Wednesday, 20 December 2006

Images Unit [A Reflection]

Overview: To write a six-minute visual script.

The whole reason for this unit is to make us aware that film is a visual medium and not all about dialogue. To get us to think visually instead of what people say or do. Set the scene.

The main thing I learnt from the Images Unit was to keep things simple. Short films work because they're simple and don't have any complications or major twists in the story. I made the mistake of changing the ending at the last minute, which resulted in a twist that was hard to accept because - a) it wasn't set up and - b) it just didn't fit the length/style of this type of script. My script 'Evening-Up' began as a simple idea of a guy who had OCD and just couldn't get around to leaving his flat because he had to clean here and move things there. But then I took the story and turned it on its head, which by the end resulted in a criminal who was under surveillance and his OCD was a cover-up to search for bugs and pin cameras. My tutor was right in saying that these kinds of twists work in feature films but not in short films.

What also became clear was for a twist to work it needs to be set up. It seems obvious but the best twists are set up in such a way that you don't know they're being set up. I thought that keeping the detective character unknown until his reveal and the twist revelation, would be a good thing. But I realise now that if I had introduced him in the beginning the audience would be wondering how and if these two characters relate and then when the twist comes it would seem more believable.

I also know that an idea that seems great at the time isn't always the best to include in your current script. For example my twist ending idea; it was the excitement and urge to explore this new idea that made me think its right for this particular piece. It may be the case sometimes but often it just needs to be explored on its own individual way. So now when I get a new idea I will look at how it will fit into the script in terms of characters, arena, theme etc and not include it because I really like it at the time. I will see how it fits into the bigger picture and if I doesn't then I'll put it aside for something else.

To say that the main thing I learnt from this unit was to keep things simple in relation to short scripts is really a lie. The main thing I did realise was that disicipline is extremely important. But more important is breaking down the process; the way an idea is explored and it's different stages within the timeframe you have. Starting straight away and putting a lot of time in at the beginning stage will pay off later. Due to poor disicipline and planning (a 6hr or all night writing stint isn't disicipline) I didn't have time to re-read my final draft, which I'm sure cost me because afterwards I found a few typos. So by setting deadlines for a treatment, first draft etc you can afford time to go through and check your work before you hand it in.

I was clearly too ambitious with this script and it cost me marks. It was our first assignment so I could see that the excitement of writing a six-minute script took over and I didn't take into account what makes a good short script; what the rules and conventions are. But looking back I've learnt things that only come with making mistakes so I'm happy to come away knowing a bit more about writing.

I've learn a lot during and looking back on the Images Unit, which I hope to use and then build upon in my next unit; Narratives.

Mark: 58%


When it came to the essay I left it quite late before I started it. I didn’t do enough background reading to provide enough quotes to link into my own script. Another weakness was my failure to back up the quotes I used by explaining its meaning in my own words or linking it to an example. I also got in a bit of a muddle when talking about meaning in theory and in my own script. For example; the deeper meaning of Vincent Van Gogh’s Sunflowers and the connections to my own script and foreshadowing of character. I don’t think it was necessary to include all that.

Mark: 55%