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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 4123 views)
ReneC
Posted: August 28th, 2019, 11:42am Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films

We've largely got the main, long-term antagonist. We need to supply his list of henchmen/psychos which he releases from Prison. The starting point for that might be Rene's list of outlandish characters.


So it's a mental institution for the criminally insane, not a prison. Because that's the only way I see my outlandish characters being used.  


Quoted from Scar Tissue Films


Someone unusually susceptible to the effects of the fog? Eg someone who suffers from Homichlophobia...a fear of fog and unnerves everyone.


Asthmatic would be unusually susceptible to the fog.


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Zack
Posted: August 28th, 2019, 11:57am Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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Quoted from JEStaats
I missed a day in the forum, tried to catch up and realize that I've to say "Good luck and goodbye." I'm just unable to commit with everything else I've on my plate.

I look forward to hearing the podcast!


I unfortunately might be in the same boat. Just can't seem to stay caught up. Lol. Still really interested in seeing where this goes.

I've got a weeks vaction coming up on the 8th and I'm dedicating all of it to finally finishing my Goddamn first feature.   Until then, I'll keep thinking about this and will try to help out as much as I can. It's just such a cool idea. AND I really want to get some collaboration experience.  


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 28th, 2019, 12:18pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from ReneC
That all looks good. It's a strong start.

Is a self-help author going to be a believable central character? She has to have something else going for her. What ties does she have with the community other than simply living there and being the wife of someone?

It turns the central plot more towards the psychological aspects of the story, and while that's interesting, it's less dramatic. The psychology should be a strong B plot, not the main central plot.

She needs something that makes her relevant to the main plot. Maybe something from her past.


I don't really see it as A and B, more like both, with a different emphasis depending on what's happening at the time. At some points it's going to be all out action (like the invasion into the town) with no time to stop and think, other times it will be more introspective, with people talking about what's going on, individuals exploring their own thoughts etc

There's obviously a very strong psychological tone to it:

About being Lost in the Fog. Not knowing the truth. Being surrounded by untruth and trying to find your way out of the Mist.

Ideas about perception, what's true, what's not...how we can tell. All different ideologies and ideas that have to be evaluated by the people...

I think the podcast format really allows that to shine, with people being able to deliver their thoughts right to you.

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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 28th, 2019, 12:31pm Report to Moderator
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In terms of the Self Help author...which admittedly sounds a little lame....

I was thinking something like a Tony Robbins- lite character.

She's big on life skills. Micro-management of time. Work-life balance.

A wide layman's knowledge of finance, psychology and the types of things people need to be successful and happy.

The house is paid off. She's got a couple of rental properties in her portfolio. Shares that pay dividends.

The type of character that people would say "Has her shit together".

She looks the part and acts the part. Can hold an audience. People ask her for advice.

Like Gary says, she does courses for businesses.

She understands the way the world we live in works and how to negotiate it.

Of course underneath it, there are cracks, like there always are. Disagreements with her son, perhaps her husband isn't as ambitious as she wants, but she seems very much in charge of her life on the outside.


The thinking behind it was that she's all about control. Control of time, control of priorities, managing situations for positive benefits etc but that it's all tied to the way life is NOW.

Everything is about to go out of control. So she's got to learn a whole new set of skills.

It's a microcosm of the story. The collapse of our world and the things that are considered important and essential. And a birth into another world where different things are going to matter.

But she's got transferrable skills: She understands Maslow's Hierarchy, theories on how to manage difficult groups, these kind of things. A lot of it is purely theoretical, so now she has to distinguish the text book stuff from the reality in this new world.

There's an underlying psychology to it all as well. She's always tried to stay in control, because secretly she's really worried that everything is ready to fall into chaos at any point, and she wants to be prepared...so this reality is her worst nightmare come true.

I'm by no means wedded to the idea. It just struck me when you mentioned the successful author and it made sense to me.



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Scar Tissue Films  -  August 28th, 2019, 1:22pm
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Scar Tissue Films
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@Rene

Good ideas for both the animals and the accident. I think wild packs of dogs are somewhere or other in the chronology.


EDIT: Nomad/Jordan has already dealt with the accident. He's put some thought into it. Very strange seeing someone discussing little old Davyhulme on here!


In terms of psychos. It's a bit of a balancing act as we want it to feel realistic and plausible, but if we write it well some truly insane antagonists might be interesting.

With the outlandish characters, you've got a few that can be amended to create some very frightening individuals.

The Thing...either the big, strong guy from the Fantastic Four as some bench pressing maniac like Charles Bronson. He can be the main antagonists strong man who keeps everyone in line. Bit cliché, needs work, but it's a trope that makes sense.

Or if it's the John Carpenter version, a group of people who have lost sense of their own identity in the fog and act and behave as a singular entity in some perverse way.

Vampire...maybe someone who was suffering from Renfield's syndrome...she actually she believes she's a vampire. Or she just really likes to drain people of blood to kill them.

The werewolf...someone whose behaviour changes during a full moon. It's all psychological, but he's more or less aggressive depending on the Moon cycle.

The Pope. A friend of mine used to be a psychiatric nurse and one of the people he looked after was a man who thought he was both the Devil and Jesus. On the days he was Jesus, he would try to kill himself, so that he could get rid of the Devil. He could be suffering from similar a religious mania. Or he could literally want to make himself the Pope of his own crazy religion after the world's fallen apart.


It's a balancing act, we don't want to make it really stupid, but if we make it subtle we can give them all interesting nuances to differentiate them, and the way they talk, and make them totally unique. That's the thing with the outlandish characters, what at first seems completely ridiculous can be refined into something really unique.

The overall point in regarding the theme of the story:

In our present world we recognise certain things as abnormal. Violent personality disorders. Manias. Etc  we give them labels and diagnoses. In the new world there's no one left to keep them sedated, or to tell them their ideas are wrong. They are free to live up to them without anyone stopping them. Whatever is going on in their heads...like Dogs talking to the Son of Sam...there's no one left to say it's not true, or to stop them listening....This aspect of humanity which we lock away and medicate is free here.

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Scar Tissue Films  -  August 28th, 2019, 1:39pm
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FrankM
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Wow, I step away for a moment (because I have, like, this day job thing going on) and there's another page of comments...

I like the self-help author as expert in how things used to work... though I don't know how general or specific these gurus tend to be. She'd be unaffected by some of the things breaking down around her... she doesn't have mortgage or car payments to make, she gets up at the same time every morning whether it's bright outside or not, she had a disaster kit with food and cash prepared, etc.

But she's not some survivalist with 12 months of iron rations in a bunker... she needs to make do in the world rather than hide from it. Her making do will help a lot of others along the way.


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 28th, 2019, 1:08pm Report to Moderator
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P.S

One of your characters was a fisherman: We never discussed fishing. That's a decent source of food unless something can prevent it. A lot of people would head to the coast.

It will probably need to be mentioned as to why our gang don't attempt it, if nothing else...eg they have no idea how to get a boat, or don't know how to fish.
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Matthew Taylor
Posted: August 28th, 2019, 1:28pm Report to Moderator
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Fish wouldn't last long without sunlight. Phytoplankton and algae need sunlight, they are bottom of the food chain, without them the rest will tumble


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 28th, 2019, 1:29pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from FrankM
Wow, I step away for a moment (because I have, like, this day job thing going on) and there's another page of comments...

I like the self-help author as expert in how things used to work... though I don't know how general or specific these gurus tend to be. She'd be unaffected by some of the things breaking down around her... she doesn't have mortgage or car payments to make, she gets up at the same time every morning whether it's bright outside or not, she had a disaster kit with food and cash prepared, etc.

But she's not some survivalist with 12 months of iron rations in a bunker... she needs to make do in the world rather than hide from it. Her making do will help a lot of others along the way.


Yes, along those lines.

I can slow everything down, if people want. I've just been trying to reply to everyone as quickly as possible due to the difference in time zones and what have you.
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Scar Tissue Films
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Quoted from Matthew Taylor
Fish wouldn't last long without sunlight. Phytoplankton and algae need sunlight, they are bottom of the food chain, without them the rest will tumble


Good to know.
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 28th, 2019, 1:40pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from JEStaats
I missed a day in the forum, tried to catch up and realize that I've to say "Good luck and goodbye." I'm just unable to commit with everything else I've on my plate.

I look forward to hearing the podcast!


Be sad to lose you, feel free to pop in at any time.  
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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 28th, 2019, 1:48pm Report to Moderator
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Quoted from Zack


I unfortunately might be in the same boat. Just can't seem to stay caught up. Lol. Still really interested in seeing where this goes.

I've got a weeks vaction coming up on the 8th and I'm dedicating all of it to finally finishing my Goddamn first feature.   Until then, I'll keep thinking about this and will try to help out as much as I can. It's just such a cool idea. AND I really want to get some collaboration experience.  


You can't go, Zack. You're not allowed.
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FrankM
Posted: August 28th, 2019, 1:56pm Report to Moderator
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If we want to have the schizophrenic patient, seems like a LOT of the potential treatments have off-label uses that I'd be hard-pressed to find. Anyone who happens to know something interesting, please share.

Of common antipsychotics with on-label alternate uses, the choice seems to be chlorpromazine which is also used to treat tetanus, chronic hiccups, the manic end of bipolar disorder, a blood disorder called acute porphyria, and explosive behavior in children from psychosis/Tourettes/autism/etc. The injectable version is better known as Thorazine, but it'd probably work better story-wise if we're dealing with bottles of pills.

Our patient would have been ramped up to about 75mg per day until hallucinations stopped, the eased down to a maintenance dose of around 30mg per day (three 10mg tablets). I don't know how many pills the NHS would let him have on-hand, and he'd probably get a decent fraction of whatever the pharmacy had in stock before it eventually shuts down.

Patients are warned not to discontinue this medicine suddenly, which would be why the character is trying to stretch things out rather than taking normal doses until they run out. Patients are also told to not crush the pills (apparently they are slow-release), so splitting pills in an attempt to stretch supply may cause issues.

Initial treatment for an adult needing any of the alternate uses would be up around that 75mg per day rate, or two and half days's worth of maintenance per day of acute care. At the stretched-out rate, an acute treatment might use up a week's worth.

It has the usual laundry list of potential side effects of little dramatic value, though "false-positive pregnancy tests" might be a little interesting depending on who's taking the maintenance and acute doses.


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Scar Tissue Films
Posted: August 28th, 2019, 2:06pm Report to Moderator
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Good info, Frank.

Do you have any ideas for his character arc?

Seems like a character we want to 'win', in some way.
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Zack
Posted: August 28th, 2019, 2:14pm Report to Moderator
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Don't get it right. Get it written.

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Quoted from Scar Tissue Films


You can't go, Zack. You're not allowed.


You've got me until the 8th.

Have we decided who will be writing the first episode? Will the first season be a linear story, or will we be doing a bunch of stand alone episodes that tie in with one another?


MY RATING SYSTEM

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