Great Scenes: Mix 1 | Script Gods

 
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Great Scenes: Mix 1
January 16th, 2017 by paul peditto

v for vendettaToday we’ll look at classic scenes, studying the clips/scripts from famous scenes in an effort to help with your dialogue. Not sure if I buy that imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. My hope is you can synthesize how these words look on the page and incorporate them with an original touch in your own writing. Let’s get going…

  • V FOR VENDETTA

The Revolution speech. Notice how the Wachowskis move us to and from multiple people to break up the long monologue. They take liberties with a few (V.O.)’s not being inserted, but I seriously doubt the money folks cared. Story over format every day of the week. Anyone looking to visualize a long monologue, this is a great example of how to do it…

                              V
                    Good evening, London.
          
                              CREEDY
                    Bloody fuckin' hell.
          
                              V
                    I thought it was time we had a
                    little talk.
          
                              FINCH
                    He has to be at Jordan tower.  Come
                    on!
          
          Finch and Dominic rush out of the room.  Creedy looks at his
          confused men.
          
                              CREEDY
                    Don't just stand there!  Follow
                    them!
          
          INT.  LEADER'S OFFICE
          
          V smiles at the horrified Adam Susan.
          
                              V
                    Are you sitting comfortably?  Good. 
                    Then I'll begin.
          
          The Leader screams, pounding on Fate.
          
                              LEADER
                    Damn you!  Damn you!
          
          He hits the intercom.
          
                              LEADER
                    Lieutenant, ready my transport.  I
                    want every armed man within a
                    hundred miles at Jordan tower. 
                    Now!
          
          We move in at VTV.
          
                              V
                    Right now, I imagine there are
                    hundreds of soldiers rushing here
                    to kill me because someone does not
                    want us to talk.
          
          We pull back in --
          
          INT.  LIVING ROOM
          
          A family watching television.  In the background, two
          children are squabbling.
          
                              MOTHER
                    Hush.  Turn it up.
          
          The husband does.  V's voice gets louder as we move towards
          him.
          
                              V
                    They are afraid that I am going to
                    say the things that are not
                    supposed to be said.  They are
                    afraid that I am going to say the
                    truth.
          
          INT.  APARTMENT
          
          A man sits on his couch, mesmerized by V.
          
                              V
                    The truth is that there is
                    something terribly wrong with this
                    country, isn't there?  If you look
                    about, you witness cruelty,
                    injustice and despotism.  But what
                    do you do about it?  What can you
                    do?
          
          He pops his beer tab and the beer foams over the couch but he
          doesn't seem to notice.
          
          INT.  FINCH'S POLICE CAR
          
          The car races wildly towards Jordan tower as Finch and
          Dominic listen to the broadcast on the radio.
          
                              V (V.O.)
                    You are but a single individual. 
                    How can you possible make any
                    difference?  Individuals have no
                    power in this modern world. 
                    That is what you've been taught
                    because that is what they need you
                    to believe.  But it is not true.
          
          INT.  LEADER'S TRANSPORT
          
          The Leader seethes, staring at three television monitors in
          his limo which are all filled with V.
          
                              V
                    This is why they are afraid and the
                    reason that I am here; to remind
                    you that it is individuals who
                    always hold the power.  The real
                    power.  Individuals like me.  And
                    individuals like you.
          
          INT.  KITTY KAT KELLER
          
          The bar is almost completely soundless except for the voice
          of V.  People stare at the television as if the moment were
          somehow suspended in time.
          
                              V
                    I have come to offer you a deal. 
                    If you accept, I will give you a
                    different world.  A world without
                    curfews, without soldiers and
                    surveillance systems.  A world that
                    is not run by other men but that is
                    run by you.  I am offering you a
                    second chance.
          
          EXT.  JORDAN TOWER
          
          The military forces have begun to swarm.
          
                              V
                    Four hundred years ago, a great
                    citizen made a most significant
                    contribution to our common culture. 
                    It was a contribution forged in
                    secrecy and stealth although it is
                    best remembered in noise and bright
                    light.
          
          EXT.  TELEVISION STORE
          
          A crowd has gathered, watching through the window.
          
                              V
                    To commemorate that glorious night
                    at precisely the stroke of
                    midnight, the edifice of their
                    world will erupt with enough sound
                    and fury to shake the earth.  All I
                    ask is that you join me at the
                    gates to watch as the past is
                    erased, the pathway cleared so that
                    together we can start toward a new
                    day.
          
          EXT.  JORDAN TOWER
          
          The Leader climbs out of his limo and is met by one of his
          captains.
          
                              LEADER
                    I want this man dead!  I want him
                    shot on sight!
          
                              CAPTAIN
                    Yes, sir.
          
          INT.  FINCH'S CAR
          
          Finch can see the forces gathering outside Jordan tower.
          
                              V (V.O.)
                    But, you ask, who am I to make such
                    promises?  A fair question but
                    hardly necessary as you know me
                    already.  To know me any more you
                    need only look to a mirror.
          
          Finch catches a glimpse of himself in the mirror.
          
          INT.  CONTROL BOOTH
          
          VTV fills every screen.
          
                              V
                    Truth be told, this wasn't even my
                    idea, was it?  If you think back,
                    you'll remember that night,
                    whispering in your lover's arms.  I
                    became a part of your plan just as
                    you have now become part of mine. 
                    Give me the line of the queen and
                    I'll give you your secret dream.
          
          INT.  JORDAN TOWER - HALLWAY
          
          A heavy battering ram is rushed down the hall, carried by
          four soldiers.
          
                              V (V.O.)
                    On the twelfth stroke of the fifth
                    day of the eleventh month, I hope
                    we shall all meet again.
          
          EXT.  TELEVISION STORE
          
          The crowd is much larger.
          
                              V
                    Until then, I bid you goodnight.


  • THE THIRD MAN: FERRIS WHEEL SCENE

No script here, but one of the greatest scenes of all time. Marvel at how breezy Wells is as he threatens to kill Joseph Cotton, then backs off to be that most charming of villains, Harry Lime, ending with his famous cuckoo-clock speech.

  • LADY FROM SHANGHAI

Can you imagine that Lady From Shanghai was considered a failure when it came out? Iconic hall of mirrors scene is like nothing before or since. Love Wells with the Irish brogue. The words ain’t bad, but it’s the bullet-shattering glass in a carnival hall that will live 100 years from now…. “it’s a bright, guilty world.”

  • THE BIG SHORT- MARGOT ROBBIE IN A BUBBLE-BATH EXPLAINING…SOMETHING

What’s funny is that there is no Margot Robbie in the script. It’s Scarlett Johansson, under a waterfall! Casting issues aside, one of the most original ways to get us to learn about an utterly boring subject is to have us not be able to look away from the screen for some other reason, aka Margot Robbie naked and drinking champagne under bubbles…name me one scene like it in the history of movies…

The scene freezes.
MODERN TRADER (V.O.)
Mortgage backed securities,
subprime loans, tranches… Pretty
confusing right? Does it make you
feel bored? Or stupid? Well, it’s
supposed to. Wall Street loves to
use confusing terms to make you
think only they can do what they
do. Or even better, for you to
leave them the fuck alone. So
here’s Scarlett Johansson under a
water falls to explain…
EXT. SMALL WATERFALL – DAY

SCARLETT JOHANSSON in a white T shirt and cut off jeans let’s

the waterfall run over her while explaining mortgage backed

securities.
SCARLETT JOHANSSON
Basically Lewis Ranieri’s Mortgage
bonds were amazingly profitable for
the big banks. They made billions
and billions off of their 2% fee on
each of these bonds they sold. But
then they started running out of
mortgages to put in them. After
all, there’s only so many homes and
so many people with good enough
jobs to buy them. So the banks
starting doing something different.
Instead of creating mortgage bonds
that were guaranteed by the US
government, they started creating
their own private mortgage bonds.
No government, no pesky standards
like good credit or minimum income.
And then the big banks were able to
fill the bonds with riskier and
riskier mortgages and keep the
profit machine churning. By the
way, the risky mortgages are called
“subprime.” Anytime you hear
subprime, think shit.
Michael Burry found out these
mortgage bonds that we supposedly
65% AAA were actually mostly full
of shit, so now he’s going to
“short” the bonds, which means to
“bet against.” Got it? Good”


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