Category: Structure

Indexing The Advantage

Posted by – February 20, 2009

UPDATE: We have ditched this idea in favour of this one! I’ve taken a few different runs at plot lines, and have found one I like — it starts with the Advantaged kids unravelling a conspiracy only to find that the “bad guys” are normal humans just trying to keep their jobs. I’m excited about developing the characters of the shadowy surveillancers until they become just as fleshed out, and maybe even more likable, than the Advantaged. Certainly there’s more potential for them to be funny than the intense Advantaged.

On the issue of backstory, I’ve hit upon something modelled from the super 8 crowd: it starts with a party at a bar where Advantaged 20somethings are showing their home movies from when they were babies. This will deal with some of the exposition and establish the Advantaged “scene” at the same time.

Also, I finished watching the Up Series, and have done some reading about the interviewer Apted’s continuing and complex relationship with his subjects. I’m using this to inspire the character who is assigned to counsel the Advantaged kids after the recall, but instead of us seeing the actual interviews (difficult because we’d have to find kids who look like the 20something actors) I’m working with an audio voice over solution perhaps combined with photographs of the actors as children, or brain scan imagery.

Anyway, I’ll be doing an index card scene breakdown between now and Mar 2 to keep things in the non-specific until I get the location and actor potentials stirred into the mix. Then I’ll have a first draft of the script for March 23rd. I don’t want to give too much away until then, I have a lot of twists and turns that need to be told in a certain way to give them impact. But here’s the index cards I’ve written so far — and currently it’s breaking down into 4 key characters, which might mean a director attached to each as a structure contender.

1. Home Movies at Drink’n
An event screening childhood movies that
features the Play’n Advantage toy with some
vintage ads and PSAs thrown in for extra
backstory. We meet Alexander, the cognitive
Advantaged, Jessika, the empath, and Carson,
the dexterous bar owner. They are part of the
same Advantaged scene and know each other but
are not together. Jessika sings a song called
Recall Blues.

2. The Morning After – Alexander
Hungover, Alexander stumbles into his work, a
medical testing facility where he is a guinea
pig. He’s chastised humourously by a worker
he’s on good terms with, Will.

3. The Morning After – Jessika
Jessika has breakfast with her boyfriend, who
breaks up with her — she sells access to her
life to a few thousand subscribers, and the
pressure to perform’s too much.

4. The Morning After – Carson
Carson, cleaning up his bar explains to someone
trying to book a show at his bar that he only
books Advantaged bands.

5. Alexander’s Power
Alexander is filling out crossword puzzles as
fast as he can write. Will, observing from a
distance away, talks to a doctor saying that
being hung over doesn’t seem to affect his
abilities. The doctor says that killing a few
braincells is probably good for Alexander.

6. Jessika’s Power
Jessika walks her ex to work, sympathizing with
him to an almost insane degree. A guy suddenly
appears with flowers for her and is immediately
knocked out by a trank dart — she explains
that her subscribers protect her from other
subscribers who break the fourth wall, in order
to keep her willing to be online.

7. Carson’s Power
Carson is on a chair, which is balanced on a
chair, writing tonight’s specials on the board.
He’s being observed by two unseen people, who
comment that he’s a hard worker, and
practically normal. Then he jumps down with
uncanny ease.

8. Testing Unit
Alexander is still working on the crossword
book and conversing with a fellow test subject,
who asks him why he’s doing this when he could
be working for way more money. He explains that
they’d want his brain, and here they just want
his body.

9. Jessika’s Interview
Jessika finishes walking her ex to work and
gives him a big hug. He is baffled. She walks
home. In the background is the audio from Dr.
Robinett, talking to her about relationships.
She says that the same thing that draws people
to her eventually pushes them away.

As usual, ideas are welcome!

Mixing It Up

Posted by – November 27, 2008

This is where I begin my campaign to utilize a different kind of structure for this project. Learning from the episodic nature of “Infest Wisely” (and the countless anthology features our there), I propose to move the genre forward into new territory.

Much like a big feature film has a director, second unit director, director of visual effects, etc. I think it could be interesting to split up the four or so directors into similar roles, and “interlace” or “blend” together elements from all the directors into a single cohesive film, instead of sandboxing everyone into their own episodes.

A few ways this might be achieved:


  • Have a different person take on the plot, sub-plot A, sub plot B, visual storytelling sequences, animation or CGI elements…
  • If we go with the ‘alternate universes’ concept, it could be broken down to: real world, alleyway, alt world A, alt world B…


I believe the benefits of doing it this way could be… beneficial? It’s a new and fresh way to tackle the anthology genre (people like new things), creatively it would be a challenge, not only to write, but to delegate who does what and what the overlap would be (but that’s part of the fun). Serializing it online wouldn’t be a problem, and I think it might give the people involved more ownership and involvement. 

Potential problems could include:


  • “I’m not getting equal screen time with my part” (but that could be with countered with the ol’ “it’s not the length of your part, but how you use it”)
  • “My best scenes are on the editing floor” (this could be handled with a main vision, like Jim or a third-party editor, or screening feedback, as well as acting like adults)


Anyhoo, I’d thought I’d get the seeds planted on an idea like this so we have many nights to mull it over.

It’s time to think outside the bun, people.