Tuesday, June 12, 2007

1'st Attempt: Beat Script for our Story

Hey guys. While we are working out the Beat script, I thought it would be a good idea for all of us to try and come up with possible gags to add some texture and fun. If you come up with anything bring it in on Thursday. Even quick doodles can do the job...


Mark Mayerson said...

I think it would be better to have the kid waiting for the elevator on his own floor. We know the door's going to open. But if he's in the elevator, how do we know that the 7th floor is where the elevator is going to stop and the girl is going to get on?

The doors on his floor open revealing the girl and then he reacts to seeing her. Then we know why he was rushing for the elevator.

You desperately need to flesh out between 8 and 9. How do the characters react to seeing each other? This is where you establish his interest in her and maybe establish that she thinks he's weird. This is a critical spot and the emotions, whatever they are, have to be clear to the audience.

For 12, he should try and catch up with her as they exit the elevator, but he trips on his shoelace or can't pull his shoe on in time and she walks away leaving him stuck there. That's what motivates him to be ready the next day.

For 14, show him changing the wake up time on his alarm. Make it a half hour or an hour earlier.

18. Where do the flowers come from? Did he buy them for the girl or is he just taking flowers bought by his parents for other reasons?

I don't understand 26 and 27. If the girl is not there, concentrate on his disappointment, not on being anxious to get to the ground floor.

34. How does she react? That's your punchline. If she's thrilled with the beat up flowers, you've got a happy ending. If she forces a smile, then the boy has screwed up again. How do you want it to end? And how does the boy react to her reaction?

Mark Mayerson said...

I want to apologize. Here and in the grading sheets I hand out, I go straight for the weaknesses and don't usually compliment what's working.

This story works. It's got good acting and emotional potential and there's lots of room for humour, too. It's a solid beginning and all of my above comments are attempts to sharpen something that's a strong foundation for a film.

Sorry if I come off as too negative.

Mark Mayerson said...

Naz asked me to try and explain my first point better.

If you have the kid rush to get on the elevator and be organized by the time you get to the girl's floor, how does the audience know that the elevator opening on the 7th floor is going to happen or that it's special? Once you're in an elevator, it could stop anywhere. You have no control over it. How do you tell the audience that the boy expects the elevator to stop on 7?

However, if you have the boy standing in front of the elevator on his own floor, we know that it will open for him. We know that if he pushes the button, the elevator will arrive, so you don't have to figure out a way to let the audience know about the 7th floor.

So, I'm suggesting that the boy push the button on his floor, and when the elevator doors open, the girl is already inside the elevator. Then it becomes clear that the boy wants to be on time so that he can ride the elevator down with the girl.

Does that make any more sense?

Jinny said...

Hey Naz,

I had a read over the revised beatscript you just attached for us. I also had a look at Mayerson's feedback. I think overall the beatscript works well. I can picture shots of this short film already in my head and some quirky animated and timing humour gags. =)

In regards to Mayerson's most recent comment on the elevator stopping for the boy at his floor instead of the girl's 7th floor, that could work, but it might cut out some of the acting opportunities of the boy waiting on the elevator, and other interesting character types we could bring into the elevator while on his way down. Perhaps we could make it clear he's waiting for the 7th floor is to do cuts to the 7th floor.. or do a split screen thing like in the inspirational film that Jack posted awhile ago in our blog. Except at the top part of the screen is the elevator numbers as the elevator goes down (imagine Rabbas building type of floor number indication system at the top of its elevators). And in the bottom split part of hte screen is the boy showing his reaction and trying to put on his clothes. So we build up the suspense every time to the 7th floor.

I think for the older woman that comes in on the 7th floor instead of Alma at beat 22 could be one of the repeated characters that shows up on the elevator. I think that would be cool because there would be like a back story to that character, as in she sees this boy always in a state of undress trying to get ready while on the elevator for the past week or so, and she is getting fed up of this. Small details like this in our film will really enhance our film I think. In the rewatchability value, if people rewatch our short film again and again, they can find some new and interesting details. That's something I find I notice when I watch Gobelins shorts. When I watch again, not only am I entertained again, but I find some new or interesting detail I didn't see before. So these details might be extra, but if we have time, if we can add them, it would add another layer of depth to our film which would be cool.

Between beat 12 and 13 is missing some details to what the character is thinking/feeling. I think perhaps Alma walks away because she can't take Sam seriously enough in his constant state of undress to wait up for him to walk with him to school. This leading to Sam being embarrassed and therefore leads him to be fed up with himself. This triggers his renewed motivation to wake up earlier to finally get his act together in order to walk Alma to school.

and Mayerson's note "[18.] Where do the flowers come from? Did he buy them for the girl or is he just taking flowers bought by his parents for other reasons?"

I am thinking they are fresh flowers his parents bought to decorate their kitchen table, and he grabs them. He is probably too disorganized to have thought, oh, I should buy flowers ahead of time (it was not part of his original plan).

I also think between beats 24-25, we might want to spend a bit more time with Sam to focus more on his feelings of disappointment, to build up more to the climax at 31-onwards. I think by cutting so quickly to beat 26, we kind of already gave away our ending, and there is less impact of the climax, with the twist of seeing Alma at the bottom floor. Perhaps we can foreshadow or clue in that Alma is pressing the button by doing another cut screen of a finger pressing a button, and the doors keep on opening at all the floors, none revealing Alma, and we show Sam getting more and more disappointed/crazy. I think in this way we will have alot of fun animating Sam as he starts losing it, and we will build up to a greater climax. =)

I think after 34 we need to have one more beat to illustrate how does the ending conclude. I think for beat 35, a cut to the back of the two kids holding hands on the way to school might work. This way it shows that Sam finally did succeed at his goal. I think the story could end at 34, so if my suggested beat 35 is too forward, maybe it could be like an ending credit scene showing a simple animation cycle of the two kids walking hand in hand to school while we scroll thru the ending credits of group member names.

Sorry if this feedback is a tad long. But I hope you guys will read and take my suggestions into consideration.

See you guys Thursday~


yuj said...

for some reason i keep on seeing repetition of things happening to sam every morning. i think we may need that, for example: have sam every morning running thru kitchen
while getting dressed, where one day he would snatch toasts from the toaster and on another day, he would drink milk and throw back the glass and have his dad catch it.
coz i think we need to show same repetitive events but sam doing different actions, that was
how i saw it visually when you pitched it to us, naz.

at 4), sam is in the elevator...maybe u need to have sam impatiently pushing at the
elevator button (a setup for the final twist perhaps?) before he gets on given he is late, or he will always just catch the elevator?

before 5) maybe you need to show sam dressing up and screwing up as the elevator levels reaches
closer to the 7th floor. that could easily be shown...

starting from 9), maybe we can have smiliar settings as 1)~4) same layout, sam running through
kitchen but dressing up different clothing or eating different breakfast...maybe this way, we can
show that its another day...
a fresh beginning for sam, but same thing happening.

like mark said, we need to show him putting/setting the alarm clock earlier so that he could very
well execute his master plan...
at 17) i don't know why he is impatient...maybe he should be happy because he finally is ready...

now this time maybe u can still have ur original ending idea, which was to have shots of someone pushing on the elevator button...building to a climax, but then the old lady enters the elevator...i guess this is a good way for us to mislead the audience, im not so sure..what do you think Mark and Pete?

point 20) we def. need to show elevator lights for each floor...might be easier for us to 'tell' the story. i dun understand why Sam would want comfort in 23) from an old lady, maybe the old lady could just be mean and sam feels unpleasant about it.

i think you can have point 30) and then point 29) where ppl walking out of elevator, and then
we see sam walking out and bashes/pounds his head with flowers.

this is irrelvant to naz's storybeat, but a different way of telling it.
maybe we can build the story to a climax where everyday, sam gets better and better...
but on the final master plan day, he totally mistimed everything.
Very late, sam is in no mood to do anything, and yet, elma awaits for sam on the 7th floor.

there are many possible ending to the story, could be sad/happy..but it depends on the over idea
that you want to communicate and how do you want the audience to feel when they're done watching it?
we should all consider this before we throw in different ways of ending it. again, just my thoughts :P

yuj said...

sorry naz, i was hesitant to comment because i felt we could discuss mark's comment together as a group...but i gave thots to your beats and well here it is...

Mark Mayerson said...

How long do you expect this film to be? Whatever length, keep that in mind while you're working on the beat outline and the board.