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.



Flower Shop

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.

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.

Something to Think About

Hi Jeff,

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?


Re-Plotted Story – Broad Strokes

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.

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.



Sometimes having limits are a great creative device.  When you have a completely blank canvas or blank page, it can be overwhelming.  Or sometimes, having to fit within certain limitations forces you to get creative and find a more pleasing solution than you could have come up without the limits.

I know Christina is just exploring with the story in her recent post and I think that is awesome but I want to offer some suggestions.  Very strong suggestions.  My suggestions come from the standpoint of making the production something we can handle and actually execute.

  • Please keep the locations limited.  Fewer is better.  One location for the whole movie is the best.
    • Keep the location at our studio/laboratory/office
  • Please do not add new characters.  If anything, combine characters or eliminate characters.
  • No special effects.  No 3d monsters, explosions, guns, knives, blood, etc.  I know we have it now but I want to limit it as much as possible.
  • Use suspense where possible.  Suspense like when the audience knows something our hero doesn’t and we are on the edge of our seat yelling at the hero not to open that door.  That’s the best.

Following these limitations will allow us to make this movie ourselves.  Once we deviate from these limitations it will require more resources:  time, money, people, etc.  Then it makes it more difficult to make.

What are your thoughts on this?