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Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Developing Monsters in the Woods 1


I was going through my things today, getting rid of any extraneous paperwork left over from Monsters in the Woods, and I came across my development notes. Whenever I start a new project, I buy a 500-page spiral notebook to jot down ideas, character sketches, outlines and early scene ideas. Later I use the same notebook for production schedules, budgets, ect… I thought it might be fun to jot down some of my scribbling, at least the ones I can decipher. (my mom says I got a dr’s handwriting).

Monsters in the Woods started out as a way to help sale Trap. I’ve told the story many times about how we were going to cut monster footage into Trap in order to sell it. Those ideas later blossomed into what was to become Monsters in the Woods.

Trap was about 2 kidnappers who take a teenage girl. They hold her for ransom in a cabin in the wilderness. Most of the movie takes place there. Below is a short outline briefly describing the scenes that we would have cut into trap.


  1. OPEN_ KILL SCENE: A young couple having sex.  (this would later be the opening scene of Monsters in the Woods)
  2. FRANKLIN GOES TO CAR_MONSTER POV. Franklin went out to the car several times in Trap. This was to establish something was watching them.
  3. FRANKLIN COMES ACROSS 1ST KILL. CALLS HITMEN IN TO HELP.
  4. HITMEN PULL BAG WITH TENNESSE IN IT FROM JEEP. MONSTER POV.
  5. GROUP OF MUSHROOM TRIPPING KIDS. 4 or 5. MASSACRE. BIG KILLS. Melancholy MONSTER FLASHBACK.
  6. FRANKLIN FINDS THE AFTERMATH. HITMEN COME. MONSTER CHOW!

EXPOSITION
Franklin works for pharmaceutical company. Test drug on Suzy, turned her into the monster.


That’s how things start. From that I worked up a more complete outline and fleshed out the good ideas (or what I thought were good ideas) and jettisoned the bad. I spent about a week working up the new scenes for Trap. At the time, my rationale was; “It’s so freaking weird and out of left field, that it just could work.” I of course came to my senses and decided to develop a whole new project that had the sellable elements that the distributors found lacking in Trap. 

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