“The Barrier” Script Match and the Next Step


I continued to match the script to the movie this week and I had some more thoughts on the where I go next with the project.

Match the Script to the Movie

The script I had was done before I finished the movie. I knew it wouldn’t match exactly, so before I could start to revise the script, I needed to conform it to what was in the movie. I thought this would be a long slow process. I’d watch the movie and note the changes against the script along the way.

I wanted to find a quicker way.

I remembered that I had created a captions file for the first version I posted. It didn’t match the current movie exactly either, but it was only a few lines at the start of the movie that were different.

I reformatted and imported both the captions and the script into Excel. This allowed me to align each line of the script to the corresponding line in the captions. There wasn’t a perfect match because in the script each dialogue line in the script was a paragraph, while in the captions each dialogue was a sentence.

As I went through the file I had to split up the script paragraphs into sentences so I could do the comparisons. I had a formula that compared the line from the script with the line from the caption and flagged them when they were different.

So far I haven’t found many cases where the actual dialogue was different. Most of the time I had modified the script to help the artificial voices pronounce some words. For example in the name Campbell, you don’t hear the “p”, so in the script I have it was cam-bell.

I am about half way through the script at the moment. It shouldn’t take too long to get that completed. I’m unsure how I’ll convert the Excel file back into a script format. I wonder if I really need to do that though. Certainly for the rewrite I won’t need it. When it comes time to hire actors to record the voices, I likely will.

Notes on Changes to the Script

As I go through the script to conform it, I have started to add notes about the changes I want to make. I plan to go through the script again, but I thought it would be easier to make a note when I happen to spot something I want to change.

I noticed that I had many of the characters use the same phrases. Real people usually have their own pet phrases for how the express different feelings. I need to think about what kind of phrases each character would use, and come up with ones that add some uniqueness to each character.

I’ve had comments from some people that they found the transportation planning jargon confusing. I know I can likely come up with ways to replace the jargon with more common words. What I am reluctant to do is eliminate the jargon entirely because I think it adds realism to the story. I want to avoid “As you know Bob …” kind of dialogue to explain the jargon. What I might do is have the character Vincent Campbell claim to misunderstand the jargon and force other characters to explain. This could be played as humour so it isn’t so distracting.

An Intermediate Step to the Final Movie

The plan I have now is to rewrite the script and then hire some actors to redo the voices and then create a new version of the movie. This week I started to consider a different approach.

I made the movie with Xtranormal Desktop, which has now been replaced with NawmalMAKE. At some point I’ll need to convert all the movie files to the new system. What I’ve started to lean to, is to do the conversion first and produce a revised movie with the same artificial voices from before. Then later, I would get actors to replace the dialogue.

NawmalMAKE doesn’t have the same artificial voices as Xtranormal Desktop, so I’d either have to use the voices that are available, or buy the rights to use the old voices. The voices are from Acapela and you can create and buy clips of their voices on-line. https://acapela-box.com/AcaBox/index.php I figure it could cost me close to $1,000 to do this.

1 Comment

  1. It really like the idea of several actors looking at the movie and reading the script with consideration given to areas where interpersonal dynamics come into play, something actors are trained to do. Is there a theatre company that has a training component that would be looking for scripts to work on?

    I went to an opera workshop with Michele and Krzysztof on Sunday afternoon. Just an hour long . One of our friends is a conductor and he is commissioning a new work. After the 2 singers and the pianist were done, there was a discussion to discuss the plot. The singing roles etc. the workshop was a the University of Ottawa and there were some professors there arguing away. Lots of fun. My hearing aides were acting up so some of the time I couldn’t figure out what was going on. We were not given any information beforehand. Anyway if was fun. Good luck. A. Helen

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