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SimplyScripts Screenwriting Discussion Board  /  Sci Fi and Fantasy Scripts  /  Rendezvous With Rama
Posted by: Don, December 29th, 2007, 7:47am
Rendezvous With Rama by Philip Whitcroft - Sci Fi - In 2131 a vast metallic cylinder from an alien civilization enters the Solar System at high speed. A makeshift crew sets out from Mars to explore the mystery and grandeur of Rama. The exploration tests the crew to their limits in a place beyond their imagination. (Based on the novel by Arthur C. Clarke) 114 pages - pdf, format 8)
Posted by: James Carlette, December 30th, 2007, 12:20pm; Reply: 1
Your writing style is good - you've got the format down to a T.

But you don't introduce your characters, which makes it a little confusing. In fact characterisation as a whole felt a bit flat - it made it difficult to invest in and care about them. By page 10 I was starting to feel bored, and was really struggling at about page 20. The plot's there, but you need to flesh out the characters more, make them seem more human.
Posted by: Murphy (Guest), January 4th, 2008, 7:59pm; Reply: 2
Hi, I will probably gonna get my post deleted as I am just about to break a rule to say I am going to read this at some point very soon because as a kid i absolutely loved this book and would love to see a movie.

But my question was do you know what is happening with this as a project? Last I heard Morgan Freeman had bought the rights and David Fincher was slated to direct but they were having major issues with the script. (Of course I cannot believe that any studio picture would worry about a little matter such as a script so one would have to assume that it is finance that is holding things up)

But would be interested to know why you wrote this and whether or not you are trying to get it in front of Morgan Freeman's production company? http://www.revelationsent.com/site/index.html


Cheers Murph
Posted by: pwhitcroft, January 5th, 2008, 1:08am; Reply: 3
James, thanks for your comments. Your comment about introducing the characters is fair. I was trying to avoid "directing" the movie with the screenplay but I probably went a bit too far. Your comment on character development is interesting because the same comment is often made about the book.

Murphy, I also first read this book when I was young and I still think it's one of the best books I've ever read. For years now I've had the broad idea in my head of this book as a movie, the visual images you get in your head reading it are dazzling. Early last year I reread the book making notes and thinking about it as a screenplay and I quickly hit on what I think is a good structure.

As I was writing my screenplay I googled it and became aware of the movie in production. I have tried to contact them because it seems to me they have nothing much to lose from seeing if they like anything in what I've done. However, quite reasonably they are treating it as "unsolicited". They were kind enough to suggest that I could use it as a "sample representation" of my work. So I thought I'd put it on a website and see if anyone thought it was any good. Let me know what you think.

Philip
Posted by: James Carlette, January 7th, 2008, 9:48am; Reply: 4

Quoted Text
Your comment on character development is interesting because the same comment is often made about the book.


It's been ages since I read the book, but I think Clarke's characters are generally underwritten. He's more of an ideas man. One of the biggest challenges of adapting a book is always going to be dealing with the characters - while the author can tell us what's going on in their heads and give us bits of backstory, you have to convert that into action.

If I were you, I'd look at spicing up the beginning of the script: Open with a shot of Rama to get us interested, then move into some character-orientated scenes so that we know who we're dealing with and why we should care about them. Things seemed to move quite quickly, but I wasn't invested enough for it to draw me in. Talk of a strange asteroid is all well and good, but you need to give it impact (if you'll excuse the pun).

Give us a hook... then some breathing space... then launch into the main plot.
Posted by: pwhitcroft, January 29th, 2008, 11:28pm; Reply: 5
My revised version of this is now here. I've tried to respond to all the feedback I've had from various sources and I think it's much improved.

Philip
Posted by: James Carlette, January 30th, 2008, 12:35pm; Reply: 6
Looking good.

This is just my opinion of the first ten or so pages - I'll try to look over the rest at some point.

I think you could simplify the opening a little. It's up to you of course, but I'd probably go with a shot of Jupiter, then have Rama slowly swim into view - just so we know that it's a strange object and it's in our solar system.

The returning spaceship stuff is good. But I still think it could be sharper - Maybe have them come in for a difficult landing, something to get people excited... then some purely character scenes... and have them notice Rama at about page ten. I just think you need to spend a bit more time establishing what these people are like and the kind of world they live in. At the moment it all feels rather plot-driven (which some might like). I'd like a chance to meet these characters and find out what type of person they are before the Rama-stuff kicks in.
Posted by: pwhitcroft, July 6th, 2008, 5:33pm; Reply: 7
This is now my third draft of this. I've tightened it up a lot and reworked some sections.

Philip
Posted by: keaton01, February 26th, 2011, 7:29pm; Reply: 8
I love this story. Thought of adapting it myself. I hear they are ramping up preproduction on this. By them not giving you the 'cease and desist' letter tells me they still don't have a script.

I do like how SS doesn't give a darn about copyrights. I may post some of my unauthorized adaptations.
Posted by: Hugh Hoyland, March 2nd, 2011, 12:22am; Reply: 9
Classic Si-Fi! Just started this one and so far so good. I also heard that they have had this in the works for quite some time. But from what I know nothing came of it. Its in a movie genre that hollywood often avoids, "Hard Science Fiction." But it should be made either way, even indie.  Will finish this scirpt as soon as I get some free time.
Posted by: Eoin, March 2nd, 2011, 10:59am; Reply: 10

Quoted from keaton01
I love this story. Thought of adapting it myself. I hear they are ramping up preproduction on this. By them not giving you the 'cease and desist' letter tells me they still don't have a script.

I do like how SS doesn't give a darn about copyrights. I may post some of my unauthorized adaptations.


As a personal writing exercise, fan based scripts are one thing, but it's originality that gets a spec script sold. SS has policies on copyright, check with the Administrator.
Posted by: pwhitcroft, March 3rd, 2011, 10:12am; Reply: 11
This script falls under the fan fiction category. It was the first script I ever wrote and I wrote it because I love the book.

It served its purpose in that I learnt a lot from it and I also learnt a lot from other peoplesí comments on it. As I mentioned above the production company that holds the rights didnít have a problem with me using this as a writing sample.

I have not revised this script much over the last couple of years and Iíve learnt quite a lot in that time, so Iím sure it could be better. Having said that I still think that the big picture structural decisions I made in adapting this are a good starting point.

I strongly believe that this book has the potential to be an awesome movie. And this is more true now than ever before, because this is a story that could make incredible use of 3D.

Philip
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