A movie that's completely POV?

Discussion in 'Screenwriting' started by slinky773, Aug 6, 2010.

  1. slinky773

    slinky773 Bronze Member

    This may sound stupid, but I'm trying to make a screenplay based on BioShock. You know, that Horror/FPS game for PS3, Xbox 360 and PC? I want to make a screenplay of it to make sure that it's not gonna be ruined if it ever turns into a movie. Anyways, it's FPS, so I was thinking about making the movie completely POV. I've run into 2 problems, however.

    1. I have no idea how to mark in the screenplay that the movie is POV.

    2. Since it's a POV movie, it would be pretty weird if there were any transitions. You know, those CUT TOs in the screenplay? But if I did THAT, then the movie would probably be too long. The game took, like 5 hours to beat on Easy, so.... yeah.

    Any advice? Or is it a really bad idea to have a movie that's filmed like a FPS?
  2. Igor

    Igor Bronze Member

    1.) At the beginning of your script include something like this:
    All scenes are POV of [main character].​

    After that, write everything as normal, but be sure not to write any action that suggests we are seeing that character - for example, don't write, "He smiles", unless you set it up to be seen in a mirror or a puddle of water, etc.

    2.) As for cuts, whether explicit CUT TO or implied by a new scene heading/slug: Remember that a movie is not life, it's life-like. What in real life is a conversation becomes truncated as dialogue. And, what in real life is continuous time becomes jumps in time. Yes, you could write your movie as one long scene, but you don't have to.

    FYI, there is (was?) a show on Comedy Central called "Secret Girlfriend" that was all POV of a guy who's never seen.
  3. HollywoodScribe

    HollywoodScribe Bronze Member

    A few of comments before I offer any advice:

    You do not have the rights to write a screenplay based on BioShock so legally you cannot write it. Of course no one is going to storm your house and arrest you.

    The writer cannot “make sure” the final movie won’t be “ruined”. Even if you write it in exactly the proper format and have all of your ideas on paper, the producer, director and editor are not required to follow your script to the word. They may change whatever they want to change.

    CUT TO is not always used on a screenplay. You can write a properly formatted screenplay with out them.

    The screenplay is where the story is. Not where the shots, the editing or the style is. The writer writes the story, the rest of the people involved decide how to shoot that story.

    Okay, to your question:

    You could start the script by mentioning that the entire script in in POV. First line, before you write anything else. You could write is using the standard format but use a type of “first person” style. I’m sure you’ve read novels written the first person so you know what I mean. That isn’t the traditional format for a script, but what you want to do isn’t traditional. Get creative - use your skills as a writer to make the reader understand it’s all from one persons point of view.

    You are, of course, aware that the BioShock screenplay has already been assigned and a director signed.
  4. Gareth

    Gareth Bronze Member

    There is a British sit com called "Peep show" that is shot completely POV. Might be worth watching or seeing if you can find a script.
  5. slinky773

    slinky773 Bronze Member

    ...Really? Whatever, then. I might as well just do this for fun. :eek: I was going to email the script to 2K to see if they wanted to use it, but since some one already wrote it, then I guess there's no point.

    Well, this is going to be filmed like a FPS, so can I write any actions that involves hands, or involves the main character looking down, or left, or something like that?

    Anyways, thanks for the help, guys!

    EDIT: Question to HollywoodScribe: If I just make a script based on BioShock just for fun and with no intentions of making it into a real movie, is it still illegal?
  6. HollywoodScribe

    HollywoodScribe Bronze Member


    As long as you don't show it around (friends and family is fine) there are no legal issues at all. Even if you show it to the public the worse that will happen is the copyright holder might have their lawyer send you a letter telling you to stop. You won't face fines or anything other legal action.
  7. lapoota72

    lapoota72 Silver Member

    Would "Cloverfield" or "Blair Witch Project" as possible POV orientated films?
  8. Michael_C

    Michael_C Gold Member

    GOD i loved that show, Igor! Seriously awaiting its triumphant return! :D
    (in the meantime, I'll just read one of your scripts again! ;))

  9. Michael_C

    Michael_C Gold Member

    I wouldn't think so, simply because those movies don't work as the POV of one character. It's the POV of the handheld camera.

    In Cloverfield, we got to see Hud eventually. In Blair Witch, we see Josh, Mikey, and Heather, depending on who's holding the camera.

    I do think it'd be wise (if one is pursuing a POV-based concept like this one) to dig up scripts for both of those as well as maybe Rec or Quarantine. Just to see how they pulled it off.

    You may be able to steal some cool style tips if nothing else.


Share This Page