Friday, November 5, 2010

Project Wilson Phillips - Team Chynna: Day 1

If you want to read my explanation of the first ten pages, go HERE.

Download the Team Chynna draft of the script HERE

Brad Bauner (p. 11-21): My main goal was to not screw up the script for my team. I think when everyone has 10 pages, it's easy to want to do something big and splashy to make yours stand out, but, at least in the first position, that could be really detrimental to the group. I concentrated on steering the tone of the script to a mystery with some humor and on fleshing out the characters and their relationships. I wanted to answer some questions that were left in the first 10 pages and leave some different unanswered questions so those writing after me would have plot points to play with. Overall, I was happy with the character, relationship and plot development in my 10. And hopefully, I didn't screw it up.

Evan Shaw (p. 22-31): I felt fairly fortunate to be third in line for the script. TBSR mentioned that he thought he had the easiest job since he was starting with blank slate, but I felt that by having the characters and situations established, my only real job was to push the story forward in an interesting way. I was getting “bad guy” vibes (yes, that’s the technical term) from Chief O’Banion based on the previous pages. So, I wanted to solidify his place as a possible antagonist by having his press conference relay purposefully inaccurate information.

I also liked the contrasting personalities of Doug Taylor and Jackson Mack, so I wanted to create as much conflict between the two. There was some underlying sexual tension between both Taylor and Editor Keller and Mack and Editor Keller. So, I figured emasculating Taylor in front of Keller would give him the motivation to go balls out in an attempt to out-perform Mack. I really wanted to do something with the tattoo that was setup in the previous pages, so I figured a good opportunity for future twists and back-stabbings would be to give Katie the same tattoo. Is she out for vengeance? Is it a coincidence? I have no clue, but I was hoping it would be something the next writers would be able to work with.

I also wanted to make Katie the female version of Jackson Mack. It’s still unclear if she’s a good gal or a bad gal, but one thing is for sure: She’s got more balls than most men. It didn’t really contribute to the main story (at least not yet), but I liked the mini-story idea of the homeless man’s struggle to get a drink. It also helped tell more about Mack’s personality; the fact that he tossed a few bottles of liquor to the homeless guy instead of money -- He knows something about pain. The very first idea that came to me was that I wanted that body to go missing at the end of my pages. I thought it would create something tangible for the characters to look for, with the idea being that if you can find the body, you can find the person who’s really behind the crime (whatever that may be).

Rosie Claverton (p. 31-39): When I first saw the script so far, I was a bit stumped. It was outside my usual comfort zone and very American in style. I also wanted to explore the women in the story, who seemed competent but hadn't done much beyond sexing things up.

I wasn't sure if we'd really finished Act One off and there were so many characters to get my head round. Therefore, I decided to explode the police station and really shake things up as an Act One ender, which conveniently disappeared/incapacitated a fair few characters and created some angst.

Then, my writing buddy Laurence suggested that forcing two very different characters to work together might be a good way forward. Doug and The Intern were already heading to the mansion, so I put Viper and Katie there too. This could serve as a B story, I thought, and maybe reveal a bit more of their agendas. I tried to make sense of Viper and Katie's actions before this point and put my reasoning in Doug's mouth.

As an aside, I was convinced that the Homeless Person was Matthew Kidwell undercover, but I couldn't find a way to work that into my section.

Carlos M. Hernandez (p. 39-50): After reading the first 40 pages, I really wanted to bring the story back to the first scenes. The previous writers helped put the characters in different places and plugged in back story where necessary. Now, as we headed into the midpoint of the story, I wanted to narrow the focus on character motivation and push it forward.

Doug Taylor felt like the true protagonist of the story. It was his partner that was missing and he had the greatest motivation to get involved deeper because of that. He also came off as the guy at the lowest point with potential to grow.

The villains, on the other hand, while evil and willing to kill for any reason, did not grasp me as people with motivation to do evil. So, I wanted to establish the true antagonist and it made sense to me that defeating him would net Kidwell. I simply chose Trenton because he had been left alone for the most part and seemed to me the mirror of Taylor: Men longing for respect. I left subtle hints that Trenton could be motivated by wanting to be more than a geek, but left it vague enough for the future writers to take it whichever direction they wanted.

The chase scene had two major purposes: demonstrate the seriousness of their situation and to further establish Doug's propensity to do whatever it takes to find Kidwell. He fires a single bullet, makes one pull of the trigger, but I hoped it would show that Doug wasn't going to be this pushed-around journalist any longer. He had now done something he wouldn't have done a day ago and (because I like breaking parallels) something that Trenton had never been able to do.

Eric John Anderson (p. 51-61): I wasn't sure what to send you in regards to my pages, so I'll just tell you my experience:

For the most part, I was confused by the writing that I had received to that point. There were so many different plotlines and character arcs going that I couldn't figure out what to do next. Since I was in the middle of the screenplay, I had the opportunity to raise the stakes of the story with a twist, but the characters should have been on their way to their end goals and most of them weren't.

To make everything clearer, I decided to write a short outline for every scene. I also created a quick bio of each character thus far. The characters that I liked the least and that I thought were less important I decided to kill off or shun them from the script. I also wanted to clearly define the relationships thus-far, since it had not quite been expressed. And finally, I wanted to have a clearly defined goal for the characters.

Mostly I just wanted to blow it all up and start fresh without completely throwing off the main storyline thus far. We'll see if it was successful or not.


  1. Team Chynna FTW!!! But, on a serious note, I do like how others had the same idea I had about the script while reading it. I hope all you team chynna members like my ending and why I did it the way I did.

  2. I haven't had a chance to read it today, but I'm excited to read it this weekend. Hopefully, I didn't screw anyone up with my pages!

  3. Escarondito - I am down with 00-No-Home. Haha.

    My favorite line from my favorite character:

    A.J Trenton:
    Boring story. I’m bored.
    (to a suit)
    Give me a gun, I want to shoot a

  4. A.J. is a gas in most of these. I'm still mildly disappointed that one of the groups didn't just kill off every other character by the end of Act One and turn it into "The Adventures of A.J. Trenton: International Man of Geekery!"

  5. That's a story you could sell! That man is a film franchise waiting to happen.

    By the way, thank you for correcting two horrible spelling errors on my part. Those have bothered for weeks.

  6. I was half-tempted to do just that, but then I thought "they already did a computer/nerd villain story, it's called THE SOCIAL NETWORK."

    Also, I totally said "thus-far" three times in my comments. #proofread

  7. Carlos I was dying when I saw that too. I think A.J. is by far the coolest character in our script. Jude is maybe the most interesting because we don't even know if we know who she is or what she fully wants until the end, but A.J. would steal every scene he's in.

    Has anyone else found it funny besides me that the majority of Team Chynna's writers were men but women defined big aspects of our script. Jude is our girl for the baddies and we all can see as it goes that she is more in the know than anyone else in the entire script completely, able to use anyone and any situation to her benefit. For the women, Keller is the one defining the relationship between jackson mack, her, and doug.

    I just realized now that even viper was a catalyst for Trenton's turn. I didn't realize it when I wrote it but upon reading it all now. 3 women can be pointed too for the internal and external plot of our screenplay

  8. Well, I know that I've always enjoyed writing female characters. So I was pleased when one of them was a major focal point of the story and I think part of that is why I wanted to make her really important and dominant in my pages.

    Honestly, what did not surprise me the most was the early sexual scenes written by the men. And I mention that because what really surprised me was the sexual scenes written later in the script by a woman.

    Bad stereotyping, I know, but I started off thinking: "Of course!" (not in jest) and finishing it off with: "Wow, did not see that coming."

  9. Carlos - another interesting detail that plays off your observation is that I'm pretty sure that the first person to write a sex scene in the next group was a woman too. Funny how that works out, huh?