Wednesday, 21 January 2015

From Script To Screen: Online Greenlight


  1. OGR 22/01/2015

    Hi Mark,

    Okay - so things are shaping up a bit more now thematically, but you do seem terribly trapped in terms of literal use of your objects (even though you've laid in a veneer of representation). I still don't like the logic of there being a marionette and a balloon on a plane... it doesn't seem credible to me, even though it appears as if the marionette and balloon aren't really in the plane at all, but are representing something internal to your character.

    I know you're experiencing some frustration around this, but I can't honestly say that your story is not 'there' yet - and this much I suspect you know. In truth, Mark - you need to move the action outside of that plane, which you're stuck inside of. I think it's locking you into the same thinking pattern around your three components and you need a radical shake-up to unriddle this riddle!

    I'm wondering if you might think about this in terms of a story about 'fear of flying' - or rather of letting go. Maybe this is parent/child story - bear with me, because this will be rough; you introduce a man with a marionette. He is sitting in a white space. The puppet is curious; there's a bright colourful helium balloon just bobbing near the man on the bench, and the puppet is straining to reach it. The puppet (it's a little girl puppet) wants to get the balloon and float. The man keeps pulling her back - and then, slowly, he realises that he must let her take the balloon, even though it means it will float away from him. One by one he cuts the strings and the puppet falls at first, but then shakily gets to its feet. The man watches, troubled and excited and helps the puppet towards its goal. The puppet takes the balloon and we watch its feet leave the floor, and we see the puppet's face show delight... then, around the seat man in the white space, we begin to hear the sounds of an airport departure lounge; we here announcements; and then, we see a hand appear on the man's shoulder; we now see he's been sitting all the time in the departure lounge; we see the hand belongs to his teenage daughter; we see she has her passport ready; she looks happy and nervous; she says 'Dad, I really have to go now' and the man, her father, smiles, nods; he says 'I'm proud of you' - The End...

    or something like that; okay, okay, so technically there's no plane here, but it works because it lets the marionette and the balloon be symbolic - which is the strength of your original idea - i.e. that they're emblematic of something.

    I don't know what you think - and I'm bashing this out fast - but something about fathers/daughters, leaving the nest, control/freedom, accepting change... all seems good to me - what do you think?

    1. Hello Phil

      I would indeed be happy to get out of this rut. My mind keep coming back to trying to keep all three things prevalent in the story and I think this is what was holding me back. I didn't know how to explain a blaloon on a plane because...well it's a balloon, it wouldn't be there unles someone brought it aboard and even if I could explain that I didn't know how to make the baloon personable.

      But I really like the idea you're suggesting. Perhaps rather than a white space it's set in a park? Perhaps the man is a street performer (why he has a marionette in a public place and could be a reason as to why he's not letting the marionette go) and the balloon could drift nearby or be tied to a nearby post.

      Maybe the balloon is shaped like something or has a graphic on its face like a bird (this symbolism might be too obvious though) or a plane which alludes to what is really happening.

      The plane could still be outside; it could be a small airport and the plane could be visible from the departure lounge. Perhaps early on in the park scene there is a plane that is heard/seen overhead?

  2. you don't need to explain the marionette and the balloon - they're not truly there, are they - it's a projection of a father's anxiety; if you make him a street performer in a park, you 'explaining' the objects, which, ultimately, vanish; if you keep him in a white space, you're telling the audience that something is 'magic real' from the get go... I think you're getting hung up on the literal again; you don't need to justify the existence of these objects, because they're not actually there...

  3. Hi Mark,

    Further to Phil's suggestion of using the white space, I was reminded of this short animation by our very own Meg. See how she uses the very absence of background and detail to create the magic...

    1. I can see one of the effects of a lack of detail in this is she is more free to conduct transformations such as water becoming recognisably the old woman's hair. This helps me understand the potential usage of white space.

      I guess white space could work. An alternative (I could be wrong here) is perhaps the action goes on in a small area of white surrounded by black (like a spotlight on a monologues at a theatre performance). But near the end as the man becomes more accepting, the whole area lights up, the area illuminated expands.

      It could be more gradual - we start with that tiny spot but once he starts cutting the strings the environment gets lighter and lighter. As the marionette floats away that's when the transition to the airport scene occurs.