Sunday, June 23, 2013

'Mirage' Screenplay

I always loved reading early script drafts for movies I enjoy. It's a fascinating exercise to see how the story evolved before it was a film, learn what changed and figure out why, compare it to the final movie and dissect the creative process in your mind. At some point, the time machine in Back to the Future was a fridge, Indiana Jones had his mine cart chase in Raiders of the Lost Ark, and the T-Rex didn't save the day at the end of Jurassic Park.

We had some story changes like that in Mirage as well. I recently re-read the script again to see how it felt after being done with the final movie, and it was interesting to remember how different some scenes were, and how similar others remained. The opening was much more ominous, we still hadn't figured out a good reason for the boy to learn about the lake activation mechanism, and the lake itself was presented as an off-limits, government controlled site.

If you want to take a look at how the story was back in August 2012, here is my original script.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

'Mirage' Film

My thesis film, joint project with the deadly Dana Terrace, is now online for your viewing pleasure. By the way, there's easter eggs in there. Go find them too.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

'Mirage' Layouts (III)

I just remembered I had this blog. Well, I guess I'm gonna post the last batch of layouts from my thesis, now finalized and colored. As I write this, the film's soundtrack is being polished while an earlier version has already been submitted for the School of Visual Arts Dusty Film Festival.

I call that version The Dusty Edition. Remember it. It will be a collector's item one day.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

If you like the mechanism of storytelling, you probably like time-travel stories. I love them to no end. I’ve been marveled by time-travel ever since, after watching it for a good dozen times in a row, one day I deconstructed Back to the Future II and realized the entire movie contradicted itself. The kid I was when this happened stood there, shocked. How could a film so cleverly written and in which I invested so many hours, not make sense? Yet it didn’t, but instead of tarnishing my impression of the Back to the Future series forever, that realization made me love time-travel as a plot device even more.

As a writer, time-travel situations offer you the opportunity to bring your audience along on a trip through the structure of your story unlike any other premise. The plot is often laid out like a math equation, and instead of just waiting there to be taken on a linear ride, the audience is required to work their way out of a labyrinth where nothing can be incidental. Because like a math equation, a good time-travel story should be exact to avoid trapping the viewer in a labyrinth without exit. This is, however, a rule that a few have broken and still managed to deliver terrific movies. And there are also those who, despite being meticulous with their logic, applied it to not-so-exciting stories.

What I’m going to talk about here is not so much the stories, but the structural coherence of those stories. Going over many films, recent and old, I’m going to argue that there are essentially three ways to approach time-travel: the single timeline, the multiple timelines and a third option that I’m not going to introduce just yet. The first two approaches are mutually exclusive; even if that’s generally the first rule many time-travel films break. But for now, let’s go one by one.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

'Mirage' Layouts (I)

Here are some layouts featuring wrecks, water and cold environments that seem very appropriate right now. By the way, for the next post I'm going to try something different and get back to storytelling. It will have lots of text. Lots.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A rejected boat design, followed by the final design's orthographic views.