Another couple of pages down for today. It doesn’t sound like a lot but I’m pretty much running off the notes to get the intro into some kind of shape. I’ve typed a couple of character names straight in without really thinking about it. I’ll probably use the next week or so to actually pin stuff down properly and make the rest easier.
In these moments of firing away stuff happens with characters that might well stay for the long run. It’s stuff that I might not have ever thought about giving them or making them do. Early on in this draft Jennifer, our main scientist and lead character, is stuck on the space station. One of her opening lines is to tell mission control that she’d like a gin sent up as she ‘hasn’t had a drink for weeks’. It’s thrown in there as an aside but I’m not sure if it’s making her sound like a raging alcoholic. Am I accidently writing her as Bridget Jones in space or is the fact she’s joking about this stuff making her more human and therefore more believable?
I took a look at Parallel again. Well I took a look at the four or five pages that I’d done a few weeks ago and promptly scrapped the lot. I’ve started again, this time starting the story on Earth at the Mission Control building as they guide the penultimate scientist down from the space station to terra firma. This leaves our remaining scientist alone up in the sky until the shuttle can turn around and get her too.
There are flaws in this already. Why should there be a shuttle that can only take one person at a time. Surely any project like this would be funded to a large degree and be able to fit all of them on board? The only thing giving some kind of reason for this right now is a very simple one. This expedition to the stars is not only in the near future but also very British. I don’t want the massive NASA missions that we’ve seen in movies before with hundreds of technicians running around massive computers. This is something on a much smaller scale with just about enough funding to get the thing off the ground.
I had toyed with the idea of having a huge Union Jack flag proudly displayed on a pole in the room much like the American ones displayed either side of the President during speeches at The White House. I then began to think that it’s not something we Brits would do. We would simply be uncomfortable with that level of bombast. I’ve therefore settled by having a very small flag on the desk of the lead technician. It still means the same thing but it’s more in keeping with nationality in this film.
The other slight trouble I have is that all the characters you meet in the first few minutes are white men. Our scientist in the sky, whose journey back home is the bulk of the movie from then on, is female and in her early 40’s which isn’t often a profile seen in a movie like this. The trouble is that it takes a few moments to get to her currently and I’m worried it’s a bit off putting.
But still, we’re off and running again.