Friday, May 20, 2011

Treatment - grassy planet (c)

Idea Stage
Idea 1: Shakespears’ “The Tempest”, (see link). This idea was given to me by Jake Wyatt. And I am going to see it through, to the point that it becomes my idea.
Idea 2: Mars + Grass + Ropeway = © “Grassy Planet”.
Two things lead to this: the first being my fascination with Mars (Mars terra-formed), and every sci-fi movie or story that has explored the idea of life on Mars – even David Bowie’s song, mind you, voted as greatest song of all time, was playing a lot on my ipod when I was thinking about this idea.
Mars has the deepest and longest canyon in the solar system. It also has the tallest mountain (Mon Olympus). And I can’t imagine a cooler world than one housing a canyon so deep and long you can clearly see it from space. And a mountain so tall that it breaks through the stratosphere and into space – I mean, imagine that, walking to space.
Mauna Kea on the Hawaiian Islands is an example of similar shield volcanoes on a smaller scale. The extraordinary size of Olympus Mons is likely because does not have tectonic plates. Thus, the crust remained fixed over a hotspot and the volcano continued to discharge lava. (Image above compares the heights of Mt. Everest on the Earth, Maxwell Montes on Venus and Olympus Mons).
Now, I didn’t just think: “Mars, cool, lets do a story on that thing”, it actually came by way of problem solving. And that’s the second (actually the first) thing that leads to this idea. I wanted to do a story about ropeways.
I wanted ropeways to be the primary mode of transportation on a planet. But how could I pull that off? Well, I thought if the ropeway were somehow protected, it could allow people to travel over a dangerous surface. A surface with hidden dangers, monsters even.

And that since no one walks the space between cities anymore that everything would be over grown, the planet would be “grassy”. And when I thought of an over grown and green planet, I thought that it would be cool if the planet was once called the “Red Planet”, which lead me to think about a terra-formed mars. Obviously there is a lot more I can talk about, but I’ll end this idea here.

Story Stage

The Big Picture

1. When a rogue faction of an advanced alien race invades the inhabitants of an early industrial planet, the alien’s peaceful faction initiates a premature first contact in hopes to offer protection.

2. But because alien resources are limiting, society is gathered into major cities; the alien protectors must limit their hand in technological advancement despite the dangerous and strange things that are happening everywhere.

3. As a result from these two races living together, a handful of individuals across the planet, both native and alien, are forced to deal with a strange metamorphosis as they begin to develop peculiar abilities – abilities that were the rogue faction’s aim since the beginning.

4. While estranged on both sides, it becomes clear that these special individuals are the key to stopping members of the rogue faction – most of who have full command of these new abilities.

5. Conflict leads to the uncovering of the planet’s secret origin – leaders of the aliens and natives acknowledge that they are on the brink of a new evolution, and that they are in it together.

Short Story (30 or less pages)

1. A doubtful young alien-girl hybrid, who is an alien ambassador, is on route via the ropeway to deliver the all important (hand-sized) "detection device" to a city recently connected to the ropeway system.

2. A “grinner” attacks; taking two “guardians” out, the girl is next.

3. She surprises herself (and the grinner) by putting up an amazing fight – with powers she never thought she had.

4. The grinner is too powerful and is about to finish her off, but decides to take off (with device in hand) - reinforcements arrive.

5. The ambassador reaches the city, puts on a strong show to distance herself from the (disappointed) city leaders; the first moment she is alone she breaks down crying.


  1. The ropeways can only be operated for a certain time during the day. Or one of the ropeways breaks heading in to one city/continent, so that people can only leave, but not come in (or vice versa).

  2. My question is: how fast do these ropeways go?

    I was thinking, what if they moved pretty slow and perhaps the toll is fairly expensive, so traveling from one city would be a fairly big deal for the average person. So there would be richer more well traveled "educated people," and there would be the poorer more ignorant people. This might also affect how the different cities have developed moer apart from each other. So, one city could be a very different environment from the other.

  3. (Younhee)
    There's always one of those curious/rebellious characters, so character like that could "accidentally" fall on the surface of the Mars, and explore. There could be like a deer-trail (except it would be monster-trail) on the grassy surface, and the character could have some cool adventure discovering this wild world the planet people didn't know about

  4. Mars' Southern hemisphere is prone to enormous dust storms. Perhaps there is a weather regulator on Terra Mars but due to natural disaster it is weakening. Soon a storm relative to the great storm of 2001. These storms make breathing difficult and travel needs to be made to the northern hemisphere to ask assistance since communication is down.


  5. Pokemon hide in the tall grass! But seriously folks...

    The ropeways freeze up/motor is busted so you have to travel hand over hand back to the nearest station.

  6. Soon after Mars becomes inhabited by humans a large corporation buys up nearly all the land and turns the planet's surface into a wild-life reserve for an alien species. Walking on the planet's surface becomes a crime punishable by death. All towns are limited to small walled cities with large expanses of wild-life reserves in between.