FORMIDABLE Characters: Hero (H) Wife (W) New Husband (N) Our hero browses the supermarket magazines to find the wife and new husband on the front cover of a magazine, congratulating them on their new albums and marriage anniversary. A music supervisor wants him to do a song for a French movie. He is naturally not very interested in the fact that it's a French song, but he wants to do a song for a film. He says, "Let me know if you have any other opportunities", but she says "This is it." Hero wants control of his career, but music supervisor wants to produce & take control. "What have you got to lose?" When his first single takes off, MS propels him to do a whole album in French. "You can do it." His second wife is jealous and he ignores MS's phone calls and churns out another album that doesn't do so well. His second wife leaves him when he turns back to drinking. MS, hearing about this through research (it's not in the tabloids), tries to strike up a friendship with him again. Get him clean and back in the studio to do the album that will get him on top. It goes well and he starts seeing an attractive successful French actress that provides him with great connections (Sandrine LeClere). She however decides to have a fling with another French actor and tell him she's not serious. The wife won't be flexible with child custody issues, even though he's covered for her multiple times. He's ready to give up his career all over again, because his family is most important to him. MS wont stand for it and goes through her mentor who is at odds with Wife's new husband. Screenwriting Fundamentals (THIS IS NOT NECESSARILY AN "A" PAPER. IT IS ONLY A SAMPLE) BLACKOUT: Screenplay Outline 1. BACKSTORY: Hero and wife get a divorce. The new husband... 2. MAIN & SUPPORTING CHARACTERS: Protagonist: Hero Antagonist: New husband Foil: Eric Toady/Nemesis/Villain: Mr. Maiers Head of Campus Maintenance Mentor: Charlie 3. GENRE/TONE: Drama 4. HOOK: The sun is just beginning to rise in New York City as Jimmy is awakened by the sound of gunshot. He goes to his closet and grabs his baseball bat and sneaks to the door of his room. He hears voices and as he sneaks out of the room we can hear a female voice saying every line before the voices of the husky men. He drops the bat as he falls to the floor in relief. 5. ORDINARY WORLD -- What is valued? Annie is in her room standing inches from the television. She knows every line to the movie and pre-empts the television with her own rendition. Her brother Jimmy comes in and argues with her about the volume level. Jimmy threatens to take her camera away if she doesn’t turn it down. She gives in and then pouts in her corner wishing her mother were there. Studio Dressing Room Maile smith goes over her agenda for the day with her assistant while her hair and make-up are being done. She hopes this ad campaign will help bring her back into the public eye. IHOP Jimmy takes his sister out to breakfast to make up for their fight. Despite Jimmy knowing her usual order, Annie demands a menu but read it upside down and orders the usual. 6. FEAR & FLAW SHOWING WHAT IS VALUED: Jimmy is afraid of hurting his sister. He tries to make her feel independent while keeping enough control over her that she will be protected. His biggest fear is that the state will deem him an unfit guardian and put Annie in a home, so he works for a college maintenance department rather than attending school. He values the respect of his peers at work and the safety of his sister. He dreams of designing landscapes rather than trimming them. His biggest goal in life is to live up to please his late mother who he tells Annie is an angel watching over them. 7. ESTABLISH TIME LOCK, THEME NEED: Jimmy needs to prove himself to his coworkers so that they will let him help design the landscapes for a building the college is remodeling. He also needs to learn to let go of his sister. 8. ABOUT PAGE 4— His inability/unwillingness to learn French. 10. ABOUT PAGE 17— MINI-CRISIS, SET UP. Second wife leaves him or she dies, propelling him into a grief situation. 11. ABOUT PAGE 30—FIRST ACT BREAK. (TURNING POINT 1) As his first hit breaks out on French radio, the plans to record a new album in French start. 12. NEW WORLD - NEW RULES: Learning French. 13. FORMATION OF TEAMS: Protagonist's team: Hero & manager whose mentor in the new husband's mentor / the guy who signed him Antagonist's team: Wife and new husband. 14.) DEVELOPMENT OF SUBPLOTS Manager and the hero's daughter get to be good friends. 15.) LOVE STORY: Protagonist and love interest should have kissed, literally or figuratively, by about page 40/45 Maybe the hero is close to his kids (prove it in this part) 16. TEST OF PROTAGONIST, WHICH HE FAILS. VERIFICATION OF WORST FEAR. The relationship he started with French actress soon begins to fall apart. Sandrine LeClare. 17. ABOUT PAGE 50. ANTAGONIST IN CONTROL OF PROTAGONIST. Wife wants custody of the child. Or mentor TB decides to take control of a clause. Sequence to Mid-point: Protagonist creates and executes a plan to shift power. Jimmy sends out his team to look for Annie checking all the places she knows. 18. MID-POINT: Superficial resolution. 19. WITHIN MID-POINT scene or scene immediately following, antagonist defeats protagonist. Must face greatest fear and flaw-and lose again. While Liz’s mom is on the phone calling relatives to see if they are alright, Annie tells Liz she has to get back to Jimmy. Liz get a cabbie to take Annie as far as she can afford using the money Annie has been saving for a new camera. With each loss now, more determination. No going back. Jimmy arrives and is devastated when he finds Annie gone. He falls down and cries. Maile comforts him, but all that he can think of is that he has failed his mother. He calls the cab company begging for their help. RAISED STAKES. EXT Brooklyn Bridge Annie gets out of the cab at the foot of the Brooklyn Bridge and thanks the cabby. He points her in the right direction to home. INT Liz’s House The cab company tells Jimmy she got out already. 20. BIG PIT: The very thing that the Pro fears the most occurs. And it's bad. Drug scandal. MS has to bail him out. 21. JUST WHEN IT CAN’T GET WORSE, IT DOES! Hero fires MS? 22. EPIPHANY: Hero remember MS and the good times he had w/her. (SECOND TURNING POINT) CROSSROADS/CHOICES: Jimmy gives up. He tells Maile he will give the report to the policeman. NEW GOAL/NEW PLAN: STAKES INTENSIFY: Annie is close to home. Maile’s assistant is close to Jimmy’s house too. TICKING CLOCK: BOOM. The assistant sees Annie coming. She calls Maile’s cell phone to try to get through to Jimmy. The policeman is ringing the doorbell at Liz’s house to take the report. Jimmy is still on hold. BIG CLIMAX: Maile hangs the phone up as Jimmy gets off hold. He turns to her and is about to yell, but she tells him Annie is safe. SHOWDOWN: Liz lets the policeman in. Jimmy sends in Liz’s mother. FLAW/FEAR OVERCOME: Liz’s mother tells he policeman it was a prank call by Liz. Jimmy and Maile drive to his home. Jimmy runs up and finds his sister. Je hugs her, and she asks him if she was bad. He tells her she made momma proud. They promise one another they will never lose each other. TRUTH EMERGES: Jimmy remembers Maile. He brings her up and apologizes for how rude he’s been. He asks her to stay for dinner. 23. RESOLUTION: Jimmy looks at Annie and remembers his promise to his mother. He will never give her up. He has also learned that his family can grow. He has let Maile in. 24. END PLACE: Jimmy cooks breakfast for dinner. He knows Annie’s order.
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