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Jessica
Posts: 968
Registered: ‎09-24-2006
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Description: Read a Screenplay

This time you won't watch a movie. You'll read one.

Go to Script-O-Rama.com, and pick a screenplay for a movie you love and know well. Read it (or even better, read a screenplay for a movie you've never seen).

Did you enjoy reading the screenplay of the movie you picked? If you've seen the movie before, was the screenplay close to the experience you've had watching the movie, or was it different? What surprised you about the screenplay?

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crAZRick
Posts: 489
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Description: Read a Screenplay

I read the screenplay for Armageddon and 8 Mile (when it was called Untitled Detroit Project). Both were similar enough to what made it on-screen, but with a few subtle-to-glaring differences as well.

There were a few characterizations that were merged or swapped from what was on the page to what made it into Armageddon, some lines of dialogue were switched from one character to another, and there were a few set-up scenes that were cut (probably for time??) like a scene on Harry's oil rig in the beginning, that showed AJ and Harry going down the hole to fix the stuck pipe, which was then repeated on the asteroid later on; but, in general, it read as the same movie I have seen dozens of times.

In the 8 Mile screenplay, B Rabbit worked as a doorman at a hotel in Detroit, rather than at Detroit Stamping Steel Plant, but most everything else came down the same as what showed up on-screen. Obviously, the rap battles were generalized in the screenplay, as I'm sure those details were worked out live and improv-style, or behind-the-scenes on the day of shooting; I watched the Making Of... extras on the DVD and they said they shot all of those battles within a very few days at the club set, which was an actual Detroit hot-spot of some sort, and they only had very limited access and a small window of time to get all their filming done at that setting.

I can't say anything really surprised me about the screenplays, other than the fact that they did seem to read so much like what I've seen of the movies. Not sure if they would be as interesting to read if I hadn't seen the movies beforehand, and I haven't bothered to read a screenplay for a film I haven't seen.. maybe I'll look for one or 2 of those, then get the DVD and post another report. I did enjoy the screenplays, almost as much as I enjoyed watching the movies.
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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danielnoah
Posts: 141
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: Description: Read a Screenplay

Thanks, Rick. Why do you think they made the changes they made, such as where B Rabbit works? Any theories?

Also, I'm curious. In the 8 Mile script, are the lyrics of the battles written in the script? If not, how are they depicted?
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crAZRick
Posts: 489
Registered: ‎01-27-2007
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Re: Description: Read a Screenplay

There are no lyrics for the battles, but there is mention of 'the theme song' that B Rabbit is composing on his hand, on those scraps of paper, where ever he can write, as he listens to the beats and riffs on his headphones. No lyrics for the theme song either.

The battles are very very basic, stuff like:



INT. CLUBHOUSE, STAGE-- NIGHT
It's rap-battle time. B Rabbit vs Little Tic.

Little Tic rips into Rabbit, dissing

-his skin color
-his trailer-park home
-his job


that's as detailed as the battles get. Probably similar to my poker-game scene, the details could just as well be worked out once the screenplay gets sold and green-lit, not important to read all the minutia, just tell the story!


I would guess they make most of the changes for the sake of time and simplification, paring down the number of roughnecks on Harry's crew, or maybe matching certain characterizations with certain actors chosen for certain roles, and flipping and switching such things on-the-fly as the cast comes together, etc... as for Jimmy-Rabbit's job, probably seemed more 'realistic' for a white-trash wannabe rapper to be working at Detroit Stamping with the ex-cons and welfare-moms, than at some hotel as a doorman; the hotel seems too upper-class, too sophisticated a setting maybe for someone like Jimmy or Darrell 'Future' Porter. A low- to middle-class white boy might tend to get on the fast-track at a hotel typically run by white-collar white folks, so not a huge dramatic swing if he makes something of himself outside of his dream of being a rap super-star; even a lowly doorman could make it with the right people backing his career in the hotel biz. On the other hand, set him up as a loser who got fired from Li'l Caeser's pizza, leaving him no choice but to work at Detroit Stamping Steel Plant, with all the bruthas and muthas, with Manny as his boss, and it sets up some big dramatic shifts for Jimmy. Also, a hotel doorman could probably swipe some keys from a maid and get Alex the model/whore into a nice cozy bed for a few hours, but sex in the steel plant amongst all the heavy machinery is all the more dangerous and exciting and unexpected.

as long as the changes don't completely change the flow of the story, anything goes, I suppose.
I no longer regret that I have no quote, quip or anecdote to share with my countrymen... how about all y'all?
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danielnoah
Posts: 141
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Flexibility

[ Edited ]
Thanks for your thoughts, Rick. I agree with your statement that as long as the essence of the story is intact (paraphrase), smaller adjustments don't matter. This is a very healthy relationship to have to one's own writing - a flexible relationship. A screenplay is in a constant state of flux, and we do best when we're comfortable with that. Be it an actor changing dialogue to suit himself, a location changing to suit what's available, a subplot dropping because, say, a studio executive wants it out. Of course, we must be ready to fight to the death over the things that matter ("No - Rocky cannot win the fight!" ), but ready to be flexible over the things that don't.




.

Message Edited by danielnoah on 05-09-200712:20 PM

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