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San Andreas – Blueprint for Disaster


San-Andreas-Script AnalysisAn excerpt from my script review for San Andreas which will be available 6/02/15:

2.) Plot Stability

Surprisingly, there’s a lot we can learn from this version. (Admittedly, I was dubious considering the number of hands that took part in revisions.)

Blueprint for Catastrophe

This isn’t meant in a derogatory sense either, but rather this script is based in and around a disaster, so certain elements are to be expected.

A.) Insert Disaster Here
B.) Seasoned Hero with a Need for Redemption
C.) Foreshadowing Scientist
D.) A Family Member Hero Has to Save, Win Back, or Both

Take a moment to read these over and think about them. You may choose to include them all, or cherry pick 2 or 3. (Did I miss any?)

San Andreas had all of these.

Tom is an expert helicopter pilot with LAPD’s search and rescue. Although a master of his craft, his past isn’t without tragedy, losing his youngest daughter who drowned in a whitewater rafting incident.

Tom couldn’t save her, and that fact cost him his marriage with the lovely Rachel.

B.) Tom – Rescuer who couldn’t save his daughter
D.) Rachel – The wife he shut out and is now getting remarried

Then there’s Roger, the seismologist who just happens to be working on a way to predict earthquakes via Radon readings. He’s proven right when a colleague loses his life during an early earthquake at the Hoover Dam.

Roger uses this proof to predict what will hit LA and then later ROCK San Francisco.

A.) Earthquakes
C.) Roger – Seismologist in the know

Was San Andreas completely original? No, blockbusters rarely are.

Again though, the elements the script used worked in the plot. Part D even scored extra points, because Tom’s chance at redemption with Blake comes when she’s about to drown after a tidal wave.

As cliché as it is, “Give us the same, only different,” and use your own creative twist on this list.

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And be sure to check out our Notes Service, where I give my detailed thoughts and suggestions on your script.


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