Tuesday, 19 January 2016

From Script to Screen: OGR #1


  1. OGR 21/01/2016

    Hi Dee,

    You've narrowed things down nicely here; setting up the back-story quickly and visually (oppressive society structure). In essence, your putting together an action set-piece. I do have one tweak to suggest, because right now it's the story of one individual escaping - though wounded - while everyone else on the space station is left to their drone-like existence. I'm wondering if the goal of the female alien isn't simply to escape, but to shut down the compass; it wouldn't take much to tweak; so for example, female alien wakes up; looks around, sees escape pods - we see her determination to get out... but then she hesitates, takes a moment to look around at all the drained, life-less faces of the other workers; we now see her POV move from the escape pods, to the 'Compass Terminal' - some node that we've been shown as controlling all the chips in the workers' brains. Perhaps now, she foregoes the escape pod, and goes for the terminal instead. In terms of the ending, it could be that the female alien is killed in the process - she's shot, but manages to perform the switch-off, so the final scene is the uprising of the workers; we're left in the knowledge that the alien's killer(s) are for it and the world has changed. A final 'final' shot might show us the space station as hundreds of pods escape from it - before we see the space station explode - viva la revolution etc.

    For me, for this to be a story in the truest sense, the actions of the characters need to evoke a more universal theme, so perhaps having your alien character incept an uprising is a more weighty character arc.

    I wasn't sure from your post, but are all the aliens different species? In a way, it would work better if they were, because it would imply that, slave-traders-style, all these different alien races have been harvested by the dominant race, and put to work for their purposes. I think it could make things quicker and easier to understand. Similarly, as you think about the design of the space station, think about it in terms of corporate branding, like the villainous 'Weyland Yutani' corporation that skulks in the shadows of the Alien franchise. in terms of that establishing shot, you could tell a lot in a short while.

    Anyway, some stuff here to think about - but yes, a more 'mythic' ending might lift your story from feeling like the 'start of a bigger story' to 'a complete story told'.

    1. I really like that idea of her dying in the process of saving the rest...I had an idea of maybe we see her looking at both the control terminal and the escape pods, and it appears that she goes for the pods but when the guards near where she was seemingly shot, it's revealed she entered an air vent and managed to get to the terminal while the guards were walking over to the pod bay. I'm just slightly worried about managing to fit everything in within a 1-2 minute animation.

      To be honest, I wasn't completely sure if I wanted the aliens to be all the same race or not...I think I was planning to have them be the same race originally but after reading your feedback I agree that I think having a few different races would be a good idea. I was thinking a 'smart' race (probably what my protagonist would be) for scientists, teachers, inventors, stuff like that maybe....a 'strong' race for construction, maybe soldiers or something (while the guards patrol the station, the dominant race is maybe using the enslaved aliens to create an army to take over the universe or something liek that), and maybe a kind of stupid/weak/generic race that would be maintenance, cleaners, farmers and more generic jobs. I think I'm intimidated by having to design several different races along with the guards, interior/exterior of the space station and other things but I'll sort something out I'm sure.