Okay...........so here goes! This is going to be the first post of many taking you through my entire approach and thought process when dealing with a dialogue scene. I've been used to lecturing most of this stuff and will be good to get it into a more accessible and hopefully organised format!
So first things first - PLANNING - why bother? For me it's about exploring ideas, having fun, making decisions and laying the solid foundations for all the hard work that will follow. There's nothing worse than getting knee deep into a scene and realising it's not as strong as it could be. That's not to say that absolutely everything remains in a straight jacket as you progress, but the confidence provided in this stage is essential.
ANALYSING THE SOUNDTRACK. The dialogue I have chosen isn't part of a larger project (ie. a film) so this point is a little different to a shot being handed to you by a director. In that case you would be able to ask questions about the overall story, the way the scene fits within that, the intention of the scene etc, etc.. You would also have the story boards to refer to. This isn't the case here, this is for all intents and purposes a stand alone scene, so all that information has to come from yours truly. Including character design.
So it's time to listen to the soundtrack. As I'm doing this I start to ask myself some questions:
Who are the characters?
What's their story?
Where are they?
What do they want?
What's the conflict?
What's their history?
I really need to post the audio before we can move on. It's getting late here and don't have time to get that up and running right now. To save me some time before tomorrows post, does anybody out there know how to do it?