Sunday, 20 January 2008

A V P V Writers

Met up with Ross, the director of 10DM tonight (we went to see Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem – more on that later) and the final cut is very close to being locked which is good news! Apparently the structure has changed a lot which I’m a bit worried about, as it’s something I spent a long time getting right in the script. Then again so much has changed since shooting started anyway that I didn’t expect it to turn out exactly as written. Also, I know from my short films how much can change during editing so I’m sure it will be a better film for it. From what Ross was saying it sounds like the flashback structure has been removed to make it more linear and easier to follow. I can’t see that this will hurt the film in any way – the non-linear narrative had been cut back and simplified so much by the final draft anyway (for good reason) that it wasn’t essential to the film – I just hope that the voiceover still works. Hopefully I'll be able to see for myself soon!

Anyway, A V P R – not bad, better than the first one, but as usual could’ve been made loads better with a decent rewrite. The dialogue and characters are all fine; it’s just that the stakes aren’t high enough and the writer obviously didn't think that it mattered too much. There’s a moment where the characters are on their way out of town – perfectly sensible thing to do since everyone else is getting picked off by monsters, although at this point they don’t really know what’s happening – and they get stuck in traffic. So they just decide to go back into town. No real reason except for the fact that if they did leave at that point it would be a much shorter film. All it needed was for someone to say ‘We can’t get out – the bridge is down’ or some such excuse and it would be fine. Instead it’s a classic case of the characters looking stupid because they miss an obvious opportunity to escape.

Then at the end the survivors are getting onto a helicopter and the main guy tells the others to go ahead. Why? No reason, he just wants to shoot some aliens. Which he does, then gets on the helicopter anyway having achieved nothing except killed some time and used up more of the effects budget. It wouldn’t have taken much to give him an excuse to go back for something - one of the others gets left behind and he decides to try to go back for them. Instead, he came off looking stupid. Again.

I don’t want to turn this into a film review site, but I feel it’s important to point out when big-budget films are messed up by writers who are getting paid a lot more money than I am – and as I’m not getting paid at all at the moment they’re earning loads more and should learn to do a better job!

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