Thursday, 15 January 2015

From Script to Screen - Idea development

Following on from my initial idea, I have thought of how to make the story make more sense and how to demonstrate that the story is based around a serial killer, and not just about one set of murders, as well trying to include the wheelbarrow, in the story. Below, I have described the three scenes, in detail, that I will put together:

Scene 1:
The story begins showing a family, a Mother, a Father and a Son, walking through an empty area of the town centre. They decide to go into a green photo booth, as they pass it, and choose to take funny pictures. They come out of the photobooth and take their pictures out of the machine. The family then turn around and see a silhouetted figure holding a gun to them. The camera then shots the figure on the right and the family on the left. The father tries to reason with the figure, before the mysterious person shoots the mother, then the father and leaves the son to stand over his parents bodies as their red blood pours across the floor. The scene then ends with a shot of the reflection of the bodies in the son's eyes.

Scene 2:
25 years later from scene 1, the camera focuses on an old, deteriorating farm house. The scene then goes to a shot of an alarm clock, which wakes a man up. He is wearing only pyjamma bottoms. He is a slim individual, but is well kept and tidy, with regards to hair. He sits up on his bed, wipes his eyes and heads for the bathroom. It then goes to a shot of the man getting dressed into an old, wrinkly suit and putting black leather gloves on. The camera then follows the man into a dark room. He turns the one dangling light on, and it shows a man tied to a chair, with a large cut to his head. We then discover that the man tied up is a detective, who is investigating missing people in the area. The man starts asking the detective questions. He is well spoken and very polite, and elegant as he paces round the small room. The two continue to exchange words. The man proceeds to the detective and pulls a knife to his throat, and slowly creates a deep wound, as the blood pours out and the detective screams in agony. The camera continues to focus on the detective's body, as the man leaves the room whistling. Shortly after he brings a wheelbarrow into the room, and starts to un-tie the body and he then pulls the man into the wheelbarrow. The camera then follows the man, pushing the wheelbarrow into the garden. He then hears a knock at the door. The camera then goes to a shot of the door as the man opens the door. The camera then shows a man asking about screams he thought he heard. The man acts surprised and invites him in to confirm nothing is wrong. The door then closes in the camera's face, to end the scene.

Scene 3:
The scene begins showing an interrogation room at a police station. There is a table, and chair either side, one of which is occupied by the man from scene 2. We see the man remain perfectly still as he looks straight in front of him. A detective walks in, the man welcomes him and invites him to sit down, which he does after a big sigh. The detective confirms our suspicions that the man is the son from scene 1. The camera continues to show the same view. Detective on the left, table in the middle and the man on the right. The man is smiling. The detective begins by asking him if he knew what happened to his co-worker (who died in scene 2). He then begins to ask him about his parents death, the man's smile remains constant. The man confirms what we believe to have happened. The detective then tells the man that they found the photos from the night of their murder. It shows that the man was not part of the photos, and that the photos show a mother, father and daughter.The camera then goes to a shot of the man looking at the floor. We then begin to hear the man chuckle. He claims "They never cared of me after her". The detective looks suspicious. The detective then says "You've been running all your life". We then find out the detective found the photos in the wheelbarrow, as the dead detective had taken them and had slipped out of his pocket. We also discover the man had buried the detective in the garden, and had abandoned the farm house. The man then explains his hatred for his parents, as his sister's birth made them forget about him and no longer treat him, and would prefer to spend time with their daughter. We then learn that as the father was a former soldier he still had a hand gun secured in his room, that the son had found and used to kill his parents and take his sister. The detective asks what happened to his sister. The man chuckles once more. The man says "As I stood of their bloody corpse', I felt so free. It was a revolution. I loved it. The moment was perfection. And do you know what? It felt so much better when it was her blood that was I was holding in my hands". The scene ends with a close up shot of the man's increasing smile.

I'm quite pleased with this idea, although I think the wheelbarrow needs to be included a little more. It appears that I seem to be going with my initial idea, once again, and not fully experimenting. So, I think I need to look at a few more ideas, before fully committing to this one.


  1. Hi Dan - good to see you getting some thoughts down on here. I would just remind you of the one minute running time - in that final scene alone you've got so much stuff to make available to the audience, I don't think it's practical - and likewise, yes, the wheelbarrow etc isn't really being used in a transformative way. The tone of your story is very dark - but serial killers can be used for comic effect too.

    The Photo Booth is being used as a location, so maybe it needs to feature more - might it not be the way the killer is choosing his victims? I can help but think about this movie as a reference:

  2. Hi Phi.
    Do you think it would a good idea to show the photobooth and what really happened when he's talking about it in Scene 3, or is that too cliché? I did think that scene 3 seems a bit too long, so I will obviously need to do some tweaking. I have thought of making the serial killer a bit more fun, and easy to relate to, so obviously I still have some more thinking to do.

  3. Hi dan

    Some impressive thoughts gone into these and I think as a project this could be a very gripping story. The main issue I'm seeing is that due to the dialogue and the action, scenes two and three feel like they could fill one minute on their own if not more so the best suggestions I can give are to either focus on one of these acts while bringing your elements into more focus, or search around for another idea. So I agree with Phil that your prop and location should perhaps feature more. They have involvement in their respective scenes but perhaps their presence should be more over-arching.

    The scenes you describe also feel more like acts. Scene 2 for instance I can see five areas that would count as scenes (house exterior, bedroom, dark room, garden, porch/hallway) rather than the entire section being one scene.

    Perhaps look into Jack Nicholson's performances; It's still dark but if I remember his acting did get a few laughs from classmates when we saw The Shining.

  4. Hi Mark.
    Thanks for your feedback. I think it's necessary to cut parts out of the scenes for them to fit into the one minute, if I do continue with this idea. I will explore the possibility of making the serial killer more comedic. I agree that Jack Nicholson would be a good source of inspiration. Hopefully, I can get these issues, especially the length of each scene and use of prop/setting sorted. Thank you. :)

    1. As I said earlier today I like the idea of the story being told in flashbacks. You don't have to restrict yourself to a linear time-frame.

      Maybe the serial killer could audibly narrate the flashback? Not every moment, but the key points.

    2. I was thinking about having him narrate over the flashback, and maybe have a few flashes to the detective he carried away with the wheelbarrow. Thank you. :)