From Script to Screen OGR - 1


  1. OGR 24/01/17

    Hi Maddi - I think you've got the makings of a very sweet story here :) It's a classic scenario and something to which we can all relate. The trick for you is to ensure that you communicate everything you need to visually and really think about what the audience needs. For example, I can imagine a scene where the daughter goes into her trailer/caravan, which is papered with posters celebrating the 'Family Circus' and its various sell-out shows through history (so we know that this family tradition has been going on for many, many years), and we see her turning the posters around, as, on the back are famous posters for great operas and opera singers - her secret). I think too that maybe you need to consider some character design ideas - for example, if you imagine that the girl is in fact part of a great family of trapeze artists or similar - indeed, her sisters are these skinny, gymnastic girls, while our heroine is round and a bit goofy - so she sweeps the floors, mucks of the elephants etc - her value isn't noticed, but neither is allowed to leave the family business. I can imagine her turning those posters around in her trailer to see all this big, bosomy opera-singers:

    So, there's a subtext here about unconventional beauty or value or self-worth - it could all be achieved visually - simply though contrasting character designs - it would just be there in the themative weave of your story.

    I think the fireworks wrecking the performance is fine - you just need to ensure the idea of the circus and its spectacular firework displays is given to the audience from the very beginning - so they're in shot (in the background somewhere) and that 'Spectacular Fireworks' is also on the various posters that we see. This will stop them from just 'turning up' when the story needs them, which is always a weakness in terms of plot. I think you need to really look at your Act 1 and Act 2 - i.e. setting up the goals and obstacles of your character.

    (I'm just imagining a scene - a flashback - when the sisters are first being costumed for the trapeze act or whatever; the camera pans right, showing us the first sister, looking poised and lovely in her leotard and tutu, likewise the second sister, and then we get to our main character, who is looking short, plump and comedic in her leotard get-up, and we see the sisters giggling and the father and mother exchange glances... next shot, your character is sweeping the floor...)


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