Produce Concept Outline
Hello guys, is anyone experience in producing a concept outline such as for the theme, mood and genre. I need your tips on how to get along with this thing. I still new at this stuff. This is for my concept design task
Not enough data to formulate a useful answer. Please give more details.
Actually I'm still can't define what actually this Concept Outline about. I only know it is like a mind-map things was it. And example if you was given a task to create a concept of futuristic world . So what is the thing that you need to consider before jump into making this concept. How should I create the theme, mood and genre of this futuristic world?
I think what you're describing fits within the area of what we call a Creative Treatment. The Treatment stage comes before the Script-writing stage. A Treatment is like a blueprint for building the script. It describes all you see and hear, the looks, the action, but not the specific words, only the key concepts.
If your concept requires you to do some science fiction "world building", try a google search on "world-building for science fiction writers", and you will get a number of examples.
Ok, what are the things that we need to know or the things that we need to consider while making this treatment?
Let's back up for a minute, so you can more clearly describe what this overall project is. Is this going to be a TV commercial, or an episode of a TV series, or a movie? Is this an actual job you've already been given, or some notional project without a client or buyer? Do you have a message, a story to tell? To whom, meaning, to what audience?
Here's a good place to start:
Who is the main character?
What does the main character need?
Who (or what) tries to stop the main character?
Who (or what) helps the main character? (Who helps the antagonist?)
Does the main character get the need? (If yes, it's comedy. If no, it's drama. If the main character gets the need, but the price is too high, it's tragedy.)
What does the main character learn?
This is a tool to get you started. Each of these character mentioned should have at least a full life -- like real people. They have ages. Personal habits. Profesional ambitions. Dream it all up and write all that down. After you have all this beginning stuff written, you can move to a story structure.
Great, so then how suppose I create the theme, mood, genre and etc. ? I mean what should I need to know get all this things done after knowing the character.
Is this project a commercial, an hour-long episode, a feature-length film? What?
There are some technical definitions to consider and this is a point from which to move forward, and not the be-all end-all of the topic. These are off my cuff as memory recalls, a very dubious place!
A dramatic premise is the name for the idea that a drama can prove a logical premise: greed leads to destruction; opposites attract; birds of a feather flock together. In a recent script I wrote the dramatic premise is "we all need a community." I sent the script to a few trusted friends. This morning, I threw it away. 2 years of work. It's no big deal. The text on the page was not expressing the impulse I had to begin the story, in the first place. Impulses and ideas are cheap and easy.
Theme in screenplay v. theme in cinema is a complicated topic because in cinema the diegesis is presented in color motion picture, meaning the work can use color, slow-mo, cutting-style, sound design, lighting design, acting, and diegesis (I've used that word twice, now, because it is worth looking up, and I argue the camera by definition is "telling"; We get moments of POV) to express a theme. The screenplay theme is "English majory" type stuff: critique of male-dominated society, epiphanies of society in an industrial future.
Genre is the name for an idea that the written text is aimed at a specific audience using a discourse the audience knows. That's a slinky definition I admit. But it includes essay, youtube video, Facebook Memes, creativecow posts, and so on. When you post in the Creative Cow Business and Marketing forum and ask about genre, we could also include spreadsheets, budgets, shot lists, call sheets, and also of course screenplay.
Mood is a lit term that spins along side of modality. We can talk about the subjunctive mood, for example, separately from the grammatical structure. Example sentence: I would play the role. The sentence is actually past tense but uses a future verb "will" in simple past tense to express the hypothetical. This is the subjunctive mood, in grammar. The mood of literary work is even more complex because we identify particular structural elements (sequences, scenes, camera angles, sound design) that lead to a convention of meaning.
If this is stuff interests you, consider studying literature. Film studies is a bit behind the literary critique although there is more and more cross-over.
For me, when I get started, all I have is an impulse. Just write it down as it comes. The impulse after impulse after impulse until I have accumulated enough "stuff" to shape into what I think it ought to be. And there is required some tenacity to realize what stuff is aligned with that impulse and what stuff is not. Maybe the impulse was marginal to begin with.
Mr Suszko's comment regarding form addresses a particular problem that in order to sustain an audience's attention, the impulse needs to be of certain quality: moving, funny, action-packed. That's not an exhaustive list, just some examples.
A very good place to begin is to read lots and lots of screenplays. You can find many screenplays at http://www.imsdb.com/ There are inviolable conventions, and, while there are many books on the topic of writing, it is best to acquire your concepts of what-writing-is, ostensively -- by doing and in-genre.
This is for my research and vfx short film.
Can you be a little more forthcoming on details here, Felix? So, is this a demonstration piece to showcase your effects skill, and how " Short" do you mean it to run, when you call it a "short"? Besides demonstrating fx skills, what story, what message, what theme, are you trying to communicate? And would this be dramatic, comedic, what? Are there any examples out there of something you'd like to emulate? I want to help you, but you're making this too much work, forcing us to tease out details a piece at a time, over days, so please, just dump it all out on the table at once, and explain what you're really after. Then we can be of much more help.
Actually this is for my research and vfx short film.. My company had give me a freedom to choose any concept for this short movie. So I thought maybe I'll make a film that had related to futuristic stuff. The film was to reach the young and talented generation to come to our school for Vfx course. So the story is like an alien airship come from noway to the earth and try to create a chaos in earth in the year of maybe 2500 . So it more like the end of the world. I assume that this should take about 8 min length. So how should I do the treatment for this story before making this video ?
There's still a lot we don't know about what kind of effects you intend to demonstrate. Planets, spaceships, explosions, laser beams, and robots are somewhat easier to pull off than realistic alien bodies with textures, hair, scales, etc. and character animation that conveys expression and personality. When you define the specific effects you want to demonstrate, a story will start to evolve out of that. Take a look at the annual demo shorts produced by Red Giant: they do this very well by establishing one new, fantasy or futuristic element in an otherwise familiar world, and seeing what evolves from that event.
Here is one loose example of an idea that you might develop into a treatment. For your science fiction premise, assume aliens have made contact with humans and it has generally gone well. To the point where alien children go to school with human children. Now set your story in a classroom of that era, and translate the hijinks and typical issues kids have in school, to one where these aliens, and their abilities and technologies exist. Instead of shooting paper wads from straws, maybe once he's been hit this way by a rival student, the alien kid returns fire with a laser gun. Or maybe he has nano-technology that re-builds items on his desk into defensive anti-spitwad interceptors... all while the lecturer is oblivious... and maybe this all ends up being something going on in the imagination of a bored student who has tuned out of the lecture they are supposed to be watching. In a final twist, the story is all from the alien point of view, and "humans" are something the bored alien came up with in his daydreams.
I want to back up here for a minute and talk about my definition of what is "real" science fiction, as opposed to what is fantasy with some technological window dressing on it. A "pure" sci-fi story is based on an extrapolation of an idea or invention, technology or science, that may or may not yet exist, but possibly could exist in the future, and is one where the plot can't happen without that "whatever" existing. The simple example for this is that, if you can replace the spaceman hero with a cowboy, robots or aliens with Native Americans, the ray guns with six-shooters, and the spaceships with steam trains, sailing ships, or horses, and still tell essentially the same story, you're not really writing "pure" science fiction - it's fantasy with technological trappings. Star Wars is an example of this. You can set that story in any era and it's basically the same.
The best example of "pure" sci-fi in this context that I can give you, would be the film: "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind". In that movie, the extrapolation from reality is that existing techniques and knowledge of the brain eventually let us choose to erase specific memories at will. Once those memories are edited, who we are and what our "reality" is, becomes mutable in a way it is not today. The world of the film, and the characters, are fundamentally affected by the availability of this technology, and you couldn't tell this particular story without that technology.
"But, memory wiping by magic would do the same thing." You say. Yes and no. Invoking "magic" is generally a cop-out because it introduces an element that is not an extrapolation of science or technology, but some ill-defined outside "force" that's not a part of reality. Don't drag Clarke's famous quote into this; highly advanced physics is not the same as metaphysics.
So, why did I bring up this huge side-conversation? I'm looping back to the idea of writing the treatment of the story with a sense of internal logic and consistency, and of extrapolating the plot from a pure science fiction idea. The classroom bully premise I outlined is not really a "pure" sci-fi story, it's a cute comedic take on bullying the foreigner/outsider, but you could set that story in any era and tell it more or less the same.
So, what about this VFX extravaganza, then? Doesn't everybody LIKE huge space opera-like spaceship battles, with the lasers going"pew,pew,pew"?
Personally, as a science fiction fan, I don't believe the economics of space flight would ever make it "easy" to have interstellar wars that look anything like the aerial or naval engagements of our existing military. Generally, in fiction, massive star fleet battles are really just a metaphor for terrestrial naval engagements and tactics. Fun to watch, but unlikely in any kind of "real" world. Where you'd see space battles would be where humans, not interstellar rivals are in conflict over nearby, shared resources, within our own solar system, but even there, in many scenarios, the economics of waging war in space make it unlikely.
I do however think it a little more likely that space-going life would seek to colonize or populate other worlds where it was practical. More and more, scientists see evidence that suggests extremophile life forms, or at least their precursors, can survive the harsh environment of space, or harsh planetary epochs, for long durations, hitching rides between worlds on comets and asteroids and keeping alive anywhere from the upper wisps of our stratosphere, to the bottom of a glacial lake that hasn't seen the sunlight for millions of years... Here we're talking about microbial life, or pre-microbial life, taking millions of years to circulate thru a solar system until finally finding a place where conditions are right to grow and evolve. Are we being invaded at this very moment? Colonized? And is it a friendly invasion, mutually beneficial, like the gut bacteria that help us to live, or must it be a deadly rival?
So, back to working on the treatment then... build a list of the specific effects techniques you want to demonstrate. What kind of world, what kind of characters, could you use to demonstrate the effects on?
Hello Mr Suszko, thank you for your past feed back. I just want to know that is it "genre outline" really exists. If we want to write a screenplay should we create an outline for genre. Do you have some tips on how to create a high concept genre. I just want to get the general idea about how does this concept genre work in any story. I just want to know about this genre stuff based on your experience as a writer.