Author Topic: The beginning of Act 2 in my newest screenplay - Thank you (adult language)  (Read 2338 times)

Offline Kindred

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Ext. Randolph Caineís Mansion Ė Germany - Night

Itís dark and cold. A limo pulls up to the 20,000 square foot home. The door opens and Ryan steps out.

As he walks toward the front door, a young woman appears. Itís STEPHANIE RODGERS, 20s, one of Randolphís many assistants. She is strikingly beautiful. She approaches Ryan quickly as if he is late for somethingÖ

STEPHANIE

Mr. Schaefer. Welcome.

Stephanie walks to the door along-side Ryan. Ryan looks up and sees a rose over a cross with the letters "J" and "H" under them on the top of the door.

STEPHANIE

Let me take your coat.

RYAN

Thank you. And you are?

STEPHANIE

Stephanie. Stephanie Rodgers. I work for Mr. Caine.

RYAN

(sarcastically)

Lucky you.


stephanie

(not picking up on it)

I know.



As they speak, they walk through the foyer and into the living room. The interior of the home is breathtaking. Every element seems to be chosen with the utmost detail.

The ceilings are 35 feet high. As they pass the grand, split staircase and enter the living room, they pass a Monet on the wall. The Neo-Classical, transitional feel is grandiose but tasteful. Stephanie steps in front of Ryan and motions for him to sit on the couch.

Stephanie

Please. Take a seat. Mr. Caine will be here shortly.

Ryan walks past the couch with his hands in his pockets, pacing slowly.

RYAN

Iíll stand. Thank you.

Stephanie

Well can I at least have someone get you a drink?

RYAN

That wonít be necessary.

STephanie

Very well. Good evening.

She exits.


Ryan walks slowly from one area of the living room to the next. He stops at different artifacts. He comes to a photo of Randolph next to Ronald Reagan. He shakes his head as we hear a voice from behind him.

RANDOLPH

(referring to the photo)

Kindred Summit 1985.

RYAN

Reagan?

RANDOLPH

Clinton, Bush, Nixon, Kennedy. Weíve got twenty-seven of them.

Ryan tries to temper his shock over the number

RANDOLPH

Elite company youíre in, huh?

(Ryan nods)

I donít believe weíve met. Iím Randolph Caine.

Randolph extends his arm to shake

RYAN

(reluctantly reciprocating)

 Ryan Schaefer.

RANDOLPH

Itís a pleasure.

He smiles but doesnít seem to be getting much from Ryan in return. Heís accustomed to people being more impressed.  As he continues to smile and look at Ryan, he realizes heíll not get anything out of him.

RANDOLPH

I can see you donít like bullshit.

RYAN

That's the first thing I've heard or seen since Iíve walked in here that doesnít make me want to puke.

RANDOLPH

(somewhat disgusted)

Very well then.

(loudly)

Can you come in here please?

Caitlin enters the room. She's dressed to seduce, but with class. She saunters slowly to the wet bar, and speaks as she looks over the liquor.

CAITLIN

Can I get you gentlemen a drink?

Randolph looks at Caitlin and then back at Ryan. He's attempting to get an emotional response from him but is failing.

Randolph

Scotch. Highland Park on the rocks, my dear.

He continues smiling in Ryanís direction, and speaks in a whisper.

RANDOLPH

You are full of youthful courage, arenít you?

RYAN

Why donít we cut the shit?

Caitlin whips around handing one drink to Randolph and offering the other to Ryan.

CAITLIN

I took the liberty of making one for you Ryan.

RYAN

Do you have any idea how much agony I have gone through because of you?

CAITLIN

Yes, I do Ryan.

RYAN

Do you? Because I donít think either one of you can fully grasp what I am talking about. First, I hear you committed suicide because of me...

(getting angry again)

Then I make a decision to ďjoinĒ...

(making quote signs)

...because of what I believed to be some Karmic Intervention, and as if that wasn't enough, the woman that I was going to marry is gone now because the dead girl threw herself in front of my fucking car. Have I missed anything?

RANDOLPH

(remaining perfectly calm)

No Ryan. Youíve covered it all. Perhaps it would be better if I explained our process of determining how and why we intervene. And frankly Ryan, I want to make something very clear.

(becoming enraged, but contained)

I owe you no explanation, and if I wanted to end this right now, I could and there would never be another word spoken about it. Just remember something, young man, when you say your prayers at night, you arenít praying to God, youíre praying to meÖ

Randolph breaks the tension and walks in the direction of the other room.

RANDOLPH

(casually)

It's really just semantics, I suppose.

(calling to the other room)

Margaret? Would you come in here please?

MARGARET

(entering and walking to Ryan)

Hello, Ryan.

Margaret flashes a smile and then leans in to give Ryan a kiss on the cheek, but he pulls away from her. She smiles uncomfortably.

RANDOLPH

Now, my dear. I think it best that you explain.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2011, 08:15:24 AM by Maimi »

Offline jvk1120

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I haven't seen Act 1 but that is interesting. The only part I thought that didn't fit with the rest..the "quote" symbols.  He didn't seem like the type who would "say" that...otherwise well done!

Offline creatoriat

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I haven't seen the start either so I don't know who Caine is. It would clear things for me.

Ext. Randolph Caineís Mansion Ė Germany - Night (Should be in caps)

Itís dark and cold. A limo pulls up to the 20,000 square foot home. The door opens and Ryan steps out.

As he walks toward the front door, a young woman appears. Itís STEPHANIE RODGERS, 20s, one of Randolphís many assistants. She is strikingly beautiful. She approaches Ryan quickly as if he is late for somethingÖ
(Here you are telling me that the woman is beautiful, how do I know? The last sentence is confusing, how does she know?)

STEPHANIE

Mr. Schaefer. Welcome.

Stephanie walks to the door along-side Ryan. Ryan looks up and sees a rose over a cross with the letters "J" and "H" under them on the top of the door. (What does that signify?)

STEPHANIE

Let me take your coat.

RYAN

Thank you. And you are?

STEPHANIE

Stephanie. Stephanie Rodgers. I work for Mr. Caine.

RYAN

(sarcastically) (I would leave that out, let the director decide.)

Lucky you.


stephanie

(not picking up on it)

I know. (!!? On saying 'I know', she is responding)



As they speak, they walk through the foyer and into the living room. The interior of the home is breathtaking. Every element seems to be chosen with the utmost detail.

The ceilings are 35 feet high. As they pass the grand, split staircase and enter the living room, they pass a Monet on the wall. The Neo-Classical, transitional feel is grandiose but tasteful. Stephanie steps in front of Ryan and motions for him to sit on the couch. (Now you are telling again)

Stephanie

Please. Take a seat. Mr. Caine will be here shortly.

Ryan walks past the couch with his hands in his pockets, pacing slowly.

RYAN

Iíll stand. Thank you.

Stephanie

Well can I at least have someone get you a drink?

RYAN

That wonít be necessary.

STephanie

Very well. Good evening.

She exits.


Ryan walks slowly from one area of the living room to the next. He stops at different artifacts. He comes to a photo of Randolph next to Ronald Reagan. He shakes his head as we hear a voice from behind him. (Does he not hear the voice also?)

RANDOLPH

(referring to the photo) (Obviously)

Kindred Summit 1985.

RYAN

Reagan?

RANDOLPH

Clinton, Bush, Nixon, Kennedy. Weíve got twenty-seven of them. (Does he mean photos?)

Ryan tries to temper his shock over the number. (How do we know 'he tries to temper his shock'?)

RANDOLPH

Elite company youíre in, huh? (I accept the Americanism, he's bragging)

(Ryan nods) (Why?)

I donít believe weíve met. Iím Randolph Caine.

Randolph extends his arm to shake (What else for?)

RYAN

(reluctantly reciprocating) (How do we know he is reluctant?)

 Ryan Schaefer.

RANDOLPH

Itís a pleasure.

He smiles but doesnít seem to be getting much from Ryan in return. Heís accustomed to people being more impressed.  As he continues to smile and look at Ryan, he realizes heíll not get anything out of him. (How do we know this?)

RANDOLPH

I can see you donít like bullshit.

RYAN

That's the first thing I've heard or seen since Iíve walked in here that doesnít make me want to puke.

RANDOLPH

(somewhat disgusted) (In what way?)

Very well then.

(loudly)

Can you come in here please? (No name!!?)

Caitlin (Caps here) enters the room. She's dressed to seduce, but with class. She saunters slowly to the wet bar, and speaks as she looks over the liquor. (Is she naked? What is she wearing- briefly)

CAITLIN

Can I get you gentlemen a drink?

Randolph looks at Caitlin and then back at Ryan. He's attempting to get an emotional response from him but is failing. (Yes, I know - How do we know that - again)

Randolph

Scotch. Highland Park on the rocks, my dear.

He continues smiling in Ryanís direction, and speaks in a whisper. (He continues?)

RANDOLPH

You are full of youthful courage, arenít you?

RYAN

Why donít we cut the shit?

Caitlin whips (without spilling anything ?) around handing one drink to Randolph and offering the other to Ryan. (Good verb change)

CAITLIN

I took the liberty of making one for you Ryan.

(Does he take the offered drink or not?)

RYAN

Do you have any idea how much agony I have gone through because of you?

CAITLIN

Yes, I do Ryan.

RYAN

Do you? Because I donít think either one of you can fully grasp what I am talking about. First, I hear you committed suicide because of me...

(getting angry again) (Stop telling.)

Then I make a decision to ďjoinĒ...

(making quote signs) (Do people still do that? I thought it was dated?)

...because of what I believed to be some Karmic Intervention, and as if that wasn't enough, the woman that I was going to marry is gone now because the dead girl threw herself in front of my fucking car. Have I missed anything?

RANDOLPH

(remaining perfectly calm) ('Calmly' would have done just as well)

No Ryan. Youíve covered it all. Perhaps it would be better if I explained our process of determining how and why we intervene. And frankly Ryan, I want to make something very clear.

(becoming enraged, but contained) (Not again)

I owe you no explanation, and if I wanted to end this right now, I could and there would never be another word spoken about it. Just remember something, young man, when you say your prayers at night, you arenít praying to God, youíre praying to meÖ

Randolph breaks the tension (how is that apparent?)and walks in the direction of the other room.

RANDOLPH

(casually)

It's really just semantics, I suppose.

(calling to the other room)

Margaret? Would you come in here please?

MARGARET

(entering and walking to Ryan)

Hello, Ryan.

Margaret (She) flashes a smile and then leans in (over) to give Ryan a kiss on the cheek, but he pulls away from her. She smiles uncomfortably. (What does that look like or better still how does she react physically?)

RANDOLPH

Now, my dear. I think it best that you explain.

                                                              ***

You must realize you are not writing a book but painting a picture, several pictures, moving ones, where thoughts are not included. You have to describe your character's actions and reactions physically. To say a woman is ugly or pretty tells me nothing, you have to describe her.
« Last Edit: May 04, 2011, 04:57:39 AM by creatoriat »

Offline Kindred

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Thank you for the input.  I have incorporated about half of what you commented on, and see the reasoning for all of it.  What I failed to mention and apologize for not making clearer is that I a much more interested in pacing, tone, and story feedback.  My production company has optioned 7 screenplays and have taken 3 to fruition.  What many writers do not realize is that we care very little about the "rules" ... Things such as over use of parentheticals, and ellipses, or using "we hear"  matter very little to us.  The overall direction of the screenplay is what we are concerned with and if it will put butts in seats. Pardon the Americanism, but that is what it comes down to for us.  I hope you do not take this the wrong way, because I certainly do appreciate the feedback, but at times I wondered if you were more interested in flexing textbook muscle than you were interested in helping me. Just an observation...  At any rate, thanks again for your very helpful comments.

Offline 510bhan

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Thank you for the input.  I have incorporated about half of what you commented on, and see the reasoning for all of it.  What I failed to mention and apologize for not making clearer is that I a much more interested in pacing, tone, and story feedback.  My production company has optioned 7 screenplays and have taken 3 to fruition.  What many writers do not realize is that we care very little about the "rules" ... Things such as over use of parentheticals, and ellipses, or using "we hear"  matter very little to us.  The overall direction of the screenplay is what we are concerned with and if it will put butts in seats. Pardon the Americanism, but that is what it comes down to for us.  I hope you do not take this the wrong way, because I certainly do appreciate the feedback, but at times I wondered if you were more interested in flexing textbook muscle than you were interested in helping me. Just an observation...  At any rate, thanks again for your very helpful comments.

That's fine Kindred and it's great to have an experienced writer here. Many are newcomers and are keen to make sure they present their work correctly, complacency is a luxury only afforded to those already in the game.

Anyways . . .

There is certainly interest piqued as to the where/how and why of this surreal situation. It might be helpful if you mentioned briefly what happens in Act 1 so we can see how this runs on from it or if there are things the viewer/audience needs to follow the story and how the pace feels. ;) ;) ;)

Offline Maimi

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Hello Nick,

Thank you for noting what type of feedback you prefer.

I didn't find myself hoping you'd get on with the story. Ryan did get me. I thought he was the big player pulling up to his house. Of course it's not his house, but belongs to a bigger player with a tremendous ego. I'm interested in finding out just what the egomaniac is up to.

Quote
STephanie

Very well. Good evening.

She exits.
'Good evening' is usually a greeting. It sounded strange as a farewell, however, I'm familiar with 'Have a good evening' being used when departing.

Quote
CAITLIN

I took the liberty of making one for you Ryan.


CAITLIN

Yes, I do Ryan.


RANDOLPH

(remaining perfectly calm)

No Ryan. Youíve covered it all. Perhaps it would be better if I explained our process of determining how and why we intervene. And frankly Ryan, I want to make something very clear.
This is probably intentional, but Caitlin and Randolph saying Ryan's name the second time stood out. Don't worry, I caught his name is what I thought on the read through.

-Maimi

P.S. I'm trying to learn and apply the rules you said 'we' care little about, since I'm new to the industry. Every guide, manual, and piece of information I've come across on the internet states my work won't get beyond a thumb through if it's bloated with parentheticals and other ignored rules. Until a script of mine is optioned and produced, unless what you said about rules is an industry standard and someone has played a cruel joke on new writers, I'm a slave to the rules ... for now. :)

Offline Kindred

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Let me make it clear as to not be misleading...  I am a producer turned writer... All of my professional work has been done as an actor and producer.  I have (along with other made the decision to purchase rights) and I can count on one finger how often the material was nearly flawless.  It's interesting to go back now and look at it to see what people got away with then.  Enough about that though, Maimi, it is unfortunate, as my wife just said pointed out... That talented writers with an excellent story to tell are slaves to "rules"... Don't get me wrong, they have their place, but to be totally candid, they are a way to determine what to read and what to chuck. If you can get past the first few gatekeepers you will find things become much more free-spirited.  All of this comes with a huge caveat and that is that you have a well paced, well told, exceptional screenplay.  An example would be the "never say we hear or see" rule.  Check out "No Country for Old Men". The beginning of the screenplay is littered with it.  On a side note, I do agree with the parenthetical rule for the most part.  Subtext should be implied.  However, there is interesting blog entry on Johnaugust.com that counts some famous movies parantheticals that is an interesting read.  Thanks for the feedback, and yes the Ryan's were intentional.

Offline Maimi

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You give me hope, Nick.

Thanks for the reference to the blog. I'll check it out.

And congratulations on your successes. :)

-Maimi

Offline creatoriat

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Thank you for the input.  I have incorporated about half of what you commented on, and see the reasoning for all of it.  What I failed to mention and apologize for not making clearer is that I a much more interested in pacing, tone, and story feedback.  My production company has optioned 7 screenplays and have taken 3 to fruition.  What many writers do not realize is that we care very little about the "rules" ... Things such as over use of parentheticals, and ellipses, or using "we hear"  matter very little to us.  The overall direction of the screenplay is what we are concerned with and if it will put butts in seats. Pardon the Americanism, but that is what it comes down to for us.  I hope you do not take this the wrong way, because I certainly do appreciate the feedback, but at times I wondered if you were more interested in flexing textbook muscle than you were interested in helping me. Just an observation...  At any rate, thanks again for your very helpful comments.

Thank you for your reply. I don't quite understand the phrase 'flexing text book muscle'.

I read a book by an american screenplay writer and I passed on his message to you.

Your words in parenthesis are suggestions to the director, an method accepted in screenplays and stage plays and used by 'showing' in novels.

But, in a screenplay you can not tell how or what a character is thinking, that is strictly reserved for books. In a screenplay and is also suggested in novels, a character's feelings are revealed by his/her actions and the director takes his cue from there.

This criticism comes from common sense. I have no idea about rules.

I know there are screenplays adapted from screenplays and revised screenplays, usually written by the director or a professional revisionist.

I hope this is clear to you as I was answering your request for criticism.


Offline Kindred

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Right, got it. Thank you.  Like I said, your critiques were helpful, and I incorporated half of them.  It is hard to believe that you are coming from a genuine place though, because of some of your comments.  A very common and crucial place to use parantheticals is when you need to be clear of ones intention.  Having been an actor for many years, if someone refused to use a parenthetical when they knew that I was to be sarcastic it would have driven me crazy.  Additionally, like some of the things I have mentioned in previous posts...Knowing ones body language and the way that people speak is crucial to writing dialogue in particular and knowing your characters and in the end, writing a great and believable story.  For instance, if someone is waiting on their cue to enter the room it isn't necessary for the person calling their name to address them by name.  Then again that is real life... not real writing.  The same goes for the idea of a person saying "we've got 27 of them", sure in the writing world that would most certainly be referring to the photos mentioned the line before, but in the real world it may be referring to something that has not been mentioned, but only implied. You see... This is what it all comes down to.  There were mistakes with the screenplay, and I had just finished the first draft.  There are punctuation, grammar, and rule errors all over the thing that I will be sending to my editor, but it is a compelling story that causes people to keep reading.  It's a shame that I feel the need to even respond to this, as my wife just pointed out, but again...There were so many suggestions that were so clearly an example of you being the exact opposite of helpful. That being said, I do appreciate the feedback that you gave me that helped the overall feel to the piece.  We'll leave it at that.  Thank you