This is a diagram of Syd Field's Basic Film Paradigm - he presents this as the required format of any successful screenplay.
This has raised a number of questions in relation to WEATHERMAN
Does the paradigm apply to short films? Does it scale from a 120-page screenplay down to one consisting of only 15-30 pages? Can the current draft be remodelled and transposed onto this paradigm? And, if so, is that what I should be doing? Is a short film adopting this paradigm even the right format for this idea? If not, what is?
In search of some answers I went for a drink recently with an old schoolfriend - Dan Outram
- who has some experience working as a director of commercials and short films. I pitched him the concept as concisely as possible and he was quick to draw my attention to a number of issues, the foremost of which is that a screenwriter has to be constantly aware of what the audience doesn't know. 15-30 pages (i.e. minutes) isn't a long time to deliver a complete narrative, particularly one that is established in an unfamiliar social or cultural context.
Maybe that's why I've decided to post the first few pages of the current draft here
, for whomever finds it, and cares to read it - in the hope that any comments will help me gauge what you know; what you want to know; what you need to know. You don't have to post them below - you can always email them to me
. Anonymously, if you prefer :)