A thought that dawned on me was if we are going with the title Symbols of Deception, we perhaps should also consider who is deceiving whom, why, how, and what the symbol of that deception may be.
By the way, I like the ideas on your last post for the story. I think those sound good.
Also…what do you think about enabling comments here so that we can respond to each other on the same string?
I can do a call on Wednesday pretty much anytime after 11AM Central. Thursday I’m going out of town — so exctied! to a spa in Utah! — so that’s a travel day for me. I could do a call on Friday pretty much anytime before 5PM Pacific. Before noon would be preferable, if possible, but otherwise I’m open.
I’ve been working on the next beats and ready to do a call on them when you are. Here’s where I am:
1) Oscar makes a presentation (already written)
2) Ian attempts to steal something (already written)
3) Interaction with Michael – When Oscar and Ian show up to the office, Michael’s at the scene of the crime, working with law enforcement to identify the security breach. We discussed this on one of our calls, but didn’t yet figure this out yet completely.
4) Oscar and Desdemona – We need to set-up their relationship at the start. Not sure what we want to say about it yet, but it does belong here. Considering Michael is in the beat before, we may want to include some sort of romantic tension here contrived by Ian.
5) Oscar finds out that Cyprus Petroleum has his technology, or a piece of it. Again, not exactly sure what we want to say here yet, but that’s where this element belongs. I’ve put in Block Two that Oscar confronts Luke at Cyprus. So in this rough draft, it would be that Oscar is passively receiving word that Cyprus has stolen some portion of Oscar’s technology. Maybe he hears it on the news? Or gets it by way of an email? In my mind, attaining the information is done by way of some sort of message that Oscar passively receives.
I’ve roughly sketched Block Two, but these are going to based upon the detail we come up with for Block One. The information here is only placeholders. The order can change, the beats themselves can change. This gives us a starting point on our discussion.
1) Oscar seeks to protect the “key” he holds.
2) Oscar suspects Desdemona (she looks guilty while also looking innocent)
3) Oscar suspects Michael (he looks guilty while also looking innocent)
4) Oscar confronts Luke at Cyprus to understand where Cyprus got the information.
5) Ian looks completely guilty – Oscar sets his sights on catching Ian
Just so we keep track of them:
1) We have a loose end with Oscar abruptly leaving the meeting with a potential investor. What comes of that meeting? What happens with the investor?
2) We have a safe that seems to have nothing inside it. What’s in there?
I kind of like the outlining then writing idea. Because both of us has written some iteration of this screenplay at least once already, I think it’s okay to outline and write the script as we go.
Hi Jeff! (Aloha!),
How about this? You shoot our first few pages for the screen test. I’ll work on getting the outline for Block 1 going. Let’s finish the outline block by block. If there is something that I’m putting in there that seems off, we can catch it earlier instead of waiting for all of it to be outlined. (Case in point, the last time when I nixed Michael Cassio entirely.) Sound good?
We can totally put the flower shop in the bar. Or even shoot it in the office location. I need to flesh it out a little more to make sure it works.
I understand your sense of urgency to film. I can’t wait to see it done, either! But I guarantee you that this extra time (April 3rd at the very latest to turn in the script) will be well worth it. Much stronger script. I think you will be pleased.
I think we both have different perspectives since you have been working on this longer than me. 🙂
Tomorrow I will get to you a finished outline that will go through the entire story. It will be in keeping with much of what we already had and a bit of a departure from the original Othello play (but we were on that road already) but still resonating with it and very obviously tied to it.
Saw your post on the locs. No problem keeping all as is with those parameters.
I may have one request, which may be a flower shop for Desiree since that’s what she does for a living… but let me see how far I get with that idea first and if I can find a way to work around it.
Also, I have some questions for you that will help.
1) This is a longer term problem, but what about the title?
2) We need a genre. I’m categorizing this as a sci-fi thriller. Do you agree?
3) What other main stream movies do you think this is like?
Logline: A brilliant scientist’s breakthrough project to save humanity leads to a blood bath.
Overview: The movie focuses on a territorial scientist and his self-righteous partner as they investigate together who stole their scientific work. Problems occur when they discover that the chief scientist’s wife has been sleeping with the competition. Now they must go after her and redeem what is rightfully theirs.
The following conception of the story is based on the Coffee Break Screenwriter book (p.33) by Pilar Alessandra:
1. Oscar’s brilliance triggers someone to steal his greatest scientific accomplishment.
2. The theft of the project triggers Oscar to call the police who can’t do anything about it.
3. The police’s inability to help triggers Oscar to figure out who did it and where it went.
4. Oscar’s investigation triggers hatred and jealousy when he finds out his girlfriend is sleeping with the competition.
5. Disgust for his girlfriend triggers Oscar to kill her.
6. Killing his girlfriend triggers a confidant to prove to Oscar that his girlfriend didn’t do it and was set-up by Ian.
7. Ian’s set-up triggers Oscar to hunt him down and kill him.
8. Killing Ian triggers Oscar to kill him with his technology and then kill himself.
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.