Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Story
This story is about a woman whose husband has gone for a Secret Naval mission. The woman belongs to middle upper class and lives alone in a metropolitan city apartment. While the husband is away on the mission she waits for him in solitude.
Meera is 23 and she has many yearnings like any other woman of her age. But now since her husband is not around she has given up all hopes from life. The wait becomes too long for her to handle. There is social pressure on her to start a new life which she is not ready for. She goes through mental conflicts and finally becomes so loose that her decision making changes her course of life.
The story revolves around three phone calls, one from her husband saying he is leaving for the mission, other from the navy HQ saying his ship is missing and the search is going on and the last one from her mother who brutally tells her that there is no hope for her and she should start a new life looking ahead of him. Before the mother calls her she also receives a mail from her where she shows her concern and says the same thing.
Meera dreams that her husband has returned back. There is a conflict in her head while she gets caught deeper and deeper in her thoughts. She strongly believed that her husband will return but somewhere at the back of her head she knew that he won’t.
Cinematically the film runs in loops, a shot of her dancing under the fan repeats and the twist is revealed at the end when she is hanging from the same fan. Metaphorically the fan represents her life revolving at the same place at different paces.
After the call from her mother, Meera feels very scrawny and on receiving the letter from the Navy HQ, she decides not to open it. She senses it will be a bad news, so she gives up her life before knowing what’s in the letter.





Screenplay

We hear someone switch on the fan; black screen slowly fades out from the centre of the fan and the title of the film appears in the centre.
From the black screen the scene opens to a clock and the camera slowly zooms out. The calendar is hanging right next to the clock. As the camera zooms out we see a woman standing at the window looking at the hustle bustle of the street. We hear the street sounds which slowly soften.
Cut to photographs of the couple’s marriage. The camera slowly zooms out and the still shot of the woman standing at the window.
Cut to the phone on the table. Cut to her turning around and picking up the phone.
Back ground of the Mission the husband has left for - One of ONGC’s oil rigs have been captured by terrorists and they have taken all the employees of the oilrig as hostage and have asked for the release of their head in return for the hostages. The company has asked the government for help and the government is sending a special task force to the rig to free the hostages from the terrorists.
Husband- hey honey! I have some news.
Wife- what happened?
Husband- I am sure you have been listening to the news about the hijack of the ONGC oil rig and the hostages.
Wife: haan toh? (Yes ... what about it?)
Husband: I have been assigned as the officer in charge of a special task force to go get the hostages free. I will be leaving on the mission tonight. I love u honey! See you soon.
Byee.
Cut to her slowly keeping down the phone and then looking up at the fan.
Cut to a top shot of the woman dancing under the fan and smiling at the camera. The fan sound becomes louder as the camera zooms in the centre of the fan. The scene merges to flashbacks of her dancing merrily with her husband at the same place.
Cut to the clock moving fast and zooms out as the dates on the calendar also change rapidly.
The fan is suddenly switched off as the phone rings again (Audio). Meera is sitting in the other room. She hurriedly picks up her cell.

Navy officer: Hello Mrs Verma
Wife: yes.
N o: Hi! This is officer Shekhar calling from Navy HQ. I have some bad news. The ship your husband was on has gone missing since last night and since then we haven’t had any communication with them. A rescue ship has been sent. We will get back to you as soon as we get any further news. Take care. Jai Hind.
On hearing this Meera just stares at the camera for few moments and then falls back on her bed. Top shot of her staring at the fan as her tears flow. The camera then zooms into her eyes. The door bell rings and to her excitement it’s her husband on the door. She is so thrilled. She hugs him and that fades to the top shot of her going round and round under the fan and looking up at the camera. Slowly increases her pace. As soon as she stops and looks back at the door there is no one. She falls back on the floor and screams. The screen goes black..
Fade to- She wakes up only to realize her husband is not beside her. She turns around and spreads her hands on the other side of the bed. Slowly tears flow from her eyes.
Cut to flash backs of happy times with her husband. They are in the car, giggling and talking while driving.
Cut to the woman sitting and holding her head as she opens her eyes. she is in front of the computer. She is sweating and is breathless. Her hand reaches the switch as puts it on and then she moves the regulator to increase the speed. Cut to the fan going faster. Her face expression changes, she feels better. She receives a mail from her mother who shows concern and sounds worried.
Mail read as voice over – hey Meera! I haven’t been able to speak to you for so many days. Your brother had been taking me around America. Beta , its such a nice place. You should also come here. You ll feel better with all of us around. Each day I think of you and feel bad that my daughter is all alone, far from us.
Beta! I shouldn’t say this but have you thought what will you do if he doesn’t return? It’s been long now. You just can’t live like this. You have to move on. You are a young girl. I can only suggest you; rest is in your hands. We all are really worried about you here. Love you!
As she finishes reading, she breaths hard and then suddenly gets aggressive and throws the pillow to the camera.
Cut to the clock and the calendar. Then the camera slowly pans over their showcased photographs which is so dusty.
Cut to the phone ringing again.
Brother- hello Meera.
Meera- haan bhai!
Brother- how are u ? Any news about Vinod?
Meera- No
Brother- Meera, am telling you the government isn’t doing anything about it. It’s been two years now. You are just wasting your life waiting for him. The sooner you understand, the faster you ll get out of your miserable existence. You need to move on Meera. Vinod is gone… get it! He isn’t coming back.
(We all met Jc yesterday. You should talk to him. He is a nice guy. Well settled businessman and he always admired you.) Sound fades suddenly when the bell rings. She throws the phone on the sofa and gets up.
Cut to her feet walking towards the door.
Cut to the door. The door opens and she stretches out her hand to receive an envelope.
The camera focuses on the envelope which says it’s from the Navy department. Cut to a mid shot of her holding it and just blankly staring at it, eyes blood shot red.
Fade from the eyes to the black screen. We hear the fan sound going louder.
We see the woman hanging from the fan. She is dead. The room is silent. Everything is still, only the woman is rotating from the fan.
Black screen
The scene opens up with a long shot of the room and zooms in to the unopened letter lying on the floor beneath her.

camera angle explorations

video video

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Saturday, August 14, 2010

building the character



Rough Room model




Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Character Sketch-

Research- Character Psychology

The psychology of a character is the inner workings of their mind which define them and the way the think and act. Once you understand the psychology of your characters you should know exactly what they’d do in any situation you choose to put them in. Your job as a scriptwriter becomes so much easier because the character begins to write itself. To get to this stage though you need to put a lot of work into finding out what makes the character tick.

The Past Dictates The Future

Your character had a life before your story began. They had parental figures, they went to school and they interacted with the world around them. Along the way they will have gone through a series of events that shaped their character and attitudes. This is the backstory of the character.

If a character felt unloved as a child they may be driven by a desire to prove their worth and also find it hard to trust or love others. Sometimes an event in the past can lead to a serious phobia. In The Truman Show the creators of the show manufactured a phobia of water in Truman by having his father die at sea, this kept Truman in the pre-planned environment.
A lot of films have an underlying story of a character having to put their past demons to rest to overcome an external conflict.

You do not need to shoehorn in a great deal of information about your character’s past within your screenplay but it may be helpful to write a character biography to reference as you write.

The Unconscious (The Dark Side)

The vast majority of what drives and motivates us is not in the conscious, but the unconscious. We tend to repress a lot of our past events, experiences, thoughts and feelings that we consider unpleasant. This ball of negativity is carried around by our unconscious which drives us a lot more than our conscious.
It is no coincidence that the word conscious and conscience are so similar, they are both connected to one another. They are the moral side to our personality (the light) to the more cruel unconscious (the dark).

Applied to a character the unconscious manifests itself through their reactions, mannerisms and dialogue. There is a constant fight within a character between the conscious and unconscious. Upon hearing some bad news a character might react by wrecking an object, that is an impulsive unconscious reaction.

The unconscious has a long-term effect too, it may push a character into the same professional as their father in the hope of receiving more affection or to prove to themselves that they are better than their father.

Personality

There are basically two different kinds of personality when you cut it down to it’s bare bones - introverts and extroverts. Introverts prefer to be alone, spending their time focusing on self-improvement and finding their calling. They look within for the center of their life. Extroverts are the opposite, loving the company of others they are often very relationship driven.
To expand on the introvert/extrovert personality types there are also four types - sensation, thinking, feeling and intuitive.

Sensation: Sensation types live through their senses and they live in the now. They are tuned into the colors, smells, shapes, and tastes around them. Occupation wise they tend to be good at any job that is physical or sensory. This could be gardening, cooking, painting, etc. They are driven most of all by visual appeal.

Intuitive: The intuitive type is a dreamer, and very creative. They have a strong idea of what the future holds for them. Intuitive characters will act with future consequences in mind. They are well suited for jobs as artists, writers and entrepreneurs. Intuitive types are never found without a plan.

Thinking: As the name suggests thinking types like to use logic and deduction to solve problems. They base their thoughts on facts rather than faith or instincts. Thinking types make good businessmen/women, mechanics, detectives, etc. Inquisitiveness is a common trait amongst thinking types.

Feeling: Feeling types are emotional, empathetic and get on well with others. They don’t hide their emotions and are very upfront with others. Suited occupations include teachers, social workers, carers, etc. Feeling types often have many strong relationships.

Characters tend to have two of the above types which dominate their personality while the other two may still be apparent but take a backseat. Characters gain information through their sensations or intuition and then it is processed by their thoughts or feelings.

Strange Behaviour Makes For Interesting Characters


The line between sanity and insanity is not as clear cut as most people would like. While society would prefer that it was black and white, with the insane clearly marked by a rubber stamp, that isn’t the case. Like most things there are subtle shades of grey. While a phobia of snakes in an Englishman who’s never been in contact with them is nonsensical it is also quite common. The key difference between this and a man who believes that God is talking to them is that the second case can be a danger to others.
There are six basic types of abnormal behavioural patterns. Each pattern has a partner. There are manics, depressives, paranoids, schizophrenics, psycho/sociopaths and neurotics. To illustrate the relationships please see the diagram below.

Abnormal Characters

Just like the personality types (sensation, intuitive, thinking and feeling) a character won’t fall completely into one abnormal type. Manic-depressives vary between the two, as do paranoid-schizophrenics and psycho/socio-neurotics.
Manics: Manics have total self-belief, they believe they can achieve absolutely anything they set their mind to. The majority of comic book style villains are manics. Manics are very excitable and sociable, and like to be active. They aren’t happy with sitting back and letting things happen.
Depressives: Depressives are the opposite, they feel like their life is worthless and they can’t achieve anything. They withdraw themselves from social situations and appear emotionally flat.

Schizophrenics: Schizophrenics are very self aware. They are highly sensitive, easily embarrassed and shy around others. Because of this they try and avoid conflict, instead they retreat to a safe place and brood. In extreme cases schizophrenics can hear voices instructing them on what they should do or develop multiple personalities to defend the character’s ego.

Paranoids: Paranoids are very self-centred, thinking that everyone is out to destroy them. Because of this paranoids types tend to be aggressive and defensive. Their beliefs drive them to become leaders and gain power, thus putting themselves in a safer position. They are bull-headed individuals who don’t take well to criticism and hold long-standing grudges for the smallest of reasons.
Anxiety neurotics: See Allen, Woody. Anxiety neurotics fear everything and put a great deal of thought and grief into the smallest of things. They spend their lives trying to avoid anxiety yet actually cause the majority of anxiety for themselves. Anxiety neurotics can also harbor obsessive/compulsive characteristics. This leads to ridiculous seeming habits like only getting out of bed at an exact time or brushing their hair an exact amount of strokes.

Psycho/Sociopaths: While I have grouped this pair together there is a difference between the two. Sociopaths are antisocial characters, often holding a disdain for humanity. Psychopaths are similar but with a mental unbalance, this leads them to become cold blooded killers. Each have little to no empathy for people or creatures. They make excellent villains. Psychopaths and sociopaths are particularly interesting because they do no transform. They will never become well-rounded, normal characters.

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Character Sketch

Meera is touching her thirties. She stays on the outskirts of Bangalore in a lavish apartment. She has been married for 3 years and these have been the best ones of her life.
Meera was born and brought up in Ahmadabad. She was very close to her dad who was very affectionate towards the family. Meera grew up seeing her parents together for each other at every step. She wished the same would be with her. She spent most of her childhood playing with dolls and getting them married, with her friend’s dolls. Also she enjoyed listening to her mother at night as she recited prince- prince’s stories. She would build a dream world where her prince charming would take her on the horse like it happened in fairytales.
She was very shy and soft spoken in school but a self-determined girl who fetched good grades. She knew a cute little boy who was in the class, opposite hers. She secretly adored him but could never speak to him. After about 7 years when she had passed out of college, she met him again at the school reunion. They spoke for the first time at the party and continued meeting since then. He was at the Navy camp those days and had come home for a break. He later confessed that he had liked her since school but could never gather guts to speak it out. They spent a good time together before he proposed her for marriage. He left for five months and when he returned they married. They went around Europe for their honeymoon and like young lovers they were always together. Her dream was now taking form and everything was going as she had always thought it would be.
Bangalore was new and a very fast city for her. Only he surrounded her world. She slowly became very dependent on him for everything. He too was so fond of Meera that he would never let her go away from his sight. They never looked beyond each other when he had to suddenly leave for the Navy Missions. Before leaving he assures her of the happiness they would have when he returns.
Each day she eagerly waits for his homecoming.

character exploration