Dante handles a crisis (or two or three)

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Robert_S
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:12 am
Platform: Windows

Sun May 19, 2013 6:52 pm Post

This is very early in the script. I'm intending this to introduce the protagonist and his personality. I would really love to read any reactions.

INT. IT CRISIS CENTER -- NIGHT

A 25x10' room. Computer stations are placed against both walls along the length. Ten people, five on each side, each with headsets, handle IT problems for the company while DANTE oversees from his station.

JOHN
Bangalore is down.

DANTE
Power or network outage?

JOHN
I don't know.

DANTE
Call them up and ask if their refrigerator is running.

JOHN
What?

Snickers and guffaws across the room.
TERESA
(chuckling)
Damned fool.

DANTE
Call up the site manager to find out if they still have power.

John pulls a phone list and begins to leaf through it.

DANTE (CONT'D)
Use his cell phone.

JOHN
Got it.

DANTE
And mark the start of the outage. That's a production site and we'll need to know how long it's out.

JOHN
Got it.

DANTE
(into headset)
What about ACR1287?

LINDSEY (V.O.)
(over phone, filtered)
That's an accounts receivable. It has to run. We can skip GL42.

DANTE
Ok, that cuts 10 minutes.

LINDSEY
Also PR12. That will cut 45 minutes.

DANTE
(sarcastically)
Wonderful. Cut payroll and save profit.

LINDSEY
Yeah, I know. The job should be able to extrapolate on tomorrow's run. Where are we now?

DANTE
We cut an hour and 17 minutes. We should get to an hour and 45. That should keep the turnover to day shift minimal.

Dante leafs through a binder, stops and looks over the page he's on.

DANTE (CONT'D)
Here. Inventory 23. It's a 40 minute job. Can we cut that?

LINDSEY
No...um...wait, I think we can. It's early in the month. Yeah, we can cut that.

DANTE
Awesome. That will help a lot.

LINDSEY
Good. Fix up the triggers, start at the crash point and cross your fingers.

DANTE
Nah! Relying on luck is relying on the probability of unreason.

LINDSEY
(giggles)
Huh? Yeah. I'm going back to bed. I'd like to say don't call me if you have a problem, but I'm the oncall this week.

DANTE
I'll cross my fingers for you. Talk to you in five.

LINDSEY
(laughing)
Good night.

Lindsey hangs up and Dante begins typing at the keyboard.

TERESA
Dante, I just got off the phone with the Wintel admin. The Thor server is down with a hardware failure and we don't have the parts for it.

DANTE
(sighing)
Did you mark the start?

TERESA
Yes I did. Anything else I can do?

DANTE
Just update the ticket. I'll call the server manager. He may want to get Steven up.

TERESA
The director?

Dante presses buttons on the phone.

DANTE
Yep. Thor is a transaction processor. Right now, the company is not taking orders from the AsiaPac region. That's a truckload of money not changing hands.

The phone rings an extended amount of time before a man picks up the phone.

MAN (V.O.)
(on phone, groggy and filtered)
Hello?

DANTE
Morning Jack. Thor is down hard.

MAN
How long?

FADE TO:

INT. NARROW CORRIDOR LEADING TO DOOR -- NIGHT
Dante is getting his belongings out of his locker. TERESA walks in to collect her property.

TERESA
Busy day, right?

DANTE
I could have been better, could have been worse. The world could have ended and we wouldn't know about it.

TERESA
Is that the better or the worse?

DANTE
Take your pick.

TERESA
(smiling)
Did you get your car back yet?

DANTE
Not yet. I still owe $550. I hate that car. It's cost me more and provided less than any woman.

TERESA
Hey now. We're not all bad.

Not quite liking from here

You're certainly not.

TERESA
You need a ride to the bus stop?

DANTE
Please.

TERESA
Well, you better hurry up. The train is pulling out.

If only you knew how that sounded.

To here

DANTE
Coming.

TERESA
I wish I could help.

DANTE
Sometimes, life runs you over. Any plans for the weekend?

TERESA
I'm visiting my dad.

DANTE
He's an Air Force officer, right?

TERESA
Yeah, a colonel in charge of air traffic control or some such.

DANTE
Well, have fun and don't get sucked into any turbo fans. I'd hate it if you got turned into a pile of goo.

The two walk out together smiling and talking together.

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Floss
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Platform: Windows
Location: london, england

Tue May 21, 2013 3:07 pm Post

my overarching comments here would be...
- better to effect an introduction to characters / pesonalities through action than a purely scene setting scene. airtime is a precious commodity in a movie - even more so on a tv show - so you have to squeeze everything you can out of every exchange. this feels too long for too little pay off in terms of the plot. i,m not saying cut this scene, i,m saying if at all possible, make sure that there is something vital to the main story arc in here, and make sure the viewer would recognise it as such.
- be careful of expositional dialogue. dante would know a pr12 and a gl42 but needs to be told that acr1287 is an accounts receivable :?:
- the more technical the subject matter the more careful you need to be to avoid technospeak. i,d avoid making your characters sound intelligent and skilled by giving them a vocacbulary that the viewer doesn't.
i am happy to give feedback on short passages.

be warned, though. my feedback can be blunt... always well intentioned and aimed at helping you improve, but possibly more honest than you are used to.

as such, i will only chip in if directly invited.

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Robert_S
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Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:12 am
Platform: Windows

Wed May 22, 2013 12:20 am Post

Floss wrote:my overarching comments here would be...
- better to effect an introduction to characters / pesonalities through action than a purely scene setting scene. airtime is a precious commodity in a movie - even more so on a tv show - so you have to squeeze everything you can out of every exchange. this feels too long for too little pay off in terms of the plot. i,m not saying cut this scene, i,m saying if at all possible, make sure that there is something vital to the main story arc in here, and make sure the viewer would recognise it as such.



Ok, I've thought of putting him on his feet and multitasking several crisis at a time, but from my experience in an IT crisis center, you're on your butt the majority of time.

- be careful of expositional dialogue. dante would know a pr12 and a gl42 but needs to be told that acr1287 is an accounts receivable :?:
- the more technical the subject matter the more careful you need to be to avoid technospeak. i,d avoid making your characters sound intelligent and skilled by giving them a vocacbulary that the viewer doesn't.


All points taken. I'll footnote the pages and go back later.

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nom
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Wed May 22, 2013 1:08 pm Post

Robert_S wrote:Ok, I've thought of putting him on his feet and multitasking several crisis at a time, but from my experience in an IT crisis center, you're on your butt the majority of time.


I wouldn't worry too much about that. I've seen plenty of things on-screen that don't look *anything* like real life (just think of all the CSI shows. In reality, how many scientists actually look and dress like fashion models, work so remarkably effectively in such dark labs, and never have to do paperwork?). Better to focus on the story and the action needed to progress it, with selective use of "reality" to support that story. So if your story's better served, or the character's traits better illustrated, by him standing; then make him stand. The handful of IT crisis centre specialists who know reality is different won't matter as much as the people who simply want a good story (maybe with the addition of eye-candy dressed in high-fashion, but that's just the reality of IT crisis support isn't it? :wink: ).

Until someone proves me wrong: Unless it's a documentary, reality serves fiction*

*I'm not entirely convinced that even documentaries have earned that exception. Maybe better written as "reality serves story", then no exception needed
Complete and utter NOMsense.
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Movie Draft
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Sun May 26, 2013 2:25 am Post

Robert_S wrote:A 25x10' room. Computer stations are placed against both walls along the length. Ten people, five on each side, each with headsets, handle IT problems for the company while DANTE oversees from his station.


To quote Roy Walker: "Say watcha see"...

- A 25x10' room.

Unless the person viewing the film can ascertain that it's a 25x10 ft room, leave out this specific.

- Computer stations are placed against both walls along the length. Ten people, five on each side, each with headsets,

Unless the position of the people and the desks are important to the script I'd generalise this description as specifics force the reader to stop and conceptualise that scene in a specific way, which can "stutter" the reading experience.

- handle IT problems for the company while DANTE oversees from his station.

Again, the viewer can't "see" this, so you'll need to write it in description if it's important. For example:

---
A medium-sized office room filled with computer stations.

Ten headset-wearing call-takers adorn them.

A plaque above the door reads: "We have a handle on IT".

DANTE <insert character description> paces slowly in-between the workers.

---

Hope that helps.

All the best,

Mark.
Movie Draft
"bring your script to life"
http://www.moviedraft.com
http://twitter.com/moviedraft

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Robert_S
Posts: 32
Joined: Sun Jul 03, 2011 3:12 am
Platform: Windows

Sun May 26, 2013 3:51 pm Post

Thanks Mark. What you said gives some concrete examples of the "only what you see and hear" aspect of script writing.

I'll note book this stuff.