Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Swinging the sword in the marketplace

LAst night after we finished the sound mix on "The Chrononauts," Rob and I got on the phone with Rufus, our third filmmaking partner, to discuss the feature-length version of "Chrononauts" that we want to film this summer. They had come up with some ideas, and I've been struggling with the idea on my own. We kept having some trouble figuring out the exact story, however. We couldn't figure out who the bad guys were. And since this is going to be an action film, any action film is only as good as its villian. We had a couple ideas that we weren't completely sold on, and then Rufus and Rob came up with another idea that really used the element of time travel to our advance. But, as it turns out, it was more of a disadvantage. We kept running into paradox after paradox when we were trying to break that story, but we could never figure out the way around some major flaws of both logic and drama. We did, however, have the common sense and presence of mind to always recognize when our ideas were getting away from us and getting too complicated. When the story got too strange and extreme, we kept using an analogy of "Raiders of the Lost Ark." Instead of being the Cairo swordman swinging the sword in the marketplace, we needed to be Indiana Jones and just shoot the guy.

Once we simplified our thinking on the villian and the motives behind his actions, things started falling into place for us. Our first approach to the idea focused clearly and strongly on the sci-fi elements, but we adjusted our thinking to be much more in line with the action/adventure film that we wanted to make. Once we had that simpler story in mind, the story actually came a lot easier. We kept hitting question after question, but we were able to distill all those questions and problems into a single story. We set some deadlines for writing the script, which we're trying to have done in early March to shoot over the summer. That's the plan.

1 comment:

JParis said...

Yeah, logic rarely plays a solid part in time-travel themed movies. So the "fun" factor, if well written and played, can effectively over-shadow the inherit flaws. I remember many such conversations with a friend when the Back to the Future films came out. So don't disappoint me! (uh, kidding around of course)