Monday, 23 January 2017


FSTS - OGR 1 by Graeme on Scribd


  1. OGR 25/01/17

    Hi Graeme, in broad terms, I think you’re nearly there, though I do have some suggestions to make. Your story will make a whole lot more sense if it’s not set in the modern day; I found it jarring that this little boy would be listening to his headphones, but also be so bored and neglected that he’d befriend a mouse. If he’s got headphones and aceess to stimulus, then it’s harder for us to ‘read’ him as alone. In terms of your set-up – the ebalmist etc – it all lend itself much more to a period piece, so perhaps something a bit early Victorian – the Victorian’s made a big fuss of death and dying in terms of ceremony, so it make sense.

    For me, the separation of the two characters via the plastic sheet would obviously go if you moved time-periods. It could simply me that the camera tracks from downstairs to upstairs; there’s something not credible about the proximity of the embalmist’s studio and the child’s space – especially in light of the embalmist’s insistence on complete silence etc.

    In terms of setting up their relationship, I think you need to be much more explicit in terms of the idea of the child being considered a disruptive influence; it could be as simple as us watching the embalmist putting some final finishing touch to the reshaping of someone’s nose using mortician’s wax; the camera pans up to show us the boy in his room, and maybe he’s pretending to be a soldier and marching across his bedroom floor – the camera pans back down and we see the thudding of the child’s marching literally making the embalmist’s hand jump - and the embalmist’s resulting fury. You could include a similar scene, where the boy is shown as having a friend in his room – they’re laughing etc – and the next shot shows us the embalmist kicking the friend out of the house, and shushing his son – and then we see the boy all alone on his room looking fondly at the photograph of his mum and dad and him all smiling standing outside the funeral parlour– and you set all of this up in the first 30 seconds of Act 1. I think you need to be very clear about this dynamic in this signposted way, as then you set up the audience’s understanding for why the mouse becomes so important. I think you need these scenes to make everything simple and readable; we don’t need a scene where the embalmist rearranges all his stuff; you just make sure we understand he’s neat and uptight through his character design, through the mise-en-scene of the funeral parlour, and through his phobic relationship to noise.

    I like the ending – where the father rescues the mouse from the mousetrap; as an embalmist is not a doctor, but someone who ‘repairs’ – you should a) show the embalmist sewing up the bodies or actively repairing them in the initial set-up and then b) show that the mouse has perhaps caught his tail in the mousetrap and it needs to be sewn back on or fixed – as opposed to the embalmist doing some fancy doctoring or surgery. I don’t think you need elaborate flashbacks etc to show us that the embalmist understands the relationship between the mouse and the son’s loneliness – it could be as simple as intercutting between the boy’s distress, the father’s face, the photo of the family, back to the boy, back to the father’s face as he looks at the photo, back to the photo etc. You need to show us and share with us the father’s ‘coming-to-realisation’.

    So, have another look at ACT 1 and all it needs to achieve and think about the benefits of choosing an older time period, not just in story terms, but in character and environment design terms too.

    1. Hi Phil, thanks so much for the feedback, I knew I was kind of reaching with the headphones but I just thought that the attic would be a studio apartment because I was trying to think in terms of being able to model it in one in maya and show the camera movements side to side but I never thought of having it move up and down a level.

      I was toying with the idea of having it set in an older time period but I couldn't get past how that time period would show the son but I have more of an idea now, also the idea of having the son jumping on the floor above the Embalmist as he works on a corpse with mortician wax would be hilarious as he completely botches the reconstruction!
      Thanks a million for all the help Phil I really appreciate it, I'll update the story when I get half a second, I'm excited now :)