Edmonton Screenwriters Meetup Message Board › Ambulance short film

Ambulance short film

Eric H.
user 10888996
Edmonton, AB
Post #: 8
Hey guys I think we lost the ability to post ideas as a separate discussion hence I will simply post our progress on the message board.

Based on last nights discussion below is a summary of our project.

The project must be no longer than five pages. One page equals one minute of screen time.

It's about paramedics.

Location ambulance: this might be hard to achieve but we can give it a go.

Cast: Two characters: Paramedic and the injured person.

The story should have one turning point.

I think everyone should contribute an idea or two about the story, and then maybe a couple people write it for the next meet up in May.

Best of luck!

Eric
Eric T.
user 12100386
Edmonton, AB
Post #: 1
Thanks for starting the conversation Eric. I liked the idea that it was the intent of the injured man to be picked up by that particular paramedic. The turning point would be the discovery of the injured mans underlying intent of being picked up.

I was partial to the injured man being somewhat supernatural, and am open minded about in what way.

Hope to hear from everyone else!

Eric
Russ M.
user 13150570
Group Organizer
Edmonton, AB
Post #: 1
I think Eric T’s idea about the turning point works well.

I had some thoughts about the story over the weekend. I took it from the perspective that the paramedic was the protagonist.

I thought we needed his back story. My thought was that he could be from a typical middle class family. His parents are divorced, but both have remarried and he lived with his mom. His parents don’t fight each other anymore, and they never used their kids as weapons against each other, but they definitely are different people. He lived with his mom and step-dad. He was an average student in high school and decided to become a paramedic after taking a CPR course with the scouting program. He’s been married a couple of years and his wife is pregnant with their first child. His wife his sister’s college roommate.

I had a story idea but it wasn’t along the sci fi lines that we had discussed, but I thought I’d share it anyway. The paramedic and driver are driving back to the station. Over the radio a news story says that the body of a missing girl was just found. The driver says if he ever found who did it he’d kill him. Our protagonist says our job is to save lives, how can you talk of killing someone. Just then a call comes over the radio of a pedestrian vehicle accident.

Cut to the point where the trolley is being pushed into the ambulance. The paramedic puts an oxygen mask on the victims face. The victim tries weakly to take it off, to say something. The paramedic soothes the injured man, and tries to help him be calm, but the injuries are obviously serious. Finally the victim gets the oxygen off his face. The paramedic is just opening one of the medical packages wrapped in plastic. He sees the patient has removed the oxygen, and decides to let the man say what he wants, and leans forward to hear the hoarse whisper.

This is the turning point: The victim says he has to tell him something. If he tells someone, then maybe God will forgive him. The victim confesses, “I killed the little girl.”

The paramedic is stunned. He sits for many beats, the plastic wrapper and the medical item he was unwrapping still in his hands. Calmly, he drops the medical item and then places the plastic over the victims face and hold it tight. The plastic sucks in as the victim struggles to breath. Panic washes over the victim’s eyes and he struggles vainly to pull the paramedic’s hands away, but he is too weak. Eventually he stops squirming. The eyes stare blankly, recriminatingly at the paramedic. The paramedic tells the driver “it’s over.”
Heinz K.
airmeki
Edmonton, AB
Post #: 1
Wow, a full-fledged story you got here, Russ. I like it ! Let me ponder over my own thoughts a little longer and I'll share them with you good folks very soon! So far, it sounds like a great short story, though. I personally wouldn't change much.
Heinz.
Eric T.
user 12100386
Edmonton, AB
Post #: 2
Hi guys.

Something a little more dramatic has been suggested here, I'll take the opportunity to share some concerns;

I feel there is not a clear justification for why the protag changes his views so quickly after meeting the killer

- this would be remedied if the killer confessed to enjoying killing his victims, perhaps admitting to multiple murders - something for our protag to chew on, rather than just meeting him

I also feel this is too much drama for five minutes

- we are asking a lot of the five page script to expose everything we need in order to induce emotional investment in the characters.

Everything for a reason

- why was this crazy murdered hit by a car? Just coincidence? Generally things happen for a purpose in film and story. In our story that was sci fi based, the accident victim was waiting there with intention of meeting the protagonist, which I feel adds to the script


I don't think it has to be sci fi, but it was convenient to have it be sci fi because then you can justify something as fantastical as having a victim intend to be hurt in order to be picked up by our protagonist.

Science fiction, twilight zone-esque material is camp and fun, and more along the vein of what people want to see at a short film festival - but that is somewhat more just my opinion

Anyway, I've been glad to share, and I hope we all keep communicating.

Eric
Heinz K.
airmeki
Edmonton, AB
Post #: 2
Interesting input, Eric.
Personally, I do not see the story being too long for a five minute flick. I read Russ' story from the perspective of a back story, which I always deem as important to a script's development. It just helps laying down the foundations.

When I read Russ' story suggestion I immediately thought of Hitchcock. This would be something he would have liked to do. In his short films, that is.

Anyway, here are my suggestions based on Russ' story:

Driver and Paramedic (=protag) discuss the murdered girl: Driver utters his disgust, and paramedic says what he said in Russ' story (that 'we're here to save lifes, etc ...).
Now they get called to an accident scene.
The victim is in the van.

Now my twist:
Instead of having the victim exclaim that he murdered the girl, how about if the victim recognizes the paramedic as the girl's murderer?

This would flip the Protagonist/Antagonist archetypes dramatically.

If you guys would like the story turn into a twilight zone short film, here's my input (again, based on Russ' story):

The victim they pick up at the accident could in fact have been the girl herself, the one who was (supposedly) murdered. Now she's in the van avenging herself on the paramedic who did to her what he did. In the end, when the driver looks back (or opens the door - never been in an ambulance ...) the paramedic lays dead on the stretcher and the victim (the girl) has vanished.

:-)

Too many thoughts in my head ...

PS: Bear in mind - for either version of this story we'll have three actors, right?

Keep'em coming guys!
Eric T.
user 12100386
Edmonton, AB
Post #: 3
I really like your contribution Heinz. It adds a great ironic twist.

As far as the identity of the accident victim goes, perhaps we could keep considering it?

Otherwise I think that's a great flip/change, and I'm excited to hear it



So great if the paramedic is the murderer. This becomes a revenge story, and it's personal between the two principal characters.

Could the accident victim be;

- the victim's brother/sister
- perhaps the victim was a male, and the avenger is his sister

That's probably the extent of the options, because to go to such a wild extent of faking an accident etc, you'd either have to be blood related, in love, or the victim his/herself.

Anyway, I'm excited by the suggestion and support it!

Eric

Eric T.
user 12100386
Edmonton, AB
Post #: 4
A contribution to the story:

If the story were to begin with the avenger arriving at the "scene of the accident" covered in bloody make-up, lie down, and feign injury, then induce reaction from a bystander, it would start the audience thinking about why this is taking place

Then we find out from paramedics that a murderer is on the loose

Then they get the call to pick up the avenger

Eric H.
user 10888996
Edmonton, AB
Post #: 9
Thanks guys for the impute. The ball for this concept is certainly rolling, and I am interested to see if anyone is willing to write the script for it. There are a couple of issues I have with it though. I think from a budget stand point it will be hard to film. For starters an ambulance will be next to impossible to get without a professional prop department (which we don't have). With that said it puts the entire concept in jeopardy; but this is a lesson for us as emerging writers. When we write we need to ask ourselves who is going to film this? A professional or ourselves? If we are talking about a short for metro cinema then we got to make sure we have the resources to produce this film on our own terms.

With that said, I would like for us to finish the script as an exercise in writing. We should then converge sometime in May and discuss it.

Secondly, I agree with Eric. I think the back story is too large for a five page short. I love the detail, but IMO there isn't substantial time to spend developing the character to justify the exposition, but Russ I like that you took the time to tell us the characters background. From an actors stand point the back story is crucial.

Inregards to the plot, I can't see a professional paramedic taking the law into his own hands so impulsively; especially for a character with no history of violence. Paramedics are trained professionals that probably have to treat criminals and average joes on a day to day bases. Aren't they trained to be impartial? These are just my thoughts though.

I am writing my own version of the idea that I will post on the script file, but I would still like to see other versions too.

In my version, the paramedics are schemers. Kind of creeps in their own right. One of them in particular is rogue because he carries a gun for self defense - against the law. The victim is an attempted suicide because he murdered his daughter. Realizing he was going to live from his wounds forced him to act in a desperate attempt to thwart the paramedics plans for his survival.

The short is really about Rogue against Rogue but only one is truly capable of murder.

I will post it up soon and I would love to hear what you guys think.

Anybody have a title for this short film?

Eric T.
user 12100386
Edmonton, AB
Post #: 5
Its so strange coming up with these scenes in your mind then ffinding out they may not become actualized. At least its not the first time this has happened!

So if we would like to produce a short it must be in a more controlled environment. Say, an apartment.

When we had initiall conceived of this project there was a miscommunication. I had suggested an amulet and everyone heard ambulance

Here's an intro we could consider

A man discusses with someone over the phone: they are talking about the execution of murder plans of the characters roommate. It sounds as if the murder was a success

Then the door opens, and enters the roomate who is suppose to be dead

The roomate hangs uphis coat and goes to his room

The murder conspiring roommate investigates the 'suooised to be dead' roommates coat - there I s a bullet hole through it





Ok so that's all I got so far! Feel free to change the details, hope this convo keeps rolling,

Eric

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