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Turning A Novel Into Film – Characters And Actors On The Loose

sony_fdr_ax1_4k_camcorder_1002485

When adapting a novel manuscript to a film script, I realize it will take a whole host of other people to tell me how successful I might be. I’ve done this twice before, and realize that I must not only ignore my usual method of writing, but often go exactly against it.

I attempted to “learn” how to write for film. I read many instruction books, attended classes and workshops, and had meetings with people. I read many film scripts, which did help me accept the (to my eye) arcane format. But the one thing that actually turned me visual, was the comment of a writer/editor friend who said, after reading my attempt, “I can’t see it.”

That is, it did not cause visual action in her mind.

And I understood.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle is to accept that a movie is not a book, and that changes, additions and omissions will be necessary. As with a play, there is a finite time limit, that generally clocks in under two hours. The threads and plot points of a movie are different. And the characters (I swear) feel this freedom, and choose to accentuate other aspects of themselves than revealed in a novel.

The very fact their paragraphs of dialogue are best reduced to two or three lines makes them uppity. And because they can, in mere seconds, be in diverse locations, performing radically different actions, they become exact without apology. They don’t have to fill in the spaces.

The writer has to fill in the spaces however, and do so with visual stimulation. The transitions have to be swift and their descriptions exact. The road is always the fast lane and the characters kick the tires with gusto.

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Dracula Takes Another Bite

EXCLUSIVE: Paramount Pictures has acquired screen rights to Dracul, the first prequel authorized by the estate of Bram Stoker. The film will be developed as potential directing vehicle down the line for Andy Muschietti, reteamed with It producers Barbara Muschietti and Roy Lee. Written by Dacre Stoker and J.D. Barker, the tale is set in 1868, where a 21-year old Bram Stoker meets with an ungodly evil that he traps in an ancient tower all the while scribbling the events…

via Paramount Bites Into ‘Dracul’: ‘It’ Director Andy Muschietti In Mix — Deadline

Horror Movie In Berlin – Ravens Against Tourists

5-01(image)http://theberlinexpert.com/images/rotatingimage/5-01.jpg                                                                                                                                                            8.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

 

The Young Man turns toward the bus. He starts filming.

 

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

 

The Tour Guide attempts to get up. The Raven has its beak in his

mouth.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Ravens fly along the aisle, amid screaming passengers.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With The Eye Patch grabs the two children. He shoves them

onto the floor between the seats.

 

MAN WITH EYE PATCH

Stay down!

 

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

 

The Tour Guide has managed to stand. The Raven is fluttering in

front of his face. It has the Tour Guide’s tongue in its beak.

 

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

 

The Young Man continues taking pictures.

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

Panicked, screaming faces are in the windows. Many passengers are

beating their hands against the glass.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Ravens keep a steady course, but get side -by- side.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With the Eye Patch is taking off his suit coat.

 

MAN WITH EYE PATCH

Not fucking again.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Ravens skim the roof of the bus. They both look down.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With the Eye Patch glances at the Two Children.

9.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Two Children huddle on the floor. The Boy lies on the Girl.

stretching over her. He turns his head toward the Man With the Eye Patch.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With the Eye Patch yells at the Boy.

 

MAN WITH EYE PATCH

Hide your face!

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Two Ravens dive simultaneously.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With the Eye Patch holds up his suit coat in front of him.

The two Ravens fly right into the suit coat, pulling it from the Man’s hands. The Birds, entangled in the suit coat, hurtle against the window. One Bird gets free, while the other, still encased in the suit coat, falls on the Children.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Boy shoves the Girl under the seat in front of them.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The freed Raven flies up toward the Man With the Eye Patch.The Man

crouches into the stance of a boxer, and punches the bird directly

on the side of its head. The stunned Raven tumbles over the

seat back.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Boy scurries under the seat where he had been sitting.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With the Eye Patch grabs his suit coat with the trapped

Raven, and throws it to the far side of the bus.

 

MAN WITH THE EYE PATCH

(yelling)

All of you – get down!

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Raven is half out of the suit coat when it hits the window.

DE

Fire And Murder: “Darkroom” Screenplay Excerpt

daed1c987a5d1f31ab274950fb878c2e

An agent from California is contemplating my novel manuscript for Darkroom. It is a first-person novel about Norman, a psycho serial killer who likes fire.

Oddly, the last agent to be interested in this novel was also from California. He made many suggestions, which I took. I also, from that interest, wrote a screenplay that I had totally forgotten. So let’s let Norman have a bit of action.

DE

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

INT. HEAD OF STAIRS – NIGHT

INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT

INT. DOOR – NIGHT

INT. SMALL ROOM – NIGHT

One dim table light is on. NORMAN sits huddled over the desk. Norman is a slenderman in his early twenties. He is humming “What’s Love Got To Do With It” as he works at the desk.

INT. DESK TOP – NIGHT

Norman is ripping rags and letting them fall into a pail at his feet. As he looks up and turns toward the door he rubs his finger over his bushy Hitler mustache. He smiles and nods and grabs more rags.

NORMAN
No one sleeps long tonight.

Norman tears additional rags, but now arranges them more carefully in the pail. He takesa can of lighter fluid from a desk drawer and puts it on the table. He looks at his watch.

NORMAN
Norman gives them another forty minutes.

Norman starts to unwind a long piece of wire.

INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT

INT. LARGE ROOM – NIGHT

The lights are out with every bed filled. There is breathing and snoring and the creak of bedsprings.

INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT

Norman tiptoes along the hall. He holds the pail carefully in front of him.

INT. HEAD OF STAIRS – NIGHT

Norman takes the bottle of lighter fluid, and the wire, out of the pail. He squirts lighter fluid into the pail then drops the bottle into it. He carefully ties the wire at ankle height across the top step, winding it around the banister. He lights a whole book of matches and throws it into the pail.

INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT

Norman runs back to his own room.

INT. HEAD OF STAIRS – NIGHT

Flame erupts from the pail and smoke starts to billow.

 

(image) https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/originals/da/ed/1c/daed1c987a5d1f31ab274950fb878c2e.jpg

Crime And Murder -Scenes From “Darkroom” ~ Fade In:

tumblr_nee4d4nleu1r0d65jo1_500

I was going through my Dropbox files last week and came across a great surprise. It was a file that, initially, I thought I must have mistitled. But, when I opened it …

… there was a movie script I had adapted from one of my novels. Not the screenplay I knew I had made from another novel, but a whole different one. I am equally surprised by the fact that I did it, and the fact that I have forgotten it. It would have been at least six months of work. WTF

It is called Darkroom, and is about my psychopathic serial killer, Norman. The other is a horror screenplay is based on a portion of one one of my Satan novels. Perhaps I think of horror as a more visual medium.

At any rate, I think I’ll share a portion or two  – or a few – of Darkroom.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

FADE IN:

EXT. CITY STREET – NIGHT

EXT. RUNDOWN THREE STORY MANSION – NIGHT

EXT. LARGE LIT SIGN FACING SIDEWALK – NIGHT

SIGN
Rooms – Week/Month

EXT.ENTRANCE TO ROOMING HOUSE – NIGHT

A Dozen Burly Men crowd through the front door.

INT. STAIRWELL – NIGHT

The Men laugh and roughhouse as they go up the stairs.

INT. STAIRWELL LANDING – NIGHT

The men jostle each other and laugh. A couple wrestle and one
pretends to push another over the railing.

INT. HEAD OF STAIRS – NIGHT

A LAUGHING MAN puts a key in the first door they come to. As it
opens he puts a finger to his lips.

LAUGHING MAN
Shh! It’s my turn to do it.

INT. HALLWAY – NIGHT

The Laughing Man creeps along the hall and stops at the door on
the end. He looks back at the Other Men and giggles. He pounds
and kicks on the door.

LAUGHING MAN

We’re back for another week, Normie.
Did you miss us?

INT. HEAD OF STAIRS – NIGHT

The men crowd into a large room with many beds. The Laughing Man
closes the door behind them.

INT. LARGE ROOM – NIGHT

The Men waste no time getting ready for bed. The Laughing Man beckons

three others to him. Together they pound on the wall.

LAUGHING MAN
Sweet dreams, Adolf.

The Laughing Man stands at attention and gives the Nazi salute to the wall.
The Other Men hoot and holler.

DE

(image) http://67.media.tumblr.com/29eb47a1ae85b7037aa3fbdb4067b595/tumblr_nee4d4Nleu1r0d65jo1_500.jpg

“Burning In Berlin” Horror Movie With Ravens

b45cf39976f82453d505684f9ab18f82fbd7f9ce

9.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Two Children huddle on the floor. The Boy lies on the Girl.

stretching over her. He turns his head toward the Man With the Eye Patch.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With the Eye Patch yells at the Boy.

 

MAN WITH EYE PATCH

Hide your face!

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Two Ravens dive simultaneously.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With the Eye Patch holds up his suit coat in front of him.

The two Ravens fly right into the suit coat, pulling it from the Man’s hands. The Birds, entangled in the suit coat, hurtle against the window. One Bird gets free, while the other, still encased in the suit coat, falls on the Children.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Boy shoves the Girl under the seat in front of them.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The freed Raven flies up toward the Man With the Eye Patch. The Man crouches into the stance of a boxer, and punches the bird directly on the side of its head. The stunned Raven tumbles over the seat back.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Boy scurries under the seat where he had been sitting.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With the Eye Patch grabs his suit coat with the trapped

Raven, and throws it to the far side of the bus.

 

MAN WITH THE EYE PATCH

(yelling)

All of you – get down!

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Raven is half out of the suit coat when it hits the window.

DE

(image) https://a.travel-assets.com/mediavault.le/media/b45cf39976f82453d505684f9ab18f82fbd7f9ce.jpeg

“Burning In Berlin” Screenplay : The Three Ravens Shuffle Together

 

 

three-ravens-in-courtship-display

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

Peering faces, and Tour Guide’s finger pressed to window.

EXT. INFORMATION SIGN – DAY

 

A second Raven settles upon the sign. It hops about until it

stops over the word ‘Fehurer’.

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

A BOY and GIRL, both slender and twelve, are staring from a window. A MAN WITH AN EYE PACH, in his forties and muscular, wearing a suit from the Salvation Army and a work shirt, bends over them, peering.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Boy and Girl have their heads together. The girl moves her

hand, and points through the top of the window.

 

EXT. LINDEN TREE – DAY

 

A third crow is landing on one of the branches. The other two

are agitated, but quickly settle.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With the Eye Patch hastily puts his hand over the

girl’s mouth.

 

MAN WITH EYE PATCH

Shh.

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The girl moves her hand from the window. The childrens’

faces move back.

 

EXT. LINDEN TREE – DAY

 

The two Ravens in the branches descend to the Information

Sign.

 

EXT. INFORMATION SIGN – DAY

 

The Three Ravens shuffle together, and stand shoulder to

shoulder.

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Tour Guide has his head pressed against the window.

DE

(image) http://cdn1.arkive.org/media/38/38D48A55-17E9-423C-8B22-BDC9D98D6096/Presentation.Large/three-ravens-in-courtship-display.jpg

 

“Burning In Berlin” Screenplay / FADE IN:

adolf-hitlers-bunker-is-a-carpark-downfall-film-parody-time

 

FADE IN:

 

EXT. BARREN FIELD WITH AUTUMN GRASS – DAY

 

Traffic sounds comes from the four streets bounding the field.

 

EXT. HILL IN FIELD – DAY

 

An information sign is at the foot of the hill. A newly-

painted Linden tree grows beside it.

 

EXT. INFORMATION SIGN – DAY

 

THE INFORMATION SIGN READS Fehurer Bunker

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

A middle-aged TOUR GUIDE stands by the front seat, facing

the passengers.

TOUR GUIDE

The Berlin police don’t

want us any closer.

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

Tourist faces peering from the windows.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

Tourists from the far side of the bus bend and peer

over those seated.

 

EXT. LINDEN TREE ON HILL – DAY

 

One raven flutters and lands on a tree limb.

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

Two or three faces are pressed in each window.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Tour Guide is pointing through the window.

 

TOUR GUIDE

 

All of a sudden, the city says it

is unsafe. (laughs) They don’t want

to see all you rich tourists being

swallowed.

DE

(image) http://www.thetraveltart.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/07/Adolf-Hitlers-Bunker-Is-A-Carpark-Downfall-Film-Parody-Time.jpg

Turning A Novel Into Film – Characters On The Loose

screenplay_square

When adapting a novel manuscript to a film script, I realize it will take a whole host of other people to tell me how successful I might be. I’ve done this twice before, and realize that I must not only ignore my usual method of writing, but often go exactly against it.

I attempted to “learn” how to write for film. I read many instruction books, attended classes and workshops, and had meetings with people. I read many film scripts, which did help me accept the (to my eye) arcane format. But the one thing that actually turned me visual, was the comment of a writer/editor friend who said, after reading my attempt, “I can’t see it.”

That is, it did not cause visual action in her mind.

And I understood.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle is to accept that a movie is not a book, and that changes, additions and omissions will be necessary. As with a play, there is a finite time limit, that generally clocks in under two hours. The threads and plot points of a movie are different. And the characters (I swear) feel this freedom, and choose to accentuate other aspects of themselves than revealed in a novel.

The very fact their paragraphs of dialogue are best reduced to two or three lines makes them uppity. And because they can, in mere seconds, be in diverse locations, performing radically different actions, they become exact without apology. They don’t have to fill in the spaces.

The writer has to fill in the spaces however, and do so with visual stimulation. The transitions have to be swift and their descriptions exact. The road is always the fast lane and the characters kick the tires with gusto.

DE

(image) http://www.indiewire.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/11/screenplay_square.jpg

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