Movie Progress, Part 3

During the script writing process, I have learned how hard it is to write an entire movie from start to even – even a fairly short one. I had a few scenes in my mind that I thought would be funny, and a couple of scenes that I wanted to do that would be nice surprise (like tracking down a developer he had worked with in the past to be in the movie), but as for stitching it all together, it was a bit of a mish-mash. Props and location were a big obstacle. I’ve done what I can do with a green screen, and the furniture in our office has been rearranged in ways that I didn’t think were possible. I also had to respect the fact that the main star was pretty camera shy, and didn’t want to film any scenes in public (which is completely understandable, plus, it might result in our secret project leaking out).

I did overshoot a little by asking over half the team to be a part of it. That meant I had to include them somehow – though a few of them were OK with having tiny parts, so that worked out OK. I did have a bigger part in mind for one of the developers who has worked quite closely with the developer who is leaving, but he didn’t feel comfortable having a big part, so unfortunately, his part has been turned into a short shot of him dying.

I wanted to have more shots of the city from our building, but unfortunately, all the rain lately has meant that the windows in our building are dirty and so I couldn’t get a clear shot (first world problems, I know…). I have a much higher appreciation of location scouts for movies now. Just thinking about how many places the Games of Thrones crew must have scouted out in order to find the location for King’s Landing boggles the mind. I don’t know if they had a place in mind from the start, but the location they picked just seems so perfect for the part – it’s pretty much exactly as I imagined it, except with more naked people and more dead people. Most of my locations for the movie are in the office, though a few are green-screened to look like they’re somewhere else. But the space was pretty confined though, so you can see chairs or tables in some of the shots, which makes me sad, but you gotta work with what you have.

There were so many Bond tropes that I never got to work into the movie. Bond doesn’t even sleep with the girl in this… the Bond girl just kinda disappears into nowhere after he meets her. There are a few racist jokes, but nothing too sexist. Unfortunately, there aren’t that many women in the office, and though all of my female characters get speaking parts, none of them really do that much in the plot (except the Moneypenny equivalent, who points Bond in the direction of his next target, but that’s just one line). Nearly everyone in the movie is a bad guy, which I didn’t want to do, but it made it easier to fit them into the movie if they were just faceless mooks that Bond had to fight through in order to get to the big boss. I did manage to fit “shaken, not stirred” into the movie, but I thought it would be inappropriate to be drinking martinis in the office, so Bond orders a water instead, and I have a bit of a sight gag, with the waiter trying to shake the water and failing.  The one person I screen tested it with didn’t get the joke though, so I don’t know if I should leave that on the cutting room floor. It does mean I have some nice transitions during the poker scene though, because as a long take, it looks horrible and boring.

That’s the other thing, my dialogue is terrible. Here is one of the scenes in my movie:

(at the beach)

Bond girl: Enjoying the view?

Bond: I can’t help but enjoy a girl when she’s wet.

The guy playing Bond’s face was so red when saying that line it’s really lucky he was wearing a mask.

Then there’s the end of the car chase scene, after the driver is killed.

Bond: I guess they’ll have to… install a new driver.

I really had no idea what gadgets to give to Q, but we were working on one of the fight scenes, and we had no idea how to end it. So the guy playing Bond grabbed one of the office chairs and pushed the bad guy into it so he was sitting down and pushed him out of the frame. The problem is, given the background, where the chair comes from is never explained. So I had to have one of Q’s inventions be a pen that magically makes a chair for you to sit on. Since I lack the special effects or CGI studios that most big budget films have, I’m just going to do a really bad cut, with one shot without the chair, and one shot with the chair.

If I have time, I want to dress up as Rick Astley and film myself dancing to Never Gonna Give You Up, as one of the BAs said the developer who is leaving dresses like Rick Astley. That counts as rickrolling, right? My contract doesn’t say that’s a fireable offense, but that’s going to be the thing that I’m most proud of at my time at the bank – the time I got to rickroll my entire team.

I am incredibly bad at writing funny scenes though. I have a scene where the bad guy demands a ransom payment from the UN, and I wanted the Greek representative to say, “Well, I’ve got no money, I’m out.” as a reference to Greece’s current economy. I hesitated over that line for so long, because I was afraid that the Greek people on the team would get offended. Then the Chinese UN rep responds that they can spare some change. And again, I just kept thinking, what if the Chinese people on the team get offended? Even though racist stereotypes are par for the course in Bond movies, I wasn’t sure if it would be OK to cross that line. To be fair, as far as racist statements go, I think that’s fairly tame. But it plays such a small part in the movie that it wouldn’t hurt to cut it out (though it’ll mean those two people won’t get to be in the movie).

I’m about halfway through the movie now, so I’m 100% confident I can get it done by the weekend. The only part I’m unsure about is that I asked a couple of people from the UK office to film some lines for me. I managed to replace one of them, but the other one has quite technical lines, so he could only be replaced by another developer. Unfortunately, all of the devs on the team are already in the movie. As a last resort, I’m going to have him be a silhouette and use Microsoft Sam, but hopefully he’ll mail me his footage before the end of the week. He’s the guy who hired the dev who is leaving, so I know he’d be really happy to see him in the movie.

Unfortunately, I’ve come down with a cold, so I think it’s going to be an early night for me.

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