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eralston
Ok, this is Shadow's project, but I'll get the ball rolling:

Can best could you describe Shadowrun in 120 pages, creating characters, events, and a way to string them all together in a Screenplay.

Under Shadow's watchful eye, I propose we, as a group of volunteer opinion-mongers, attempt to combine our best ideas into a cohesive story that could then become the definitive framework for a Shadowrun Movie.

Anyone interested, just post an idea here. Feel free to converse, but if you just thought "This isn't going to work", just scuttle off into the SR4 threads and don't bother posting.

UPDATE: Anyone who has an idea that is a good idea, but out of context, please post it to the "Pitch Your Snippet" thread
SpasticTeapot
First, I'd like to say that I like SR4. My players are all new to RPGs, and it's a great system if you can get over the crappy book layout. THBBT!
Secondly, an idea.

I've been thinking about how hard it is to write an info to shadowrun, and then I had an idea: Why not make the movie an introduction? Portray a young man who becomes a troll, and ends up in the Night of Rage, only to find out he's a wizard. Have his family become estranged, then dead (due to random gunshots aimed at him), and have is friends turn against him. He ends up in the sewers, and learns that his abilities are in demand.


So, here's a quickie storyboard overview.

1. Show main character playing in football game. ~16 year old male, physically fit, attracts girls. At end, gets phone number of cheerleader, manages to convince coach to make his teachers pass him one more time. Think standard nasty jock-type. Self-narrated.
Coach is small, fat, has bushy moustache.
Josh is blond, blue-eyed.
Cheerleader is preppy, makes oogly eyes at Josh.

2. Gets home at night, to find out that there's an odd plauge going around. This is 2012; this is reflected in eye-mounted computers, several roomba-like robots. Father blames it on "Sand-Niggers" or "Kikes", depending on what's more appropriate. (I'm a jew, and detest these terms, but we're trying to portray a creep here).

3. In this short sequence, he walks through the beginning of the day and collapses.
3.1Next morning, wakes up, finds his skin coarse, vision hazy.
Dismisses it as hangover.

3.2 Grabs stuff from kitchen, finds his shoes don't fit. Does'nt notice;
puts on large sandals and walks out door.

3.3: Walks down street, and collapses under traffic light. He lives in a
snazzy suburb, with white picket fences. He contrasts with dark
splotchy skin. Blacks out. Then, shot from side, zooms out to see
paramedics pulling up, blacks out.

4. Hospital
The main character (henceforth "Jeremy") wakes up to find out that he's in a huge ward, surrounded by people HAZMAT suits. This shot is from first-person. He's tied down, but only to keep him from convulsing, he has an IV in his arm. He then manages to undo the strap, and sees his arm.

Zooms out. He sees (along with audience) his reflection in the mirror, gasps. Camera now turns to bear on him. He's now four inches taller, and thin as a rail. He looks almost stretched out, and is barely able to move. (His muscles stayed the same size, but his bones grew.), and growing out of fresh punctures in his lower lip still covered with scaps, two small tusks. His skin is covered with splotchy gray bits. In the background, cheerleader is wheeled in, still appearing the same, but with outfit mussed up. character falls to sleep.


5. Home.
Character wakes up in his home. He puts on the pair of waders left next to his bed. His tusks are even bigger, and he's no longer scrawny.
He walks into kitchen. Finds out he's been in coma for three weeks. Talks to parents, who tell him how he must have done something wrong, his mother screams about "purity." They're angry, and confused; their son was more or less aryan, and now he's obviously sub-human. (Never mind his physical fitness.) Son gets angry, says @#$#$ you to parents, grabs bag and goes off to school despite doctor's order to stay home..

6. School.
Shot of him walking in, school already in session, but bell ringing. He's now wearing some previously baggy pants, and still no shirt.
Following shot through hallway. Students point, gasp, mumble. He hears it rumbling around his head, stomps off twoards door marked "gym".
Cut to shot of barbell moving up and down, end of barbell only thing in focus. Then, focus out, showing guy benching.
Cut to Jeremy, looking at weight rack. He's about to do a "clean and jerk". Puts 90 lbs. on bar, absentmindedly picks it up with one hand.
Room goes silent.
He puts it back down, adds another 90 lbs. Starts easily moving it up and down.
Shot of more weight being added 2x. Grand total of 540 lbs. He manages to get this massive amount of weight above his head, drops it. Dents floor.
He then walks out into the hall, and starts to cry. Coach follows, tells him it's okay; points out that he'd still do great at football, that he's the same person, just a little different on the outside.
Cuts to shot of PA speaker, beeps twice. Cuts out to shot of the coach and Jeremy. PA says "all genetically active students must go to point Q"

After this, they're herded on to busses.

So, whad'ya think? I was hoping to use this as something as a metaphor for racial bias; even though he's 7' tall and looks like an Uru-Kai reject, he's still the same person, and realizes he's a creep.
About the cheerleader? She turns into a TROLL. She realizes that A. her life is hollow, B. she's got more than looks, and C. anyone who respects her for who she is and won't push her around is a better boyfriend anyway. Ends up Jeremy's love interest.


Of course, this needs dialouge. Also, more content; I have to write out Night of Rage and such. Also, what happens after he flees into the underground? When does he find out he's a mage? (I'd presume a Shaman-what totem? Possibly Wolf.)
Also, I was thinking of making the cheerleader an Adept, as well. I think it might be interesting to have the cheerleader, an individual who gets her self-esteem from other's interest in her body, suddenly able to bench-press a Jeep.
Also, I was thinking about introducing a character in the beginning who used to be his friend. He's an Elf, and an early one; he's also a hacker, and flamboyantly gay to boot. He abandoned him when he came out of the closet, but now ends up having him save his life at some point in the movie.
FanGirl
I'm sorry, but it's just not canon.

Other than that, good concept.
eralston
I think it would be a great short film. It certainly reflects a sort of nice animatrix-style snippet of life in the future.

I think it's otherwise too involved and any attempts at progressing toward 2060 or past would be largely viewed as bad storytelling. I would also say that the awakening at large (magic + metahumans) is more important than just goblinization. Maybe if you could pin the opening flashback down to <5 minutes so no one gets "attached" to the location for the rest of the movie.
Shadow
It has some really great concepts in it, and I think it could definetley work (like my hollywood speek) with just a few changes. Unfortunatley, whatever you do the main character has to be human. Sure he can use magic, hang out with elves, orks, and trolls, but in the end the main characte has to be human.

Let me tell you why. The main character is the charactes whos eyes the story is told through. The Film going audience canot identify with a Troll. Wether they realize it or not there will be a disconnect and the story will fall on deaf ears.

It has a lot of potential though, any ideas for rewaorking it so that he's human?
eralston
Human lead character is a total necessity.

You could bifurcate the main character into two attractive young men who are best friends. When one turns ork, the other is forced to choose either the growing hatred around them or the years of fond memories with his friend. It could be this choice that leads them away from the world they knew and into the shadows. It still doesn't evade the previously mentioned time issue. Even if they gobolinize in 2021 (canon time) they would be too old by 2060 (or even 2070 if we were shooting for fourth ed) to make attractive heroes.

We could do an analogous background for a group of friends around bug city (2055), though they would probably be more torn apart by the bug spirits. If you wanted to go directly to the night of rage (2039), that offers a pretty good moment in time for setup given that also deals with the current state of governance, SINs, and creation of the underclass that exists today (namely probationary citizens).

I still contend that any opening flashbacks need to be rather short so I don't think we should let them get too involved.
ChuckRozool
QUOTE (Shadow @ May 2 2006, 08:33 AM)
...Unfortunatley, whatever you do the main character has to be human...
...he can use magic, hang out with elves, orks, and trolls, but in the end the main characte has to be human.

Let me tell you why. The main character is the character whos eyes the story is told through. The Film going audience canot identify with a Troll. Wether they realize it or not there will be a disconnect and the story will fall on deaf ears...

Yeah, just like the movie with that stoopid ogre... What was it called? Oh yeah! SHREK...

Sorry, just a knee jerk reaction to your response/post (whatever).

I'll have something more constructive once I finish reading the rest of the thread... I promise.

EDIT - OK class, everybody open your SR3 books to page 21, And So It Came To Pass... There's the beginning of your movie, you simply recreate some of the things in this chapter; as seen thru the lens of news cameras all around the world. You add some commentary from the anchors and maybe some clips from news shows where the pundits(sp?) are debating how this will affect blah, blah, blah. The TV shows and camera footage will slowly reflect a sense of normalcy.

The camera goes from a wide shot of Seattle and starts to zoom in on the city following a "path" through some buildings. The camera will eventually stop in front of a laundrymat.

EXT-LAUNDRYMAT, DOWNTOWN SEATTLE-DAY

We see our hero, john, looking rather casual (t-shirt, shorts and some flip-flops) folding some clothes. His cell rings and he answers. It's his fixer Jose(?) letting him know about a job.

JOSE: Hey I got a job for you and your pals. Be at the yadda by yadda yadda
JOHN: No sweat, i'll be there. peace.

John disconnects with Jose and begins dailing.

INT-JACK'S APARTMENT, STUDY-DAY
We see Jack sitting in front of his PC, which sits on the floor, books open on either side of him. The room fills with inscense and we see bones strung together and hung here and there. Lots of random artifacts are laying everywhere in the house. Jack is holding several sticks of inscense in one hand and he leafs thru one of the books. Jacks monitor flashes with the words "incoming call", it's John...

Well there you have it, just a quick little something i whipped on the spot
bustedkarma
The Capt. Chaos Timeline post, IMO, is a terrific treatment for an SR Screenplay.
http://www.shadowrunrpg.com/resources/timeline.shtml

Shadow
QUOTE (ChuckRozool)
Yeah, just like the movie with that stoopid ogre... What was it called? Oh yeah! SHREK...

Sorry, just a knee jerk reaction to your response/post (whatever).

I knew someone would bring up Shrek.

A few things about that, Shrek is a comedy and a animated movie. Every once in a while you will get a movie that can break the rules and be successful. It will have 20 speaking roles, everyone will have an accent, the main characters will be bugged eyed aliens etc etc.

This will not be ANY MOVIE you or I make.

Shrek was written by industry professionals. The two men directly responsible for it are in the top ten most wanted Screen writers list. Their next movie is a little film called Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest.

So you just might want to listen to me and Eralston when we offer advice on this kind of subject.
emo samurai
Why does he have to be human? You seem to be too intent on making this movie mainstream-audience friendly. If anything, an orc character would be a great way to portray the alienation the runners face.

Also, we need some very exotic characters who push the boundaries of the universe; if we make things too mainstream, we'll just have the Matrix with elf ears and cyberware. There could be a quadriplegic decker, a street shaman who meditates in an alley, etc. The two good deckers in 2xs were weird, and they made effective characters. We have to make sure that the SR universe is genuinely exotic. Cyberpunk always has strange characters, and if everyone walks around with mirrorshades and trenchcoats, that wonder is gone.

I have a great idea for a scene. It starts with a puppy chewing a toy in an executive apartment. Everything seems normal for a few seconds, with a few executives behaving like everyday phony suits. They start getting down to the business of evil, and the puppy never leaves the screen. Then the runners burst in from the window, gun down their target, and leave, after they take the puppy. How does that sound?

I thought that the presence of the puppy would be a great contrast to the evil room conference and would be the perfect symbol of the disparity between the corps' shiny happy veneers and the evil that they do on a regular basis.
James McMurray
The more mainstream you make a movie the more you can expect it to earn. The more you expect it to earn the more you can put into it. I for one would prefer to see a movie with a human / troll pair of friends that had great special effects then a movie with just a troll and lousy ones.
emo samurai
What do you think of the puppy scene? And I still think having an orc protagonist would be a great idea; if that weren't viable, then comic book movies wouldn't exist.
James McMurray
Puppy: too, umm, puppyish? Ok, maybe that's the wrong word for it. Artsy?

Comic book movies exist because the comic books have a huge group of already existing fans to draw on. SR has fans, but nowhere near as many fans as Superman, or even The Punisher.

What comic book movie has an orc protagonist? Fantastic Four had Ben Grimm, but he was part of a team. The Hulk had The Hulk, but he was also human.
eralston
Emo, comic book movies, yeah. Even in that you can feel the gravitation away from the outrageous. Example: Hellboy. The "eyes" of the movie was human, despite it being about hellboy.

I think we should back up and establish a few things:

1) We want a successful movie (Who the hell doens't? A summer (action) blockbuster or winter (more fanciful) blockbuster. Anything less [Sci-Fi Scinema Saturday, yay ohplease.gif ] is just not setting out sights high enough)

2) To attain a successful movie we will make it mainstream (I know this might hurt, of anyone here it hurts me most, but little fan-flicks I can make in six months and some dedication. Blockbusters take a lot more)

3) We will present everything aspect of SR we can, but to attain goals 2 and 3 it must be grounded in movie convention and proven methods

4) We will not necessarily present your opinion of SR (whoever may be reading this). I certainly do not expect getting mine. Most important will be story, all other consideration specific to SR's averages or oddities (such as average metahuman percentages, average shadowrun duties, or whatever else) will be secondary.

5) We want something primarily representing the world as it is somewhere between 2060 and 2070 (I'm not saying we need SR4, but I think going any earlier than 2060 means we will be indulging something

6) The lens for the story must be highly relatable by average people [IE: The Human Argument, the one we've already dealt with] (A definite sub-rule to this would be recognizing that Elves make for better ready companions to main characters than trolls/orks, but that's not a strict rule)

I suggest anyone opposing these views start a new thread entitled "Alternate SR Screen Stuff" for accumulation of ideas around Shadowrun that are experimental and better left to fan films or future professional shorts. And ONLY DO THIS if you fully understand that we are fighting to win the majority so we can make professional grade high-concept ideas as you might present in that thread.
emo samurai
Maybe have a normal guy get caught up with a band of shadowrunners. Wait, they did that with the first trilogy of novels...

Dude, I know. Have the main dude be a normal wagemage. He'll start out the movie going through a normal-looking office with people in boring business attire, fluorescent lights, and cubicles. There will be inanities and boring, normal greetings exchanged. He'll put on a lab coat and enter a lab. Just when you expect him to pull out a test-tube or a microscope or interview a patient or something, he'll cast a freaky spell and do his thing, manipulating objects and having glowy eyes and stuff. That way, he'll be normal and yet extraordinary, and the film will be started with a great surprise. The first extroadinary thing in the movie will come from the most normal guy.

And the puppy doesn't have to be artsy; the irony will be obvious to anyone, and the audience will love it if the runners take it away.
eralston
An extraction run on some poor schmuck who needs the whole universe explained to them was my idea, emo. You're probably the only person here who would now that and you used the knowledge for evil. For shame nyahnyah.gif

I like it. I worry that he will be a bit too extraordinary for a strong grounding, though I like being up front about magic. I suppose you should come up with the reason for him being there in the plot and I'll like it without reservation.
Shadow
Hey Emo, I love the puppy scene idea. People getting torn apart and exploded, guns firing everywhere, you don't see this of course you just see the puppy reacting to it. I think it's Beautiful.

It is a great idea for an opening scene and I will mark it. for sure. We still need at least 4 main characters, a story, a bad guy, and a ending.

I know allot o you think the main character can be something other than human. But please take our word for it that it can't. It really has to be human. There are a lot of things that make a screenplay attractive to a producer. Unfortunately "creativity" is somewhere near the bottom. At the top is "cost to produce". A Troll main character would most certainly have to be CGI and just would not be taken seriously. A orc would just be plain ugly. Audiences associate ugly characters with the bad guys.

Humans, Elves, and Dwarves. And I will NOT put a dwarf in the screen play if I think for one second he/she will be relegated to comic relief (ala Gimli) are what is left. Now I am not saying Orcs and Trolls wont be in it, but they will have to be relegated to secondary characters.

So think human male for lead, and female elf for supporting. I think the supporting character should be the magic user, not the lead, for reasons I stated before, the audience needs to relate to the main character.
Shadow
OK I just had a thought based on what has been posted.

Lead character is a human Sammy (minimal obvious cyber). He and his team (as yet to be determined) our hired to extract a Female Elf Scientist from evil corp A. Now as was said earlier, the girl being extracted would learn about the universe along with the audience. She also needs her puppy taken too, its part of the deal.


Now that is the first 9 minutes. We have a possible romance (lead and elf) and thats it. What we need is for there to be more of the story.

A lot of us have played SR so much that the standard storylines are cliche and old, but remember, to the audience it will all be new.
emo samurai
I would know that? How? I haven't really read your screen treatment all the way through...

And I like the idea of the puppy scene, but I don't think it should be the first scene. The scene doesn't work without the puppy being taken, and if the camera were on the puppy the whole time, there wouldn't be much of an introduction to the action. I think the taking of the puppy should be very offhand, a random gesture of humanity on the part of one of the more whimsical runners. And even if the camera did go to the action and the puppy were taken, the puppy being taken would be too confusing and unique a thing to really be a good introduction to the universe.

And the thing with him being extraordinary won't be an issue if he's a very normal character otherwise, wife, two kids, Ares car, etc. The combination of boring, normal personality with magic would help the audience feel as if they're one with the strangeness of this world while they're seeing it for the first time.
eralston

UPDATE: Anyone who has an idea that is a good idea, but out of context, please post it to the "Pitch Your Snippet" thread

Emo: I was kidding. I'm not surprised by your lack of dedication. You can't even turn on AIM despite being online right now, for shameful shame

I can agree with Puppy as humanitarian gesture, but only as long as it is distinct from the use of a puppy in Equilibrium.

So, why is she kidnapped? What could she know?

Thinking on important awakened-type events in SR, one does come to mind:

Halley's Comet

She could be associated with Orichalcum production, the comet itself, SURGE, or other. My only concern would be that it might be a bit specific for the first time audience, thoughts?

Alternatively, her magical ability could be incidental (and downright unexpected by the runners). It might make it all the more humanizing if she was wanted for some relationship with the enemy.

I think we should pin the central conflict before we start dwelling on puppies. We can make a string of cool scenes or we can make a good story. My universal thoughts on the subject of the necessities of an SR storyline (aside from the stuff covered in the other thread on the subject):

1) It needs to be fairly small scale (we're not out to save the world, we're out to get paid and give some payback, blah, blah)
2) It needs to involve high risk on the part of the characters, risks higher than not getting paid for something (the relationship thing helps)

One example could be that the Elven Mage is the sister of some pair of brothers caught in some middle-level corp fight. One brother hires the runners to fight against the other, the sister gets involved. Perhaps there could be some revelation about her being their sister. One possibility would be the runners siding with the sister over the other two or somethign like that. Family feuding is used fairly often in SR
emo samurai
I don't know if a "we're just out to get paid" mentality would really work in a mainstream film...
FanGirl
I like the wage-mage idea. I think it would be best, however, if he were a young guy who recently got out of college and is now working his way up from the bottom of the corporate ladder. He'll still be someone that the audience can identify with, but he won't have so much of the strong social ties to the law-abiding world that a "family man" would have. This will make it that much easier for him to sever his ties and immerse himself in the shadows.

I figure that the film should start by introducing a "typical" runner team, who is introduced in the film's opening sequence ("the puppy scene"). The team will be an assortment of three to five stereotypical film characters, led by a busty and sardonic Lara Croft type who'll make all the fanboys drool. In the next scene, we are introduced to our wage-mage, who is working in the R&D department of the same corporation as the slaughtered execs. He's mildy concerned when he hears the news of the carnage, but he's too confident that "that sort of thing" will never happen to him to feel any real fear.

We'll then spend a little while switching back and forth between these two plotlines: as Our Hero gets assigned to a Top-Secret-Project in the corp, the runners are hired to extract the leader of the Top-Secret-Project. The plotlines soon intersect when the runners go to the Top-Secret-Facility where the Top-Secret-Project is being worked on and, thanks to faulty intelligence, manage to extract Our Hero instead of his superior.

The runners determine that it would be too dangerous for them to let Our Hero go free, so they decide take him to their hideout and keep him there until they can figure out what to do with him. Our Hero soon bonds with his captors, of course, and ends up joining the team. As the film progesses, the runners slowly realize that they're caught up in some kind of evil Byzantine conspiracy in which they play a small yet integral part. They start investigating in this conspiracy, which leads to escalating Action and Conflict and possibly even the death of some expendable runner(s). In the end, Our Hero figures out the conspiracy, saves the world, wins the heart of the Lara Croft type, and rides off into the sunset with his surviving team members.
emo samurai
I will NOT work on a movie where the main characters are boring stereotypes. Yes, the characters of Firefly had some archetypes, like the "brutish mercenary," the "ice-cold amazon," and "earnest normal dude," but they have to be unique in some way.

And the "part of a fragged-up run that went wrong" thing has already been done in the "Secrets of Power" trilogy. Those books made me so super-pissed that I kicked my dog in the nuts so hard he exploded puppy-guts.

How about: he tries to help people on the way home from work and gets caught in some bad underworld shit. I don't know what else to do.
FanGirl
1. I agree with your sentiment on creating original characters, but you've only got so much time in a movie to introduce your characters before the audience starts to fidget. This is especially true for a plot-driven story--and this film will need a plot-driven story, if its creators want to tap into the action-movie fanbase. It's sad, but you have to give up a little chunk of your soul if you want to make something that most people will enjoy; that often means making your supporting characters (and possibly even your lead characters to a certain extent) into round pegs, so they can fit into those round holes that make up the plot.

2. Yes, the "run gone wrong" thing has indeed been done, but most movie-goers wouldn't know that, now would they? wink.gif

3. Your idea sounds fine, although I must admit I'm biased in favor of my setup. biggrin.gif
James McMurray
emo: stereotypes sell. It's how you make them subtly different that matters.

Secrets of Power wasn't that bad, and it had a lot of the standard SR stuff in it. Run gone bad is 1,000 times more mainstream SR then helping omsone on the way home.
FanGirl
True that, JM. Plus, you'd expect even the best teams to screw up every once in a while: no team is good enough to predict all possible outcomes and properly adjust for those possible outcomes.
James McMurray
EVen if it were possible, that team wouldn't belong in an SR movie. smile.gif
ChuckRozool
I just thought up an awsome idea for an SR movie.
Are you ready for this?
Well... are ya?
Ok... here it goes...

Office Space 2060

Pretty sweet huh? Yeah?
I thought so too...

It would totally work, think about it.
In Office Space, Peter is sick of his job and pretty much were he is in life. So he goes thru work not caring and ends up getting promoted blah, blah, blah...

So here come the shadowrunny part, with the help of his friends they come up with a way to skim money from the company.

So what we do is this, have a small group of protagonist all are wage slaves for Big Corp corporation.
Jody an elf programmer who yearns for a less mundane life, he's "the brains"
Art an awakened human who thinks he has Jedi powers, hasn't quite figured out it's magic. (It's totally possible!)
Donny an introverted techy troll with a stuttering problem.

So you follow the same sorta premise Jody is tired of it all and convinces his friends to help him out. The thing is since this is Shadowrun when things go wrong, the movie takes a turn for the suspenseful. Now they're trying to just stay alive and make it to safety, where ever that would be. It would conclude with Jody getting what he wants, a less mundane life, as a shadowrunner. Heck if you decide to keep his friends alive through the thing they might even join him.

Well there ya go... Seriously though, give it real some thought. Don't just automatically shoot down the idea...


EDIT:
QUOTE (Shadow)
Shrek was written by industry professionals. The two men directly responsible for it are in the top ten most wanted Screen writers list. Their next movie is a little film called Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Mans Chest.

So you just might want to listen to me and Eralston when we offer advice on this kind of subject.

I'm sure you didn't mean it to come across as, well... sorta pompous. So i have to ask, in all honesty...
What makes you two "experts" on the subject of movies and what audiences want, that i would want to heed your advice? Please don't take this the wrong way, I am genuinely interested in knowing... cyber.gif
James McMurray
I'd pay -$5.00 to see that. wink.gif
eralston
I think the audience attraction busty boner-inducer proved wrong assumptions in both Ultraviolet and Aeon Flux (I will admit that neither Mila nor Charlize are terribly busty, but same idea).

There are no stereotypes for the majority of our audience. How many people in America have read the Secrets of Power Trilogy? I've played Shadowrun for 9 years and never touched an actual copy. Even straight up plagiarism from the book would appear like creativity to most and in this case its hardly a fraction of a synopsis.

And, as I implied in an earlier post, YOU are not making the movie, so you need to think far more universal than you are right now. Even I am not making the movie, WE are making the movie and even then not by consensus. All we can hope to do is exhaust ideas and split open concepts until we accumulate enough pieces to build with. What is original in Shadowrun, anyway? Riddle me that I'll make YOUR movie myself

I wouldn't mind diverging plotlines as long as they were highly dependent. So much time is spent in a fantasy/sci-fi type movie building the universe that multiple threads are not often used and I think for a good reason.

I can feel your proposal FG, but that's almost too generic. I'm also not on board with what makes him Heroic again? It smacks of a bit of whimsy on his (The Hero's) part to pursue vengeance instead of just getting the hell out. What offense would the corp make to change his loyalties, it would have to be more than a case of stockholm syndrome. It would have to be enough to risk. It would have to be something like a cranial bomb in his head (damn you M:I 3!!!), or killing his whole family or something equally huge to make him desperate enough to try taking the corp on.

CR, that's actually partially the premise to the movie adaptation of Johnny Mnemonic, only the band of employees were a bit more altruistic. Again, good idea for a Shadowrun short, but not blockbuster material.

Also, future posts of CR's type should try to land themselves in the pitch your snippet thread
James McMurray
A team sent to recapture the extractee has a bad time of it and is forced to fall back on their secondary onjective: eliminate the extractee.
emo samurai
"Almost too generic?" I'm proud of you.

But seriously; even if you discount the "Street Sam," "Decker," and "Mage" stereotypes, you'll still have "Quiet professional," "Cocky wisecracker," and "Arrogant Dickhead." Forget archetypes; I'm perfectly okay with standard character builds. I'm talking about personalities. You don't even have to watch mainstream heist movies to find them; you could just watch Armageddon or something.

Then again, we can't really talk at this stage, since most original characters would seem incredibly cliched without lines to represent them.

And simple moral outrage would be enough to make him quit. He could find that they're forcing bug spirits into dogs; this is canon, and it would be a great thing to use. He'll make a difference without saving the world by exposing Ares for doing that, and it'll be a great run idea. The crew will unload the paydata for a good amount of money, nothing will change. The mainstream audience, the protagonists, and the players who want the grit will all be happy.
FanGirl
QUOTE (eralston @ May 2 2006, 08:28 PM)
I can feel your proposal FG, but that's almost too generic.  I'm also not on board with what makes him Heroic again?  It smacks of a bit of whimsy on his (The Hero's) part to pursue vengeance instead of just getting the hell out.  What offense would the corp make to change his loyalties, it would have to be more than a case of stockholm syndrome.  It would have to be enough to risk.  It would have to be something like a cranial bomb in his head (damn you M:I 3!!!), or killing his whole family or something equally huge to make him desperate enough to try taking the corp on.

Well, I imagine that the hero's reasons for joining the shadows would be tied up with the Evil Byzantine Conspiracy. Since I haven't thought up an EBC, I can't say what the corp did to the hero that made him so upset. I was hoping that some creative individual would come up with that. wink.gif

EDIT: I imagine the hero starting out like most of us SR fans: he's a normal, average guy who mainly aspires to success in his chosen field. Sometime he indulges in fantasies about living the glamorous and exciting life of a rogue, but he just doesn't think that such a thing is possible for him--that is, until he's suddenly plunged into the world of the shadows. Of course, he's initially terrified of these dangerous criminals who are holding him prisoner (who wouldn't be?) but he's also fascinated by them at the same time. Ultimately, however, his terror weakens and his fascination wins out, leading him to defect from the corp to live out his wildest dreams.
Shadow
QUOTE (ChuckRozool)

I'm sure you didn't mean it to come across as, well... sorta pompous. So i have to ask, in all honesty...
What makes you two "experts" on the subject of movies and what audiences want, that i would want to heed your advice? Please don't take this the wrong way, I am genuinely interested in knowing... cyber.gif

I actually didn't smile.gif I can come on strong sometimes and I don't mean to. I am by no means an expert, nor am I a screen writer. The best way to put it would be that I am an aspiring screen writer. For the last 10 years I have read just about every writing book I could find, read all the interviews I could get a hold of, and taken any class on screen writing I could. I have written a couple of test screen plays, entered several into Sundance and worked my but off to write a screen play that will sell.

Part of that self training is learning about films, audiences and screen plays.
emo samurai
Why would we make this film just to sell it? We can't control how well it sells, be it a shitty action-fest like Ultraviolet or a great movie like Serenity. One of the few sci-fi movies in recent memory to sell well was Minority Report, and that was a great movie in pretty much every way without the dumbass buzzwords and cliches. These marketing "truths" don't really work. The only thing we can control is how good the thing we make is. I think we should drop the whole "marketing research says that if we have a skinny dude who makes jokes and wears glasses but is still cool we'll make a movie that'll sell to the 15-25 male demographic" because we don't know shit about that, and neither do half the people who pretend to for money, and the people who do know make "Monster-in-Law." If you made "Monster-in-Law 2060," I'm sure you'd shoot yourselves, and if you didn't, I'd do it for you, because you fucked up a great brand in the most visible, demoralizing way possible.
Shadow
There are universal truths about films. Here is one of them.

Hollywood truth #1
We are not making this movie.

WHAT? Then why write a screen play?

Because I love to write, and this is my chosen medium. If we write a SP and it is good, and WK decides to buy it, thatís it. It is out of our hands.

Hollywood truth #2
The writer has the least control over what happens to a screen play.

It's sad but it is true. You poor blood sweat and tears into a SP and the they buy it. They hire a big time director to shoot the film....

Hollywood Truth #3

The screen play as sold will have little resemblance to the film made.

The first thing any director does is bring in his own writer to re-write/polish the screen play. Maybe he likes it and doesn't do much, maybe he re-writes the whole thing.


I am not saying this to scare anyone or make it seem like an impossible task. But there are truths in this. Knowing that your main character has to be human is not marketing. It is knowing your audience. There are writing truths, especially when talking about films, and unless you have 20 mil in the bank to finance it, you have to follow them.

I could go on and on about this, but the simple fact of the matter it, there are rules to writing screen plays. And you CANNOT ignore them. If you do, you will not sell your screen play.
eralston
I'm not out to argue the point about monster-in-law 2060. All I'm going to say is that some movies are Citizen Kane and some movies are Tales from the Crypt: Bordello of Blood. Everyone shoots for the former, but there is still someone who turned a dime making the latter, and you know what, even you emo are probably more gifted. Just imagine how much we could accomplish if we just worked together.

I remember just the other day I watched Spider-man 2 on DVD with the commentary on and they (Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire, Avi Arad, and the realtively nameless co-producer) were talking about how many changes they made to each scene even after they had the official screenplay (which was about a million miles from what they described as the first ideas for the movie. Did you know black cat was going to be in it?). The theme of every DVd commentary I've ever heard is that directors are the most self-styled creative people in hollywood. Now, for writer-directors (such as Joss Whedon if you want to bring up Firefly), they get some well deserved credit, but others just have the syndrome of never leaving well enough alone.

Overall, I view this as an effort to make something indellibly Shadowrun despite "the system" and the best way to do it is to do as much routinzing to hollywood convention we can before it gets torn apart by any prospective buyers. I am also under the assumption that nothing groundbreaking will come from this and no matter what I will still go on with my life without an SR movie.

As far as what "expertise" I bring to this, hmmmm. Ever tried to explain Shadowrun to a room of forty people who would rather watch the real world: Las Vegas than a sci-fi/fantasy/noir cross-over? I have. Ever try to make a Shadowrun movie for consumption? I have. Now, the really important thing, more important than anything else, EVER START YOUR OWN THREAD TO TRY TO DO IT? I have. That's pretty much the most important distinction. Shadow and I tried first, so we get to reach for the stars, crash down to earth, or go down in flames.

If we're wrong there will be someone else a little while from now, when this thread has been buried by months of crap, that will try again.
ChuckRozool
Well, now that we've got that outta the way... heh. A friend and I are actually trying to come up with a story. We figure we'd try and film a series of shorts here in Austin.

The plan?
  1. Come up with a story we can both agree on (my friend and I)
  2. Find some decent locations to shoot (shouldn't be too hard in Austin)
  3. Obtain some local acting talent, and rehearse, rehearse, rehearse!
  4. Actually film the thing on the week ends (two cameras would be good...)
  5. Edit and put it all together (note to self: buy a firewire card)
  6. Upload to web and broadcast on cable access
  7. Have something to show for the schooling I took.
  8. And come to think of it, since I have this list here. A timeline would be good.
So anywho, I think it'd be nice to throw some ideas back and forth. So far we've come up with a simple data steal scenario, a detective story, a possible horror scenario, mainly involving ghouls and a more complex story involving bugs and some ancient artifact.

The last idea we were thinking of trying as a toon series, since it involves a bit of world travel. One problem with making it a toon is that it's a bit too much for just one man, namely me, to handle. For this project we'd need to find some more people to help get it off the ground. We were thinking at we'd need least two good illustrators, for character concepts and the like; one, possibly two, storyboard artists; and like, oh I don't know, five animators?(myself included) I guess a total of 5 artist would do, all of them filling the role of animators and two doubling as concept artist/illustrators and another two doubling as storyboard artists.
Shadow
I think that it is really creative. But for this thread we are going to focus on an attainable goal, writing a screen play.

So here is what we Need.

Characters

1 Lead Protagonist
1 Supporting (Possible Love Interest))
2-3 Sub-characters

1 Main Antagonist
3-5 Villains

A plot to run them through.

So far the best idea I have heard is that we have and extraction and a double cross. We need a good compelling story that is simple to describe.
Shadow
I really like the extraction angle, it gives us a lot of options. So the next question would be why are the runners extracting the scientist. Who is this scientist, what is she working on, and would she go willingly.

WinterRat1
A few quick things.

1. I think this is an absolutely fantastic idea, and no matter how it turns out, I'd love to watch the movie/see the screenplay.

2. Eralston - I think you working on the project is great. I loved your Shadowrun: One Night movie, and I'd love to see more of your work. Side note: The only negative for me was that I couldn't always hear the dialogue over the sound effects/music. On the other hand, it did create a very real feeling of being in combat where you can't exactly hear everything everyone else says. Heck, sometimes you can't even hear yourself think, let alone what others are saying. So if that's the effect you were going for, you did a great job of it. The combat scenes felt very chaotic and intense. Oh, and the music choices were great too.

3. Shadow - I know you and the kind of guy you are. I'm sure this will turn out to be an excellent product, since I can't see you spending your time on a subpar endeavor. Still eagerly waiting for you to rejoin us in LITS. smile.gif

4. Is the point of this project to actually create the aforementioned movie for public consumption/submission, or simply to create a the movie for personal enjoyment? The reason I ask is I think several of the published adventures could easily fit into the 120 page limit that are short, easy to understand by the general populace, and yet engaging at the same time. Of course, plagarism would be an issue in that case, so that would be a no go. But if it's just for fun, it might not be breaking any laws.

5. Should production limitations be taken into consideration? For example, Eralston's movie was created using the Max Payne engine, which I am assuming had inherent limitations on what it could do. Is it necessary to take those limitations into consideration when tossing out ideas?

6. Is there a general time limit you are shooting for? I don't know how many minutes a 120 page screen play would translate into.

7. What degree of assistance/input (if any) are you looking for from the general populace/peanut gallery (i.e. everyone but Shadow and Eralston)? I freely admit I have no experience in film or production for general consumption, and my creative writing experience is mostly limited to role-playing, but I would enjoy helping in any way I can. On the other hand, I certainly don't want to cross lines and go where I'm not wanted/allowed, so would it be possible to clear up what you are and are not looking for from the populace at large?
Shadow
QUOTE
4. Is the point of this project to actually create the aforementioned movie for public consumption/submission, or simply to create a the movie for personal enjoyment? The reason I ask is I think several of the published adventures could easily fit into the 120 page limit that are short, easy to understand by the general populace, and yet engaging at the same time. Of course, plagarism would be an issue in that case, so that would be a no go. But if it's just for fun, it might not be breaking any laws.


My goal (and Eralstons I think) is to write a screen play that is good enough that WK will stand up and say "hey". Unless some DSF'er is a multi millionaire I have no intention of making this movie. I don't want to make a fan movie, or a short. I want to write a full length feature. I also want to involve the DSF community so that everyone has a chance to input there ideas.

QUOTE
5. Should production limitations be taken into consideration? For example, Eralston's movie was created using the Max Payne engine, which I am assuming had inherent limitations on what it could do. Is it necessary to take those limitations into consideration when tossing out ideas?


If we finish the screen play, and if it gets bought, and if I am the director, then we worry about production. During the screenplay the sky's the limit. Hell we could set in on Zurich Orbital.

QUOTE
6. Is there a general time limit you are shooting for? I don't know how many minutes a 120 page screen play would translate into.


The general rule is a page on the paper is a minute on the screen. 120 pages broken down into 40 three minute scenes.

QUOTE
7. What degree of assistance/input (if any) are you looking for from the general populace/peanut gallery (i.e. everyone but Shadow and Eralston)? I freely admit I have no experience in film or production for general consumption, and my creative writing experience is mostly limited to role-playing, but I would enjoy helping in any way I can. On the other hand, I certainly don't want to cross lines and go where I'm not wanted/allowed, so would it be possible to clear up what you are and are not looking for from the populace at large?


Any and all. Ideas for scenes, dialogue, characters, stories, sub-plots, villains, you name it. No writing experience required. Eralston and I are going to put it together and do the actual writing.
eralston
Thank you for your comments on my movie. I will admit that the sound design was a fairly big compromise of the medium and, while I liked some of it, will be tuned in future endeavors.

Indeed, our biggest concern is making a highly mainstream SR movie. It takes out part of the challenge for me if I weren't bending over backwards to make the final product. I've already made the scripts I want to make and will always make more, this is an exercise in constrained design.

Ok, let's hammer out this the EBC, what is pre-existing that we could pull on?

One thought would be we could center it narrowly pre-2060, make the employee a fuchi asset, get Renraku, Shiawese, and Novatech in a three way fight over them. We could make it 2063-2064 and have him know something about surfacing genetics stuff...we could do a lot. Overall, I just want more solid inspiration for presented conflict ideas. Let's focus on narrowing down our evil conspiracy if we have decided we need one.
James McMurray
Something inviolving Immortal Elves could be very cool. You could have Leonardo denounce "The DaVinci Code." wink.gif
emo samurai
DRAGONS! MOTHERFUCKING DRAGONS!!

Seriously; seeing a bigass thing toying with the main characters will be a huge kick.
James McMurray
You'd have to be very careful to avoid connatations with recent dragons in the real world movies like whatever movie that was where the guy jumped at the dragon with an ax. Positive connotations are ok though.

It could be hard to sell a dragon as a globetrekking, political, corporation owning threat. Standard hollywood says that dragons are villains that live in caves and get killed with swords.
Shadow
QUOTE (emo samurai)
DRAGONS! MOTHER DRAGONS!!

Seriously; seeing a bigass thing toying with the main characters will be a huge kick.

Emo, I would ask that you stop swearing in this thread. It is offensive to me, and not productive. If you don't wish to contribute, please don't post.
Shadow
There are two sore subjects in Shadowrun, IE's and Dragons. The former would be to complicated a concept to introduce in a fresh movie. The latter could work but it wold be as a very removed character, seen only for a second as a shadow. Or perhaps a voice on the com.

Maybe at the end of the script when all is said and done, a dragon is revealed as the master manipulator.
James McMurray
It only takes one explanatory scene and a couple of flashbacks to explain that magic isn't new, and that some creatures (elves and dragons) lived through the downtime, plotting and scheming the whole time.
emo samurai
Maybe have Lofwyr have a passing interest in the matter. Make it obvious that dragons exist in the world, perhaps using a broadcast from Masaru or Hestaby to show this fact. Then have a shot before the climactic fight scene with Lofwyr watching the runners on one of his 50 screens from the shadows.
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