Tuesday, 21 January 2014

OGR - From Script to Screen.


  1. OGR 23/01/2014

    Hey Ruby,

    My first instinct is that your story needs to be much snappier - and that it's still in need of a better reveal or twist. This doesn't mean changing your story, but rather staging it more effectively and figuring out what the 'punchline' is. For me, the really important thing is for ending to play against the audience's expectation. We fully expect the customer to be furious at her disastrous 'make-over' because everything has gone so badly wrong; we've seen this with our own eyes, so I think you need to have more fun with staging the twist.

    A suggestion that makes much better use of the fire-extinguisher: firstly, I suggest you keep the customer's goal much more simple; she's coming in for her 'usual' boring hair cut - the hair cut she always has. She sits in the chair. We are shown the chair creaking in complaint etc. Then, various things go wrong (and I think you need to think much more about a domino effect of small problems building up into bigger problems), which has the hairdresser literally tying himself up in knots to prevent disaster. Personally speaking, I don't think the hairdresser turning himself into a chair is 'contortionist' enough; indeed, if the chair is actually allowed to collapse, meaning that the 'hair heater' falls onto her head too, this accounts for the smoke. Finally, the stressed hairdresser deploys the fire-extinguisher in a big gust, and the whole screen goes white with the spray; and then, slowly, very slowly, the cloud clears and we see the hairdresser looking terrified, we see the the customer's eyes bulging with fury - and then, as the last of the extinguisher clears, the customer sees her reflection, and somehow, all the disasters have contributed to giving her a wild new look - black spiky hair - and she bloody well LOVES it. The very final scene is an outside shot of the hairdressers with a huge queue of women outside of it, and we just hear the sound of a fire-extinguisher being set off coming from inside the shop...

    In terms of the string of disasters that build up to the chair collapsing, these could be issues with spilled hair-dye or face-masks being splattered about - in other words, all the mini-disasters add up to the customer's 'new look' in the final reveal. In terms of what starts the disaster itself, you'll need to establish something in the initial set-up; I'm guessing you've seen some of the Final Destination movies, in which a small component or element of a room or thing malfunctions, thus causing a knock-on effect that gets bigger and bigger. For example, imagine you've got a third character now; the customer has one of those annoying little dogs with her - in her clutch bag, or whatever - and it's the dog that kicks off the series of problems that see the hairdresser have to grab this and then that; the woman could be sent spinning in her chair like a top, as all hell breaks loose!

    Look at this famous advert from Honda as an example of what I mean by 'escalation' of action:


    It's not that your story isn't working, Ruby - I just think you need to think more like an animator in terms of all the potential for action and 'squash and stretch' and slapstick - and I also think you actually need a more satisfying ending; you need to surprise us, and I think using the fire-extinguisher at the end to create a 'as the smoke clears' moment can give you that tension and then your final reveal.

    1. Oh I get you, like a one thing leads to another kind of reaction, ahhh okay. For some reason I have Looney Tunes in my head, like the crazy over the top stuff that happens. This has got my brain ticking again, Thanks Phil :).