Dan Kelly <nomad@artisthouse.com>
To: ccarden@alias.com
Cc: Dan Kelly <nomad@artisthouse.com>
Delivery-Date: Thu, 13 Oct 2005 09:44:34 -0500

Thanks for taking the time.

Fuck subtlety!


Here's a weird thing - the name Melchior came to me out of the blue. After I had written the script and all, I was curious if Melchior was actually a name, and lo and behold (thanks to google) he was one of the wise men. so there's a sign of either cosmic collaboration or failing memory.

I like the idea about the trumpet's, perhaps someone is practicing trumpet in the apartment next door.

OK the reason one asks for feedback like this is to clarify, to articulate what may or may not be between the lines. By dialoging about it, defending the work against critique, I clarify why certain things are happening, and develop the characters more. That's why this is SOOOO good!


So yes, character development for Christina follows.

This is girl is a freak, like you and me. she's not a shrinking violet. If something this weird actually happened to you, me or certain people we know, they would ride it like a wild pony! some people are just waiting (their whole life) for something like this to happen. Also, she is not unfamiliar with the genre of fantastic fiction, which we learn later. So when something extraordinary knocks on her door, she doesn't need much convincing. Finally, she has an important connection with her uncle joe, which is probably just backstory, but will be demonstrated when he shows up at the door. by the way, if a dead friend called you on a cell phone, I doubt you'd be thinking much about stalkers and such. If I died and then called you on a cell phone, there's a part of you that would INSTANTLY believe that it was really and truly me. Right? Right! Some part of us EXPECTS this to happen, and is kind of surprised when it doesn't. [expect_extraordinary_end]

I'm considering some rapid flashbacks for the phone call, right after she hears, "it's uncle joe". eg a young uncle joe, taking a tiny girl christina for a walk, telling her the story of HAL in 2001, Christina sleeping in a chair by the side of Joe's hospital bed, he's hooked up to a thousand tubes (he's awake). that sort of thing. the hit em over the head approach. Actually, I really like these flashbacks but later, during something completely unrelated. more like a net of gems or a rudraksha necklace than a bit of rope, with an end and a beginning.

I don't agree with your feeling about how it ends. I do intend to end it right there, for now. Perhaps this is a teaser for a feature. As a stand alone short I think it works fine. We can imagine the next step - they ARE going to make love, but in a totally natural and human way, not because UJ/M told her to. christina's mission becomes her hearts desire, jerry's life has radically opened - the miracle has begun.

here's an interesting connection, kind of off topic. another script I might send you is about zombies - dead people are rising from their grave all over the world and walking the streets, trying to reintegrate into society. Although they are mostly benign, they do feed on fresh corpses when available. You can imagine the zany hi-jinks that arise. Anyway, there's this huge shift in people's concept of what's possible, what's believable. If I combined these two ideas, made the zombie thing a sort of ambient backdrop for DOG. then there would be absolutely no suspension of disbelief when uncle joe shows up.

Something else just occured to me about the zombies, it would mostly be a problem in first world countries. In india for ex, the are all burned up or rotted away. In america, they are millions of perfectly preserved corpses in fiberglass capules 6 feet down. There are more zombies in america than illegal mexicans, it's a huge problem and the justification for having a zombie president is tthat you need a zombie to deal with zombies.

Both of these ideas play off an end times theme. I almost feel like I am kind of channeling them 🙂


Chris Carden <ccarden@alias.com>
To: Dan Kelly <nomad@artisthouse.com>
Delivery-Date: Wed, 12 Oct 2005 12:51:47 -0500

I did. I read it. I have not had time to respond.

A quick overview of my thoughts ...

Positive comments: a very engaging idea ... nice parallel to Mary and the angel, some nice bits of dialogue
Criticisms: Some bits not believable or not necessary to the story line, such as Melchior appearing as the girl's uncle, first and then quickly revealing himself. My first thoughts were: this girl would freak, thinking it's a stalker/rapist/burglar/freak.
If this is a part 1 of a multi-part script, then the ending has me wanting more, which is fine. If this is self-contained, then the ending has me wanting more, which is bad. If you're trying to end it at a point where the viewer pretty much can figure out the rest of the story, you might want to just leave it at the door, when he opens and she says (my clean version because I'm at work), "I want your baby."
I think the structure is probably fine, but you might be more subtle about the symbolism early on. Maybe she never get's Melchior's whole name ("Just call me Mel") or she figures it out later. Maybe there's even more symbolism (some dialogue could directly parallel dialoge from the Bible. I don' know. Weren't there trumpets or something?
Mostly it moves too fast because it's not believable that a person would so quickly accept the bizarreness of the situation. I need to know more about the character that explains why she would accept everything so quickly.
I'll read it again some time and send a better explanation, but right now all I can suggest is that it needs a lot more deep thought about how everything can unfold naturally. If you need it to happen quickly, consider a lot of fast edits that compress time for the viewer but still make it clear that it's taking her some time to take it all in. Or show the viewer that she is somehow ready for this because of her own inner spiritual life. A worldly woman who meditates and already has some psychic ability or spiritual connections/understanding.

Blah blah, bla blabla blah.
-----Original Message-----
From: Dan Kelly [mailto:nomad@artisthouse.com]
Sent: Tuesday, October 11, 2005 9:54 PM
To: ccarden@alias.com
Cc: Dan Kelly
Subject: Re: Supernatural Studios 2D to 3D

hey I sent you a script in pdf today, did you get it?


On Oct 11, 2005, at 4:22 PM, Chris Carden wrote:

More dream-fodder ...<casestudy_Zissou_Supernatural.pdf>