Episode 46: “Contained Thrillers… ‘Nuff Said…”

This week Cheryl and I talk about re-writing our latest script and why we chose to write a “contained thriller.”

Didn’t really talk about much else, so I won’t waste your time here… let’s just jump to the show!

Oh, and cause we’re original, this week’s song is Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” Didn’t see that coming, did you?

Till next week…

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One thought on “Episode 46: “Contained Thrillers… ‘Nuff Said…””

  1. Great subject, perfect timing! Ever since the mention of “Winter’s Bone” a while back by Johnny my increasing priority has been on my “high concept low budget contained mystery/drama/thriller”, and I am extremely happy with the first and third acts, but the second act has been tougher.

    But, as you all indicated, by going into the characters deeper and coming up with organic conflict based on their characters — in addition to the external conflict “hook” that brought them together to the proverbial (though not literal) “cabin in the woods” to be “thrilled” (love that Manny!) — I’ve found that I love the story even more than I originally did.

    I think I always considered it one of my “babies”, but now definitely so. Even though I’ve never been a fan of contained thrillers in general (especially the ones that are more horror), but I do like most of Hitchcock’s films. But of course most of his films, such as “North by Northwest”, are anything but “contained”!

    I also appreciate the reference to “The Big Chill” being a contained drama, as I’m definitely walking the line with my script in terms of it being too much of a drama and not enough of a thriller.

    But even though the second act may be more of a mystery/drama than a thriller, I’m hoping the deep, Hitchcockian elements of the characters you mentioned (whodunit?, motivations, sleight of hand, et cetera) will carry the day — especially because of the extremely commercial (I think) title and logline! (Not to mention the surprise ending… though I don’t know how in this internet age one can keep a “no Luke I am your father” type revelation from being spoiled past opening night.)

    Well I guess time will tell if I’m right or just fooling myself. Either way I’m proud of how my baby is turning out… but of course I’ll be much happier if it sells!

    POSTSCRIPT: When I first heard about “The Purge” the other day it sounded like a total rip-off of the Star Trek (original series) episode “The Return of The Archons”!

    I guess though (from what I’ve subsequently heard) the actual story is more of a standard contained thriller “protect the home from invading zombies” — it’s just that the background story is that these “zombies” are legally-sanctioned temporarily out-of-control humans. Still, it seems like some kind of acknowledgement to the writers of “Archons” should be made, even though the actual focus of the story is quite different.

    (For those who don’t know, in the Star Trek episode Kirk and company don’t just spend their time protecting a single home; they investigate and get to the surprising root of the problem and, well… solve it.)

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