An 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.
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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