Category Archives: Writing

Listening to Scriptnotes Episode: 371 Writing Memorable Dialogue

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Listening to Scriptnotes Episode: 370 Two Things at the Same Time

Mandy: Scriptwriter: £7.83 per hour

Ted2018: Mikhail Zygar: What the Russian revolution would have looked like on social media?

I was recently asked to think of ideas for a video game. Project1917 has potential. I like the way the history of the revolution unfolds, with contemporary comment and breaking news, organised into a Twitter style timeline. It is an interesting way to understand the history of the revolution. It also has the potential to explore alternative histories. What happens when you change something? There is the potential to end up with a vast array of alternate histories. It makes me think of Len Dayton’s SS-GB, postulating a United Kingdom occupied by Germany during World War II. Or Alan Moore’s comic book Watchmen, speculating an alternative history emerging from the discovery of superheroes in the 1940s. Their presence allows the United States to win the Vietnam War, changing the political landscape of the United States. The thing that is interesting about both these examples is the way they use changed historical events to fuel a drama. There is something to be explored in taking real historical events, adding or subtracting an element, and dramatising the outcome.

Listening to On The Page 577. The Idea

Six word stories #29

Six word stories #28

Listening to Scriptnotes Episode: 369 What Is a Movie, Anyway?

The Atlantic: David Kohn: When Gut Bacteria Change Brain Function

There’s a premise for a screenplay in here somewhere. It could be a “House MD” style medical detective story. A patient’s behaviour suddenly changes, presenting with what looks like autism, but they’re fifty. Test upon test leave the team stumped, until they discover a recent trip abroad introduced an unfamiliar bacteria to the patients gut. The happy ending version of this story has the team introducing healthy bacteria, restoring the patient to full health. There’s also a “Lorenzo’s Oil” type story in there. Parents struggle to raise their child with severe behavioural problems. Setting out on a mission to help their child, they take on experts, challenge orthodoxy, and discover an imbalance of bacteria in their child is causing the problem. I could also see this premise being more sinister. A pandemic story. Our germaphobic heroine starts to see the people around her change, congregating like bees in a hive, as the bacteria spreads. Our heroine hooks up with a small group trying to evade this new “normal”, and find a way to fight back. I envision something more akin to “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” than “28 Days Later”. It has the potential to explore issues of power and control and normalisation.

Gerry Potter: Fuck All

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