PDA

View Full Version : The Ruby of Rangoon



Craighoit
03-28-2012, 10:12 PM
OK, here goes. I suppose if I do this, I have to write it, yes?

The title is...

The Ruby of Rangoon.

And here's a log line...

A bullied boy joins his celluloid hero to unearth the priceless Ruby of Rangoon.

A poster and tagline to follow.

You guys are going to hold me to this, right? Gulp.

Craig

Chris_Keaton
03-29-2012, 07:41 AM
Yes! This is a contract now. You must submit a script. :) Welcome to the party.

Anthony Todaro
04-06-2012, 05:06 PM
The commitment police have been dispatched... ;p

That title is BADASS!

Craighoit
04-06-2012, 09:44 PM
Thanks Anthony. The title was a good starting point. For awhile it was all I had...

Anthony Todaro
04-07-2012, 05:13 PM
YW. Sounds good. Let the reading begin.

Craighoit
04-15-2012, 09:51 AM
Hey, if anyone has any comments - good, bad or even indifferent - I'd love to hear them. Would like to get better at this and feedback is an important part of that. What you liked, what you didn't like, what worked, what didn't - the usual stuff. I know things I'm not totally happy with, but I've found that others are usually in a better position to critique one's work.

Thanks

Craig

Mobie540
04-15-2012, 04:29 PM
Dave Harper is entranced. I can't picture that, is that fade in?


"A robust man he… " Clunky sentence.


Sotto voce. I prefer whispers but that's me.


"David lets go the soda." Bad choice of verb. Dave drops the soda.


It begins? Don't ever use begin or start in a screenplay, it's too passive.

Overall, it has a mishmash of other movies which works b/c it's a movie on screen. I felt the exposition on the bully was too up front in places. The ending is nice. I'm not sure if it ended like a serial would, was hoping for that.

Craighoit
04-15-2012, 05:39 PM
Thank you! I really appreciate the feedback and thoughts. You're right about the drop vs lets go of the soda. And with "entranced" - at the time I wondered if it wasn't literal enough:

David stares at the flickering screen....

probably would have been better. I also realize that I simply didn't do a good job around the description of the cup falling. The "begins to fall" was meant to suggest that it was falling very slowly - 120fps or higher. What I visualized here was some sort of speed ramp like in Jonathan Glazer's Frozen Moment spot for Nike:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NseKug63naM

it starts out normally 24fps and jumps to 120fps...

In retrospect, my sense is that it would have been better to spell this out more explicitly.

As far as the mishmash of other films, absolutely - I wanted this to be as much about movies as anything else, so it made sense to reference quite a bit. Wonder if anyone gets any of the names.

Again, thank you for your thoughts.

Craig

Rustom Irani
04-16-2012, 04:18 AM
The people inside the bar are extras, but still characters and I don’t know if that’s okay as far as the contest rules are concerned, but I guess you were going for atmospherics than actual casting.

I really, really dig the “Last Action Hero” premise in a campy B-movie TV adventure flick from the past but am not too sure about your story time frame.

If David is a current gen kid with an ipod touch, I seriously doubt that he’s keen on catching a matinee at the ole’ town single screen by himself. Up to that point I always felt that your story is set in the past, and really loved it!

David is either experiencing literal escapism from being bullied with a hero he digs or some outside forces have brought about this adventure to life. I think you were going for the former.

But again, if a kid is bullied today, there’s counsellors, and parent groups and frankly not many everyman adventurers in TV or films with even good ole’ Indy being probed by craptacular Alien-being plots.

I love the sentiment behind this short, the ode to old world adventure films, single screen theatres, and real pop-corn, multiple viewings of the same film, Saturday morning single screens all to oneself, jungle adventures, noir macguffins and heroes who are heroes, because, well, they’re written that way. J

This is charming and vivid but needs a bit more immediacy; some motivation to relate to how it shall impact David in his current situation and a hint at some affirmative conclusion. But heck, I can see these as a series of episodic shorts too.

Nice job!

Craighoit
04-17-2012, 06:18 PM
Ruston, thank you for your astute comments. They are really very well thought-out and insightful. I realized the extras in the bar after I sent it in. Ooops. They are there really more for the atmosphere, so I suspect it could be read as "The bar looks like the type of place frequented by...." Not sure that I really broke the spirit of the rule, so I can sleep comfortably with it.

It's revealing that you caught the "is this happening now or in the past." My intent was that it's happening now but the movie follows the conventions of an old serial. It could also be that this cinema is one of those rarest and most precious of things - a theater that shows older films. I almost had David have a line like: Hey, I'm in black and white! but ended up leaving it off. Perhaps I should have included this to make everything more explicit and clear: modern kid watching old film. Of course, it could also be better if EVERYTHING takes place in the past - David's real life and the movie - that is he's watching a film that would be contemporary to him. It's an area that will demand more thought if I rewrite.

I had intended (and am not sure I succeeded) in showing that David had gained some courage and measure of self assurance that would allow him to confront his bullies outside the world of the movie. I think this is what you were looking for when you write that you wish there were more about how David has been impacted in his current situation and a hint at an affirmative conclusion.

Anyway, thank you for your thoughtful critique - it is very helpful.

Rustom Irani
04-17-2012, 11:09 PM
It's revealing that you caught the "is this happening now or in the past." My intent was that it's happening now but the movie follows the conventions of an old serial. It could also be that this cinema is one of those rarest and most precious of things - a theater that shows older films. I almost had David have a line like: Hey, I'm in black and white! but ended up leaving it off. Perhaps I should have included this to make everything more explicit and clear: modern kid watching old film. Of course, it could also be better if EVERYTHING takes place in the past - David's real life and the movie - that is he's watching a film that would be contemporary to him. It's an area that will demand more thought if I rewrite.

If I may?

This could be worked in quite easily and reinforce the immediacy of his current bullying situation while giving an affirmative conclusion.

Have him flee unseen bullies or pursuers, hop a fence and crawl/duck into a decrepit Movie Theater that plays his favorite retro adventure movie.

You give brilliant exposition of his familiarity with the hero and the film through his recall of all the dialogs. Now you have a literal visual solution to show he has escaped from his bulllies and troubles by entering the cinema and he's going to further escape into the actual film within the film which will teach him to have a strong heart.

Just a thought.

You're most welcome and thank you for the feedback on "Sproink"

dtroop506
04-18-2012, 02:13 PM
Craig,

Your script has a very appealing premise. Unfortunately, it's been done in some popular movies like Last Action Hero, Purple Rose of Cairo, and Pleasantville. Billy Crystal does it every time he hosts the Oscars. So, you really need to give it a new twist so it doesn't come off as a pale imitation.
I like that David is sitting alone in an old single-screen movie theatre watching a movie repeatedly until he knows the movie better than the characters do. That is cool. What if Hawk thinks the movie is real? And David knows what is about to happen before it does happen. (Is that too Last Action Hero? I haven't seen that one in a while.)

I don't know. I like where you are going with this script. I think it just needs a rewrite to set it apart from others like it.
Perhaps it will greatly improve once it is free from the restraints of the contest.

Thanks for entering. Good luck.

Craighoit
04-18-2012, 02:50 PM
"Billy Crystal does it every time he hosts the oscars." Laughing. Yes, you're right. I was mainly thinking of Purple Rose of Cairo as the basis of this, having forgotten about Last Action Hero and Pleasantville. I was actually planning on shelving this until Rustom's suggestion about the beginning. That is to give more of a literal context to David's bullying. I think that could take it in some interesting directions. It brought to mind this spot (I think one of the better commercials ever made) for the Partnership for a Drug Free America:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j53oTk5bsbk

This could give the script a much deeper emotional component and improve it. Or maybe David's home life is what sends him to the theater.

It totally agree with you that this premise has been done, and will continue to be done, so it needs to be done perfectly to not feel like a pale imitation. It's like in gymnastics - some vaults have a higher degree of difficulty than others. A re-write might not get it perfect, but it can get it closer. (At least, that's my hope). As an aside, I'm constantly amazed by how many people ask for "something new, but something that's exactly like what so-and-so did." Hollywood seems particularly prone to this malady. Working the kinks out of this is probably pretty good practice.... Grin.

Thank you for your comments. They are on the mark and much appreciated.

Craig

Chris_Keaton
04-19-2012, 04:54 PM
This is the second one that starts in a movie theater.

Notes:
- Lose direction or other movie jargon, like SFX. I know you are writing a script, but you first need to win people with your writing and these things can be distracting.
- Add an extra return before the scene heading, it creates white space and makes the script easier to read.
- Lose the passive voice, it'll make your writing more...active. :)

I see the bit that cross the lines with the rules. It was a slight, but I'm sure each voter will weight in as to how far over you went. Overall this is a great little short. I really love that the kid faces that he is in a movie pretty easily. And all the movie talk was fun. Good job.

DarrenJSeeley
04-19-2012, 07:28 PM
David lets go (of) the soda - it begins a slow fall to the ground.

'Begins", as pointed out, isn't needed. It just does. But I question the slow fall too. That suggests to me a cliched slow motion camera effect. It also does not match the rest of the script in timing...


David is standing, fighting, stumbling and flailing
Wrong. Keep it present and active. And choose one. 'David stands over the empty seats in front of him' Note that if he stumbles anf flails, that also means as he (for some reason) falls over a few times at least. Also, about the timing...he does this, stops, (gets up) looks around to a theater he already knows is empty... and then the soda hits the floor. I can understand a change in reality, but it really pushed it with me.

David's dialog p5 does not need to be in CAPS.

I guess the biggest ostacle for me was that Hawks was really self-aware ("The ruby is some red paste that a prop guy made up") and there didn't seem to be a conclusion. Unlike others, I didn't mind the premise though.

Craighoit
04-19-2012, 10:35 PM
Chris and Darren, thanks for the feedback. My next script will be better for it.

One of the choices I made, and stand by, is that of Hawks being so self-aware. This is one of my favorite bits in all of literature:

Life's but a walking shadow, a poor player
That struts and frets his hour upon the stage
And then is heard from no more: it is a tale
Told by an idiot, full of sound and fury,
Signifying nothing.

It's one that I consider on an almost daily basis. At least those days I'm working*. One of the things that makes Hawks interesting to me is how self-aware he is of his world and his place in it. In a very real sense, as expressed by his words, he knows that this is "his hour upon the stage" and that he is in a tale that is full of sound and fury (and crocodiles and poisoned darts and skeletons) that ultimately probably signifies nothing. I doubt that most people in real life, in the world we all live in, have this understanding - to have a fictional character be possessed of this knowledge strikes me as somewhat ironic and at the same time right.

Thanks again,

Craig

* idiots, strutting and fretting, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing. A near perfect description of an average work day.

Sarah Daly
04-21-2012, 05:21 PM
I'm sure you made mistakes and broke rules somewhere in this but I didn't notice any of it because I was busy enjoying the story :) So, that has to be a good sign! I'm a sucker for these types of films - I love a good high concept 'kid enters fantasy land' set-up. Yes, it's been done before but then so has everything. If people will watch Titanic in 3D then they'll watch another 'kid-jumps-through-the-screen' film as long as it's good. And I think this is good. I like Rustom's idea of showing the kid running from bullies too - it reminds me of The Neverending Story which is my favourite film even now :P It's been a long time since a film like this has come around so I reckon it's due a reboot :)

Yes, if you expanded this to feature length it could do with a more obvious unique angle to help set it apart but at this length, it feels unique enough to me as it has its own message and two strong characters.

Good fun - I enjoyed it - thanks!

Nice job!