Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Writing Resources

A lot of you will have your own resources and some of them might feature here. Nevertheless, I've had this post tucked away for a rainy day, so here it is:

Name by meaning - type in a word (adjective) and see what names come up. Want a fighter? Type in "warrior" and you'll get a fair few.

Reverse dictionary - far from perfect but occasionally useful - worth a look.

TV glossary - Alex Epstein's thorough list of TV terms.

Character traits - an invaluable list of hundreds of personality traits for your characters.

Slang - two links for 'popular' slang words - there are hundreds!

Military terms - a list of terms for your war film.

Story generator - really stuck for ideas? Scrape the bottom of the barrel. I'm yet to use this, but it looks quite interesting:
The story is about an official who is best friends with a monk. It takes place in Stalingrad. The story climaxes with a war.

100 screenwriting tips - a list of polishes to make to your script.

Writesofluid - a collection of resources

Creative Screenwriting - podcasts and Q&As with some of the best writers out there.

When it comes to finding screenplays, we all know it can be tricky. So here are a few links to help you out:
- Scriptcollector - a great blog with great scripts to download in PDF format
- TV scripts and Bibles - all great shows and some unaired
- Simplyscripts
- Screenplays-online
- Scriptcrawler

If you have any other resources to help people out, feel free to post them in the comments section.


Sunday, 27 September 2009

21 today

Yes, today I hit my 21st year. I thought that when this day came, I'd be insanely giddy and hyper. Turns out I'm not! Well, I actually wrote this post yesterday, so I'm unsure how I feel today...or tomorrow(?)......anyway, I'm fairly certain there's little giddiness. There'll be the usual happiness that comes from getting presents and going out with the family for a meal (going to see 'District 9' as well). But no more hyperness than a usual birthday.

Since I can't be bothered to do a long post about birth, life and - ultimately - death, instead I'll just direct you to another post.

You'll have noticed that I've been posting screenwriting interviews for the last 14 weeks. If you haven't, you clearly don't read my blog, so I now summon the force of Odin to smite thee! To avoid certain destruction at the hands of the Allfather, I strongly suggest you buy me a present - see bottom.

So, here's a catalogue of the interviews so far, featuring the likes of David Goyer, John August, Paul Haggis, Robert McKee, Sheldon Turner and Jim Uhls. Joss Whedon is also top of the list, this being my blog an' all.

So off you go - watch a few lovely interviews with the pros that detail how good they are and how much you suck! Hope you find something useful in there....

PS: If you're feeling ever so guilty about not knowing it was my birthday and consequently wish to buy me an outlandish gift in an attempt to earn a place in my metaphorical good book (or just to avoid death-by-Odin), here are a few suggestions:

- James Hetfield's Gibson Explorer
- Joss Whedon's brain
- A real working lightsaber (preferably in purple)
- Capt. Malcolm Reynolds' sidearm
- A spaceship named Serenity so I can travel the 'verse - like this

Thursday, 24 September 2009

Weekly Interview (14)

This week's interview is with Jim Uhls ('Fight Club'). He talks about his hatred for outlines, character voices, book adaptations, and how to use voiceover as an internal commentary. Enjoy...

Monday, 21 September 2009

Great Action Movies - 'Taken'

Written by: Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen
Directed by: Pierre Morel

'Taken' is one of the most successful action movies of 2009 and for good reason. Let me sum it up - a former CIA agent goes on a bloody rampage when his daughter is kidnapped in France. It's not the most original plot in the world but like all great stories, the great stuff is in the characters. We don't care that this story has been done before. What we care about is how the characters deal with it.

The character in this case is Byran, played by Liam Neeson. I'm a huge fan of the Irishman but I'll be honest and admit I wasn't sure he could pull off this role. I didn't expect the action to be as good as it is. And it's really good! The first piece of action comes when Bryan is acting as bodyguard to a spoiled pop star. A guy attacks with a knife and WHAM! He's down in a matter of seconds. As Bryan says, he's a "preventer of bad things."

The great thing about the action in 'Taken' is that it's repetitive. But in a good way Let me explain: Bryan discovers that his daughter has been kidnapped. He then makes his way to France and beats people to bloody pulps until he finds her. He uses a combination of powerful slams and well-aimed strikes to the larynx, which are guaranteed to shut someone up and make them gag on the floor for a while.

It's incredibly realistic - the moves that Liam Neeson pulls off (with no stunt double) really would floor someone the way they do. There are no fancy flips and kicks - just the raw power of martial arts. It's like that throughout, so Bryan easily smashes his way through bad guy after bad guy, using firearms when necessary. In the finale, we come across someone who blocks one of Bryan's attacks. Yes, blocks! As soon as this happens, we know we're in for a ride. Bryan makes such light work of every other opponent, that when he takes more than five seconds to floor someone, the fight is incredibly tense.

This isn't just a film you'll appreciate for the stunning action, however. Very early on we establish Bryan's character, right down to the precision and care he takes when wrapping up a birthday present - this shows the attention needed for his former job. When Bryan's daughter (Maggie Grace) is taken, it really sends a chill down your spine. And Neeson's lines to the kidnappers are amazing:
If you let my daughter go now, that'll be the end of it. I will not look for you, I will not pursue you. But if you don't, I will look for you, I will find you, and I will kill you!
'Taken' doesn't have the makings of a family film - you'll want to get the Extended Cut to see the full, brutal action and lengthy torture scene. It's a rough, fast-paced, action-packed movie that everyone can enjoy......assuming you don't mind seeing someone get electrocuted! Truly exceptional in every way!


Thursday, 17 September 2009

Great Action Movies - 'Pitch Black'

Written by: Jim Wheat & Ken Wheat and David Twohy
Directed by: David Twohy

'Pitch Black' is an underrated sci-fi film that most people are only aware of because of its sequel 'The Chronicles of Riddick', which saw reasonable success at the box office. But of the two, 'Pitch Black' is light years better, was made on a fraction of the budget ($20m) and without Dame Judi Dench.

As with most great movies, there is a blending of genres - sci-fi, horror, survival and action. 'Pitch Black' sees a transport ship crash land on a baron planet, leaving the few remaining crew and passengers stranded. Amongst the eclectic group of survivors is Richard B. Riddick - escaped convict, murderer. He is accompanied by Johns, a mercenary transporting Riddick to a high-security facility.

As the ship's crew begin to gather supplies and search for a way of the planet, Riddick is bound in chains. But it's not long before he escapes and is mistakenly blamed for the death of a passenger. It soon becomes clear that Riddick isn't the only thing to fear on this planet - a species of night-dwelling monsters are killing off the characters.

We see a subverted but very clear hero's journey. Riddick is a solitary survivor who only looks after number one, but as things develop, it becomes clear that the only way off this planet is through teamwork. Trusted by the crew, Riddick is put to work.

The film is littered with great subplots. It's revealed that Acting Captain Fry wanted to dump the entire passenger bay on crashing, to save her own - proving Riddick's point that people only look after number one. She undergoes a powerful story, bringing the survivors through the ordeal and being faced with a decision in the film's climax - does she leave the planet when she has chance, or go back for those left behind? This ties in directly with Riddick's own story of survival and dependence on others.

The planet's monsters can only see at night and so can Riddick, due to a surgical 'shine job'. This only adds to Riddick's cool as a tough, honest survivor. Add a holy man to highlight the desperation of the situation and a morally ambiguous merc in the form of Johns, and you have yourself a sci-fi classic, far beyond most space adventures in the last few decades.


Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Weekly Interview (13)

This week's interview is with Ed Solomon ('Men In Black') gives a talk about confidence, scene description and how to influence direction. It's short and sweet, but also very valuable - touching on the basics of screenwriting. Enjoy...

Tuesday, 15 September 2009

Dollhouse poster

'Dollhouse' season 2 airs at the end of this month. I wasn't the biggest fan at the start - I expected much much more from the writing legend that is Joss Whedon. The episodes were.....average. For any other TV show, I'd have been happy, but this is from the team that gave us the best television in history (in my opinion, of course) - 'Buffy,' 'Angel' and 'Firefly'. But then episode 6 came along and Whedon went wild, throwing everything you thought you knew about the Dollhouse out the gorram window!

So I'm very excited about season 2, especially after seeing this poster. It combines two of my favourite things - martial arts & Eliza Dushku.

And who doesn't love a woman with a weapon?

Charles Harris' treatment workshop

On Saturday, I went to a EuroScript treatment workshop with Charles Harris. I was a little nervous since no-one else I knew seemed to be going, which surprised me. Anyway, I dragged myself out of bed at 6am and made my way down to London.

I got there with a good 45 minutes to space - plenty of time to find London uni and the building I needed to be in. Well, plenty of time if the google map I printed off was any good at all! After a good 20 minutes of wandering round, I finally worked out that the directions were all screwed up. When it said "turn left", it meant "turn right". So I finally found my way to the building.

I met a cool guy who I forget the name of at the moment. He was there to help Charles out - set up the room, sort out the blinds when the sun came streaming in, get drinks etc. As payment, he was allowed to take the workshop free - very clever.

There were only 14 of us in total and Charles was great. Somehow, the guy manages to write full time and teach these courses, all while holding down a job as a martial arts instructor! Now there's a guy with good time management!

We did a lot of exercises and we kept moving round to sit next to someone new. This was annoying at first but I soon realised the point - every time you sat next to someone new, you had to introduce yourself and tell them your idea. As a result, you really began to see the flaws in your story. For example, when you find yourself saying " then they run away and shit...." five times over and getting the same "so what?" expression, you see the problem!

Anyway, I heard some great stories and everyone was really passionate about them. We had one film about a woman in the slums of India, whose daughter is stolen by a rich landowner. Another about a man's desperate attempt to get his friends to notice him. And my personal favourite - alien cats at war!!! That made my violent vampire revenge story seem tame!

We didn't just discuss how to write treatments. We also explored the three-act structure and the inner flaw of a character. Charles also provided a simple yet affective cliche-buster - very useful.

Over lunch, I spoke with Charles about 'The Terminator' and the great way we get exposition cloaked in action. "Ah yes," Charles said, smiling. "I use that as an example of one of my 23 ways to hide exposition."

Yes, 23! I was only aware of about 4!!! 23

I tried to bait him into telling me what they were, but it was no good. I'll just have to work them out for myself!

Anyway, I highly recommend Charles' workshops - they're invaluable and I now know loads about treatment writing. Before I dreaded them, but now I know how they work, I'm quite looking forward to writing my next one. I would share what I've learnt with you all, but I'm certain Charles would kick me ass - I did mention he's a martial arts instructor right?

Saturday, 12 September 2009

The 11 Laws of Great Storytelling

Yesterday I stumbled across a great article by Jeffrey Hirschberg about the key things to remember when telling a story (specifically a film):

In Gladiator, we are immediately engaged as we are introduced to our hero – General Maximus – and the respect he commands from the Roman army. Add an action-packed, bloody opening battle to the mix, and we are sold.

When you are finished with your script, give the first ten pages to a group of friends or family you trust. Then ask each of them one simple question: “Do you want to read more?” If the overwhelming response is in the affirmative, you are on the right road to writing a memorable screenplay.

Make everything about his/her journey difficult
We love watching our heroes struggle. What would Raiders of the Lost Ark be if Indiana Jones immediately stumbled upon the Ark of the Covenant and brought it back to America? What if John McClane burst into the Nakatomi Christmas party and took out Hans Gruber and all of his henchmen in one momentous moment? And, what if Ellen Ripley easily discovered the Alien’s whereabouts as well as a surefire way to destroy the monster? Boring!

Theme is a tough nut to crack. When I ask my students the theme of Die Hard, they often restate the film’s core concept (or, in Hollywood terms, the “logline”), saying something like, “It’s about a cop thwarting a group of international terrorists while saving his wife and a bunch of innocent people.” While this is true, it doesn’t quite touch on theme. I then dig deeper, suggesting Die Hard is really about a man trying to reconnect with his wife. True, this reconnection takes place amidst the backdrop of an action-packed heist, but at its core, this is a story about John McClane discovering the importance of family and the love and appreciation he has for his wife, Holly.

Read the full article

Friday, 11 September 2009

"Back to the front!"

I've blogged before about musical inspiration, but I'm getting more specific now. I'm a huge fan of Metallica for many reasons, and one of them is the lyrics. James Hetfield is a brilliant songwriter and really explores all aspects of the human mind and society. I thought I'd share a few lyrics with you and maybe there'll spark some ideas - I know they have for me!

DISPOSABLE HEROES is about war - simple as that. It discusses the people who fight in them, really exploring those who join the army and their place in society. I love the way the music represents the theme of the song - the fast guitars clearly imitates gunfire on the battlefield. If you ask me, this song should be compulsory listening for anyone thinking of signing up:

Twenty one, only son
but he served us well.
Bred to kill, not to care
Do just as we say.
Finished here, greetings Death
He's yours to take away.

You will do what I say, when I say
Back to the front.
You will die when I say, you must die
Back to the front.
You coward,
You servant,
You blindman,
Back to the front!

Life planned out before my birth, nothing could I say,
Had no chance to see myself, molded day by day.
Looking back I realize, nothing have I done,
Left to die with only friend,
Alone I clench my gun.

MASTER OF PUPPETS is a classic Metallica song with a great concept and some awesome lyrics:

Taste me you will see
More is all you need
Dedicated to
How I'm killing you

Master of Puppets I'm pulling your strings
Twisting your mind, smashing your dreams
Blinded by me, you can't see a thing
Just call my name, 'cause I'll hear you scream

Master, Master, where's the dreams that I've been after?
Master, Master, you promised only lies
Laughter, laughter, all I hear or see is laughter
Laughter, laughter, laughing at my cries
Fix me!

WELCOME HOME (SANITARIUM) is inspired by 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' and does a great job expressing the anger throughout the entire film:

Sleep my friend and you will see
that dream is my reality
They keep me locked up in this cage
can't they see it's why my brain says Rage

Sanitarium, leave me be
Sanitarium, just leave me alone

They think our heads are in their hands
but violent use brings violent plans
Keep him tied, it makes him well
he's getting better, can't you tell?

Fear of living on
natives getting restless now
Mutiny in the air
got some death to do
Mirror stares back hard
Kill, it's such a friendly word
seems the only way
for reaching out again.

FADE TO BLACK is one of Metallica's slower and more thought-provoking songs all about the end of life:

I have lost the will to live
Simply nothing more to give
There is nothing more for me
Need the end to set me free

Emptiness is filling me
To the point of agony
Growing darkness taking dawn
I was me, but now he's gone

Yesterday seems as though it never existed
Death greets me warm, now I will just say goodbye

ENTER SANDMAN is another classic and proves that metal and literary references really can go together well:

Exit light
Enter night
Take my hand
We're off to never never-land

Something's wrong, shut the light
Heavy thoughts tonight
And they aren't of Snow White
Dreams of war
Dreams of liars
Dreams of dragons fire
And of things that will bite, yeah

Now I lay me down to sleep
Pray the lord my soul to keep
If I die before I wake
Pray the lord my soul to take

Hush little baby don't say a word
And never mind that noise you heard
It's just the beasts under your bed
In your closet and in your head

ONE is widely considered Metallica's finest masterpieces and one of the best rock songs of all time. It's based on 'Johnny Get Your Gun' which is about a man who was injured in war. As a result, he can't speak, hear, see, move or feel. It's truly haunting song:

Now that the war is through with me
I'm waking up, I cannot see
That there's not much left of me
Nothing is real but pain now

Hold my breath as I wish for death
Oh please god, help me

Fed through the tube that sticks in me
Just like a wartime novelty
Tied to machines that make me be
Cut this life off from me

Landmines has taken my sight
Taken my speech
Taken my hearing
Taken my arms
Taken my legs
Taken my soul
Left me with life in hell

UNTIL IT SLEEPS is about James Hetfield's mother and her battle with cancer. Very strangely, it sees James directly addressing the disease that killed his mother:

It grips you so hold me
It stains you so hold me
It hates you so hold me
It holds you so hold me
Until it sleeps

So tell me why you've chosen me
Don't want your grip, don't want your greed
Don't want it

I'll tear me open make you gone
No more can you hurt anyone
And the fear still shakes me
So hold me, until it sleeps

MAMA SAID is a follow-up song, where James talks about the life he had with his mother:

Mama, she has taught me well
Told me when I's young
Son, your life's an open book
Don't close it 'fore it's done
The brightest flame burns quickest
That's what I heard her say
A son's heart's owed to mother
But I must find my way

Let my heart go
Let your son grow
Mama, let my heart go
Or let this heart be still

"Rebel", my new last name
Wild blood in my veins
Apron strings around my neck
The mark that still remains
left home at an early age
Of what I heard was wrong
I never asked forgiveness
But what is said is done

THE DAY THAT NEVER COMES is from Metallica's latest album and is open to interpretation. It's very character-based and captures sadness, remorse and anger:

Born to push you around,
Better just stay down.
You pull away,
He hits the flesh,
You hit the ground.

Waiting for the one!
The day that never comes!
When you stand up and feel the warmth!
But the sunshine never comes!

God I'll make them pay,
Take it back one day.
I'll end this day,
I'll splatter color on this gray.

Love is a four letter word!
And never spoken here!

Wednesday, 9 September 2009

Weekly Interview (12)

This week's interview is with Sheldon Turner ('The Longest Yard [2005]). Here he talks about his routine, procrastination, alone-time, the importance of theme and why writers who write great outlines and crap scripts! It's a very honest and valuable interview - I implore you to watch it right now! Enjoy...

Monday, 7 September 2009

Movie catchphrases

I recently read James Cameron's treatment for 'The Terminator' and it made very interesting reading. One thing I noticed is Arnold Schwarzenegger's famous catchphrase:

"I'll come back!"

'Wait,' I hear you cry. '"I'll come back?!" That's not the right phrase! It's "I'll be back!"'

But as some of you know, in the original script, the line was "I'll come back" as opposed to the classic we all know now. The line went on to be used in other Arnie movies, including 'Commando', 'Raw Deal', 'The Running Man', 'Total Recall', 'The Sixth Day' and many more. So this begs the question:

What is the greatest movie catchphrase and what makes them so memorable? Feel free to answer in the comments section, but for now, I'll run down my top catchphrases -

10. No, Mr Bond...I expect you to die! ('Goldfinger') - James Bond is a smart-mouthed agent. But here, he is outwitted by the bad guy! That's what makes this line so powerful and clever.

9. My momma always said, "Life's like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get. ('Forest Gump') - Simply because it's true.

8. Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You killed my father. Prepare to die! ('The Princess Bride') - For a child's fantasy film, this revenge story is very dark. We have a character who is desperately searching to avenge his father's death. So when he finally finds the killer, we really want him to succeed.

7. This is SPARTA!!! ('300') - A legend on the internet, but as a Classics fan, I know it's realistic. The Spartans were the best and most feared warriors ever. This quote rings so true for them.

6. Say "what" again. Say "what" again. I dare you, I double dare you, motherfucker, say "what" one more Goddamn time! ('Pulp Fiction') - Only Sam Jackson can make the weirdest hair in the world be this scary!

5. My name is Maximus Decimus Meridius, commander of the Armies of the North, General of the Felix Legions, loyal servant to the true Emperor, Marcus Aurelius. Father to a murdered son, husband to a murdered wife. And I will have my this life or the next. ('Gladiator') - Is there a more powerful revenge story than that of Maximus? Here he stares at the man responsible and doesn't take his revenge, but swears he will!

4. Do I feel lucky? Well do ya, punk?! ('Dirty Harry')- The ultimate badass, Dirty Harry is the only person cool enough to deliver this awesome speech! Important note: count the number of shots your enemies fire from a revolver!

3. You are one ugly motherfucker! ('Predator') - Arnie squares off against the Predator as the fearless killing machine (the alien, not Arnie) removes his helmet, revealing the terrifying, grotesque face underneath. This never gets old!

2. I'll be back! ('Terminator') - The use of 'be' is what makes this quote so amazing. He will be there and when he is, you'll die!

1. Yippie ki yay, motherfuker! ('Die Hard') - The ultimate defiance of John McClane in a film all about holding on till the end. A classic action movie and a classic action quote. Holds no great meaning other than to say "fuck you" to those trying to kill him.

So, what's your favourite movie catchphrase and why?

Sunday, 6 September 2009

New Projects

On my website, I've updated the 'Projects' section so anyone can see what I'm working on.

You all know about 'Exile' (my uni script), but here are a few you might not know about:

The premise for Fallen is simple - what if the Archangel Gabriel fell from Grace? How would this happen and why? The epic explores an alternative view of Christianity, which focuses on desperation and forgiveness.

Dead Alliance is an action/horror about a vampire hunter and his ongoing battle with the vampire lord. When a band of young vampires take over, an alliance is forged between the two. Is the enemy of my enemy is my friend...or my enemy?

This short tells the story of a police detective as he hunts down a brutal child killer. In a tense, action-packed finale, Detective Malcolm does battle with the murderer, but as the clash draws to a close, things take a very supernatural turn.

Read about more of my projects here.

Saturday, 5 September 2009

Treatment prep

I mentioned here that I was going to Charles Harris' treatment workshop next Saturday (12th).

I've had an email through talking about the prep work for the seminar. It involves reading James Cameron's 40-page treatment for 'The Terminator', making notes and answering questions etc. It's already looking to be very useful.

I'm hoping to learn a lot next Saturday and meet some new, interesting people. We're all going to the pub afterwards, so I better prep some business cards (I never got round to ordering any 'proper' ones, so basic card ones will have to do).

Is anyone else at all going to the workshop? I have no idea how many places there are!

'EXILE' - part 3

Read part 1
Read part 2

Today, I finished off the 1st draft for 'EXILE'. It comes to 116 pages - 22,930 words.* I'll need to cut it down a fair bit to make it no longer than 100 pages. I have a few scenes in mind, so the next stage is to go through, edit like mad (to get rid of those action lines that have one word on them) and think about what to cut. I'll really tighten the writing - nothing in there that doesn't develop the story or characters.

In total, to write the first draft, it took me just under 21 hours, not including planning etc.

But for now, I'm going to back everything up and e-mail it to myself - don't want to risk losing it after all that hard work!

*Note: the dissertation most people will be writing will have to be 10,000 words. My script will be at least twice that. Not that I mind, but does that seem right to you?

Friday, 4 September 2009

You are Satan!

At work today, I offered a woman some chocolate at the till (as you do). To which she responded: "Stay behind me Satan. And you too!"

Yes folks, I was likened to Lucifer! Apparently in terms of evil, it goes as follows:

Cliff Richard
Neil Baker at chocolate shop

That prompted me to think about a show/film where Lucifer was forced to work in a shop of supermarket, as a sort of work experience thing. I decided it would have to be a comedy and while I may come out with the occasional witty comment, I'm no comedy writer.

That is all - I am down there with the Devil! Beat that!!!

Thursday, 3 September 2009

Weekly Interview (11)

This week's interview comes from The Dialogue and features a Q&A with Callie Khouri ('Thelma & Louise'). Here she talks about the difficulty of writing on demand, easy writing, working from experience and what good a writer can do. Enjoy...

Tuesday, 1 September 2009

'EXILE' - part 2

Last time, I talked about the planning for 'EXILE' (my uni script). Since then, I've taken my 12-page outline and expanded it to 16 pages hitting just over 9000 words. I've expanded the story itself and also added subplots and completely new scenes. One character has undergone a transformation to become a justified love interest as well.

I was going to produce a thorough scene breakdown, but I think the outline is detailed enough. So yesterday I got to work on the script. So far, things are going well - I've written 43 pages, averaging at 7 pages an hour. If I continue at that speed, it'll take me about another 9 hours to complete. Of course I won't stay at a constant speed because the hardest scenes are yet to come.

So far, I've only been troubled by one - a particularly emotional, disturbing and violent scene where a young girl is burnt alive at the stake as her father watches on helplessly. It was hard to get the perspective right - it would be easy to portray the people who carry out this crime as evil, crazy maniacs, but I wanted to give them another side. So it was very hard to find the right balance of blame in the scene.

I'm not entirely happy with how it turned out, but that's what rewrites are for. I know that at least 4 others scenes I'm yet to write will cause a lot of problems.

I've successfully tackled the exposition of Act I, as yesterday I thought long and hard about how to get the expo across. I came across a very short but interesting article on how to do just that.

Every bit of exposition so far has been set in a scene that is either tense or emotional:
4. Surround it with conflict or action
Distract the audience with conflict or action. In the Terminator, James Cameron presents a 10-minute scene full of nothing but exposition. 10 minutes of exposition! But the audience never notices. While Reese is explaining to Sarah – and the audience – all the pertinent background information (where he’s from, why he’s there, what the future holds, what the Terminator is), the two are constantly surrounded by conflict and action (fleeing the police and engaging in a battle with the Terminator.)
'EXILE' is - in a sense - a mystery film. We're not quite sure why things are happening. So it's very important to reveal just enough at the right time - don't overload all the info early on or the mystery will be gone, but similarly, don't leave it too late or people won't have a clue what's going on:
5. Feed it to a hungry audience
Wait to reveal information until the audience is begging to know it. Set up the desire for the reader to know the information by withholding it for as long as possible. In Chinatown, Robert Towne carefully builds anticipation. When Evelyn Mulwray’s secret in finally revealed, the audience is eager to hear the information. Callie Khouri achieves the same effect with the build-up and presentation of Louise’s secret in Thelma and Louise.
Part 3 of this blog post series will arrive when I've finished the first draft of the script (probably at the end of the week) or when I come across an interesting or troublesome moment in the writing process.

Until then, laters!