story ROSHAMBO - An idea for a limited 5 episode series

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Right. It's all in their interaction and their choices that can decide a win as no one is omnipotent, so strategy and luck can come into play (where in real life it is pretty much all luck). But you can use strategy.
 
Right. It's all in their interaction and their choices that can decide a win as no one is omnipotent, so strategy and luck can come into play (where in real life it is pretty much all luck). But you can use strategy.
In real life, this is certainly true, and in some stories, fate and luck play a big part in the outcome, such as in No Country For Old Men. Perhaps this is also true for my story as well .. In fact, you have given me an idea for the ending of my story where the character who is the least EVIL can be saved ...

And it isn't ROCK :)
 

In my original ending ROCK ends up shooting SCISSORS believing he has murdered EMILIO, when in fact it is PAPER's hired gun that kills ROCK's husband...At any rate, in his last moments, SCISSORS tells ROCK it was PAPER who had EMILIO killed and before she realizes PAPER's deception, PAPER knocks the gun from her hand ... As ROCK and PAPER struggle for the gun, SCISSORS manages just enough strength to get close to PAPER, killing him off as PAPER tries to fire an empty gun into SCISSORS ..

In the final scene, I had SCISSORS dying ... collapsing on the ground ... but not before he removes something from the inside of his jacket. It is a small compact metallic music box that ROCK gives SCISSORS to gain his trust or seduce him (the same one given to her by her grandmother) ... Music plays and winds down eerily as the tempo matches that of an orchestra version of the same song (with rolling credits after fade out)

Pretty cool ending but you just gave me a better one

She fires the gun and knocks the wind out of him but it hits the music box, protecting his heart, he opens it and we see the bullet wedged inside the box. The music no longer plays as her seduction fails to kill him... VERY symbolic ... i know its tempting to play the music but the story says otherwise

And, to your point, only by sheer luck does he survive the game of ROCK PAPER SCISSORS -- BRILLIANT


THANKS YOU INDIETALK FOR YOUR INSPIRATION
 
Start writing it. If your characters force you to change the ending - 'cause they DO take on a life of their own - let it happen.
You're right, the characters drive the events, within certain parameters of course. I heard the same advice in an interview of the Breaking Bad creators. They had do redo many prepared scenes because the audience wouldn't really fall for it ... For example, in the scene where Walter White let's Jesse's girlfriend choke on her own vomit, the original scene was to have Walter actively make her die, but it didn't fit Walters character, at least not up to that point, so they changed it ... It is those sensibilities that made Breaking Bad such an awesome character driven drama
 
Right. It's all in their interaction and their choices that can decide a win as no one is omnipotent, so strategy and luck can come into play (where in real life it is pretty much all luck). But you can use strategy.
This is awesome advice. Instead of predetermined bad ending let characters fight on their own and see who wins. Actually all three may win. From 3 characters Roca has best written strategy to feed her family. Company owner wants to save his company but we have less of his background compared to Roca. Why he wants or needs money that much? What makes him so desperate for money to become a pimp? What his family sutuation? Maybe he has ill wife and bills to pay? About Scissors he is actually one with better defined past, but no current strategy or aim. What are his goals in life? What he wants from owner and Roca? Will he fall for her? Etc
 
scissors is trying to put his life back together again after the death of his wife...his hope was to start over with Rock by her side, but with the way the story ends in ROCKS betrayal, its just as well he be dead. First, the music box dies (so he can live thru more pain) . .he even allows paper to shoot him but the gun is empty...So in some respects, being alive is even worse in his current situation...A truly tragic figure

I will write the PAPER story soon, once i get some time but his story is essentially that he desperately wants to hide his true inadequacies and weak character not only from the world, but himself. He worries that his pending bankruptcy as a trucking company owner is an indictment of his life as a loser and is willing to resort to crime to overcome these harsh realities but he bites off way more than he can chew
 
scissors is trying to put his life back together again after the death of his wife...his hope was to start over with Rock by her side, but with the way the story ends in ROCKS betrayal, its just as well he be dead. First, the music box dies (so he can live thru more pain) . .he even allows paper to shoot him but the gun is empty...So in some respects, being alive is even worse in his current situation...A truly tragic figure

I will write the PAPER story soon, once i get some time but his story is essentially that he desperately wants to hide his true inadequacies and weak character not only from the world, but himself. He worries that his pending bankruptcy as a trucking company owner is an indictment of his life as a loser and is willing to resort to crime to overcome these harsh realities but he bites off way more than he can chew

Hi I see you want desperately a bad ending, where everybody dies or something like that. There is nothing wrong with that, but the main arch is then becomes a bit strange. We already know that Scissors paid his duties for his crime, why he should be dead? Second, if Paper is a weak man, the last thing he would do is resort to crime and killing. Lastly, if Rock is a sex worker, it is hard to say that she is supposed to be truthful to anyone, it is just her business. I'm just want you to have consistency in the story with the characters. It is not that they are gang members, shootout between them seems to be illogical.

For example, Scissor leaving with Rock as a couple to another city and maybe Paper busted is more logical, and, moreover, gives redemption to both Scissors and Rocks, who both had tested their part of unfaithful and violent family crimes. Scissor may get another family, bring Rocks' kids and be finally happy, Rock will have a partner worth her, this way, no one has to die
 
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Hi StoneJack

Perhaps I can adapt the ending as you say but I think I should explain my story in some depth before you consider the arcs. Admittedly, I have put a lot more work in the story plot than I have the character arc so let me explain things as best as I can without confusing you -- This is one messed up story!

OK, so Scissors does not die physically ... but with Rock's betrayal, it's just as well he were dead. As I have already explained, he was trying to put the pieces back together after losing his wife and getting out of jail. The one person who actually helps Scissors is Paper, not Rock. If he remained loyal to his friend Paper, he may have been on his way to getting his life back in order.

Rock uses Scissors to try and escape from Paper, because she feels Paper is responsible for her friend's death. She even gives him her grandmothers music box so to gain his trust. In the story, it is because of Paper's weakness that he is unable to stand up to protect one of his girl's against a gang member who threatens Paper if he does not sell her to him after she has an altercation with the gang member during a session. In fact, this gang member was hired by Clive, Paper's partner, to deal with a territorial dispute with another smuggler because Paper does not have an enforcer he can trust. Eventually he finds this in Scissors, but after Scissor's betrayal, Paper is again put in a difficult position and makes yet another deal with the devil (the gang member) to silence Scissors.

Scissors, now completely seduced by Rock, plans on stealing Rock's fraudulent identification papers and exposing Paper as a smuggler to the authorities so he is free to live the rest of his days with Rock, Unbeknownst to either Rock or Scissors, Paper (who has become suspicious of Scissor's relationship with Rock) decides to plant a small recording device in the motel room where the two meet. More on this in a moment ...

...Going back to Rock, she fears she will face a similar fate as her friend, so seduces Scissors to help her escape. Her weakness is EMILIO, who she still loves deeply, but knows he isn't a good father. Regardless, her love for him prevents her from a better partner who would be Scissors as he is the one person who is actually good to her. Instead, she repays him through betrayal.

When Paper can no longer reason with Scissors to distance himself from his slaves, he tells Rock that Scissors murdered his wife and her lover for cheating on him. He tells her this in hopes of souring their relationship. Soon after, Paper bugs the motel room. Being a married woman, she now realizes she is playing a dangerous game. Not only is she trying to escape Paper, but now is all alone to fend for herself against a wife killing ex-con once she is free. She convinces Scissors to smuggle Emilio into the country who she lies is her brother -- the only family she has left -- and who Paper has threatened to kill should she try to escape (another lie). The hope is Emilio can somehow save her from Scissors once she is free from Paper. Paper hears all of this through the recording device planted in the motel room.

Interestingly enough, all of Rocks lies will end up haunting her as Paper will end up using these against her -- not by telling Scissors, but by making her believe Scissors knows the truth. Remember, as her smuggler, Paper always does reconnaissance on all his girls before bringing them in, which is why it takes weeks to "arrange" his girls to be smuggled and why he cannot afford other smugglers to "steal" his valuable cargo from his trusted guides.

Things come to a climax when the hired gun is able to kill Emilio inside Scissors home, however Scissors clandestinely escapes from a washroom window but manages to hear the gang member tell Paper over the phone that Scissors isn't home yet and that he will wait to finish the job. He hears the gang member say, Bring the girl to the office, ill be there shortly...A second later Scissors slits his throat, picks up his keys from his very distinct car and drives to Papers office.

Paper has one of his lookouts get Rock from the safe house telling her that her life is in danger. Once at the office, Paper opens his curtain window and tells Clive to let them in as it is the lookout. Paper then spins his deception telling him that both EMILIO and her life are in great danger, that Scissors is out to exact revenge after learning the truth. Paper tells her he caught Scissors stealing her id papers and he saw her dossier, learning about her grandmother, children and husband... Panic stricken, she demands the lookout rush to get Emilio who is stashed away at Scissors home.

Paper reassures her she sent one of his men to get him and will soon take them away to hide them from danger. AT that moment, we hear another car, opening the curtain, Paper identifies it as the gang members car and tells Clive to open the door...As soon as he does, they begin to fight and Paper tells the lookout to hide in the closet with Rock...When he has a clear shot...shoot him....They hide as an enraged Scissors demands to see Rock he knows shes in here ...

He tells Paper I killed your gang member and will do the same to you if you don't tell me where she is...At that moment, Rock, grabs the gun from the young lookout and points it at a surprised Scissors. She starts freaking out asking where her husband is ...Scissors is like WTF? Emilio .... is dead

BANG! the bullet hits the wooden music box and metal gears knocking him down..."it was Paper..Paper's man killed him..." he says and out of breath and with broken rib he falls. Rock realizes she has been deceived, before she can point the gun at Paper, he kicks a swivel chair into her as she fires a shot blind...the gun is jarred free as they both struggle to get the gun. IN the meantime, the lookout sees that Scissors has positioned himself behind Paper and is quite capable of stopping him...but he does not ....the lookout shouts to him "stop him, STOP HIM..." Paper gets control of the gun, the lookout pounces to stop him BANG BANG, the lookout is shot twice and dies instantly, and still Paper is unaware that Scissors is behind him .. in the last tense moment he points the gun at ROCK and shoots her

Walking up closer behind him, SCissors waits to die at Papers hands but instead CLICK CLICK CLICK .... the gun is jammed or empty... Enraged he thrusts his blade into him, sputtering blood and dies...

Still unsure why he is still alive, he retrieves the strong wooden box and opens it sees a bullet wedged inside the mangled steel and wood. He closes the box, falls to the floor, closes his eyes and replays the tune in his head



OK so thats the plot...why is it a bad ending? and how should i end it?
 
I meant by bad ending not your finale but the ending where many leads die lol. Sorry for misunderstanding. However the latest version of the ending seems very forced to me. Rock lies a lot, Emilio suddenly appears, hired guns appear, it is like a gang shootout, not clear how the rock scissors and paper play ..oh maybe i missed the play, the most important part. Of course as an author u are free do as your wish. Good luck! At least finish in celtx the Pilot episode, then we ll see how it goes.
 
For example, Scissor leaving with Rock as a couple to another city and maybe Paper busted is more logical, and, moreover, gives redemption to both Scissors and Rocks, who both had tested their part of unfaithful and violent family crimes. Scissor may get another family, bring Rocks' kids and be finally happy, Rock will have a partner worth her, this way, no one has to die
I mean that is one way to go, but i wanted to stay true to the RPS theme and tell it in a more gritty tone. I actually like the fact that i have flawed characters that don't make the best decisions and its not all happy. I mean No Country For Old Men didn't have a particularly happy ending and i still found that to be a great flick...

Tough call though, and I see your point as well
 
I meant by bad ending not your finale but the ending where many leads die lol. Sorry for misunderstanding. However the latest version of the ending seems very forced to me. Rock lies a lot, Emilio suddenly appears, hired guns appear, it is like a gang shootout, not clear how the rock scissors and paper play ..oh maybe i missed the play, the most important part. Of course as an author u are free do as your wish. Good luck! At least finish in celtx the Pilot episode, then we ll see how it goes.

This is a series, there's a lot that i simply don't have the time to write in a short post...Did you read why EMILIO comes into the story? I was explaining the PLOT and the reason why she lies a lot is because she is put in a dangerous situation.

I guess my plot is too complex to be conveyed in a few short paragraphs. Which is why the story will be told over several episodes
 
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This is a series, there's a lot that i simply don't have the time to write in a short post...Did you read why EMILIO comes into the story? I was explaining the PLOT and the reason why she lies a lot is because she is put in a dangerous situation.

I guess my plot is too complex to be conveyed in a few short paragraphs. Which is why the story will be told over several episodes
Yes definitely, its a long story so when it is very compressed, one may end with a lot of questions. However, i think u are onto something good, so definitely looking towards watching a pilot :)
 
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I mean that is one way to go, but i wanted to stay true to the RPS theme and tell it in a more gritty tone. I actually like the fact that i have flawed characters that don't make the best decisions and its not all happy. I mean No Country For Old Men didn't have a particularly happy ending and i still found that to be a great flick...

Tough call though, and I see your point as well
Hi StoneJack

Perhaps I can adapt the ending as you say but I think I should explain my story in some depth before you consider the arcs. Admittedly, I have put a lot more work in the story plot than I have the character arc so let me explain things as best as I can without confusing you -- This is one messed up story!

OK, so Scissors does not die physically ... but with Rock's betrayal, it's just as well he were dead. As I have already explained, he was trying to put the pieces back together after losing his wife and getting out of jail. The one person who actually helps Scissors is Paper, not Rock. If he remained loyal to his friend Paper, he may have been on his way to getting his life back in order.

Rock uses Scissors to try and escape from Paper, because she feels Paper is responsible for her friend's death. She even gives him her grandmothers music box so to gain his trust. In the story, it is because of Paper's weakness that he is unable to stand up to protect one of his girl's against a gang member who threatens Paper if he does not sell her to him after she has an altercation with the gang member during a session. In fact, this gang member was hired by Clive, Paper's partner, to deal with a territorial dispute with another smuggler because Paper does not have an enforcer he can trust. Eventually he finds this in Scissors, but after Scissor's betrayal, Paper is again put in a difficult position and makes yet another deal with the devil (the gang member) to silence Scissors.

Scissors, now completely seduced by Rock, plans on stealing Rock's fraudulent identification papers and exposing Paper as a smuggler to the authorities so he is free to live the rest of his days with Rock, Unbeknownst to either Rock or Scissors, Paper (who has become suspicious of Scissor's relationship with Rock) decides to plant a small recording device in the motel room where the two meet. More on this in a moment ...

...Going back to Rock, she fears she will face a similar fate as her friend, so seduces Scissors to help her escape. Her weakness is EMILIO, who she still loves deeply, but knows he isn't a good father. Regardless, her love for him prevents her from a better partner who would be Scissors as he is the one person who is actually good to her. Instead, she repays him through betrayal.

When Paper can no longer reason with Scissors to distance himself from his slaves, he tells Rock that Scissors murdered his wife and her lover for cheating on him. He tells her this in hopes of souring their relationship. Soon after, Paper bugs the motel room. Being a married woman, she now realizes she is playing a dangerous game. Not only is she trying to escape Paper, but now is all alone to fend for herself against a wife killing ex-con once she is free. She convinces Scissors to smuggle Emilio into the country who she lies is her brother -- the only family she has left -- and who Paper has threatened to kill should she try to escape (another lie). The hope is Emilio can somehow save her from Scissors once she is free from Paper. Paper hears all of this through the recording device planted in the motel room.

Interestingly enough, all of Rocks lies will end up haunting her as Paper will end up using these against her -- not by telling Scissors, but by making her believe Scissors knows the truth. Remember, as her smuggler, Paper always does reconnaissance on all his girls before bringing them in, which is why it takes weeks to "arrange" his girls to be smuggled and why he cannot afford other smugglers to "steal" his valuable cargo from his trusted guides.

Things come to a climax when the hired gun is able to kill Emilio inside Scissors home, however Scissors clandestinely escapes from a washroom window but manages to hear the gang member tell Paper over the phone that Scissors isn't home yet and that he will wait to finish the job. He hears the gang member say, Bring the girl to the office, ill be there shortly...A second later Scissors slits his throat, picks up his keys from his very distinct car and drives to Papers office.

Paper has one of his lookouts get Rock from the safe house telling her that her life is in danger. Once at the office, Paper opens his curtain window and tells Clive to let them in as it is the lookout. Paper then spins his deception telling him that both EMILIO and her life are in great danger, that Scissors is out to exact revenge after learning the truth. Paper tells her he caught Scissors stealing her id papers and he saw her dossier, learning about her grandmother, children and husband... Panic stricken, she demands the lookout rush to get Emilio who is stashed away at Scissors home.

Paper reassures her she sent one of his men to get him and will soon take them away to hide them from danger. AT that moment, we hear another car, opening the curtain, Paper identifies it as the gang members car and tells Clive to open the door...As soon as he does, they begin to fight and Paper tells the lookout to hide in the closet with Rock...When he has a clear shot...shoot him....They hide as an enraged Scissors demands to see Rock he knows shes in here ...

He tells Paper I killed your gang member and will do the same to you if you don't tell me where she is...At that moment, Rock, grabs the gun from the young lookout and points it at a surprised Scissors. She starts freaking out asking where her husband is ...Scissors is like WTF? Emilio .... is dead

BANG! the bullet hits the wooden music box and metal gears knocking him down..."it was Paper..Paper's man killed him..." he says and out of breath and with broken rib he falls. Rock realizes she has been deceived, before she can point the gun at Paper, he kicks a swivel chair into her as she fires a shot blind...the gun is jarred free as they both struggle to get the gun. IN the meantime, the lookout sees that Scissors has positioned himself behind Paper and is quite capable of stopping him...but he does not ....the lookout shouts to him "stop him, STOP HIM..." Paper gets control of the gun, the lookout pounces to stop him BANG BANG, the lookout is shot twice and dies instantly, and still Paper is unaware that Scissors is behind him .. in the last tense moment he points the gun at ROCK and shoots her

Walking up closer behind him, SCissors waits to die at Papers hands but instead CLICK CLICK CLICK .... the gun is jammed or empty... Enraged he thrusts his blade into him, sputtering blood and dies...

Still unsure why he is still alive, he retrieves the strong wooden box and opens it sees a bullet wedged inside the mangled steel and wood. He closes the box, falls to the floor, closes his eyes and replays the tune in his head

That's a great scene (I mean bullet stuck in the musicbox). In general, I find your scenes to be very cinematic and full of emotions. Thats' a good thing, definitely, when one can imagine the scene from the description.

The whole story is quite complex (as it should be for 5 episodes), so I can't grasp fully. My only wish is that while characters do have flaws, there is one key theme I very much appreciate in your projects.

That's the theme of a "game". Thats' damn nice and new thing, and very rarely exploited in the world of tv series (granted, I may missed some series with a "game" theme). I would probably name only two series or movies with that theme exploited more or less. The original famous Japanese movie "Battle Royale", which described a survival game, played by rules, created by the government on a deserted island, where every player chooses a certain strategy and given his tools and abilites, tries to survive (and that laid foundations of all these modern survival games like PUBG etc). Second is Japanese movie "Kaiji" in which the main lead has to play a number of high stake games, in which he has to win in order to get rid of his debt. Both movies have a great script and "Kaiji" was remade as a Chinese movie "Animal game" with a similar theme.

So we have a setting of a game.

If we assume that Rock, Scissors and Paper all play the game, given their abilities and possibilities, during the 5 episodes, trying to survive (or having other goals), with a proper writing, that could be damn fine script. What will be required, is strategy or behavior each player plays in a certain situation they face together, trying to outwit each other.

From the theory of game, what is important in this setting is that each player plays his own strategy truthfully without deviating much (of course, as humans they do make mistakes, but not fatal). We, as viewers, would enjoy the game and root for various characters to gain an upper hand in each episode. One possible approach is to create 5 different settings (episodes), and have players play their strategy and fight in each episode, while progressing to the final battle in Episode 5. With each episode (or game), players learn about each other and become stronger and wiser, so the struggle actually heats up, tension is increasing. This is one way to do that, I think. Requires very good writing to grasp strategy of each player, actions they take and consequences of each of the actions to the whole setting and each of players. Generally, action by Rock influences both Paper and Scissor, Scissor's action influences Rock and Paper, etc, but everything is consistent because each player plays for his own goal.

And the notion of a game leads to foundation of series in the theory of games. I don't know if you are well acquainted with that, but in the theory of games, there is a branch of evolutionary games - games in which characters with different strategies prevail. Betrayal, for example, is a rather short sighted strategy in this setting and so on. Anyway, this is quite complex ;)
 
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Yes definitely, its a long story so when it is very compressed, one may end with a lot of questions. However, i think u are onto something good, so definitely looking towards watching a pilot :)
Thanks for your feedback, as mentioned we hope to present this a multi episode motion comic with each episode roughly 30 minutes long....If it gains interest, it will be converted to a film series...Once we have this thing running, I hope I can get help with voice overs and music from the community...we shall see :)
 
So we have a setting of a game.

If we assume that Rock, Scissors and Paper all play the game, given their abilities and possibilities, during the 5 episodes, trying to survive (or having other goals), with a proper writing, that could be damn fine script. What will be required, is strategy or behavior each player plays in a certain situation they face together, trying to outwit each other.

That's exactly the point, a game has rules and it is as if there is some invisible force that prevents these rules from being violated. This is what I tried to do through the narrative of the story AT THE EXPENSE of some of the things you pointed out earlier, such as SCISSORS and ROCK living happily ever after. Yes, that will work in most movies and were I not constrained by the theme of "GAME", I would probably take that option.

But ROCK, PAPER and SCISSORS are competitors and the beauty of the script is none of them know who is betraying them until later in the story. Even AFTER they have this knowledge, the invisible force prevents them from harming their traitor! But in the end the acts of betrayal come back to haunt the traitor
  1. Nothing PAPER can do will ever kill SCISSORS so he relies on ROCK to do his bidding in a final act of revenge. He deceives her into thinking SCISSORS killed her husband and so she kills SCISSORS (BUT, as in the game, there is the element of CHANCE that saves him. The very music of LORELEI that seduces men to their deaths as told by the fable, is stopped by a BULLET)
  2. Nothing SCISSORS can do will ever kill ROCK so he relies on PAPER to do his bidding in a final act of revenge (he has a chance to stop him from shooting ROCK but does nothing..The lookout, even calls out to SCISSORS to stop PAPER but SCISSORS just watches)
  3. Nothing ROCK can do will ever kill PAPER so she relies on SCISSORS to do her bidding (She seduces SCISSORS to turn on his friend, and then in the end it leads to PAPERS death)
From the theory of game, what is important in this setting is that each player plays his own strategy truthfully without deviating much (of course, as humans they do make mistakes, but not fatal). We, as viewers, would enjoy the game and root for various characters to gain an upper hand in each episode. One possible approach is to create 5 different settings (episodes), and have players play their strategy and fight in each episode, while progressing to the final battle in Episode 5. With each episode (or game), players learn about each other and become stronger and wiser, so the struggle actually heats up, tension is increasing. This is one way to do that, I think. Requires very good writing to grasp strategy of each player, actions they take and consequences of each of the actions to the whole setting and each of players. Generally, action by Rock influences both Paper and Scissor, Scissor's action influences Rock and Paper, etc, but everything is consistent because each player plays for his own goal.

And the notion of a game leads to foundation of series in the theory of games. I don't know if you are well acquainted with that, but in the theory of games, there is a branch of evolutionary games - games in which characters with different strategies prevail. Betrayal, for example, is a rather short sighted strategy in this setting and so on. Anyway, this is quite complex ;)

It is very complex and I wrote many many scenarios even using an excel spreadsheet to come up with formulaic narratives but decided on the one I have presented here, but I am open to changing it if there's better more compelling narratives

To be honest I never intended for the story to be so complicated, but I found myself having to fill plot holes and stay true to the themes and make them somewhat believable so it would catch the viewers attention.


You are correct that it takes great writing to save the script from becoming a parody and joke so I wont rush it... I feel I am close and feel that without proper character development to set up the main plot, it wont have as much as an impact.

Once the audience becomes invested in the characters by their own individual back stories, the rest will be easy to sell to the audience who will hunger for more.

Thanks again for your feedback, It really helps
 
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