Tuesday, 14 February 2012


Step Outline Screen Play


  1. OGR 14/02/2012

    Hey Ilmi,

    Your story has lots of promise - and I really like the resolution of your objects into this near scenario. I think it all needs finessing and for you to embrace the surrealistic, nightmare quality of your concept; the idea of a taxidermist being haunted/hunted by his own conscience via a dream sequence is great fun - and it reminds me strongly of this cartoon, which I absolutely loved as a child, and I think you should take some inspiration from it in terms of what a dream space might be like:


    The warehouse in which the taxidermist finds himself could be a taxidermist supplier - lots of bottles of chemicals and jars of glass eyes:



    The only thing you don't have yet is an actual ending; yes, he wakes up and 'phew' - it's all been a nightmare, I reckon there should be some cruel final pay-off, in which the audience and the taxidermist discover that he's not going to get away with it - somehow there's a twist, a final surreal moment - I don't know, he gets up, goes to the fridge, in that classic horror film way - and when he closes the fridge door we see the giant mouse is there - you know, something cruel like that.

    In terms of character design, I really want you to use the resources available to you on myUCA/Story/Unit Materials - you need to refer to and learn from the Andrew Loomis PDF Basics of Drawing Cartoons and Poses, and Preston Blair's Cartoon Animation - also Dynamics of the animated drawing PDF, and very importantly, Shot-by-Shot, by Jeremy Vineyard, which is an illustrated glossary of every single camera move or style of shot. Please don't ignore these - as they contain the principles you're supposed to be taking forward.

  2. Your essay introduction bodes well - you seem organised and focused and that's great. I've been issuing some general guidance re. this assignment, which follows:

    1,500 word written assignment that analyses critically one film in terms of the relationship between story and structure; you should consider camera movement, editing, and order of scenes.

    Okay - so while the challenge of the assignment doesn’t state it explicitly, as soon as you start to discuss narrative, editing or sorts of shots, you’ll be using a technical or specialist language – with specific terms with specific histories and contexts. Therefore, in common with all your assignments so far (and all future assignments!), you need to introduce and define your specialist/technical terms BEFORE you start discussing your specific film or case-study.

    For example, if you were planning to discuss the famous shower scene from Psycho, which is an example of ‘montage editing’ – you would first need to introduce and define the term ‘montage editing’ – and in so doing, refer to its origins and cultural ancestry (i.e. its broadest context). In written assignments you have to ‘show that you know’ – you have to demonstrate your knowledge of the subject area by showing that YOU understand its various components. You couldn’t discuss Psycho’s shower scene effectively WITHOUT referencing Sergei Eisenstein (the ‘father’ of montage editing), and, by extension, the ‘rules’ of Hollywood ‘invisible editing’ (from which Eisensteinian editing was such a departure).

    Likewise, if you were interested in the ‘continuous take’ of ‘Rope’ – then in order to discuss this technique in context, you’d still have to introduce and define ‘editing’ in general terms, in order to prove Rope’s distinctiveness.

    If you’re dealing with narrative structures – i.e. the ‘non-linear’ structures of Christopher Nolan’s Momento or Tarantino’s Pulp Fiction, you first need to demonstrate your awareness and understanding of the ideas and uses of ‘non-linearity’ in story more generally.

    Another reoccurring weakness in your assignments is your introductions; remember, there is no actual content in your introduction.

    Your very first line should state plainly and clearly what the investigative thrust is of your assignment – and that’s all. “This assignment analyses critically the use of non-linear narrative in film, with particular reference to Christopher Nolan’s Momento (2000).”

    Job done! That’s it. No more – nothing else.

    Next, you list the KEY research sources you’ve used (i.e. the ones your essay will now go on to reference), and your reasons for consulting them (i.e. their usefulness to your argument). You should be specific here – give titles, authors and publishing date etc. Put your titles in italics. There should be no waffle here at all, so avoid sentences like ‘Sources include websites, books and films…’ Also, you don’t need to give the film you’re studying as a source, because that’s been made obvious by the first line of your introduction. If, however, you’re looking at some associated films, then you should include them here – but always give your reason for their usefulness to your discussion.

    Finally – your intro should offer the reader a summary of points – the logical sequence of subject matter that will take your reader from ‘not knowing’ about your subject to ‘understanding’ your subject. This is where you – the writer – must give this ‘logical sequence’ some proper thought – get this bit right and your assignment will flow from one point to the next in a satisfying way.

  3. sorry - *neat* scenario - doh! It's late... :)