Sunday, July 30, 2017

#Scriptchat Transcript: Gary King @grking Talks Horror July 30, 2017

Gary King @grking, writer/director of AMONG US, discusses the complexities of writing horror. Check out more details on his latest film here. Enjoy! @jeannevb

Read the transcript below or on the Storify site.

#Scriptchat Transcript: Gary King @grking Talks Horror July 30, 2017

#Scriptchat Transcript: Gary King @grking Talks Horror July 30, 2017

Gary King, writer/director of AMONG US, discusses the complexities of writing horror. Check out more details on his latest film here: Enjoy! @jeannevb

  1. @filmwritr4 Sorry dude, not feeling it tonight. Had more than my fair share of real-life horror this week #scriptchat
  2. @filmwritr4 @collinlieberg @jeannevb @grking Heya Chris! Glad I got to join tonight. I was expecting to be driving right now... #scriptchat
  3. This week horror, next week producing your short script, which is horror in a different form. #scriptchat
  4. As we chat, I always think of this quote lol from Robert Altman. :) #scriptchat
    As we chat, I always think of this quote lol from Robert Altman. :) #scriptchat
  5. @grking For the first time horror writer, what would you say is of utmost importance, other than being scary? #scriptchat
  6. @authorJamie @grking other than scary, for me it was all about having REAL ppl. Authentic characters you can believe/care about #scriptchat
  7. @grking Q: Where did the inspiration to switch gears to horror and for the story for Among Us come from? #scriptchat
  8. @SarahAlexis4 @grking I always wanted to try something scary. Inspired by the kind of horror films that I enjoyed! #scriptchat
  9. Feeling a small sense of accomplishment for finishing a script is exactly the right amount of accomplishment to feel. #scriptchat
  10. @SarahAlexis4 @grking so the story came from my actor friend who had access to a lakehouse. I wrote for that location. #scriptchat
  11. @grking Q: That's great that you had that specific location for visual/logistical reference as you wrote to make most of it. #scriptchat
  12. @DevSeventyFive @grking @authorJamie I tried to shy away from "the girlfriend", "the jock" tropes. Gave them backstories/depth #scriptchat
  13. #ScriptChat @grking Did you ever write anything and deleted it bc it was too horrific/ crossed the line?
  14. You might not know this but @grking was a guest of ours back in our 1st year of #scriptchat
  15. @SarahAlexis4 @grking yup - then the location fell through! but luckily we found another lol. Then I wrote for THAT one instead #scriptchat
  16. @jgsarantinos @grking haha yeah. But bc it was horrific writing. Not bc of the content lol #scriptchat
  17. @grking Oh boy... Glad it worked out in the end! Gotta roll with those production punches... #scriptchat
  18. @grking @SarahAlexis4 "isn't it great to be here by the lake, er, MOUNTAINS?" "Yes, I can't wait to swim--CLIMB!" #scriptchat
  19. @grking you've successfully made dramas & musicals. What's the biggest challenge in changing genres to horror? #scriptchat
  20. @grking Q: A while back I wrote a short about a love triangle between a man, woman and an A.I. I do plan to rewrite, but... #scriptchat
  21. @grking Q: is a suspense thriller, and it does have some technological elements. Any experience with writing scripts w/SFX #scriptchat
  22. @jeannevb @grking prob getting ppl to believe I could do horror. Got turned down for jobs bc they thought I was a "musical" guy #scriptchat
  23. #scriptchat @grking What is current direction of horror 2day? graphic gore or suspense?
  24. @grking Q: ...and if so, how could you write one on a low-to-no budget? #scriptchat
  25. @filmwritr4 @grking re: SFX I'd just write it and let your team (or budget) figure out how to execute. don't limit yourself yet #scriptchat
  26. @DevSeventyFive @grking aren't many good FF films. I never believe someone would still keep filming when the shit goes down #scriptchat
  27. @grking Q: Any pointers on how you used escalating tension/suspense in both your role as writer and director? #scriptchat
  28. @jgsarantinos @grking not sure about current pulse, but for my film AMONG US, I loved going the suspense route. #scriptchat
  29. @grking @DevSeventyFive With those gopro mounts and auto-follow drones, it's slightly more plausible #scriptchat
  30. @filmwritr4 @grking find some horror comedies you love (ex: Shaun of the Dead, Evil Dead 2, Dale and Tucker) & read the scripts #scriptchat
  31. @jeannevb @grking yeah, always takes risks. I never try to be safe. For better or worse. #scriptchat
  32. @grking :) Thanks. I saw a great horror comedy a couple of years ago, What We Do In The Shadows. Very funny take on vampires #scriptchat
  33. @SarahAlexis4 @grking we just tried to make things as worse as possible for the characters. Not let them off easy #scriptchat
  34. @SarahAlexis4 @grking Study most of Alfred Hitchcock's films. Escalating tension/suspense was one of his specialties. #ScriptChat
  35. @grking what was something you learned about writing horror that you hadn't anticipated? #scriptchat
  36. @SarahAlexis4 @grking I learned a lot directing suspense. It took a lot more coverage than I was used to #scriptchat
  37. @jgsarantinos I actually would love to do a modern day remake of Frankenstein, a la Sherlock. #scriptchat
  38. @jeannevb @grking we took a lot of horror conventions and played with them. Test audiences didn't respond to them well. #scriptchat
  39. @grking @jeannevb I wonder why, was it a matter of them wanting to have an idea of what was coming? #scriptchat
  40. @jgsarantinos @grking there are def some films in need of a remake for modern audiences. While others shouldn't be touched. #scriptchat
  41. @grking @jeannevb Like on a roller coaster, you can see where the track is going, but it's still exhilarating #scriptchat
  42. @DevSeventyFive I love some of his quotes on the topic, like the bomb under the table and the terror being in the anticipation. #scriptchat
  43. @blueneumann @jgsarantinos It could definitely be updated with some new modern themes incorporated. #scriptchat
  44. @collinlieberg @grking @filmwritr4 yes sir! it's invaluable stuff. You can even read horrible ones to see what NOT to do #scriptchat
  45. @collinlieberg @jgsarantinos I was actually thinking it would just make the original themes clearer. #scriptchat
  46. @blueneumann @jgsarantinos There's always room for new twists on classics. Remakes of what worked the first time? No way. #scriptchat
  47. @SarahAlexis4 @DevSeventyFive definitely -- and editing is a huge part in it. The length of the shots. All aid to the suspense. #scriptchat
  48. @collinlieberg @jgsarantinos Victor to me is Mark Zuckerberg of biology, he's a science bro. Thinking Rami Malek #scriptchat
  49. @filmwritr4 @collinlieberg @jgsarantinos The question is if he would play the monster too, since it's kind of a clone #scriptchat
  50. @jgsarantinos @grking re: remakes - I'd love to remake LOOKER. The technology has changed so much, it's a perfect time for it #scriptchat
  51. @grking How did you course correct w/ those subverted conventions that didn't test well? Why do you think that was? #scriptchat
  52. Q: Has there been a horror movie set in a 80s video store? I can't recall. #scriptchat
  53. @grking I know there was a horror movie called Terrorvision, but that had to do with TV. Haven't seen it in years. #scriptchat
  54. @grking You can shut up and take my money now (former video store employee here) #scriptchat
  55. @grking It aired one day on one of the local UHF stations when I was a kid... #scriptchat
  56. @jeannevb @grking Everyone is being killed one by one and we don't know b/c the killer keeps the convo going #scriptchat
  57. @SarahAlexis4 @grking we did a lot of re-editing/removing scenes. Ppl wanted the meat. I had tons more char moments in act 1 #scriptchat
  58. @grking @collinlieberg @filmwritr4 I've chatted with a few Horror writers - every one of them said besides tense, jack in box situations, keep it creepy #scriptchat
  59. @grking Blockbuster! Still got the shirt! Wanna be made up as a zombie and wear it some day. #scriptchat
  60. @grking Q: So structure and pacing was an evolving thing through the writing and post-production process? #scriptchat
  61. @jeannevb @grking I don't know where his head is for the story but something just came to me! #scriptchat
  62. @jeannevb @grking 1st act had more conflict in relationship btwn husband/wife. Love story aspects. #scriptchat
  63. @SarahAlexis4 @grking yes, the script was pretty set when we shot. Def changed as we shot... #scriptchat
  64. @grking less love, more scare. Maybe they haven't been married before haha #scriptchat
  65. @SarahAlexis4 @grking re: editing - first cut I believe was around 120 mins. Not the final running time is 91 mins. #scriptchat
  66. @grking Q: Was AMONG US a short film (or proof of concept) before it became a feature? #scriptchat
  67. @grking I do have that fake video store name and logo I've been itching to use (Analog Video) #scriptchat
  68. Here's a shot of some of the films that inspired me as I created AMONG US.  #scriptchat
    Here's a shot of some of the films that inspired me as I created AMONG US. #scriptchat
  69. @blueneumann @grking I still have my Blockbuster pin with my name on it. We have the full costume. Just add khaki pants. haha #scriptchat
  70. @SarahAlexis4 @grking Same here! And the ones with our fake names we made when we were bored! #scriptchat
  71. @filmwritr4 @grking If y'all are serious, group chat afterwards and we can spitball! #scriptchat
  72. @filmwritr4 @grking @blueneumann 80s video store too! I've got the concept. Just wasn't sure how many others are out there #scriptchat
  73. (I saw a horror flick at a video store at a fest, wasn't very good, can't find an IMDB link... so maybe that fest was it) #scriptchat
  74. @blueneumann @SarahAlexis4 @grking my name tag said "Crash" on it for "Crash Davis" lol. BULL DURHAM, baby! #scriptchat
  75. @filmwritr4 @grking Period piece, dumb teenagers, dark and stormy night, maybe it's Halloween. #scriptchat
  76. @jeannevb @grking I tried to stay away from cheap scares where the volume is jacked up. I want to earn it. :) #scriptchat
  77. @blueneumann @grking Yeah. Maybe some guy's stuck doing the late shift on Halloween, and he can't get out of it #scriptchat
  78. @wcmartell hmmmm keep me posted. I'm sure there are a few. It's all about the execution anyway, right? #scriptchat
  79. @filmwritr4 @grking Slightly too portly slightly too chipper manager is the first to go and no one notices. #scriptchat
  80. @filmwritr4 @grking Probably got one couple that can't help but try and sneak a quick one in in the back office. #scriptchat
  81. @jeannevb @grking I got advice from William Freidkin before I shot the movei (at a book signing). He said "no bullshit scares." #scriptchat
  82. @grking @wcmartell This was years ago - it's dead by now. But it was not good, and not scary, and not clever. #scriptchat
  83. @filmwritr4 @blueneumann @grking The villain can be some 80's icon that's been out of work for years & bitter. #ScriptChat
  84. @filmwritr4 @grking @blueneumann it's sad that the 80s would be considered a period piece now. Damn, I'm old. #scriptchat
  85. @grking @filmwritr4 Fuck, I wanted to write a flashback for a character and realized the past for her was 2007! #scriptchat
  86. @grking @blueneumann Well, if it worked for Stranger Things, then I guess there's hope for our little venture... #scriptchat
  87. My video store idea would be loooosely based on something that happened to me. But I'd make the lead female. More interesting :) #scriptchat
  88. @grking what do you wish you knew about horror writing before you tackled AMONG US? #scriptchat
  89. Or a psycho who uses methods used in horror movies... and may be a video store regular. #scriptchat
  90. @grking Q: How did you approach making paranormal horror scares have big impact w/o necessarily "seeing" an entity? #scriptchat
  91. @grking Gotta be a girl!  Even had this idea for a necklace that's a little VHS pendant. #scriptchat
    @grking Gotta be a girl! Even had this idea for a necklace that's a little VHS pendant. #scriptchat
  92. @jeannevb @grking I think this one could've used a table read. I usually do that. Didn't have time for this one. #scriptchat
  93. @jeannevb @grking it would've worked out some kinks before production. We re-wrote 1 scene during filming. Came out much better #scriptchat
  94. @grking Q: Since you mentioned not going for the cheap scares, how did you achieve the shocks without being overly gratuitous? #scriptchat
  95. @grking Q: In your movie, of course...and how can writers do that in general? #scriptchat
  96. @SarahAlexis4 @grking I watched one of my all-time faves THE ENTITY. And also know sometimes your imagination is scarier... #scriptchat
  97. @SarahAlexis4 @grking so we set up sequences to play into that approach. Less is more sometimes. (Especially for low budgets!) #scriptchat
  98. @grking Yes, like in Jaws! Worked out well that mechanical shark kept breaking and used it less so we saw less of it until end. #scriptchat
  99. @filmwritr4 @grking tried to be visual. Inspired by De Palma we used a split diopter a lot. But there is blood in the film :) #scriptchat
  100. Horror is based on fear of the unknown - so the less you show the better it works. #scriptchat
  101. @filmwritr4 @grking for writing, I approached it w/each line was a shot. And build the shots, leading to suspense. Make sense? #scriptchat
  102. @grking Very interesting. I haven't seen a lot of De Palma's work but I did notice that technique in Jaws and other movies... #scriptchat
  103. @grking Though in many cases I had no idea what it was until now, and I didn't even realize how it worked... #scriptchat
  104. @grking Q: Love idea that your protags' emotions are being fed off of. How did you go about writing rules for your horror world? #scriptchat
  105. @SarahAlexis4 @grking we believed that in a true haunting, no one would ever know what the "rules" are.... #scriptchat
  106. @SarahAlexis4 @grking So my brother (co-writer) & I set our own and never told anyone else. #scriptchat
  107. @SarahAlexis4 @grking and thx re: protag emotions feedback. That was my brother's @mking2008 idea. #scriptchat
  108. @grking Q: With AMONG US under your belt now, what lessons will you keep in mind for future horror films? Or any next film? #scriptchat
  109. (oddly - in the book I just autoplugged I look at each line as a shot) #scriptchat
  110. @SarahAlexis4 @grking Also to table read and work the script. Would've loved more time. We had a tight timeline w/the location. #scriptchat
  111. @filmwritr4 @grking make us care about them. Try to avoid stereotypes/1-dimensional people. I see too many scripts like that #scriptchat
  112. @filmwritr4 same as any other genre - make them real. When bad things happen to people we don't care about, we don't care. #scriptchat
  113. @filmwritr4 @grking nice! I read scripts that say "As your boyfriend, I think..." -- and I'm like, "ugghhhhh" #scriptchat
  114. Next Sunday’s #scriptchat topic: Short Films - Writing & Production, guest @KimBergie & the crew of Our Own (a short film)
  115. @grking Thanks so much for your insights! Really fun chat. All the best with AMONG US and your next projects! #scriptchat
  116. @filmwritr4 I call those we don't care about or think are real in bad horror as "lunch meat characters" - they exist to die. #scriptchat
  117. @wcmartell @filmwritr4 preach on! (PS - Bill's Blue Books are tremendous resources. No, I didn't say "blue balls") #scriptchat
  118. @SarahAlexis4 thanks so much for having me! It was a pleasure. Always appreciate the opportunity and support! #scriptchat
  119. @SarahAlexis4 @grking Thanks so much for joining us Gary, and for taking the time to answer our Q's! Really appreciate it! #scriptchat
  120. @jeannevb Thank you Jeanne! You rock! Always appreciate your support! #scriptchat
  121. Going to grab the transcript while watching GoT... Thanks so much, @grking! Great tips, as always! #scriptchat
  122. @blueneumann yeah man, I had a blast. Keep me posted on your stuff! Keep on writing! #scriptchat
  123. @jeannevb Films about shorts? Like Jockey and BVD and Haines? Fascinating! #scriptchat
  124. @jeannevb @SarahAlexis4 yaaayy! Spread the word. Let's help pay back my investors! :) #scriptchat
  125. @jeannevb @grking You were way ahead of me! Wanted to get it in on the transcript. :) #scriptchat

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