Archive for January, 2017

Hell Hath No Fury.

Posted in LGBT, Life, Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2017 by dakofman

angry

So I overheard this girl today talking about her issues with a guy. I didn’t mean to eavesdrop on her conversation. I had to wait in line behind her and her friend. The sound of their chatter forced its way into my head. My brain had to process that information. I had no choice but to listen to them.

I got behind them in line too late to learn all the details. Whoever the man in the story was, he was messing up. This young girl in her twenties was red in the face with anger talking about what she was going to do to him. What I did find out was this man was not the official boyfriend yet. He was on the path to boyfriend-dom. If their relationship were a status bar, I’d say he was 75 percent boyfriend from how she spoke of him. He might have been a friend with benefits. She had strong feelings for him and thought he returned those feelings. Until he did something at a party with another girl.

The storyteller didn’t specify what he did with that girl. Clearly it was the wrong decision. She told her friend that now she had to do some “crazy bitch shit”.

Her exact words.

After that proclamation, the cashier rang up their chocolate bar and bottle of water. She and her friend ran like hell out of the store. Likely to do that “crazy bitch shit” that she needed to do.

This left me thinking. What was crazy bitch shit?

Her friend knew. She had no questions as they left.

was there just crazy shit? was there normal bitch shit? Why the emphasis on crazy?

At what point was a woman driven to do crazy bitch shit? What had this man done with this other girl? Was it deserving of having crazy bitch shit done to him?

I knew from the way she spoke that this wasn’t the first time she had had to do crazy bitch shit. She was very confident in her ability to do it to this guy.

I did not envy this man. He should have thought twice before doing what he did with that other girl. Now he has to live with consequences and have crazy bitch shit done to him.

If I were a religious man, I’d pray for him.

But I’m not.

Antihero Protagonist: Louis Bloom

Posted in Writing with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2017 by dakofman

NIGHTCRAWLER

Louis Bloom

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Antiheroes come in shades of grey. Lou is the darkest of dark grey. He would be black in any story that didn’t feature him as the protagonist. There is not much redeeming to him. He is willing to manipulate and harm people to justify his own ends. Dan Gilroy, the writer of the film, describes him as a sociopath and refers to the film as an antihero success story.

The introductory scene brings Lou’s darkness out in a quick two pages. It is not available on YouTube unfortunately. So here is the scene in screenplay form.

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In two pages, Lou gets established as a creepy man who shouldn’t be trusted by people. Common story convention says to introduce your main character doing something that shows us who we are. So we begin here with our sociopathic antihero cutting a chainlink fence. As he notices that he is not alone, he turns and gives this charming yet unsettling smile.

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It’s not in the screenplay but it gives us our first impression of Lou. This is the first we actually see of him as the shot prior to this had him in the dark. Jake Gyllenhall killed it with his starved coyote look.

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He seems so feral in both appearance and in how he moves. When the security guard’s light hits him, he reacts like a nocturnal animal caught in headlights.  He gives his first words, a lie to get the guard’s defenses down. He feigns not knowing what he’s doing. We can tell he’s done this sort of thing his whole life. There is no worry nor tremble in Lou once he’s caught.

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He smiles wider and advances toward the officer, where he can get a better look at what he’s dealing with. His confidence grows once he sees that his opposition is only a security guard. He takes out his ID, continues his lie until he’s close enough to pounce.

We are given this image to close out the opening sequence.

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The fate of the guard is left up to our imagination. After seeing the entire film through and see what Lou is capable of, it’s scary to imagine just what he could have done to this man.

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Perception of Truth: Carcetti’s Speech

Posted in Television, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on January 20, 2017 by dakofman

The Wire

The Wire is arguably the greatest television show of all time. I haven’t seen enough classic television shows to give a definitive answer on that. The Wire never talked down to its audience and expected them to pay attention. Its messages were subtle. So subtle that at times the show’s messages could sail over the heads of its small, but dedicated audience.

How the audience perceives the message of scene is an important thing for a writer or director to consider when constructing a scene. The scene below is meant to show that Tommy Carcetti is no better than any other politician. He gives a long speech on how the city needs to be harder on the drugs-trafficking taking over the city. Carcetti’s words are passionate but lacking in substance. He offers no real solutions to the struggle of the people in Baltimore.

On the commentary for this episode, David Simon says that the performance of Aidan Gillen and the push-in of the camera imply truth to the audience. Aidan is so genuine in the fire behind his words that people don’t play attention to what he’s saying. Simon states that the push-in was done to show that this is Carcetti’s moment. This is where he becomes mayoral in the eyes of the people. He inspires people with the same words that have failed them in the past.

Simon commented that this showed that politics was more about the visuals rather than the words being spoken. Success in politics is about coming across as fitting for the position through your poise and articulation in debates. The content of your speech is secondary.