sintel's screenplay

Discussions and feedback around the Open Projects such as Orange (Elephants Dream), Peach (Big Buck Bunny), Apricot (Yo Frankie!)...

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sintel's screenplay

Postby Cosimo_0 » Tue May 04, 2010 4:42 pm

Hello everyone, new to the blender forums.

I wanted to ask if there's a complete Sintel screenplay already, and if so, would it be possible to read it? Maybe releasing it out into the wild and see what the feedback is? My humble opinion is that the past blender projects have been lacking in the script department. Not because the scripts were bad, mind you(BBB was very funny), but they were just not on par with the awesomeness of everything else... not so much the "worse", rather the "less good".

Anyway, I see there's a specialist in charge of the script, which I think is great, but still, you think it would be a good idea to get the community involved somehow?

What always frustrates me about bad scripts(and I'm thinking hollywood now), is that by now they should be the most developed aspect of filmmaking, since they've been around forever and they hardly need any technological developments(at least in the conventional meaning we give to technology), and yet they're still the weak spot of many a blockbuster.

Just some thoughts, and a simple request: if there's a script, I for one would love to read it.

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Postby Cosimo_0 » Sat May 08, 2010 6:28 pm

uh.. so that's a no?

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Postby Konstanty » Tue May 11, 2010 10:48 pm

You're probably right that it's a No. But I do agree with you that Blender movie projects up to now have been somewhat lacking in the area of writing. Technically spectacular,yes, but with scripts that are less than engaging.

I don't think that "releasing scripts into the community" is any kind of answer. In my humble opinion, it's just that the Foundation should be looking for writers who are as talented as the animation group. It's not just the cutting-edge animation that makes Pixar productions memorable, it's the stories behind the animation.

I know it's easy to get people riled with comments like this, especially considering the monumental amount of labor that goes into one of these productions. But I honestly do think this area needs improvement in order to make a real splash and impress the powers-that-be -- and audiences -- outside the Blender world.

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Postby Cosimo_0 » Wed May 12, 2010 5:10 am

Konstanty wrote:I don't think that "releasing scripts into the community" is any kind of answer.

I don't really believe in collective writing. But you could do some sort of open competition, or audition, or recruit people based on their writing experience/talent. Heck, I bet you could get some acknowledge sci fi writer involved, Bruce Sterling or Cory Doctorow, for instance.

Commenting on an existing script I think would be even easier.

Besides, sources should be open, right?

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Postby Steelcreed » Thu May 13, 2010 11:53 pm

I think this is a really good idea. I think Elephants Dream suffered somewhat because of the writing. The key thing to BBB was its narrative was entirely visually based, a medium which Blender excells at. But ED needed more in the way of verbal narrative and more to communicate the dreamlike state of the world around it.

Being spectacular is all well and good, but substance still needs to be there. Im sure you have considered the script thoroughly already, but give the aspiring writers on here a little to do as well. I would love to contribute that way, seeing as my modelling skills are somewhat basic :)

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Postby Cosimo_0 » Fri May 14, 2010 3:47 pm

maybe the way to go about that in the "open projects" forum is just submitting good stories

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Postby effstops » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:24 am

Hey guys, Colin here.

The screenplay will be published along with all the other materials after the film is released online.

I definitely agree with you about the importance of story, and I also agree that has been one of the weaknesses of the Open Movie projects so far.

The script for "Sintel" certainly has its issues, but personally I think it's a real step forward.

I would have loved to release the screenplay to the wild as we were developing it, but having been involved in the production, I know that it would not have affected our work in the least.

We had our own process with a number of forces shaping the story, and adding yet another source of criticism would probably not have been productive.

So it would be more for the sake of openness that we would post the screenplay... and since this is an Open Movie, that's a very fair point.

But it would also be a bit of a shame in some ways. Takes away a bit of the fun, and would even potentially have an effect on the team's motivation. We'd all prefer, of course, that people experience the story through the final film.

I'm curious to hear your reaction to the film when you see it.


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Postby SirDude » Thu Jul 29, 2010 4:57 pm

I also agree that the stories in the past have maybe been the weak spots of the films so far.

Remember though the main goal of these films is to make a better blender.
Having a good video to watch is only a bonus. I think were also cultivating the story telling ability of blender artists with these projects. So I wouldn't
change that aspect of things just yet. I think there are still lots of other things to work on and the scripts have been getting better as they go.

I really like how this project has been more open that the previous versions, hopefully that will continue in the future. I think the progression has been very good over the various projects.

I also think that there is value to keeping the secret, I'd really like to see a fan rendered project, but I think that would take away from things as well.

It's a balancing act to get things right.

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Postby dosplumas » Fri Jul 30, 2010 2:08 am

Excellent comments all. I just want to add one thing ...

Because projects of this size involve so many people, it's easy for one pece to be overlooked or developed quickly. However, in my opinion, it's almost mandatory to start with a good plot. Without it, the story doesn't hol together and there's no motivation to enjoy it.

Is it possible to designate one person as the storyline creator at the very beginning and then move on with the development after that part is completely set?

Just my opinion. Your mileage may vary ...
Allen Williams

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Postby Cosimo_0 » Fri Oct 01, 2010 4:57 am

effstops wrote:I'm curious to hear your reaction to the film when you see it.



First of all, thanks for your reply. I hadn't checked this thread for a while and of course today I remembered it. Second, and I'm very sorry, but my reaction was not good. I have put it on writing elsewhere and rather bluntly, I'll try to be a bit more structured here.

So first, yes, it is amazing how far Blender has gone and it is a great achievement to make a film like this on such a limited budget.

Still, to me, the script fails to make basic sense. It is not a compelling story(I don't buy the motivations) and it doesn't seem to be thought out beyond surface level: what is Sintel besides a character that's just there to move the story forward, what are dragons besides a plot device. Who is the old man in the hut, and why is there an attacker just randomly waiting on the middle of the snow.

The whole ending scene is silly and makes no sense unless you assume Sintel is a really dumb character, which she isn't, at least not sympathetically(actually, if she had been mentally challenged, the story would be much more compelling... sort of like John Malkovitch in Of Mice and Men, the audience would get what is going on but she doesn't, until its too late), and you just know that she isn't supposed to be dumb.

The whole sudden aging thing is just unfair to the audience. I know it is a realization of aging, and not some kind of magical aging, but still, the movie totally cheats by showing her as a young woman up to that realization.

Overall, the story felt as an excuse for the scenes, which isn't so bad except that it was a rather bad excuse, not a great one.

With all due respect, that is.

You guys still did a great job, I just feel like there's nothing to loose and oh so much to win by having a better script: a bad script will cost as much(or as little) as a good one. A good script would build much more interest on the movie outside the blender community, and it would probably span more remixes and those other sorts of content reuse that the CC licensed movies allow.

Pablo from Chile.

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Collaborative Writing

Postby jbeatnik » Sun Jun 26, 2011 9:40 pm

Collaborative writing over collective writing is the key here in my opinion. I'd like to share my experience. I just recently finished producing a film that screened at Cannes last month. We've been getting great reviews too. We had one screenwriter but the producer (myself and partner) along with several others all contributed to the story and it worked great to flesh out a very heart felt story that audiences really respond to. For my next project or project I join I hope to be part of such a collaborative process. If anyone is good at story and understands how to communicate their ideas and would be interested to work on a project with me please be in touch. My main goal is to bring a great team together and be part of team. I have a passion for film and music but music is the thing that drives me most.

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