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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 4135 views)
Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 6:54am Report to Moderator
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Both Priests and Scientists have cropped up as necessary characters.


I'm wondering whether we can do something unusual....


Have the Priest be an Atheist.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christian_atheism


And have the Scientist be a devout believer in God due to his belief in a God/Creator based on the latest Scientific developments...such as Fine Tuned Universe Theory, Hard Anthropic Principle etc


Something I've never seen before in any story either on paper, or on TV.
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ReneC
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 9:51am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films


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.


I love it.


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ReneC
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 9:55am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films



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.


There's an easy trap to fall into here. We already withhold so much from the audience, and it's going to be hard enough describing everything without resorting to exposition upon exposition. If those descriptions become unreliable, it might turn the audience off. They won't like the wool being pulled so deliberately over their eyes.


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Nomad
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 10:17am Report to Moderator
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Here are a few characters I came up with:


  • Jane, 39:    Protagonist - Female, Royal Armoured Corps. Officer, mother, wife.
  • Barton, 52:    Antagonist - Male, Widower (lost entire family in a plane crash the morning of the fog), he wants everyone else to suffer as he did, the fog is a reflection of his own evil, uses religion as a weapon. He sees/hears his family in the fog and feels if he gives enough blood to the fog, he'll get his family back.

  • Secondary Characters:

  • Jack, 40:        Husband of Jane, town mayor, former police officer.
  • Michael, 15:        Son of Jane and Jack, leans toward the teachings of Barton.
  • Kayla, 7:        Daughter of Jane and Jack, is very close with her brother (Michael)

  • Aaron, 62:        Helicopter pilot (Mosquito XEL, amphibious small helicopter), American, followed the ship canal up to Davyhulme, he can follow rivers and power lines. 25 minutes out, 25 minutes back, 10 minutes reserve time on helicopter. He was selling the helicopter to a buyer in Manchester but he never showed up.

  • Walter, 42:        Davyhulme West Police Sergeant, has a grudge against Jack over something in their past from working on the police force together.  He has feelings for Jane.

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

  • Andrew, 55:        Tratford council member, Leader of the Council.


Nothing carved on stone, and I'm not sure exactly how or where all of them will be used, but these are the few I came up with last night.


Read my scripts here:
SOCIAL EXPERIMENT 8pg-Drama
THE BRIDGE 8pg-Horror
SCHEISSE 6pg-Horror/Comedy
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 10:18am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ReneC


There's an easy trap to fall into here. We already withhold so much from the audience, and it's going to be hard enough describing everything without resorting to exposition upon exposition. If those descriptions become unreliable, it might turn the audience off. They won't like the wool being pulled so deliberately over their eyes.


It'd only be the subjective POV of one minor character. You'd know he was schizophrenic, and you'd know that he can't trust his own perception, so I don't think it would be too much of a problem. I do understand your concerns though.

It's something I'm willing to let someone try as an experiment.

Was it Frank that suggested it? Perhaps we should let him present a small character arc for the character to see how, and where we could fit it in.

Part of me feels that despite the relative dangers, in a world like this where the whole environment is affecting mental health, it seems fitting that someone with mental health issues should be present in some small way.
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FrankM
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 10:21am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ReneC


There's an easy trap to fall into here. We already withhold so much from the audience, and it's going to be hard enough describing everything without resorting to exposition upon exposition. If those descriptions become unreliable, it might turn the audience off. They won't like the wool being pulled so deliberately over their eyes.


Yes, a full-blown delusional scene would be a mistake, was thinking more along the lines of someone who sees something that isnít there, and academically knows this, but the problem is that he/she really does perceive these things and would have to constantly be on guard.

If this person is dangerous off their meds, it falls into the same cliche I mentioned earlier.

Occasional comments about the butterflies or dancing lights or whatever would suffice. The subtler point is that this person is not subject to the same level of sensory deprivation as everyone else.

I was thinking that maybe the Rx has an alternate use, and he/she deliberately gives it up to someone who needs it for that other use. Might try to look up antipsychotics and see if something jumps out.

To complicate things, one of these two can be the minority that the doctor despises.


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 10:23am Report to Moderator
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Nice work, Jordan.


I like how you've introduced pre-existing conflicts between some of them, as well.


I'm going to pop out for a second and look at some of Rene's suggestions and your suggestions in greater detail and report back.
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FrankM
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 10:30am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films


It'd only be the subjective POV of one minor character. You'd know he was schizophrenic, and you'd know that he can't trust his own perception, so I don't think it would be too much of a problem. I do understand your concerns though.

It's something I'm willing to let someone try as an experiment.

Was it Frank that suggested it? Perhaps we should let him present a small character arc for the character to see how, and where we could fit it in.

Part of me feels that despite the relative dangers, in a world like this where the whole environment is affecting mental health, it seems fitting that someone with mental health issues should be present in some small way.


Yeah, this guy is my fault

Iíll see if I can do some research on this despite some looming work deadlines.

No personal knowledge of schizophrenia, but have seen hypnosis and sleep deprivation distort peopleís decision making.


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ReneC
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 10:32am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films


It'd only be the subjective POV of one minor character. You'd know he was schizophrenic, and you'd know that he can't trust his own perception, so I don't think it would be too much of a problem. I do understand your concerns though.

It's something I'm willing to let someone try as an experiment.

Was it Frank that suggested it? Perhaps we should let him present a small character arc for the character to see how, and where we could fit it in.

Part of me feels that despite the relative dangers, in a world like this where the whole environment is affecting mental health, it seems fitting that someone with mental health issues should be present in some small way.


Fair point.

I had another thought. The fog presents some interesting opportunities for fear. Fear of heights? If the fog is thick, can't see how high you are. Agoraphobia? Fog feels like home. Claustrophobia? You're in for it when the fog closes in.

The deaf are in real trouble.

A seeing eye dog would be an excellent addition to the story, not necessarily for a blind person but as a supporting character, used to working with people and with better senses than us. And since it's a podcast it would be easy to add in. Imagine the dog barking at the fog and nobody knows why, or turning people away at the last second from a bad mis-step.

Depression is already going to be a major mental health issue for many, many people. There will be suicides. There will be breakdowns. Mental health is going to be represented, if there's a chronic issue added it has to be something important and relevant enough for a compelling arc that has some bearing on the story and isn't just there for the sake of it.


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hawkeye
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 10:49am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ReneC


Fair point.

I had another thought. The fog presents some interesting opportunities for fear. Fear of heights? If the fog is thick, can't see how high you are. Agoraphobia? Fog feels like home. Claustrophobia? You're in for it when the fog closes in.

The deaf are in real trouble.

A seeing eye dog would be an excellent addition to the story, not necessarily for a blind person but as a supporting character, used to working with people and with better senses than us. And since it's a podcast it would be easy to add in. Imagine the dog barking at the fog and nobody knows why, or turning people away at the last second from a bad mis-step.

Depression is already going to be a major mental health issue for many, many people. There will be suicides. There will be breakdowns. Mental health is going to be represented, if there's a chronic issue added it has to be something important and relevant enough for a compelling arc that has some bearing on the story and isn't just there for the sake of it.


Blind people should actually have an advantage in this type of situation.


My web site and scripts can be found here:

Gary's web site
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 10:59am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ReneC


Fair point.

I had another thought. The fog presents some interesting opportunities for fear. Fear of heights? If the fog is thick, can't see how high you are. Agoraphobia? Fog feels like home. Claustrophobia? You're in for it when the fog closes in.

The deaf are in real trouble.

A seeing eye dog would be an excellent addition to the story, not necessarily for a blind person but as a supporting character, used to working with people and with better senses than us. And since it's a podcast it would be easy to add in. Imagine the dog barking at the fog and nobody knows why, or turning people away at the last second from a bad mis-step.

Depression is already going to be a major mental health issue for many, many people. There will be suicides. There will be breakdowns. Mental health is going to be represented, if there's a chronic issue added it has to be something important and relevant enough for a compelling arc that has some bearing on the story and isn't just there for the sake of it.


Wow. So many interesting storylines.

The suicide idea made me think that on their travels our main characters could hear some music, but (obviously) they can't see much. They travel towards it, the visibility clears a bit... And there's a field of hundreds of people who have killed themselves.  They put on a CD to die to, then took poison or something.

A quick, creepy interlude that shows how bad things are psychologically.
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Nomad
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 11:14am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films


The suicide idea made me think that on their travels our main characters could hear some music, but (obviously) they can't see much. They travel towards it, the visibility clears a bit... And there's a field of hundreds of people who have killed themselves.  They put on a CD to die to, then took poison or something.


They would hear the sound of crows, too.
Crows... Or other carrion birds.


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 27th, 2019, 11:23am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Nomad


They would hear the sound of crows, too.
Crows... Or other carrion birds.


Definitely need crows somewhere. It's so effective.


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 11:34am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Nomad


They would hear the sound of crows, too.
Crows... Or other carrion birds.


Nice. Ditch the music, just have the crows.

Love it.
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Nomad
Posted: August 27th, 2019, 11:36am Report to Moderator
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It's it too cliche to have the sounds of crows signify death?  
There need to be some leitmotifs that the audience can hook on to.

Crows=death
Wind through the trees=safety
Absolute silence=danger


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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