bangs reference

anonymous asked:

Any advice on how to write a heist story something like oceans Eleven?

Well, you can start by watching Ocean’s Eleven, and Ocean’s Eleven, and then Leverage, and then Burn Notice, and then The A-Team, and then Mission: Impossible, and then all the other heist stories like The Italian Job or Heat. Watch, read, uncover as many stories about criminals as you can from fiction to nonfiction to reading security analyst blogs. Read the spy memoirs, the thief memoirs, the fake ones and the real ones. Check out magicians, hypnotists, card tricks, and sleight of hand. Watch the making ofs and director’s commentaries looking for clues behind the thought process of these stories. The hows and the whys as you look into the research they did. Burn Notice, for example, is famous for using stunt props and technological rigs that work in real life. Like using cell phones to create cheap bugs on the go.

The worlds of criminal fiction and spy fiction rely on being able to present (or convincingly fake) a world which feels real. A heist is all about exploitation. So, you need a world with security structures to exploit. You’ve got to know how things work before you can craft a way to break them. Social engineering, hacking, and every other criminal skill is about breaking the systems in place. So, you’ve got to get a baseline for how law enforcement and security analysts work. What security systems are set up to look like. The ways we go about discouraging thieves. Better yet how people behave. Real, honest to god human behavior.

So, you know, pick somewhere in order to start your research. Get an idea of what you want write about stealing, then learn everything about the object, the museum, the city, the country, and its customs as you can.

If you’re setting a heist in a futuristic or fantasy setting then luck you, you get to make all of it up.

Learning the plot structure and conventions of the heist genre is the first step. This means watching lots and lots of heist movies, shows, and reading books. Over time, as you become better at critical analysis, you’ll begin to see specific story structures and character archetypes emerge.

The Heist Story is a genre. Like every other genre, it comes with its own structure, cliches, archetypes, plots, and genre conventions which necessitate the narrative. The better grasp you have of those, the better you’ll be at writing a heist.

For example, a heist story like Ocean’s Eleven relies on a collection of thieves rather than a single individual. The character types are as follows:

The Pointman - Your planner, strategist, team leader, and the Jack of All Trades. Can also be called the Mastermind. They’re the one who can take the place of anyone on the team should they fall through. They’re not as good as a specialist, but they’re very flexible. Narratively, he plans the cons and subs in where he’s needed.

The Faceman - Your experienced Grifter, here for all your social engineering needs. These guys talk their way in.

The Infiltrator - Your cat burglar or break-in artist. Basically, the conventional genre thief. Your Parker, Catwoman, Sam Fisher, or Solid Snake. The stealth bastards, they’re all about silent in, out, and playing acrobatic games with the lasers.

The Hacker - The electronics and demolitions specialist. Usually this is the guy in the van overseeing stuff remotely. Your Eye in the Sky. Their skill set can be split up and swapped around as necessary.

The Muscle - The one who is good at fighting. They’re combat focused characters, usually with mercenary and special forces backgrounds. Though, that’s optional.

The Wheelman - The one who handles the getaway. They’re your often overlooked transport specialists. It’s not just that they can drive, they’re skilled at getting lots of people around, figuring out how to move your valuables, and exiting hostile cities or countries undetected. They get the team in and they get them out.

For an example of these archetypes, I’m going to use Leverage. Nathan Ford, The Pointman (technically, he’s written like a Faceman). Sophie Devereaux , The Faceman. Parker, the Infiltrator. Hardison, the Hacker. Eliot, the Muscle. They all take turns being the Wheelman.

Other examples like Burn Notice: Michael Westen, the Pointman. Sam Axe, the Faceman. Fiona, the Muscle. They all take turns with explosives, Michael will invariably take all the roles during the course of the show.

Ocean’s Eleven has multiple variants of these archetypes, all broken down and mixed up.

You can mix and match these qualities into different individuals or break them apart like in Ocean’s Eleven, and more than one character can fill more than one role, but that’s the basic breakdown. For example, your hacker doesn’t need to be a guy in a van overlooking the whole security grid. One guy or girl with a cell phone can sit in the lobby of a building with an unsecured wireless network and crack the security. Welcome to the 21st century. The skills don’t necessarily need to take the specific expected shape.

What you do need is the basic breakdown:  You need someone to plan the con, you need someone to be your face or grifter, you need someone to break in, you need someone to watch the security/electronics, you need muscle to back you up, and someone’s got to cover the getaway.

These shift depending on your plan, but this is the expected lineup for a heist narrative. The first step of a heist narrative is not the plan because we don’t have one yet. We’ve got an idea. Pick your target. Maybe it’s a famous painting. Maybe it’s a casino. Maybe it’s a rare artifact from a private investor’s collection loaned to a museum for a short period of time. Maybe it’s art stolen by the Nazis during WWII. Whatever it is, figure it out.

The next step is simple. If you want the thing, you’ve got to find a way to get it. This is a big job, your standard thief won’t be able to pull it off alone. So, you gotta go recruiting. Get your team together. Make sure to establish the goals of the different members for joining. Who they are. Their pedigree. One might be an old flame or an old enemy. This is where we lay out some character driven subplots.

When everyone’s together, we’ve got to lay out the plan. Before we have a plan though, we need to establish where the object is and the issues in getting it. Why this has never been done before. So, what are the challenges? Invariably, an object worth a great deal of money will have a lot of security protecting it. Figure out what that security is, who the item belongs to, what sort of retribution do the thieves face beyond what they might expect. Lasers, pressure plates, cameras, security, other career criminals, mob bosses, the rich and powerful, whatever.

After that: How do you get it? Then you’ve got to plan the con, while taking everything into account.

Then, We prep the Con. There will be steps to take before the con can be put into place, your characters taking their positions in plain sight. Stealing whatever pieces you need to make it work. Casing the joint. Etc.

Then: Run the Con. This is the part with the actual stealing. Better known as the first attempt. Things go well, there may be a few mistakes, but things are going well and then we…

Encounter Resistance. While running the con, something goes wrong, pieces fall apart, the thieves come close to success but the object gets moved and they suddenly need a new plan. New information may pop up, it may be one of your artists was running a con of their own separate from the rest. If there’s a double cross in the works then this may be when and where it lands.

We’re ready now, so it’s time hit up: Steal the Thing, Round Two. Your characters put their new plan into play and get about thieving the object of their desire.

Lastly: The Get Away. This is the part where your thieves make for the hills with their stolen treasure. This can be short or long depending on the kind of story you’re telling and other double crosses may occur here. It could be the end of the story or the beginning of a new heist.

Heist stories are like mystery novels. They’re all about sleight of hand and misdirection. You’ve got to keep just enough information on the table to keep your audience on the hook, and just enough information off the table to surprise them later on the twist. Yet, when they go back to re-read the novel again, they’ll find the answer was there all along. They just didn’t see it coming.

If anything, learning how to write a well-done heist or a mystery or any kind of novel in this genre will teach you a lot about how to manage your foreshadowing and create superb plot twists. Like any good con, you need to lay out all the conflicting pieces where people can see them, let them draw their own conclusions, withhold the critical context, and then hit them with the whammy.

Like lots of audiences, new writers (and even some old ones) can get distracted by the shock and awe. They see they’re impressed by the conclusion, not the lay-up. If you want to write any kind of fiction, you need to learn to see past the curtain and pay attention to the critical pieces leading into an important moment rather than the moment itself.

Good writing isn’t modular, you can’t just strip out pieces and run with them because you’ll end up missing the crucial, sometimes innocuous pieces that ensured the scene worked. Like the Victorian Hand Touch, every moment between the two leads and most of their scenes with secondary players are working for that singular instance of eventual, gleeful catharsis.

If you’ve got a plot twist coming in your novel, every sentence from the second you start writing is working towards it. You start laying out your pieces, funneling in your tricks, and playing with misdirection. You may have multiple twists, to cover yourself, divert your audience, congratulate them for successfully guessing your ploy, and reassure their initial suspicions before catching them again on the upswing.

The clever writer is as much a con artist as their characters. The only difference is the target of their con is their audience. The tricks in their bag are narrative ones, and they work with the understanding that it doesn’t matter if someone guesses the end so long as they’re entertained by the journey. A great story stays entertaining long after the audience has figured out all the twists.

So, don’t get caught up in Red Herrings and frightened about not being able to outsmart other people. Tell a good story with conviction and heart about a bunch of crooks out to steal their heart’s desire.

That’s all there is to it.

-Michi

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Types of Humor: The 5 "S"s

Slapstick: physical humor, as in humor found from physical stimuli or physical reactions. Ex: farts, sex, AFV, pie to the face, Three Stooges.


Sarcastic: double-entente humor, as in humor based off of the ironic difference between literal and intended meaning. Ex: Bert and Ernie, Squidward, 9th Doctor, Sam Winchester


Subtle: dry or deadpan humor, as in humor which is found by an unaffected delivery of emotional or radical subject material. Ex: Mikasa, Jeff Dunham, Sheldon, Phil Coulson, Castiel


Satirical: ridiculing humor, as in humor which seeks to mock faults in the status quos or belief systems. Ex: Deadpool, SNL, Monty Python, Springtime with Hitler


Sardonic: dark humor, as in humor which plays off of tragic events to create a grim irony. Ex: Cruel Irony, “Laugh to keep from crying”,  Shakespeare, Olaf the Snowman



-Now, keep in mind that people can have one or many of these types of humors, and often can appreciate one or many types of humor. Its good to give a character some funny aspects to them, and hopefully this little cheat sheet will help you decide what kind of aspects that might be.-

Should you fight them: Russian leaders from 1855 onwards edition

Tsar Alexander II: leave alexander II alone. he just wants to free serfs and liberalize the legal system without having his authority threatened by the nobility. If you fight him you will definitely win, but, you’d be a bad person.

Tsar Alexander III: PLS FITE HIM. I mean, he’s big and burly and stoic and conservative and everything a Russian tsar is “supposed” to be so you will probably get all your limbs broken, but he is a dick, so fight him anyway.

Tsar Nicholas II: Fight him. You will undoubtedly win. He will run all the way to your duel by foot, by means of an extremely dumb and unnecessarily long route, (accidentally fighting the wrong person along the way) and be already totally wiped by the time he arrives. Even when it’s clear it’s a losing battle, and everyone he knows is telling him to just back out of the fight already, he will refuse, consequently pissing off everyone on his side and driving them to beat him up FOR you.

Vladimir Lenin: Don’t fight Lenin. He’s probably been planning his fight strategy for a decade. Bad idea.

Joseph Stalin: Um. Yeah. Don’t fight him. I dont think i need to explain myself, y’all already know the gory deets. Just, yikes, as much as fighting him would be amazing, pls stay far far away. 

~~fast forward~~

Nikita Khrushchev: If you fought him you would winbut he’d probably just read you an angry speech, throw a shoe at you, and then run away to watch star trek.

Leonid Brezhnev: Don’t fight him. He’s got a whole squad of underlings forced to come to his defense and fight you against their will, so, yeah. Don’t.

~~fast forward~~

Mikhail Gorbachev: You could definitely fight him, but you should probably just leave him be. He’ll probably just end up accidentally beating himself up, you wont even have to lift a finger. Anyway, he has a grammy and you don’t, so he’s won in the game of life. 

~~fast forward~~

Putin: i would say fight him but if he caught wind of your plans you would disappear off the face of the earth before you even got a chance.

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Daesung as a wolf
requested by @vipdae

This somehow just ended up being an excuse to draw Daesung with cute fluffy ears lol I’m sorry. I challenged myself to try different facial expressions outside of what I usually do and it was fun ~ I made tons of sketches b/c wolf ears are unexpectedly hard to draw (they still look kinda awkward tho).

This is your God

Some of you may know this already, but only realised today that these pieces of paper Seungri throws around in BigBang’s SOBER MV are a clear reference to John Carpenter’s movie They Live.

They Live is an American satirical science fiction action horror film released in 1988. The story is set in LA. The main character, John Nada, finds a box of sunglasses and keep one pair before hiding the box. When he puts the sunglasses, he discovers a black & white world revealing advertising and media actually hide subliminal messages (source: Wikipedia).

Nada sees through the sunglasses that most of wealthy people are actually aliens with skeleton face (gosh, those aliens are so creepy).

And now, about the reference in SOBER MV, it is actually what money looks like in the black & white world: pieces of paper with “THIS IS YOUR GOD” on it.

In SOBER MV, we can see that BigBang are in two worlds: a green natural environment, in which Seungri throws bank notes, and an empty white world, in which bank notes are substituted by the pieces of paper with “THIS IS YOUR GOD” on it.

Voilà, that’s pretty much what I noticed, I’m too lazy to make a deeper analysis. This is for those who didn’t know.

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Reference: Darth Vader

Model: Sara Jean Underwood

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INKTOBER 2017 - Day 15

Nagamasa & Oichi - Art by Nekkyo Usagi