreements.

Along the way the composition of the Committee will change as people die, resign, run away to hide, and eventually as Martial Law takes over and it becomes largely run by the Military.


Revision History (2 edits; 1 reasons shown)
Scar Tissue Films  -  August 28th, 2019, 7:54am
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Scar Tissue Films
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Quoted from LC




I hate to rain on your parade but you'll want to exercise caution here. Re a character suffering schizophrenic episodes:

A sufferer of any mental illness does not get used to their symptoms - auditory or visual hallucinations or delusions are not fun. It's a scary illness. I'd stay away from Hollywood stereotypical portrayals of mental illness lest you offend or alienate some listeners.

The aspect of a character running out of meds they need to survive is a good story strand...


Noted, Libby. We must always be careful with our representation of things.

Schizophrenia and other mental illnesses are a reality of our human lives, though.

And there is, of course, a spectrum of severity. Someone with milder symptoms, may be able to cope better than another, using self-help techniques and such.

As long as it's handled with sensitivity and realism, I don't think there's a problem.

It seems a natural extension of one of the core themes: Is there anything in the fog, or isn't there?


Quoted Text
Schizophrenia involves a range of problems with thinking, behaviour or emotions. Signs and symptoms may vary, but usually involve delusions, hallucinations or disorganized speech, and reflect an impaired ability to function.


Our sufferer has no real way of knowing whether what they're seeing is real or a result of their visual or auditory hallucinations...and neither does the audience.

But yes...we'll have to keep an eye on it.
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