Tag Archives: characters

Day 311: Characters Page

Check out the brand new Characters page now!

Today I did the Characters page so that now people can easily find out who each character is without having to look through the blog to the earliest entries. While the Indiegogo video does go briefly into who they are, this page goes into more detail. This is also information that isn’t on the main page nor is it really on the Indiegogo page. The only way to know about them is to find the entries where I created them and explained them-that’s over 200 entries ago.

Each character has their own paragraph explaining who they are and the conflict that they face in the movie. It’s possible I might fill out more background info later but for now, this will do. It gives you a sense of who they are after all without really giving away spoilers and that’s the goal.

Day 120: Voice Actors

Recently, I outlined the three things I need to do before I can launch the Indiegogo campaign: finalize the budget, shoot the video, and set up a company.

There are a lot of the aspects for the Indiegogo video that need to be taken care of. I’ve started to look at the equipment I need to order and narrowed it down to a list. I’ve started to look for a crew to help shoot the pitch part of the video. There is of course the teaser part of the video. That is composed of two parts: the shots of dark woods and the voice-over of the characters from the script.

Now I can do a lot of things but I’m not an actor. I could maybe get away with playing Austin or a computerized radio message on the radio in the teaser but the kids? There’s no way I could do that. So this means having to find voice actors that could pass off as kids. I plan to record the lines for the voice actors in February. But I need to find the voice actors first and that’s why I’ve put out a search for voice actors on Backstage.

Like the crew, I can’t actually pay them except with food/drinks.

Day 105: Major Script Change

Today I began going through the script making a significant change based on feedback I got. The original plan was that there is a character named Houston who represents faith and spirituality in the film. He suffers a crisis of faith in the film due to the end of the world. Meanwhile there is another character named Antonio who didn’t really want to go camping in the first place but has to accept this is his new home.  The feedback I got from someone planning on helping out with the film is she thought it would be better to switch the characters around. The characters stay the same: I’m just switching the names and ethnicity. Essentially what I’m going through now is switching the character names. So Houston is now Antonio and Antonio is now Houston. I’ve gone through the whole First Act today.

Over the next couple of days, I’ll finish up this major change. The story itself isn’t changing and only a couple lines of dialogue will actually be changed.

Day 6: Antonio

The final character in the script is Antonio, named after San Antonio-my hometown and where all of the characters will be hailing from. As the final character in the script, I wanted him to be radically different from all of the other characters.

All of the other characters know what they want their future to look like. The kids have dreams of careers while Austin has been building his life the way he had dreamed of. Antonio is different in that like so many kids, he has no idea what he wants to do when he grows up. His future was always a blank slate. Now that society is gone, he might not have lost his future but he does feel the loss of the present more acutely than the other characters because that’s all he’s had.

While the rest of the characters are trying to figure out what they are going to do with the rest of their lives, Antonio is more concerned about what he’s going to do now that the life he’s been used to is gone. How will he adjust his living? He does want a future but to him, the future will come and when it does he’ll know what to do then. So what he does in the present is paramount.

There’s also the inherent conflict in that while the rest of the characters either wanted to go camping or accepted it, Antonio didn’t want to go and he resisted it. He’s forced to go on this trip by his parents. This influences his arc, his ability to enjoy the present, but also his relationship with the rest of the characters.

All of this forms a character who is quite different from everyone else that allows him to stand out.

The Plan

On Day One, I revealed my plan on slowly but steadily bringing this project to life. I am now done with the first step.

[*] Create all six characters. One down, five to go.

[*] Create a plot outline based on the character arcs.

[*] Write a script based on the plot outline and the character personalities. The script will be around 120 pages long and will likely be dialogue heavy.

[*] Take the first draft of the script and start to improve it. In this stage, I will also start to take into account what budget I will need.

[*] Once I have a budget, I will attempt to raise the funds-the current aim is $50,000. The script will continue to be modified at this point. I may also attempt to find somebody to help produce the movie with me.

[*] With the funds raised, one way or another, is to go through pre-production. Cast the movie, hire a local crew, get equipment, and find a location (preferably within the San Antonio area).

[*] Go into production. I’m hoping to shoot the whole movie within 20 days.

[*] The long post-production period. I’m hoping to have money for a video editor and sound editor. Hopefully, there won’t be any need for CGI-I’m specifically writing the script to avoid anything like that.

[*] Once the movie is done and locked, I will send it to festivals and attempt to find a distributor.

Tomorrow I will begin the plot outline.

Day 5: Odessa

Alas, I didn’t get to work on Eternal Camping on Friday. I could give you excuses: I had too many errands to run in the morning then I had a flight to San Antonio but they are just excuses. Throughout the weekend, I was with family. Luckily, I jumped right back into the project today with Odessa.

Odessa is the only female character in the script. I would add more but I think I’m already stretching credibility by having ONE female scout to an otherwise exclusively male organization and I don’t really want to add a girl scout troop to the story. That would add too many characters and really divert attention away from the main story. It would also mean that those girls would simply not have their own character arcs really undermining their position as characters. It is thus best to have one female character in this story.

Which is why it’s so important that I at least try to create a good one. I don’t say strong: she’s about as physically strong as any 13-year old can be. No, she’s a character who I put a lot of thought into. Like her twin brother, Laredo, she has two arcs. The first is her relationship with Laredo. How this relationship develops throughout the script is key for both of them throughout the script. After all, they are the only family they have left and yet they are driven into conflict by both of their insecurities.

The second arc does have to do with her gender: how does she fit into the scout troop? Like many girls before her, she feels the need to prove her place within the troop from the very beginning. Her own competitive nature demands it. As we get into Act Two, she also has to find her place in the new world. She’s not one who is satisfied with cooking and doing laundry: she wants to play a vital role. It’s important to note this arc doesn’t define Odessa but I feel like it is important for her to shape the role in this new post-apocalyptic world for herself without limiting herself to her gender’s typical roles.

As to her personality, I think I’m pretty happy in creating a female character that can stand on her own. I kind of modeled her after what makes Peggy Carter such a great character. They are far from the same person but you should be able to see Odessa be feminine, be masculine, be strong, and even be vulnerable.

Day 4: Laredo

You know when you dedicate yourself to a project that there are going to just be days when you don’t want to work on it. Today was such a day. Tomorrow I’m flying to San Antonio and there were plenty of errands I had to run before the trip. Making matters more annoying is that my shower head flew right off! That was a surprising turn of events for the day. It could have been really easy to justify not working on Eternal Camping today but I worked on it nonetheless. I have now sketched out the next character.

Laredo is a character whose been in my mind recently. I knew that I wanted a more artistic character in the cast and I knew I wanted twins. Laredo happens to fill both roles: he wants to make it big through the arts while being the male half of a twin. While Houston was a far more serious character, Laredo is a lot lighter and should be easier to do comedy with. At the same time, he does have a serious enough character arc. If Houston explores faith and justice in this new world, Laredo explores the role of art. If Dallas explores destiny and dreams, Laredo explores the role of culture.

Actually, Laredo has two significant character arcs. The first is his dream of being an artist playing out. This dream gives him a unique bond with Austin that the other characters don’t necessarily have. This is because Austin himself is a professional actor. It will also create a special conflict with him. Laredo, being young, doesn’t handle conflict well and that will determine how he reacts in the climax.

The other significant character arc has to do with his twin sister. Yes, these are all scouts and yes they generally only accept boys. In the movie’s world, the mother of the twins is able to convince the local troop to take both the twins because she thinks they should do everything together. Obviously Laredo isn’t too happy because he might have joined the scouts not just because his friends wanted to do it but because he wanted something for himself. This will create conflict with his sister throughout the script-a conflict complicated when she becomes the only family member he has. Of course, this also means that the two twins are the only characters who we know has a surviving family member.

Tomorrow I’ll probably work on his twin sister throughout the day. This does mean I’m nearing the end of the character planning phase: only two left to go!

Day 3: Houston

Houston

An important aspect of the the real Boy Scouts based on my research is their emphasis on God. Generally, zombie movies avoid exploring the theme of faith even though there’s a lot to explore. If you believe in God then it would be understandable that the zombie apocalypse would shake your faith in him. Why would God let zombies wipe off the planet? Why do you get to survive? What kind of plan does God have for you in this new society?

These are tough questions that Houston is going to have to confront. Houston was raised by his mother to be a strong Christian and that’s certainly a part of who he is. When he finds out that zombies have destroyed society, he has to come to terms with that not only in a way that the other characters do but also in a spiritual way as well. His character arc is therefore one of a crisis of faith and the climax of the movie will give him an answer.

Houston isn’t just a religious character largely because religious isn’t actually a personality trait-it’s more of a lifestyle. He’s a kid who is frankly angry at the world because it isn’t right. He hasn’t had an easy life, as a black kid he knows there’s injustice in the world, and he’s passionate about making the world a better place. In a normal situation, he’d probably grow up and become a lawyer for the NAACP. In a world where zombies have taken over, he still has to find a way to make the world better. It’s just a much more difficult task.

I don’t plan on making fun of religion nor do I plan to use him as a soapbox. These are things that are important to him. His comedic traits will come from other aspects of Houston which I believe will make him a more fleshed out character.

I believe that using Houston to explore faith and even justice fits the movie well. Eternal Camping may be a comedy but it is hoping to explore some serious themes explored through character arcs.