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Old 09-10-2018, 04:30 AM   #1
An_idiotic_writer
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What is the best way to show a character planning to kill another character?

I have thought about this, considered a dream sequence, decided that was too generic, and so here I am.

A very close relative of my character has just been killed and the perpetrator is in prison. Over 10 years, my character slowly becomes obsessed with killing the person responsible when he gets out.

What is the best way to show this?
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Old 09-10-2018, 05:15 AM   #2
Feutus Lapdance
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How does he want to kill him?
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Old 09-10-2018, 08:50 AM   #3
mlesemann
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Dreams and fantasies are a possibility.

A bulletin board (either physical/old fashioned or electronic) with a combo of crossed-out images of the future victim and info on how to kill someone could work.

Buying and accumulating potential murder weapons while crossing out days until the person is released might work.

Writing in a journal with v.o. might be ok if you limit it.
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Old 09-10-2018, 12:51 PM   #4
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in ozark when someone was to be electrocuted the character ran a test first and used the trap to kill an animal.
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Old 09-10-2018, 12:53 PM   #5
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How about he visits him in jail and tells him face to face, the only thing that keeps him smiling is the fact that he will kill him as soon as he steps foot out of jail. Smiles, walks off.

Make sure it's not a phone/window conversation but an over the table. Not recorded by jail.
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Old 09-10-2018, 06:12 PM   #6
The Tune Peddler
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Quote:
Originally Posted by indietalk View Post
How about he visits him in jail and tells him face to face, the only thing that keeps him smiling is the fact that he will kill him as soon as he steps foot out of jail. Smiles, walks off.

Make sure it's not a phone/window conversation but an over the table. Not recorded by jail.
I dig this idea very much.


I could also see being very, very subtle with it. Like the main character goes the other way after the murder and dives into his normal daly routine even harder, almost like nothing even happened. Maybe by not over-stressing the obsession, but just having the main character wake up on the day of the release and meticulously gets ready, like every other day. Except on this day, as he walks out the door he grabs a gun. Might be too subtle, but sometimes I like that line of subtlety and an unexpected reaction.
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Old 09-10-2018, 07:09 PM   #7
Alcove Audio
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You could just show him doing his normal (since the murder) daily workout - running, punching bag, etc. Then show a few "not normal" things like weapons practice, both guns and edged weapons, and perhaps even martial arts.

Then he does research into poisons and other more subtle means of eliminating his target. It's an obsession, right? He's thinking of every possible way to kill his target. Oh, does he want him to suffer or just want to eliminate him, and does he want to cover it up completely? Then you could show all of the "cover-up" materials (i.e. netting and cinderblocks for deep water disposal) in his garage as he leaves for work.

As an example watch the opening of "RED" (2010) as Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) goes through his morning routine; from the way it's performed/shot/edited it is obvious this has been Moses' routine for years.
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Old 09-11-2018, 02:20 AM   #8
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You could just show him doing his normal (since the murder) daily workout - running, punching bag, etc. Then show a few "not normal" things like weapons practice, both guns and edged weapons, and perhaps even martial arts.
Along with this, you could show the main character's eyes, and fade in images of the perpetrator. You can also show the main character looking at a newspaper photo of the perp. The main character clenches his fist and breathes in and out, deeply. The camera zooms into the news photo, while intercutting with a zoom into the main character's eyes.
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Old 09-11-2018, 11:16 AM   #9
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Remember in Heat when Pacino and De Niro sit across from one another and flat out tell each other their plans.
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Old 09-11-2018, 11:40 AM   #10
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Remember in Heat when Pacino and De Niro sit across from one another and flat out tell each other their plans.
That is brilliant. This is now my front runner for the idea: super direct and tense. Kudos.
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Old 09-14-2018, 05:30 AM   #11
An_idiotic_writer
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Thanks to everyone for the suggestions. Will keep these in mind.
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Old 09-21-2018, 03:38 PM   #12
seanmannion
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One thing you could consider is going from the main character reading or watching a news item about their intended victim to a butcher shop or slaughterhouse. Could also just cut to a murder scene in a movie that the character is watching later. Have them cutting into a very bloody steak or roast might work. Just planting the idea in the audiences mind by showing them the character planning to kill, then who they plan to kill, and then some kind of violence/murder or something that otherwise implies it.
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