This was a great script, but a tough emotional read.
It is so honest, yet creepy, which suits this tale of desperation.
Here are two things I noted:
CREEPY FACTOR #1: NEGATIVE ENERGY
I read this about a common motivation in Gene Hackman's acting:
Hackman drew on that sort of negative energy — the unshakable feeling that he wasn’t good enough to warrant consideration — as motivation for much of his life, perhaps starting with the moment in the street when he watched his father walk out on him.From p.1, this script also has that "not good enough" tone.
Mark hangs on to past victories. *Not good enough.*
If he doesn't win, he's a failure. *Not good enough.*
CREEPY FACTOR #2: INVADING PERSONAL SPACE
Another effective technique is to show physically what is going on mentally:
ex. "Du Pont walks over. Mark can barely look at him. Du Pont stops close to Mark.
Mark looks to Dave to save him from this. Dave's clearly caught in the middle.
Mark looks down, closes his eyes as if in pain. Du Pont moves close to Dave, speaking to him so Mark can hear -
DU PONT: If you and I can't get him there, no one can. We're in this together.
After a long moment, du Pont moves off the mat. He starts to stretch nearby. As Dave tr to get Mark back to work, du Pont starts to JOG around the perimeter of the gym. Mark's trying to keep it together, but it's clearly driving him insane."
WHAT I'VE LEARNED: "Creepy" feels claustrophobic and cornered.
by E. Max Frye & Dan Futterman