Once Upon A Dream by PhanÐira

Happy to announce that I published a novel through AuthorHouse UK.
You can order for the hard copies from the links below.The ebook format are available for download on AuthorHouse US, Amazon, Bookdepository, and Barnes&Noble. (http://bookstore.authorhouse.com/Products/SKU-000961562/Once-Upon-A-Dream.aspx)

Book title: Once Upon A Dream…
Genre: SciFi.

Once Upon A Dream tells a story set in a fantastically bizarre future. It is told by way of a dreamscape, mind-trip narrative style that presents a quirky take on an undeniably strange, but oddly familiar future. It is a different world with a different manner of speech. Readers are taken through the dreams, the nightmares, the past, the present and the possible future.

http://www.authorhouse.co.uk/Bookstore/BookDetail.aspx?BookId=SKU-000961562

For Nigeria: http://www.amazon.com/Once-Upon-Dream-Dream-Dream-Phandira/dp/1496988701

“Once Upon A Dream”
By PhanÐira
Softcover | 5 x 8in | 306 pages | ISBN 9781496988706
E-Book | 306 pages | ISBN 9781496988713
Available at Amazon and Barnes&Nobel; AuthorHouse UK

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Movie Lyrics: “Valerex: The Same King” (02)

From my script “Valerex: The Same King”; another scene from what I’ve been up to lately… just glad I’m done with it now, finally moving on to another one.

EXT – SEWID FOREST – NIGHT

Jasmine is now riding on the horse with Maxwell sitting behind her. The uncomfortable Jasmine keeps looking to the sky in search of the moon, she doesn’t want to get eaten. Taking her head down from one of her moon-search, she sees a small house not too far ahead.

MAXWELL
The horse is getting tired.

JASMINE
Better the horse than you, your grace. There is a house up ahead.

MAXWELL
A house? We should knock, I need food at least.

JASMINE
We are in Sewid, your grace.

MAXWELL
So?

JASMINE
Majority of Sewidians are witches, certainly the minority are the male folks who then are wizards.

MAXWELL
I am still king here. They won’t dare to attack me.

JASMINE
Not attacking you. You want food, they could poison you.

MAXWELL
We’ll see about that. Hunger will kill me nonetheless.

JASMINE
Poison will kill you faster.

An oddly dressed witch (HDMI) suddenly speaks up beside Maxwell’s horse; Maxwell and Jasmine are startled.

HDMI
You are in my land.

JASMINE
(Pulls a sword at Hdmi)
This whole land belongs to the King…

HDMI
And the last time I slept, the king was a man, not a lady.

Hdmi again speaks up from the front of her house, away from Jasmine and Maxwell.

HDMI
Do you always threaten strangers with your sword?

The surprised Jasmine is dazed and she shakes her head vigorously. She realises Hdmi is now standing in front of the house lined by 20 oddly dressed malnourished servants.

MAXWELL
We are the strangers here and your behaviour is threatening us.

HDMI
It is not my behaviour, it is my nature.

Hdmi’s servants become extremely uncomfortable.

JASMINE
(Whispers to Maxwell)
A witch…

HDMI
…yes, the witch Hdmi of Sewid.

MAXWELL
What is wrong with your people?

One of Hdmi’s servants screams and runs off; another stabs herself and her body vanishes.
Maxwell relaxes and Hdmi tries to understand her servants’ behavior.

MAXWELL
(To Jasmine)
Vampires.

HDMI
(Still thinking)
There is only one creature they fear this way. Certainly it is you… you are of the house of Vera-Stova.

All of Hdmi’s servants run away, bumping into one another. Maxwell ignores them.

MAXWELL
Yes, I am of the house of Vera-Stova. Do you have food?
(Jumps down of the horse and staggers)

HDMI
Certainly I do…

Jasmine joins Maxwell on the ground

MAXWELL
Are you a friend or foe?

HDMI
(Scoffs)
I am a witch of Sewid, not of Azim. I am surely a friend… I could be your aunt if the genealogy was written properly.

Maxwell staggers again and Jasmine holds him.

HDMI
Bring him inside.

Hdmi leads them into her house and they keep Maxwell on the bed. Hdmi takes a deep breath and goes quickly to Maxwell’s side.

HDMI
You are the King of Valerex…

JASMINE
(Snaps in)
Yes, we told you that outside.

HDMI
No, we only ascertained that he is of the house of Vera-Stova.

JASMINE
What difference does it make?

HDMI
It means the king could be his cousin, or brother, or father
(Looks closely at Maxwell)
or uncle… you are Maxwell the nephew of the late King Rexuel.

JASMINE
Yes he is. Your witchcraft is good.

HDMI
No, I am not only a witch, I am a historian. The air around you holds a lot of memories,
(now concentrating on Jasmine)
it is easy to see how life has treated all of us, who we are, who we wish to be; a queen of Valerex, mother of the crown Prince,
(Jasmine is embarrassed)
blood of the wolf and yet daughter of the king slayer.
(Jasmine feels insulted).

MAXWELL
That is enough.

HDMI
(Bows before Maxwell and closes her eyes in meditation)
Live forever O King. Your voice causes the earth to quake; you alone can dim the sun and brighten the stars. You have banished the moon from Tygrix, providing a home for your kind, and your word can dry the ocean.

MAXWELL
I
(Groans in pain)
am not the king that did all that.

HDMI
You are all the same, the very same king of old. You are the same yesterday, today and you alone will reign forever and for another ever.

MAXWELL
But I am not even reigning now…

HDMI
(Opens her eyes)
Yes, I said you will reign. I did not say you are reigning.

Jasmine giggles.

MAXWELL
I need to eat to achieve anything further.

HDMI
Ah yes, food.
(Goes quickly to the door and whistles out for her terrified servants)

MAXWELL
(Whispers to Jasmine)
Do watch her closely. If I die here, make sure no one hears of this tale.

JASMINE
You will not die here

HDMI (V.O)
(To her servants)
Come on, it’s ok. He doesn’t bite. I need help to make supper.

MAXWELL
(To Jasmine)
Just do as I said.

___________***ONE PAGE LATER***_____

EXT – HDMI’S KITCHEN – SAME

Jasmine finds the cooking spot. The pot is still on fire as Hdmi dishes out Maxwell’s food. Hdmi realises Jasmine is approaching.

HDMI
I told him I am his friend, what’s the fear about?

JASMINE
Not fear; I was only wondering why the food is not served yet.

HDMI
I was referring to the king; no one around here cares what you wonder about.

JASMINE
And you know the king is afraid?

HDMI
It is not always common, but yes he is.
(Gives Maxwell’s food to her servants. They reluctantly grab it)

JASMINE
You will help me… I mean, you will help him.

Hdmi urges her servants to go on with delivering the food. They move along slowly.

HDMI
What is your name?

JASMINE
Yet you know I’m the daughter of a king slayer. Ironic.

HDMI
If you were somebody, I would have seen your name.

JASMINE
“If I was a wolf” you mean.

HDMI
Do you need help or not?

INT – HDMI’S HOME – SAME

The two servants enter with caution and drop Maxwell food and water quickly before him and run out. Maxwell sits up and grabs a piece of meat and takes a bite.

MAXWELL
(Calls out)
Jasmine?!

JASMINE (V.O)
I am coming your grace.

MAXWELL
(To himself)
Just to be sure I’m not eating you.

EXT – HDMI’S HOME – SAME

Jasmine is still standing with Hdmi.

HDMI
If you want him to lead Tygrix in a war against his men in Valerex, he will have to become the King of Tygrix.

JASMINE
He will be reluctant. He is losing courage.

HDMI
Then make him king.

JASMINE
That is the help I ask for.

HDMI
You have to kill Crown Prince Iris of Tygrix, death is already upon King Cheryusaxis his father, he is very sick.

JASMINE
I know this. How will I kill him without turning the people against King Maxwell.

HDMI
Oh… that is why you need me then.

Jasmine nods

HDMI (CONT’D)
I will give you the Tanady.

JASMINE
What is that?

HDMI
A portion, just a drop of it will get the job done.

JASMINE
It won’t be easy to poison Prince Iris and go free.

HDMI
All portions are not poisons. The Tanady gives you good options…

________***A LONG LIST OF INSTRUCTIONS***______

JASMINE
Crown Prince Iris should be a man of courage.

HDMI
Yes, from the clan of the wolf too. I’m sure you learnt wolf-hunting from your father.

JASMINE
A little.

MAXWELL (V.O)
Jasmine?!!

JASMINE
Your grace!
(Smiles to Hdmi)
Thank you Hdmi.

HDMI
You know my name is “Hdmi”

JASMINE
Yes, Hdmi.

HDMI
No, “Hdmi”. You pronounce it as if someone hit you on the stomach… Hhhedmeee..

JASMINE
Oh… that’s a very violent name.

Hdmi laughs

HDMI
My mother was hit on the stomach and then I popped out…

JASMINE
(Confused)
Witchcraft?

MAXWELL (V.O)
Miss Rela!

JASMINE
Your grace!
(Hurries into the house)

INT – HDMI’S HOME – SAME

JASMINE
I’m very sorry your grace.

MAXWELL
(Clears his throat)
Have you eaten?

Jasmine shakes her head, “No.”

MAXWELL
Here
(Points at the remaining food)
eat.

Jasmine sits to eat and Hdmi enters

HDMI
Your grace, I should have fed you. I am sorry.

MAXWELL
(Scoffs)
I am not a baby.

HDMI
No, but in your splendour and glory, all things should be done for you.

MAXWELL
I have no splendour and no glory.

HDMI
I understand you are trying not to be proud.

MAXWELL
Is that a bad thing? To be proud?

HDMI
some say it is. But you have every reason to be proud. You will get back your throne. Nothing is impossible.

MAXWELL
Is it possible to prove that one is not proud without being proud? I have to tell you the things I ought to be proud of and yet claim I take no pride in them. Telling you the things I ought to be proud of is an act of pride; you see, I have just told you something that is impossible.

Hdmi is almost dumbfounded.

HDMI
Have you heard of the unknown God? Praises are sang to him, almost similar to how we treat our king.

MAXWELL
There’s a book of him in the palace treasury. Wealthy homes across Valerex should own a copy at least. A lot of words originate from there. Why, do you know this unknown God?

HDMI
Some funny looking foreigners came ranting about him…

MAXWELL
…of recent? Where are they?

HDMI
Buried in my farm.

Jasmine and Maxwell raise their eyebrows.

HDMI (CONT’D)
They said some words to stop me from being a witch.

MAXWELL
Can it be possible to stop you from being a witch?

HDMI
Well, they did say with their God all things are possible, but no, not that day. At least I am still here. You two should sleep, long journey ahead tomorrow.

🙂 Let me stop here…

Writing Wrongs: 10 Movie Titles with Bad Grammar

😀

Entertainment

For all the considerable resources that go into marketing Hollywood movies, it would seem that scant attention is paid to checking the grammar and punctuation of film titles. Case in point, the new Star Trek, whose title omits a punctuation mark that not-so-subtly changes the meaning of the words. TIME copy chief Danial Adkison and copy editor Douglas Watson offer their professional judgment on some other suspect movie titles.



Image: Star Trek Poster

Paramount Pictures

Star Trek Into Darkness

“The movie in which a celebrity goes on a long hike in the middle of the night.”

Suggested fix: A colon

Star Trek: Into Darkness



Who Framed Roger Rabbit

Buena Vista Pictures Distribution

Who Framed Roger Rabbit

“Is it really O.K. to ask a question and not put a question mark at the end.”

Suggested fix: A question mark

Who Framed Roger Rabbit?



Law Abiding Citizen

Overture Films

Law Abiding Citizen

“Some citizens the law can abide; others it cannot stand.”

View original post 291 more words

😀

Scriptangel's Blog

Getting your unsolicited script made, or even read by a production company, is about the toughest way to break into the industry, but lots of people still ask me about it so here’s my two-pennies-worth…

get unsolicited script read by production companies

If I go back only ten years I could have written a list here of nearly a hundred film and television production companies who would accept scripts submitted by new writers (writers they didn’t know, and who didn’t have an agent).  I know because I made a living reading for about twenty of them.  Sadly, that is no longer the case. It costs money to employ readers to plough through tens of thousands of scripts each year.  The reality is that of those thousands of spec scripts, only a handful will be good enough for the production company to want to develop it and try to get it made.  In essence the return on the money…

View original post 353 more words

Script: [VALEREX]: Land Of The Same King

I feel not only the logline and synopsis are important when trying to market a script. If every character in the story has a very unique role to play, I believe tabling out the “characters history” adds something nice and vital to the whole “pitching” thing. Characters History will just tell the reader some of the key things every character will do and their relationship with other characters.

This is a script I started writing on 15th January, 2013, the major thing I worked on was identifying the important characters in the movie idea. The title is “The Same King”, of which if it gets really interesting then I could name it further, “Valerex: The Land of the Same King”. I particularly don’t know how to classify a story into just one genre, so “The Same King” is basically Fantasy, Action/Adventure, a little Epic, a little Underworld, and Film Noir… (whatever that means 😀 lol… It is not really “Film Noir” though..).

Since the whole story is still under construction, I’ll now try playing around with the “characters history” I talked about, or maybe “Charactography” (trying to fit “biography” into the picture).

It is hard to pen down a logline before writing the script, but maybe this one will do for the “Valerex” script: “Soldiers who killed their king for being a dreaded werewolf bite more than they can chew after realising the king’s entire lineage have been werewolves from time immemorial.”

1. King Ottovera of Valerex: King of Valerex, husband and father. Killed by his army after he was found guilty of being the werewolf they’ve been hunting.

2. Queen Euvera of Valerex: Wife of King Ottovera. A mother of two, and Queen of Valerex. Her sudden death made Ottovera stroll out carelessly without covering his tracks as the werewolf.

3. Lady Callivera of Valerex: Daughter of Ottovera, later Queen-Mother. She banished her son Maxwell to Tygrix, the land of no moon, so she could hold off a revolution alone, sacrificing herself in the process.

4. Prince Rexuel (Later King Rexuel of Valerex), son of Ottovera and brother of Lady Callivera. He died for the same reasons as did his father and forefathers before him.

5. Prince Maxwell of Crox (Later King Maxwell of Valerex and King of Tygrix); protected by his mother Lady Callivera, Maxwell survived an attack from his army after he was accused of being the werewolf terrorising the land. He went to Tygrix where he was aided by the lady Jasmine to become King, and plotted a return to Valerex with the rapidly evolving “wolfmen” of Tygrix.

6. Lord Calvin of Crox: Maxwell’s father and husband of Lady Callivera. He was killed while trying to protect King Ottovera from his own army.

7. General Lynx Rela (Later Sir Lynx Rela); Takes pride in hunting werewolves. He was knighted by Rexuel for killing his own father, King Ottovera. Lynx later led the attack that brought about the death of Rexuel. He also attempted to execute Prince Maxwell but met his end at the hands of Lady Callivera.

8. Jadson Rela: General Lynx’s son and Maxwell’s best friend. He was caught in between the line during an attempt by his father to arrest Maxwell. He was shot several times by his father’s army after his motive was misjudged.

9. Jasmine Rela: (Later Queen Jasmine of Tygrix and Valerex): General Lynx’s daughter, admired by Prince Maxwell. She found Maxwell lying helpless at the River Youlv on his way to Tygrix after he was sent away by his mother Callivera. With the aid of a Witch of Sewid, Jasmine brought Maxwell to Tygrix where she used the charms the sewidian gave her to lure and secretly kill the Crown Prince Iris of Tygrix. She then persuaded the king to crown Maxwell King of Tygrix, promising to return the people of Tygrix to their rightful place in Valerex. After Jasmine had a son of her own, she plotted to get rid of all the Vera clan and Tygrixian werewolves, crowning her son as Infant King of Valerex, hoping he won’t turn out to be the same king of old.

*Phew* I think this will be enough for now, save the other characters for later. When the script is done I’ll certainly post some of the scenes in the Movie Lyrics category of this blog. 🙂

Movie Lyrics: Stop Those Nuns

During the Christmas holiday I saw an old bag of mine containing very old books. One of them was a story I wrote some years back, I laughed at some of the instructions I wrote for the actors. It was meant to be a “romantic comedy”, I dunno if it fits in now. I jotted down the movie idea back in 2007 (no record of the month), then I almost started writing it on Sunday, the 30th of March 2008 (lol, “almost”). Then I did whatever it is I did on it on the 16th of August 2008 and finally started writing on the 12th of September 2008 and ended the first page on the 23rd of September, 2008 at 11:22am (school is really a big work). The rest of the story was written from 19th March, 2009 to 30th August, 2009.
I couldn’t stop laughing when I saw those dates, it was indeed very slow.. Two years!!

Anyway… I’ll let you read some of the scenes, hopefully you’ll make a meaning out of them.
The title is “Stop Those Nuns”, a tale of Love at second sight and how STANLEY tries everything possible to convince a Nun-wannabe to marry him. Setting of the story is in Nigeria.. 🙂

“To marry is divine. To serve God in holiness is uniquely divine, but to do both is more divine.” – Mother Elizabeth will say this in this movie.
STOP THOSE NUNS

INT. JULIET’S ROOM, CHIEF ERNEST’S HOUSE- MORNING

JULIET is sitting in front of her mirror brushing her hair. She’s dressed in a Nun’s gown, talking to SAMMIE over the phone.

Juliet
Please Sammie, the name is not Julie, it is Juliet. At least if you get to make things formal a little, then you can get me out of your head.
(Pauses)
Look mister, I’ve made up my mind. I’m continuing with the convent. I’ll be a reverend sister.
(Pauses)
Of course they don’t get married, even if they do I’ll certainly not marry you.
_______________________________________________________________________________________

Chief Ernest
I am fed with this liberty you always preach, look what it has cost us. Juliet couldn’t even hook up a MAN! Other girls and daughters of men of my class will jump at that liberty and date all the men they can have.

Mrs Ernest
But it is quite better for us.

Chief Ernest
(Surges up with his palms pointing towards Mrs Ernest’s neck).
What is better?
(Sits down again and takes a deep breath).
She is our only child. Do we owe her? Why then does she want to owe us?

Mrs Ernest
She doesn’t owe us Ernest, she came from the Lord first, remember? Remember how we cried unto the Lord Ernest.
(Chief Ernest mimics Mrs Ernest’s voice as he says the next line with her)

Chief/Mrs Ernest
We can’t deny the Lord.

Ernest brings out a pocket diary and writes briefly into it.

Chief Ernest
See? It is the two thousand, two hundred and twenty second time you’ve said that since you gave birth to Juliet, more like a hundred times every year.
(Leans forward and speaks gently)
Did you plan all these?

Juliet comes into the dining room with her bag and immediately she shuts the door her parents stand up. Chief Ernest is practically hiding behind Mrs Ernest.

Mrs Ernest
Julie.

Juliet
Mom, Dad, good morning.
(Smiles).
Why are you standing?

Mrs Ernest
Are you not eating with us?

Juliet
(Whispers).
Fasting.
_____________________________________________________________________________________________

… Juliet enters the bus

Basilia
Julie.

Juliet
Hi Basilia.

Basilia
I knew you’ll return someday.

Juliet
I’m here now.

Jane
Welcome Julie.

Juliet
Thanks Jane.

Maryann
Welcome Julie.

Juliet
Maryann.
(Gives Maryann a hug).
It’s good to see you.
(Looks at Maryjoy).
Hi.

The bus begins to move.

Maryjoy
There is nothing left to say.
(Raises her shoulders).

Juliet
Sure Maryjoy
(Sits next to a window).

CUT TO:
INT. NYSC BUS- SAME

Jesse
Is this camp of ours not far? I’m getting bored.

Stanley
I thought travelling was your hobby?

Jesse
That’s when I’m travelling to the U.S or Japan or Dubai or…

Victoria
Jesse, we all know you’ve never taken a bus before.
(Stanley smiles widely and puts his face towards the window as the bus stops to get fuel in a Gas station).

The Nuns’ bus also stops for fuel and parks beside the Nysc bus. Stanley and Juliet’s eyes meet and Stanley pops up immediately with his eyes wide open while Juliet dims her eyes, gazing at him. Maryjoy notices them.

INT. NUNS’ BUS- SAME

Maryjoy
Still looking at boys, Juliet?

Everyone looks at Juliet at once and Maryann holds her forehead and shakes her head.

Juliet
It is my eyes, Maryjoy.
(Bows her head).

INT. NYSC BUS- SAME
Stanley
(Pointing his thumb at the Nuns’ bus).
Don’t we know that chic?

Victoria
It is a bus, for reverend-sister-wannabes. There are no chicks in it, let alone we knowing one.

Stanley
I think I’ve seen her before.

Jesse
Stan, they put on veils in order for you not to know them again, why can’t you just fall for it?
(Victoria giggles).
__________________________________________________________________________________

Stanley
What do you mean Vicky? I’m telling you she’s the man’s daughter.

Jesse
Of course she should be a man’s daughter

Stanley
I’m going to track her Jesse, I kind of like the girl.

Victoria
You are going to track a Nun… Listen to yourself Stanley. No weapon fashioned against them shall proper.

Stanley
I’m not going after her with a weapon.

Jesse
Love is a weapon, brother.
___________________________________________________________________________________

Kate
Take you there? That’s not possible. They didn’t even let my brother in, remember?
(Smiles)
But there was one way he went in

Victoria/Stanley/Jesse
How?
____________________________________________________________________________________

Victoria
Are you suggesting we sneak in?

Jesse
Into a covenant?

Kate
(Corrects Jesse)
Convent.

Jesse
(Echoes)
Convent.

Stanley
Why not?

Victoria
I have work, Stanley.

Stanley
I have pals that will cover for me.

Jesse
Stan, we can’t just sneak into a convent to meet a girl we’ve never met before. What if she screams?

Victoria
I wonder o!

Stanley
Nobody will scream.

Jesse
How can you be so sure?

Stanley
Well she won’t scream. Why would she do that?

Jesse
You are vouching for someone you don’t even know. Does love at first sight come with a degree of idiocy?

Stanley
SHE WILL NOT SCREAM!

Jesse
But it is a convent, Stanley.

Stanley
And so?

Jesse
A convent for reverend sisters!

Stanley
No, for reverend brothers. What do you take a convent for anyway?

Victoria
Holy of holies my dear, we shouldn’t joke with it.

Stanley
Please, a convent, according to Harold Balogi, is a building where you can run in to become a virgin even if you’ve been a whore all your life.

The three look at him with their mouths wide open.
__________________________________________________________________________________________

Stanley
So are you saying we can’t see chief today?

Kate
(Walking inside).
I’m not saying it, I’ve said it. Let me get the robes for you.
(Goes in).

Victoria
I guess something is really pissing your uncle off.

Jesse
I guess the guy is broke.
____________________________________________________________________________________________

Stanley
(Puts his arm around her)
Let’s just say I have this good feeling for you, so so pure that a sinner like me can’t afford to speak of it.

Juliet
(Calmly)
Blood of the Lamb, save us all.
(Takes Stanley’s arm off)
You can’t just come and scoop a nun.

Stanley
What kind of a nun uses the word scoop?

Juliet
Scoop is slang, not blasphemy. Perhaps sinners only understand worldly words.

Stanley
I’m not sure how to say this Juliet, but…

Juliet
How did you know my name? You were the one in the bus today right?

Stanley
Yes I was. Can we sit and talk?

Juliet
Why?
(Calls out to Maryann).
MARYANN!

Stanley
My name is Stanley, not Maryann.

Juliet
MARYANN! I’m calling my partner, not you. MARYANN!
_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Maryjoy
Juliet ran off again? We should crown her Our Lady the Confused.
_______________________________________________________________________________________________

Juliet stumbles in laughing. Stanley is amazed.

Juliet
(To the other girls trailing her).
There are two of them.
(To Stanley and Jesse)
Hi, welcome. I’m Juliet.

Jesse stretches forth his hand as Stanley is remains speechless and motionless.

Jesse
Of course, Juliet, nice to meet you.
(Shake hands with Juliet as the other girls come in).
(Whispers into Stanley’s ears)
How come we didn’t think of new names?

Maryann
Hi, welcome home.

Stanley/Jesse
Thank you.

Maryann
I’m Maryann.

Jesse
I am Jessi–ca
(Looks at a Rosary)
Rosario. Jessica-Rosario.

Maryann
Nice name. Are you sisters?

Jesse
Of course.

Juliet
Your dad must be proud of you two.

Stanley
Oh no, not that kind of sisters. We have different parents but we are sisters in the Lord.

Juliet
That’s lovelier to know.
(Introduces the rest of the girls)
This is Basilia. This is Maryjoy, this is Priscilla, and this is Mary. This is also Mary, this is Mary also, this is Mary too, this too is Mary, but we call her Mary-Mary, she has a twin that’s why. This is Anna, this is Theodora, this is Mary-Theresa and this is the last Mary here present. The other girls went on evangelism. Don’t worry; you’ll get to know us all.

Maryjoy
(To Stanley)
So what is your name?

Stanley
Oh, I’m Mary. Mary-Stan.

Maryjoy
Did you…
(Touches Stanley’s right cheek with her finger).
… apply makeup?

All
MARYJOY?

Maryjoy
Crucify me o! I only asked a question. The girl’s face is too brown for my liking.

Jesse
For your liking?

____________________________________________________________________________________

Juliet
Please stop flattering me.

Stanley
But I’m not, I mean, you should be every guys’ dream

Juliet
(Lies on her stomach too)
You must stop. I don’t seem to be in love with anyone. If not I had many guys after me those days, but, they were all not just meant for me.

Stanley
And you believe the convent is?

Juliet
You really sound like Mother Elizabeth in one of her tempting moods.
(Smiles)
Are you sure you are ready to be a nun in three days?

Stanley
Are you?

Juliet
(Becomes cold as she lies on her back).
Mary-Stan, do you believe in love at first sight?

Stanley
Yeah, it works most of the time.

Juliet
It played its magic on me once, not long ago, though I never had the chance to try it out. The guy was cute, bold, I saw him in a bus in a filling station……………

Scriptwriting: Setting Up An Emotional Moment- WRITTEN BY HAL CROASMUN

Have you ever noticed that even though a great story has big moments, it is also filled with many small emotional moments?

As I watched “FOR LOVE OF THE GAME,” there was a small emotional moment in the story that surprised me. In the eighth inning, an outfielder catches a ball that would have gone over the wall and been a home run. Normally, you’d feel excitement or relief at something like that, but the feeling was deeper — more like redemption.

Why did we feel redemption? Because the writer set it up. Not the director, or actor, or producer, or even the studio. The writer designed that moment.

Naturally, I began searching for what caused that emotion. As always, my purpose is to discover the structure so you and I can duplicate the feat of turning a typical scene into a deep emotional one.

HERE’S THE STRUCTURE:

A. NEGATIVE:

A negative occurs that has an emotional impact on a character. It upsets, humiliates, embarrasses, exposes, etc. the character. Or it could even be a limitation that the character expresses as a positive. (You’ll see that in one of the PRETTY WOMAN examples below.) But first, the negative from FOR LOVE OF THE GAME:

The catcher laughs with Kevin Costner about how ESPN always plays the shot of Mickey Hart, an outfielder, who goes to the wall to catch a potential homerun, but the ball hits him on the head and bounces over the wall.

Then, we flashback and watch the painful event happen.

B. IMPACT:

The impact of the negative is shown.

In the locker room, Mickey is humiliated that this happened to him. He says to Kevin Costner “It will probably end up on ESPN.” Kevin gives him advice about not helping the media to make a fool out of him.

Obviously, they did make a fool out of him and that’s why the catcher is laughing about how they always play it on ESPN.

C. OVERCOMES IT:

The character overcomes the negative.

It’s the eighth inning, just when it looks like Kevin Costner is going to have a “perfect game” with no hits and no men on base, a long fly ball goes out to Mickey Hart’s wall. He runs to the wall, jumps and catches it just over the top of the wall.

D. IS RECOGNIZED:

Other characters recognize the change

Suddenly, other characters are shouting “We love you, Mickey Hart.” Kevin Costner nods at him in approval. And the man who was so humiliated is the one who saves the day.

There it is. We feel so glad that Mickey Hart has redeemed himself and that other players and the media are showing him respect again. Why? Because the emotion was designed into the setup. By humiliating Mickey Hart in the beginning, there was the chance to have a much more dramatic emotion when we redeemed him.

Now that I’ve recognized this structure, I realize it is in almost every movie I’ve seen. To prove my case, let me present five of the ten (or more) times it is in the movie PRETTY WOMAN. As you read through these, it will become more clear how this structure works and the absolute need for it.

Each one of these is designed to create an emotional experience for the audience and to cause a “believable change” in one or more characters.

 

From PRETTY WOMAN

1. “SHOPPING CAN BE SO HARD”

A. NEGATIVE:

Vivian is sent out on a mission to get some clothes for an upscale dinner. She finds a store on Rodeo Drive. Dressed in her hooker clothes, she goes in and instantly gets dirty looks. She finds a dress and asks how much it is.

But both of the stuck up clerks refuse to wait on her. Finally, they say, “I don’t think we have anything for you. You’re obviously in the wrong place. Please leave.”

B. IMPACT:

Humiliated, Vivian walks out. Now she knows that she doesn’t fit in. Upon return to the hotel, she is taken to the office by the Hotel manager and interrogated. Once again, humiliated.

C. OVERCOMES IT:

The hotel manager sets her up with Bridgette to get her a new dress.

D. IS RECOGNIZED:

When Edward comes in and sees her dressed like a lady for the first time, he stares. She says, “You’re late.” He responds, “You’re stunning.” She laughs; “You’re forgiven.”

There is a second time where recognition comes: After a day of shopping and being “sucked up to,” she returns to the first shop, dressed well and with shopping bags from big stores. She walks to the stuck up sales lady who refused to wait on her and says “Remember me? I was in here yesterday. You wouldn’t wait on me. You work on commission, right?… Big mistake. Huge. I have to go shopping now.” She walks out, leaving behind a confused salesperson.

 

2. “COME WITH ME, YOUNG LADY.”

A. NEGATIVE:

The Hotel manager spots Vivian coming in wearing her hooker  clothes and takes her into his office. He interrogates her and lets her know in no uncertain terms that when Edward is gone, she is not to come around the hotel again.

B. IMPACT:

Vivian is very upset. She has been treated badly by many people and is humiliated that she can’t get clothes to look the part. She begs for his help. She thinks he is calling the cops when he dials Bridgette to help her get clothes.

C. OVERCOMES IT:

He helps her with clothes and teaches her dinner manners. She tells him that he’s “cool.”

D. IS RECOGNIZED:

When she leaves, the manager kisses her hand and says “It’s been a pleasure knowing you. Come and visit us again some time.”

When Edward is checking out, the hotel manager looks at the jewels Edward has asked him to return to the jewelry store. He says, “Must be difficult to let go of something so beautiful.” Edward nods. “You know, Darrel also drove Miss Vivian home yesterday.”

 

3. “SHE’S A HOOKER.”

A. NEGATIVE:

Edward tells his attorney, Phil, that Vivian is a hooker, not a corporate spy who is trying to get information from him. Then Phil approaches Vivian and tells her he knows. Even tries to set up a date with her.

B. IMPACT:

Vivian is humiliated. She and Edward argue. She calls him an asshole and freaks out emotionally. They insult each other. She demands he pay her. He tosses the money on the bed.

C. OVERCOMES IT:

She leaves the room, but without the money. When he sees that she left the money, he comes out to the elevator and apologizes for real. He asks her to stay. Tells her he was jealous of her talking to another guy.

D. IS RECOGNIZED:

She chooses to stay and he starts treating her like a woman, instead of a hooker. From that point on, they interact like a couple. He says, “I think you are a very bright, very special woman.”

 

4. BREAKING UP COMPANIES

A. NEGATIVE:

Edward tells Vivian that he buys companies and breaks them up and sells the pieces for more than the cost of the whole. Vivian responds, “So it’s sort like stealing cars and selling them for parts.”

B. IMPACT:

Most of the business conflict is over Edward trying to take over Morris Industries and tear it apart. Mr. Morris, the 65-year-old says, “I’m sure you understand that I’m not thrilled with the idea of turning 40 years of my work into your garage sale…Leave my company alone.” As he is leaving, he says to Edward, “Watch out, Lewis. I’m going to tear you apart.”

Vivian recaps the evening and says, “The problem is, I think you like Mr. Morris.” She tells her philosophy on turning tricks. Edward says, “You and I are such similar creatures. We both screw people for money.”

C. OVERCOMES IT:

After a series of negotiations and hard ball moves, Edward neglects to call the bank and have a loan that Mr. Morris applied for canceled. Edward talks about how he used to play with blocks, building things, instead of tearing them apart.

In the final meeting, when Mr. Lewis gives in, Edward tells Mr. Morris that he has changed his mind about breaking his company apart. Instead, he wants to protect it and be partners with Mr Morris.

D. IS RECOGNIZED:

Mr. Morris compliments him: “I don’t know how to say this without sounding condescending, but…I’m proud of you.”

 

5. KISSING ON THE MOUTH

A. NEGATIVE:

Edward makes a light attempt to kiss Vivian, but she shuns him. When she’s about to have sex with him, she says “What do you want?” He says “What do you do?” She replies: “Everything, but I don’t kiss on the mouth.” They have sex, but no kissing.

She later tells him “Kit is always saying to me; don’t get emotional when you turn tricks. That’s why no kissing. It’s too personal.”

Then they have a sex scene on the piano where he tries to kiss her twice, but she refuses each advance.

B. IMPACT:

As long as they don’t kiss, they’re not really in a relationship.

C. OVERCOMES IT:

After having the “She’s a hooker” argument, he starts treating her like a person. They go to the opera on a “real date.” Upon returning, she kisses him and they make love for real.

D. IS RECOGNIZED:

At lunch with Kit, Vivian says “Edward asked me if I wanted to see him again, but I think not.” Kit says “Oh, no. I know this weepy look on your face. You fell in love with him, didn’t you?” Vivian denies it. Kit says “You fell in love with him. Did you kiss him on the mouth?” Vivian admits she did. They banter back and forth about whether the relationship could work out, but clearly, she is in love.

—————

WHAT TO DO?

Essentially, these are little vignettes that play out in your script. Most of them will be in the background of the real story. Some will be complete subplots, but others will blend into scenes in ways that are virtually unnoticeable.
 

If you are trying to create an emotional moment, look to see if it has been set up properly. If it hasn’t, then set it up to have the elements of this structure.

You could start with the event you want to be emotional. Let’s say you have a teenaged female character whose father asks her to drive. It’s not a very emotional moment in a story that is all about her first love. But let’s see if using this structure can give this one moment some emotion.

 

A. NEGATIVE:

Her brother is one year older and when he gets his learners permit, she watches her father gloat over what a good driver he is. But when it comes time for her to learn to drive, he tells her mother to teach her. The daughter takes that as evidence that her father doesn’t believe in her.

B. IMPACT:

She cries the whole time her mom is teaching her to drive. Once she has her driver’s license, she expects to drive with her father, but he hands the keys to the brother. More upset.

C. OVERCOMES IT:

She has an argument with her brother about who gets to drive. The dad overhears it. The next day, he has a special event downtown and hands her the keys. “I was hoping you’d drive me today.”

D. IS RECOGNIZED:

In the car, he tells her a secret. “You’re a much better at most things than your brother, so I kinda wanted to give him something to be proud of. I’m sorry that it hurt you.”

 

Okay, it’s not brilliant, but it shows that in about two minutes, you can elevate the emotion of an event just by setting it up well. And this vignette could be one of those that plays in the background as she struggles with her identity.

If you’ve ever had a moment that you thought should be emotional, but either wasn’t or it came off as corny, this may be the solution you need. You can keep the moment if you just set it up well.

Great dialogue is instrumental in raising the level of emotion in your scenes and setting them up well; There’s a great class for improving your dialogue in “Advanced Dialogue Screenwriting Class” that covers this and more. (Visit http://www.screenwritingu.com)