I've written about 22 pages so far, and I really need to tone down the "exposition" since most of the dialogue so far is spent explaining stuff.
I'll post the rest here now; I'm also working on a memoir, but I'm reluctant to post it here because I want to see if I can try to sell it somehow.
First off, let me explain what I'm doing here. I found that I need to rewrite my entire second act. Nothing happens in it; they basically met Carol Williams, talk to her a lot, get mind-linked, and have sex. Nothing special. I need to shorten what I have to be 20% of the second act. After that, the action of the third act really needs to start at the 20% mark of the second act, and everything will go exactly like it says in the third act outline of my Super Outline.
REVISED BEAT SHEET
Styled after the example in the book "Save the Cat!" by Blake Snyder
Opening Image: Shannon wakes up, finds out she's late. She gets dressed, shows some skin, and they leave.
Theme Stated: At breakfast, Dominic and Shannon decide they should start dating after provoked by Dominic's mother. They race to Dominic's first day at HQ, and action sequences happen while they fly with their Gravity Propulsion Suits.
Catalyst: After being introduced to the cast of HQ, and watched a holographic video about the war and backstory, Shannon is sent to teach a class of kids about the world before (aka our time, out world) and the scene cuts to Dominick’s training. After he goes berserk the first time (said to be common for most Zero Unit recruits) he enters a second room, and it cuts back to Shannon, done with her speech and chalkboard covered with stick figures and arrows, and the bewildered class is opened to questions. The whole “Shannon's mother” thing I'm taking out to focus more on Shannon's relationship with Dominic.
Break into Two: Shannon returns to showers. She's naked on-camera, but only side-view and rear view, and she takes an obligatory shower scene with lots of breaks. It's going to be an r rated movie, but I want this to be just basic nudity and not “Carls Jr. Ad” nudity. Can't have people freak out about gender inequality! Also, Bloodsaber comes in, she's nude too, and they chat while the camera moves to show their shoulders only. They talk about their days, and Bloodsaber says she's been dating Lightningman for almost 20 years. This provokes her to ask Shannon about her relationship to Dominic. It's revealed that she seriously loves him. She reveals her lonesome, tragic past, and how she asked Dominic's parents for someone like her as a child in desperation. She grew up hoping that Dominic would be the one. This makes Bloodsaber very curious, and they finish their shower as Dominic creeps out of the locker. It's hinted that he heard the whole thing, and that Saber threw him in there in panic. I'm cutting out the nightclub scene and the punching bag scene and also the first sex scene, since (I've decided to cut the part of their relationship where Shannon had persuaded him to sleep with her and was almost abusive. I'm also cutting out her near-transformation into an “Ichiro-like” unit, since I want to cut out the dark parts of this story and save them for later, for pacing reasons, and also I want the sex scenes not to come in the first act. I see it as a bad omen.)
B Story: after they return to class, it's revealed that the two French Units have gone missing in action. Also, Berzerker is revealed to have no parnter, and Renegade decides to begin searching for a cantidate for him, to transform them into a Zero Unit. A clone walks into the room to ask for directions, a female, and Berzerker seems instantly infatuated with her. When she leaves, he confesses that he's had an eye on her for the past three years, since she was the first recruit he trained. B STORY: basically, Berzerker, a hulking tank-like cyborg man, and this Clone, Unit 316 “Blackhawk”, become a couple and it's hinted that she may become the new member of the team.
The Promise of the Premise: Before everyone leaves, Renegade says that tomorrow people will begin searching in their designated pairs to look for the french unit. He says that only those who are currently dating get to leave first, and Dominic blurts out that he and Shannon decided to be a couple (he's lying, he actually decided it himself since he overheard her in the shower) and people go ballistic with applause and cheering. They all feared that Shannon would never find a partner, and the two of them are actually congratulated via video chat with none other than Carol Williams herself. She tells them roughly the same things as before. Shannon and Dominic, after the celebration, are taken into a back room with Renegade, and also Mary Randal. Since Shannon winked at Dominic and confirmed that they were dating (saying, “we'll talk later”), Renegade begins to say that the time has come to link their minds. Mary says that they have been closely examined from an early age, and reveals that they've waited a long time for them to become a couple. Renegade says that Ichiro is planning an assault on Metropolis One (the civilization that they live in) and they have no time to waste. Dominic seems a little scared, but Shannon kisses him passionately for like, 30 seconds before he starts to panic, and this is the first kiss either of them have had. They part lips, and Renegade and Mary actually are left speechless, and Renegade stutters a couple of times and finally says: “look, I don't care. Just go in those two pods to your left. Mary, I think we should leave them be.” Mary agrees.
MIDPOINT: Big Sex Scene. Dominic and Shannon, left alone for the first time since the beginning of the movie, have a discussion about what Dominic heard in the shower. Dominic actually does some heroic and brave things in this discussion. This is a turning point for Dominic, who has for the first half of the movie been more-or-less a newcomer and not much of a hero. He tells her what happened after he entered the second room (the one he entered before the camera cut to Shannon at the school). He tells her His codename is “02 Blackjack” and takes his shirt off to show her his back tattoo. She takes her shirt off as well, and it's awkward at first, but Dominic just goes with it and they have sex. The camera then cuts after the scene, fades to black. They wake up in tubes, and realise that they fell asleep. Renegade opens the pods and Mary and him pick them up as they regain their balance. Renegade says that the two of them need to relax for a while, take a break from the organization, and become comfortable with the mind-link. Dominic laugs, and Mary asks “why are you laughing” and Shannon says: “Nothing. I just thought something hilarious. Dominic then says: “I think we're going to be fine, Sarge. Just send us to combat training. We've known each other for so long it's not really that much of a difference.”
Bad Guys Close In: Okay, so immediately after Dominic finishes his words, an alarm is triggered. Red lights flash everywhere. Renegade asks Alfred what's going on, and he says that the Military Blockade in the pacific has just been breached. Ichiro has declared war on the Western Alliance and has broken the treaty. Renegade says “It looks like the two of you have no time to train. Dominic, Shannon, the two of you are going to war.” Shannon and Dominic looks at them, and the camera cuts to the launch pad. They strap in, and their thoughts to each other appear on-screen as radio chatter. The buttons they pressed on their suits at the beginning of the movie light up whenever they speak so people know that they're actually thinking. In important points they blurt out what they're speaking. As they finish their suiting up, they equip themselves with C4 explosives, assault rifles, and two pistols each and several grenades. The suit is said to have built-in nanotech round production. (aka infinite ammo). (Also, there's a very important change here: I'm actually scrapping the entire “cancer-grown stem cell” concept entirely and I'm replacing it with nanobots that are capable of manipulating things on an atomic level. This makes more sense than the Stem Cells, as now nanotech is the reason their arms regenerate, and it's now explained that Dominic was infused with these at birth thanks to his mother and father both being Zero Units. Their suits now link up with these nanobots and boost their powers.) Back to the story: the two of them reach the perimiter and find a huge struggle in progress. They fly down to see the rest of the Zero Corps. In battle. It's also apparent that the clone from earlier is now a Zero Unit herself. Dominic asks Shannon what to do next, and his suit blinks as her off-screen “inner voice” tells him to put the magazines into the slots on his legs, and the suit will re-fill them with ammunition.
All is lost: after 20 minutes of fighting, Berzerker and the Clone Lady, Bloodsaber and Lightningman, and Dominic and Shannon close in to Ichiro's base, located in New Zealand. The entire island is swarming with clone soldiers. In air, they decide to separate; berzerker will take the south, Dominic and Shannon will take the east, and Bloodsaber and Lightningman will take the north. Dominic and Shannon move towards the eastern perimiter of the island, and they silently move through the jungle. (Their suits allow them to become cloaked, or near-invisible, thanks to that nanobot change I made earler. The cloak kind of shifs out of focus every shot they fire, but it doesn't actually fade away like other suits of it's kind, like in the Crysis games.) They walk closer to the base, and they find an entry point. They get into the base and hack into one of the security computers. They find torture videos of the French Units, and learn that the two of them were brutally killed by Ichiro himeself. Dominic becomes furious. He walks out into the corridor, and Shannon asks just what the hell he's doing. Dominic speaks the words: “What's it look like I'm doing. I'm going to kill Ichiro.” and Shannon agrees.
Dark Night of the soul: The two of them are met with hundreds of clone soldiers, and they shred through most of them in the tight, claustrophobic corridors in Ichiro's base. Shannon actually has her arms blown off a couple of times by grenades, and Dominic has his thighs blown off as well, leaving them to hide in the vents as their limbs regenerate. There are too many of them and all seems lost when...
Break into Three: They are rescued by Berzerker and Unit 316, who blast through the waves of soldiers just before Dominic and Shannon become overwhelmed. Their lost limbs finally regrow, forcing them to part with their suits. Their guns are empty, and they pick up two Nano-Fiber Switchblade Katanas (samurai swords that pop out of their handles, like lightsabers without the light) the two of them tell their saviors that the french units were killed, and Berzerker becomes furious and goes berzerk, plowing through twelve walls as they try to calm him down. But before they can stop him, Ichiro appears behind one of the walls. He's 7-8 feet tall and has over 500 pounds of muscle. He rips Berzerker to shreds as Unit 316 dies trying to save him. (Ichiro punches a hole through her skull and she falls to the floor.) Dominic and Shannon freak the hell out and run away as Ichiro plows through the halls behind him. They call out to Bloodsaber and Lightningman, tell them the situation over radio, and the four of them meet up in a large hall in the center of the base, filled with fusion reactors.. The four of them are all without their suits and without weapons. Ichiro blasts through the wall and they fight.
Finale: The four of them try to hold off Ichiro, but he's too strong for them. Shannon is almost killed by him, but Dominic manages to slice off Ichiro's arm before he could hit her. Ichiro becomes furious, and his arm grows back almost instantly. Dominic lures him away from everyone else and ichiro snaps his katana like a twig. Dominic then runs away, chased by Ichiro, and he runs into a laboratory as ichiro looks for him. He finds a needle filled with nanotoxin and Dominic learns that Ichiro has been developing a toxin capable of taking away Zero Unit's powers, which was how he killed Dominic's father. He sneaks back into the room and ichiro has nearly killed Bloodsaber, throws Lightningman through five solid walls of concrete, and moves closer to Shannon as he grabs her by the head and raises her above the floor. It is then that Dominic runs up behind him and yells, “SUPRISE, MOTHERFUCKER” and injects Ichiro with the Nanotoxin. He then roars in agony and fumbles about, and Shannon presses a button on the main console she was hiding behind. The reactor then causes a self-destruct operation. Ichiro chases them as his powers come back, and Dominic and Shannon pick up the Bloodsaber and Lightningman. They put on some Gravity Suits as the timer counts down and manage to carry both Lightningman and Bloodsaber as they fly supersonic across the island, past the barrier, and onto a small island in the distance as a gigantic nuclear explosion roars behind them. They then fall asleep after the explosion ends, and Dominic lights a distress beacon he found in his suit.
Final Image: Words on the screen appear that say “three years later”. The camera pans through The Randal's apartment, highlighting the numerous awards they've won, newspaper clippings posted on the wall, one of them saying “Shannon Randal becomes a Teacher”, a calendar that says: “December 12: move into new apartment” highlighted in red, and pans to Dominic and Shannon room. Dominic opens the door to his room, scratching himself. Dominic walks down the hall and into another room as you can hear an infant crying. You see a crib, and Dominic picks up the infant and soothes it back to sleep. He carries it back to Shannon, the clock reading “2:00 pm” and he crawls back under the covers. He kisses Shannon on the cheek and says: “The baby was crying. Everything's fine now.”, and Shannon whispers: “You're the best dad ever, man.” Dominic says: “And you're the best wife ever,”. Dominic and Shannon fist-bump, rings on their fingers, and the credits roll, with clips of out-takes and stuff like that mixed in.
Okay, so I've changed a TON of the story. I can't say I'm going to miss those dark parts I cut, because as it stands I think the movie is much more exciting and straightforward now. While it can be said that the relationship aspect has been toned down in the movie, I think that I really needed to re-evaluate where I wanted this movie to go, and I decided I wanted to cut out the “romance” part to keep the funny, fast-paced nature of the film as it started. I think that this way the movie is better. I also think that the ending scene needed to become less sad and more humorous, so this way I think that Shannon and Dominic's causal, random relationship-style is better represented.