Monday, August 27, 2007

Don't forget!

Don't forget to head over to Uncle's site at 7pm PST today to read the first installation of Uncle's Alias screenplay. He will be posting portions of his piece every Monday and then launching a chat session for everyone to discuss and give feedback.

For more information- check out Uncle's site at www.theunclegun.com

THANKS UNCLE and ENJOY ALL!!

30 comments:

uncle111 said...

Thanks GS!
Hello All,
In addition to other comments you have, here are some questions I'd like to put forward:
1- Does the screenplay "sound" like Alias?
2- What stood out to you the most?
3- Did you get into the story?
4- How long did it take you to read this part of it?

Page48 said...

Hey, Uncle.

Nice use of some classic "Alias" devices:

-the teaser opening, complete with shock value, is an old "Alias" standby, with the jump back in time to flesh out the details.

- the use of deception (we know it wasn't really Dixon getting the brain splatter treatment from Syd). Nothing is ever what it appears to be on "Alias", you have to wait for the truth to be told, which is why the show did not lend itself to bathroom breaks or any other form of multi-tasking.

Your version of Vaughn, Dixon and Syd seem to be very much in character (though I can't ever recall Sydney going for the head shot before). I can see Dixon's face as he picks up on the farce playing out in front of him during his meeting with Devlin and Chase.

Great use of Barnett as a vehicle to play catch-up for the casual or newbie viewer, which allows your story to be a stand-alone eppie/movie.

Also noteworthy to die-hard "Alias" fans is the Washington setup which brings Weiss on Ice into play.

It took me about 20 minutes to read the segment.

Girlscout said...

First Uncle, I want to say- nice work! Nice work! Very good. Love it.

Now, to answer a few of your questions.

1. It does sound like Alias- except for a few things. One, not sure how I feel about Kendall offering up his sympathy towards Sydney and her killing her mother. He was always pushing her relationship with Irina for the benefit of the country or the mission. I can't see him saying "someone should never have to kill their mother." Also, I don't know about anyone else, but I was never a fan of Alias making fun of it self by talking about the ridiculousness of a mission or situation. To them and us, it was real, their fight against evil, the crazy twists and turns of their lives. I can't swallow Sydney and Vaughn laughing off the misfortune of missing their vacation because of psychos taking over the world.

Also, listening to Sydney talk about being away and that the world will have to take care of itself is a breath of fresh air for her- but to be true to the character, she would have to be thinking about what is happening back at home- with Dixon, Marshall, Rachel, etc.

2. What stood out most- the return of Elena!! What ever happened to her? I can't remember.

3. I did get into the story- I am curious to see what role the doomed Sloane plays.

4. Well, since I already read the first part. It took me 10 minutes.

Of course, this is all my opinion. I can't wait to hear what others have to say and oh man, its back to the long week wait to watch another "episode" of Alias.

uncle111 said...

Great comments Page48, and valued, given your analytical abilities and your knowledge of things Alias. I think it will be just as Alias as we get into it further, with some twists that will not only revive Alias, but bump it up a notch.

uncle111 said...

GS- Yeah, Syd is in for some soul searching due to her case of classic burnout. Her need for love from Vaughn and for Isabel contrasted with her grief from now being an orphan hits her where no struggle against bad guys can. We'll have to wait and see where it takes her.

Elena was supposedly killed by Irina in Svogda.

uncle111 said...

I forgot- we have yet to see all there is to Kendall.

Page48 said...

Hey, GS, I tend to agree with you that Syd, for the most part, would have a very difficult time putting her "obligations" to APO (not to mention the free world) on hold while she worked on her tan with Vaughn and Izzy at the beach house.

My guess is that,under Uncle's scenario, with most of her known sworn enemies and the organizations they were involved with freshly out of the way, and with Jack's death apparently confirmed, it was a rare opportunity for Sydney, feeling like she had a clean slate for the first time in her life,to take a breather and try to divert her focus from career to family. With Sydney, this could never be 100% successful, because hottie heroine isn't what she did for a living, it was in her DNA.

I could see Sydney chilling on the beach ONLY as long as she could remain insulated from the stench of evil, one whiff of which would tug at her like an invisible leash until she marched right back into Dixon's office and demanded to be re-instated, with "No" not being an option. This reaction would only be intensified by her desire to make the world a safer place for her daughter.

This is why, to me, finding Sydney living at the beach 7 years later seems highly unlikely, unless you're desperate to get a show off the air. It had to be darn near impossible for Sydney to shut herself off from world events, knowing she had the unique ability to steer them in a way that would not only serve the interests of her family, her friends, and her country, but would honour the sacrifices of those whose love for Sydney cost them their freedom, if not their lives. Syd was nothing if not loyal.

On a different note, it seems to me that Syd wasn't wearing a wig when she dropped the Mueller Device on Sloane's desk. I'm thinkin' that was a dye-job? Holy nit-picking Batman!

Page48 said...

Completely OT:

I finally got around to watching the first eppie of "Burn Notice". I enjoyed it. Good story, good characters, attractive location, plenty of bikini action.

Uses an ongoing smart-assy kind of narrative, with strong elements of "MacGyver" (i.e., making listening device out of several cell phones, and liberal use of duct tape), and plenty of "inside baseball" tips about the spy biz.

Good fun, a not overwhelming comedic touch, good guy beats up on bad guys. Too bad I have to download to watch, though.

I wouldn't trade "Alias" for "Burn Notice", but it's still a decent show.

uncle111 said...

Page48,
I think you're right. It was a dye job. I got so used to all the wigs, and knowing it really was a wig, that I slipped.

I think you will be satisfied with where it goes from here. We will see some things that need/have to be dealt with be dealt with. And, things become high stake enough that the good guys have to adopt some rather dark, play for keeps methods.

And, expect some interesting Rambaldi related reveals involving some of the modern characters.

uncle111 said...

Well,
It's 6:10 AM and I've been down here at my store since 3:30AM. Someone broke in here and at 4 other stores in the shopping center. I'm cleaning up glass. This is the second time in 11 years. We put in a camera and recorder as part of our security system after the last one. We got the guy on video. I think he's cooked. At least he didn't get away with anything of value.

Back to cleaning.

Girlscout said...

Oooh that stinks Uncle. I'm sorry! Too bad we can't stick Sydney B on his butt!!

I was going to say- I love how we see all out favorite characters in the first 5 minutes- Sydney, Vaughn, Dixon, Kendall, Devlin, Chase, there is reference to Weiss, Marshall, Rachel, Sark, Elena. I mean, wham bam, we have the whole crew.

Anyway you can fit in Daniel Ryan, the Irish bomber played by Ricki Gervais?

Anonymous said...

Uncle
I just wanted to say-Way to go. It totally "sounded" like Alias to me. I can't wait to read the rest.

Lisa said...

nice job, Uncle! I really enjoyed reading it. "new" Alias material (or even remotely Alias related, like Bradley C. and Cam Diaz getting together) is always exciting.
1. def sounds Alias-like, especially with flashbacks and back in time features.
2. Syd as sniper stood out to me the most!
3. I got into it, yes- especially with Syd's trip back to find Jack.
4. it took me about 15 minutes.

thanks for posting it!

uncle111 said...

GS- I couldn't work in everyone I wanted to or that I plan to in the course of the trilogy. Trying to do it in Revelation would have cut into the story and the action packed last half- and the action picks up a lot the further we get in. I wanted this to flow naturally from the point at which Jack blew up the tomb and into fixing everything.

Anon- Thanks. What I want to have done is write this so it sounds like Alias, draws you in, answers some big questions while creating more, fixes the story, and leaves you wanting more.

Lisa- I'm not embarrassed to admit this- I wrote the scene where Syd and Vaughn were trying to get to Jack with tears in my eyes. It was very real to me. I could see it very clearly, and it still chokes me up when I read it.

uncle111 said...

Page48-
"(though I can't ever recall Sydney going for the head shot before)"
They changed that with the last episodes. She finished both Anna and Sloane with head shots.

uncle111 said...

By the time the day ends the Revelation button will have been clicked about 50 times by people in 6 countries.

uncle111 said...

Sorry for the extra posts. My brain is a little slow today. NO wisecracks!
I forgot to say that while the other store owners and I were cleaning up glass this morning we got to watch a full lunar eclipse of the full moon between 4 and 6AM. At it's peak part of it looked almost black, but the rest of it looked red.

Bonkers for Bristow said...

This is really off topic, but I thought you guys would understand. My husband works at an animal shelter with cats and they just had a couple brought in from animal control (their time was up). He and another worker were naming them. In the past, he has named cats Jack, Vaughn, Sydney and Sark and they were all adopted. Now the shelter is housing Francie and Dixon. As times goes on, we'll have the whole cast there at one time or another. :)

PS. Uncle - LOVED the screen play. I want to read it again and then I'll give details.

srg-alias said...

Great job Uncle, really enjoyed reading that! I think it's very "Alias" in how it's written and the characters are pretty accurate (though honestly I can't ever see Jack writing the word "luv" even if he is short on blood). Took me about 20 mins and I'm very excited to read the next installment. The only thing for me was I felt the list of flashbacks from Dr. Barnett was a bit much, especially if we would actually see all of those scenes as flashbacks. If this is written for viewers who aren't familiar w/ the show I could see the point, but I do think it could be cut down at least a little. Other than that I really liked it and could picture the whole thing in my head which is fun. :)

uncle111 said...

Bonkers- do read it again and let me know what you think.
SRG- The ONLY reason I wrote the Dr. Barnett segment was for people who might go to the movie who had never seen Alias, or who had, but weren't like us who have seen each episode numerous times and discussed with others who also have. Unfortunately those are the people the movie maker is aiming at, thus they won't even consider an Alias movie we would want to watch without a catch up scene for the new fan. This scene is about 1/3 the length of the first one I wrote.
luv- I was focused on making the mnessage short and forgot about luv being out of character. Does need to be changed.

I saw JG on Xtra last night. I don't think she has ever looked prettier.

Girlscout said...

She's pretty fab isn't she, our gal JG? She looks get in the new Neutragena commercials.

Bonkers for Bristow said...

Uncle,
I hope this doesn't get too long. I reread the screen play just now and made some notes. Remember, this is just my opinion and you can do with it what you like.
Overall, I thought you had the Alias feel throughout. There were times I could "see" the scene as I read it. Particularily when Syd and Vaughn are being lifted from the tomb site and the scene with Dixon in Chase's office and again when Rachel and Marshal walk out of Dixon's office. I particularly liked the two months/Hong Kong touch as it immediately made me think of two years/Hong Kong from the Season 2 ender. I would have loved for Syd to pull off that hood when running from the assination and be wearing a red wig underneath. :) That would have been a nice wink to the fans. I also liked the scene with the clone as it was classic Alias and, even though it wasn't intended, it was a cliffhanger. I also think you had Vaughn's lines spot on.
The problems I had involved Syd and Jack. Jack's note was just not him. I can't see him writing luv as others have said and I have a problem with the kiss isa also. It just feels too mushy for Jack. (On a related note, why was it so easy for Syd to find the blood trail when the med team couldn't?)
Now, Sydney is my favorite so I am super picky with keeping her authentic. I had a hard time hearing Syd talk about Isabelle to Dixon and again when she was getting off the plane. I just don't see her as being as mushy as she's written. Just my two cents.
I am very much looking forward to the rest of the "movie". Even if it never comes into reality, it's nice to have new material to "watch" and talk about. Thank you for all the hard work you've put into this!

uncle111 said...

Bonkers,
Thanks for the review. Here's the way I see the points you raised:
Jack's note- Having seen my father(who almost never said "I love you") soften and become more expressive of his love for his children when he came close to death, I think Jack would have done the same. It was not that out of character for him. He let Syd know in no uncertain terms of his love for her. He had an idea that he might not come back out of the tomb alive and that if not it was for Sydney. I can see him scrawling a final note of love to the one he was fixing to die for.

The blood trail- There was a good bit of shooting outside the tomb and more than one blood stain on the ground. The medics were looking for Jack in the dark and wouldn't know which blood trail was his.
Syd as mom- I can easily see mom Syd being mushy with and about the product of her and Vaughn's love. It is not hard for her to express love to her friends and family. It certainly wouldn't be to her baby. The think one thing we love about Syd is that she can be so soft toward her friends and family and so tough with her enemies.

I'm thinking of combining the last two sections of the screenplay into one for the final installment so we can have a really big ending. What does everyone think?

Girlscout said...

Bonkers, I agree completely. I think its easy for us to take the mushy when we are feeling mushy- like when Syd visits Vaughn in the hospital in season 2- like when she visits Jack in prison after her missing 2 years. We wanted that closeness, those feelings shared so we knew that Jack and Sydney were feeling what we wanted them too. I think after the end of the show- where this screenplay starts us off- we are not in a very mushy mood. We want revenge. On top of it being a crappy ending to our beloved show- Jack is dead and Sloane is living and Nadia is gone and DAMN IT we are mad.

Mushiness can be very affective when used in the right way, at the right time. And though I agree with Uncle that Jack probably would have felt rather mushy and emotional at the thought of dying and leaving his daughter and granddaughter- I just can't see him leaving a note- let alone in blood. He said is final words to Sydney and then he stood up and played brave and strong for her- which is exactly Jack. A few words and a strong action.

Robetron said...

Notes as I read (not in retropect):

1. The president's remarks, the crowd's reaction to someone who has supposedly been involved with covert ops, and the hug seemed a little too hokie, like an SNL skit. Maybe this will explain itself as I continue into the story.

2. Kendal was not making a sappy remark. He was probing her for a reation to see if she was fit to continue in the feild, or whether she needed to be detained for psychiatric evaluation. The look on his face would sell it on screen.

3. Syd needs a reason for thinking about her session with Barnett. This interuption of the story needs some impetus, like a little piece of dialgue: "How did your session with Barnett go?" [insert flashback] [Return to Syd on the chopper] "It was ...fine."

4. Sydney knows the history of her life and doesn't need Barnett to tell it to her. The non-Alias fan needs it, so work it in the dialgue why Barnet would be ticking off these events-in-breif. It appears as if she is presenting rational evidene that must be considered for some reason. That reason is not clear to me. Sydney "questioning" herself seems a little vague. Let Barnett be in the process of convincing Sydney of something by tracing her history. Also, do not have Barnet flatter Sydney by telling her "you had the courage..." Syd would see this as a manipulation. There is also the bit about Arvin Sloane killing P-5 and it being her job to get him. I didn't really understand this statement. Is it present tense, or a past-tense job that she was to do?

5. I would think Medic 1 would call her "agent" rather than "Ms"

6. Vaughn was there when they left Jack. He was driving the vehicle when Jack stood up. Vaughn would not need to ask where it was that Syd left Jack.

7. Someone already mentioned the uncharacteristic spelling of "luv." I have no problem with the short-hand softness of the message. Had it been some long drawn-out bleeding heart note, I would object, but its perfectly in keeping with where their relationship had (finally) developed.

8. The "don't leave me! I love you!" bothered me a little, but I'm not sure why. Sydney's extreme emotions still always had a rational action to follow. That statement is something less than rational.

9. I have no problem with with the Vaughn/Dixon hug. People grow close, and relationships change and people change with them. Being "in character" must be decided by the character's development. I think this is perfectly in keeping with personal growth. Syd, Jack, and Dixon had been working together for years on end. For most of the time Dixon had his promotion, Vaughn was not even with the CIA. It takes time to develop some attachment, and it is certainly in keeping chronologically that it be the horrible events (of the series closer) that brings them to actually being close as friends as well as colegues.

10. I totally dig the kitchen sink quip. Where have I heard that before? Did you mention it to us in the past, Uncle?

11. The comments making an ironic joke about the craziness of their lifestyle have become a staple of their conversations. Whether some people liked it or not, it is certainly something Vaughn and Syd did rather often. I find this part as they were getting off the plane something that makes it seem like the show. I'm all form making the changes that should have been their all along (like going for the kills shots, etc.), but changing the dynamic in the way they interact would not be good. Keep this the way it is. Well done.

I will be interested in seeing how this plays out. You have a whole-lotta doublin' goin' on here. I realize that it was the ALIAS writers who put it into play several times, but a lot of fans didn't much like it. I would be cautious about how often you use it. Maybe find a way to destroy the technology altogether to satisfy the eye-rollers.

Keep it up. You have the dialogue for the characters just right. I hear their voices when they speak.

-R.

uncle111 said...

Robetron,
I was hoping you'd post some comments. Very good ones they are, too.
1- I had to shorten that section, but the audience is supposed to be people in the intellegence establishment. The scene is an Alias out of context opening shocker that will be put in context later.
3 & 4- noted for the rewrite.
5- It's not clear, but the medics are military and used to using Ma'am, Sir, Mr., Ms.etc.
6- Yeah, probably better for Syd to just walk up to it.
8- This is part of Syd's destined melt down. All she's been through the previous 12 months. In the last few hours she just killed her mother, she didn't know if her father was dead or not, but desperately hoped he was alive so she could draw on his strength. She saw that he had walked to the tomb and hoped he might still be alive, but the only way to know was to get to him in the tomb, but the debris was in her way, and then Vaughn gave up hope of getting to him. I don't care how tough we think she is, when the little girl inside of her realizes that her incredibly strong father on the other side of the rubble isn't coming back...
10- That just came out when I was writing.
Helix- I felt like they had opended Pandora's box with that and it had to be dealt with before Alias could continue in a reasonable manner. Enough said about that for now.

I'm not commenting on your other remarks because it would sound self-serving, but THANKS! You've been very helpful. All of you have!

I think you will like what is to come. I think it is where Alias should have gone.

Oh, yeah- kill shots. My brother and I used to joke about how they never would finish off people when they had the chance who were most likely to kill them and everyone else in the world in next week's episode. This part is just me scratching a long standing itch, and adding a little realisim.

Less than 72 hours till the next installment.

Page48 said...

More OT:

I watched the 3rd instalment in the Bourne series ("The Bourne Ultimatum") last night. Great fun. Car chases, motorbike chases, explosives, gunplay, martial arts combat, moral conviction, bad guys embedded amongst the good guys in a shadowy CIA. Geeky "inside baseball" spy stuff demonstrating that any sense that you may have of your own privacy is a figment of your imagination.

(As an aside, you should always be careful what you utter on your cell phone, as PEOPLE ARE LISTENING, even if you are the farthest thing from a person of interest. For some people, listening to cell phone conversations on scanners is an evening's entertainment. I tried it at work one day when a colleague brought in a scanner and I recognized the voices of several acquaintances in a period of only 2 hours. Using a land line won't evade Homeland Security, but it might keep your Mom in the dark).

In many ways, the Bourne movie is like "Alias" without the relationships. In fact, the name Jason Bourne is an alias.

I made the point a few days ago that I would like to see JG in a Bourne movie. Truth Be Told, the only thing keeping "The Bourne Ultimatum" from being "The Bristow Ultimatum" is a simple casting change. Or, since Bourne is a CIA agent essentially living in exile, perhaps "The Thorne (as in Julia) Ultimatum" would be a more appropriate title.

Either way, I continue to lobby for an ongoing action franchise for JG to work on when she's between chick-flicks. Sure, flogging skin-care products may pay the bills, but it don't to squat for my Sydney Bristow fetish.

dlove said...

Uncle:

Finally had a chance to read the screenplay. A few posters already mentioned some things, so I will go thru your questions.

1. Yes, classic Alias feel especially the opening scenes, flashbacks, and Barnett/Chase use. Nice touch, with bring Elena back from the dead. It wouldn't be Alias if at least one person didn't come back.

2. I like the flow of the screenplay, although I think I want to see it in book format because I'm curious to see your handling of the finer details that I can't get in a screenplay read.

3. No problem getting into the story, although you did mention this in your intro, about making it readable in part for those non-fans, I would have preferred that the Barnett scene deal more with Jack's death instead of going over the events in Syd's life. At this point, the non-fans should go back and watch the earlier eps.

4. It took me about 15 -20 minutes. Would you make the entire screenplay available after posting all the installments?

uncle111 said...

dlove-
Thanks for the comments. Glad you got to read it.
3- the Barnett conversation took place before Jack died. The purpose of that scene was to give non and casual fans some idea of what Syd's life had been like and what some of the key events in the series were.
4- I'm thinking about it. I might redo it as a book. But I also want to write the sequel, but I'm also developing a screenplay that would actually be marketable. It is a comedy/action spy movie. Think cross between "Mr. and Mrs. Smith" and "Desperate Housewives."

Anonymous said...

uncle,

I think you have a lot of talent, and many aspects of this do feel a lot like 'Alias'. Like others have said; the flashback, the twists, the returns from the dead... there was only one major problem I really had. The dialogue.

Lots of the time I felt I was thinking, 'Sydney would never say that', or 'That's not like Kendall'. The final line especally where Sydney says, "I know I've said this before, but Momma's gotta go to work." ... it felt very cheesy (but then again, so did that line in the original).

I'll keep on reading. Just giving my opinion.