* 2007-2009 Film-North * theatre4 * 2009 : cine101 * 2008 * kickapps.com/film-north
Mamet: A good film script should be able to do completely without dialogue.
I supervise another senior film thesis now and maybe by the end of the Fall semester, we sould post all the phases of the process (proposal, stages of script-writing up to the shooting script).
Links:ScreenWriters Utopia eWriters Writer's Guidelines Database WriteLinks WritersClub (Fee $35) Proof Positive (Writers Meeting Place) Market Info from InkSpot
PAGES (wish list): Character / Contacts & Contests / The Craft: Apprentice / The Craft: Journeyman / Development / Dialogue / Discussion Resources / Education / The Industry / Legal & Copyright / Plot & Structure / Research & Reference / Script Templates / Scripts on the Web
GRAMMAR of DRAMA:
THR215 Dramatic Literature --- THR413 Playscript Analysis
authors --- themes --- subjects (topics)
CRAFT ---- ART
plays --- periods --- showcases
[ script.vtheatre.net vertical hierharchy ] Very old page...
I do not know where to place the talk about the importance of this primitive dramatic structure, which I teach in my theatre classes. The script! The plot (and story -- do you know the difference), the hero (characters) and the message...
I do not know where to place the talk about the importance of this primitive dramatic structure, which I teach in my theatre classes. The script! The plot (and story -- do you know the difference), the hero (characters) and the message...
This page was for new screenplays. We had our 2nd UAF Film Festival in Feb. of 1999. (I'm not doing it anymore, no time -- other people run it).I left one student script as a sample of formatting. There are many places you can see different forms of writing scripts -- http://www.simplyscripts.com, for example.
My opinion: think about the story, your characters and images -- worry about the formatting later. Besides, there are several programs on the market which can help you.
[ see Analysis Page ]
EXPOSITION: "THE MAN WHO WASN'T THERE" [Ethan Coen & Joel Coen] -- the use of voice over *
Yeah, I worked in a barbershop. But I never considered myself a barber...
We track back from a barber's pole.
ED (V.O.)...I stumbled into it--well, married into it more precisely...
We track back from a shopkeeper's bell triggered by an opening door. The pull back and tilt down show the top of the head of a customer entering in slow motion.
ED (V.O.)...I wasn't my establishment. Like the fella says, I only work here...
We track along a shelf backed by a mirror and holding pomade, aftershave, hair tonic, a whisk brush.
ED (V.O.) ...The dump was 200 feet square, with five chairs, or stations as we call 'em, even though there were only two of us working...
We track in on a big man in a barber's smock scissoring across a lock of hair that he pulls taut between two fingers of one hand. In slow motion, he laughs and chats.
ED (V.O.)...Frank Raffo, my brother-in-law, was the principal barber. And man, could he talk...
Another man in a barber's smock is running electric clippers across a child's head. A cigarette between his lips.
ED (V.O.)...Now maybe if you're eleven or twelve years old, Frank's got an interesting point of view, but sometimes it got on my nerves. Not that I'd complain, mind you. Like I said, he was the principal barber. Frank's father August--they called him Guzzi--had worked the heads up in Santa Rosa for thirty-five years until his ticker stopped in the middle of a Junior Flat Top. He left the shop to Frankie free and clear. And that seemed to satisfy all of Frank's ambitions: cutting the hair and chewing the fat. Me, I don't talk much...
He plucks the cigarette from his mouth and taps its ash into a tray.
ED (V.O.)...I just cut the hair...
[ more on script and filmmaking @ Film Directing 101 ]
|Here is our first presenter -- Kyle Erck. Please feel free to send your suggestions directely to him, he is working on this screen-play. I'll install the message board on this page soon. Anatoly A|
The GRAND religious SONG of ALLELUIA as accompanied by a full orhcestra with full vocals.
EXT. NIGHT. DEAD DRUNK.
The grand religious song of ALLELUIA plays over the image of a DEAD DRUNK, holding a BOTTLE and sitting on a SNOWY sidewalk next to a brick wall. An icile hangs from his nose. The view EXPANDS to reveal the wall to be part of a CONVENIENCE STORE. It is GLOWING with NEON and FLUORESCENCE sign that says, “QUIK FIX” and stands on a slow street. Patches of thick woods can be seen behind it. A person wearing a LARGE ARCTIC PARKA crosses the street.
The MASSIVE SIGN for the “QUIK FIX” reads:
*OPEN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY*
The view closes into the bright FLUORESCENT LIGHT of the ‘QUIK FIX” sign and BLEEDS into BRIGHT WHITE SUNLIGHT.
INT. GARAGE. BRIGHT.
As DAYLIGHT would stream through a stained glass window, the garage is illuminated by the setting sun through the west-facing window. The sounds of ALLELUIA waft through the image. MR. CLAMP, a 55-year-old man with serious chiseled into his face, wipes down his ROLLS ROYCE with an expensive cloth. His MOTION is SLOWED. He wears an EXPENSIVE suit with the top collar undone along with the tie. He is totally engrossed in his automobile. Proud of it. This car has been in good hands, mint condition. It is a collector’s item and is pampered as such, even to the point as to have a CRUCIFIX placed on the dashboard.
The EYES of 10-YEAR-OLD-AARON watch his father PAMPER this car.
My mother died giving birth to me in that car.
There was even a large blood stain on the seat
that would never come out. (beat) I certainly
leave an impression don’t I. Funny, birth is
supposed to be a miracle and the most important
thing about that car for my father was the big
black stain in the back.
AARON’s POV - Mr. Clamp keeps his back facing Aaron, unaware of his son’s presence. The view concentrates on his BACK. The light from the window peaks from around his sides like a glowing aura.
INT. CHURCH. BRIGHT.
The sound of ALLELUIA continues. The view is OLD and GRAINY. DAYLIGHT streams through the STAINED GLASS WINDOWS and envelopes the PRIEST who stands behind the pulpit. From a HIGH ANGLE there is MR. CLAMP and his 8-YEAR-OLD son, AARON. They are both smartly dressed and walk down the aisle towards the front pews. There is the sound of KEYS jangling off a CHAIN LOOP that steadily grows louder. The church is crowded.
Aaron and his father kneel in the pew as Aaron MIMICS his father’s prayer. Mr. Clamp’s face is lighted for a passing moment by the reflection of light off a chalice that an altar boy is carrying by. Mr. Clamp’s face is STERN as his eyes dart down towards Aaron who quickly averts his glance downwards and away.
Aaron looks down to his father’s side where the SOUND of his KEYS that are jangling off chain on his belt AMPLIFIES. The view stays on these keys as ALLELUIA ends as if it were just being sung in the church. The echoes of the last note are almost defeaning. The MOTION SLOWS gradually to a CRAWL, then freezes on the image of the KEYS.
AARON’S POV. From a distance Aaron sees his father kneeling in front of many LIT CANDLES, crying. BLUBBERING. His sobs echo off the walls of the now empty church. A SHADOWY FIGURE looks at Aaron from a distance down the hallway. THE FIGURE, AARON, and MR. CLAMP appear to be the only three left in the church. There is a sudden HISSING noise. The view closes on the shadowy figure half-hiding behind a pillar in the deep corridor of the church. It peers at Aaron. The gradual sounds of HISSING increase.
INT. CAR. SMOKEY.
The sounds of HISSING, and IDLING.
Forgive me father for I have sinned. It’s been a
long long time since my last confession but
I’ve had a messy time tonight father, I don’t
know where to start. (beat)I-I’ve never been one
to look for trouble, all I wanted from God was
to be left alone.
There is the sound of a PRIEST CLEARING his THROAT.
Just relax my son.
10-YEAR-OLD AARON’s POV. Looking out the window. He is TRAPPED inside a LOCKED ROLLS ROYCE and is trying to escape. There is carbon monoxide SMOKE inside the car that is so thick, that it is practically impossible to see through. His SMALL HANDS pound against one of the windows in a desperate attempt to get out. There are only the “THUDS” on solid glass, and his loud GASPING. He sees two SHADOWY MEN vaguely through the window. They are standing OUTSIDE the car looking in. They cannot be recognized through the smoke. The Shadowed figures watch like statues as young Aaron’s hands continue to pound on the window. The view closes on these FIGURES.
ANGLE - SMOKING ROLLS ROYCE.
POV - SHADOWY MEN. GARAGE. The rag top ROLLS ROYCE is FUMING with EXHAUST. It sits in an obsessively clean GARAGE under it’s own track lighting. A CRUCIFIX lays on the dash board and can be seen through the windshield. There is a sock shoved in the exhaust pipe. Aaron’s young PALMS can be seen pounding on the inside of the glass. The view CLOSES on them. 10-year-old Aaron cannot be seen behind all the smoke. The SOUNDS FADE.
V.O. (21-YEAR-OLD AARON) I don’t want to say too much but I just have to say something (beat) I seem to have some sort of connection with something bigger here. V.O. (PRIEST) What do you mean? V.O. (21-YEAR-OLD AARON) Premonitions, gifts, I ask for things and they appear... happen... I don’t really ask, but I’m cursed I think. They happen anyway. V.O.(PRIEST) Whatever it is you have done, the lord will forgive you. V.O. (21-YEAR OLD AARON) That’s just it! That’s just it! I - I’m already forgiven because you know the lord, I mean told me to do it. (beat) You know, in so many words. (PAUSE) CUT TO: INT. CONFESSIONAL. 21-YEAR-OLD AARON. The view looks squarely into the face of AARON, a young-looking white kid with long hair and a go-t wearing a “QUICK FIX” SMOCK. There is a small statuette of the VIRGIN MARY above his head. He looks down. (PAUSE) V.O. (PRIEST) Do.. what? The subtle sounds of FIRE begin to blaze. AARON To take a gift.(beat)Tonight. I didn’t want to and then God just, well, kind of obligated me to claim it. CUT TO: EXT. 16-YEAR-OLD AARON’s FACE. NIGHT. The reflection of FIRE dances through his eyes and off his wide, GRINNING drunk face. The SOUNDS of BURNING are now louder. AARON is LOOKING. A BOTTLE of booze comes up to his lips and the view moves from it’s motion to expand and reveal a BOW TIE and TUXEDO collar on Aaron. He is on the side of a ROAD and it is night. There are WOODS to either side of him. The views keeps EXPANDING to reveal an 16-YEAR-OLD MARISSA in a PROM DRESS, DRINKING heavily from the same bottle (swapping it back and forth with Aaron) and holding him tightly with both arms. She is shorter than he and has blonde hair that is dyed black. She ADORES him like a teddy bear in her amourous state. V.O. (21-YEAR-OLD AARON) Shit! I’m a pacifist father, but does that mean I have to be obligated?(beat) I know I should do what’s right, but I mean if it’s your ass or mine, I’ll just kill you, you know. ANGLE AARON’s POV. He has been looking at his father’s ROLLS ROYCE which is ON FIRE and burning very bright. It has just suffered a small explosion. We see the burning wreckage. ANGLE A distance behind MARISSA and AARON. They stand as the ROLLS burns in front of them. POLICE LIGHTS atop a squad car pull hugely into the foreview and stop. The sounds of flame ROAR. CUT TO: INT. CLAMP BEDROOM. BRIGHT. The ROARING of flames carries over. The KEYS lay on the dresser next to a small PORTRAIT of MR. CLAMP and the late MRS. CLAMP. The view slowly cuts the keys out of frame and focuses on the small PORTRAIT. ANGLE 16-YEAR-OLD AARON is LOOKING V.O. (21-YEAR-OLD AARON) He never let anyone touch that car let alone borrow it. But looking at those keys that had been left out by mere chance of fate, it was the most beautiful thing I had seen in a long time. 16-YEAR-OLD-AARON LOOKS harder. INSERT INT. QUIK FIX. TILE FLOOR. The grand orchestral sound of ALLELUIA breaks in as the view moves along the floor and becomes slowed. The view reveals BLOOD STAINS on the floor and then THREE MALE CORPSES. Messy with blood they line up chaotically in a line on the floor. Some of the corpses hold SMOKING PISTOLS in their hands. They all wear NYLONS over their heads. CUT TO: EXT. ROAD. NIGHT. ALLEJULIA keeps playing. The view shows HEADLIGHTS in the distance race towards us. The lights are so bright on the car that we cannot see the grill of it as it ZOOMS hugely straight into view and SMASHES right into our face. ALLELUJIA stops. CUT TO: *DARK SCREEN* SILENCE. The sound of a MATCH being lit up and heavy PUFFING. INT. CONFESSIONAL. BLOODY HANDS. AARON’s hands covered in blood hold a JOINT to his lips as he inhales and puffs deeply. The view STAYS on his BLOODY HANDS. AARON(O.S.) But I’ve sinned pretty bad tonight father. (beat) It’s really more of a gray area, but I’m pretty sure what I’ve done is more just disturbing than, you know, wrong per say (beat)...Father? PRIEST (O.S.) No smoking please. AARON Oh, sorry. Aaron puts the joint out with his fingers and slides it into his shirt pocket. AARON You’re the expert. I just need to know if this miracle I got tonight, if it was really all for the better. Although I already would suggest strongly that-that it is. PRIEST(O.S.) Well yes. My uh, my son, God does not hold grudges like your father may, but you must learn to honor thy mother and father etc. etc. and respect them, always, or it causes a bit of trouble yes? Now say two or so Hail Mary’s and go home to your father tonight... AARON I haven’t seen my father in three years man! We live on opposite sides of the state! He had me arrested and put in juvy hall after I blew up his car and hasn’t spoken to me since. For all I care the ass-hole can die! I just need some guidance on a subject here!. PRIEST (O.S.) Well my son... *HICCUP!* I can’t say anything about that until I know what the subject is. AARON You-you can’t tell? I mean, there’s no aura around me or anything like that? I mean I’ve just been blessed with uncanny coincidence tonight, can’t you sense anything! PRIEST (O.S.) We all sense the lord. Aaron bows his head and SHAKES it, he is not listening. He slowly LOOKS UP. AARON Look, don’t believe if you don’t want to, but do your job okay, I have to get some things off my chest. EXT. QUIK FIX. SIGN. *OPEN TWENTY-FOUR HOURS A DAY* INT. QUIK FIX. The sound of a RADIO with BAD RECEPTION subtly plays over the images. There are Enquirerer magazines and stacks upon stacks of cigarettes. Twinkies and Low Fat chocolate snacks. Diet Cola and natural hippie-brew like Fruitopia, and Gin Sing extract teas at much higher prices. Spam, microwave breakfast burritos, and the bubbling oily OOZE of nacho sauce in a ready to serve condiment tray. The RADIO sits on a counter keeps gurgling the static half-tunes of the airwaves. V.O. (21-YEAR-OLD-AARON) Father, tonight at work, I experienced a divine will. ANGLE The view closes quickly on a door that reads: *MANAGER’S OFFICE* SERIES OF SHOTS: A.) A safe door being unlocked, with the sounds of a twisting combo lock. B.) A CLOCK on the wall just turns 3:00 a.m. C.) AARON looks up from his magazine as he sits behind he counter, as if her heard something. He wears the “QUIK FIX” smock. D.) The *MANAGER’S OFFICE* sign on the door. It opens to reveal: The FACE of an UNSHAVEN MAN who walks out and RUBS his NOSE. He stares straight ahead and then LOOKS to his right as he closes the door behind him. ANGLE MAN’S POV - He sees AARON sitting behind the counter looking up at him. ANGLE AARON’S POV - The unshaven man stares at Aaron for a few uncomfortable moments, and then makes his way towards him and subsequently towards the door. The strange man LOOKS UP at the SECURITY CAMERA in the corner as he leaves, and makes intense eye contact with Aaron just before walking out the door. The BELL over the door CHIMES as he leaves. ANGLE Aaron continues to look in the direction of the door as the CHIMING ECHOES. He LOOKS UP at the security cameras, and then over to the door which reads: *MANAGER’S OFFICE* The door opens as Aaron’s head moves into view. ANGLE AARON’S POV - There is a man at the end of the long hallway of the interior of the office, it is SLY. He is twisting the knob of a safe combination lock. He is SHORT, but SHARPLY dressed for a manager, with a suit and tie. He turns quickly as he sees Aaron watching him and jumps to the corner of his desk where there is a PILE of WHITE POWDER on a MIRROR. He attempts to hide it but spills it all on the Floor. SLY Don’t you fucking knock! Shut that door! ANGLE UNDER THE DESK - The spilled COCAINE in the FOREGROUND, AARON in the BACKGROUND. Aaron keeps the door open. AARON I just curious as to why... SLY Didn’t you hear me you part-time fuck! Close the god-damn door! CUT TO: The CLOSED Manager’s Office door. SLY walks out of the back door and checks his perfectly manicured hair. The view follows him as he walks behind the counter to AARON. He leans into Aaron’s face who is reading a magazine. Aaron does not look up but keeps reading. SLY Do you know what that office is back there? AARON The uh, manager’s office? SLY Very good. Next time you decide to interrupt the manager.. He POINTS to his “QUIK FIX” badge. SLY ..without knocking, make sure to remember that the manager manages your ass, and without a manager your ass doesn’t have a job, get it cocksucker? Aaron looks over to SLY slowly, then from under the counter pulls a 12-gauge SHOTGUN up and sticks it under SLY’S chin. SLY FREEZES. AARON Hey ass-manager, I just wanted to ask you why the hell we have a loaded shotgun under the counter? Sly angrily grabs the shotgun out of Aaron’s hands and is about to speak when the BELL CHIMES over the door and Sly quickly drops the gun behind the counter and begins fixing his hair. ANGLE AARON’S POV - The MOTION is SLOWED. Nice DRESS SHOES enter the store. The sound of the RADIO in the store comes in CLEARER suddenly. The view follows up the leg that belong to the shoes and REVEAL a pair of JANGLING KEYS fastened to a belt with a CHAIN LOOP. The RADIO suddenly tunes in clear as day the song, “SOMEDAY NEVER COMES.” The view continues moving up the man as his wrist is shown to have a ROLEX attached to it. His hands covered in black leather driving gloves, he also is wearing an expensive long coat, a classy suit with a TIE. The view stops as it REVEALS the man’s FACE. The stranger wears SUNGLASSES, but there is no hiding the fact that it is AARON’S FATHER, MR. CLAMP. ANGLE Aaron and his father stare at each other. Mr. Clamp takes off his sunglasses and keeps staring at Aaron. He looks intense. SLY greets MR. CLAMP as someone brown-nosing a wealthy customer from the other side of the counter. MR. CLAMP looks over to SLY and begins SMALLTALK. Mr. Clamp is slightly receptive. Aaron looks at THEIR TIES and sees that they are both an IDENTICLE shade of WHITE. ANGLE Aaron looks down at his own “QUICK FIX” SMOCK. TWO other “SUITS” dressed like his father enter the store. They grab items and then line up in front of the register. Mr. Clamp gets third in line behind them. The “Suits” file through, one after another - each buying sugar - until it is Mr. Clamp’s turn. He WEARS his sunglasses now and has his head AVERTED away from Aaron as if he were slightly ashamed. Aaron keeps his head low and does not look. There is an odd silence. MR. CLAMP begins to mouth some words and only gets dry air before he can formulate anything coherent. MR. CLAMP Pump four. He lays a twenty on the counter. Aaron still makes no eye contact as he rings it up. Suddenly the RADIO fizzles into low STATIC again as The sound of the BELL CHIMING over the door ECHOES. Aaron finally looks up to see his father has disappeared. It is almost GHOSTLY how he is suddenly gone. The view CLOSES on Aaron’s face as the chiming of the bell keeps resonating an ECHO. The SOUNDS of a PEN SCRATCHING ON PAPER begin. The SCRATCHING PEN gets louder and more DISTORTED, before we see Aaron’s face TURN PALE and his mouth dip into a DAZED FROWN as the SCRATCHING becomes CLAWING. ANGLE SLY Don’t you ever point a gun at me again, for all I know you’re a fucking psycho! The DISTORTED SCRATCHING/CLAWING gets louder, the sound of LOFTY CHORAL CLASSICAL MUSIC bleeds in over the image. ANGLE The FULORESCENT LIGHT in the cieling TWITCHES BRIGHTER as the image BLEEDS into a WHITE SCREEN. CROSS FADE: INT. AARON’S BEDROOM. BRIGHT BULB. The view EXPANDS from a LIGHT BULB in a lamp. The SOUNDS of DISTORTED SCRATCHING of a pen on paper can still be heard. They view expands more to reveal that the lamp sits on a small desk. The sounds DIMINISH to normal levels. In the background, the toilet is heard FLUSHING. INSERT INT. BATHROOOM. HIGH ANGLE. A TOILET is seen FLUSHING and the water whirlpooling into the center. CUT BACK TO: INT. BEDROOM. Tight on the head of a PEN as it SCRATCHES in a book of paper. The Flushing is in the background once again. The view moves from the pen slowly off the book and to a LARGE PILE of MARIJUANA sitting next to the book in a plastic bagggie. ANGLE Behind AARON who is the one writing so frantically at the desk. The view closes on his BACK as the desk light bleeds around him creating an aura. ANGLE MARISSA stands at the door of the bedroom, looking at the back of him.
Based on the novel by Aleister Crowley, Moonchild, or re-named for the film:
“The Ambition of Cyril Grey”
Genre: A love story with horror overtones.
Premise: A love story about a white magician who attempts to advance himself in magical ability by impregnating a young girl with the soul of a saviour.
Aleister Crowley, the famed black magician of the turn of the century, and the publisher and scholar of several magical theorems and occult knowledge was a member of the Golden Dawn (a Hermetic Order) before he went sour and ruined his life with drug addiction. A master influence in the occult world, (especially today, with a rebirth of modern Crowley enthusiasts), and commonly held as being “before his time,” Moonchild (1917) was his most famous fiction work on the subject. He broke many oaths of secrecy in his life regarding the divine knowledge of magic and put them all in writing. Moonchild is a perfect example of this broken taboo. Several hit films of today (Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Sixth Sense, A Beautiful Mind) all have in common the inseparable themes of “magick” and psychology – the appearance of things only seen to the select few who have been chosen to be witnesses. This idea of stories that show what cannot be shown through characters that defy mediocre normalcy, is exactly what movies should be made of, and the money in the box office is proof. These are the characters Crowley writes about – they are known as initiates, and they hold the secrets and methods into seeing the unseen worlds, to manipulating their subtle energies to cause reactions and phenomena in the physical world. These magicians are box office gold, and Crowley seemed to know ahead of time how much money the subject matter of Harry Potter and Lord of the Rings would make. Moonchild is an excuse for him to lecture on the subject of magick, and the book reads like screen instructions. The actions are so matter of fact in their presentation, that most of each chapter is taken up with dialogue! (most of which is not needed to move the story forward, but instead some strange manifestation of his ego). It seems as though he was writing for the movies before there were even any real feature films. As a novel it is sub-standard, but as a film it is vibrant with lush thick images, and a story-line unique to the tune of Roman Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby. While everyone is creating movies about magic and psychology, here sits Crowley’s Moonchild, one of the only real attempts to put this very popular subject in a “realistic” vein.
The film follows the character of a young girl who is seduced by a white magician into helping him in a magical battle with a black magician and the rest of his black lodge. Cyril Grey (the white magician) is attempting to raise the level of his power by impregnating the girl (Lisa Guiferra) with the soul of a saviour that will bring great peace and goodness to the Earth. His arch nemesis (Douglas) is bent on destroying Cyril’s plan and the naïve young Lisa. As the story unfolds we are brought through mesmerizing visual spiritual experiences and the horrifying inner workings of both a black and a white lodge. Set in the year leading up to World War I, Cyril is a man who used to be part of the black lodge, and now must come to terms with his own inner lust for power and acceptance that lingers from those days, and his human side that must realize the necessity of true love to perform any real magick of worth to humankind. Ending with the outbreak of World War I and the German attempt to take Paris, Cyril fails in his task, but reaches a great enlightenment as he realizes the love that was missing between he and Lisa after seeing Douglas’s gruesome death before his eyes – coming to see that he, in fact, put more energy into defeating Douglas, than he did in nurturing his relationship with Lisa. He learns the incompatible relationship between Love and ambition; he understands in the end that ambition is not love, and for all his love of magick, it is useless without compassion for his fellow man.
@2000 Anatoly Antohin ©2004 filmplus.org *
2005-2006 Theatre UAF Season: Four Farces + One Funeral & Godot'06
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