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Two general film related questions

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Two general film related questions

Old 09-29-08, 10:44 AM
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Two general film related questions

Hopefully this is the right spot (Otterville seemed off since I am looking for something film specific). OK long story short, I was at my cousin's wedding this weekend and the experience along with the insistence of all the people involved (all the bride's maids and groom's men), I am writing a script about it. However, two questions came up in my prep work.

1. I know all these people well and I have their "characters" down, but the question is, do I dial them back and make them movie like (where I make them sound smarter than they are) or do I keep them as is? To further explain, Swingers would be how my friends are (not exactly, but they act a certain way that seems way too real), where as they are not like a QT movie (hipster speak, obscure references and such). I just don't want it to sound fake. Any films I can use as reference?

2. A lot of the events of the three days of this wedding happens at the same time in different spots. Is it too much to split screen all of those sequences? Meaning, would it start to be a little too much if it came up more than three times? I am just trying to think about how to tie it all together. Are there similar films that I can view for reference?

Thanks.
Old 09-29-08, 10:53 AM
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This is in my opinion as a general film viewer, not a student of film...

1. Depends on the type of movie you're trying to make. As long as the decisions and dialog make sense in relation to the character, then it doesn't matter if you make them smarter or dumber as long as it is consistent with the characters (my argument against The Mist's ending, for instance, is that it betrays the characters (how they were developed up to that point) and comes off as unbelievable (not in a good way)) Naturalistic dialog (non-stylized) fits movies fine as long as, again, it is consistent. I haven't seen it but I hear Mean Creek is very good about keeping it naturalistic.

2. I don't really follow, split screen or split screen time? Regardless, repeated events are not uncommon (Run Lola Run, Memento, Vantage Point, etc; )

Last edited by RichC2; 09-29-08 at 10:58 AM.
Old 09-29-08, 10:56 AM
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Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
1. Depends on the type of movie you're trying to make. As long as the decisions and dialog make sense in relation to the character, then it doesn't matter if you make them smarter or dumber as long as it is consistent with the characters (my argument against The Mist's ending, for instance, is that it betrays the characters and comes off as unbelievable (not in a good way)) Naturalistic dialog (non-stylized) fits movies fine as long as, again, it is consistent. I haven't seen it but I hear Mean Creek is very good about keeping it naturalistic.

2. I don't really follow, split screen or split screen time? Regardless, repeated events are not uncommon (Run Lola Run, Memento, Vantage Point, etc; )

there are also films where split screen run throughout the entire film, Time Code (dir. Mike Figgis) which had four screens. There was another film that had three screens but the title has escaped my mind.
Old 09-29-08, 11:01 AM
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Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
1. Depends on the type of movie you're trying to make. As long as the decisions and dialog make sense in relation to the character, then it doesn't matter if you make them smarter or dumber as long as it is consistent. Naturalistic dialog (non-stylized) fits movies fine as long as, again, it is consistent. I haven't seen it but I hear Mean Creek is very good about keeping it naturalistic.

2. I don't really follow, split screen or split screen time? Regardless, repeated events are not uncommon (Run Lola Run, Memento, Vantage Point, etc; )
1. I get what you mean. Again I know these people very well and I frequently impersonate them and such. Keeping them on point all the time will be easy. I was more concerned that it would come off weird since they don't follow a certain writing style.

2. I am not sure about repeating it...actually I hadn't given it much thought until now. It is one of those things where the events are happening in the same place (the hotel for instance) but different people are scattered around. For instance, I am down stairs looking for someone one, while up stairs he is looking for me, hoping to get him out of a situation. So I was thinking of having the screen split so you can see him and me saying the same line to different people:

"Where is Kevin"
"Where is Adam"

Another sequence for the split screen was, I was outside the hotel room having a weird moment with one of the guys that worked there, while my friend is in the room having a weird moment with a girl that crashed in his room. Then there is a walk and talk and another split screen where the girl tries to go to another room and my friend and I wonder if she went to that room while in a different part of the hotel. Catch my drift of what I am going for?
Old 09-29-08, 11:11 AM
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Makes sense, I can't think of any examples of it being done split screen simultaneously in that manner. I don't think it'd be a problem, but as a technique it could probably go from being cute/humorous to silly/annoying quickly if you aren't careful or if its overused.

But yeah, generally speaking anything in film technically can work, it's just up to the filmmakers to make it work.

Originally Posted by Giles View Post
there are also films where split screen run throughout the entire film, Time Code (dir. Mike Figgis) which had four screens. There was another film that had three screens but the title has escaped my mind.
Almost mentioned that one as well.
Old 09-29-08, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by RichC2 View Post
Makes sense, I can't think of any examples of it being done split screen simultaneously in that manner. I don't think it'd be a problem, but as a technique it could probably go from being cute/humorous to silly/annoying quickly if you aren't careful or if its overused.

But yeah, generally speaking anything in film technically can work, it's just up to the filmmakers to make it work.



Almost mentioned that one as well.

of course, the film I'm forgetting does that sort of editing/camera device - let me mull this over and do a internet search and I'll post back.
Old 09-29-08, 11:18 AM
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Yeah I don't want to over do it, but there are a lot of critical moments where things occurred simultaneously...most on the second night. There were a few on Friday (I don't want to give too much away, but myself and the guys in the car ahead of me, where nearly killed by of all things, a Toys R Us 18 wheeler on the way to the hotel Friday night, and David Crosby is standing in the hotel lobby...you can't make that up), but most came Saturday, as described above.

My intention here is to be funny (Swingers is great at that) and to have my characters be carbon copies of all the people involved. I have the beginning and the ending written already. I also have the tracking shot around the table when the Sunday morning the story is being told from myself and my friend.

EDIT - I also have a title, "Friday, Saturday, Sunday"

Last edited by macnorton; 09-29-08 at 11:26 AM.
Old 09-29-08, 12:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Giles View Post
there are also films where split screen run throughout the entire film, Time Code (dir. Mike Figgis) which had four screens. There was another film that had three screens but the title has escaped my mind.
Chelsea Girls had two screens of simultaneous "action", but I don't think an aspiring young filmmaker wants to take technical inspiration from Warhol.
Old 09-29-08, 01:13 PM
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Is Reality Bites a good film to watch in relation to my characters? I am looking for stuff that has people just being people...the daily madness if you will.
Old 09-29-08, 01:26 PM
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Originally Posted by macnorton View Post
Is Reality Bites a good film to watch in relation to my characters? I am looking for stuff that has people just being people...the daily madness if you will.
if you want to see movies where 'people act like people' rent a Ken Loach movie.
Old 09-29-08, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Giles View Post
if you want to see movies where 'people act like people' rent a Ken Loach movie.
Yeah that is the dramatic portion of people being people, how about the funny stuff (but thanks for the suggestion)?
Old 09-29-08, 02:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Giles View Post
if you want to see movies where 'people act like people' rent a Ken Loach movie.
Or Cassavetes.
Old 09-29-08, 02:41 PM
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ah hah, here's the movie I was thinking about

AKA

I saw this in the theatre, but supposedly the video version includes the three screen plus single screen option.
Old 09-29-08, 02:51 PM
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Thanks Giles, into the Netflix queue it went.
Old 09-29-08, 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by macnorton View Post
Yeah that is the dramatic portion of people being people, how about the funny stuff (but thanks for the suggestion)?
Ken Loach has a lot of funny moments in many of his films. Depending on the demographics of the people you're representing you may find something useful in the "mumblecore" films too -- i.e., they have humor in them and they're true to a type (albeit a very narrow one).

Last edited by Yakuza Bengoshi; 09-29-08 at 07:33 PM.
Old 09-29-08, 10:51 PM
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1. Base movies on what you know, not what you see in other movies.

2. Scripts should not have elaborate shot descriptions. You are providing structure, point of view, theme, subject, dialogue, and setting. Composition and editing are other people's jobs.
Old 09-29-08, 11:07 PM
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Never ever use narration -- this is only something aspiring screenwriters tell you.

Dialogue is golden. This is the most important thing to readers.

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