5 October 2015

Screenwriting and Directing : October 5th, Holly Read

Blog entry for Screen-writing and Directing, Holly Read


-Watch the beginning of any film
-Do the 1st 10 minutes correspond to either Batty or Field's model?
-If so, what is similar? If not, what is different?

 -Film : Django Unchained, Quentin Tarantino, 2012
             Jamie Foxx, Christoph Waltz

The story takes place a couple of years before the Civil War. A slave by the name of Django is bought by a German Bounty Hunter, Dr King Shultz, who's on a mission is to capture the Brittle Brothers. Dr Shultz tells Django he will give him his freedom in exchange for his help to capture outlaws over the winter, all the while teaching him how to be a bounty hunter and splitting the bounty after each capture.

The first 10 minutes correspond to Field's model:

-It launches the dramatic premise: in the very first shot we know what the story is about: we're following a line of black slaves with heavily scarred backs being led by two men on horseback. In the first 10 minutes, we meet the other main character of the film, Dr King Shultz, who introduces himself to the 2 slave traders, the Spec Brothers, and the slaves. He explains that he is interested in one of the slaves they have, who was purchased at the Greenville slave auction and who used to be a resident at the Carrucan plantation. Django speaks up, and says he used to be a resident there. Dr Shultz asks him whether or not he knew the Brittle Brothers and if he would recognize them, Django says yes. In these first 10 minutes we know what the story will be about, the travels of Django and Dr Shultz, their quest to capture the Brittle Brothers, Django's new life as an (almost) free man.

-The 1st 10 minutes also establish the 2 characters : Django (Jamie Foxx) & Dr Shultz (Christoph Waltz). We learn in this short amount of time that Django is brave and collected. He isn't as shaky as the other slaves towards Dr Shultz and speaks up when he asked a question. His body language suggests he is determined and strong (when he throws off his cover). He also doesn't hesitate to cause pain to the slave trader who is trapped with a broken leg underneath his horse. Nevertheless he still shows some fear, but courage too. We learn alot about Dr Shultz's character. English isn't his first language, yet he is very well-spoken and polite. He uses his words and appears to be very calm. He poses as a Dentist, doesn't treat the slaves badly. He also throws away money to the Spec Brother stuck under his horse knowing he won't be alive much longer to take it. He talks directly to the slaves and gives them their freedom by giving them the keys to unshackle themselves. At one moment he also asks one of the slaves to hold a gun for him, he isn't afraid of taking risks, he trusts the man won't kill him because he just attached the slave traders. He shows no fear.

-It illustrates the situation: the slaves, chained, are being escorted somewhere by two men on horseback, the slave traders. He know we're dealing with the slave trade in America. The circumstances surrounding the action : the 5 slaves being transported by foot by slave traders.

-Establishes relationships between the main character and others: We see that these two characters are going to be spending a lot of time together and work together throughout the film. When Dr Shultz is unshackling Django he says 'those irons are nasty business' once seeing how badly damaged his ankles are. He also does a double take when he sees Django's scars on his back. He seems to have more scars then others, probably indicating he was punished more for standing up against them/not following orders. Dr Shultz seems pretty shocked by it.


-Use Field's model on page 40 to create a basic story with a basic character. Write down a few lines for each.

My character is called Ravenna. She is 21 years old, she lives in 19th century London. Luckily, she was born into the middle-class, her father was a well respected man who built his way up to the top. He used to be poor, and she'd heard stories about his youth and about her great grand-mother who would often look after him. She was a curious girl, asking questions about her family that her father refused to answer, were it be because he didn't know the answers or because he was ashamed of his difficult past, she never knew. She was smart, but impulsive. Despite women's position in society at the time she manages to manipulate situations to get what she wants. She made friends with all types of people from different social classes, often disguising herself to fit in. She loves listening to stories and writing. She would go out and find a random object, and write a story about it. This day, after her father leaves for meetings, she disguises herself as a lower-class girl and exits through the servants quarters. She makes her way to the market to find a new object around which she can create a new story. She finds an intricate antique urn, which she buys for only a few pennys.

The physical action is the quest to discover where the urn comes from after Ravenna starts to experience strange vivid dreams when she brings it home. The emotional action is her journey to break the social norms and expectations of her society and her father's expectations, her thoughts and feelings and the way she changes throughout her quest. The dramatic need of this character is to create her own image away from her father's, a need to experience life without the setbacks a woman is faced with every day in the 19th century.


-Go through a newspaper, a website, any text based material, and find a story that interests you.
-Spend 5-10 minutes interviewing someone you know or do not know about anything that is of interest to them. Write down what your learnt or found interesting.

-A story that interests me

-I read story told by a US National Forest Rescuer, I found it through a Tumblr blog. I found it really interesting; this man was being interviewed by a younger officer in training, he told him a few stories and some very weird things he'd experienced whilst on duty in the woods. His work mostly consisted of finding missing persons who lost their way in the wilderness, or who had seemingly disappeared, needless to say some of the stories sadly didn't always have a good ending, and out of all 4 experiences this man told, all of them left me quite freaked out. I love reading stories about people's experiences (good, bad or weird), it's always interesting to see how these people reacted in certain situations and how it affected them later on. Even just listening to how they talk about it, what kind of language they use to describe it. Obviously I have some doubts as to the legitimacy of some these stories, but it's a good way to imagine and picture the story behind some of these strange occurrences. 

-My interview with Naomi Grace

I decided to ask one of my friend's, Naomi, a few questions about something that is of interest to her. I suggested a list of topics that it could be linked to : a story, a memory, a passion, any thoughts or personal feelings towards something specific... She answered that her biggest interest is music, "it falls under every category you've mentioned". She's been interested in music for as long as she can remember, considering that all her family are musicians, it was bound to be part of her life. This is where I began to ask some more specific questions.

-"What are the ups and downs? Have you faced difficult times or is it mostly positive? Where would you like it to go? 
-The ups and downs would definitely be that music is really liberating and to be honest I can't even think of any downs... I think there's been a lot of difficult times, trying to find the right songs to cover, having the time to rehearse and record when University is taking over, also trying to find gigs but when it does work out, it's amazing! I'm hoping I can turn it into a career, it'll be hard but hopefully it'll work out!
-What is your favorite thing about it?
-My favorite thing is being on stage in front of an audience, there is nothing as amazing as that.
-Are there any assumptions people make about singer/songwriters that you disagree with? Or that you would like to prove wrong?
-Yes there are! I think the fact people assume that once singers, etc make it and get famous they only care about the money, and I think people judge them all really harshly when you think of all the musicians that really do care about the music and their fans. So I guess I'm kind of hoping if I ever make it I'll be able to prove the critics wrong about judgments like that.
-Do you have any particular stories or memories you'd like to share about your experience with music?
-Ok musical memory: my first proper concert was in 2009 and it was for the children of Chernobyl charity. My granddad was the one who put me and Chloe (sister) up for it. I spent about 3 weeks preparing for it, if I remember correctly, and we spent ages trying to find songs to cover. But when we got there, I was so nervous! I had no idea what to say or if anyone would like what we were singing but once we started it was the best thing ever! Everyone seemed to really enjoy it and we got to meet two of the kids from Chernobyl which was amazing, because they were so full of life despite their horrible circumstances. It was the first time someone complimented me on my singing and that was the moment I realized that singing was the best thing ever and I wanted to keep on doing it if I could!"

Holly Read


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