If last week was a crossroads, this week is definitely pressing the accelerator down that road.
To recap, last week we collectively chose one of three pitches based on the previous weeks work. It was a close call between the first and second pitch but the first proved to be the slightly more popular one. If you missed week 3, don’t worry, here is our pitch;
The future is here. With computers, smartphones and digital technology we are truly living in a new age. But what about the communities, struck with poverty and crime, that are left behind. Looking for his break, documentary film maker John Smith takes on a local urban legend serial killer, who maimed and tortured within a housing block many years ago. As he begins to investigate the legend, he finds that all is not as it seems with the block and the residents may know more than they let on.
This week, our attention turns to the characters that will inhabit this world along with the world itself. Regardless of how it ultimately turns out, I’m sure you will agree the housing block will become a character within its own right. So check out week 4’s introduction video and pay attention to the question posed.
So this week, I want to focus on a number of different things, and once again, it’ll be up to all of us to shape and develop them. This week is really great, as there is more creativity for you to participate in crafting character back story, environmental history and so on.
So, first of all – the character of the housing block.
Think about where our story is set, what kind of community is it? I think of a seemingly normal city, with a number of buildings left to rot (kind of like Dundee) and whilst the housing block seems old, it is unassuming. But inside, it’s an entirely different story. Perhaps an entire area which is pretty run down (like Cabrini Green). When was the building build? Think about the architecture, post images as reference etc.
John Smith (or Jane) will be our primary protagonist and we should make him as real as possible. Where our story is set will help determine our character. Who is he? Where did he grow up? What does he look like? Does he fall into a character Archetype? The bigger the profile, the better. There is no structure needed for our notes, so you guys can be as creative as possible without worrying about format, but for more on creating a character you can check out this.
Inhabitants of the Housing Community
Who lives in these houses? Why? The exact same amount of detail for these characters is needed and if these characters are our central antagonists we can be creative with psychological elements, past experiences etc. Is there a hierarchy within the residents? How was that born? How do they relate to the urban legend?
John Smith’s crew
If John is making a film, does he have a crew he turns too? Are they his friends? His enemies? his lover? Each of these characters also need to be both realistic as possible and unique from each other. This is where collaboration will be key. Do you see a character suggested that you think would fit your character? Explore that relationship together as writers.
Does John encounter anyone else within the narrative? A lover? Friends? Parents? Policeman? Does he interview anyone else related to the urban legend; perhaps a family member of the murdered individual?
The Urban Legend
So I posed the question of do we combine the first pitch with the second, and create a more supernatural feel with the photographs? If so, is this the urban legend that haunts this community? Tell it. If not, what is the urban legend that the community cannot escape from? Tell it. Who was involved, what happened. What was its legacy.
Undoubtedly we have lots to explore this week, but we can be incredibly collaborative and creative in discovering our world and the characters that inhabit it. Once again, don’t be afraid to continue posting, posting photos, videos, anything that can act as inspiration and as always, engage throughout the week. Good luck.