Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Day 2 (Witness)

Today's script is for the 1985 Harrison Ford classic Witness, written by Earl W. Wallace, William Kelly, and Pamela Wallace.

Due to the fact that I haven't seen this film in a good many years, I will be foregoing the script-to-film comparison and focusing completely on formatting stuff.

Firstly, the spacing out of action lines I mentioned in my Back to the Future script review occurs much more often here.

The only instance I found it especially helpful was in the dividing of a large combined area into separate parts without a whole mess of new scene headings.


Two Amish buggies reach a crossroads, join a procession of three others. They disappear as the lane wends through a leafless thicket of hickory.


A BIG SHOT... now the procession numbers almost a dozen buggies... it is headed toward a distant farmhouse.


Where literally dozens of carriages are parked. The horses have been taken from the traces, removed to the shelter of the barn.

Unfortunately the script I am working on now takes place mostly within a single building, so this technique might effectively cut the entire film down to four or five scene headings from beginning to end, which is not my plan.

I also noticed, and plan to borrow, the montage technique I found in this one. An introduction with a sort of shot list preceded with ellipses.

As the morning progresses:

...Book and Hochstetler sawing and augering out heavy timbers on big sawhorses. There's an unmistakable atmosphere of competition between the two men, which doesn't go entirely unnoticed by the half-dozen or so other young men on the gang.

...or, indeed, by Rachel; in fact, she seems – without leaning on it too heavily – to be measuring the two men as the morning progresses, and she occasionally passes within proximity of them.

...Eli and a couple of other elders prowling the job with sheaves of hand-drawn sketches under their arms, supervising the construction. All around them the structure is rising with remarkable rapidity.

...Rachel, where she's helping the women set out the huge noon meal. Other women are sitting on benches in the b.g., knitting or doing quiltwork.

...Samuel, where he's banging away with a hammer, with a group of boys his own age. Elsewhere we see little girls "botching" (a hand-clapping game played to German rhymes).

...The very elderly; sitting on the grass or in wheelchairs in the sunlight, looking on – the old men kibitzing in German, the women gossiping.


The last thing I found, literally, was the hallmark of any 80's film worth watching...




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