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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 7:28 am 
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AMENDED NOTE:
This post and the following thread chronicles what was to be a film written and directed by me but then devolved into something quite different. The following post was what was originally written about the project, but following it you will gradually see what has unfortunately happened to it. This was originally a private thread, since the film was not formally announced. It has now been opened for public viewing.


Well guys, from March 1-12 I will be in Orlando, Florida for a first-time visit/vacation. I'll be staying with a friend, Samuel Johnson, who lives there that is a BIG Jurassic Park and Jurassic Time/Hammond Memoir fan; so essentially a loose Trespasser fan himself. ;) Well, he does amateur little film productions with people there, and he apparently is able to get a boat to go to this little offshore island nearby. And he had this idea that, while I am there, we will do a short film based on Trespasser. He asked me to write and direct it. We've already cast our Anne, and we're ready to roll when the time comes. Just a few more props they wanna make.

However, I should emphasize: this is low budget. This is being filmed in essentially just a day or so, since we have limited time on the island. Also, I have no idea who most of the people I am working with are, including the girl playing Anne. However, I know films really well, have done all kinds of work on film related things, used to be in theater for many years, and of course have written large works including a novel (which I am still revising my big one). So, like any film production: who knows how it will turn out for sure. But the desire and effort is all there.

There are a few other interesting things to note. Being the director, I have a vision for how I want this to turn out. Part of my vision is to show NO dinosaurs. For a few reasons: budget, and also having lack of one for it to look cheesy. Also, the way I wrote the story, it is ambiguous if what Anne is experiencing on the island is really happening or if she is just being delirious and imagining things or exaggerating. You'll see what I mean when you read it. You will however hear the dinosaurs, see interactions with the environment, and you will also hear John Hammond; straight from Trespasser. Yep, no re-casting required; we're playing that up essentially how it is done in the game. However, I am taking the clear Alpha files of Hammond (that I used for Jurassic Time Anniversary Edition) and am adding my own echo to them so they will sound better quality than in the retail game. Music will likely just be Bill Brown's score. Since this is not made for any profit, not even YouTube monetization, I am not worried about using any of these materials (besides, JT has been on YouTube, on my channel and others, for many years and the only videos that ever get flagged of any kind are the ones with John Williams music, lol).

I am crediting Austin Grossman as part of the writing because a huge amount of the dialogue is straight from the game, but reworked to fit the way the story is told. Of course, I have added some of my own dialogue as well. Fans like you guys will be interested to see how I changed certain things around: including the location of Anne's heart tattoo. Spoiler: it isn't on her chest. While it makes it a little less faithful, it is done mostly for taste for the girl playing her, and for the audience.

So, wish me luck on this! Luckily we'll know fairly soon if this works out well enough (I can see this being released in April, most likely). For now, below is a link to the script. Since I am posting this in the private forum, I think it's clear I don't want everyone seeing this yet.

Tell me your thoughts!

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[script removed due to possibility of being filmed again]


Oh, and, this is our Anne, apparently:

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Continue to Page 2 to directly read the next relevant posts...

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 3:39 pm 
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So, let me guess: Anne's tattoo is now on the sole of her left foot, and she has to lift it in order to see how she's doing health-wise... ;)

I'm going to take a look at your script later (I have to go out in a while, I'm shaving right now), and afterwards I'll shred it to pieces and write you a new one. So, don't worry, the film won't be a disaster after all. ;)

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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:24 pm 
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Go for it, Scal. The project is certainly unique (and ambitious).


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PostPosted: Wed Feb 20, 2019 11:24 pm 
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Go for it, Scal. The project is certainly unique (and ambitious).


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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:11 am 
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OK, I'm going to be picky. Ready or not, here I come.

First of all, scrap the "final draft" line on the very first page, since I'm revising it. :P

At the end of page 2 (or 3), LOSE THOSE EXCLAMATION MARKS!!!!!!!!!! Just be descriptive. Something like "A howling wind can be heard outside the passengers' cabin, interspersed with thunder, and shouts and screams on the inside. The plane is hitting severe turbulence and can be seen shaking, then it enters a dive and crashes into the ocean with a huge splashing sound. Water starts to rush inside the passengers' cabin." (BTW, you don't intend to have Anne locked inside the bathroom, throwing up due to the turbulence, just before things go awry?)

Then on Page 3 (or is that 2? you have two different numberings there...) you need to change that paragraph to:
Quote:
[...] but then something else is noticed lying facedown in the rhythmically steady water: ANNE, a woman in her early thirties.

(You have to describe her in her first appearance, and give her name, even if it's not spoken, since it's the one that appears on the script.)

BTW, for the previous page, you need to specify that JILL is a female caller leaving a message on the answering machine, something like this:

Quote:
The answering machine records the call as it is heard. As it happens, the camera pans away from the answering machine and focuses on a strange native mask behind the chair, planted on the wall. The caller, JILL, is a female of nondescript age but whose voice sounds clear.


Lose the "Or were they beckoning her?" part in the description of the birds chirping, it's just your personal comment, doesn't really have a point on a shooting script. If this were a novel, it would make sense, but not here.

The same with "She wasn't sure if it was even a bird at all." when she hears a different noise, that's another line whose place is in a novel, but not in a shooting script. Again, for that "She was on an island, potentially alone, after all." line shortly thereafter. Replace "Shriek!" with somethink like "A shriek can be heard coming from among the vegetation." and remove that "She had scared whatever was there.", as you aren't explaining anything to the reader, again (shooting script, not novel, remember...!)

Change that "The forest around her starts to feel dangerous and sinister." line to something like "ANNE turns her head around in both directions, suddenly realizing that the forest around her has started to feel dangerous and sinister.".

Then this paragraph:

Quote:
She is sweating like crazy, and not just from the island's tropical atmosphere anymore. She doesn't know where to go or who to find for help. Up ahead she sees a clearing of some kind. Anything to get out of the thick trees and whatever dangers may be lurking behind them.


Can be shortened to:

Quote:
She is sweating like crazy. She doesn't know where to go or who to find for help. Up ahead she sees a clearing of some kind.


And the following:
Quote:
Suddenly, SHE SLIPS! FALLS! ROLLS!
SLAM!
She hits right into a tree.
Everything goes black.


should become something like:

Quote:
Suddenly, she slips, falls and rolls down the sloping terrain, finally slamming her head right into a tree.
FADE TO BLACK.


On the next scene change

Quote:
8. EXT – THE CLEARING AHEAD
Light returns. Anne opens her eyes, slowly. [...]


To something like:

Quote:
FADE INTO:

8. EXT – THE CLEARING AHEAD
Anne opens her eyes, slowly. [...]


Then change this part:

Quote:
BOOM! BOOM!
The ground trembles. Something gigantic is making its way to Anne. [...]


To something like:

Quote:
We hear some booming sounds and see the ground trembling as something gigantic is making its way to Anne. [...]



Remember, unlike a novel or a short story, where the writer addresses the reader directly and has the objective of generating an emotional reaction through the written words in the page, a shooting script is actually a detailed instruction manual for the actors, director, cameramen, composers and SFX technicians (maybe I 'm forgetting someone on the list, but nevermind), telling them how they are supposed to do their jobs, and it's the combined result of all their performances that will in turn generate the emotional responde from the audience, not the written script itself...

(Aren't you glad you have me around here to help?) ;)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 5:42 am 
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BTW, I always figured out Anne was on spring break from the university when she took that trip, so that would make her not thirty something, but rather, in her early twenties...

Also, shoot all the scenes several times from different angles if needed; don't shoot a part of the scene from an angle, than pause, move the cameras to a different angle, shoot the rest of the scene, etc., as the result will feel unnatural. And if the director isn't convinced, he can have the scene re-shot again.

Also, since the director can (and should) be giving directions to the cast and crew while filming, bring back your cast later to re-dub their lines after the final edit is done, and add them together with he music and sound effects. This is better done playing back the movie with the original soundtrack and with the cast reading from the script directly into a microphone at the proper moments (while listening to the soundtrack on headphones, so that it isn't recorded too). Repeat the recording if needed, too.

EDIT: also, the ending somehow reminds me of Sandy Collora's "Batman: Dead End" short film. Personally, I would change the final scene to something like this (even though it may seem clichéd):

Quote:
11. EXT – THE CLIFF

---she suddenly reaches a cliff! She almost falls over in her panic, sending rocks knocking over the edge and into the water. She gasps, and turns around in a frantic fury, facing the oncoming attack. She points her gun ahead, takes out the gun's clip (or the cylinder, if it's a revolver) as she hears a raptor approach, and looks at it before returning it to its place.

ANNE
Only one bullet left.

She lowers the gun. The roars are louder now: they are presumably right in front of her. She turns her head to face the distance beyond the cliff. Anne's eyes are weary, tear-laced, with her energy and spunk washed away. The wind creeps around her, she closes her eyes. She remembers a moment from Hammond's memoir:

HAMMOND
I stood on the lip of the cliff, the wind blowing my hair. And just for an instant I stood alone, unprotected in the Jurassic wilderness. Before me the jungle spread out, and I saw that a savage, primal age had begun again.

Anne's eyes are still closed. She slowly points the gun at herself.

FADE TO BLACK.

A few instants later, we hear a loud roar, followed by a gunshot.


EDIT2: Also, I'm wondering if you're intending to use this ID card, damaged so that both the upper and right edges can't be read:

https://web.archive.org/web/19980703020 ... ustin.html

EDIT3: also, I'd make that bloodied polaroid one of Anne herself, sitting at a restaurant table on the street of a Costa Rican town, smiling while she's holding a tropical drink on her hand, with her backpack lying next to her on top of the table. (Honestly, who'd try to take a polaroid of a dinosaur that's attempting to eat him/her instead of taking some defensive measures?)

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:17 pm 
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Thank you Machf for your look at the script and the suggestions. I will definitely take them into account, although stubborn me still won't be changing some things. ;) To be fair, I have never written a real script before. I am much more versed in writing stories/novels. Most of what I knew of script writing actually came from examining the different scripts, from different writers, of the Jurassic Park films. It should also be noted I wrote this in only two days, haha. ;) So I think some of my more sloppy details are due to that. We also are going to be very crunched for time; as mentioned we only have a day to actually shoot it and etc, so having shots and things be too detailed may not quite work in this case. Much of the look of the film will also depend on the environment; for which I have yet to see, lol. I am assured that my script reflects what is available however.

Btw, the polaroid picture I talk about is something of an accident; as if the camera went off on its own during a tussle and the picture came out.

Anyhow, I will go through it with your notes and make some changes. And definitely will recommend to them that the film be re-dubbed since we are obviously filming on location.

What did you (or anyone else) think of how the game was adapted in this short form? Given the confines of what I am having to work with, and etc.? Do you like the angle of Anne potentially imagining half of what is happening?

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:37 pm 
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Though I haven't professionally written a script or directed a movie/video (yet), I've taken lessons from people who do that for a living, and I've had the chance to write and be assistant director while studying as part of those classes. My first reply lists the stylistic corrections, while the second one consists of my suggestions on how I'd personally do it.

Oh, I forgot to mention, I hope you don't actually have your actress running towards the edge of a real cliff; instead, do two different takes, one of her running towards what appears to be a cliff (but actually shouldn't be anything deeper than a small ditch) and stopping at the last moment, and then another one of the camera looking down from atop a real cliff's edge (taking all the necessary precautions before doing so). Otherwise, I've got a feeling that when you return from that island there might be a (female) person missing (and a freshly dug grave). And then the police may go looking for you to ask you some questions...

EDIT: You may add a third take from the base of the cliff to your actress looking down from the top, to give the audience another idea of how tall the cliff is. Since she'd be partially blocked by vegetation (I hope), she can be safely secured by tying her to a tree behind her or something, just to be sure...


scallenger wrote:
Btw, the polaroid picture I talk about is something of an accident; as if the camera went off on its own during a tussle and the picture came out.

Then maybe a dinosaur foot and a pool of what appears to be blood would be more appropiate... the camera going off while pointing downwards as it fell from the hands of whoever was holding it.

scallenger wrote:
Do you like the angle of Anne potentially imagining half of what is happening?

Yes, and with my suggestion of the polaroid being one from Anne smiling in Costa Rica, it would add to it, as you don't see any dinosaurs in it either and would be left with the doubt in your mind... that final after-credits shot would be of her backpack washing ashore and the polaroid right next to it, floating in the water. But that's my vision, not yours.

scallenger wrote:
What did you (or anyone else) think of how the game was adapted in this short form? Given the confines of what I am having to work with, and etc.?

It's a pretty well done adaptation of the storyline given the time and budget limitations.

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PostPosted: Thu Feb 21, 2019 9:45 pm 
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Oh yeah, I don't plan to really harm the actress playing Anne haha. She's too pretty! ;) And good suggestions on how to go about the cliff bit. I still don't even know how high the cliff really is haha. But of course with film I can make it look steeper than it really is.

I definitely like the footprint idea, and will DEFINITELY throw in the knapsack washed ashore!

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 1:47 am 
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A little too pressed for time to read the posts after the first one but this project sounds pretty fun. I do want to put in my suggestion that you DO put a dinosaur on-screen, if only for one shot. We have excellent Trespasser bluescreen capacities.

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 2:33 am 
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Love the sounds of this, even if it is only a short film! I'm very interested to see how it turns out. While I only glanced through the script as I'm a bit pressed for time (going to go do my review of Ruins next :wink: ), I'd like to offer my own two cents on this one, with consideration placed on the circumstances, shooting time and budget of your film.

I would honestly compress that script of yours down a bit more and lose a fair bit of dialogue, maybe only keeping a few of the most recognizable/key lines, and reduce the amount of runtime overall to be more of like a "montage" sort of thing. Keep the key scenes and moments that you know are important, and then shorten the transitory sequences in-between so that we move from beat-to-beat rather than have a beat-pause-beat sequence. This is of course considering you only have one day to shoot, and of course afterward you can do some editing to remove the slower parts. Just some suggestions to think about. :) I really want to see this succeed without being too much for you guys to handle with what you're working with.

I imagine something more along the lines of this. Never mind the flashy FX, I'm talking soley about the pacing and the way we go from scene-to-scene:

All the key beats of the game are in there, and we go from one thing to the next without much pause in-between. It still, however, manages to get in everything you expect to see in a Left 4 Dead-themed short film (and then some extra stuff that quickly derails it). You've already got all of the key moments in your script, but I think the extended scenes in-between drag it out a bit more than necessary.

And definitely take machf's points into account, as he made some really good ones. :wink:

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PostPosted: Fri Feb 22, 2019 4:06 am 
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Hmmm, the script is already formatted for like 12 minutes. Do you really think it needs to be shorter? It may end up like a student short on which I took part, where the "making of" video ended up being longer... (and in the end, the writer/producer -yes, not even the director- decided to scrap the whole short, so apparently the "Making of" video is all that survives.)

BTW, that's another suggestion: get someone to record everyone else while you're shooting the short. "Making of"/"Behind the scenes" videos can be a good addition to fanmade short films.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 4:40 am 
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machf wrote:
Hmmm, the script is already formatted for like 12 minutes. Do you really think it needs to be shorter? It may end up like a student short on which I took part, where the "making of" video ended up being longer... (and in the end, the writer/producer -yes, not even the director- decided to scrap the whole short, so apparently the "Making of" video is all that survives.)

Not necissarily shorter by a significant margin, just trimmed down to more like 8-10 minutes to remove the in-between stuff. I guess it depends mostly on the pacing, and scallenger obviously has his own vision for what it will be like (which is most likely different from mine). Still, I do think trimming most of the fat and going straight from setpiece to setpiece is the way to go as it will ensure the audience remains interested as well as help to get everything done in the amount of time you have. Even a 10 minute short might take an entire day to film, remember.

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 5:03 am 
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The problem is that if you trim too much, you may end up with just the bones... I think it should keep enough to be recognizable as Trespasser, and not just the story of some random castaway on an uninhabited island in the middle of nowhere.

EDIT: also, a note to scallenger: maybe Anne shouldn't walk for a while and then sit on a rock and have her monologue, but instead, she'd have her monologue while walking, then she sits down on the rock at a certain point... you save on "dead time" that way, and having the camera fixed on someone speaking a long monologue tends to bore the audience, so you may kill two birds with one stone. Use different camer angles as Anne walks past the vegetation on the island reciting her monologue. Give me awhile and I may attempt a rewrite of that particular scene. (Going to take a showe right now, before getting ready to go to bed.)

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PostPosted: Sat Feb 23, 2019 7:43 am 
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machf - what I was trying to describe is exactly what you suggested in your edit, that sort of thing. Avoiding "dead time" by giving the audience something to be interested in. I don't think any of the scenes themselves should be cut, just executed in such a way as to keep the story/action flowing from start to finish.

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