Introvert writers such as myself tend to gravitate toward dramas. I enjoy the idea of writing a drama, until I get to the structure dilemma. You see, I am a firm believer in lean or fast structure. This really bit me in the ass with my full length script, American Star, in terms of feedback. The feedback has been a mix of “Meh”.
Not only am I an introvert, but I’m a rare INFJ personality type, which I see has an impact on how I write (or read) scripts. INFJ is the rarest personality type, which means, the things I write may appeal to less than 1% of the population. Great! On the flip side, we can be considered “visionary”.
After observing how spineless screenwriters are taught to be, I’ve decided to stick with my instincts. American Star’s story and structure are where I wanted them to be. I know if it ever got made, provided we get the right cast and soundtrack, it’d be something special. American Star is its own thing.
Onto the Alien invasion script…
I’ve always wanted to write an alien invasion script. It was always my favorite as a kid, but alien invasion films always turn out to be disappointing. Independence Day was entertaining escapism, but lacking in a deep or powerful story other than the invasion. I came up with my idea for a new War of The Worlds exactly at the same time Steven Spielberg did. I was glad he took a shot at it, but the final product was, once again, disappointing. War of the Worlds had extraordinarily chilling moments, and was entertaining, but once again the story fell flat. Most of that film is about Tom Cruise driving his kids across an alien invaded, post-apocalyptic world, in order to return them to their mother. Close Encounters was very good, but also very old, and there’s not an invasion.
The reason alien invasion films are so difficult is because of the human/alien divide. Without a bond or emotional connection between the human lead and the aliens, the story always falls flat, whereas with one we can build an emotionally satisfying finale.
Take for example, the excellent film, Oblivion also with Tom Cruise. Its story is very good and is able to establish an emotional connection between the alien and the human, which leads to a triumphant and emotional finish.
But again I say, it isn’t easy. This script is by far the most difficult I’ve ever attempted. I understand why these films are so hard to pull off – because it’s virtually impossible. For starters, there’s a fine line between cool and stupid when it comes to aliens or sci-fi. Especially if you start to blur over into fantasy. Things can get goofy real quick. This is why most attempts at these kinds of scripts stay focused on a rather simple goal – defeat those damn aliens, bruh.
I have the heroins’ connection to the aliens down. I’ve even got a major twist or two. But what has me excited is how the emotional connection leads to an amazing finish. Or perhaps that’s just me being a lonely INFJ?