KELVIN AND JO ON “WHIPLASH”—Adaptation Exercise for Script and Story Development (Script Writing)

Kelvin: All right, so we’ve just attended the “Script and Story Development” module.

I think it was a very interesting course that we attended. We learned a lot about writing and  developing our own scripts and stories, and we were given a very interesting final project. Would you agree, Jo?

Jo: Yeah, we are actually given a movie called “Whiplash”, and the length of the movie is about 100 minutes, and we need to do a Short Film from there.

Kelvin: Yeah. So we were asked to basically adapt the story, I think adapt “Whiplash” from a hundred over minute movie, into a 15 to 20 minute short film. So it has about… I think we went through the screenplay… do you remember how many scenes it has?

 

Jo: 108 scenes.

 

Kelvin: Yeah, 108 scenes. So how many scenes did we end up with after our adaptation?

 

Jo: 11 scene.

 

Kelvin: 11 scenes. So we really had to make use of what we learned during the course, and what really helped us was Dan Harmon’s Story Cycle, I think. It’s quite key.

Jo: We actually need to do a short film in 20 minutes, so we break down the script…

the script, using the Dan Harmon Cycle 8, we have to remain the inciting event, the Pinch point…

 

Kelvin: So we basically use the eight points right? Like: You, Need, Go, Search, Find, Take, Return, Change. And we identified the story elements of the film and we plotted them out and we came up with our scenes from there. So, why don’t we have a quick run through our scenes?

 

Jo: Yap.

Kelvin: Yeah, so scene Number One, it begins in a way that is quite similar to how the movie started. Our main character, our protagonist Andrew is practicing away on his drum set, but he’s interrupted by Fletcher, who is a conductor at the conservatory that Andrew is studying in, and Fletcher invites Andrew to come and practice with his band which is something that Andrew aspiring to be a great drummer obviously wants.

[Sound Track dialogue]

Fletcher: Room B16, tomorrow morning 6 am. Don’t be late.

Kelvin: Yeah, so scene Number One, it begins in a way that is quite similar to how the movie started. Our main character, our protagonist Andrew is practicing away on his drum set, but he’s interrupted by Fletcher, who is a conductor at the conservatory that Andrew is studying in, and Fletcher invites Andrew to come and practice with his band which is something that Andrew aspiring to be a great drummer obviously wants.

[Sound Track dialogue]

Fletcher: Room B16, tomorrow morning 6 am. Don’t be late.

Kelvin: So Scene Number Three, Andrew is still determined to be the great drummer, that he thinks he’s destined to be. So he continues practicing so much that his hands are all calloused.

Jo: Yeah and bleed.

 

Kelvin: Yes and bleeding. And his father is very concerned and we see that in Scene Number Four, Jo, when they’re having dinner in Andrew’s dining room right?  

INT. ANDREW’S DINING ROOM — NIGHT. 

So Andrew’s father is very concerned but Andrew just brushes his concerns away. He’s determined to stay the course.

So back to the band practice room in Scene Number Five. 

It’s announced that there’s going to be a competition, but Fletcher is undecided on which drummer will represent the band. 

Fletcher gets the two drummers, which is Andrew and the core drummer, Tanner, to engage in, like a drum battle to see who can maintain 400 beats per minute. 

So they do it for hours and both of them are bleeding and sweating, but Andrew finally clinches the top spot. He is the core drummer. And he’s able to represent the band. 

So he “Gets What He Wants”. Yes? Right, going back to the story cycle.

So Scene Number Six, on the way to the competition, we are on a public bus, Andrew is there. 

Unfortunately his bus gets into an accident. Andrew is very seriously injured. He’s bleeding from the forehead, but he’s determined to make it to the competition. 

He runs there and he makes it.

In Scene Number Seven, at the auditorium, Andrew makes it just in time for the performance. Fletcher’s a little bit concerned, but Andrew decides to go on with it.

 

Jo: Yeah!

 

Kelvin: Unfortunately he’s so hurt that he’s unable to concentrate on his performance.

Fletcher has to dismiss him midway through which makes Andrew very, very angry. They get into a physical fight…

 

Kelvin: …And an argument and then a physical fight, and we finally learned in Scene Number Eight… back in Andrew’s room, that Andrew… because of the fight was expelled from the conservatory. Fletcher too.

 

Jo: Yes.

 

Kelvin: Because they got into the fight. And Andrew decides to go back to normal life to give up his dreams. He takes away his drum kit, so this is a very back to earth moment for Andrew.

 

 

So Andrew’s looking for a job, Scene Number Nine, he walks into a bar for an interview, and who does he meet? Jo.

 

Jo: Fletcher!

Kelvin: Yeah…he meets Fletcher, who is there as the bar’s resident pianist. And the two have a conversation. 

And Fletcher invites Andrew, to join him in a in a concert actually as a drummer and in the next scene, that Andrew finally, you know, he decides to get back into drumming he puts his drum kit together again, and he starts practicing.

In the final scenes, I think this is the climax of the short film, Andrew…he joins the band for the concert, and he realizes that Fletcher gave him the wrong score. 

So, Fletcher remembers, you know, what caused him to lose his job, he was trying to get some measure of revenge against Andrew. But I think Andrew makes the best of the situation.

 

He takes control, he delivers the performance of his lifetime, which it causes Fletcher to gain acknowledgement and respect for Andrew. But at the same time, Andrew, during this course of events, he also gains acceptance for Fletcher’s methods.

 

We end the film with Andrew giving an amazing drum performance, and Fletcher, I think, being very caught up in the moment, having finally groomed the next Charlie Parker.

And that’s the end of our adaptation of “Whiplash”.

——There are no two words in the English Language more harmful than “Good Job”.

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