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Grovelling/Intimidating: Is it a gradient or is there a third choice?

 
 
MrIVI
 
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 03:06 am
I'm writing a script in which the lead character's daughter is kidnapped. A man with a gun comes to his door and tells him: (1) They have the daughter. And (2) Where to drop the money.

Problem is if the lead character attempts to be intimidating it just looks stupid. (1) They have his daughter. (2) The other guy has the gun. But if the lead character grovels its just kind of annoying: he's the lead character nobody wants a cry-baby for a lead. Finally, he can't be just neutral cause that just reads like bad acting/bad scripting.

Is there a third choice? Like we have Red, Green, and Blue in colors. Is there: Groveling, Intimidating, and ????
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Roberta
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 03:49 am
@MrIVI,
Why would a kidnapper come to the door? Wouldn't he want to avoid being seen?

Sorry, this isn't an answer to your question. But it seems strange to me.
MrIVI
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 04:08 am
@Roberta,
He is disguised so the face is not that important to him.
And he knows there is a million in the place, and they need to pressure him into delivering it immediately.
Good question though.
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roger
 
  0  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 02:07 pm
@Roberta,
That, and what is he doing with a gun. It's a kidnapping, not a robbery.
hingehead
 
  0  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 02:31 pm
@MrIVI,
Just to be slightly left field - why is this scene even important to the story? Who is the protagonist and what's their journey? This is a script not a documentary.

If the scene is important to telling the story then it will be clear how it should play out.
engineer
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 02:38 pm
@MrIVI,
He pushes back on the situation. "How do I know my daughter is still alive? How do I know you won't take the money and run? How do I know you won't just kill me?" The kidnappers have the daughter and a gun, but they want the money, so the man has leverage that way. If he asks reasonable questions, the kidnappers have an interest in answering. Worst case for them is being stuck with the daughter and no money.
MrIVI
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 03:06 pm
@roger,
Quote:
That, and what is he doing with a gun. It's a kidnapping, not a robbery.

Why wouldn't he have a gun?
Without a gun he could be the hostage who gets traded back for the daughter?
MrIVI
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 03:10 pm
@hingehead,
Quote:
Why is this scene even important to the story?

Quote:
If the scene is important to telling the story then it will be clear how it should play out.


The story is all about the recovery of the daughter.
And unfortunately: no. As the writer of 4 feature-length scripts, 2 already on film, I can can you with certainty just because a scene is important does not have any baring on the author's knowing how it should play out.
MrIVI
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 03:12 pm
@engineer,
Quote:
He pushes back on the situation.


I like it. I'm thinking by making him fight it. You can see the full range of emotions from grovelling to intimidating.
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hingehead
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 03:52 pm
@MrIVI,
Not to be anal, but how does this scene impact on the recovery of the daughter? If you're taking the viewer here, why? I'm not saying the scene will write itself, I'm just saying there are clues in to how this scene pans out based on the impacts you intend it to have on the characters in later scenes.

How does the father's 'pushing back' affect the story of the recovery of the daughter? I'm not asking you to tell me, I'm just suggesting you consider it when making decisions.

Also I think you need some rest because you are 'can can' ing me. Wink
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roger
 
  0  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 04:16 pm
@MrIVI,
He doesn't have a threat of violence to offer against the person he expects the money from. It is the child who is threatened. This just isn't plausible, but hey, it's your story.
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hingehead
 
  2  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 05:28 pm
@MrIVI,
**** - I've just realised that I've interpreted 'recovery of the daughter' as her healing after the trauma, and you may have meant 'rescue'. Sorry if that's the case.
MrIVI
 
  1  
Reply Tue 16 Nov, 2010 11:55 pm
@hingehead,
Ah, you beat me to it. I couldn't figure out the source of our confusion.
I just tried it again, rewrote it making the villain a little less cool (he was coming off too James Bond.) And making the father more undecided so he was sort of bouncing back and forth between emotions and at the same time trying to stay really strong and cool for the daughter. It seems to work better. Still seems like there should be a third option outside groveling and intimidating though.
laughoutlood
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2010 12:10 am
@MrIVI,
Quote:
I can can you with certainty just because a scene is important does not have any baring on the author's knowing how it should play out.


Completely agree.

Perhaps the father could play the scene with steely-eyed determination.

Or debonair insouciance if you are looking to achieve a lighter touch.
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roger
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Nov, 2010 01:02 am
@MrIVI,
He can always fake the grovelling.
0 Replies
 
 

 
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