Saturday, 23 April 2011

Scripting progress: Section 1 - "Early Years 1993-2004" - is now finished!

And when I say finished, I mean the first version is done, since many alterations and additions will be made as we begin filming it, based on criticisms, difficulties, practicalities and spontaneous ideas which tend to make the whole thing ten times better. I estimate this will be approximately 1/4 of the entire script, which is already looking to be nearly twice as long as the first documentary. Maybe, just maybe, we'll have to split it into two documentaries?

Since almost none of the speaking parts have been assigned to people, I've put 'Person 1', 'Person 2', 'Person 3' and so forth. This DOES NOT MEAN whoever says the line for 'Person 1' in one part automatically "becomes" person 1 for all scenes; this system is just used to determine who says which lines relative to each other within a given scene. I haven't actually included exact scene indicators for all parts, so there may be places where it looks like there are several people in a scene but it is in fact several interviews one after another.

Anyway - here it is, four pages of script on the early years of Wallace.

Who is Wallace Intrubé? - Part 2

Mysterious, dark music to begin; quiet and reserved. “A Forest Friend Production” “In alliance with the Snickets” “Authorised by VSD” fade in and out from black.
Music continues as the picture fades from black to a panoramic view of pendle hill, with the silhouette of Tim sat on one side, reading a book. Shots of the book and parts of tim. One shot moving from half of his face down to the book; he begins to speak just as he moves out of shot. As he reads, shots of the surrounding nature and grass, and maybe half of his face again. When he finishes reading out the poem, the camera pans up on his last words and he turns to face it directly – for the first time, saying: “Of course, the boy I'm talking about, is Wallace Intrubé”
Alternatively (and more dramatically) he finishes the poem and the music suddenly stops, gets up and walks slowly to stand on the edge of the cliff, the wind howling, with a shot from behind showing his view. Then a final shot in front of him (if possible) where he looks slightly to the left of the camera, looking out towards the hills, and says the line. However, much more difficult to film.
The poem will be written later, but will not rhyme (too cheesy) and will be philosophical and maybe contain archaisms. “With thine glory shall he rise from the depths” etc.etc.etc.

After this line there is a pause as he walks off the screen (but the camera angle changes between his line and this shot). The main theme music begins on a long shot which first focuses in on him then pans out to the hills. Further long shots of him walking and the landscape, and some medium shots. Title credits begin once the music starts, with 'A Forest Friends Production'. They continue to fade in and out as the sequence continues; creating more of a cinematic beginning rather than a 'dispatches' style.

Music wise: First 16 bars deals with just Tim travelling, first walking then getting into a car. On bar 9, the car passes the camera through a village and the title credits come up (they can do every 2 bars). Might end these bars on a long shot of a car, or one of inside the car

Next 16 bars shows Nick, Johanna, Hannah and others using different modes of transport. Could start with getting on a train, or being on a plane, then have fast-paced walking or others. End these bars on 2 or 3 shots of different people walking into the same building (different angles and times).

Last few bars are inside the building; close ups of people going through doors (no full body shots) then people lining up apprentice-style. Very last shot is all of the historians in a line, standing straight. Music stops; people suddenly break into informal conversation.

Voiceover: “Our research team is back. Their investigation will soon begin. We are about to sail over uncharted waters in the next stage of our journey.”

[The possible trailer-like sequence where we show 'what happened in the previous documentary' and 'what will happen in this one', but shorter than part 1's trailer].

Fade to black and 'Early Years / 1993-2004'

Early Years 1193-2004

Cut to: Conference shot
Nick: So where do you think would be a good place to start the “Early Years” of his life?
Person 2: How about his birth? (not sarcastically)
Nick: His birth? [general murmur of assent]
Person 3: Personally I think it's a good idea. I've seen a lot of other researchers do that sort of thing when describing someone's life.
Person 4: Yeah same [general nodding]
Person 2: I think any earlier would just be stupid [numerous 'Yeah's and 'that's true']
Nick: Well I think that's sorted then. We'll start Wallace Intrubé's life with his birth. [music begins]

[landscape shot]
The research team found that Wallace was born in Doncaster, England. For the benefit of Americans, this means he was born near London. Shortly after, for a holiday his parents took him to Edinburgh, Scotland, which, for the benefit of Americans, is near London. But we're concerned about the moment of his birth. A well known fact is that he was born on the 15th of March, 1993.

Person 1: Making his day of birth a.....Monday [murmur of interest]
Person 2: Fascinating!
Person 3: Just brilliant.

A first hand account writes that when Wallace's mother first caught sight of him, she pronounced: 'The boy who lived!', to which the nurse replied: 'Unfortunately so'. We hired a team of professional actors to reconstruct this event.

[bad costumes, no child whatsoever, no hospital situation, just two people stood side by side]
Person 1: The boy who lived!
Person 2: Unfortunately so

Perhaps the best person to relate the very early years of his life is Madam Coyne, the Intrubé's former maid.

[shot of outside the interview room]
Madam Coyne: Now the producers have asked if I’ll sit in for an interview so that they can ask me a few questions about my time as Wallace’s carer. It’s not something I usually do as a historian; I’m mostly out on research... [looks back to interview room door] ...but I’ve agreed to it because I know a lot of information that’s valuable to this project.
[shot of Madam Coyne taking her seat in a brightly lit room, possible shot of the interviewer – who cannot be any of the 'historians'. Must be male]
Interviewer: Madam Coyne, welcome
Madam Coyne: Hello
Interviewer: Well, first of all, glad you could make it, we have a lot to get through today, so thank you for taking the time out of your busy schedule.
Madam Coyne: You're welcome
Interviewer: So, first of all, we want to know a little about how you came to be the Intrubé's maid. From our records, the family has a tradition of employing East European slaves exclusively, and you are neither a slave nor East European. How did you get the job?
Madam Coyne: Well first of all it's certainly not a coincidence I got the job. I don't think anybody else has quite the same qualifications as I have.
Interviewer: You were a nanny in Sabden I believe?
Madam Coyne: Yes. It was my job to tame the children whose minds had been so corrupted by fundamentalism and war. There really are few places where you will find more barbaric children.
Interviewer: What did you do after that?
Madam Coyne: I travelled to Transylvania. I wanted a better challenge.
Interviewer: You wanted a better challenge?
Madam Coyne: I wanted a better challenge.
[Very long pause]
Interviewer: Care to elaborate on this challenge?
Madam Coyne: Oh certainly. May I have a cup of tea?
Interviewer: Of course.
[someone random gets her a cup of tea]
Madam Coyne: I was a pet tamer, if you will. I looked after the animals which the aristocratic families possessed, but the nature of these animals.....they were monstrous. I was paid highly – I was the only one willing to do the job.
Interviewer: What does that make you, then, officially?
Madam Coyne: The most accomplished tamer in the world.
Interviewer: Well, this clearly explains why you were hired by the Intrubés then. What was Wallace like?
[eerie music begins]
Madam Coyne: He was unlike any child you have ever imagined. There was something in him which was utterly malevolent. I remember my first day at the Intrubé mansion.
[switches to an echoey, slow montage of dark scenes, first Madam Coyne arrives at the door, nice parents welcome her in, then she is introduced to the baby Wallace, who first seems nice, but when the parents have left, is pure evil]
.I had to tame him as best I could. He was just a baby, and had no real power. But I knew that he loathed me – I knew he loathed everyone.
[shots of outside the house. Long drawn-out echoey screaming]
.I taught him language, I managed to teach him some manners. But I could never teach him affection. He is almost.....inhuman. There is an evil in there that is not his [portraits of Wallace as a young boy], and if it were removed, he might be human again. I could see a part in him was longing for something, and I began to realise [cut back to Madam Coyne, either as an 'old scene' or her at the interview, stop music] - his mind depends on the success of his family. Until he conquers everything, he will remain a cursed spirit.
Interviewer: When did you leave the Intrubé household?
[Wallace Intrubé theme from Part 1 begins]
Madam Coyne: The moment I saw he was too strong to be contained – his fifth birthday. By then he could lift the back end of a car. I also knew that he would be soon attempting to lift my skirt. I got out while I could.
Interviewer: Did they hire a replacement maid?
Madam Coyne: No.
Interviewer: And you left on the 15th March, 1998?
Madam Coyne: Yes.
Interviewer: Thankyou for your time, Madam Coyne.
[rising to leave] Madam Coyne: You're welcome.

[Outdoor shot]
Wizard Oreon: The implications of Madam Coyne's experiences are many, but none more profound than this: there was no childhood event or trigger causing his disposition; Wallace was simply born evil.

[shots of Madam Coyne walking through town and entering the conference room]
Our team must reassemble. [Person 1: How did it go? Madam Coyne: It was ok.] We need to uncover the remaining secrets of Wallace's early life. And where better to look than the home he lived, where all of his childhood will be told. Today, we will journey to the Intrubé Mansion.

[St Mary's field scene]
Dr Frankland: Of course the mansion burned down in 2004, but we do have a reconstruction of what it might have looked like. [shots of a building being built] Well – it's a work in progress.

Although the Intrubé fire means that an entire collection of valuable evidence has been lost, the very fact the mansion was burned down is just as revealing. Our team conducted pyrotechnic experiments to bring us closer to the identity of the arsonist. [shots of burning matches and small wooden boards shaped like houses]

Person 1: Now if we put the burn time of the model house through this equation [points to a whiteboard with a number of random pictures on it] we'll get the time it took to burn the Intrubé mansion.
[researchers on calculators]
Person 2: 2.4 seconds
Person 1: Good. And using this chart, we can find out who did it. [shows a chart with random celebrities and their corresponding arson attack times, with snickets on '2-5' seconds. Person 1 points at the Snickets]
Person 1: Now that's interesting.

If our research was correct, and the Snickets had indeed burned down the Intrubé mansion, this has profound consequences for the Intrubé dynasty, because traditionally, the Snickets were their allies. [pause] We found further evidence to support our view – a press conference by the Snickets themselves after the burning.

[shot of Person 1 watching the press conference on a computer, with the equation on the other side of him]
Snicket family member: Let's put the rumours to rest. We did it.
Person 1: It's clear from the video that the Snickets were the culprits, and while the evidence is not quite as concrete as ours [camera pans to the drawing-equation], it's certainly enough to support our theory.

Person 2: The information we have exclusively revealed is highly enlightening. The fire which burned down the Intrubé mansion killed Wallace's grandfather, the legendary Don Criceto, who as we know was the bulwark against the Mafia's attacks. Now Wallace was alone – he'd not only lost the support of his grandfather, but the support of the Snickets, who had been instrumental in expanding the Intrubé's power overseas.

Person 3: Why did the Snickets do it? That's a question we're struggling to answer. It's possible that they had grown impatient with the Intrubés in their attempt to release their properties from the terms of the Postcard. [demonstration with Monopoly houses] As everybody knows, the Mafia has an ultimate hold over more than two thirds of Intrubé property, meaning the Intrubés will have to pass it over when the last male member dies. Of course to the Snickets, this makes no difference – with the contract broken, the Intrubés have to fight to win back their property, but under the contract they had already been doing this. It was the company owned by the Snickets and the Intrubés – VSD – that they were worried about, because their business deals were faltering.

Person 4: VSD is owned exclusively by the Snickets and the Intrubés, making it safe from investment problems, but the signing of the postcard seriously hindered their sales - after all, who would deal with a company who might lose two thirds of its assets with the death of Don Criceto? VSD was walking on egg shells.

Person 3: And this is probably why they had Criceto killed – they wanted to bite the bullet and move past the contract, which in their eyes, had no end while the male line continued. Once Criceto was gone, the line was effectively over – his son, Michael, had no special training, and Wallace was only a child. To the Snickets, killing Criceto must have been the only logical option.

[outdoor scene, historians walking]
But it was here that the Snickets made two misjudgements. Significantly, the death of Criceto meant the Intrubés had nobody in the family to fight their cause, and the Mafia found little difficulty in taking away their properties. However, the other misjudgemen cancels this out entirely. It was a misjudgement everyone made, to their own detriment and regret. Nobody had any idea how powerful Wallace Intrubé would prove to be. It was Wallace's turn to shine.

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