Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Unit 4: Story Telling - Excerpts to Initial Development

Hello Everyone,

I have been working religiously on my Ipad since this brief officially began, I wanted to cut away from everything so everything could be developed with no outside influence. From this I have learnt a number of things and a few new approaches that I may be taking in the near future :)

The last few days I have been making promises and not delivering so I'm going to stop that crap right now. I will warn you now this post is long so don't kill yourself but I wanted to consider lots of avenues this time before committing. It is also partially why this post has been late.

Okay below are multiple mind maps from me asking the initial questions of my idea through to possible genre scenarios and prop/character uses as well as possible factory settings.

I will label them so just read the parts you wish!

The object I drew (shown above) is a catapult, if anything this is going to be the hard part to decipher as my other two components seem to fit perfectly to that of a drama (which is what I would love to do). From here though I wanted to try ways of utilising the object in different ways to the obvious so I delved into the definition of "Catapult".

The mind map (above) is what I found on the term catapult. The verbs felt more attractable but the fact that these were explained as "props" on briefing day eliminated the thought meaning I would more then likely be relegated to the noun use.

Next (shown above) a factory would be my chosen environment. This will be relatively more easier to navigate with the amount of factories and industrial manufacturing plants on a massive scale. My personal love of grit and dirt also fits factory's perfectly.

To be safe I decided to explore into the definitions of factory (shown above) with term a. being my original thought when I first drew it. My only real worry at this point is how a catapult would even fit this scene with the only real catapults being kids toys or old roman catapults neither of which fit a factory to me.

Last but not least would come my character - a Bodyguard (shown above). I felt this fit the factory perfectly but again the prop just keeps stumping me. This is where I thought I could take some liberty's with the prop by possibly making it a logo or something but again I don't know how far I can bend the term "prop".

The only definition of Bodyguard was the most obvious (shown above) I didn't think it would hurt to be sure. At this point the only obvious use for a catapult could be as a weapon, its either that or it could be a trinket of a departed child the bodyguard keeps adding an element of Drama to his back story.

Next came a question spree (shown above) which I wrote in 5 minutes on the train. I just wanted to ask myself questions to see the thoughts that came racing to my head. This process was key for locating the possibilities of this idea namely I knew if the prop had to be a physical noun then it was better to be a primary prop then a secondary as the prop is out of place in a factory unless its a catapult factory but that idea felt too comical. So I stepped back and asked who is my character maybe he has the prop, maybe not to use but just to have as a reminder.

Next I found myself diving head first into genre (shown above) I identified 1 which I felt could easily work (namely comedy) & 3 other possibilities including the 1 I really wanted to do (namely drama) I didn't want to rule anything out I even felt the found film genre could work if done correctly. Action was the only one where I took a complete leap as action story's (to those that know Arny) don't have much of a story but if combined with a sub-genre could work.

Next I found myself asking what a catapult means to me (shown above) not the definition but me as a film connoisseur, television fanatic and games digester. There was of course the obvious personification of a physical kids toy but what really stood out to me as a consumer. I found myself examining the terms to try and break some little niche from a cluster of normality my favourite was "an item captured, being forced from one place to another" Again it may not have a place but It felt educational just analysing what I may be able to get away with (who knows).

Next I thought about secondary locations of a factory pertaining to rooms both exterior & interior (shown above). I love the idea of a dark parking lot for a drama I could even imagine a crime scene here. That being said a Hanger and a Quarantine bay also peaked my interest. Then I thought the bulk of the action would surely have to be happening on the factory floor, still I am glad to have lots of places to go if I want.

Next I decided to delve into my character namely his archetype (shown above) in my story which I isolated to "Off Duty" & "On Duty". Then I decided to ask myself why a bodyguard would be at a factory if he was off duty and then why would he if he was on duty with the most obvious being protecting someone. This made the possibility of an idiotic bodyguard available to me, one who is a bigot (kind of Ricky Gervais - David Brent). Who regardless of his job would still choose self preservation lending itself again to a comedy angle.

Next came a break down of my initial chosen genre "Found Film". I expanded slightly into things my character could be doing as well as various factory's containing further possible props. I even looked into possible uses of the chosen prop (in my case Catapult). Some of the ideas were rubbish but I wanted to expand as wide as I could so I could slowly hone in on my target.

Next came a break down of my chosen scene with an "Action" genre spin. There were a few nice ideas in here I specifically liked the idea of an enraged bodyguard which would mean that the bulk of the story would have to be declared by his back story. I like the idea of a loner, they are always the more interesting characters to me, because it is not what they say it is what they don't say. I love the idea of conspiracy's where a body is found and no one knows the story, even when it is revealed it feels as though something is missing.

Next came a break down of the "Comedy" genre with my chosen prop, scene, character. What particularly made me giggle on this one was the idea of a bodyguard bragging about his new gun and accidentally discharging it scaring the hell out of the guy he is meant to be protecting. I like humour that isn't completely obvious which is probably why I love comedy's that play like documentaries. The only problem with this idea was the catapult I couldn't find a place for it where it wouldn't look ridiculous.

Last but not least came the "Drama" genre which I would ideally roll into a conspiracy. This is where I introduced the idea of the slingshot being a stationary prop to our bodyguard protagonist. A reminder of his son, etc, this could be a little too on the nose. I then started playing with the idea of the bodyguard being the bad guy but then I thought about reverting to him not achieving his job. Choosing to dive for someone he cared about as opposed to someone he was paid to protect. All of these ideas I loved - I'd love to convey something serious.

Well this concludes my initial thoughts on this brief so far, hopefully some feedback from you guys will help me isolate my direction. I have 4 genres to cut through afterall. That being said I am leaning towards comedy and drama. Drama obviously works and Comedy would just be a unique thing for a bodyguard to adopt I think.

Anyway all of your thoughts are welcomed... I'm so sorry that this is so long. Hopefully I can get this cut down quick with a few synopsis drafts tomorrow :)

Well thank you for reading everyone & I will now pay all of your blogs a visit :)

Over & Out,


  1. wow im liking your planing, I my self did a small mind map about my character but nothing like this. Its is sometimes good to be reminded to think about all of it instead of one part at a time.

    Anyways, I could see a good comedy coming from yours, as i can't see a bodyguard being very drama written whom that could be where your comedy comes from :) Lots of possibilities here.

  2. Zut alors, you've thought into this. Regarding my personal tastes I love the comedy angle, but since you said you'd like to try something serious I'll let that go. You seem to be having most trouble with the catapult, so I'll focus on that.

    First off, slingshots are in fact potential lethal weapons - prior to bows being widely accessible they were used as hunting weapons, particularly the swung, non-elastic-attached-to-wooden-frame type - http://www.amam-magazine.com/sling-lethal-weapon1.jpg and http://online.wsj.com/media/0327pod02.jpg . Trained slingshooters could hit a flying bird at 500 yards, so someone with great skill could take somebody out with a well-aimed stone or ball-bearing at the temple or base of the skull.

    There's also the possibility of a modified slingshot - this video must be seen to be believed - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TSU1jQoGIqo That channel actually has a lot of videos on catapults and slingshots, so give it a look when you have time.

    Regarding the genre, I think a conspiracy would be reeeaally tough to show in a minute, so drama could be awkward. The found footage style could work, but remember that it would be a hell of a lot of camera work to get the handheld effect.

    One idea I have for a set-up is that the bodyguard's guardee is opening the factory - big public place, lots of people there watching, good opportunity for assassination.

    Hope that helps, and thanks for the response on my blog!