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    #11
    Still Alive Mod Jack Daniel Stanley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kholi View Post
    ... On the entirety of the topic: It's really a great way to approach short narrative work. Iconic is always a great way to go for short work, as it's recognizable to the masses.
    Which brings up another good point.

    The above points should be thought of as syntax ... grammar ... not hard RULES.

    New and deeper meaning may be found by bucking the syntax, going outside the grammar,
    BUT ...
    the audience for your film may shrink the further you go outside the grammar that resonates and has meaning for the viewer (whom you are presumably communicating to).

    This is not an evil thing. Just knowledge to wield in casting off the grammar.

    As McKee puts it, the further you get away from the Grand Argument Story (for features) the smaller the audience. And that's OK if that's what you want to do. I love David Lynch, and I mentioned Lost in Translation. McKee mentions an auteur filmmaker friend of his who's narratives are very challenging but who continuously gets his films funded. He asks him how the hell that works and his friend tells him that his pictures only cost 1 Million dollars to make and make about 2 million total (or numbers to that effect) so he has no problem making more.

    My goal is to be communicative and accessible with impact while having some meaning and depth.
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    #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Daniel Stanley View Post
    Which brings up another good point.

    The above points should be thought of as syntax ... grammar ... not hard RULES.

    New and deeper meaning may be found by bucking the syntax, going outside the grammar,
    BUT ...
    the audience for your film may shrink the further you go outside the grammar that resonates and has meaning for the viewer (whom you are presumably communicating to).

    This is not an evil thing. Just knowledge to wield in casting off the grammar.

    As McKee puts it, the further you get away from the Grand Argument Story (for features) the smaller the audience. And that's OK if that's what you want to do. I love David Lynch, and I mentioned Lost in Translation. McKee mentions an auteur filmmaker friend of his who's narratives are very challenging but who continuously gets his films funded. He asks him how the hell that works and his friend tells him that his pictures only cost 1 Million dollars to make and make about 2 million total (or numbers to that effect) so he has no problem making more.

    My goal is to be communicative and accessible with impact while having some meaning and depth.
    And, such an explaination is why it's always good to get a writer on-board. We've generally had time to study what makes something iconic or accessible to the masses. What's been working for decades, what will continue to work.

    Writers exist so that you guys don't have to sit down and read Joseph Campbell's work. =D And, that stuff can get down-right confusing.

    Sorry to derail your thread here, Jack. It's a very good addition to this section and should help people out; including m'self when the brain fries and I can no-longer fight off the "twist".
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    But the twist is that the Cowboy is manipulating the zombie for profit, that's a fairly original idea
    I love this line!!!


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    Senior Member DarkMatter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mark Johnson View Post
    Thanks very very much, Jack.

    Kholi, you don't like twists in shorts? (I'll avoid succumbing to making a crack about testicular tortion here and, instead, merely refer folks to the Scrotal Safety Commission: http://www.scrotalsafetycommission.com/
    Damn you, now I can't stop laughing!(yes, that's a finger and two knuckles).


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    #15
    Senior Member cinealma's Avatar
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    As far as twists go in short fiction/films, the best of the best aren't really twists at all. They are more like a slight turn of the screw. Things become skewed SLIGHTLY or a new door is SLIGHTLY opened. Jack mentioned this in one of his posts above but I really wanted to reiterate it strongly. Twists in films are rather cliche right now thanks to Mr. Shyamalan. I don't especially advocate them in short films either. BUT, if you just skew something a little in the end, that's the best.

    If you want a master craft in short story telling, pick up two books: a collected short works of Chekhov and a collected short works of Raymond Carver. I think most of the people in this forum will relate better to Carver as it is more contemporary.

    Yes, read Carver, all will be revealed.



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    #16
    Producer Mod Brandon Rice's Avatar
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    I frankly like twists if they're well done...
    See... The Artist from Dramafest, where the person you think is a stalker is actually the woman's husband who has been doing something to surprise her for her anniversary
    Or... ODD Squad from Sci-fest, where the partner is in fact an ODD.
    Or... A Price Too High from Sci-fest, where the person who brought the girl into the psychiatrist office is in fact the one who tried to kill her, though that one wasn't a twist persey, but more of a button I'd say.
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    #17
    Admin Luis Caffesse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Rice View Post
    I frankly like twists if they're well done...
    See... The Artist from Dramafest, where the person you think is a stalker is actually the woman's husband who has been doing something to surprise her for her anniversary
    Or... ODD Squad from Sci-fest, where the partner is in fact an ODD.
    Or... A Price Too High from Sci-fest, where the person who brought the girl into the psychiatrist office is in fact the one who tried to kill her, though that one wasn't a twist persey, but more of a button I'd say.
    Well - while those may have all been fine twists.... they probably won't have the same impact now that I know what they are.


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    #18
    Still Alive Mod Jack Daniel Stanley's Avatar
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    Heh heh

    yeah how about some spoiler alerts B-man.

    (like Luis was really gonna hunt down and watch all those films though )

    Quote Originally Posted by cinealma View Post
    ... read Carver, all will be revealed.
    1) I LOVE Carver.
    2) I bet you a nickel to a ginger cookie that if any one of the gazillion members of DVXuser tried to emulate him in a short they would go down in flames faster than George Michael at a rest stop. Talk about vague seemingly pointless stories.

    Note that seemingly is underlined. Carver stories have a point, but whatever it is, it is sooooo subtle. He has a mercurial and somewhat singular genius. My GF a former Harvard Dramaturg, Dramaturged a theatrical adaptation of Carver and said it was like watching paint dry. And she loves him more than I do. Point is, not much happens in a Carver story. There is an underlying feeling of conflict at times, but most often they are the antithesis of drama.

    Maybe someone will do a short like that and it will be profound. I'm not saying it's impossible, but ...

    Having said that I just read an All Hallows Fest entry that is somewhat Carver-esque. I like it a lot. I like the Beginning, Middle, and lead up to the End (rising action), but wonder if it's ending is enough to feel satisfying as a short. It's really well written. That's the feedback I am going to give the writer - maybe the ending is brilliant, subtle, but I would be afraid of it personally.
    Last edited by Jack Daniel Stanley; 08-24-2007 at 03:07 PM.
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    #19
    Pain in the ass Mark Harris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jack Daniel Stanley View Post
    Having said that I just read an All Hallows Fest entry that is somewhat Carver-esque. I like it a lot. I like the Beginning, Middle, and lead up to the End (rising action), but wonder if it's ending is enough to feel satisfying as a short. It's really well written. That's the feedback I am going to give the writer - maybe the ending is brilliant, subtle, but I would be afraid of it personally.
    You mean, it would not have a good chance of winning the fest?


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    Still Alive Mod Jack Daniel Stanley's Avatar
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    Hmmm ... dunno if that's what I mean exactly.

    Hopefully the cream will rise as they say around here. But as stated in previous posts, the further away you get from the accepted grammar that has been proven to connect with an audience, the smaller the audience gets. It may be brilliant, but not as many people show up for a David Lynch film as they do for a Speilberg film (usually).

    I think I'm mostly talking about writing a short that connects with people and feels satisfying at the end . I don't know if the short I read, even after the good beginning and middle will feel satisfying. On the page the ending feels unsatisfying to me. Abrupt. But maybe all of the dialogue and pacing will be super fast up until the end and then the filmmaker will take a glacier pace with the ending that will really allow it to sink in and seem profound .... I just do not know. I am not going to tell the guy to change it per se, just my feeling about it.

    To me it will be an interesting experiment if he keeps the ending the way it is. First I will be interested to see if it plays like it does on the page or not. Second, in either case, what will the experience of watching it be like and will people connect with it and consider it a strong piece - that's primarily what I mean by I would be afraid of pulling it off personally, secondarily I guess, sure, I might be concerned with how it would do in terms of placing.

    But you bring up a good point. The mark of success for each filmmaker may be different. Some may want to win or place higher than other fests. While folks in that group may think the journey itself is also very important, others may see the journey of primary importance and their fidelity to the process or exploring the material as a mark of success. Maybe I would be concerned with winning and this guy will just be like "let's see what happens".
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