Thursday, September 24, 2009

Day 3 (Alien)

Day 3 of the exercise deals with the screenplay written by Dan O'Bannon and rewritten by Walter Hill and David Giler for Ridley Scott's Alien.

The draft of Alien referenced by Scott Myers' exercise appears to be fairly late in the script's development, as evidenced by credited rewriters, which is to say, the script is practically the same as the film. Some have accused Dan O'Bannon of borrowing shamelessly from John Carpenter's Dark Star which Dan also wrote, but who knows.

As far as formatting, I liked how the consecutive actions of a character were listed, not in paragraph form, but more like a list of sentence fragments.


Explosion of escaping gas.

The lid on a freezer pops open.

Slowly, groggily, KANE sits up.


Kane rubs the sleep from his eyes.


Looks around.


Looks at the other freezer compartments.


Moves off.

Also visible in that example is O'Bannon's neglect for a DAY or NIGHT tag in the scene heading. Of course, this is because of the location in space where Day and Night are not applicable. This pertains in a way to a script I am wrapping up now which takes place largely underground, where characters are incapable of distinguishing the time of day.

I also found it worth pointing out that, against the recent advice of Mr. John August, either Walter Hill or David Giler found it necessary to include a list of characters. Something that is generally not advised by anyone.


The crew of the United States commercial starship Nostromo seated around a table.


Kane...........Executive Officer

Ripley.........Warrant Officer

Ash............Science Officer



Brett..........Engineering Technician


But I guess It's kind of okay here since they are all sitting at the table together, potentially in that order.

Tune in tomorrow for "Some Like It Hot"

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