Discussion in 'The Workshop' started by Paladin, Jul 4, 2006.
I could deal with that.
Looking back through the script, I realized one thing may not be clear: at the start of the story, the Monitor is being sent to be decommissioned and dismantled as one of the conditions of the treaty. I had some earlier dialog that established this, but the most recent edit took that out.
You may still have inferred this from Nogura's earlier comment at the reception that the project was being scrapped, as well as the dialog between MacKenzie and Prewitt, but a new draft will make this more explicit.
If nothing else, this thread should illustrate the difficulties in putting a coherent screenplay together!
Also, you may have noticed that we haven't yet seen the Monitor except in shadow. This is intentional. So if you don't have a mental picture of what she looks like, that's okay. Her debut is coming in a couple more scenes.
Not a whole lotta views on this thread lately...
Anyone still reading or am I just lagging?
Still reading, just been busy this last week taking my dad to doctors.
Hurry up; you're still in act I
Okay, you have a good excuse! (and best wishes to your dad!)
I suppose it probably seems that way, because I'm still doing a lot of "set up" for the story this late in the game. It may be that my story is 60% Act I, 20% Act II, and 20% Act III. If so, we are solidly into Act II after the last scene posted. Everything is set up, there will soon be some shocking developments, and, finally, the bad guys will (may?) get what's coming to them.
A feature-length screenplay is usually 90-100 pages. It takes roughly one minute per page. The finished version of this screenplay will likely be 110-120 pages (which I will edit down to 100 somehow). We're at about page 64 now; awfully late to be setting up the conflicts, but I'm relying on the Monitor part of the storyline to keep the viewer engaged. And I haven't found a way to set up the Spica part of the story earlier without either (1) having the cliche of a mission briefing or meeting scene; or (2) introducing some clueless character on Spica who needs everything explained. We'll see how it turns out.
One possibility is that I'll flip the order of the raider ship sequence and the initial visit to Spica. This will get the Spica info into the bloodstream sooner. Yeah... Drat! Now I think of that. (Of course, if I do that, then I've got no action for the first third of the film! )
The length is all on the front end. I need to tell the "origin" story; I think fans would be upset if we didn't see Kirk getting command and meeting everyone for the first time. Then I've got the main plot (Kirk unravelling a mystery and averting interstellar catastrophe) which could almost play out in a one hour episode.
A preview for anyone interested:
Suggestion: Don't drag the exposition stuff out too much - bores the reader/watcher.
You can have some action then have an "explanation" given for the stuff that happened. (am I making myself clear?)
Oh, and dad is stable, but the condition is chronic, so we'll be going thru this cycle again. Hopefully not for several months tho.
Believe me, I'm trying. Is there any scene so far you find excessively expository? I know all the scenes on Spica have A TON of exposition, but most of it is important and a lot of it is developing character. I'm trying to fit it in naturally. The Spica scenes thus far (from the Enterprise coming into orbit to the last line of Solicia's) add up to about 7-8 minutes of screen time, and there's probably another minute or two to go.
I think so. And I do prefer to give the audience some credit by not telling them everything. For instance, I have not really revealed what the raiders, the guys stealing the Monitor, and the political situation on Spica have to do with one another (although you can surely make educated guesses at this point!). It's enough to know at this point that raiders have been stealing Federation cargo, Starfleet officers have stolen a new and powerful starship, and that the political situation on Spica is volatile.
Now, the raider portion I can do with action. The Monitor part I can do with action. But the politics on Spica--what's actually driving the plot--is difficult to show with action. I don't want to be George Lucas and start talking about taxation (), etc., but the political situation is important--mainly, because it corresponds to something similar in present day real life!
I'd have to download it and go over it line for line to give you that sort of critique.
And since I'm going to work tonight - might not be the best time to do that - they get a bit testy when I don't want to be interrupted to take care of patients.
Two suggestions, one tiny, the other somewhatbigger:
1. Did you mean for Scotty's dismissal to imply Kirk blowing him off? It reads that way to me. Perhaps, if you didn't, Kirk might say something like "I...will take that under advisement Mr. Scott. Dismissed" so that it's not so abrupt.
2. as for overlong exposition...the scene between the consort and the advisor (the first one) is a bit too expository for my taste. I think you do a good job in later scenes of getting us up to speed on the competing agends so that one could possibly afford to be quickened a bit.
When writing a screenplay, it's important to "leave something for the actor to do." But I think you're right and I need to make an exception here, because you weren't really certain how I meant it, it's not obvious from the dialog itself, and there are lots of possible interpretations.
It perhaps should read:
All right, Mr. Scott. You're dismissed.
[the last one very close to what you propose--it can't be interpreted as a sharp and angry dismissal]
I envision it as Scotty telling Kirk off and Kirk really having no answer for it (because Scotty is, of course, absolutely right). Kirk's in the wrong and he knows it.
I suspect it would be clear to an actor that since (1) Kirk offers no resistance to Scotty's charge, (2) we saw Kirk make the fateful decision somewhat rashly, and (3) Kirk is left isolated in the room after the scene, that the actor should play it as though Kirk is psychologically beaten at this point. But, why leave that to chance?
I TOTALLY agree with you, so I rewrote that one into two scenes. Unfortunately, I can't edit an old post to insert the first revised scene (the consort and advisor). However, the second scene--between Solicia and Zhuraad (the bathing scene)--is in place. If you read the thread, it will seem that I'm repeating information in the two scenes; in reality, the earlier scene has been considerably reworked.
[?=Revised Scene between Solicia and Palatii]
Much briefer, and gives Solicia a harder edge.
Excellent feedback, thanks!
More scenes coming soon!
I am liking this so far. The scene(s) where Kirk takes command of the Enterprise seemed very satisfying. This Spican plotline is a bit cold so far, tho . . . I know it's building towards something and driving some of the other action, but it's just not engaging on its own.
Yes, I think I've got a couple of problems there.
1. I've got the arrival at Spica happening too late in the story. As LizK suggested, this needs to happen in Act I. My next draft will put the Spica mission first, and have the raider element second (rather than vice versa as it is now). That will get Kirk into the Spican storyline sooner and probably engage the viewer a little more. If the viewer already has the Spica conflict in mind when the raider scene happens, they will be wondering how the raiders connect to that story. As it is now, the raider element--for a long while--seems just an episode within the story that doesn't connect to anything.
2. I need to amplify all of the Spican elements: I need to show that the situation there is volatile (the tenderbox ready to ignite!!!), I need to give their conflict more gravitas, and I need to give the characters more depth. So far, the only Spican scene that really kinda hits the viewer the way I want is the bathing pool scene; it firmly and vividly defines the relationship between Zhuraad and Solicia, which is important in connecting with much of what happens later.
Not sure how much of this needs to be in the directions, but the way that I "saw it im my head" (i.e. MY ideal, which I was not sure was yours) Was that Kirk would instinctively react defensively, perhaps with a glare or a dismissive look and then would - internally - realize he'd been nailed but in so doing be caught without a reply.
Also, have you considered makingthe Spican crisis the main mission and the raider situation be something he's called away to?
I seem to recall it was a pretty common plot device that a starship is going on one mission, so the audience thinks, and is diverted to a seemingly unrelated matter ("you're the only ship in the sector, Jim") and then the two threads end up tied together (I assume your intent is to converge the two plot lines).
If you Set up the Spican crisis early - maybe even in the tease (and come out of the tease to the yacht scene) - and make it rather intense....then have that be Kirk's "first orders" delivered with some urgency...then as they are en route they are called away to look investigate the raid....
the only thing you have to insert as a (supposed) "B" story is the scenes regarding the Monitor.
Meh. different strokes but if I'm rebooting and I want to make the Klingons fearful opponenets I'd go with Kang or Kor.
Also, when Scotty hails Kirk while he's on the other side of the portal, is that meant to purposely imply they are actually still on the planet (ar at least within communication range)? Or just an oversight?
I think Paladin's going off of the "My dear Captain Kirk" and "My dear Captain Koloth" thing from "The Trouble with Tribbles". Giving them a reason to have that past history.
I changed the line in the script to:
I think that's sufficient. The actor and director can decide just how to deliver that line.
Read some of my responses to LikZ; that's exactly what I'm going to do. I can't edit my old posts here so for now we're stuck with the missions the other way around, but my final draft WILL be this way.
You betcha! Exactly what I'm going for. The old "wait-a-minute-these-three-separate-threads-are-linked" realization.
I need some action early on: hence the bits with Whitmore and Thulidor at the beginning. I like the idea of Kirk's first mission starting out routine and then escalating. The Spica thing WILL be set up much earlier in the final draft (by swapping the missions), but I don't have anything storywise that makes for a good opener set on Spica. I'll probably need to add an action scene--maybe on Spica somehow--to keep things moving if the raider scene occurs later in the story. Hmmm...
I'm relying on the Thulidor/Prewitt/Monitor side of the story to keep the audience curious while I'm telling the "origin" story.
I'm trying to stay loyal to the canon, at least what has actually appeared on screen. Kirk never met Kang or Kor before "Day of the Dove" and "Errand of Mercy," respectively. Also, Koloth's character much better fits with later developments.
When I first wrote that scene, I had the portal closed. Since they are, in fact, elsewhere--a significant plot point later on--I realized I had to leave the portal open so that Mr. Scott's call could get through. Thanks for paying so much attention, Shep!
New scenes coming in the next 24 hours...
I know everyone's on pins and needles waiting!
Oooo, now this is getting good! If maybe borrowing a bit from that TNG episode with the gateways.
Just discovered this thread today. I'm liking it in general.
I don't have any big misgivings about the amount of exposition in the beginning--keep in mind that there are several moments of action early on:
- Admiral Whitmore's betrayal of her aide, then the subsequent blast
- the action involving Thuclidor (sp?)
- confronting the raider
These all seem spaced out pretty well.
Also, keep in mind that the audience will likely be highly anticipatory of finding out the details of Kirk taking command of the Enterprise. While not action per se, it is yet another thing to help offset the exposition.
Love the scene in The Warped Core!
Good stuff so far, Paladin!
That was exactly why I put that scene first--it could just as easily happen later--but I figured with the relatively small action content in most of the first act, it would be good to start things with a bang.
Yes, although the story will flow better when the raider scene is moved more to the middle of the film and the Spica exposition is moved closer to the front. Once I do that, I may need to re-think where the action sequences are.
I agree. If this were some other film about a guy getting command of a spaceship, I'd cut a lot of the formalities. But I figure the fans would want to see these on screen.
Glad you enjoyed it! That scene was a lot of fun to write.
Thanks! I hope you enjoy the rest of the story.
one note: McCoy's injection to neutralize the effects of alcohol...Sobericin or something like that...?
Didn't "Revenge of the Nerds" have a similar thing that the Nerds cooked up to help win the Beer/Tricycle race? You should find out what that was called, and use it as the name of the stuff instead, as an homage.... Just a thought.
Funny you should mention that. That's exactly where I ripped-off...er, got the inspiration ...for that moment. I think Colonel Flagg in M*A*S*H claimed to have some kind of implant that neutralized alcohol as well, but that's a different matter. Nerds actually refers to a specific chemical compound but as far as I know, the "science" in Nerds isn't real--there isn't a real substance that does this. And I thought the name "sobrizine" was a better pseudo-scientific name.
Perhaps TNG's "synthehol" is regular alcohol with a built-in dose of sobrazine.
One thing I may do after I've got the whole screenplay put out is detail some of the influences that went into each scene--there are many, many, many of them.
Separate names with a comma.