Posted by: steveonfilm | April 13, 2011

The Prey: Act 2 – Part 1

First up… I got a promotion and a rock solid raise at work this week. It was the kind of raise that, after I hear the dollar amount, I had to sit down. So, yeah, the hard work these past eight months has paid off.

On the flip side, Act 2 of “The Prey” is chugging along. I’m 19 pages in and hope to have Act 2A wrapped up this weekend. It’s been a tough ride so far, but little by little I’m getting there.

One of the tough things about writing a horror flick, aside from it just being a new genre for me, is that so much of what goes down in these movies is cliche. It’s genuinely tough to present scenes and sequences in an original manner. But that goes with the territory I guess. How do you build tension when the audience already knows most of the people they’re meeting in the story are going to eat it sooner or later?

All in all, our take on the villain is new and refreshing. And I think the backstory is too. But that’s not to say everything that happens is brand spanking new. I mean, there are certain story elements that occur as part of a horror movie. And I want to make sure they’re as fresh as possible.

One thing I’ve been very conscious of while writing is presenting the main character, Kate, as an “active protagonist.” The beginning of the story involves elements outside of her control… so she is relatively reactive, but the situations that she finds herself in are all because of her decisions. The first half of Act Two A plays with this concept a bit. She thinks something is up, no one else does… and they pressure her to let it go. For a bit, she thinks she does. But it only takes one trigger and bam, she’s driving every other element of the story from that part forward.

I’ve never liked the damsel in distress main character in horror movies either. Kate isn’t tough, but she’s not stupid either, and most of all she’s driven. It’s not about “I’m under attack” because she’s only one of a set of people under attack. She wants to know why there is a threat to begin with, because maybe if she can figure that out she can stop it. Whether or not that plan is successful is part of what the whole story is all about. I liked that aspect of “The Ring,” so maybe that’s why I’ve structured her character that way, I can’t say for sure.

When everything is said and done the success of this project will be based on whether or not it reads as a “by the numbers” horror flick or something original. I’ve worked hard at creating the world the story takes place in. Understanding the town history. The relationships. The issues that created the problem that Kate and the rest of the characters are dealing with. If my execution fails, it certainly won’t be for a lack of trying.

Until next time, keep writing!

[Update: I did ten pages tonight and finished up Act 2A. I was on a fucking tear!]


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