Answers to your questions and some more questions

Should this have gone in a reply?  Oh well…

So if Michael is at the lab before Ian and Oscar, what is he doing?  He was notified by the security system.  Or he went there to work on the leaf.  What time is it in the story?  If Oscar was pitching Brian, then it could be late at like 2am because it’s when the bar is closing.  So in the bar, we could see Desiree putting up chairs in the background.

Michael beats them there because he was going to work on the leaf.  Is there some sort of implication with Desiree?  What could be the implication with Desdemona and Michael?  Michael said that Desiree texted him since they were closing up and Oscar was at the bar talking to her dad.  She thought we might want to all hang out since we have been working so hard lately.

Then to show Oscar and Desdemona’s relationship, we can illustrate how they are at first with Michael explaining how he got the text from Desdemona.  Desiree did not text Oscar because she did not want to disturb him during the meeting plus, he was right there.   This could be the little opening that Ian uses to plant the seed of doubt.  Why didn’t she tell  you she wanted to hang out with you guys?  Why was she inviting Michael to hang out so late.

At first, Oscar and Desiree’s relationship is good.  It is trusting and healthy but it deteriorates when Ian makes the suggestions and plants the seeds of doubt.  Of course, Ian suggests this to Oscar in secret or on the side.

Oscar can find out about Cyprus through some sort of automatic patent search he has set up.  He reads the patents everyday.  So at this point he finds out there has been a persistent leak or theft of information?  Everyone is a suspect.  Ian, Emilia, Michael, Rod, and their security system.  He has to check on all of them and clear them.

Maybe the theft of the technology is too early?  Maybe it was ok for the Sundance application but not for the story.

Re: Next Beats and Call

Hey Christina,

That sounds great.  I was shooting some tests of the first scene this weekend.  As I was working through the script and shots, I want to make a couple of changes.  Perhaps Oscar is pitching to Bruce/Brian in the bar downstairs.  Also, I was thinking about the security system.  Perhaps we can go with a more fictionalized form of security.  A system that Oscar designs himself.  Maybe like the home built computer in Pi.  I say this because he either has to have top notch, top of the line security or maybe his insane version.  Plus, I was trying to think of a different way to show the audience that it is Ian rather than putting the mask in the bag.

I was also thinking we move the Ian calling out to Oscar scene into the stairwell.  It has a more trapped feeling.

When are you available to do the call?  Thanks.


Next Steps

Aloha Christina,

I am pretty much caught up from my absence.
What do you recommend are the next steps?
Do we need to adjust the beats to reflect the new opening scene?
I am itching to shoot something so I was thinking of shooting the new pages as a screen test.  Let me know what you think.

Reworking the Beats

When we last left off, Christina and I were re-working the beats.  We still are doing that.  Plus, we are preparing an application for the Sundance Institute/Asian American Feature Film Fellowship.  It would be a great honor to be selected for that.  More importantly, it would be a great resource.

Regardless of whether we get in or not it has served a purpose to help us with deadlines on getting our script in better shape.

Also, I thought of a new opening scene.  I will chat with Christina about it this afternoon but I thought it might be good to see Ian and possibly with the help of Rodney, steal the artificial leaf from the laboratory.  Ian would almost get caught by Oscar and would play it off.  The audience sees right away who the good guy is and the bad guys are.  Maybe it would be a mini-heist film at the beginning.



Re: Something to Think About and Re-Plotted Story – Broad Strokes

Aloha Christina,

You have piqued my interest with the flower shop.  My instinct says can you keep it in the bar?  I have great access to a bar.  Flower shops, yes, I probably can get one but my relationship with them is not nearly as good as the bar.

My overall goal of this project is to get it made, finished, and out there.  I would rather shoot our current script that is good versus working on something until we “perfect” it but it gets too big to be made.  It reminds me of the Patton quote:

A good plan violently executed now is better than a perfect plan executed next week.  – George Patton

I believe finished movies are what people want to see.  Writing samples are great but not for directors, actors, editors, and cinematographers.  Plus, a finished movie is more powerful for a writer to have under their belt.  It meant someone believed enough in their work to invest time, money, and resources to make it into a movie.

I know you know all this and that you are making it the best you can possibly make it.  That is awesome and I sincerely appreciate it.  But at this moment I am feeling a little concerned that we may be heading down a path that will miss the overall objective of getting a movie made.  I’m not terrified but I am concerned enough to mention it here.  I just want to take this moment to make sure this project is headed in this direction.

With that said, I still don’t have any firm ideas on title yet.  I was thinking something related to photosynthesis, energy, and/or light.  But in thinking about it more maybe is should be related to jealousy, fear, suspicion, money etc.  I’m ok on naming it after it’s all done.  It might be something a character says at one point.  Or an idea they have.  Maybe we call it Stoma for now.  Stoma is a pore in a leaf as well as a natural or surgically created hole in a body that connects to the outside environment.

In terms of genre, yes, I think Sci-Fi Thriller would be right.  Maybe Psychological Thriller is more correct.  It just has science as a backdrop.  I don’t know if it is really science fiction.  The technology is real and working today.

Other movies that this is like… really I think this movie is Pi meets House of Cards.  Or maybe similar to The Social Network.  Or at least aspires to be Pi meets House of Cards.

Regarding the logline you came up with, perfect!

In the overview, who is the self-righteous partner?  Is that Ian?  And the chief scientist is Michael?  So Ian and Oscar are going after Bianca?  I’m not sure about the overview yet.

A Couple More “Responses” on Pixar Story Tweets

I have been using the Pixar Story Tweets as a basis to improve our story.  Here are the latest entries:

#9 When you’re stuck, make a list of what WOULDN’T happen next.  Lots of times the material to get you unstuck will show up.  Oscar wouldn’t go to bed.  Oscar wouldn’t take a vacation.  Ian wouldn’t feel guilty.  Ian wouldn’t stop trying to take the company.

#10 – Pull apart the stories you like. What you like in them is a part of you; you’ve got to recognize it before you can use it.  The stories I keep coming back to are:  Pi, The Social Network, and House of Cards.  I like the drive of Max in Pi.  I like the maneuvering and cunning of Frank in House of Cards.  Frank is an amazing bad guy.  I like how Social Network took something pretty geeky and made it interesting.