Friday, June 22, 2007

Dark Machine - Dramatica Breakdown

Now that my screenplay is in for marking I can begin sharing the analysis and breakdown of the paradigms and the storyform. Let's start with deep theory, and Dramatica. Having completed a pass of the story I took the original paradigms, the story plan, synopsis, etc, and passed it all through Dramatica's question system. That helped develop some hard facts about the direction and what needed to happen. Here are the important results:

Main Character Dynamics
Edward resolves to change (to solve his problem(s)). His growth needs to start (for the change to occur), but this conflicts with his be-er approach (reacting only as things happen); hence the story driver is action (Edward makes decision based upon actions). His problem-solving style is logical and his limiting factor is a timelock. The outcome of his goals ends in failure but because he changes and learns, his judgement is good.

The cost to the main character is the future, because by not taking control/responsibility for others he can’t be sure whether or not they will succeed and pull through. The dividend however is innermost desires in that Edward will be able to return to them and let them live – his love and support for Claire. The requirements are doing. Edward must consciously let go of responsibility to achieve his goal. The prerequisites are playing a role, which Edward is already doing. His role must change. The preconditions are how things are changing: Edward is spread too thin and making little or no difference in the lives of those he’s trying to take responsibility for. The forewarnings are impulsive responses. Edward’s taking of responsibility is to stop bad things from happening, however his déjà vu visions are not assisting him much in that end, and are actually just highlighting the path ahead – the tornado included.


Overall Story
Activity based, this throughline shows a world in which everyone is actively seeking something – Edward seeks fulfilment by taking responsibility (to sate his own guilt), Petersen is after his data, Hakim and the Shades want Alisha, Danny wants his job or inheritance, Claire wants her family. As such they are all concerned with obtaining. The issue is their attitude – everybody is focused on their rights, forgoing their responsibilities (except Edward). The counterpoint to this is their approach. Edward can only help others by letting go and allowing them to take control and responsibility for themselves. Therefore changing the approach is better than staying with a fixed attitude. Everyone takes responsibility.

The problem is help – no one is taking responsibility and therefore no one is helping themselves (except Edward). The symptom is oppose – because everything anyone attempts to do for another person meets conflict. The response is support – Edward in particular therefore takes responsibility for everyone. However the solution is hinder – only by no longer helping, and not getting involved will everybody learn from their mistakes and grow in strength.

Main Character
Fixed Attitude based, this throughline shows Edward is preoccupied with taking responsibility for others (indoctrinated by his parents and piled upon with guilt since their deaths). As such he is concerned with hiding away his innermost desires (to support and love Claire and the baby) because he feels duty bound to honour his parents’ memory by being honourable and righteous. The issue is his denial of himself because he is “other-driven”. The counterpoint to this is closure. Edward must learn to hand back responsibility and control to others, and deal with his guilt. Therefore Edward must stop denying himself. He must come to terms with his parents death - you can't change the future even if you can see it; seeing it only makes it harder. He can't change the past either. He can only work with himself, can't change other people.

The problem is help – by taking responsibility he is removing others’ ability to learn and grow. The symptom is temptation – he can’t help but take up another’s crusade and fight for them. His response is conscience – he couldn’t live with the guilt if he didn’t intervene and something bad happened. However the solution is hinder – only by not getting involved will others learn to stand on their own two feet.

Impact Character
based, this throughline shows Hakim is stuck (like other coma patients, and indeed Edward). His concern is for the future, be it his own (how will he escape this place?) or others (he must ensure undue power doesn’t rest in the wrong hands). To that end he needs support to meet his goals. The issue is his preconception, his need to find other selfless people. He is driven to be open about what he wants to achieve, though this conflicts with the needs and wants of others. As such he is let down time and again. The counterpoint to this is openness. Hakim learns secrecy to secure support. Therefore by not being so open Hakim will secure Edward’s support.

The problem is pursuit – Hakim is too wrapped up in his pursuit of Alisha and the greater good. The symptom is oppose – Hakim’s beliefs and direction aren’t shared by others and so they oppose what he wants. The response is support – by supporting Edward and giving him the solution to his own situation he may endear Edward to trust him in spite of Hakim’s mysteriousness. The solution is avoidance – Hakim will remain mysterious and directed, making demands on Edward that Edward will allow because Hakim is teaching him.

Subjective Story
Manipulation based, this throughline shows that Hakim will manipulate Edward to help him. The concern is in changing one’s nature – Hakim has already made himself aloof, he just needs Edward to focus and stop taking responsibility for everyone and everything. The issue is obligation – Edward feels obligated by guilt and indoctrination to take responsibility for everyone and everything. The counterpoint to this is rationalisation. Hakim will make Edward see that he must allow others to learn from their mistakes and therefore grow from them. Edward must rationalise his obligations.

The problem is help – Edward is helping too many people and not himself. The symptom is feeling – Edward feels that guilt too much and needs to understand that he can come first. The response is logic – Hakim helps Edward see that it is logical to allow others to take responsibility for themselves. The solution is hinder – by not involving themselves in the lives of others, others can learn from their mistakes, and Hakim and Edward can help obtain Alisha.
Througline Order

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