Wednesday, April 08, 2009

Bark: SMASH CUT TO...

I'm pleasantly surprising myself with Script Frenzy. We're eight days in, and I've already clocked up a fairly staggering 44 pages. I think I'm actually going to overrun the 100 page target by a good 10 pages or so, but I've got everything planned out in my head as to how the story is going to work.

Due to time constraints, I've made quite a few significant changes to characters and events in the game, which would no doubt upset quite a few fanboys if this film ever made the light of day. But since annoying fanboys is one of my biggest aims in life right now, that's okay.

SPOILERS BEGIN HERE

One of the biggest changes from the game is that I've aged Mission from a teenager into a woman in her early twenties, basically because I thought having a 14 year old girl zooming about space with a group of 30-plus men was a bit creepy. The more dramatic reason making her older was so that I could set up a classic love triangle between Mission, the protagonist and Bastila. I've also killed off Zaalbar before they even leave Taris, mainly for dramatic purposes ('surely he's not going kill the cute fuzzy-wuzzy?' - yes I am!), but also because (despite looking like one, as my good lady always reminds me whenever she wants me to have a shave) I don't like wookiees that much - and there's not really much you can do with one in terms of characterisation. And given that there simply isn't time in the film to deal with Zaalbar's exile sub-plot from the game, he's otherwise pretty much surplus to requirements.

Carth is also a good deal less angsty in my version of the story, just to make him more likeable, though Bastila wouldn't be Bastila if she wasn't taking haughtiness to noble levels. I haven't had to do too much with Canderous, though he doesn't stick around for long after they get to Dantooine. Jolee makes his appearance as he does in the game - on Kashyyyk - and sticks around from that point. I've not quite gotten there yet, but Jolee's a fun character in the game. He should be nice to write scenes for.

I've cut Juhani and T3-M4 from the story entirely, since like Zaalbar, they're just extra mouths to feed in terms of screen time. They're not strictly needed to drive the plot onward, so I might give them background cameos at some point, but that's about it.

One character I'm not quite decided on yet is HK-47. We're skipping Tatooine entirely, since there's no real reason to have to visit more than one star map in the film. At the risk of a whole internet's worth of Nerd Rage being directed at my inbox, I think I'm going to cut him. I'm loath to do so, given that he has all the best lines in the game, but I'm not sure there's enough slack in the screen time available to be able to do him any sort of justice at all. I'm kind of tempted to conflate his character with that of Calo Nord, as a secondary antagonist, since it makes more sense to have a psycho-killer robot working for the bad guys rather than the heroes, but again, I'm undecided at this point. I'll probably save that decision for a re-write.

SPOILERS END HERE

I'm really amazed at just how well things are going so far. I've even got my ending sorted out, and it's much more bitter-sweet than I originally thought it was going to be. I'm not going to reveal too much now, but let's just say not everyone gets a happy ending...
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