Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Editing Backwards #6: Wrap Up

Hello, my little wonders.

It's time to close this series up.

I know, I know. I actually really enjoyed this one.

The Dark Knight as so many of you know is one of my favorite movies of all time.

I am still in awe of all the cleverness that went into it. The flow. The editing. The acting.

Actually, it is my favorite movie of all time.

And to break it down to get a feel for editing, helped me relive the things I loved best about this carefully crafted world.

Nolan's always had a beautiful way with his stories.

I consider The Dark Knight as close to perfect as storytelling gets, thanks to Nolan's way with theme, genre blending, and unique twists and turns.

He's made a thoughtful observation on humanity and hope through an established superhero with an organic feeling to the conflict and characters.

I'm super excited to revisit any one of my stories with the sheet I made in #2 and edit until I get my perfect edit.

I don't have anything more to add. Actually a lie. I do have something to add.

I've been playing with this worksheet a lot. And though I'm starting to see where I'm going wrong, I am also seeing a lot where I can go back to The Nines. And can I just say? The Nines need some updating.

So maybe next Wednesday you'll be checking out the clarified version of The Nines.

I'm super excited to have run into that initial video essay when I did.

Watch this space for more video essay developments and movie and book breakdowns. If you have any suggestions, or like to edit a certain way you think I might find helpful, please leave it in the comments.

Until next time,


Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Editing Backwards #5: Theme and Characters

Hello, my lovebugs of the future.

This is so weird. Right now, this post, is so far back from the past, it's a little weird. It's weird I've even kept this up for so long, but I am really digging all this Nolan breakdown stuff.

Today, I want to fangirl Nolan's organic conflict.

The Nolans got the perfect script in The Dark Knight.

It took a long time for me to really grasp its perfection but the world of Bruce Wayne is actually cleverly built. Bruce, Harvey, and the Joker (but pretty much everyone) have their own takes on the world. Specifically about justice, organization, chaos, that lot, and what humanity really is without the rules it abides by.

The Joker is so far the other side of the spectrum, an agent of chaos, that he's the perfect adversary of Batman.

But you can't honestly sit there and hate the Joker. He isn't really doing anything malicious. Asterisk.

In fact, he doesn't do anything to cause harm or do someone a favor throughout the movie. He doesn't seem to have a rhyme or reason.

Except to test and prove his theory: humanity is shit without rules

Because he is the embodiment of chaos, which is not prejudice in the least.

On the other hand, Bruce, an orphan thanks to crime, is incredibly set in his ways. Black and white justice. There are rules and consequences, punishment for all those who have done wrong.

I almost feel like if he saw a kid steal candy from a baby, he'd at least punch the kid in the face.

You know, Harvey and the other characters have varying shades of this same belief. All to different degrees.

There's a lot of different takes on the theme, down to even the woman who comes on this forced double date. Does she even have a name?

There's a lot of development and the implications and thoughts going through Rachel and Bruce's heads as the other two talk add an extra layer of sadness. (I think.)

With big ideas and themes like this, and with the rest of Nolan's Batman trilogy, there isn't supposed to be a right answer. That's what gives the movies it's gritty edge. There's a lot to be said, it hasn't been said enough, about this idea.

Years from now, this movie will still be talking.

Now not every movie needs to be thought-provoking like this. I mean, did you expect this much brain in a superhero movie?

But every once in awhile, having everything line up this way is beautiful.

If you're feeling ambitious and you think you can edit your story to adhere to the characters following the theme, oh my god yes. I'd love to read.

It's not compulsory, but I do recommend that at the very least, this help you edit your villain/antagonist and your hero/protagonist. Their conflict will be one hundred times more believable and delicious this way.

Bonus points! The Nolan Brothers are so remarkable in their writing that there's a fan theory out there that talks about TDK's Joker. He was military trained, hence his knowledge of weapons, and the line Harvey says fits him perfectly.

If you've got a better theory on the Joker, let me know!

I will see all of you for week six of the great ebelleful Backwards series. We're wrapping this baby up.

Yeah, I know. I loved this series too, but all good things have to come to an end.



Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Editing Backwards #4: Subverting Genre

Oh yeah. Number Four.


Hello, darlings from the future.

Did you really think I made these week by week? I sat my butt down before work and hammered these out in one day. Well, one night and day.

It's kept the material fresh in my head, has done nothing for keeping my posts linear, but at least I'm getting the heart of what I wanted to say.

God, at least I hope so.

Who knows at this point?

Today's post is about subverting genre.

This post in particular makes me feel a bit uneasy. This is the time where I admit this is the first I've really tried to toy with the words.

I've played with the idea of changing genre. What pantser doesn't get bored with convention?

But the words are big and slightly scary.

For those who don't know, subverting genre is basically undermining its authority. Given last week's praise of following genre, this might seem really really dumb.

And I get that. Because if it's done poorly, it really is stupid.

Jessabelle: the one story that teaches my unborn children to fear horror/mystery/romance blends.

The ways to subvert genre are as follows, but not limited to: characters aware of the tropes, characters having freewill/self-realization, etc.

For example, you couldn't put me in a zombie movie. I'd know to blow everything up and not leave my house until they all decayed in the sun.

And you couldn't put a stubborn person in an underdog movie because they'll try to tear up your speeches and might just go home and drink beer while binging Netflix.

We've so many of the same genre movies (sometimes because we do like them vs one made a lot of money) that putting any one of us within them would kinda rob the guidelines of fulfillment.

Although this was the only satisfying scene for me in Cabin in the Woods.

The Dark Knight is so saturated in the real world, with real fears of terrorism and emotional stakes for the people involved, that it's hard to even call it a superhero movie.

That probably would have made Cabin in the Woods enjoyable for me.

But what do we call The Dark Knight if not a superhero movie?

It has Batman in it so thankfully, there's no confusion. It's labeled a superhero movie.

Also, the fact that if you squint, you can see the bones of a superhero movie. A bad guy on his merry way, a superhero who wants to focus on his own thing, then they have no way of continuing in their own paths because they're in each other's way.

It's in the pitch.


The heart of The Dark Knight's Bruce Wayne is a love story. He wants so badly to fix everything up so that he and Rachel can be together finally.

His plan is to get the girl.

And it is f#cking adorable.

There. A superhero story with a love story at the protagonist's heart.

When you look at Titanic, it's not really off as a story of love. At its core it is, so when this is pitched, it's more romance (because that's what the main focus is.) It's a treasure hunt on the side. They go diving, they find clues, they search, they don't find it. (Failure does not change this bit.)

Not to mention the whole disaster movie part.

Because of Rose's age, it's also a coming of age story. Who else forgot she's only seventeen during the events?

The Mummy too starts off as action, quickly turns to horror, and as time goes by, becomes a love story, all while living in the world of action.

Layering isn't hard as long as the promise of a second layer is said a beat after the bones are set.

The Mummy wasn't a horror until you realized that the sexy man beast is an action hero through and through.

Also, this happens pretty early on too. Promising a hint of what's to come.

She's so lucky. And beautiful. *sobs*

This concept, like everything else you learn, will take practice. I'm wondering, if as a pantser with a love of genre blending, I haven't already tried this...

But the guide sheet will definitely help the editing process, as drafts go on, to make this one of the genre-blending stories that'll stick with readers and viewers for years.

I'll see you guys next week for Nolan's way of using theme as a source of conflict and how it works with characters and their motivations.