I’m blowing the top off of our script right now to try to make it stronger than the original script.
I think every screenwriter has encountered the Pixar rules for story telling. Rule # 4 goes like this:
Once upon a time there was ___. Every day, ___. One day ___. Because of that, ___. Because of that, ___. Until finally ___.
This helps structure the screenplay. Here’s one way our story could go:
Once upon a time there was a passionate, territorial, and brilliant scientist named Oscar. Every day, he would work on his science project and spend time with his girlfriend. One day, his science project got stolen (he suspected) by a competitor. Because of that, he cozied-up with the competition to see what they knew and didn’t know. Because of that, he found out his girlfriend was sleeping with the competition. Until finally, he killed the project, his girlfriend and himself.
This would be the outside, top level, bird’s eye view of the story. The next step would be to layer in all the mystery and deceit.
I’ve been using a book called the Coffee Break Screenwriter by Pilar Alessandra to help me solidify the plot points.
This is the first time that I’ve worked on adapting a story. At first, I stuck very close to the original version of Othello, but there are many pieces of that story that don’t fit neatly into screen play structure.
With this next re-write Jeff and I have decided to work more freely using the story as guideposts, but not lock-step. I think this will help blow more life into the character named Oscar.