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Old 11-19-2010, 04:40 AM   #1
bioprofessor
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Default Paying Homage... How to Format this Scene...

In my current script, I wanted to pay homage to one of my favorite movie scenes, the "museum scene" in Ferris Bueller's Day Off. I love this scene because I think it reveals the soul of the movie. Here it is (with commentary from Mr. Hughes): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p89gBjHB2Gs

The FB script I downloaded from DailyScript (labeled as a shooting script) has an entirely different set of shots than what's in the film. After listening to the director's commentary, I got a feeling this was mostly spur of the moment, unscripted improvisation.

I have two characters entering a museum, both mesmerized by the grandeur and art. I used a combination of "series of shots" and "intercuts" in my first attempt, but it looks really clunky on the page. Any suggestions on how you would do it?
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:00 AM   #2
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Default Re: Paying Homage... How to Format this Scene...

My two cents: Just say it plays out shot-for-shot like the museum scene in Ferris Bueller.

No point in making the reader guess.
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:33 AM   #3
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Default Re: Paying Homage... How to Format this Scene...

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Originally Posted by ProBono Writer View Post
My two cents: Just say it plays out shot-for-shot like the museum scene in Ferris Bueller.

No point in making the reader guess.
Funny, I considered that option, then wonder, "what if some greenhorn 19-year old intern, who's never heard of, let alone seen FB, gets ahold of my script?" As a college professor, this happens to me all the time. I reference something from pop culture more than a couple decades old, and about half the 18-22 year-olds get this weird, "what the hell is he talking about" look on their faces. I think Bill Martell posted on this topic a few months ago.
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:41 AM   #4
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Default Re: Paying Homage... How to Format this Scene...

Quote:
Originally Posted by bioprofessor View Post
I used a combination of "series of shots" and "intercuts" in my first attempt, but it looks really clunky on the page. Any suggestions on how you would do it?
methinks you're worried too much about how it looks on the page when what the audience will see is the job of the editor and cinematographer, and even the musical score.

i wouldn't mention FB but if you must -- simply write the overall effect the visions of art have on your characters.

btw - limama has a FB script in her files that is not a shooting draft.
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Old 11-19-2010, 06:48 AM   #5
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Default Re: Paying Homage... How to Format this Scene...

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methinks you're worried too much about how it looks on the page when what the audience will see is the job of the editor and cinematographer, and even the musical score. i wouldn't mention FB but simply write the overall effect the visions of art have on your characters.
I think you're right Nikee - This is probably more of an editing issue. I'll write the effect I'm going for and move on. Thanks!
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Old 11-19-2010, 08:34 AM   #6
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Default Re: Paying Homage... How to Format this Scene...

Hey Bio:
I hadn't remembered that scene. Lovely with the commentary, too. I don't imagine very many people will get the reference, so I'd write the scene and make sure the emotional moments come through in the read. You can save your tribute commentary for the DVD.
Happy to give it a read when you need a set of eyes.
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Old 11-19-2010, 09:06 AM   #7
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Default Re: Paying Homage... How to Format this Scene...

You can write something to the effect of this:

"John and Jim move through the museum... blah blah blah. As Ferris Bueller, I mean, John does X--"
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Old 11-19-2010, 11:13 AM   #8
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Default Re: Paying Homage... How to Format this Scene...

I always wonder about movie references and homages too. I just wrote a scene that references the "One of us" scene from Freaks. I have no idea how many readers will "get" it. It's more or less

The crowd chants Freaks-style.

CROWD
We accept her.... One of us...

(And then they get to "Gooble gobble...") Hopefully readers who don't know the scene will just figure from the "Freaks-style" that it's a real reference.

Mine is different though, as I'm not trying to recreate the scene exactly, just the atmosphere in kind of a funny way.

Had to watch that museum scene, which I'd forgotten. Definitely a cool scene. And sure looks like a pain to write without getting all bogged down in camera direction.

Last edited by snoozn : 11-19-2010 at 11:14 AM. Reason: donedeal makes me type badly
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Old 11-19-2010, 12:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: Paying Homage... How to Format this Scene...

Quote:
Originally Posted by snoozn View Post
I always wonder about movie references and homages too. I just wrote a scene that references the "One of us" scene from Freaks. I have no idea how many readers will "get" it. It's more or less

The crowd chants Freaks-style.

CROWD
We accept her.... One of us...

(And then they get to "Gooble gobble...") Hopefully readers who don't know the scene will just figure from the "Freaks-style" that it's a real reference.

Mine is different though, as I'm not trying to recreate the scene exactly, just the atmosphere in kind of a funny way.

Had to watch that museum scene, which I'd forgotten. Definitely a cool scene. And sure looks like a pain to write without getting all bogged down in camera direction.
I have to confess that, in my first pass, I tried to write the scene shot-for-shot like that in FB. Then I realized that there's a fine line between paying homage and lazy copycatting. So, I'm rewriting it with just a subtle nod to Hughes' genius.
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Old 11-19-2010, 05:25 PM   #10
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Default Re: Paying Homage... How to Format this Scene...

Are you going to post it here? I'd be interested to see how it turns out!
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