Friday, 2 April 2010

Beats working

I still feel I haven't quite grasped the significance of Mr Snyder's Hollywood beats, so I dug out my old Labyrinth script, and read it through with beat sheet in hand.

I couldn't quite figure out the elements he mentioned, but then again, Labyrinth proved a box-office failure, so he still might have something!

Perhaps I need to look at a successful movie?

At 130 pages it does seem long, and I remember when watching it that it seemed to sag here and there. I never felt the right to criticize, but now I have to bring something like a critical mind to it.

It has an episodic structure, but these 'set-pieces' don't seem sufficiently well linked for the drive and urgency of the quest to keep going. This isn't helped by the lack of clarity about 'goodies' and 'baddies'. The Goblin King, and the goblins get the role of baddies, but compared to (say) the flying monkeys and the Wicked Witch of the West in Oz, they seem quite tame (because comic).

So just as the baddies aren't scary enough, the helpful animals seem quite ambiguous (apart from Ludo and Didymus). Hoggle, I suppose, has one of those 'character arcs' but he seems to wobble quite a lot, and all the other characters met in the labyrinth remain more confusing and confused, than (say) working for the Goblin King to thwart her.

I may come back to this later. It has helped a little in clarifying that although you don't need old-fashioned black hat/white hat distinctions, you do still need more clarity and dynamic drive, not just a series of sketches.

Um, perhaps looking at Wizard of Oz with the beat sheet might show why it 'works'.

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