An excerpt from my script review for Downsizing which will be available 01/15/18:
2.) Plot Stability
Don’t complicate your story.
Before starting a script, you should have a good idea of what your main plot will be.
It may not be flushed out completely, but you’ll have the overarching narrative, as well as a decent idea of what the B story will consist of.
This script’s main issue was that it tried to accomplish too much with its various themes.
We get it. The world’s being polluted and we’re all doomed, even if we try to conserve energy and reduce waste now. It may be too late.
Even in the “small” universe, there are still illegals and poor folks that the system hides or ignores.
One man’s treated like shit, and needs to find the right woman.
Unfortunately, we bounced between all three of these in a jarring sort of way that wasn’t exactly episodic, but certainly didn’t fit well together.
A better suggestion would have been to pick either climate change or poverty and then make that the B story to Paul meeting Gong Jiang in the A.
Right now, it takes until page 94 (granted out of 158 pages) before they meet.
And that’s another thing…the writer was trying to cover so much, that he took 158 pages to do it, and even then an easy argument can be made that he didn’t do the story any real justice.
Changes I’d make…for what that’s worth.
Keep everything and everyone in Leisureland and make it backed by Dr. Jorgen and his crew.
So much time is wasted traveling with Javier and meeting Ernesto. Then taking a boat to the original Norwegian location, and for what?
Just to have Paul ultimately choose Gong Jiang, which was so predictable I was mad it was written so poorly and drawn out.
Keeping things in Leisureland, you can still present the seedy underbelly, diving into either poverty or climate change (your choice) and how it fits in with the “larger” world. (On top of making the arguments that downsizing still presents the same problems.)
And then flush out how all this works…especially the socioeconomic aspects between the two worlds, big and small.
The world economy WOULD be affected, because downsized people require less goods and services, thus spend less money. This should become an increasing problem over time.
Then delve deeper into my questions from the marketability section, answering how this affects downsized roles in the government, don’t just ask the question in your story.
Lastly, clarify the motivation behind why the workforce of Leisureland would be willing to shrink and still do the shitty jobs they would in the real world, because a place like this WOULD NEED a sizable workforce. If money converts as well as suggested, then the number of people who NEED to work diminishes as well so management needs to make up for it somehow.
These are the problems to solve, and no need to uproot your characters’ stories from this location to do it.
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