Pilot Script Attempt

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
I am going to attempt to put out a pilot script by the end of this week (maybe even submit it as a paper [along with the rest of the "Script Team"] for Midmoot if it is well-received.)

For my own accountability and so I can get notes from everyone else, I submit a link to the document so it can be viewed. This will not only allow me some feedback, but force me to actually _work_ on it.

https://docs.google.com/document/d/1IfjCQxjX4zYlyvS7fji8Ur7SoOZWA7UScJe0OE3Epws/edit?usp=sharing
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
If you start to get bogged down in crafting the exact right dialogue, just write the gist of what you want the characters to say and put it in brackets. That way, you still have the structure there....

[If that's not the distraction, ignore that advice.]
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I think that what you've done so far is very well written.
We discussed the 'hope'-lines in your status and this is what you talked about doing. Now that I see it in a script I'm not sure. It kind of tones the foreboding down a bit too much for me. (You'll probably hate this...) I'm not sure but if we're given the impression that this is something they say now and then, it seems like an expression of sense of duty as well as an expression of the loving bond between them; it is more like saying a quick prayer than an insight in his destiny. As an alternative, I would perhaps like to see the first part something they could have shared several times. She could say 'You bring hope to men'. And he could answer, 'I bring hope to men - I keep none for myself'. This would be a strange thing to say when you're leaving your wife and child going into a fight, so perhaps you would have to shuffle a bit and put this part before the twins arrive. So the words are spoken in a peaceful context which is suddenly changed by the twins and their news about the orcs. Alternatively you could make the Orc hunting seem more like an everyday thing, but that would kind of mess up the whole set up for this scene.
I hope this doesn't give you too much of a headache.
 
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Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Well, I do think that I can change the tone of the lines without too much difficulty.

What I think I may have failed to do here is convey that while the harassment of orcs is fairly normal, these will pass quite close to the settlement. I might have been a bit too subtle.
 

MithLuin

Administrator
Staff member
I very much like that you've done this!

I know it's difficult to write in pseudo-formal-archaic, and still come up with dialogue that sounds believable, so I think you've hit the right tone here.

Having Arathorn's death happen off screen is very significant, and not a choice most TV show execs would make for their opening scene. But then, we have to prepare the audience for the pages and pages of script that will be 'people standing around talking' so.....maybe it fits here ;)

Also, 2 year olds are not quite babies. You can still carry them around at that age, but they talk, at least a little. Aragorn's vocabulary at this age might consist of 'Daddy bye-bye?' Of course, getting the two year old actor to say that on screen will be nearly impossible, so scripting the kid to be picked up and to cry is probably the much safer choice.

As for the orcs - no, I think it's clear that the secrecy/safety of the settlement is what is at risk here, and why Arathorn does not have time to seek additional help. I am a little unsettled with giving the orcs overwhelming force here - an arrow in the eye is a lucky shot, and it only takes one orc archer to make that happen. But, whatever, it's not terrible, just starting with a losing battle rather than a heroic sacrifice in a winning battle is a bit of a downer...but oh look, this is the Silmarillion, what should you expect? Then again, burning the village at night says 'here we are!' loud and clear, and seems unnecessary. Take the 'important' things - food stores, weapons, tools....and then as they leave, the orcs set fire to the place behind them?
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
I think it's good not to show the actual death of Arathorn. But: What happens to Arathorn's body? We could show that, the twins could bring him with them, it could be a terrifying and tragic scene.
 

ouzaru

Well-Known Member
I dunno, I think it largely depends on how much time we spend with Arathron before he has his bucket moment. If he's not on screen and we don't talk to him much, then it might be better to have him die off camera. If we've got a real feel for how he and Gilraen are together, I feel like she really ought to see him take the fatal hit as it happens.

But that's just a gut feeling completely unattached to an existing narrative, I'm not married to it.
 

Haakon

Administrator
Staff member
It is Gilraen's story, but if it's possible to maintain her perspective while showing the arrow hitting the eye I'm not against it. It might be good to put in as much action and drama as possible, but it could be too much. It's really a matter of how you do it. In the end, you can do it either way and it will be dramatic.
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Well, unless she goes orc-hunting with him (which I don't see him allowing, I sure as hell wouldn't), I don't think she'd be there. We could, of course, have the orcs attack the town, a departure, but one not a great one. I did, however, want to make sure that this is Gilraen's perspective. Having Arathorn's body brought back is the right move, I think.

As to having Estel vocalize in the scene between his parents is ... doable, but in most cases where I've seen that, it does look a bit weird. Mostly because of the steps one has to take to elicit acting from a two-year-old.

With your collective forbearance, I'm going to push forward before going back and redoing anything, in the hopes that we can have a completed script to work with.
 
D

Deleted member 207

Guest
I've no idea how closed the writer's circle is but listening to the podcast on the scripts I had a couple thoughts regarding the first episodes. I'll post my thought here and you can tell me what you reckon.

I'm aware that the cold open has been writer and I've not read it but I did wonder if the death of Arathorn and the preceding battle could begin small and intimate and quietly. It's been a long time since I thought about his death so the details are sketchy but could we met him in quiet contemplation before a sort of household shrine. Now obviously not a shrine as that is the wrong thing for this world and system of ideas but perhaps an ornate engraving or fresco, maybe depicting the same moments of the War that Estel is later looking at. Then perhaps Gilraen can enter and they gave an intimate moment; showing their love and its strength will be vital as we will see none of it but only know the ramifications of its absence.

Now I'm also a proponent of the two hour long episode, smashing the first couple together. This is mainly as I think the proven of a slow second episode is a profound one. While it could be tactfully navigated I think you could also intercut the scenes from episode one which have more dramatic tension into the story elements from the second. By having it all together you have more space to balance. Either way I do have a very White Walkers in GoT style scene to close out that last episode. To just remind audiences there is tension and there will be darkness is end with the camera panning through whatever visual we are using for the void. In assuming it is a blackness but may be wrong. The camera would settle on an area of dark that is hard to distinguish, almost like an optical illusion. It would linger long enough for a viewer to question what shape they are looking at before an eye opens and we see it is a dark and terrible face, perhaps upside down or from an interesting angle to give a sense of an otherness and to help obscure what we are seeing before the eye opens. Thoughts?
 

Nicholas Palazzo

Well-Known Member
Well, the episode one script is in progress at the link above if you wanted to take a look. I will be revisiting the death of Arathorn scene once I have completed it (I just want to have something finished before I go back and redo stuff). As to combining episodes one and two ... I think that would have to have a larger discussion, though it is an interesting idea.
 
D

Deleted member 207

Guest
No idea how I missed the link, just what I was looking for
 
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