If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result?
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Topic: If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result?

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    Default If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result?

    My next script is actually 14 pages. I didn't write it, but it's the one I want to take on. In order to cut down the length, there is one character I can cut, who is not really needed for the plot, but I feel that cutting the character might bring down the story in quality, cause the character is a mentor/sounding board type character for the protagonist.

    If I cut her out, the protagonist would have to be his own mentor but a lot of times in movies, the protagonist will have another character to guide him. Like for example in Die Hard, if the character Al Powell, was cut out of the movie to save on budget and shoot time, would the story go downhill with him not being in it? He's not really necessary to the plot. They could have wrote it so that the protagonist doesn't get help from him and did everything himself instead.

    So in matter of budget and shoot time, vs. how good the story is without that type of character, what do you think?

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    Last edited by ironpony; 10-13-2017 at 02:13 PM.

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    Senior Member   If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? Walter B's Avatar
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    If you think Al Powell's absense would leave the movie the same you don't understand the importantance of human interaction and subtext.
    The story would go downhill.
    Unless you think the story is only swearing and shooting and that nothing happens in the scenes with Al.

    And this probably why your on set rewrites s#ck.
    Not every scene is just about what happens, but also about what it tells the audience on a level that is different than on the nose exposition.

    But maybe that character in your script can be deleted.
    We don't know, we never read the script.
    And you again think that your one example can set a rule for what you want.
    The only thing I can guess is that it is again some crime script.

    But maybe you are right.


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    I don't think that taking Al out would make the movie better, I think it would make it worse. But I was asking since I was told by you to cut characters that are not necessary, so I am trying to establish how necessary is NECESSARY. I don't want the story to go downhill by cutting a character, but at the same time, how do I cut out characters, if every character is important?

    There seems to be a mentality that the less characters the better for making a movie, cause that makes everything more simple. But at the same time, you need all these extra characters to enrich the story, and so it isn't just on the nose. So I feel the two idelogies are working against each other for me.


    And yeah it's a crime script, but what does that matter? As for on the set rewrites, let's say an actor drops out, but the character adds depth to the story. Should I just cancel the shoot for the day and postpone till I can find someone else then, instead of bringing the story downhill by rewriting it on set, without that character?


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    Super Moderator   If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? mara's Avatar
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    As WalterB implied, we'd be in a far better position to comment if you post the script.

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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    Sorry, I am trying to post the script but having trouble getting the site to accept it. When I upload it, the script doesn't show, and it just says, what it says below. I will keep trying.

    If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result?-page-1-jpg

    Last edited by ironpony; 10-13-2017 at 03:59 PM.

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    Super Moderator   If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? mara's Avatar
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    Test link
    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B6i...ew?usp=sharing

    This is just a flyer for a screening I'm hosting tomorrow - it's a pdf so I used it as a test. I went to Google drive & uploaded it. Then I used "share" to create a link, and indicated that it should be viewable to anyone who has the link. That should work for your script too.

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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    Oh thanks, but when I tried google drive before, I was told on here that no one wanted to use google drive cause it's too risky, or something like that. But if people are okay with that, then I can upload it to there. Here it is, thanks for reading!

    https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-X...ew?usp=sharing


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    Super Moderator   If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? mara's Avatar
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    Gunther's talks much too much - cut his monologues by about 60%.

    You could probably combine Milo & Valerie into one character, but the writer might object.

    You should be able cut it down to about 10 pages.

    Other than that, it's not a bad script and should be pretty easy to shoot.

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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    I asked the writer he said he was okay with it. I was thinking of cutting Valerie out, but I thought maybe she was a sounding board character, and thought maybe she added significance. So far the big change I made was I wrote it so that Gunther doesn't leave the room and leave the two of them alone to get his gun. Gunther makes them come with him to the money, cause I felt that him leaving them alone was a plot hole, or something that he wouldn't logically do.

    The biggest challenge of the script is that it's all one location and cannot find a location owner that is okay with a location being used for that many pages of shoot time.


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    Senior Member   If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? Walter B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    I don't think that taking Al out would make the movie better, I think it would make it worse. But I was asking since I was told by you to cut characters that are not necessary, so I am trying to establish how necessary is NECESSARY. I don't want the story to go downhill by cutting a character, but at the same time, how do I cut out characters, if every character is important?
    ..............
    Here you have it.
    I told you to cut characters that are not needed and then you ask this question with an example of a character that is essential in a story.
    That at least gives the impression you have a hard time understanding the role a character plays.

    And yes, it matter to me that it is a crime story.
    Those stories tend to need more time, characters and locations, are more about actions than emotions and often need 'legal props'.
    So, on average they take more 'production effort' than small stories.


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    Super Moderator   If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? mara's Avatar
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    The BEST thing about the script is that it's all one location. If you trim it down to 10 pages, you can definitely shoot it in a weekend. So find a nice person who is going to be away for a weekend some time in the next 6 months, and trade favors with them so that they let you use their home for this. And by trading favors I mean walk and/or feed their pets, help with their grocery shopping, do their laundry for a couple of weeks - whatever it takes since you can't pay them.

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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    Okay thanks. Do you think it can be done in one weekend though? Since I am able to do one page an hour, that means 20 hours for 10 pages, so would actors and crew be willing to do two 10 hour days in a row, likely? Usually actors seems to want to get finished after about 4-6 hours I find.

    Last edited by ironpony; 10-14-2017 at 10:51 AM.

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    Super Moderator   If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? mara's Avatar
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    10 hour days are normal in filmmaking.

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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    Yeah but the actors I've worked with do not realize that, which is why I had to break my last short into six days to accommodate the amount of time they wanted to commit for a day. If it must be 10 hours a day, I will try to talk them into it.

    Last edited by ironpony; 10-14-2017 at 11:12 AM.

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    Pro Member   If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? Mick Scarborough's Avatar
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    Simple answer Pony. If you have to ask if deleting the character makes a difference in the story... IT DOES. In the case of what you describe, you can not delete the character.


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    Okay thanks. I kept being told before, that if an actor drops out, to kill off the character and change things. But if I can't do that and must keep the character, should I postpone the rest of shooting till I find someone else, and do reshoots then, to make up for the scenes the actor already shot? I don't like doing this cause it puts everyone else on hold, but is this the way to go for if it happens again?


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    Senior Member   If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? Walter B's Avatar
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    Your project, your call.

    Who says you can't kill off a character? (Giving Die Hard as an example and calling him not essential triggered me to say Al can't be deleted without consequences. It does not mean you can't, because you are not making Die Hard. Who knows what characters got deleted in the writing proces/cutting room?)
    The question is: are you creative enough? Or is it indeed wiser to postpone?
    And are you grown up enough to make such choices?

    Your problem seems to be cancelling actors.
    The smaller the amount of actor you need, the less likely someone drops out.
    However: if you only shoot 4 hours a day and need every actor on 6 days, it gets harder to plan those days and the change of a dropout increases:
    the amount of days they have to commit seemingly increases unexpectedly during shooting with you.

    Find actors who can shoot 2 straight full days. No part-time BS.


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    Okay thanks, I think in that case, I would have to find actors that can do a whole day then. Sometimes when I audition actors, they seem to prefer the part time better. Do you think it would be better write scripts with multiple characters in rather than just 2 or 3 main characters? Cause the more characters in the story means that each actor will not have to stick around as long, and then there might be less of a drop out, cause I can finish each actor's shoots right away, if the characters take up less time. The lesser the characters a script has, the more time the actors will have to devote it seems.

    As for killing off characters, some you can, some you can't I guess. I don't feel I am creative enough to rewrite a whole script on five minutes in my head while on set, cause it will lead to plotholes... compared to postponing and taking at least a week to rewrite it and be careful not to create any holes.


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    Senior Member   If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? Walter B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    Okay thanks, I think in that case, I would have to find actors that can do a whole day then. Sometimes when I audition actors, they seem to prefer the part time better. Do you think it would be better write scripts with multiple characters in rather than just 2 or 3 main characters? Cause the more characters in the story means that each actor will not have to stick around as long, and then there might be less of a drop out, cause I can finish each actor's shoots right away, if the characters take up less time. The lesser the characters a script has, the more time the actors will have to devote it seems.
    This has been discussed a few years ago when you came up with this 'solution'. Don't you even get a deja vu when you type?
    This logic only works if your characters have little interactions with each other.
    And it introduces your other problem: locations.

    To those part-time actors you should say: 'Are you sure you want to spend 5 half days on this instead of 2 whole days?'

    Quote Originally Posted by ironpony View Post
    As for killing off characters, some you can, some you can't I guess. I don't feel I am creative enough to rewrite a whole script on five minutes in my head while on set, cause it will lead to plotholes... compared to postponing and taking at least a week to rewrite it and be careful not to create any holes.
    See, you don't need to ask us. You can think for yourself.


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    Pro Member   If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? Mick Scarborough's Avatar
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    Again. Dont shoot a second of film until you have a completed and strong final script as well as a solid commitment from your actors. This continuous mention of rewriting during shooting is making me frustrated with you.


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    Okay thanks. But if actors would not leave during shooting, I wouldn't have to do rewrites. The rewrites are caused by them leaving, not by the prior script problems.

    Sorry for keep on mentioning it, that is just my biggest problem so far. I find myself rewriting to for when actors leave. But if the script is already solid, then I guess it's better to not change anything and just postpone till I find a new actor then.

    As for learning this before and deja vu, I thought that before people told me that rewrites were normal cause things change during shooting, so I thought it was normal to have to do that, from what I was told before. But if rewriting is bad, and I should keep the script the same, then I will just postpone to find new people next time, should actors change their minds.

    As for asking the actors if they would rather do 2 whole days rather than 5 half days, I asked that before and the answer was they would rather do five half days. I will try to find ones with more free schedules.

    Ultimately the things I have learned that went wrong are actors not being available enough and I just need to find more people and take more time with to shoot it, so everything is not rushed.


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    Super Moderator   If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? If I cut out this type of character, would the story not be as good as a result? mara's Avatar
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    You're asking the wrong question: you need to figure out why the actors leave, so that you don't have this problem in the future.

    Screenwriter and script consultant: www.maralesemann.com

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    The actor in this case, got a second job after the first day of shooting, and wasn't available on the shoot dates cause of both jobs he says. I didn't think the reason for leaving was related to me.


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    "The changes were not cause the script was weak I don't think." I took this quote from your other thread about why you can't get people to work with you again. It's this quote that will forever be your downfall. You're NOT a writer. You shouldn't EVER consider writing, rewriting or cutting out a character from someone else's script. If you can't get all the actors needed, don't shoot it. You are in no way capable of having anything to do with the writing process. That's not mean. It's just a fact from the years you've spent asking really poor questions about really bad scripts. If I put up my first script and my last you'd see a dramatic improvement in the writing. I might still suck, but I've learned a lot. It would be obvious just from the first 5 pages. You've literally learned nothing. Because writing is not your forte. The movie you put up was all around weak, especially in the story department. In everyone's response, you respond with excuses. If you don't step far away from the writing process, you'll never make anything worthwhile.

    As for asking strangers without showing them the script whether you should cut a character, you shouldn't. How about asking the writer? If he can't validate the character being in the script, then it can be cut. If he can, and you don't understand it, that speaks to your ability to direct and understand the script.


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    Okay thanks. However, I was looking for ways to make the next script I am going to shoot, shorter than 14 pages. Are you saying cause I'm not writer, I should not change the 14 pages at all, and just leave it as is? What about the plot hole in the climax, I wanted to fix, should I just leave that as is, as well?

    The writer said, go ahead and cut the character, but that would mean I would have to cut the character out myself, and rewrite around the character. But the writer said it's my script now and I can do what I want. But does that mean I should, or what should I do to make it shorter, with less actors, if I am not a writer?

    So if writing is not my forte, and the other writer doesn't want to cut the character himself and work on the script more himself, should I just look for another writer to do it then?

    So basically my downfall has been the writing process then, this whole time, and the route of my problems is just bad scripts, and I should only direct other people's scripts only?

    Also whats a good way of getting other people's scripts to direct? I put some adds on kijiji and the facebook pages before, but only got one response from one writer. Is there a better place to find scripts to direct, if I shouldn't write my own?

    Last edited by ironpony; 10-17-2017 at 04:37 PM.

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