Letter to Michael Moore – The Dilemma of Submissions

Free Americans from Donald Trump
You and I know, a director, filmmaker or producer rarely answer back to your submitted letter, but you have to try, right? 

I thought I share my letter to Michael Moore with you, the public. It goes to show you the real world of submissions. It’s also tells you, only 1 % of the film industry will answer you back. In fact, the corporate film producers will bluntly tell you (on their website), if you send in your screenplay, it will be destroyed without them even reading it. The reason is obvious. Thousands upon thousands of screenplays would show up at their door.  

So what can a screenwriter do? 

You can enter into the money-grab contests, where’s it’s unlikely you’ll ever see a reply. Or you can place your work on the BlackList, where potential directors and producers are looking for low budget screenplays with a good story. And that’s the key – tell a story that will get your audience motivated with a low budget film. Low budget films are in a series of limits, such as: 

  • $50,000 – $150,000 
  • $150,000 – $250,000
  • $250,000 – $500,000
  • $500,000 – $1,000,000

Above these prices, it’s no longer a low budget film. 

Attracting buyers for your screenplays is certainly a jungle, so my method is writing on the internet. If a potential director or producer reads your work and likes what they see, they will contact you. This is why I always give my contact through LinkedIn. It’s the best way without being bombarded with spam. LinkedIn provides good business connections but you still have to stay vigilant. Once in awhile I’ll receive contact by a celebrity, (impressed by my work) but even if the connections work, the project urgency takes the back burner. You can stew over the same project for ten years before it’s even looked at. 

With that said, I’m always surprised to see some of the junk movies on TV. It amazes me when I see some really poor storylines make it to viewers. Thinking to myself, I say,” They should have picked my screenplay, mine is such a better story…geez.”

It sickens me. 

I’m always writing new storylines finding a potential audience. With the American newly elected president Trump, its obviously this hot topic is presenting itself quite a controversy. We’ll see what happens in the next year, but I’m betting there will be tons of protests. Really, am I seeing history repeat itself? Lest We Forget ! What will this mean Canada ? Only time will tell. I’m going to make a prediction. If the TRUMP empire makes it a second term, we should expect an invasion into Canada. That’s what empires do.  

Anyway, here’s my letter to Michael Moore :

Dear Mr. Michael Moore, 

I am writing in reference to the current situation with Americans newly elect president Donald Trump. Canadians (with a brain) are worried about the implications of the TRUMP EMPIRE destroying the Constitutional Rights of the American People, as well as it becoming detrimental to Canadians and the rest of the world. 
I have a proposal for you, Michael, that will give Americans and Canadians a voice to the current situation. Would you be interested in producing a documentary film called,” Free Americans from Donald Trump” in collaboration with this Canadian.
Here’s my outline: 

FILMING CONCEPT MODE : FREE AMERICANS FROM DONALD TRUMP

LOGLINE
: A Documentary of the implications to Americans with Donald Trump as President

Type
: Documentary 

Genre
: Human Rights 

Filming Locations
: Kelowna and Vancouver, BC , Ottawa, Ontario, New York, San Francisco 

Synopsis
A documentary about the implications to all Americans with Donald Trump as President, including the possibility of Americans fleeing United States to avoid the wrath of the TRUMP empire. The reality of entering Canada with the complications that may arise. A preliminary written discussion with Mr. Michael Moore to collaborate project, here in Canada and United States. A comic but dark satire of its reality. 

Intro concept/ short Treatment:
Imaginary sales pitch announcement by Canadian News Media, introducing policy changes for Americans entering Canada under the new revised visa applications by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. 

We then turn to the protest of the people for the people of America. 

Meanwhile we follow the TRUMP empire, as freedom (we so dearly pride ourselves as a democratic society) crumbles before our very eyes. You see as Trumps family take on leading roles, abolishing laws, reducing healthcare and attacking the system for the people. United States slowly transforms into the fictional warlord of “Back to the Future“, Biff Tannen. Biff Tannen‘s (Donald Trump) greedy conquest has taken over America on the backs of Americans. 

In conclusion we state the obvious.  

The implications of the TRUMP empire destroying The Constitution of the United States, referring back to Ellis Island, the historic gateway for over 12 million immigrants into the United States. We remind the people: 

“We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.”
Final we ask the people once again,” Are you ready to give up the freedoms your forefathers fought so hard for?” 

Genre label : Human Rights

Michael, I am in concept mode, drafting out screenplay and Locations shots. I’m proposing a release of the draft script in March 2017, but will provide it sooner, if you’re interested in a collaborating effort. 

We could make an announcement in May 2017 on website colaborator.
We Canadians are closely following President elect Donald Trump including Instagram follow-ups under the heading #notmypresident and (of course) your Instagram feed.  

We could also start a Kickstarter campaign with your personal presentation video, promoting the documentary film. 

I already know there’s an increasingly number of Celebrities, Directors, Producers and Politicians who are deeply discouraged with the newly elect TRUMP empire. With the Kickstarter, we can encourage them to help fund the project. 

The goal of this documentary is to increase the awareness NOT only in America but across the world. How long will we be able to warn the people of America, before the TRUMP empire passes a law, making it against the law? 

ABOUT ME

My name is Bari Demers. I’m new in the filmmaking industry but have written countless screenplays. I use my website : JAMES MONTANA SCRIPTS as my home base, promoting my screenplays and introducing stories, in regards to my DREAMS and REALITY. 
I have had a diverse career from an architecture drafting tech to an artist. My writing background goes back to my college days in 1975. 

Please refer to my websites : 
JAMES MONTANA SCRIPTS 
MY DREAMS AND REALITY 
TWITTER 
INSTAGRAM : bari_scriptwriter 
I could go on but I already know this introduction letter is mighty long. I trust in your judgement Michael and would be encouraged if you said YES to guiding me along in our documentary conquest.  

Last question : What would you do if TRUMP empire takes over the Freedom of United States ? 

I look forward in your response to my request. Thank you Michael for reading my proposal. Don’t worry, I’ll teach you how to say “Eh?” at the end of each sentence. 

Sincerely, 

Bari Demersscreenwriter and freelance writer 

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Free Americans from Donald Trump – Documentary 

Free Americans from Donald Trump - Documentary

FILM : FREE AMERICANS FROM DONALD TRUMP

Logline: A Documentary of the implications to Americans with Donald Trump as President

Type : Documentary 

Genre
: Human Rights 

Filming Locations
: Kelowna and Vancouver, BC , Ottawa, Ontario, New York, San Francisco 

Synopsis

A documentary about the implications to all Americans with Donald Trump as President, including the possibility of Americans fleeing United States to avoid the wrath of the TRUMP empire. The reality complications arising from entering Canada. 

OVERVIEW 

In preliminary written discussions with Michael Moore to collaborate project, here in Canada and United States. A comical but dark satire of its true troubling reality. 

Intro concept : Sales pitch announcement by News Media across the world, introducing policy changes for Americans entering Canada under the new revised visa applications by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. Meanwhile we follow the TRUMP empire as freedom we so dearly pride ourselves as a democratic society, crumbles before our eyes.  You see as Trumps family take on leading roles, abolishing laws, reducing healthcare and attacking the system for the people.  United States slowly transforms into the fictional warlord on “Back to the Future“, Biff Tannen.   Biff Tannen‘s greedy conquest has taken over America on the backs of Americans. 

Please join us in the Collaboration.

UPDATES IN PROGRESS

Type : local_moviesDocumentary Feature
Location Headquarters : Kelowna, BC, Canada
Genre label : Human Rights
Dates: today Dec 1, 2016 – Sep 30, 2017
Open Postions : N/A at this time

We are in Conceptional mode, drafting out screenplay, location shots and possible further discussions with Mr. Michael Moore. Release of draft script in March 2017. Announcement in May 2017. We are also closely following President elect Donald Trump including Instagram follow-ups under the heading #notmypresident
If interested in supporting this project, please contact Bari Demers 

We may start a Kickstarter campaign to further funds.  

Celebrities , Directors and Producers interested in funding this documentary project to further increase the awareness of how Donald Trump will destroy democracy, removing the rights from women, African- American and the Constitution of America, please contact Bari Demers. 

The goal of this documentary is to increase the awareness NOT only in America but across the world. Please direct your thoughts, ideas or help, to me directly on LinkedIn or here on WordPress, in regards to producing this important documentary film.

Your future may count on it!

By Bari Demers scifi screenwriter and freelance writer 

NOTE : All comments are monitored, please restrict from any kind of profanity. That includes you Donald Trump. 

Storyboard Process for Indie Film Producers 

Black Angels by screenwriter Bari Demers
The Storyboard process in any INDIE FILM is a smaller cost effective adventure in comparison to the big film production companies. We buy according to our budget. 

Here’s the complete layout of hiring work for Storyboards. 

The final presentation of our Storyboards showcasing illustrations of each scene are coloured A5 size (21x15cm / 6″ X 8″) format cards. They are typically ACTION scenes describing frame by frame of our film. 

The overall process is long for Indie Film Producers and Screenwriters.

In the beginning, filming of each scene we have the illustrator to draw us up smaller quick action scenes, just like you see with CELTX SHOTS ( an App by CELTX whose main purpose is providing us screenwriters screenwriting formats ). 

BUT, the final coloured cards are from 4-6 action scenes per ACT.

If you’re not familiar with screenplays or films, here’s an example of how it works, with ACTS 1 2 and 3.

See more at CELTX

Screenwriting - tell a story
With the final colourful illustration cards, we’ll use these for MARKETING and PROMOTION of our Film without giving away the full story. They are used to entice the viewer to share with their friends on social media. They are also used in the production film credits at the end of a film. A really good example is the movie RED or RED 2. At the end of their films they showcase the storyboard cards. 

The BIG GUYS like DC Comics, Paramount, Marvel Studios or Dreamworks Studio (DreamWorks began in 1994 by Steven Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen), get the option to have a large staff of full time illustration employees. 

WE, (the smaller guy) don’t have the funds, as our projects ( even though it still takes the same kind of effort to do one film) are independently run. Which means we are strapped for funds. That said, we pay “Quick Sketches” of storyboards frames by a group of 10-20 depending. These quick storyboards are NOT coloured and simple but dynamic sketches. To put it into better prospective, a film can have as many as 110 scenes. 

INDIE FILM PRODUCERS ( aka screenwriters – we wear many hats!) pay for greyscale or b/w, A5 size (21x15cm / 6″ X 8″) from $10 to $20 per Storyboard. 

Professional Storyboard Illustrators ask from $45 – $110 per board, plus a $300 Starter Fee.  

For us Indie Film Producers (where funding is extremely tight) we can’t afford these kind of prices. Some will even ask for traveling time and so on. SO – we either do it ourselves or look for up and coming new illustrators, eager to showcase their art and get paid.  

There are three stages of artwork that each have a different pay scale. 

Storyboard examples
STAGE ONE – The Quick Sketch Storyboards 

In QUICK Storyboards requiring a quick sketch of each scene we break it down into 10 frames. WE group Storyboards into 10 frames with 30 frames per ACT. Remember there’s ACT ONE, ACT TWO and ACT THREE. Overall,( in a 90 page screenplay) that’s 90 plus storyboards.  

Each 10 frame Storyboard is $100 CA. We’re talking about quick pencil (preferably ink) sketches. Each sketch should take only 15 minutes to produce for any good illustrator. $10 for 15 minutes work is really not that bad of payment. On an hourly wage, that would $60 per hour. Four frames per hour is (in my opinion) fair for new upcoming illustrators. 

In STAGE ONE we don’t do Crowdfunding. And our timeline is a lot more relax then the BIG BOYS.  

STAGE TWO – The Coloured Cards

The coloured cards are much more elaborate, (requiring sometime to produce a creative artist piece ) used for PROMOTIONS of our INDIE FILM. Because of the time factor we expect to pay $100 – $120 CA per COLOURED CARD.  

Every detail is important in these promotional cards. 

In STAGE TWO we do require Crowdfunding sources. But, of course, we proceed with the crowdfunding first and then hire our prospective illustration artist. We usually work with the same illustrator who spent the time doing our quick sketches, unless during the STAGE ONE process we found the artist to be difficult to work with. 

Trust me when I say, I have personally fired a couple. 

In this business, an artist can NOT be arrogant or have any kind of attitude. They must be able to work within the guidelines of FILM PRODUCERS. In any filming process, it’s SO IMPORTANT we all work together (without any headaches) with a general goal of producing the best film ever. We require ACTORS, ILLUSTRATOR and CAMERA CREW (Remember the many hats ? Each camera crew will also set up rigging too. We are not the BIG BOYS) who are all easy to get along with. 

STAGE THREE – The Storyboard Film Book

In this stage, we are committed to producing the most colourful Storyboard Film Book for purchase after the film has been released. It’s imperative the coffee-table Storyboard Film Book is ready for purchasing on-line as our film is released in, lets say at SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL. 

The cost per coloured illustration can be from $125 – $500 US per 8 X 11 format with the quick sketches within from $45 – $80 US ( all these smaller sketches must be inked format). The full cost of producing the Storyboard Film Book can be from $10,000 – $18,000 US.  

We like to sell each book around $45 each.

STAGE THREE of producing a Storyboard Film Book is only if we feel it will add to the hype to our film. In other words, if we already have 100,000 fans waiting for our film to be released. 

IN CONCLUSION 

Making a film along with Storyboards require the artist sign a wavier to make sure he or she keeps our project in complete secrecy. They can NOT show their friends and family or can they freely talk about the ongoing filming project.  

Essential, IT IS TOP SECRET.   

Can you imagine social media talking about the whole storyline of your film ? It would surely be a disaster! Like all Film Producers we keep everything under wraps until we release our film in a popular film festival.   

Today I’m working on a big project BLACK ANGELS requiring 200 million dollars to produce. This project isn’t any small adventure or would it be said to be an INDIE FILM.  

BLACK ANGELS LOGLINE

Drug addict war hero seeks revenge for brother’s death, risking his crew in a mining expedition on planet ALPHA XL-420 for the priceless Red Crystal, essential to saving their species from a deadly virus.​

READ the SYNOPSIS

This project must prepare it in stages, in order to catch the BIG BOYS attention. 

  • FIRST STAGE : Produce the Final Draft Screenplay – DONE ! 
  • SECOND STAGE : Produce quick Storyboard illustrations. 
  • THIRD STAGE : Produce SIX effective TRAILERS of FILM BLACK ANGELS.
  • FOUTH STAGE: Release a short-story film about BLACK ANGELS at Sundance Film Festival.
  • FIVE STAGE : The BIG BOYS finally catch wind of my project, offering a substantial timeline in the pre-production of the film BLACK ANGELS. 
  • SIXTH STAGE : Full Production of the science-fiction horror genre BLACK ANGELS. 
  • SEVENTH STAGE : Release of BLACK ANGELS in Theatres on DECEMBER 2021 ? Also release a coffee-book Storyboard Film Book across the web. Red carpet film premiere of BLACK ANGELS with adjoining actors, director and producers. 

Checkout BLACK ANGELS website and if your require more information or a full Treatment of my film, CONTACT ME.  

Serious inquiries only please. 

Final convection : If anyone is asking an artist illustrator to produce illustrations for free through a contest or whatever, then it’s certainly a scam. As a screenwriter for smaller INDIE FILMS we buy illustrations for our storyboards.  

Are you an upcoming illustration artist looking to produce quick illustrations, please send examples by contacting me with your rate.  

By Bari Demers – screenwriter and freelance writer 

WESTWORLD WORLDLY QUIRKS – EPISODE TWO


Warning: My narrative description of HBO’s TV SERIES WESTWORLD may outline spoilers for the first two episodes.

You’ll find I’m breaking down the TV Series WESTWORLD within my thoughts, describing the scenes through each ACT, giving my  idea of possible CLUES (or hints) of the storyline. It’s my own personal perception of the science-fiction fantasy WESTWORLD on HBO. 

YOU CAN JOIN me by discussing your point-of-view of where you think the storyline is headed and maybe you know of a clue I missed.  This exercise is for everyone interested in science fiction, script writing or your interest in the new TV Series WESTWORLD.

Let’s continue with Episode 2 – CHESTNUT  

TEASER

Delores is awaken by the instructions of Bernard’s voice,” Wake up Delores.” She begins to sleepwalk outside in her yard.  

Bernard’s voice whispers, ” Do you remember?”

ACT ONE

A couple of NEWCOMERS come into WESTWORLD showcasing the Entertainment Park’s entrance, for the clients.  They are each met by a host who escorts them to their prospective room. In this room they decide to pick who they want to portrait, a good or bad person.

LOGAN
(Ben Barnes) and WILLIAM (Jimmi Simpson) enter, with LOGAN as a repeat customer.  

LOGAN basically screws his way from one host to another as WILLIAM is looking to interact with the hosts.  

CUT TO : 

Once again we meet character ELSIE HUGHS (Shannon Woodward) who we know is a PROGRAMMER resetting or reprogramming the ANDROIDS.  

In this ACT we learn ELISE is quite concerned that possibly PETER ABERNATHY ( Louis Herthum ) Dolores’ father, has most likely corrupt DELORES program. 

You sense her concerns are valid. 

She wants to recall Delores, but it’s here that Bernard becomes on the offensive, stating that Delores has been cleared and maybe the stories should be best left to the guests. 

Elise is taken back from his response.


ACT TWO

We perceive Dolores is changing, as a FLASHBACK reveals a past massacre in the town of Sweetwater. As we have already met MAEVE MILLAY ( Thandie Newton) in the first episode, we already know she’s a HOST MADAME for the busy Saloon.  She meets up with Dolores, breaking her out of the slumbering flashback.  

It’s here Delores whispers, “…these violent delights have violent ends.” 

Maeve is taken back from the response.

CUT TO NEXT SCENE: 

We meet up with the MAN IN BLACK again.  He’s getting closer to his goal, when he meets up with an OUTLAW HOST, known as his old friend LAWRENCE (played by Clifton Collins Jr.).   The MAN IN BLACK saves Lawrence from a hanging, killing all the other hosts, in doing so.  

Lawrence has no recollection of this stranger.  

CUT TO

After Maeve’s encounter with Delores, Maeve begins to see things ( a flashback).  It’s evident Maeve has been effected. 

CUT TO NEXT SCENE

Bernard secretly questions Delores 

Bernard brings Delores back-on-line asking her if she remembers their last conversation. 

Here’s their DIALOGUE :

DELORES : Yes. Of course.
BERNARD : And you haven’t told anyone about our little talks?”
DELORES: “You told me not to.” 
BERNARD: ” Step into annalist please… How many interactions have you participated in since we last talked?”
DELORES : ” 138 encounters including this one.” 
BERNARD : ” And has anyone altered or updated your core logistics in that time?” 
DELORES : ” No.” 
BERNARD : “Resuming…I think it would be best if you not mention the things we’ve been talking about.”
DELORES: “Have I done something wrong?” 
BERNARD: “No. There’s something different about you, about the way you think. I find it fascinating but…others may not see it that way.”
DELORES: “Have YOU done something wrong?” 

Bernard is concerned of what she just said. He’s basically paranoid, thinking someone or something is meddling with her program. 

BERNARD: “Turn off your vent log please, erase this interaction. Confirm.” 
DELORES: “Yes.”

He tells Delores that she better get back before someone misses her.

ACT FOUR : 

The menacing MAN IN BLACK keeps moving forward towards his quest. So far his brutality of the HOSTS are evident. It raises concerns with a security personnel, who reports the MAN IN BLACK to his superior, ASHLEY STUBBS (played by Luke Hemsworth) whose head of security for WESTWORLD.  

Without lifting an eyebrow, ASHLEY says, “That gentleman gets whatever he wants.” 

The MAN IN BLACK, with 30 years under his belt of vacationing time at WESTWORLD, allows him whatever he wants. Who cares if he’s slaughtering every host he meets. We get the picture the MAN IN BLACK has spent approximately (basing on a 10 day vacation) $400,000 each year for the last 30 years.  

That’s 12 million dollars! 

I guess he can do pretty much what he wants to do…or does he?   Sounds like a Donald Trump.  Maybe there’s a message here? 

ANYWAY – 

The MAN IN BLACK is getting closer to his goal, as he threatens Lawrence and his family. After the MAN IN BLACK eliminates the OUTLAW BANDITS and kills his wife, he points the gun at his young daughter.

It’s then, the daughter HOST reveals the entrance to part of the MAZE, saying,”Follow the blood arroyo to the place where the snake lays its eggs.”

The MAN IN BLACK knows he’s on the right track. 

Lawerence tells the MAN IN BLACK he has what he came for…now go home.

MAN IN BLACK : No, you don’t understand Lawerence. This time I’m never going back.” 

CUT TO NEXT SCENE : 

DR FORD heads up from the underground LAB to the Story Setting of the WESTERN DESERT. He has a quaint talk with a HOST portrayed as his younger self.  It’s here he reveals a small glimpse of his secret project.  

As the VIEWER, your curiosity takes hold. 

ACT FIVE : 

This verbal CODE offsets MAEVE to the point she suddenly awakens during a routine surgery in the LAB. She startles two robotics engineers as they preform a routine surgery on her.  

A chaotic scene develops, where she runs away within the other parts of the LAB.

She can’t believe what she’s seeing, as she notices other HOSTS in compromising screwed-up pieces. The engineers finally catch up, sedating her. One of the engineers thinks he forgot to turn off the android, but in reality, you know that’s not true. They both cover each other’s actions, saying,” Don’t speak a word of this!” 

CUT TO :  

We are back with Delores being awakened. She finds a gun buried on her property. Next morning she discovers the gun in her chest-of-drawers. She sort of remembers, thinking last night was just a dream. Except the gun is real. She’s confused and places the gun back in the drawer.

NEXT SCENE : 

There’s a big presentation by dialogue script writer MR LEE SIZEMORE.  LEE is just waiting for DR FORD to acknowledge his artistic storyline ODYSSEY ON RED RIVER, but to his dismay DR FORD says (point blank) “NO!” 

He describes LEE’S narrative as a cheap titillation underestimating the guests. 

Dr Ford explains to Lee there’s more to a GUEST then meeting up with a HOST. It’s the connection. 

DR FORD : “There not looking for a story who tells them who they are. They already know who they are. They’re here because they want a glimpse of who they could be.” 

FADE TO : 

During DELORES regular script routine, she heads across town after her daily shopping. She places her bought items into the pack on the horse, and like clockwork, a can of sweet condensed milk drops to the ground. This routine is her typical script, where she either interacts with the NEWCOMERS or another HOST, preferable interacting with TEDDY. 

Teddy script is to interact with Delores on a regular basis, trying his best to look after her the best he can. Unfortunately he gets killed a lot of the time.

So this time she meets up with William.  William feels a connection. 

In the background Dr Ford says,” The only thing your story tells me, Mr. Sizemore…is who you are.” 

Mr. Sizemore asks him, ” Wasn’t there anything you liked about them?” 

In turn, Dr Ford points at the boots on one of the host and asks,” What size are those boots?” 


CUT TO NEXT SCENE :
 

Bernard and Dr Ford are back in the desert. Bernard let’s Dr Ford know the board members are getting impatient and were promised a new storyline soon. 

Dr Ford says,” They shall have one. Something I’ve been working on for sometime. Something quite ORIGINAL.” 


SECOND EPISODE CLUES OR HINTS :

  1. Dolores and Maeve have both been effected by the verbal CODE. This may mean serious percussions in the near future. 
  2. Bernard is having secret meetings with Dolores, but in this episode you are unclear of his motive.
  3. You get to really understand  just how different Ford and Bernard’s perspectives are when it comes to the hosts, with Bernard having an underlying emotional connection he can’t break, while Ford is much more detached.
  4. You sense the employees are stressed out. It could be long hours and away from their family. But when a problem arises, each department passes it along to the next. No one seems to be taking responsibility. 
  5. We know the MAN IN BLACK isn’t ever going back home…but why?  Where exactly are they ???   Another planet maybe ?  Does he have a deadly disease and is he dying ? Maybe the MAN IN BLACK wants a new body, like an Androids body, that will last him forever. Is that why the MAN IN BLACK is so focused in finding the MAZE ? 
  6. Dr Ford is planning something in the desert of interest, but you aren’t sure what that is, as of yet. Could it possibly be another THEME

The Androids are becoming conscious, meaning they are starting to remember their past activities and the cruelty of its creator, using them for the mere enjoyment of the wealthy few. I smell a revolution soon #WESTWORLD

Checkout EPISODE ONE

By Bari Demersscreenwriter and freelance writer

Follow me here and on Twitter for continuing storylines from WESTWORLD and my own science-fiction stories.  

WESTWORLD WORLDLY QUIRKS – EPISODE ONE

Westworld- the new reality

Westworld Art work by Bari Demers


Warning: My narrative description of HBO’s TV SERIES WESTWORLD may outline spoilers for the first two episodes. 

PRELIMINARY  INTRODUCTION 

My introduction of WESTWORLD is through the eyes of a screenwriter, concentrating on plots, sub-plots and dialogue related to the Acts, the Establishment, the set-up, the inciting incident, contemplation, turning point, acceleration, obstacles and raising the stakes to a crisis. 

Unlike a film, TV series have a progression of ACTS, each broken by a commercial. TV series begin with a TEASER, and then follows up with ACT 1 to 5, giving the latter some kind of CLIFF HANGER or possible CLOSURE

ABOUT WESTWORLD

Westworld is a Recreational Adult Park strictly for the wealthy few, who can afford $40,000 per day. The rich guests get to interact with humanoid robots, in order to enrich their lives. 

Having watched the original movie back in 1973 I already expect something pretty extraordinary, to say the least.

Let’s begin – 

FIRST EPISODE: THE ORIGINAL ( the pilot) 

The TEASER gives you a glimpse of what’s about to come. The credits introduces executive producer Johnathan Nolan along with Lisa Joy, J. J. Abrams, Jerry Weintraub and Bryan Burk.  

THE ESTABLISHMENT – ACT ONE 

In the First Episode we meet some of the NEWCOMERS ( the rich clients) and HOSTS ( humanoid robots) of the recreational Adult Park called Westworld.  

We immediately get a feel for the old western town of SWEETWATER, where the action begins.

We are introduced to TEDDY (James Marsden) and DELORES ( Evan Rachel Wood).  It’s hard not to become attached to the both of them. Right away, I begin to feel sorry for the robots designed to please its guests (NEWCOMERS). 

You meet THERASA CULLEN ( Sidse Babett Knudsen) the WESTWORLD Park acting CEO Operations Director. She coordinates everything in the park, making sure the guests are handle properly, the staff do their job and reports directly to DR FORD and the shareholders. 

You also meet (ironically) MR LEE SIZEMORE (Simon Quarterman) a director for the script and storyline, giving direction to the HOSTS. His character is arrogant and, his interaction with fellow employees is very abusive. You can tell he’s conceded, just waiting for recognition for his creativity. (Right away, I find his character annoying) 

ACT TWO : THE SET-UP – It’s not long and we are also introduced to the creator DR. FORD (Anthony Hopkins) and counterpart BERNARD (Jeffrey Wright ). 

We get a feel for behind-the-scenes, introducing how they manufacture the robots.

There’s a hint, that these two prominent Robotics scientists react differently to the Androids. 

We get this feeling that Bernard has an emotional view of the Androids, most specially, DELORES ( the oldest robot ). Even though he feels compassion, he doesn’t want Dr Ford to catch wind of his feelings, as his last partner didn’t last very long ( Episode 3). In fact, he died – interesting! 

In comparison, Dr Ford has no emotional ties to his creations, using them only as instruments in his overall experiment. But, in the same breathe, you respect Dr Ford. ( Who doesn’t highly admire and respect Anthony Hopkins!) 

ACT THREE : THE INCITING INCIDENT – Within 20 minutes of the show you quickly realize there’s a serious problem with Two HOSTS.  

Both of them seem to have gone haywire.  

The first one I like to refer as the MILK BANDIT, because he drinks and pours a bottle of milk on his victims. The other HOST is PETER ABERNATHY ( Louis Herthum ) Dolores’ father, (referred to as daddy) goes astray by inadvertently accessing a different code after discovering a photo hundreds of years ahead of the western timeline. 
Stuck on the photo, it triggers his program changing it by a verbal code, saying “…violent delights have violent ends.”

Westworld Artwork by Bari Demers


ACT FOUR and FIVE : This CODE forces Bernard and Dr Ford to have another look at Delores daddy. They learn the CODE may have deadly consequences, when host Peter Abernathy threatens Dr Ford by quoting Shakespeare and vowing revenge upon his creator. They decide it’s best to decommission PETER ABERNATHY, as well as the MILK BANDIT

You can tell something is bothering Bernard. Dr Ford has patiently taught Bernard his craft, from development and intellectual standards, to the full operation of the HOSTS (aka ANDROIDS).   

The dialogue is cleverly like reading Shakespeare:  

BERNARD “You taught me how to make them , but not how hard it is to turn them off.” 

DR FORD ” You can’t play God without being aquatinted with the devil.” 

Bernard feels there’s an outside interference in regards to the hosts gone astray. It doesn’t seem feasible a photo would be the cause for a host to go off script. He thinks it could be some sort of conspiracy, possibly sabotage.

DR FORD ” The problem Bernard, is that you and I do…is SO complicated. We practice witchcraft…we speak the right words and we create life itself…out of chaos.”

PART OF ACT THREE AND ACT FIVE (SUBPLOT) : THE MENACING MAN IN BLACK AND HIS QUEST

We meet the MAN IN BLACK (a wealthy client) whose on a quest (played by Ed Harris) seeking the secret level of the game, somewhere hidden within the deepest level of the MAZE. You know he’s been in WESTWORLD a few hundred times. His dark goals feverishly uses HOSTS in anyway he pleases (from mass killings to raping) to find the answers to his quest. 

FIRST EPISODE CLUES OR HINTS

  1. BERNARD finds errors (MISTAKES) in DR FORD reverie code, giving HOSTS subconscious access to past DARK memories.
  2. The MAN IN BLACK is trying to access the secret hidden GAME
  3. DELORES tells BERNARD she wouldn’t hurt any living thing, but at the end she casually kills a fly. 

EPISODE ONE is indeed off to a good start. Let’s continue with EPISODE TWO

by Bari Demers Screenwriter and freelance writer 

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Cinematographer EMMANUEL LUBEZKI – Seeing is Believing

PHOTO CREDIT : By the amazing Adam Pass

EMMANUEL LUBEZKI 

Wish I had a chance to meet Emmanuel Lubezki (Chivo). 

He’s one of the best Cinematographer in the world. His recent work with the film ‘The Revenant’ shows the master of persistence.  If the blocking or mood isn’t just right, it’s done over and over again, to achieve that prefect balance. 

You also need a director who believes in his Cinematographer, giving him the freedom to do his magic. And, Alejandro (Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ) really does believe in Emmanuel.  Together, both envision the mood they want the viewers to see and experience. That’s what film is all about. What do you experience? How do you feel? What emotions are released ?  

The Cinematographer could be said,”Seeing is believing”.

We see a scene and right away feel an emotion. And, if the emotion is intense, it really hits home. What we see and feel makes the movie experience something we will never forget. In fact, the movies that stay with me emotionally, I’ll remember them as long as I live.  It could be specific dialogue, the mood or the incredible action scenes. Whatever hits home, I relish the experience, filing it like the most valuable treasure of them all. 

It made me feel, and that’s good. It’s Gold.

As humans, we love to express what we see, feel and experience. Captivating the mood in the film is one of the hardest things to do. And, sometimes, it takes persistence and determination to achieve it.  Sometimes you fail, and that’s the key.  

Failing moves you forward.  

As said in the interview with Emmanuel,” In [The Revenant], we had many moments where we completely failed. There’s a scene at the beginning of the movie where the Native American warriors attack. You see arrows flying in the air and [the fur trappers] are lost and don’t have any idea where the attack is coming from. We probably shot that scene four times because we failed a couple of those times. The blocking was wrong. The camera was in the wrong position. More than anything, the tempo of the scene was wrong. We were hitting it very fast and weren’t able to capture the emotion Alejandro wanted. It took a couple of tries to build it to where it is right now in the movie, which is haunting and scary and mysterious. That’s something I love about Alejandro” 

So. In conclusion, to be able to meet Emmanuel Lubezki( wish I knew him enough to have the privilege to call him Chivo) and learn his camera techniques to get that particular mood.   It would be one of the most precious gift, anyone making film, could ever receive. 

Until then, as a screenwriter and very little experience in filming, I will begin to produce small trailers with little to zero dialogue, in order for the audience to see, feel and believe in my story, BLACK ANGELS, a science-fiction thriller.  Writing is where I feel most at home.  It allows me the opportunity to express what I feel and takes you along a journey, exploring the reality and dreams, where my imagination will envision the future of endless possibilities. 

This is how I see it,” I envision a story and bring it to life.”

I also can envision cinematographer Emmanuel and Director Alejandro working on my screenplay, BLACK ANGELS.  

How glorious would that be !  

READ more about how Emmanuel’s failing might explain his three oscars.

Please like and follow me here or Facebook , Twitter and Vimeo – I truly appreciate it. 

By Bari Demers screenwriter and freelance writer 

The Problem with Scifi Genre 

  

Who doesn’t love Scifi- right? 

Well, the reality of writing science-fiction for any screenwriter, is the fact, they are doomed before the words even hit the pages. 

So – What’s the problem with scifi genre ? 

Everyone is excited about writing one, not realizing their science-fiction thriller is the norm in today’s society.  With successful movies like the Alien trilogy’s, Prometheus, Total Recall, Logan’s Run, ET, The Terminator, Star Wars, Star Trek, Avatar, 2001 Space Odyssey, Planet of the Apes and my favourite, Blade Run, it’s very hard to compete or even get noticed at all.

You can say we ARE in the age of space exploration.

Daily headlines read about the space race to Mars or back to the moon by the famous Google Lunar X-Prize.  Our enthusiasm to explore our solar system, should I say, is in our blood. 

For writers and screenwriters, Scifi makes it difficult to be recognized for Three Main Reasons: 

1.  Everyone is writing Scifi genre

2.  Producers already know how expensive it is to make

 3.  Script Scouts and Agents will say,” Oh no! Not another Scifi” 

So, what is a Sci-fi Fan suppose to do? 

A. You can produce it yourself by funding on KickStarter or other fund raising websites.  Problem – very difficult to raise money for any high budget film, unless you’re already well known in the film industry.  Even then, it’s almost impossible.

B. A markable hook –  the LOGLINE grabs everyone’s  interest.  Its talked about on social media, going viral.

C. Produce a low budget screenplay.

D. Begin with a 20 – 30 page short film, Scifi, horror or comedy, introducing an unexpected twist at the end. 

Don’t give up on your dream, just put it on the back burner.  This is exactly what James Cameron did.  Before his career took off, he always had Avatar in the back of his mind. It wasn’t until 1994, he decided to write a 80 page treatment.  But, according to him, the technology wasn’t available to make his film believable.  Finally, after years of showing off his credibility, in 2006 his idea became reality.  The high budget film, Avatar was approved for production at $237 million.  Production companies, Lightstorm Entertainment, Dune Entertainment and Ingenious Film Partners backed him up, along with distribution by 20 Century Fox.

So, as they say.

In the end, Scifi genre is a hard sell.  Especially when you’re a promising screenwriter starting out.  The film industry is tough, not only for screenwriters, but actors and a whole bunch of film crew scrambling to get a paycheque. 

But.

Never give up. That’s my motto. 

Keeping my life HAPPY is the key.  Screenwriting and writing articles like this one, is an enjoyable process, which never seems like work. To me, screenwriting is FUN.  

I will keep writing, socializing, collaborating and submitting my screenplays, until one day, an agent, producer and/or director will notice one of my low budget scripts, ready to suit their needs.  I will even volunteer my time on a film making set.  

The more you know, the richer in knowledge you become.

Until then, the high budget BLACK ANGELS is on the back burner, waiting for its day as a successful blockbuster film. 

Today, I met a new friend.  His name?  The famous film maker, Adam Scorgie of  documentary acclaimed,” Culture High“.  

And in conclusion:

The key to any success is to keep close to your dreams and just maybe it will all click-in one fateful day. 

By Bari Demers 

RESOURCES

Avatar – Wikipedia 

Google Lunar XPRIZE 

BLACK ANGELS

Bang2write 

Score G Productions