Thursday, 17 January 2013

Unit3: From Script to Screen- Idea

Well, It took me a while to come up with a satisfying idea for my story about the executioner in the attic with box of matches, I thought about using some kind of psychological genre, suspenseful bits and some sort of idea that will keep the audience a little bit far from the truth until I decide to reveal it.

This automatically made me think about a few movies I have watched such as Revolver (2005) by Guy Ritchie, a psychological film in which the main character is fighting against his ego.

and The Machinist (2004) by Brad Anderson, a psychological thriller which tells the story of a machinist who suffers from insomnia and paranoia and struggles to put together his hallucinations and memories.

I have tried to combine the use of psychology of these movies with my own ideas to come up with this story that I am quite happy with and I would really appreciate your opinion or suggestions.

The executioner has mental disorder that pushed him to become an executioner, however after having executed an innocent man, he's been haunted by it and decides to isolate himself in the attic. He has been looking back at what he's been doing, he got this kind of awakening call, in which he became more conscious about what he's been doing. 

Since then he's regretted killing the innocent man under the law's order. He used to spend his time thinking about it, his thoughts are haunted by it. 
This developed anxiety in him. 
Every time he wakes up, he finds the attic all messed up, broken lights, things moved around. He realises he's being pursued by the dead guy's ghost. 

On day he's been running away from the ghost in the attic and accidentally steps on the box of matches which struck against the wooden floor and start a fire in the attic and causes the executioner's death, only to realise that there is no ghost, he's been sleepwalking and under the haunting thoughts of the dead man he started to hallucinate and create scenes about the ghost due to his anxiety.


  1. Hey Anass, Great start here. I like the story but with the matches striking against the wooden floor, it doesn't seem to work right for me. Unless the executioner uses the matches as a source of light and perhaps gets spooked by his own shadows or props, maybe this is where he drops the lit match and sets the house on fire?

    Since you're having a psychological genre I think you can play around with props in the attic to wrong foot the audience leading up to a big final moment. :D

    1. Hey Joey, thanks for your message.

      Yeah exactly, the executioner uses the box of matches to lit the candles because all the lights are broken in the attic, but yeah I totally agree with you about playing around with the prop, I do feel I haven't given the matches enough thinking. thanks a lot :D

  2. Hey I like the ideas you have here such as the ghost haunting him and spooking him, and i really like his backstory making him full of regret and fear.

    About the matches, yeah maybe do like Joey has suggested and so the character uses a match to light a candle and drops it to cause a fire :)

  3. Hey Anass! Brrrr - it's bloody freezing! It was shorts and t-shirt weather in Orlando... :(

    Okay - I'm thinking that there's an obvious link between the matches and your character, and perhaps that, to move your thinking on a little bit you need to soften your interpretation of 'executioner'. For example, a small boy who uses matches to burn ants or bees or bugs would be known as an 'executioner' to the ants, bees and bugs. Indeed, any character that kills for a living might be considered an 'executioner' - an 'assassin' is an executioner, right? You might also want to think about different sorts of execution - for example, being burned at the stake. Meanwhile, the idea of your executioner being haunted by the ghosts of his 'victims' is interesting and I can see this being developed - but only if you keep the reveal of the character's occupation until the third act; so, we have a man asleep in in his attic room; he is awakened suddenly by noises; when he lights the matches to light the candle, each flare of light shows him (and us) the face of ghosts - they come running at him, screaming etc. The audience feels sorry for the man; he looks like the victim; it's terrifying - and then, in the third act, we understand he is the executioner, and suddenly his haunting takes on a whole new meaning.

    Some things then to consider; soften 'executioner' as a character occupation, and consider it from the angle of the basic act that makes someone or something an 'executioner' (boy killing insects as an example). Consider too introducing a second character - so that a character is awaiting the executioner. In terms of the attic space - it's just occurred to me - an attic space is where old family photos are kept etc., so maybe you could have a character (a child?) going up to the attic and discovering that a relative (the parent?) is an executioner - a sort of dark family history, as revealed through the light of struck matches (and flashbacks?). The idea of thinking about the rest of an executioner's life might be interesting - i.e. what does an executioner do in his time away from the chopping block?

    Your haunting idea has potential, but you need to think about ways in which the 3 act structure can help you convey your story more dynamically.

  4. Hey Anass,

    See link!

    Cheers! :D