Author Topic: Thomas Edison (Short Film Available for Viewing)  (Read 28593 times)

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matt35mm

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« Reply #30 on: April 11, 2005, 11:40:31 PM »
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Quote
i only skimmed over the previous comments so i知 not really sure if i知 bringing up things that have already been brought up.
 
 the dialogue in and around page 8 seemed a little off to me.  i like the fact that it is never revealed what exactly happened (by that i mean the actual events) to paul, but you are clearly going out of your way here to not mention anything.  i知 not saying you should spell things out here but i think maybe there could be, maybe some small revelation of something concrete.  ok i really lost my train of thought and i知 not sure if any of that made any sense. it痴 kind of a small detail.
 
 i liked the end, but if it were me making it i might consider ending it a tad earlier. like maybe with the three-shot and nicole putting on her seatbelt. i知 not really sure why exactly, but it feels more right to me to not have alex notice that paul is awake.
 
 anyway, i think it値l turn out great.  good luck.

I'll think more about that section around page 8.  I didn't intend to go out of my way not to reveal what happened (and I do know what happened, I did develop that part), but I'll look into how I can make it come off more naturally.

The ending, however, will probably stay the same.  I get what you're saying, though.  Obviously, however, Alex would see Paul as soon as he looks in the mirror (he wouldn't drive for a long distance without seeing him), and it's a moment that I quite like, and I like the final shot as it is in my head.  Of course, if I discover otherwise in the editing room, it wouldn't be difficult to cut to black a bit earlier.

Thank you very much for reading it.  I keep saying everything helps, and it's true.  All of these comments will certainly be in my mind as production goes on.

And since this is a new page, I'd like to add the link to the screenplay again:

FINAL DRAFT--Click To Download (PDF File, 21 pages)

Please read it and comment.  Thank you all very much.

xerxes

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« Reply #31 on: April 12, 2005, 12:34:17 AM »
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i think your ending works fine, that's just how i think i would do it if it were my film.

matt35mm

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« Reply #32 on: April 17, 2005, 12:53:22 AM »
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It has come to my attention that W. K. Dickson, not Thomas Edison, shot that "Sneeze" film that I had as my signature for a while.  I was horribly misinformed.  Dickson worked for Edison, and was the real driving force for the motion picture camera, which I think Edison saw as an mildly-interesting accompaniment to the phonograph.

So anyway, that explains why good ol' Fred Ott's not in my signature anymore.

And I would still like some more comments on the screenplay from anyone who has read it or has thought about reading it.

Thanks!

I've just been storyboarding and organizing a few things here and there, and it's still coming along pretty well.  I have some pretty nice sequences drawn out for it.

matt35mm

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« Reply #33 on: April 17, 2005, 10:09:59 PM »
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First six pages of the storyboard for the opening.

The pictures are big, so I'll just link you to them, but I'd really like for you all to check them out and tell me how it's playing out so far.  The notes I've written aren't super clear, so I'll write them out here below the link.


WRITTEN:
#1: LOW ANGLE: First shot.  HOLD for a long time.
Rustling is heard.
SAME SHOT CARRIES INTO...

#2: Alex turns his head back.
CUT TO:

#3: Nicole gets up and runs...  SLIGHTLY HIGH ANGLE, DOLLY IN
SAME SHOT CARRIES INTO...

#4: ... runs past CAMERA.
CUT TO:


WRITTEN:
#5: No big reaction.  TIGHT CU on eyes.
SAME SHOT CARRIES INTO...

#6: CAMERA PANS LEFT AND TILTS DOWN as Alex turns his head slowly back down to see...
SAME SHOT CARRIES INTO...

#7:  Paul.
CUT TO:

#8:  POSSIBLY CLOSER, BUT STILL WIDE-ISH.  Nicole runs up and shoves Alex down.
CUT TO:


WRITTEN:
#9: Paul's not moving.
CUT TO:

#10 HIGH ANGLE.  Nicole's hands all around Paul.  Touching all over in a hyperaware state.  Paul's not moving still.
CUT TO:

#11:  ... reality begins to sink in...


WRITTEN:

#12: STRAIGHT ON CU-TIGHT.  Reality sinks in.
CUT TO:

#13 Nicole lets her head fall onto Paul's stomach.  HOLD, then very slowly DOLLY OUT...
SAME SHOT CARRIES INTO...

#14 ... DOLLY OUT to back of Alex's head.  Alex is watching quietly.
CUT TO:


WRITTEN:

#15: Alex looking at Paul and Nicole.
SAME SHOT CARRIES TO:

#16: TILT UP AND PAN RIGHT, following Alex as he stands up and steps backwards away from Paul and Nicole.  HOLD.
CUT TO:

#17 (directly below #16): Paul is still not moving.
Then CUT TO:

#18 (not drawn): A CU of Alex looking from Paul to Nicole.
Then CUT TO:

#19 (bottom left): Nicole is crying with a lot of effort.  No tears.
CUT TO:


WRITTEN:

#20:  Alex watches silently.
CUT TO:

#21: OVER NICOLE'S SHOULDER.  She touches Paul's face, nose, lips.  Then reaches to the back of Paul's head.
CUT TO:

#22: INSERT-NICOLE'S POV.  Her hand returns with some blood, then goes back to fix Paul's hair gently.
CUT TO:

#23: Nicole lifts Paul into this position as Alex silently watches.  Some blood gets on Nicole.

THAT IS ALL SO FAR.

Let me know how it's playing out so far.

atticus jones

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« Reply #34 on: April 18, 2005, 11:39:24 AM »
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Quote from: matt35mm
First six pages of the storyboard for the opening.


Let me know how it's playing out so far.


The actor playing Alex seems to be a bit lost in this role...his performance is scattered and he falls emotionally flat in some key opening moments...conversely, the young girl playing Nicole is way over the top...the overacting probably due to her inexperience, insecurity, or whatever else fucks up novice kids tackling heavy material...the boy playing paul is spot on though...he plays dead very well...i couldnt see him breathe or anything...nice job there

all in fun, matt...all in fun

hey, didnt the clippers come from san diego?  they almost made the playoffs...

shoot for the stars
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meatball

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« Reply #35 on: April 18, 2005, 09:22:02 PM »
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I loved the script. But when I think about it playing as a short film, it may turn into an entirely different beast based on performances.

Alex shouldn't be emotional at all. This is a character that exists in his head. He's even convinced himself that he's not responsible, and worse, he doesn't really care if he is responsible. I think he's a person who's never "in the moment" -- just lost in his delusions of grandeur. His non-emotion would work in perfect contrast to Nicole's emotion. I'm thinking of Kevin Spacey or Edward Norton at their coldest opposite an emotional Julianne Moore.

If you go with this route, Alex isn't sympathetic at all, but he has the most to say. Almost like a villain monologue-ing.

I'd flesh Nicole out some more in some ways. She's acting as an audience to Alex as the centerpiece. Nicole is critical. She's the only trigger to his emotions and probably the "cause" of this whole debacle. But she doesn't seem to be nearly as developed as Alex is.

The drama surrounding the question of Thomas Edison can't be weak, because that question is so strong it can easily overwhelm everything else.

And I like Gold Trumpet's ending, which is a very interesting way to end this -- but depending on how it's handled, may come off funny. Either way, the ending has to be just right or it may come off as "twist!" It definitely ends with a pop rather than a fizzle, though.

matt35mm

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« Reply #36 on: April 18, 2005, 11:30:10 PM »
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Quote from: Meatball
And I like Gold Trumpet's ending, which is a very interesting way to end this -- but depending on how it's handled, may come off funny. Either way, the ending has to be just right or it may come off as "twist!" It definitely ends with a pop rather than a fizzle, though.

What is Gold Trumpet's idea for the ending?  I can't find it on here.

meatball

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« Reply #37 on: April 18, 2005, 11:43:55 PM »
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Sorry, I meant Jeremy Blackman. :shock: The reveal of Paul being alive while the tension is still up and they're in the woods seems to work really well. The audience is still squirming in their seats. When they're already in the car and are about to drive off, I think the audience would feel a bit more relaxed because Alex and Nicole have already come to a mutual decision.

xerxes

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« Reply #38 on: April 19, 2005, 12:07:22 AM »
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while ending in the woods would certainly be more dynamic, i like that it ends in the car. i like that little moment between the two of them.

meatball

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« Reply #39 on: April 19, 2005, 12:12:10 AM »
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If I was casting: Alex is the Thomas Edison question, in a way, the actor gets it and he nails it. The actress who plays Nicole has to make the drama real. It's like a balancing act, in my opinion. She's the anchor, he's the kite. I don't know.

:saywhat:

I'm almost thinking Bill saying "Do you think I'm sadistic?" in such a calm, sadistic way while Beatrix is bleeding in her wedding dress on the floor of the chapel-kind of dynamic.

matt35mm

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« Reply #40 on: April 19, 2005, 02:05:09 AM »
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Yes, there should be some dynamic stuff between the two characters.  It will be quite a balancing act, I agree.

The ending, however, will not be changed.  The ending is not intended to be shocking, nor is it really much of a twist.  It should almost feel like the natural sequence of events.  It will be pretty low-key.

Paul's awakening does not really mean anything to the movie--it's the reaction to that from the two characters that I'm interested in, and that moment that it gives them in the car.

My crew and I will be shooting, I think, a joke alternate ending for the DVD, however, where Paul and Alex start laughing and say, "We got you good, Nicole!"

And the Thomas Edison idea is not really what makes Alex's character.  The question comes out of this guy's philosophy, and the situation and mental state that he is in.  It would not be enough to nail the Edison question.  One would have to nail everything before that and show that idea coming out of all these things from Alex.

As far as atticus jones's concerns go: I am glad that you are concerned.  It shows that you care, that this movie does interest you, and that's excellent.  However, no comments can really be made about the actors until actors are cast.  I will not cast less than incredible actors.  The process of finding those actors, however, is mine to deal with.  This is a learning experience, and one that I don't mind fumbling around in, as long as I end up with good actors.  I might start here, find nothing, and extend my search all the way to LA before I find the right people--and if so, that's fine, because I'll still end up with the right people.  This is my decision, and you're just going to have to trust that I have good enough taste in actors and understanding of acting (I have studied acting a bit, and I've acted a bit on stage and in competition as well) to make the right decisions.  Like I've said before, if I did not have that ability to judge acting talent, then it wouldn't matter where I looked, because I still would've ended up with mediocre actors.  You'll have to take my word for it: I will cast excellent actors.

Anyway, the storyboards?

meatball

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« Reply #41 on: April 19, 2005, 02:10:25 AM »
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When I reference "the Thomas Edison question", I'm talking about Alex's obsession with making something of himself... not specifically the situation of T.E. killing a man. Sorry, I realize now that I totally messed up the details.

I got a little overzealous because I really like the script. My mind gets going with ideas of how I would make it. You know best though, man.

Joke alternate ending.  :yabbse-thumbup:

matt35mm

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« Reply #42 on: April 23, 2005, 02:19:54 PM »
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Well, I've acquired the licensing rights to use "No Limit On The Words" by Songs: Ohia (from the album Ghost Tropic) in Thomas Edison.  I'm excited!

I won't know if I'm going to use it until I cut it all together, but it does play out very well in my mind.  I contacted the record company informing them that I was considering using this song, and they checked with Jason Molina, who OK'd it (the company co-owns the rights with the artists), and gave me the license for free.

All they want is two copies of the final product--one for the company archives and one for the artist.  So that means that MAYBE my hero Jason Molina will end up seeing this movie.  That.  Is.  Awesome.

That's the biggest new development.  Everything else is going well and on track.  I'll continue to post more when we start auditions (in May).

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« Reply #43 on: May 02, 2005, 12:05:37 AM »
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this was a really good script, nice job :)

my thoughts

- beginning is going to be a bitch, you want to pull the viewer in without it being cliched... you need them to be IN the situation without building up to it. A long slow fade-in might work
- Are you doing this color or B&W? I can see it either way.
-Although Nicole is definitely the "right" person here, make sure that Alex portrays his view so the audience can sympathize with him a bit (he IS the protagonist right?)
-Rain could be a nice possibility, though blood and daylight contrast nicely too.
-the ending conveyed hope to me a lot, like they'd fought through the storm and everything could be okay. It might be nice to add a bit about what happens to Nicole and Alex (I don't really give a shit about Paul =p), or you could possibly develop their relationship in another short, b/c I'm REALLY interested in them.
-As for the Alex-noticing bit, I think it can be good or bad depending on how it's acted. I think that it's important, just don't overdo the drama. I'd possibly go for a more relieved look? If you(he) pull(s) it off you get a cookie.

Very beautiful.

What setting are you doing? Secluded woodsish? Might be cool to make it look somewhat like the woods in Mean Creek right after they drag his body ashore.

*bravo*
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matt35mm

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« Reply #44 on: May 02, 2005, 12:35:23 AM »
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Quote from: Brazoliange
this was a really good script, nice job :)

my thoughts

- beginning is going to be a bitch, you want to pull the viewer in without it being cliched... you need them to be IN the situation without building up to it. A long slow fade-in might work
- Are you doing this color or B&W? I can see it either way.
-Although Nicole is definitely the "right" person here, make sure that Alex portrays his view so the audience can sympathize with him a bit (he IS the protagonist right?)
-Rain could be a nice possibility, though blood and daylight contrast nicely too.
-the ending conveyed hope to me a lot, like they'd fought through the storm and everything could be okay. It might be nice to add a bit about what happens to Nicole and Alex (I don't really give a shit about Paul =p), or you could possibly develop their relationship in another short, b/c I'm REALLY interested in them.
-As for the Alex-noticing bit, I think it can be good or bad depending on how it's acted. I think that it's important, just don't overdo the drama. I'd possibly go for a more relieved look? If you(he) pull(s) it off you get a cookie.

Very beautiful.

What setting are you doing? Secluded woodsish? Might be cool to make it look somewhat like the woods in Mean Creek right after they drag his body ashore.

*bravo*

Thank you.  I'm glad that you enjoyed it.

The opening sequence has been storyboarded up there.  And it will be in color.

I wouldn't say that Nicole is necessarily the "right" person here.  Hopefully there's no real right or wrong in the philosophy.  The action that she wants to take is perhaps the better one (compared to Alex's just wanting to run away from the whole thing), but her reasons for it aren't exactly because she's more mature.  I hope that I have indeed given Alex enough (perhaps more than enough to say).  Neither is the protagonist more than the other.  There are no full character arcs; nobody REALLY learns any lessons.

Alex will probably have just about no expression when he sees Paul in the mirror.  I mean, what could you possibly think when the guy whose death sparked all these drama was looking back at you through the rear-view mirror?  I wouldn't know what to think.

The ending is very open ended.  I did not intend specifically for it to be hopeful, but if that's what you get out of it, that's just fine.  And yes, the setting will be secluded open woods-like.  Not near a creek, though.

Thanks again for reading it.  The movie will be even better, I promise.

 

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