Opening scene

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  • Opening scene

    Rank beginner here. I'm telling the story of two couples juxtaposed against the events of WWII. I'd like to open with the traditional B/W vintage scenes of the war, cutting to color scenes of the two couples. Let's suppose this is not too cliched (which it probably is!). A) Is there something equivalent to "stock footage" one can use of the war scenes? and B) are these opening scenes rightly only the director's to choose or can the scriptwriter present his vision? Thank you so much for any responses.

  • #2
    Re: Opening scene

    Originally posted by wakupmagy View Post
    Rank beginner here. I'm telling the story of two couples juxtaposed against the events of WWII. I'd like to open with the traditional B/W vintage scenes of the war, cutting to color scenes of the two couples. Let's suppose this is not too cliched (which it probably is!). A) Is there something equivalent to "stock footage" one can use of the war scenes? and B) are these opening scenes rightly only the director's to choose or can the scriptwriter present his vision? Thank you so much for any responses.
    Especially in the first ten pages, backstory and "events" are less relevant that understanding who the characters themselves are. We'll get that it's WWII, what really matters is who this couple is and why we should care about them for another 90-mins or two hours.

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    • #3
      Re: Opening scene

      Originally posted by wakupmagy View Post
      Rank beginner here. I'm telling the story of two couples juxtaposed against the events of WWII. I'd like to open with the traditional B/W vintage scenes of the war, cutting to color scenes of the two couples. Let's suppose this is not too cliched (which it probably is!). A) Is there something equivalent to "stock footage" one can use of the war scenes? and B) are these opening scenes rightly only the director's to choose or can the scriptwriter present his vision? Thank you so much for any responses.
      A) yes, there is probably stock footage that you can use for the war scenes. select the ones that reflect the vision and tone for the story you want to tell. here's an example of one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JrGfbSXQCeM google stock video footage of ww2.

      B) no, the screenplay is your domain until it is not. eg until someone buys it. use everything in your toolbox to tell a compelling story. there is only one rule-- don't be boring.

      good luck.
      FA4
      "Learn the rules like a pro, so you can break them like an artist,- Pablo Picasso

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      • #4
        Re: Opening scene

        Any stock footage that you or anyone else uses needs to lead directly into something, hook into something, at the start of the script. Do not use stock footage as some way of saying "This takes place in WWII."

        "The fact that you have seen professionals write poorly is no reason for you to imitate them." - ComicBent.

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        • #5
          Re: Opening scene

          Thank you! It's so kind of you guys to share the wisdom.

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          • #6
            Re: Opening scene

            Script is your vision. Others add to that vision later.

            Personally not a fan of stock footage in films. Actually never understood this technique and I think it's a cheap tactic that's used as a crutch in lieu of creativity. Ultimately, it takes me out of the world, and grounds me so much as if to blatantly tell me that I'm watching a movie.

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            • #7
              Re: Opening scene

              Originally posted by wakupmagy View Post
              Rank beginner here. I'm telling the story of two couples juxtaposed against the events of WWII. I'd like to open with the traditional B/W vintage scenes of the war, cutting to color scenes of the two couples. Let's suppose this is not too cliched (which it probably is!). A) Is there something equivalent to "stock footage" one can use of the war scenes? and B) are these opening scenes rightly only the director's to choose or can the scriptwriter present his vision? Thank you so much for any responses.
              The couples could be sitting in the same theater or separate theaters watching newsreels of the day. It sets and frames the period in which your story takes place. Cutting back and forth between color and black and white would be fine in that instance or those instances.

              Don't worry about whether or not things have been done before. Tell your story your way.

              "The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun.- - Ecclesiastes 1:9
              "Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off. Build your wings on the way down.- - Ray Bradbury

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              • #8
                Re: Opening scene

                Originally posted by ComicBent View Post
                Any stock footage that you or anyone else uses needs to lead directly into something, hook into something, at the start of the script. Do not use stock footage as some way of saying "This takes place in WWII."
                what is WW2? can you send me pictures?
                Ricky Slade: Listen to me, I intentionally make this gun look that way because I am smart.

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                • #9
                  Re: Opening scene

                  Originally posted by Vango View Post
                  Script is your vision. Others add to that vision later.
                  100% agree!

                  Personally not a fan of stock footage in films. Actually never understood this technique and I think it's a cheap tactic that's used as a crutch in lieu of creativity. Ultimately, it takes me out of the world, and grounds me so much as if to blatantly tell me that I'm watching a movie.
                  Agree for the most part. The only time I think it might work for me is if you are telling an alternate timeline/reality where your story diverges from history. Then if you use the stock footage and then shift to your alternate version in color it might be an interesting transition. For instance B/W footage of the bombing of London and then shift to color of Churchill offering conditions of surrender instead of his "Fight Them" speech.

                  There's so much audio from radio broadcasts from that era I think you could get the same effect by having your characters listening to one of those broadcasts at top of your script to set the time and get the added benefit of seeing them react to the war as a way of introducing them.

                  HTH,
                  Just my 2 cents, your mileage may vary.

                  -Steve Trautmann
                  3rd & Fairfax: The WGAW Podcast

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