The purpose of this Paradigm is to more readily understand and have access to the architecture of the work-in-progress screenplay at hand. To this end I have stripped it down to its very backbone and restrung the predominant DRAMATIC SITUATIONS into a chronological spinal column. This reorganization and pare down is only meant to uncover both strengths and weaknesses, identify acts and interpret emotional curves. Most importantly it is to be used as a tool to both enhance the plot and identify the wayside and any incident which is doubtful or does not set actions into motion in a direct and poignant fashion. It is not an edict but rather an ever evolving point of reference for the development of the chronological story within the screenplay.
As of May, 2002
- The setup predicament which jettisons the story is young Russel knocking out the eye of his sister.
- Her father was previously offered an interest in the unscrupulous, unethical, biological dealings of an associate.
- Note this in no way insinuates the scene order in the finished film.
- SUPPLICATION of the powerful for someone dear to the supplicant.
- LeClair is driven into dealing with Tommy who has the power to save or regenerate is daughter's eye.
- LeClair FALLS PREY TO CRUELTY AND MISFORTUNE.
- The caring father is made the victim of the ambitious intrigue of Tommy.
- SELF SACRFICE FOR AN IDEAL.
- Susan sacrifices her well being to duty as she cannot tolerate the doings her father as they pertain to Tommy.
- Susan is pursued by a number of entities including the authorities and villains.
- This has been considered for some time the opening of the film--- however in chronologically this is the beginning of act two.
- ASIDE: There is a deep seated human urge to take the side of someone who is running away from danger.
- A DARING ENTERPRISE IS UNDERTAKEN.
- Our protagonist Jonathan as a worthy hero and is employed to track down a desired object, our heroine, Susan.....
- The Adversary
- ASIDE: On Villains and Villainy
We have all felt angry and mean or vengeful, spiteful or even hateful on occasion but a villain must encompass more than the ordinary quotient of nastiness that we all harbor. The villain must make the darkest side of human emotions his reason for existence. He exists for the sole purpose of making life miserable for others and has to thrive on the suffering of others. The villain can be in all of us but he does not become one until he actively seeks out ways to inflict pain and hardship in others. Paradoxically we may try to deny enjoying someone's evil doings but we all love to hate the villain. In the deepest recesses of our consciousness we admire him for his individuality, spirit of rebelliousness and anti-social philosophies.
- ERRONEOUS JUDGMENT.
- False suspicion falls upon the otherwise innocent, Susan, as interpreted by Jonathan, as she struggles to rehabilitate herself and avenge the judicial error purposely caused by Tommy, Spanos and the authorities.
- Jonathon's subjective interpretation is a most difficult and taxing dilemma but crucial to bring out the theme and drawing the audience into the story.
- -- It is somewhere within this tangled web of deception or deceit or misunderstanding that Jonathon realizes or falls in love with the woman he is spying on.
- OBSTICAL TO LOVE.
- Jonathan's love is prevented by his duty to Susan's enemies or pursuers.
- A second DARING ENTERPRISE IS UNDERTAKEN.
- Jonathan undertakes an adventure for the purpose of obtaining a loved woman.
- ALL IS SACRIFICED FOR A PASSION.
- Jonathan breaks his vow to duty and career for his true love.
- CRIME PURSUED BY VENGENCE.
- Jonathan avenges the wrong doings done to Susan. He takes vengeance for her violation, for her being robbed of herself, and he destroys the antagonist; fighting the villain mano-a-mano.
- RECOVERY OF A LOST ONE.
- Leclair is reunited with his daughter. Russell is reunited with sister. Susan is reunited with her clone. Jonathan is reunited with Susan.
In closing, let us not be inclined to consider a story finished before we have thoroughly examined it. The creation of a good (great) screenplay is much more the task of disciplined imagination and careful analysis than of the typewriter and should not be taxed with the burden of titillations from previous drafts. We must consider development and rewrites as commandments rather than hindrances. A great screenwriter once said of his work, "Throw out everything that you truly love about the script and lay a clean path for the story." In the same vain I recommend removal of anything that is; 1. Hackneyed by previous films (successful or not) 2. Slows the forward progression of the plot. 3. Anything that is not or strive to be 'Zeitgeist' (new or now.) It is all of our intentions and expectations to make a great movie and to that end the mere backbone, once thoroughly understood and agreed upon, of any screenplay is deficient, in and of itself and functions only as a chain upon which to hang flesh, blood, bones, nerves and sinew to complete the living reality.