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Showing Demonic Possession

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MissKeister View Drop Down
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    Posted: 20 May 2019 at 1:26pm
Hellooooo!

I am working on a feature in which a guy is possessed part (most) of the time, and I'm wondering what might be a good way to show that? It's a comedy if that makes any difference, and a couple other people will be possessed on and off.

Would it be too distracting for the main character to have those black eyeballs? I'd like something recognizable but not distracting and I'm struggling!

Hope you all are having a great start to your week and enjoying working on some creative project!

Alexandra
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote JeffreyHowe Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 May 2019 at 11:57pm
I have wrestled with similar issues, and much depends on the subgenre, tone and plot logistics. I assume it's horror of some sort...but that still leaves a fair amount of wiggle room. 

Is it something you want other characters to notice all the time? Only in times of stress? Or something that the audience gets to see and other characters don't see?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote NilesPerry Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 21 May 2019 at 2:46am
@MissKeister
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 The classic example would be The Exorcist. Here's the shooting script from the film. Maybe it will help solve this question for you.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ChristiLB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2019 at 1:43am
Originally posted by MissKeister MissKeister wrote:

Hellooooo!

I am working on a feature in which a guy is possessed part (most) of the time, and I'm wondering what might be a good way to show that? It's a comedy if that makes any difference, and a couple other people will be possessed on and off.

Would it be too distracting for the main character to have those black eyeballs? I'd like something recognizable but not distracting and I'm struggling!

Hope you all are having a great start to your week and enjoying working on some creative project!

Alexandra

Hi Alexandra - 

Sounds like an interesting problem to toil around with. If it's a comedy I'm not sure the black eyeballs would be the best because it might come off too scary/creepy. Unless you're wanting a scary comedy of course. Have you ever seen the movie "Dracula Dead and Loving It"? It's a comedy where Leslie Nielsen plays Dracula. Although there isn't really any possession, per say, There are scenes where Dracula commands characters to do things (more like they're in a trance) and it's very obvious they are under his control but it's still funny and not at all scary. Maybe check that movie out for some ideas. The Conjuring films are horror movies but they deal almost explicitly with possession and one thing they do is have the character's voice change when they are possessed. A normally soft spoken female character suddenly has a deep raspy voice when she's possessed. You could do something similar but have a really funny possession voice to keep in line with your comedy angle.

Hope that helped a bit.

Christine
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Janetinputney Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 May 2019 at 11:47am
Well, you could do something completely different that no one has seen before.  As long as you set it up in your script with rules of the world/suspension of disbelief and all that.  If it's a comedy, then you could try:

- flailing motions with limbs
- facial tic/weird movement with head
- they walk on tippy toes
- speak in other languages/forked tongue

these are stupid, but you get what i'm going for.  Something different.. but when someone is possessed, they are supposed to be stronger, so you could have bulging muscles.  

I think you have a lot of latitude because it's a comedy... have fun with it!!



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MissKeister Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 May 2019 at 1:32pm
Thank you, all, I super appreciate your input!! I'll keep reading scripts and toying with different methods -- at the moment I don't have a 'tell' just because I show the demon go in and not come out, but there may be more possessed characters that we don't see become possessed. Anywho!

I think it will be something the audience knows but other characters don't; there will be what humans see and what the demons see, but we're mostly from the demons' perspective (he's trying to masquerade as a human).

So many great things to think on -- and research -- thank you again :)



Christine -- I LOVE Leslie Nielsen and will look up that movie asap, thank you for that!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote ChristiLB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jun 2019 at 4:29pm
Originally posted by MissKeister MissKeister wrote:

Christine -- I LOVE Leslie Nielsen and will look up that movie asap, thank you for that!!!

Yaaaay! I hope you love it. He's such a great comedic actor. Can't go wrong with one of his films.

Christine
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote jshbartolome Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 08 Jun 2019 at 7:10am
A horror-comedy with Satanic undertones and possession? 

The best one I've seen so far is "El Dia De La Bestia" by Alex de la Iglesia. It's demented, scary, and very, very funny. 

Here's the link for the trailer. If you can watch it in the original Spanish version, you may get some ideas:

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