Thursday, June 14, 2007

Revised Group Story Beat Script

1) Sam wakes up
2) Sleepy Sam turns around to his alarm clock
3) Sam realizes is late and starts to panic
4) Rushes out of his bed to get prepared
5) Runs into the bathroom dressed in pjs
6) Runs out in his underwear
7) Snags some cloths that were on a chair
8) Sam grabs his over sized bag on the way out of his room
9) Sam runs by the kitchen
10) Sam grabs a piece of toast that pops out of the toaster (really meant for his mom in the kitchen)
11) With toast in his mouth, Sam rushes into the elevator just in time after someone else
12) Elevator door closes
13) As the elevator is going down, Sam is putting on his pants
14) Looks at the floors fast reaching the 7th
15) Panics more, lets go of his pants and tries to put on his shirt
16) Looks at the levels, he has almost reached Alma floor
17) Tries to fix up his pants that keep falling down
18) Tries to put on his shirt
19) Sam’s pants are half fallen just as he looks at the levels and reaches the seventh floor
20) Elevator doors open, he pulls up his pants
21) Alma gets into the elevator as we see Sam in an awkward pose
22) Sam is frozen and in aw of her
23) Alma walks in toward him (innocent, to her self, little shy)
24) Sam blushes
25) She turns around
26) Sam slowly starts zipping up his pants
27) Elevator doors shut
28) The next day, Sam wakes up
29) Turns toward his alarm clock and realizes once again he is late
30) Sam bounces off his bed and runs while grabbing on to his stuff
31) Runs into the kitchen
32) Past his dad reading his newspaper
33) Grabs his milk from the counter all ready setup for him
34) Exits the screen and throws the milk back and his dad catches it in mid air behind the newspaper
35) Just makes it into the elevator after someone else
36) Puts on his shoes right away
37) Watches the elevator levels get closer to 7th
38) Struggling, gets his shoes past his pant legs and zips up
39) As Sam reaches her level, he tries to put on his shirt that he has buttoned up already
40) Stuck at the collar, Alma walks in
41) Sam’s buttons pop off, and he gets his head through
42) Standing awkwardly, he catches her looking
43) Alma smiles and turns around
44) Sam looks over his shirt frustrated
45) The elevator doors shut
46) Chime rings, the elevator doors open
47) He is in an awkward position 1
48) Alma gets in and turns toward the camera and smiles and giggles in reaction
49) The elevator doors shut
50) Chime rings, the elevator doors open
51) Sam is in an awkward position 2
52) Cut to black
53) Sam is in an awkward position 3
54) Cut to black
55) Sam is in an awkward position 4
56) Cut to black
57) Sam is in awkward position 5
58) Cut to black
59) Sam is in awkward position 6
60) Cut to black
61) Sam is in awkward position 7
62) Cut to black
63) Sam is in awkward position 8
64) Cut to black
65) Sam is in awkward position 9
66) Cut to black
67) Sam is in awkward position 10- His shoes are untied and maybe he put both legs in one leg pant
68) Alma walks in
69) Dip to black
70) The elevator goes down to Ground floor
71) Chime, door opens
72) Alma walks out slowly, crowd around her walking fast
73) Alma turns around to take a glance at Sam and looks back again
74) Alma seems disappointed
75) Sam struggles to leave the elevator due to his loose pants and untied shoes
76) Trips and falls down in the elevator reaching out for Alma
77) Sam shows his disappointment.
78) Cut to Sam’s room (evening time, indicated by interior lights).
79) Sam is posting up his master plan to his wall.
80) Looks over his plan.
81) Looks at his alarm just under it making noise
82) Looks over his plan
83) Looks at his alarm, getting more frustrated
84) Looks over his plan
85) Looks at his alarm even more
86) Takes a moment and finally clues in to the problem (having to set his alarm earlier)
87) Sets it at an earlier time – 7 30 to 7 am
88) Cut to the next day, he is finishing up making his bed
89) Sam’s dad is fixing his tie, pans to Sam fixing up his shirt and finishing using the mirror
90) Sam is sitting on a stool beside the counter eating his pancakes while his dad is reading his newspaper again
91) Sam finishes his milk
92) Grabs the flowers from the counter and leaves
93) Pans to time, the same as usual
94) Sam presses the elevator button
95) The person that was always first shows up after him
96) The elevator opens and they get in
97) On his way down in the elevator, Sam is happy and proud of himself
98) Sam checks out his breath, fluffs up the flowers
99) As Sam gets closer to her floor, he starts to sweat and get uncomfortable
100) Sam is getting more and more nervous and excited
101) The elevator gets to the 7th floor, and the chime rings
102) The elevator dips down a little and slowly opens
103) Holding his breath with a huge smile on his face
104) The old lady from the 7th floor walks in but no Alma.
105) Sam’s expression changes to disappointment because she is not there
106) He steps halfway out of the elevator to the 7th floor to check if she is there.
107) There is no Alma to be seen.
108) Sam gets back in to the elevator.
109) Looks over his clothes and his preparations in disbelief
110) Looks up at the old lady while Sam holds on to his flowers
111) Old lady looks down at Sam in annoyance
112) Elevator doors close as Sam is confused and frustrated
113) Chime, elevator opens and we are now on the ground floor
114) A huge crowd walks out of the elevator in fast manner
115) The old lady is the last one to walk out slower, leaving behind Sam
116) Sam is smacking the flowers in frustration on his head while we hear a giggle
117) He stops and looks up
118) Alma is standing down at the ground floor doors looking in
119) She smiles and waves “hi’
120) Sam all surprised and shy, looking awkwardly because he has acted like a fool in front of her
121) Steps out and hands the remaining flowers to Alma as we see their silhouettes and the elevator shuts
122) Credits role

(We may see them walk to the school bus together/sit next to each other)



Mark Mayerson said...

Looking good here. Just a few questions and comments.

First, how long is this film? I know how long I think it will take on screen, but how long do you think it will take? And can you get it finished by the time school starts?

For beat 14, how are you going to establish that the 7th floor means something? The title of your film could be one way. If not the title, how do you tell the audience that 7 is the key floor? This is why I suggested that the girl be in the elevator when it arrives on Sam's floor.

Beat 41, the button should hit Alma in the head. She catches it on the rebound and hands it to him, making him even more embarrassed.

Beats 55-69 are too repetitive. Pick three or four good ones and dump the rest. The audience will be bored and waiting for the story to progress.

Beats 82-85 are also too repetitive. The audience understands that the alarm needs to be set earlier before Sam does, so don't frustrate the audience by dragging this out.

Beat 121 - This is the payoff, but you haven't specified the emotional beats. I assume that she's happy to get the flowers. If so, is Sam relieved? Ecstatic? Punchy?

Don't use the school bus idea. We have no idea where they normally sit in relation to each other on the bus, so sitting together doesn't tell us more than them leaving the elevator together. That's the payoff because that's what Sam's been trying to accomplish the whole time.

This has the potential to be a very nice film and is better than many of the 4th year films from a story and character standpoint.

Now the challenge will be to make the storytelling as tight and concise as possible and lay it out to minimize the amount of work you have to do on the secondary characters so that you can put all your effort into your lead characters.

yuj said...

hi Mark,

i think the group intended for this short to be around 2~3 minutes, but by the looks of the revised/detailed beat script, it looks like we may very well go into the 4th minute. So far, we have managed our time and have progressed as scheduled, hopefully we can keep striving forward until the end. This is our first
attempt at film making, so please bear with us.

beat 14) we will show that 7th is the key floor b/c Sam will start panicking as we reach closer to the 7th/Alma's floor.

beat 41) i agree with mark and its a great little gag.

beat 55-69) it wasn't mentioned on the beat script, but we're making the scenes faster and faster as we get from awkward pose1 to pose9.

82~85) we're trying to show that the Sam hasn't figured it out yet, but we, the audience, have...maybe its a bit too much?

121) we know that alma will accept the flowers, but i guess we should show her emotion towards it, even if she doesn't physically take the flowers from Sam, but a smile would do.

Because we've just put the beats together so quickly, that we might have missed somethings. I hope I have answered some of your questions Mark, any more suggestions/comments? Any one?


Naz said...

Mark, how should we tighten it up? Get rid of all the side characters?

LeMark said...

i agree with mark too, beat 41 seems like a good gag to use when the button pops off the shirt. i am very psyched to start this project, what should be our next step after this? should we all do the complete storyboard or distribute to each other certain scenes to board? we agreeed to each board the complete story, should we proceed in that way?

[B]ehram said...

Hey Mark,

for the schoolbus idea at the end, it is actually the end credits where we see a simple drawing of the boy and girl on the bus sitting next to each other It's not really part of the story.

I thought maybe the story could be 3 mins max

Always appreciate your comments Mark

Mark Mayerson said...

Hi folks. Some comments on your questions.

First, simplify and cut characters. What does the character who gets on with Sam every morning buy you? Yes, you see Sam arrive before him on the big day, but the audience already knows that Sam is on time for a change. I would lose this character.

You might be able to lose one parent.

Do you need the older woman who gets on with Alma? What if Alma gets on alone every day and on the big day, the woman shows up instead. That's more surprising to me. And it saves you animation.

Do you need other people on the elevator? Yes, it's more naturalistic, but is it necessary? Lots of Bugs Bunny cartoons are just Bugs and Elmer. Your story is a love story, so how important are other people on the elevator unless they directly affect Sam or Alma?

Beats 55-69. In comedy, there's the rule of 3's. You do something three times and it's enough. Understand that if you're going to do something over and over, each time you do it, it has to be funnier than the last. Not almost as funny or as funny, but funnier. If you're going to do something 10 times, can you actually keep coming up with funnier poses?

Billy Wilder said there's only one rule in filmmaking: Don't bore the audience. Doing something more than 3 times is boring.

Beats 82-85. The second time that Sam is late, the audience will be saying to themselves: set your alarm earlier, you idiot. If Sam can't figure it out, the audience will lose sympathy for him. Personally, I'd have him go straight to setting his alarm earlier and have him tape a checklist to the wall. Done. The audience is way ahead of you on this.

We seem to disagree about the issue of the 7th floor. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'm still curious to see how you're going to communicate this. My advice is board this first and show it to somebody who doesn't know the story. If they can figure out that the 7th floor is special, you're okay. If they can't, think hard about what I've already told you.

As for boarding, my advice is to have each of you take a section and thumbnail. Pick a standard image size. As a group, go over all the thumbnails and look for clarity of communication and ask yourself why each shot is in the film. Can you eliminate a shot? Can you combine shots? Try and boil it down to essentials.

If you do your thumbnails at a standard size, you can do your first pass of a story reel with your thumbnails. That's when you'll know if your overall timing is working. When you're happy with the timing, then go back and board for real.

When you board, you might want to exchange sections. That way, you've got fresh eyes dealing with every board panel. That doesn't mean you change everything or even anything, but when you're redrawing somebody else's board, ask yourself if you're sure it communicates clearly. If you were animating the scene, will it work easily or is it too complicated?

A friend of a friend just said that "all problems are story problems." If you can solve problems at the board stage, the rest of the film will be fun to make. If you fail to solve problems, you're going to lose momentum every time you trip on something.

B, I'd still lose the school bus idea. Have the end credits over them walking together. Why introduce a new element if it doesn't add something to the relationship? Knowing what to leave out is as important as knowing what to include.

[B]ehram said...

The character on the same floor as Sam was our way of showing that Sam barely made it in on the elevator. Also, the elevator was not always waiting for Sam when he rushed out of his home. However, I agree that at the end we can lose the character on Sam's floor when Sam is early for once. Just show Sam pushing the button himself and that shows he hasn't rushed.

Losing the mother is not a bad idea since it's only the father that matters, who we see Sam is imitating in beat 89.

The schoolbus was just a backstory we had as to why was Sam and Alma always going down around the same time. We were doing kind of what we learned in acting class. Like I said before not really part of the story so we can take it out.

How long do you think the story could be said in, Mark?

[B]ehram said...

As for showing that 7th floor is important, maybe we can show Sam looking at the Floor levels(at the top) he is on and then him looking at the 7th floor button (on the side). After that we can just show Sam looking at the Floor levels on the top until he has reached 7th floor.

Mark Mayerson said...

I wouldn't go longer than 3 minutes including credits. Remember that Maypo commercial I showed? 60 seconds and a lot of story packed into it. When you're working professionally, the length is a given and you've got to fit your material into it. Work hard to keep this at 3 minutes or less and the film will be better for it.