Monday, May 04, 2009

Script Review – Fahrenheit 451


Burn, baby, burn!

So I did a lot of flying around the last few weeks, and I had the chance to read Ray Bradbury’s Fahrenheit 451, which was phenomenal. I loved it! When I’m involved in a big project, as I was last month, I’m riddled with ADD. It’s a struggle to focus on anything other than the project, but F451 held my attention from beginning to end, an amazing feat. It’s actually quite short, about 173 pages. One could easily get through it in one sitting (or a long flight). Then I watched the 1966 film adaptation by Francois Truffaut, which I’ll cover in a bit. You can also see the film instantly on Netflix. After that, I sat down to read Frank Darabont’s September, 2005, screenplay adaptation.

A FIERY BOOK ON BOOK-BURNING

There are many aspects about the book that I loved. In fact, it evoked a wide range of screenwriting thoughts.

You can get a summary of the story
here.

First, I loved Ray Bradbury’s style. Wherever the story took him, he always capitalized on the heightened emotions of the moment, which is what we do, too. Consider these opening paragraphs:


It was a pleasure to burn.

It was a special pleasure to see things eaten, to see things blackened and changed. With the brass nozzle in his fists, with this great python spitting its venomous kerosene upon the world, the blood pounded in his head, and his hands were the hands of some amazing conductor playing all the symphonies of blazing and burning to bring down the tatters and charcoal ruins of history. With his symbolic helmet numbered 451 on his stolid head, and his eyes all orange flame with the thought of what came next, he flicked the igniter and the house jumped up in a gorging fire that burned the evening sky red and yellow and black. He strode in a swarm of fireflies. He wanted above all, like the old joke, to shove a marshmallow on a stick in the furnace, while the flapping pigeon-winged books died on the porch and lawn of the house. While the books went up in sparkling whirls and blew away on a wind turned dark with burning.

Montag grinned the fierce grin of all men singed and driven back by flame.

He knew that when he returned to the firehouse, he might wink at himself, a minstrel man, burnt corked, in the mirror. Later, going to sleep, he would feel the fiery smile still gripped by his face muscles, in the dark. It never went away, that smile, it never ever went away, as long as he remembered.



Here’s another aspect I loved – the protagonist. Did Bradbury tell his story from the perspective of a sad, sympathetic victim who had all of his (or her) books burnt by the firemen? No. Bradbury gave us Guy Montag, a man who on the surface is very unsympathetic in his actions because he’s one of the bad guys! He’s a fireman who burns books!

But by giving us Montag, Bradbury cuts deeper into the heart. While Montag puts on a strong façade with his concentrated vigor about his job and seemingly unwavering belief in what he does, Bradbury carefully charts his inner turmoil and feelings of despair and need for something more out of life. That is the great power and glory of literature, and that is what’s at the heart of F451, the loss without books, the lack of creativity, imagination, free thinking, intellectual satisfaction, a sense of higher purpose and meaning to life.

This is also the very reason F451 would be a difficult book to adapt for the big screen because what makes the book so powerful is the inner turmoil of Montag which cannot so easily be seen on the surface.

So let me ask a question – is Guy Montag empathetic or sympathetic? Do I feel sorry for the fireman who burns books? Nope. At least, not until I understand him and his little world and the feelings he’s feelings. Only then can I appreciate the point of Bradbury’s tale, and root for Montag’s transformation. But that’s the essence of a transformational arc, isn’t it? One must be unsympathetic to a large degree before one can transform, am I wrong? Let me ask another question: is Guy Montag “like me?” No, not at all. Have I ever been in his shoes? Nope. I can’t say I’ve ever burned books or been part of an evil force like the firemen. But can I put myself in his shoes and understand his feelings? Yes. THAT is the power of great writing.


Another aspect I loved – elements of
visual storytelling. In the opening, Montag walks home, encounters little Clarisse, a neighbor and teenager, who challenges his thinking about life, about burning books, and asks him the all-important question, “Are you happy?” Montag goes home, which is dark and dreary, to find his wife nearly-dead after taking too many pills. The medics revive her. As she’s resting peacefully, Montag looks out his window and sees Clarisse’s home. I loved the visual contrast between his home and hers:

Laughter blew across the moon-colored lawn from the house of Clarisse and her father and mother and the uncle who smiled so quietly and so earnestly. Above all, their laughter was relaxed and hearty and not forced in any way, coming from the house that was so brightly lit this late at night while all the other houses were kept to themselves in the darkness. Montag heard voices talking, talking, talking, giving, talking, weaving, reweaving their hypnotic web.


Another visual aspect that cannot go un-mentioned is what saves Montag toward the end. When he falls under the spell of books, when Captain Beatty catches him, when all hell breaks loose, when Montag finds himself on the run, the whole city looking for him, and the mechanical hounds are hot on his trail, what saves Montag? Water. The river. The antithesis of fire. Montag’s visual baptism of renewal.

Another aspect I loved – the
subtext in the dialogue. Bradbury didn’t write heaping volumes, but careful consideration went into the few scenes he gave us. There were quiet moments of subtext, more specifically, denial about the emptiness they’re feeling, like the conversation Montag had with his wife, Mildred, the morning after her near-death experience from taking too many pills.

She watched his lips casually. “What about last night?”

“Don’t you remember?”

“What? Did we have a wild party or something? Feel like I’ve a hangover. God, I’m hungry. Who was here?”

“A few people,” he said.


Their lives were a lie. He was feeding the lie. She was ingesting the lie and embracing status quo. And when, toward the end of part one, Montag sought to address their emptiness by reading books, Bradbury gives us a scene between Montag and Mildred of heart-wrenching high drama where Montag tries to convince her to go on this journey with him to read books and figure out for themselves if they’re evil.

Mildred backed away as if she were suddenly confronted by a pack of mice that had come up out of the floor. He could hear her breathing rapidly and her face was paled out and her eyes were fastened wide. She said his name over, twice, three times. Then, moaning, she ran forward, seized a book, and ran toward the kitchen incinerator.

He caught her, shrieking. He held her and she tried to fight away from him, scratching.

“No, Millie, no! Wait! Stop it, will you? You don’t know… stop it!” He slapped her face, grabbed her again and shook her.

She said his name and began to cry.

“Millie!” he said. “Listen. Give me a second, will you? We can’t do anything. We can’t burn these. I want to look at them, at least look at them once. Then if what the Captain says is true, we’ll burn them together. You must help me.” He looked down into her face and took hold of her chin and held her firmly. He was looking not only at her, but for himself and what he must do, in her face. “Whether we like this or not, we’re in it. I’ve never asked for much from you in all these years, but I ask it now, I plead for it. We’ve got to start somewhere here, figuring out why we’re in such a mess, you and the medicine nights, and the car, and me and my work. We’re heading right for the cliff, Millie. God, I don’t want to go over…”



Three other aspects of the book that I must praise:

1) You had a great and powerful antagonist in Captain Beatty. Let me hearken back to the words of Hitchcock, a story is only as good as its villain, and Beatty is one of the best. He was not simply a man of power, a man who could burn you out and send you to jail, but he was also an intellectual force to be reckoned with on the topic of book-burning, which Montag was ill-equipped to debate. Beatty had seen a few books in his time and read a few and could so easily quote the books he condemned so fervently as leader of the firemen. There was also in Captain Beatty the subtle, yet fascinating, element of self-destruction that was evident in so many other book-lovers. The quotations from books was a clue to his own need for books. Interestingly, a few years after F451 was released, there was a theatrical play, and Bradbury wrote a new scene where Captain Beatty invites Montag to his house and he shows him walls of books.

2) High tension. This single factor alone kept me glued to the book and one cannot over-emphasize the value of great tension in a story. Montag was doing something illegal. You had the nearness of the powerful antagonist, and the immediate, constant threat of being caught. Their very lives were at stake. Their very souls were at stake. You can’t raise the stakes higher than that.

3) Quality treatment of exposition. Do you remember the section in the
Raiders Story Conference in which we talked about exposition? Indy was in Cairo with his friend. We're at a scene that we know will be full of exposition, that is, the Staff of Ra was too long for the Germans and they’re digging in the wrong place. So the question was, "what are we going to do to make the scene interesting so the audience doesn’t fall asleep?" And the idea was presented that this exposition could be done over dinner that’s been poisoned. Remember that? I’ve said this repeatedly: great exposition is always spoon-fed to the audience in the context of something else. Well, I couldn’t help but notice that this is exactly what Bradbury did in his book. Brilliantly, in fact. In a scene in which Beatty explains why they burn books, Bradbury feeds the exposition in the context of Montag at home, pretending to be sick in bed but in reality spending the day reading books. He has Captain Beatty visit Montag at home under the pretense of the concerned Captain for his sick fireman but in reality suspicious that Montag is reading books. Montag keeps a book hidden under his pillow, which Mildred finds in front of Beatty and almost reveals as the Captain explains why they burn books. Like the way The Raiders scene kept us on the edge of our seats, this scene was likewise as tense because everything was so close to being taken away from them as we get the exposition fed to us. I loved it!


THE 1966 FILM

To be polite, Francois Truffaut’s 1966 F451 adaptation, his first in English and in color, has not aged well. At times, the film is unintentionally hilarious. The set designs are quite amusing. Ultimately, Truffaut was weak in so many areas that were the strengths of the book – he had lack of tension, poor exposition, no subtext, light drama, weak antagonist, and worst of all, Montag’s inner turmoil was poorly expressed in the film. You never got that sense that he was struggling. Thus, his transformation to read books felt so sudden as to be just a plot device because it didn’t feel rooted in his character.

Clarisse, Montag’s neighbor, was transformed into a middle-aged women and played by Julie Christie, who also played his wife. Truffaut tried to turn Clarisse into a love triangle, as if this quirky, bookish, intellectual women is the one Montag truly loves and needs compared to the beautiful yet empty wife. This didn’t really work for me. Very little in the film worked for me, actually, with the exception of the ending, and there were two aspects I truly loved:

1) At the end as in the book, Montag finds himself in the woods with a group of people who wander around reciting books in order to remember them until the time comes that the ban is lifted. What Truffaut did was bring back a lot of characters from earlier in the story into this group of wandering book people, particularly Clarisse and the apple-eating man who was the first burn victim. In the book, Clarisse goes missing, perhaps dead under mysterious circumstances. Bradbury was said to have been pleased with this change.

2) I didn’t think that people wandering in the woods reciting books would play well as an ending, but, especially during the final shot of the film, I must confess – Truffaut made that moment very touching.


THE FUTURE FILM & DARABONT’S 2005 SCRIPT

This film has been in the works for many years, and you can get a breakdown of its long history
here. Mel Gibson was involved for years to play Montag and then to be director. Scripts were written by Ray Bradbury, Tony Puryear, and Terry Hayes.

We even have some concept art available (above and below). That fire truck looks like a salamander, doesn’t it? I love it!


Let me just say that this is easily the best script I’ve read so far this year. The handling of the story is right down the line everything I would’ve done had I landed this assignment. It’s everything I would want to see in an adaptation of the book. Every strength in the book that I listed at the beginning of the article is evident in the script:

– The emphasis on the inner turmoil of Montag. Here, the filmmakers trust the face and take the time to show us Montag’s feelings.

– The powerful antagonist. In fact, Captain Beatty’s role is so juicy, it has the potential to give a lucky actor an Oscar nomination. Consider the fact that he’s the leader, the force pushing the fireman, while also being a secret lover of books, and one who wishes for his own self destruction. Imagine conveying those subtleties in the dialogue.

– The thick tension. The stakes are as high as humanly possible. Lives are at risk. In fact, the scenes I shared from the book, the ones with subtext and high drama, are in the script. Not only that, I want to mention that the tense scene of exposition in Montag’s bedroom in which Captain Beatty explains why they burn books is also in the script. However, the scene brilliantly moves from the Bedroom to the Parlor (with the three walls of huge TV screens) to be given the most visual treatment imaginable alongside Beatty’s monologue.


– The setups and payoffs were carefully constructed, such as the mechanical hound, who appears in the opening burn sequence in the film, sniffs out Montag’s hidden book in the middle of Act Two, and plays a big role during the chase sequence in the Act Two climax. You have to establish how scary the mechanical hound is first before you can deliver an effectively tense chase sequence. There was also the crucial self destructiveness of the book-lovers which leads to the death of Captain Beatty as well as the destruction of the city.

– True to form, the script opens with a big bang, a big Hollywood treatment of firemen responding to an alarm and burning out another citizen who has been harboring books. But as I mentioned many times before, my “Big Bang Theory” of screenwriting says that any film that opens with a big bang must close with an even bigger bang. There’s no question this script lives up to its promise of a big ending.

– Like Truffaut’s adaptation, many key characters are seen again when Montag joins the book-reciting wanderers in the woods.

– The dialogue’s fun. Here are some words from the opening sequence on the Salamander as they go to burn someone out.


CAPTAIN BEATTY: Good for you, Montag!
MONTAG: What, sir?
CAPTAIN BEATTY: That grin! The fierce grin of all men singed and driven back by flame!
MONTAG: I love it, sir!
CAPTAIN BEATTY: I know you do, son.

– It’s a very high energy script. Just feel the vigor in this passage:

Captain Beatty sees the husband and wife in custody. His attention goes to the children, staring at the flames with tear-streaked faces. He crouches, gentle:

CAPTAIN BEATTY
Here’s a good lesson for you
children. You’ll remember this.
(brushes little girl’s cheek)
Be good citizens.

THE FIREMEN

turn to the house. Montag takes lead position, fires a flamethrower blast through the front door.

INT. HOUSE – NIGHT

There’s an awesome beat as the kerosene fumes ignite, the very air itself catching fire… followed by a stunning SERIES OF BOOMING DETONATIONS hurtling down hallways and through rooms, funnels of flame ROARING like living things, shattering glass and peeling walls, eating piles of books.

EXT. HOUSE – NIGHT

The living room EXPLODES, blowing the windows out into the street, staggering Montag back on a concussion wave of heat.

The other firemen join in, hosing the house with flame from all directions. EXPLOSIONS punch through the roof, blow out the walls, hurl enormous BALLS OF FLAME into the night sky.

MONTAG

backs away with the others, seared by the heat.

CAMERA CLOSES IN on him as he snaps his protective faceplate up and wrenches his breather mask aside, wanting to feel the heat on his goddamn face. Exhilarated. Worshipping the flame…



MM’S THREE SUGGESTIONS

1) Millie’s betrayal. In the book and in this script, I always felt that Millie’s betrayal was never given its due. This has the potential to have a much bigger, stronger, emotional impact than it does. I think that the key is how Montag reacts to her betrayal. If he feels absolutely devastated, so will the audience.

2) I never for a minute believed that a) sirens would’ve gone off in the event of an attack in the city, which is inconsistent with the theme of keeping the citizens in intellectual darkness or b) that Millie would’ve gone to the window to see what’s going on before the missiles hit the city. She would’ve been glued to her TV screen, and that makes a bigger statement, I think, about not seeing the coming dangers. Montag’s firemen, though, would’ve watched the missiles coming.

3) The final shot, which were the reflections of the nuclear holocaust in a tight closeup of Montag’s eye, was never earned in the narrative. I think you have to set that up first. In fact, you need a shot in the opening, perhaps reflections of a house burning on Montag’s mask, to mirror the shot in the closing. At first, he saw the world through his mask, and in the end, he was seeing the world through HIS EYES.

-MM

55 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good read. I have loved the book for years and am curious if there is a place to find the script online? Keep up the good work. Love the website.

Mystery Man said...

Anon - I should've mentioned this, but the script is not available online. Yet.

Thanks so much for your kind words.

-MM

nic said...

Whassup, MM? Longtime no comment. Read this script and I have two thoughts on it...

Darabont uses "Priming the house like a bomb..." twice as a descriptor for the job process of the firemen and it becomes this routine, perfuntory beat when you get to Mrs. Roland's house. A moment of "we've been here before" and then the match comes out and it pulls the carpet out from under you. Nice little gut punch.

The other thing is something that I found myself wanting, but not really getting is that I really liked Beatty, but his end was a little shallow and mechanical. Now, I get that and it works because, okay sure, he's part of the machine, but I was hoping the big confrontation was going to be paced a little differently. I think it goes along with the point you made about Millie's betrayal-- Beatty's such a contradiction, spouting the quotes throughout -- that he just defaults to his robotic profession, kinda undercut that moment for me. Why not stretch out the tension? Montag's betraying his old life, friends, etc and whether Beatty and Millie are in the right or wrong by toeing the line, I want a glimpse that the emotion on their parts is real. These characters are brainwashed into this mechanical existence, but they're still human, they've got emotions. (Even if they're just in the giant plasmas) That whole scene is pretty tight on the action from Montag and his confusion, but I want to see some hint from Beatty. I get why it isn't there, but I still want it.

David Alan said...

Having done so well on this story, Frank will never be doubted again. I mean, it's fucking impeccable. It plainly shows he still is a fantastic writer and Indy 4 wasn't his fault. His Indy script and this script are like fucking night and day. Hope they get the right actors for this one.

Carson Reeves said...

Hey Mystery,

Just found your site via a friend. Love how in-depth you get. I've been meaning to read this script forever and I just haven't been able to make the plunge. After your in-depth analysis, I may reconsider. Thanks. :)

Mystery Man said...

Nic - "I get why it isn't there, but I still want it." Are we still talking about the script or me? Bwaaah ha ha ha! Great comments. I completely agree with your thoughts on Beatty, and I had a fourth suggestion that I cut about punctuating his own desparation and self-destructiveness.

David - "Mist" was not a great success. I still haven't seen it yet. But the assumption has always been that we're only as good as our last script. Of course, we know better.

Carson - Thanks, man!

-MM

Joshua James said...

Nice, very nice. Great post.

Have you read SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES? It's perhaps my favorite Bradbury book ... and I enjoyed the film very much, too.

terraling said...

Give to have you back MM, great review that has me itching to read it -- and I think I may have just worked out where to get it... :-)

terraling said...

Ermm, it's good to give.

GabbaGoo said...

Weird... my smoke alarm ran out of battery juice when I was reading this.

Anonymous said...

If anyone wants to drop a hint on where to find the script, it would be greatly appreciated ;)

martinb said...

Glad you're back blogging, MM.

I saw "Fahrenheit 451" many, many years ago. About all I remember is Julie Christie watching soapies on wall-size TV screens, and the fireman spraying kerosene on a pile of books. It was also emotionally quite cool and distant, as I recall.

It's definitely time for a remake, and judging from the script snippet, Darabont's giving us a good one.

Tim said...

Just read the book myself and absolutely loved it.

Casting Note: Brian Cox NEEDS to play Beatty. I heard his voice loud and clear in those malevolent monologues.

[thiago] said...

the only thing left to do, is read this script right now.

thanks to your thoughtful review mm, now i'll lose hours of my sleep.

all efforts to achieve better writing skills and knowledge.

once more, thank you for this.

Mystery Man said...

JJ - I have not. I’m seriously considering going through all of his books now.

Terraling – If you can’t get it, just send me an email (mysterymants@hotmail.com)

Gabb – Hehehe… That’s hilarious.

Anon – just send me an e-mail. (mysterymants@hotmail.com) I take care of my readers. We’re first class here! Hehehe…

Martin – Yes, it was emotional cool. That’s a perfect description.

Tim – Brian Cox is a great choice.

Thiago - If you can’t get it, just send me an email (mysterymants@hotmail.com)

-MM

Rafael Souza said...

Hey, Mystery Man,

Don't miss "Mist". I loved it. Specially the ending. Great movie.

"Fahrenheit 451" sounds like another win for Darabont. I also like his Indy 4 draft. It's a shame so little of it end up in the final movie.

Phil said...

This is the first time I've seen your blog, but I'm very glad I found it. Your discussion of F451 is excellent. I too would love to read Darabont's screenplay - I will email you in the hope that you might help me find it somewhere.

I'm a Bradbury buff - checkout my website at www.bradburymedia.co.uk !

Steven Hart said...

I've been hearing about this remake for years, and I can't wait to read Darabont's script. Your analysis of the film's many weaknesses is very shrewd. I think Bernard Herrmann's beautiful score, which provides most of the emotional content (and lifts the book people finale into the clouds), is the only reason the Truffaut film is remembered at all.

Mystery Man said...

Rafael - You've sold me! I'll watch it!

Phil - Thanks for that link!

Steven - Ya know, I love Bernard Herrmann! I was listening to his music often as I wrote those Unproduced Hitch articles. But ya know, his music is so evocative of Hitchcock's films, I was half expecting some suspense, which I never got. But you're right, though, what he composed was fabulous.

Phil shared this link that has a photo of Darabont with Bradbury holding a copy of his script. Very cool.

-MM

bob said...

hey JJ--Nice, nice, very nice--excellent Bradbury allusion. I've got the Ambrosia vinyl with that song on it.

I hadn't thought of that water as the antithesis of fire as I read it. but, doi, that makes alot of sense. Excellent article, oh mysterious one.

Echomusic said...

MM

Read this script in April on a flight out to California, and did not want the script to end. When we landed, I ended up going to a bookstore and picking up the Bradbury's book which I hadn't read since 4th grade (and barely remembered)

Darabont is to me what William Goldman is for other writers. Something about Darabont's scripts just hook me -- they're easy to follow and totally engage me in the world he creates.

Reading his scripts has actually taught me more about writing than any of the books I've picked up on the subject have.

And your site is a tremendous help as well -- just don't keep us hanging for an update like that again. If you do, I may have to call my attorney. :)


Erin

Echomusic said...

Forgot to add: I think Tom Hanks would actually make a great Beatty.

Be kind of a different role for him and he certainly has the charisma that character displays in the script.

Montag should be someone that is somewhat recognizable.

Erin

terraling said...

Wow. Just finished reading it, if that's the right word, it was such a visceral experience it almost felt like something that was happening to me rather than something I was studying.

Thanks so much for putting me on to such a terrific script.

You rightly identify the weakest part as Millie's betrayal, and, like nic, I also thought that for such a powerful adversary Beatty was slightly short-changed. What I would like to see with the current version is for the physical gesture of Montag flipping off the safety to exactly mirror the old lady sparking up the match with her thumb.

Maybe it would be too melodramatic, but were Beatty to snatch Millie to shield himself it would make Montag's choice pretty interesting. As it stands at the moment, the purported depth of his feeling for her seems pretty unrealistic, for who she was, yes, but she's been lost to him a long time. (When on the mountain he looks at the city and says 'Millie', that was the one moment which took me out of the story as it just didn't seem right.)

Actually, it was the second time. Rivers flow away from mountains toward the sea.

terraling said...

So, my head is still buzzing, and I think maybe I like the idea of his grabbing Millie, and - just before he torches her and Beatty both - he reminds Millie of where and how it was they met, something suitably thematic.

terraling said...

OK, calm down terraling. Last comment.

Reading through that scene one more time, what I specifically don't like about Beatty's end is that he acts as if he believes there is no way that Montag would kill him even though Montag has lost everything and is backed into a corner. Beatty is too well read not to see the likelihood of his own demise, and there should be some way of showing that.

So, what I would like to see is, as Montag thumbs the safety on the flamethrower, Beatty grabs at Millie to shield himself. There is a stand-off. Montag reminds Millie of how and when they first met, something she has forgotten, and what he says or the way he says it is enough to tip-off Beatty that he is going to torch them both, that the Millie he loved is not there anymore. And Beatty reacts by..? By letting her go and presenting himself as a lone target. As someone who has lived by the flame he prepares to die by the flame, and conflicted character that he is, welcomes the release. He delivers one last poetic quotation to that effect. Montag quizzes him as to who said that. 'I did.' Beatty is not just a reader, but a writer too. Could there be a greater crime in such a world? And then he makes a move, precipitating the flames...

Mystery Man said...

Bob - Thanks, man!

Erin - Thank you, Erin. And I completely agree about Darabont. I wasn't sure if we just had similar sensibilities as writers or if he's really putting quality stuff out there. Thanks, so much.

Terra - Those are fabulous comments. Quite a few told me about the rivers & mountains. That's true! I first felt the same about Beatty's death and thought his self-destructive side should've been a tad more punctuated in his dialogue. I like your scenario quite a bit!

-MM

danny said...

Hi MM!

Your 3rd suggestion, about the final shot of Montag's eyes--

Isn't this shot intended to mirror the shot of his eyes at the bottom of page 55--when Beatty is showing him footage of the Nazis burning books?

The two shots use similar phrasing--"tattooing pinpoints of fire on his eyes," etc.

The one on page 55 was haunting to me--actually stopped and reread it two or three times--and that made the final shot of the movie pretty powerful for me as well.

Mystery Man said...

Hey, Danny, great comments. You're right in the sense that both of those shots are connected but here's the thing - the meaning behind those images is similar. He is seeing WITH HIS EYES the truth. But what I'm talking about is an image that is a contrast in meaning to the closing shot, an image that shows him seeing THROUGH A MASK. Thus, the two images would illustrate an arc. The Opening Shot sets up what the film is about as well as the expectation of what's to come. And in many times, the opening shot parallels the closing shot but illustrates a change of some kind. Falling books just didn't work for me. You need a shot that contrasts the closing shot. Jim Emerson talks about this in a few examples in his Opening Shots Project.

-MM

martinb said...

Terrific script. Strong story, great visuals. And very interesting comments here as well.

danny said...

Ah, great point as usual, MM. And that link is awesome. Thanks for sharing it!

JubliandI said...

thanks for review..

http://www.indonetasia.com/definisionline

JubliandI said...

thanks for review..

http://www.indonetasia.com/definisionline

Mystery Man said...

Jub - You're welcome!

-MM

Anonymous said...

Was Julie Christie's Character one of the BOOK PEOPLE and if so, what BOOK was she? ... HELP. Thanks!

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