Selasa, 05 Mei 2009

Massacre Breakdown

The other day, I wrote a 3-page breakdown for MICHAEL'S RESIGNATION. I wrote the final few scenes of the film - the massacre where Michael loses it completely and guns down his entire office. Writing the scene breakdown was very interesting. Usually, I write a breakdown and use that to create the script, but this time it was the other way around.

When I wrote the screenplay, I was thinking purely creatively. Whatever made the scene better went in. The result had bullets flying left right and centre, table crashing and the SWAT team busting in and shooting up the entire office. The office we'll be using is actually someone's work. Once we're done there, people will need to carry on with their jobs. So it's not exaclty practical or nice to completely destroy the place. So the breakdown needed to be different.

Bullets still fly (about 50 from Michael's pistol alone) but there is minimum office damage. No-one crashes through tables and windows don't get shattered into a million pieces like before.

I also had to keep in mind that Nicky Modlin (Michael) has no previous action training. MR isn't the sort of film with high flying kicks anyway, but if it were, that would have to be thought through.

The breakdown is now in the hands of Action Director Chris Jones. Once he's gone through that, I'll be visiting his gym and we'll choreograph the scene. I spoke with Alex yesterday and he reinforced what the scene should be about - emotion. So all the way through choreography, I'll be keeping in mind what the scene should focus on. I'm going think of every instant emotionally - what effect would this have on the viewer? Similarly, if there's anything in the scene that would take away the sense of emotion, it'll have to change. While the scene is brutal as hell, he emotion is what counts. The whole film spends time allowing the audience to connect with Michael so for the final scene to take them away from that would ruin the whole thing.

So in about three weeks' time, I'll be going to see Chris and we'll work out the scene. Before then, I'll probably end up going to Toys R Us to buy one of those cheap kiddie guns to use in the planning. From there, I'll be off to London at the beginning of filming in June. Hopefully I'll have storyboard sketches and some video footage of the action. I'll show this to everyone involved and if anyone has any other ideas/suggestions, we'll incorporate them in. Then I'll run through the scene with Nicky and make sure he knows exactly what the scene entails.

I'm doing this as early as possible because if there's anything in the scene that Nicky (or anyone else involed) is uncomfortable with, we have time to sort it out. Also, we will have just one weekend - two short days - to shoot the 20 minute massacre action scene. I've never filmed anything before but I know it won't be easy. Everyone will be running around like mad just to get things done on time. We also have to clear everything up on the Sunday night before everyone turns up. I'm not sure they'd appreciate it if they turned up for work on Monday morning and saw the remains of a bloody massacre! It'll be emotionally and physically draining for everyone involved, so the the sooner I can explain the scene, the more time people have to get a grip on it before shooting.

Since we're going to be so busy that weekend, if there's anyone out there who would like to come on set and get drinks and food for people, you're more than needed! Seriously! I'm not joking! Email me -

We're heading into a crazy couple of months - I'm excited as hell and shitting bricks at the same time. They're excited bricks!

Wish me luck.

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