Movie Making Manual/CUS Story

While some original ideas were brainstormed, none of them were of appropriate ease/length for a beginning (short) movie, often by very small amounts. A number of public domain works, mostly by H. P. Lovecraft (focusing largely on The Call of Cthulhu), were also considered and deemed difficult but possible.

The following process was (mentally) used:

  1. Are we able to use the story?
  2. Is the story interesting?
  3. How many characters are there? Would we have enough volunteers (read: conscripts) to make such an attempt viable?
  4. How easy is the story to convert from a narrative to a script format? Would a major overhaul be necessary, resulting only in general similarity; or is it easily adaptable?
  5. What is the setting? Are we able to find locations/costumes/etc. necessary? What grovelling/paying would be needed?
  6. From what perspective would we be following the story? Would we have the camera literally 'in the eye' of the protagonist, seeing what he sees; or would we use the standard omnipresent view?
  7. Do we have enough equipment? Is the equipment we have capable of what we want it to do?
  8. Can we afford it?

This was the (mental) analysis for The Call of Cthulhu (not regimented as provided below, but more collectively brainstormed):

The Call of Cthulhu was written in the 1920's so the copyright has expired. The story is interesting to an audience more interested in the more abstract stories, however more average audiences would probably be confused and not understand.

The number of main characters is enough so that with a little shuffling, the film could be made. However, the most problematic thing is the extras needed (eg. police officers in raid on cultists, shipmates on voyage to R'lyeh, etc.). If techniques such as using lighting to block out the more specific features on people's faces, and actors were moved around (eg. an actor is the main in one scene/for one character, and acts as an extra in the rest), it could be achieved. Costumes would also be difficult (requiring a number of 1900's-style police uniforms, among other things), but if we asked around through our contacts in stage and acting, we might be able to scrounge up a few. If worse came to worst, we could always improvise.

The story isnt as much not in the write style to convert to script format, the conversion would simply be difficult. Hopefully, this wouldn't be that much of a problem. If the story could be simplified (see the first note) so that it is easier to understand without detracting from the story, this would be preferable.

The story will be following a number of characters, ostensibly in the search of the main for the reason for a number of unusual events, not in the least the cause of death of his great-uncle. This will involve the 'frame' of the protagonist searching out the various other characters for their stories relating to his search, and from there showing from the characters point of view the events they are describing. This would be done in a 'flashback' sort of way, not by filming events then having a narrative over the top.

The most difficult 'setting' would be the portrayal of the city of R'lyeh and Cthulhu, however we might be able to make do using miniatures for shots of the city/god itself and never actually showing actors/surroundings and either R'leyh or Cthulhu in the same shot.

Our equipment is well within range.

Seeing as though we should be able to beg and grovel for most scenes/costumes, the majority of money would probably have to be spent on the miniatures. Using off-cuts provided by contacts in various industries such as that may prove useful.

It was a few weeks later that a number of short stories (all written by the same author) were found, and an email was sent to inquire as to the possibility of adapting his works to film (Feb 23). A reply was received a week later giving his approval.