Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Exposition with Pat, Part 3

Hey guys,

Here's the third
exposition article in a series from Pat, which has been focusing on James Cameron films. I'd like to add that the verbal and visual example was truly essential so that we could know what's going on and focus more on how the sinking affects the story.

Good job. Thanks again, Pat.



Titanic - early draft, 1997

Bad exposition – Lovett’s crew has just brought up the safe from the wreck of Titanic and is preparing to open it. We’ve already seen the subs, the ship, the ocean and the retrieval. We already know they expect to find something in the safe. This bit of dialog is cringe-worthy.

Well, here it is, the moment of truth.
Here's where we find out if the time, the
sweat, the money spent to charter this ship
and these subs, to come out here to the
middle of the North Atlantic... were worth it.
If what we think is in that same... is in that
safe... it will be.

Good verbal and visual exposition – Bodine shows the computer simulation and explains what happened when Titanic went down (since most of the audience probably knows very little about Titanic other than it sank). Very interesting and sets the audience up for the horror that they know is coming later.

Bodine starts a COMPUTER ANIMATED GRAPHIC on the screen, which parallels his rapid-fire narration.

She hits the ‘berg on the starboard side and
it sort of bumps along...punching holes like
a morse code... dit dit dit, down the side.
Now she's flooding in the forward compartments...
and the water spills over the tops of the
bulkheads, going aft. As her bow is going down,
her stern is coming up... slow at first... and
then faster and faster until it's lifting all that
weight, maybe 20 or 30 thousand tons... out of the
water and the hull can't deal... so SKRTTT!!

(making a sound in time with the animation)

... it splits! Right down to the keel, which acts
like a big hinge. Now the bow swings down and the
stern falls back level... but the weight of the bow
pulls the stern up vertical, and then the bow section
detaches, heading for the bottom. The stern bobs like
a cork, floods and goes under about 2:20 a.m. Two hours
and forty minutes after the collision.

The animation then follows the bow section as it sinks. Rose watches this dissection of the disaster without emotion.

The bow pulls out of its dive and planes away,
almost a half a mile, before it hits the bottom going
maybe 12 miles an hour. KABOOM!

The bow impacts, digging deeply into the bottom, the animation now follows the stern.

The stern implodes as it sinks, from the pressure,
and rips apart from the force of the current as it falls,
landing like a big pile of junk.

(indicating the simulation)

Cool huh?

Thank you for that fine forensic analysis, Mr. Bodine.
Of course the experience of it was somewhat less clinical.


Mim said...

That scene was definitely the heart of the movie. The whole second half was how it played out in reality and how it affected the people on board.

It was that animated demonstration that put me on the edge of my seat during the final sinking sequence, when Rose and Jack were literally the last ones left on board.

crossword said...

Great line...

like a morse code... dit dit dit, down the side

Mim said...

And the hand movement that went along with that line really emphasized it.

GimmeABreak said...

Cameron's a good writer (most of the time). Gotta give him that!