dialog in the office / boardroom



No announcement yet.
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • #16
    to reiterate

    it is an early scene - the 4th, in fact, as i said above... and the first

    the first two are in the present, followed by 95% of the rest of the script in the previous 4 weeks, followed by a couple of wrap up scenes back in the present

    the 3rd scene (as in the one before the boardroom) is my hero playing poker with the boys and getting tanked - hence the late arrival at the office the next day

    we know nothing of the boss - it is the first time we have seen him and likely will see him once more only, 40pages or so down the line, when he fires the hero's as.s

    this scene is a character defining scene, attitude, ego and the basis for it, and a foreshadowing of work problems/job loss to come regardless of how valuable he is to the firm

    so as brief as gig recommends doesn't work, tho i did get an idea from her (synapse fired!) as to how i could shorten it a little

    so anyway, the simple question:

    -------------question is here
    in the 'action' parts of the scene, how best to detail the boss slamming hand on table, getting up to get a coffee, returning to his chair? should i say just that?

    i know it is boring action, but i ask because it is a dialog intensive scene (tho still only a couple of pages long) and i am trying to follow the advice which dictates that long stretches of dialog be broken with action
    -----------end of question

    amazing how a bunch of writers that we are do not really read what has been written before answering the questions asked... i don't feel that writing the whole scene in my post is needed to get the feel of what i am talking about -

    and i do appreciate the input and attempts at help - but no one has really answered the core question i have asked
    thanx again


    • #17
      Re: to reiterate

      In terms of the action, just give the highlights--the important action points you want to portray. A lot of the on-screen action will be handled by the director and the actors.

      In a scene such as this, you don't want your characters to play like the gopher game at Chuck-e-Cheez--you know, the one where the gophers pop up and down, in and out of their hole while you try to hit them with the padded club. Just let the dialog carry the scene, and when it's important to make a point with action, put it in.

      For instance, when the boss's temper flares to the breaking point, write something like, "Boss stands and glowers at Character, almost nose to nose."

      The only scene that I can think of off the top of my head that is even remotely similar is the scene in Top Gun where Maverick has to go see the Captain of the ship in his office. I'm sure someone else can think of a better example than this...

      Hope this helps!

      Take Care,
      Steve, aka Noctivagus


      • #18
        Re: to reiterate

        This isn't a boardroom scene, but -

        the interogation scene from Basic Instinct might be a good one to look at. It doesn't have a lot of description or busy work action, but what it does have is meant to convey the personalities of the characters (eg she cooly blows smoke)...
        Does the boss getting coffee convey anything or is it meant to keep him busy? If it's meant to just keep him busy then maybe something else that would convey his personality might be better (eg breaks pencils, snaps his fingers for someone else to get him coffee, rolls up his sleaves, paces,...)


        • #19
          to paula, and noctawhatever

          that was kinda my point - the action is irrelevant - but 1 1/2 to 2 pages of dialogue seems too much at once

          but i want to break up the dialog with something - when i look at the opening scene of reservoir dogs it has some great dialog

          btw i have a poker game scene with which i've a similar concern - i can easily include stuff like getting a beer, lighting a cigarette, etc just like the boss getting a coffee... but it seems flat, tho they are all things that happen in those situations

          anyway, i'm gonna read some more from my library of scripts and see what i come up with there

          thanks all