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Script Help

What do you think?

Zombies, dude. Romero Style.22%[ 2 ]
Zombies, but do something different.56%[ 5 ]
No zombies. Something else.22%[ 2 ]

Total Votes : 9

Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 12:30pm

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Aculag

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OK. I'm currently writing a script that I intend to be about 90-120 pages. About average. I came up with the idea the other day after watching Night Of The Living Dead for the first time. I wanted to write a zombie flick about a brother and sister who are home alone for the weekend when an epidemic breaks out, and people start turning into zombies. It'd be more about sibling bonding than about fighting zombies, but still a lot of zombie goodness. But now, I'm not so sure...

I still want to write the script, but, should it be about zombies? I figure I have some options. So I'll do a poll (remember those!?).

Do a full on Living Dead zombie flick?

This would include obvious zombie cliches, and is my least favorite option. but I know people like zombie movies, and I'm actually going to try and sell this one, so I want to think seriously about what to do.

Make the zombies different somehow...

The zombies could just be people affected by some kind of poison or chemical (Resident Evil style), but I'd still want them to have some motives other than just, "must get flesh!" type stuff. This is the favored option by me.

Do something completely different?

This is also not much liked as an idea to me. I do want to do zombies, but if enough people tell me not to, I'm going to change it.

OK. So can I get some of your ideas and reasons for your votes in here? I'm going to be writing the script still as a zombie flick, until someone changes my mind. If that happens, that is.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 12:45pm

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Mellifluous

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Zombies are hardly the most original subject for a movie, so you could go for a kind of tongue in cheek style, using all the tricks & ideas used in other zombie flicks such as Resident Evil, the Living Dead & the Evil Dead series, & 28 Days Later.

If you want a humanistic storyline you could, for example, have the 2 characters stuck somewhere without any food with some other people, & they can't get out, so they resort to cannibalism & this sparks off the zombiness. I always wanted to do something like this, but set on the high seas, on a 18th century merchant vessel.

Hmm, it's a difficult one. I can see all sides. I'd personally want to go for a really original as possible angle.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 1:20pm

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Aculag

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Yeah, and getting a really original idea is what's really troubling me. I know I want it basically to feature only the two kids in their house. Something kinda similar to Night of the Living Dead, only with less people. But I also want it to end without any implication as to what happens to them. Meaning, no happy ending, and no "They both died" ending.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 1:31pm

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Mellifluous

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How many characters? just 2? If so, do both become zombies, or only 1?

Maybe you could experiment with make-up & have the siblings menaced by 2 mysterious zombies in the house, & these zombies are them in the future or something (just them with make-up).

Maybe the zombies are representative of something one of the siblings have always been afraid of. Maybe the house has bad associations for one of them & they reveal what it is, & their relationship becomes stronger because of that.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 2:02pm

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Aculag

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Well, like I said, I want it to not tell what happens to them, so obviously they can't be turned into zombies.

It's going to be really hard to get anything original out of a zombie movie, I think. Other than having a well written script, I'm thinking anything I do with it going to be cliche... I'm feeling put off about it now...
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 2:26pm

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elementcinema

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Okay I have an Idea, use the zombie idea only to a certain extent. Yes the zombies are out to get everyone etc, BUT the 2 kids are in the house alone. They locked themselves in the house so the zombies cant get them. so you dont really need any zombies at all except for some zombie references by the kids. or you can have a zombie in the window at one point.

Now, for the sibling bonding part, thats what the whole movie can be about. they can be arguing about the zombies trying to get them blah blah blah and then have personal subjects come about and they get upset with eachother. They then realize that they need to work together to survive and not fight with eachother because there is no point when there is a zombie pounding at your door. So basically just use the zombies as an excuse to get these kids to bond like never before seeing how it could be their last day of their lives.

Now using this concept you would need 2 GREAT actors/actress'. You want the tension to get high between the two for a good effect. you will want people to feel for these kids in their situation.

I dunno..it sounds all better in my head lol. cool
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 2:28pm

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elementcinema

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another thing, instead of using the term "zombies" think of something more original..unfortunately i cant think of one right now but if something comes up ill get back to you
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 2:29pm

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Aculag

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That was kinda my idea, element. I want them to have a pretty good relationship anyway, but still brother/sister, you know? Later today, I'll post what I have written so far so you can see how it's working.

I think the situation I have would scare the hell out of me if it was real, so maybe it'll actually work.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 2:30pm

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elementcinema

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okay, cant wait! good luck
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 2:32pm

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Mantra

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Hi Aculag!

I like elements suggestion, has promise.

Another possibility is to is to film it retrospectively, as the kids try to work out why they are not infected and how to resolve their situation. That way you could use fragmented flashback or selective memory scenes to set the tension and explain parts of the story.

Good luck!
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 2:36pm

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elementcinema

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thanks mantra..i like your idea too. ive always been fond of flash backs in movies. I first saw them in American History X and loved it.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 2:44pm

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Aculag

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I was thinking of doing something like that, but decided it's too overused. But... Perhaps... OK, I'll put up two versions of the script. One with a flashback, and one without.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 2:51pm

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elementcinema

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woooo!
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 2:52pm

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Mantra

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Flashbacks have been used alot, but like any technique if it's used correctly it can be a good story telling tool. If the emphasis is put on the kids trying to work out why, what, etc. it would lend itself to using selective retrospective methods.

Another option is to put more emphasis on the kids having no idea where they are or how they got there, like used in the film 'Cube'. Very effective and lent itself towards making it a character driven film.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 3:03pm

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Aculag

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I haven't seen Cube. I heard it wasn't very good.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 3:10pm

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Mantra

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Well, it's worth seeing so you can form your own opinion of it. It's a low budget film, cleverly filmed with minimal sets. Not a masterpiece, for sure, but there are good ideas for us no / low budget dudes to seek inspiration from. If nothing else it goes to show what you can do with well thought out lighting to change the same sets to look different, etc.

It was more the premise of the film rather than the movie itself I was referring to in my post.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 3:17pm

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Aculag

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I'll check it out.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 3:33pm

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Aculag

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Damnit! Final Draft crashed on me while I was typing. So it's going to be a while longer for the upload. Have to re-write 10 pages. LAAAAAAAME.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 3:45pm

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Mantra

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That sucks!
Better luck this time with the 10 pages...
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 4:58pm

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Spanish Prisoner

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make zombies who have brains, who are intelligent, who have an predator instinct. that would make a zombie movie a lot smarter, redefine zombies. and then there is a lone warrior, one of the last few members of the human race and he has to reach the other side of the country to find his wife and children, whom he thinks are still alive.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 5:02pm

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Spanish Prisoner

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or make a zombie movie which has practically the same beginning as Ridley Scotts ALIEN. You are on a boat or on a spaceship, whatever you want, you can't escape, thats important. Now one of the crew member gets infected by a virus or something like that and turns into a horrible zombie who's going to kill one crew member after another. so basically you can rely on suspense.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 5:05pm

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elementcinema

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zombies are over-used these days. so i would stick with the story mantra and I had goin for aculag. it was sorta his idea in the first place too. zombies werent really incorporated like other zombie movies because they are just used way too much. He wants a story about sibling bonding. just zombies just get that story going..
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 5:49pm

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Spanish Prisoner

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well I read your posts and I think the ideas you guys had are better and it wouldn't cost alot of makeup and such stuff, but then it's a more acting stuff, which is hard but then a challenge to do.

How about this: They are trying to figure out if there are any other people out there who aren't zombies or whatever creatures you are going to invent. Make them feel very isolated... the radio doesn't work, the TV is out of order after a few days or even hours. You only get a few fragmental news in the first few hours they are hiding in the house.

Or maybe the brother tries to be a hero and leaves the house for several hours to find other survivors, while the sister sits at home. We stick with her and are afraid he would never return. When he returns, he acts funny, but we don't know if its just what he has seen that's disturbing him or if he's been infected too.

just throwed some ideas around.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 5:52pm

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Aculag

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Final Draft is giving me a lot of problems. I just tried to save and it crashed again and took the script with it. So that's 10 pages down the drain again. It was pretty good too... Now I'm thinking the sibling bonding is too simple. It should be a story about human fragility, which is really what a lot of zombie flicks are about anyway, but this one can get into it a lot. Or something. Every time I lose this script, I want to stop making it completely. But I also don't. But I'm tired of being on my computer and having it be pointless, so I'm going to take a break.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 5:54pm

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elementcinema

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bummer, that sucks..as if a word document crashes on you lol. that must be the most frustrating thing in the world, especially after working on it for so long..
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 6:02pm

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Spanish Prisoner

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same happens to me with premiere, when I am working very fast and suddenly it crashes before I save all the tiny tweeks I've done... argh. I can feel the pain for work that's lost only because the computer or program crashes.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 7:58pm

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Aculag

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Yeah, it happens all the time when I edit, but it's worse when it's a word processor, because with video, at least you have images to go along with it. It's just a lot of words with word processors.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 8:26pm

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otteypm

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Does Final draft not have autosave or auto backup?
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 8:40pm

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Aculag

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Apparently not. Which is incredibly frustrating.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 11:32pm

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stqagehanduk

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I had an idea a couple of years back which would at least be different ...

There's an idea that living things have mana or anima or whatever you want to call life force, and there's an idea that images of things take energy from the thing itself. I had vague ideas of a mad Doll God going beserk and all the images of people - shop window dummies, puppets, dolls, everything - rising up and sucking the life out of everyone, turning them into statues and puppets themselves.

Just think ... if the sisters a soft toy and doll nut (as many women are) then you've got a whole bedroom full of jeopardy right there ...

Puppets are scary and dolls are creepy. No gore though - unless you make it so that the "living" puppets spray the red stuff when they're taken out. But its just a thought, and the fact I never used it probably is a fair indication of how great an idea it isn't.
Posted: Fri, 2nd Apr 2004, 11:37pm

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otteypm

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I flippin' love it, a muppet massacre, Meet The Feebles crossed with Braindead......
Posted: Sat, 3rd Apr 2004, 12:35am

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Aculag

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Wasn't Puppet Master just that?

Except, they didn't turn people into dolls..
Posted: Sat, 3rd Apr 2004, 12:08pm

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Mellifluous

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Chucky springs to mind...
Posted: Sat, 3rd Apr 2004, 12:26pm

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stqagehanduk

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The idea is that effigies have power - that's the whole point of sympathetic magic. When you create a simulacra then it is imbued with something of the essence of the original - or so the theory goes.

It was just a passing thought.
Posted: Sat, 3rd Apr 2004, 12:33pm

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Mellifluous

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Heh, haven't heard simulcrums mentioned since college - Jean Baudrillard or Luc Godard, right? crazy

From my recollection, simulcrums were things that weren't real. Ah, get your idea. It's a good idea, & I know that it was just a suggestion. It would work well if the object that was imbued with the life energy was something totally original... a la Ghostbusters smile
Posted: Sat, 3rd Apr 2004, 12:33pm

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stqagehanduk

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It could be quite creepy, actually ... a house surrounded by unmoving statues ad very time you look away, somehow, they're that little bit closer.

One of them brushes you, and your hand goes cold. You hold it up to the light and the fingers are stiff and shiny and plastic ...
Posted: Sat, 3rd Apr 2004, 3:31pm

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Aculag

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That is a pretty good concept, but it's not what I'm looking for with this one.
Posted: Sat, 3rd Apr 2004, 4:14pm

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Gibs

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Hmm. I voted "try something else", not in reference to something totally different, but maybe looking at the zombie aspect in a different light. Maybe something more like JohnCarter is doing with Recon. I don't know. I just think of the zombie style movies and I think of how dumb they all are. But you stated upfront that you wanted to avoid the standard cliches, so that's definitely good. smile
Posted: Sat, 3rd Apr 2004, 7:07pm

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stqagehanduk

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Rating: -1

Camp zombies! Will and Grace vs. The Gay Undead!
Posted: Sat, 3rd Apr 2004, 7:21pm

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Aculag

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stqagehanduk wrote:

Camp zombies! Will and Grace vs. The Gay Undead!
I had to rate that down because it adds absolutely nothing to this thread. Sorry.
Posted: Sat, 3rd Apr 2004, 10:01pm

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stqagehanduk

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It adds nothing! Its the only thing that would make Will & Grace watchable ...
Posted: Sat, 3rd Apr 2004, 10:09pm

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stqagehanduk

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Just show nothing. The phone is dead, the tv is static, everythings earily quiet, the power's out, the sun doesn't rise, and every now and again there's a faint scratching at the door and a blur you never see ...
Posted: Sat, 3rd Apr 2004, 11:04pm

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Aculag

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I think you would make a very interesting movie... Go for it.
Posted: Sat, 3rd Apr 2004, 11:32pm

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stqagehanduk

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Ah, well, I'm just making suggestions. That's not the movie I want to make right now.

It boils down to what you wnat to do with the two protagonists, really. If its about their isolation and terror then the zombies are a bit of a mcguffin, really. If its about wanting to do zombies, then you're stuck with the fact that speed 'em up, slow 'em down or dress them in chintz (re my earlier suggestion) they're still zombies.
Posted: Sun, 4th Apr 2004, 12:39am

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Aculag

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Yeah... Well, I wanted to make it a zombie flick, but you're right about no matter what it's "still zombies". Now I'm thinking that I don't really want to do any type of horror movie at all, since there is no way anyone can avoid the cliches when making a horror movie. So forget it.
Posted: Sun, 4th Apr 2004, 2:45am

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Spanish Prisoner

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how about something like Kubricks Shining. The two protagonist get mad and don't know if what they see and hear is reality anymore. In the end you as the audience and the protagonist will ask if they are save or not or something like that. That would put an open ending to your film. Like it was done with John Sayles Limbo, which is about isolation too and has one of my all time favourite endings.
Posted: Sun, 4th Apr 2004, 6:39am

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stqagehanduk

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Every genre has its pitfalls, but good horror is great. Challenge yourself!