I am still not happy with the way the film plays out, so I am going to see what I can do with Jane’s advice to “steal the timing” from some other films. The Torrill Kove one I linked to last week, My Grandmother Ironed the King’s Shirts, has a really great sequence at the very beginning that summarizes the whole history of kings in Norway, in a quick, blunt and witty way in only 24 second: 12 seconds of various kings killing each other with swords and spears, 7 seconds of a king falling through the ice and drowning, and 5 seconds of the last king expiring on his deathbed. I’ve gone through the whole ten-minute film and blocked out her timing, also looking for how long her fast cuts take. I also noticed that she includes two story tangents, one about Tonya Harding and one about gypsy ancestors, that take all of 15 seconds and 12 second respectively.
I am looking for other short narrated films, and going through the timing of the 6-minute film, Granny O’Grimm’s Sleeping Beauty, because it switches back and forth between the narrator and the story, which I was trying, but unless the narrator is as interesting, it doesn’t seem worth it.
I am also looking at revising my script to follow the lead of John K., of Ren and Stimpy:
I think that maybe the effort to change the formatting will present me with opportunities to rethink a variety of things in the script. I also haven’t given myself any place in the existing script to write up the visual gags I’ve been thinking of, so this will help. One of the gags I’ve contemplated has a forest scene with a sign on a tree that says “Duck Season”, and a hand replaces it with one that says “Rabbit Season,” then that’s replaced by another that says “Duck Season” – homage to the classic trilogy of Looney Tunes shorts – and then finally, it’s replaced with one that says “Witch Season,” as a way to mark the point in the story when Elizabeth How is rounded up on the charge of witchcraft. I don’t know that this is one I’ll keep in, necessarily, but I need a place in the script to start putting this kind of brainstorming for what’s happening visually behind any narration.