Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Pirates, Pirates, & more Pirates

Here’s something interesting. The... drat, who was it... oh, Orlando Sentinel reported that Disney Cruise Line obtained the Flying Dutchman for their own little private island. Must be nice. There's a very pretty pic of the ship in that article, which for some reason I'm having trouble stealing to post in my little blog. I just want one good pic for this post, is that too much to ask for?

If you’re interested in getting a taste of Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio’s combined writing skills, you can find the script for the first Pirates of the Caribbean
here and what might be the first 56 pages of the next movie, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World’s End - here.

And, of course, I gotta recommend the revealing & entertaining Terry Rossio blog:

And this was the end shot of the movie, could we come up with a command that was interesting, meaningful, a bit more profound than "Back to work, Mates!"


Ted went off to talk to the captain of one of the film's working ships, the Lady Washington, and try to scare up some authentic nautical commands. I went to find Depp and warn him that some new dialogue was coming. Johnny was cool with it, and even had suggestions -- as research for the role, he'd been reading stories of seafaring men, he said, so "How about something like, 'We venture forth over waves of adversity beneath clouds of adventure, always searching for that elusive shore of our dreams...?'"

"Right," I said... "Uh, something just like that. We're working on it."

So I go hook up with Ted on the Lady Washington, and they've come up with some possible phrases. There were a few that weren't right at all -- chief among them, I recall, was "Put the wind to our aft!" That's just not a line you want to use to end a movie. We all liked the phrase, "To stations! Let go, and haul to run free!" I particularly liked the 'run free' part, it seemed appropriate for Depp's character, who considered his ship a symbol of freedom.

So we run that line past Gore, he stares off into the distance, says "I dunno, I get kind of a BORN FREE vibe out of that, maybe something else?"

So, back to the Lady Washington. On the way we get the message from a PA via walkie-talkie that Depp wants us to meet him in make-up, but the ship is on the way, so we stop off there first, to try to find another line.

Now I will always remember this:

We hear a shout, look over, and there's Johnny Depp racing toward us full speed from the make-up trailers, only half in costume, waving a piece of paper over his head. He's shouting -- I kid you not -- "I've got it! Got it!"

He races full speed toward the gangplank, and let me tell you something about gangplanks, they're not very sturdy. Whenever we went across the production was careful to have a sailor on either end, one to help you on, the other to help you down onto the ship.

Depp wasn't waiting for that -- he bounded onto the gangplank, it bounced him into the air, and light as a feather he came down on it, bounced up again, and landed gracefully on deck. Hey, that's why he gets the big bucks. He comes up to us, breathless, says "I got it." and shows us the paper.

Well, with a build-up like that, from your major star, you'd better hope that it's good. We look at the paper, and beneath a bunch of crossed-off efforts, it says –

"Bring me that horizon!"

Ted and I look at each other.

"That's pretty good," Ted says.

Hell, it was really good. We put it together with the previous line and it sounded great, "Let go and haul to run free! Bring me that horizon!"

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