Making a movie about people talking of the interstellar war.

Happy new year, everyone.

As stated in my recent threads, I am thinking (as always) of doing that film. One low-cost way of doing it is to have actors talking about the interstellar war, as opposed to showing the combat scenes. I have started a background fictional history of the war, with the introduction and the epilogue. The history is by the defeated Enemy General (EG), who writes it while in prison.

As I understand it, the rule of thumb is that, to adapt prose to film, one page of prose would equal one minute of film, but a history can be lengthened or shortened.

I am thinking that the film, to keep it as low as possible, should have one set of scenes where the EG talks to his counterpart, then another set of scenes where a reporter talks to survivors of the war, and so on. And, to splurge a bit, we can always have a dance scene.

The regulars here know film better than me, but many good movies have been done with inexpensive sets - examples are "Same Time, Next Year", and Hitchcock's "Rear Window".
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@sfoster, you may be correct, but, strangely, if two persons talking cannot make a whole novel interesting, one person talking about his adventures can fill volumes. Examples would be biographies, and, in fiction, the Flashman series.

@indietalk, yes, but, as was discussed in previous threads, I first write out the story, in prose, with no regards to the film adaptation, then, when the time does come to adapt it, the cast and crew will figure it out. So I would write out the story as a short story or novel, then find ways to adapt it.

And we should make a film of our discussion, as in a film about people talking about a film about people talking of an interstellar war. :wait:
Not every film works as a book, not every book works as a movie.
Try turning Whiplash into a book. What have you got? Like having a snare without a kick-drum.
Movies about people talking? Yes, absolutely. I'll echo sfoster:

Rent if for a couple of bucks if you have to. For me, a masterpiece of writing and acting.

Another must-see in this category:

Used to be a culty favorite; don't know if anybody watches it any more.

And I'll add, 4 people not 2, but just talking:

what these have in common is the writing, primarily, and of course the acting -- stellar in 1 and 3, and in 2, Wallace Shawn is always fun.
Now get writing.

@indietalk, your wish is my command. The first iteration is below.

I was lying on the couch on a lazy Sunday afternoon, thinking of the kind of film I would like to make. My passion had always been science fiction, so a movie in that genre would come naturally – I think William Goldman, the late screenwriter, had said that you can only write well in areas that you are passionate about, and that he could never write a script for George Lucas.

“Day dreaming again?”

I turned to see Jay entering the living room, with two glasses in hand. One glass had beer, and the other had my favorite pop, ginger ale. I was spending the day in his place, where he was doing his household chores. The living room was a comfortable area, with the couch, where I was lying, and two sofas on either side. A TV, flanked by stereo speakers, was in front of the couch.

I took my glass and sat up. “Yes.”

“And it’s about your magnum opus?”

“Yes,” I replied again. “I’m always thinking about it.”

A voice cut in. “And talking about it too.”

We turned to see Jasmine, went to the kitchen, helping herself to some juice, then sat down, joining us. “Before you film, you have to plan it out, which means writing the plot.”

She was a prominent actress in several films, so she knew what she was talking about. “And that means writing out the plot, then putting it into script.”

“But I’ve never done a script,” I said.

“True,” she agreed. “But you have published papers, so you know how to write. I suggest you write out your story as a novelist, then assemble a cast and crew, and we’ll figure something out.”

“But film is expensive,” Jay noted.

“Yes,” she replied. “So you will have to tailor your story around what you can afford. The problem with science fiction is that it’s the most expensive genre by far, which would be a problem.”

“I was told that special effects have gotten way cheaper over the years, because of CGI.” I said. “Maybe we can do it on the cheap.”

“Maybe,” Jasmine said. “But you may also want to start small, so perhaps a short film would be the way to go.”

“That’s a good idea,” Jay chimed in. “But I hear something about doing a table read first.”

Jasmine nodded. “That’s a rehearsal where we read through the script, to iron out the kinks.”

“And then what?” I asked.

“And then you go through the preproduction process, of finding location, getting permits, and so on.”

“That seems a lot of work for a short film.” I began to feel discouraged.

“Not at all,” she said. “Like I said, start small and simple, and see how that goes. I’ll give you an example – a film like “Same Time, Next Year”, with Alan Alda, involved two people talking, and their conversations and mannerisms were actually showing of the societal changes that happened over their lifetimes. This film was actually a social commentary, not about two people committing adultery.”

“And the Odd Couple was also about two people talking, though not about social issues,” Jay added.

“A film about two people talking,” I contemplated this. “That shouldn’t be too expensive.”

“It wouldn’t be,” Jasmine said. “And it would be a good start for you.”

“Talking about what, though?” Jay and I asked simultaneously.

She raised her hands. “Well, you want to do military science fiction, like Star Wars, so let them talk about an interstellar war.”

Jay and I looked at each, then said, again at the same time, “That’s a good idea.”

As I was writing it, I was thinking of going back and forth the iterations, as in film the persons talking about the war, then cutting back to filming about people talking about people talking about the war, then looping further back to filming about .... you get it. These are known as frame stories, as in stories within stories.
Is anyone going to comment on my story above, about THREE people talking etc?
It felt like reading an IT thread, as someone who knows a lot about film making its rather tedious to read someone explain the details of film making.

needs to focus more on emotion and characters and less on logistics
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Star Trek Lol GIF
@sfoster, thanks, but this film is to explain how it's done, and it is about people talking about filming people talking. There should be no emotion at this iteration, though feelings may be required at one of the inner stories.
This is why people have been suggesting you get out there and make a really short 1-2 page film for years now, because if you do something like that and you actually SEE how it plays out on screen you'll see how tedious and boring it is.
Well, everyone says to film, never mind the quality, now you say it's not good enough to be filmed. What's it going to be?
They say practice makes perfect, but that's really not true.
If you go out on the field and half ass it and don't really try, you're never gonna get perfect.

So yeah maybe the quality of the lights and camera and audio might not be hollywood level but you still need to have a script you believe in.
Thats the first step, a script you believe in. if you go film a script that you know sucks and you don't try to make it good, then you're not gonna learn much. you have to at least TRY to make it good and BELIEVE it can be good.

Now that script might be bad, you might believe in a wrong script, but it's by filming and seeing the result that you refine your ideas and craft and get better, and then the next time you'll have a much better idea about if you're backing the right script or not.

My first script was not good enough to be filmed, i didn't know that, i filmed it anyway, and then all the flaws became known to me
So yeah maybe the quality of the lights and camera and audio might not be hollywood level but you still need to have a script you believe in.
Thats the first step, a script you believe in. if you go film a script that you know sucks and you don't try to make it good, then you're not gonna learn much. you have to at least TRY to make it good and BELIEVE it can be good.

But I do believe in the script.

He wouldn't film it anyway. Even if we said to. Stop wasting your time @sfoster.

We'll make it a self-fulfilling prophecy. But I'm waiting till the vaxx restrictions lift, so I can meet @directorik and talk further about my plans - write about them too.