Back to the Future (1985) The first 30 minutes or there abouts.
One of my favorite movies. All three of them are good, but this one is definitely the best.
At 30 seconds into the movie when the Back to the Future title comes over the black screen, we get the sound of a ticking clock in the background. Very appropriate as this movie is about time travel.
Again, great opening scene with all the clocks. This movie is about time.
At 1 minute 54 seconds, a bit of foreshadowing with the news anchor woman talking about the missing plutonium. Setting this up for later.
At 2 minutes in to the movie, we get to see all the crazy inventions that work around the clocks. The toaster, the dog food opener and dispenser. The person who lives here is really into inventing stuff!
And the dog's called Einstein. Haha.
At 2 minutes or so, we're introduced to Marty McFly (Michael J Fox), probably one of my favorite characters he's played in a movie.
At 3 minutes 10 seconds, Marty back kicks his skateboard and it ends up hitting the Plutonium hidden under the table. Now we know who took the plutonium. But why?
At 4 minutes 10 seconds Marty doesn't have much success playing his electric guitar.
At 4 minutes 30 seconds the phone rings. Doc tells him to meet up at the mall. He also finds out that he's late for school.
Marty arrives at school at around 6 minutes 30 seconds.
He meets his love interest, Jennifer Parker (Claudia Wells) who tells him that Mr. Strickland is looking for him.
Marty and Jennifer bump into Strickland, bit of conflict here. Strickland tells Marty that no McFly has ever amounted to anything. Tells him he's just like his father George McFly.
Marty auditions with his band at around 7 minutes 40 seconds. I'm pretty sure that's Huey Lewis playing the judge. Things don't go well. This is probably the only scene that's a bit odd. Because you never hear any more about the band.
The judges aren't impressed and Marty gets kicked off the stage. Maybe Mr. Strickland is right?
A little bit of foreshadowing with the posters of Mayor Goldie Wilson on the van at around 8 minutes 35 seconds.
Nice set up with the four by four and the lady handing out the leaflets about the clock being struck by lightning at around 10 minutes. Great set up here. Marty's just about to kiss Jennifer and the woman shoves the collection tin in their faces.
'Save the clock tower.'
She gives Marty a flier. Another important set up that will come into play later on.
Marty arrives home at around 11 minutes 30 seconds to some bad news. The car's been totalled.
We're introduced to George McFly and Biff Tannen.
What are you looking at, butthead?
Great introduction to the whole family at around 14 minutes. Lea Thompson as Lorraine Baines or is it Lorraine McFly?
Nice line from the Mom about girls chasing boys. A bit of foreshadowing here. Of course, she never did this.
'When I was your age I never chased a
boy or called a boy or sat in a parked car
with a boy.'
I hope I've quoted that correctly.
Good bit of foreshadowing again when the mom says that if grandpa hadn't hit George wih the car, none of them would've been born. Which is exactly what happens.
Another set up at around 16 minutes 10 seconds when she talks about the Enchantment Under The Sea Dance and explains that's where they kissed for the first time.
Doc Brown rings Marty at around 17 minutes and reminds him about the Mall.
The Delorean time machine is introduced at around 18 minutes. Not bad if you can get one. We finally get to meet Doc Emmett Brown (Christopher Lloyd). With his crazy hair.
All the dialogue in this movie is spot on and this line at around 20 minutes 10 seconds is about as good as it gets.
DR. EMMETT BROWN
If my calculations are correct, when
this baby hits 88 miles per hour... you're
gonna see some serious shit.
Marty's not convinced as he starts walking away from Doc and Doc gives him the evil eye.
Ah, Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ, Doc, you disintegrated Einstein!
We see the Delorean in action at around 21 minutes.
Doc gives Marty a very important piece of information about the date when he came up with the idea for the Flux Capicator at around 24 minutes. This will be important when he travels back in time to NOV O5 1955.
At around 25 minutes 15 seconds, important information about the plutonium.
Are you telling me that this sucker is nuclear?
Just gone 27 minutes the Libyans turn up.
The action kicks in at around 29 minutes when the Libyans chase after Marty in the Delorean.
At 30 minutes 10 seconds, Marty heads back to the past. 1955.
And that's where I'll leave it. Lots of set ups and foreshadowing in those first 30 minutes.
One of the best movies in this genre. The best of the three in my opinion. The sequels are good, but not as good as this one. The only time travel film I can say I honestly like. Doesn't take itself too seriously.
They just don't make 'em like they used to.
I thought I'd take a look at this classic. It's one of my favorites in this genre. True, the special effects are looking a little dated. But the movie can still hold its own against pretty much anything that's made in this genre (comedy/fantasy) today.
We start with the Columbia Pictures logo and the eerie music to start with.
The film FADES IN on an external shot of the New York Public Library and pans down to the lion. I believe the two lions that sit outside the library are named Patience and Fortitude and they're made out of marble. From what I gather, if I remember correctly from the DVD commentary, there was some building work going on and that's why there's scaffolding on the outside.
Showing the lion could be seen as some kind of foreshadowing of the two Terror Dogs that appear near the end of the movie. But I'm jumping way ahead.
At around 40 seconds into the movie. We see the Librarian collecting books. At around 1 minute, the Librarian heads downstairs to the basement. At around 1 minute 20 seconds, the Librarian makes her way along an aisle and the books move from shelf to shelf. This sets up the tone of the movie and what's to come. Usually this doesn't happen in libraries as far as I know.
The Librarian goes about her business. At 1 minute 50 seconds the fun starts with the index cards exploding out of the drawers. I think they used jets of gas to do this. It's a neat little effect.
At around 2 minutes, the Librarian notices these cards and decides to run into the aisles. Not sure why she doesn't run back up the staircase, but anyway. She pegs it.
At 2 minutes 25 seconds or there abouts, the Ghostbusters logo kicks in and the theme song is sung by Ray Parker Jr. You can't miss it. Iconic.
At 2 minutes 40 seconds, we're introduced to Dr. Peter Venkman (Bill Murray). Sets up his character perfectly as a womaniser. Likes trying it on with the students.
The Blonde can do no wrong. The guy has no chance. Even when he gets one right:
After the beautiful female student has guessed 5 out of 5 cards right while he has "none"; actually he has one.
What are you trying to prove here, anyway?
DR. PETER VENKMAN
I'm studying the effects of negative reinforcement on ESP ability.
The effect? I'll tell you what the effect is, it's pissing me off!
At around 5 minutes 20 seconds we're introduced to Dr. Ray Stantz (Dan Aykroyd). He storms in and tells Venkman about what's happened at the library. Venkman isn't really interested, he's more interested in the girl. Again, sets up his character. He's supposed to be a scientist. You'd think he'd be a little more enthusiastic.
At around 7 minutes in, we're introduced to Dr. Egon Spengler (Harold Ramis) checking out a library table. He's definitely the geek of the three.
See how the introductions of the characters have been spread out over the course of several minutes.
They go and see the Librarian who explains what happened and Dr. Venkman asks some unorthodox questions.
We get the classic line.
DR. PETER VENKMAN
Back off, man. I'm a scientist.
At 8 minutes 30 seconds, the intrepid three head down to the basement. Well, Peter Venkman doesn't seem all that convinced as he laggs behind.
What we have here are more scenes setting up the tone of the movie and what's to come. At around 8 minutes 50 seconds they find the books stacked on top of each other.
DR. PETER VENKMAN
You're right, no human being would stack books like this.
He's going to need more convincing.
They then head to the index cards and find the ectoplasmic residue.
At around 10 minutes 5 seconds the bookcase falls down behind them as they make their way along an aisle.
Ray and Venkman continue along the aisle following Egon glued to his PKE Meter. At around 10 minutes 40 seconds they come upon the Old Lady Ghost ( full torso apparition) wearing a purple dress.
This gets Venkman's attention:
In front of the library ghost, their first ghost sighting.
DR. PETER VENKMAN
So... what do we do?
Egon and Ray stare at each other in silence. Peter grabs Ray's ear.
DR. PETER VENKMAN
Would you come over here, please? That's it, c'mere
Francine. What do we do?
Egon pulls out a calculator and starts punching in numbers. Peter slaps the machine out of Egon's hand.
DR. PETER VENKMAN
At around 12 minutes, they try to unsuccessfully capture the ghost.
At around 13 minutes, Venkman asks Egon if he's serious about catching ghosts.
After the university throws them out, Venkman and Ray decide to go into business. At 15 minutes, they visit the site that will become the headquarters of the Ghostbusters.
DR. RAY STANTZ
Wow. This place is great. When can we move in?
You gotta try this pole. I'm gonna get my stuff. Hey.
We should stay here. Tonight. Sleep here. You know, to try it out.
At around 17 minutes into the movie, we're introduced to Dana Barett (Sigourney Weaver) as she arrives at her apartment building.
Dana tries to sneak towards her apartment entrance, only to be confronted by Louis Tully (Rick Moranis) haha. He's a bit of a health nut.
He tells her that her TV has been on. Which is a little odd as she didn't leave it on.
Around the 18 minute 36 second mark we see the first Ghostbusters TV commercial. A little foreshadowing here.
A great scene here with the eggs and the foreshadowing of Mr. Stay Puft with the marshmallows on the counter.
Dana hears the growls from the refridgerator and opens it up at around 20 minutes and 10 seconds and sees one of the Terror Dogs.
Ray arrives with the soon to be Ectomobile at the Ghostbusters headquarters at around 20 minutes 30 seconds.
We're introduced to Janine Melnitz (Annie Potts) at around 21 minutes as Venkman steps into his office.
At around 22 minutes the A and B stories cross as Dana Barett comes to see the Ghostbusters. She meets Venkman.
And that's where I must leave it.
I've heard a rumor that they're trying hard to get a third one off the ground. I'm not sure which way they'll take the story. But it would be great to see the team take on a new or maybe a familiar adversary. Or both.
Bring back Mr. Stay Puft.
Personally I'd have a new team of university drop outs who get booted out of university because of something one of them does. This gets them all kicked off campus. You have your stereotypes, the science geek, the womaniser, rich kid etc. One of them is the grandson of the Manager of the Sedgewick Hotel where the Ghostbusters first encountered Slimer. He tells his buddies about the stories his grandfather used to tell him about the Ghostbusters growing up. How they came to the hotel that night etc. He's a bit obsessed with the Ghostbusters.
The one that got them booted out of university decides to help them start up their own ghostbusting business. Probably the rich kid. He owes them, decides to help them out. Unfortunately things go wrong when they release a few ghosts and they have to seek out the original Ghostbusters to help them out. They have to track down the original Ghostbusters who disbanded a long time ago and convince them to get back together.
The original team trains them in the art of ghostbusting and shows them how it should be done.
DR. RAY STANTZ
I think we'd better split up.
DR. EGON SPENGLER
DR. PETER VENKMAN
Yeah... we can do more damage that way.
Introduce some new gadgets that Ray and Egon designed but never had the chance to use as they all went their separate ways. While all this is going on, some badass ghost turns up in The Big Apple and reaks havoc.
Let the fun and games begin.
Something like that.
I just wish that they'd get on with it.
And get the original cast on board. All of them. That includes Bill Murray. Because it won't be the same if the original cast aren't in it.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
I thought I'd take a look at the first fifteen minutes of this wonderful movie. A movie that pretty much has it all in terms of an action, adventure and can stand its ground against any movie in this genre that's made today. In fact it probably supersedes any movie that's made today by a long way.
We'll start with the opening credits and logo. Something which a lot of films that are made today lack. That opening logo may only pop up on the screen for a few seconds. But it certainly gets your attention.
The Paramount logo dissolving over a mountain peak that's exactly shaped like the Paramount logo. Very cleverly done. I'm pretty certain this happens in all of the sequels as well.
We're then introduced to the troop of helpers walking over the ridge. It may seem like a very simple opener, but it gets your attention. Especially with that music score by John Williams. It's eerie, it gets your attention as an audience member. Who are these people? Where are they. Where are they going?
At around 1 minute 25 seconds into the movie. The scary statue scares off the helpers. We still haven't been introduced to our intrepid adventurer and archeologist yet. We've only seen his legs and the back of him. A bit of mystery here. Who is this guy?
At around 2 minutes into the movie our archeologist finds the poisoned dart embedded in the tree trunk. The two goons run over to the tree and Alfred Molina's character (Satipo) pulls out the arrow, checks how old the arrow is.
(picking up poison dart)
The Hovitos are near. The poison is
still fresh, three days. They're following us.
If they knew we were here, they would've killed us already.
This sets up the danger.
Around 2 minutes 39 seconds in we get the SUPER: South America 1936. Again letting us know where we are and the time period. You don't need to put the SUPER in straight at the beginning. You can let the scene run a few minutes.
At 2 minutes 50 seconds, Indiana stands on the river bank and checks the map. At this point Barranca decides that he wants what Indiana Jones has.
This is a great little sequence that really sets up the character of Indiana Jones as the explorer and adventurer. Indiana Jones hears Barranca cocking the pistol.
And there we have it.
One of the best character introductions you'll get. Indiana pulls out his whip, disarms Barranca with it. At 3 minutes 15 seconds or there abouts, Indiana steps out of the shadows and we see him for the first time.
You don't need to introduce your main character or characters straight away. You can lead into the introductions.
This sets up the tone of the movie. This guy, Indiana Jones is not someone you mess with.
Barranca runs away with his tail between his legs.
No dialogue in this short sequence. Just action to convey to the audience what's going on.
At 3 minutes 40 seconds they reach the entrance to where the idol is hidden.
Again the audience is reminded of the dangers.
(Indy's first lines)
This is it... This is where Forrestal cashed in.
A friend of yours?
A competitor... he was good. He was very good.
One of my favorite scenes in the movie is with the spiders. A bit of humor here when Satipo points out the spiders on Indiana's back. Indiana checks Satipo's back. Oh dear. That's a lot of spiders. Haha.
At 5 minutes 15 seconds. Indiana and Satipo reach the shaft of light.
Stop. Stay out of the light.
Indiana triggers the booby trap and we discover what happened to his competitor, Forrestal. Emphasizing the dangers that are lurking in this place.
This is when the music kicks in. Drawing the audience in.
A little light humor here again when Indiana saves Satipo from falling into the hole. Grabs him by the belt. Haha.
Around 6 minutes 13 seconds they enter the temple where the Gold Idol is kept on the podia.
Let us hurry. There is nothing to fear here.
That's what scares me.
This one line from Indiana shows that he is also a cautious character. Which is funny considering where he is and what he's about to do.
Funny moment when Indiana sets off the trap and the poison arrow hits the wooden torch.
At around 7 minutes 20 seconds, Indiana stands in front of the Idol. We can see how much this means to him by his actions with the bag of sand. But is it too easy?
At around 8 minutes 3 seconds the main trap is triggered when Indiana replaces the idol with the bag of sand.
I'll quote Han Solo here.
Here's where the fun begins.
Indiana makes his way out of the temple only to find that Satipo has jumped across the hole and now has the whip. Around 8 minutes 30 seconds Satipo runs away with the idol and Indiana is left on the other side of the hole.
Will he escape?
A nice touch when Indiana grabs the root. His facial expression says it all.
At around 9 minutes Indiana makes it out, not forgetting to grab his whip.
Poor old Satipo. Indiana grabs the idol.
At 9 minutes 20 seconds he sets off another trap. Will this never end?
Indiana runs away from the boulder.
At 10 minutes we're introduced to Paul Freeman's character, Belloq.
Dr. Jones. Again we see there is nothing
you can possess which I cannot take away.
A nice little sequence here when Indiana runs away at around 10 minutes 40 seconds. And Belloq's character laughs in the background as Indiana makes his escape out of the jungle.
At 12 minutes, Indiana swims to the Biplane.
If you look carefully at the markings on the plane, you'll notice it says OB-CPO. I think that's what's written on the tail of the plane. I might be wrong. A little reference to Star Wars.
The plane takes off at around 12 minutes 15 seconds.
A few seconds after the plane is in the air, we find out that Indiana Jones is not fond of snakes.
I hate snakes, Jock! I hate 'em!
Come on! Show a little backbone, will ya!
A nice little touch that gets played out later on in the movie and in the sequels. A nice little set up here for what's to come later on.
At 12 minutes 54 seconds we find out that Indiana Jones is a college professor. A complete contrast to his little side line as an adventurer/explorer. We also find out that the girls like him. The girl with 'LOVE YOU' written on her eye lids.
A little bit of foreshadowing with him discussing the burial site of the 'gold coffin'.
At 13 minutes 40 seconds or there abouts DR. Marcus Brody (Denholm Elliott) enters the room.
Indiana discusses with Marcus what happened to the idol. Marcus mentions Belloq.
At around 15 minutes 20 seconds Marcus introduces Indiana to the army intelligence men.
Major Eaton and Colonel Musgrove then go on to discuss the whereabouts of Ravenwood etc.
That's not bad going for the first 15 – 16 minutes of a movie. Packs one heck of a punch and a lot of information in there. Sets up the character of Indiana, his adversary, Belloq, the tone of the movie, where the story is heading etc.
Everything works here.
One of my favorite action adventure movies. It doesn't get much better than this. There've been a lot of clones and blatant rip offs over the years. But nothing comes close to what Steven Spielberg and George Lucas created here.
Hats off to Lawrence Kasdan who wrote the screenplay as well.
If you can get hold of the screenplay, read it. Watch the movie. Read it again.
Watch it again.
Current revisions by
Mike Finch and Alex Litvak
Great opening first page.
Who is this guy? Why's he running and who is he running away from? Is he running away from the predator.
Great opening first two pages.
The predator becomes the prey. Not too sure about the name Royce. Could have found a more fitting name for the character possibly. The hero of the story.
The first two pages really set up the character of Royce, not entirely sure why they left them out of the movie. They weren't in the version of the movie I watched.
Page 3 is where the actual movie starts. Royce wakes up and finds himself freefalling.
On page 5, the introduction of STANS hanging from the branches. I'm pretty sure they find the doctor hanging in the tree and Royce shoots a branch to get him down. Also when they come across Stans he's having a fight with Mombasa.
Things get a little confusing for Royce on page 9 when he checks the makeshift compass and it spins madly. I'm pretty sure the woman character Isabelle is the one that shows him the compass in the movie.
Edwin tells Isabelle not to touch the plant on page 11. It's poisonous, we don't know it, but this will set up what happens at the end. Set ups and pay offs.
Royce tells Isabelle his name on page 14. In the movie he tells her right at the end.
A bit of Edwin's character is revealed on page 15 with the butterfly missing its wings. Did he do this?
Good turning point on pages 16-17 when they avoid the traps and find the body of the Navy Seal. Whatever it was that killed him was big? And this guy was a Navy Seal, what are they up against?
A reference to the original Predator movie when Mombasa thinks he sees something in the trees. Similar to the scene with Billy in the original.
Things don't look good for Isabelle on page 25, then the whistle and the creatures retreat. They're not alone.
During all the excitement Cuchillo went missing. Now they've found him on page 27. Things don't look good now. The first of the group to go. Sign of things to come.
Dead guys don't talk on page 29.
A pretty good turning point when they discover the Predator hanging from the totem pole on page 32. What could've done this?
Isabelle recognizes the Predator or what it stands for and Royce knows this when their eyes meet on page 33.
Mombasa gets killed, they're being picked off one by one. Just like the original movie.
The introduction of the Super Predators on page 38. Finally get to see what they're up against.
Pg 39-40 some exposition from Isabelle explaining what they're up against. A reference to the original movie. In case you haven't seen it. The backstory.
So what hunted it?
They realize they're in real trouble.
Another reference to the original movie. This time Royce says those memorable words on page 42.
If it bleeds, we can kill it.
Bit of a double whammy on page 46 when they realize they just killed one of them. Another victim. Secondly, Isabelle informs them that she didn't kill it and that she missed. So, what did?
Another reference to the original movie with the dialogue on page 47.
The introduction of Noland on page 47.
Okay, this is probably the one part of the movie I don't like. I'll tell you later.
I don't remember Edwin being claustrophobic in the movie and I don't remember this scene on page 49.
Pg 57, Noland tries to escape and gets killed.
This is the one area of the movie I feel they could have left out. You have this character that has managed to survive all this time only to be killed like this. It just seems too easy and too convenient.
Not to mention, he was only in it 10 minutes or less? Why have him in it at all? Maybe if they had shown him being hunted and then the group find his body and cave etc. This might have worked a lot better.
I just think the time could have been used more effectively.
Nikolai bites the dust on page 60-61.
Another reference to the original movie. This time from Nikolai before he dies.
You... are... one.. ugly... mother
Time for Hanzo to make a stand on page 68.
He manages to kill the Super only to die himself on page 69.
Finally Edwin gets caught in a trap on page 74. Getting rid of the stragglers and hangers on.
Royce frees the Predator on pages 77-78.
I don't remember a scene in the movie, pages 78-79 with Royce inside the Predator ship
Again slightly different to the movie. I'm pretty sure Edwin uses a knife to cut Isabelle and infect her with the poison. Rather than using powder.
Also would the plants really be the same as those on Earth?
The ending is not the same as in the movie.
Royce shoots Edwin and injures him, at the point of dying and then uses him to bate Super Predator. Edwin is hooked up to a load of grenades and when Super finds them, they explode.
Definitely prefer the movie ending to this. It's a little too easy and quick. That's page 90.
Now the alternative ending, page 91 and onwards.
Well, I can say honestly that I'm glad they didn't use that ending.
Introducing Dutch at the very end. What a disaster that would have been.
I'm not a great fan of the movie, it does have some good moments. As a learning device, it's worth reading this and then watching the movie to see how things change from draft to actual movie.
Also you can see how the director interprets what's on the page and how it's seen on screen.
Didn't really understand the relevance of Noland's character, pretty pointless in my opinion.
The Predator could have been used more in the story.
It was nice that they included some references to the original movie. A little homage goes a long way.
The writing is great, very visual, concise and to the point. Paints a great picture for the reader.
Definitely worth a read.
Steven E. DeSouza
Based on the Novel
Nothing Lasts Forever
One of the classic action films of the eighties. This and Lethal Weapon were (are) in a class of their own.
Great opening first two pages. You learn that it's Christmas, John McClane is introduced, he doesn't like flying. He's a cop and the ladies still have a thing for him.
Four main characters have been introduced by the time you reach page four. John McClane, Joseph Takagi, Harry Ellis and Holly Gennaro McClane.
If you have a keen eye, as an audience member you'll notice the nameplate for Holly. Something isn't quite right.
McClane watches other families reunite around hin on page 7, again reinforcing the family problems. The only person meeting him is a chauffeur named Argyle.
Great bit of dialogue when McClane explains to Argyle that he couldn't just leave New York. He takes his job seriously.
The arrival of freight truck on page 16.
The bad guys make their presence on page 20 when they kill the security guard at the desk.
The main bad guy, the antagonist to McClane, Hans Gruber is introduced on page 21.
McClane manages to escape being caught on page 24. A good setup with his lack of footwear as he runs up the stairwell. This will come into play much later.
The bad guys up the ante on page 30 when Hans kills Takage. He's not one to be messed around.
Good turning point on page 38 when Hans and Fritz find the note on Tony's body. They're not alone. This isn't going to go smoothly.
Good piece of dialogue when Karl questions Hans about McClane and plan. Is Hans worried?
And if he alters it?
For once Hans doesn't have an answer.
Things aren't looking so good for the bad guys on page 60 when they realize that the detonators are missing.
Things get really heated when Ellis gets killed on page 85. Thankfully Ellis didn't mention Holly to Hans. Otherwise McClane would be in some deep doodoo.
Hans and McClane finally meet on page 92, Hans pretends to be an escaped hostage, puts on a terrible American accent.
Hans has a good eye for detail when he notices McClane's bare feet on page 95.
McClane isn't slow on the uptake either when he checks the name Hans has given him on the list of names on the wall on page 96. He's not falling for Hans and his bullshit.
On page 98 Hans tells his men to shoot the glass panels knowing McClane doesn't have any footwear on. This was all setup earlier.
Things take a real turn for the worse when Hans discovers who Holly is on page 112.
A nice touch with Holly's dialogue when McClane introduces her to Al on page 126.
I'm serious. Hey, this
is my wife... Holly Gennero.
(taking Powell's hand, correcting)
Still not sure about the ending with Powell killing Karl.
The ending is the opposite of the start.
McClane and his wife were apart, no one came to the airport to meet him.
McClane and Holly now leave together in the limo.
Great script, great movie.
My only gripe would be when his shirt changes color. One minute it's dirty, next minute it's clean, then it's dirty.
Continuity is everything. But that's the movie and the editing, nothing to do with the script.
Not sure if this is the actual screenplay. Looks like it's been converted to Pdf. They didn't have Pdf back in the day. Looks like the real thing.
Great opening with the first page and a half. Who is this girl who's whacked out on cocaine? Slightly different than the movie, don't remember her talking.
Page five, the three stooges routine. This scene very much sets up Riggs' state of mind. Not the same as the film, but a good introduction to his character.
That's a good introduction to Riggs, the audience/reader can see that he gives a shit and we also find out that he's a cop.
Nice introduction to Murtaugh on page 7, it's his birthday. He has a family, the complete opposite to Riggs.
Murtaugh finds out about Dick Lloyd, guessing this is Michael Hunsacker, his old Vietnam buddy.
Slightly different when he notices Rianne jogging past and he remarks that she's a heartbreaker. In the movie she comes down the staircase in a dress and he makes the comment.
The first hint of something not being right with Riggs when he smashes the TV with the glass on page 12. Something to do with the woman in the photo.
The drug deal on page 18 again sets up Riggs' state of mind. This is one of the memorable scenes in the movie. This is actually where he does the three stooges sketch that happened on page five.
Again he does the three stooges routine here.
Riggs taunts the drug dealer on page 18 to shoot him. He's not afraid of being shot, he doesn't care if he's killed. Why?
Top of page 22 we find out the reason why Riggs is so blasé and doesn't care if he lives or dies. His wife of eleven years was recently killed in a car accident. It makes sense now.
A little twist on page 24. Amanda Lloyd was poisoned.
Murtaugh meets Riggs on page 26. Great turning point.
Nice introduction of the bad guys on page 28. Mr.Joshua is just as crazy as Riggs. They're bound to meet at some point.
Not sure about the scene on page 55-56 with Riggs and the Hooker. It wasn't in the original release but they included it in the Director's cut I seem to remember. Still not sure if it shows Riggs in a good or bad light.
But he's only watching television with her so I guess it's okay. It also shows that he's in desperate need of company since his wife died.
It's a shame this scene with the Hooker on page 58 isn't in the movie. Why include the scene when he picks her up and not include this one?
That's another thing, Roger smokes in this. He's against smoking in the movie and doesn't appreciate Riggs smoking in the car.
Slightly different from the movie. When Hunsacker (Lloyd) gets shot on page 77. Mr. Joshua does it from the safety of a helicopter in the movie which is a little implausible but extremely fun. Why didn't they hear the helicopter coming?
So the helicopter does make an appearance and Mr. Joshua jumps on board. This actually works a little better than the actual movie version. It seems more plausible. Wonder why they changed it?
The scene with Riggs shooting at the helicopter is very much how it plays out in the movie. He's not happy.
I haven't even started.
Riggs is seriously disliking Mr. Joshua now. Recognizes him as the one who shot Hunsacker.
Great scene on pages 85-86 with Riggs and Carrie. This scene would have been great in the movie. Not sure why they didn't include it. It shows a nice side to Riggs. A very caring side of his character.
Riggs doesn't get all dressed up in the movie when they head for the desert on page 89. The scene where he gets dressed up in desert fatigues probably would've been a little too cheesy. Glad they didn't put it in the movie.
The fight scene between Riggs and Mr. Joshua starts on page 110. Still not sure about this scene in the movie. Would it happen?
This is a much better fight than in the movie. Riggs finishes Mr. Joshua off rather than Riggs and Roger shooting him as they do in the movie.
The fight scene also seems to be shorter.
Nice ending, the bottle of pills is replaced with a bullet in the actual movie on page 116.
The ending is definitely different to the start. Riggs lost his wife, he's alone. Now he's been welcomed into a new family. And he's about to enjoy a Christmas meal with Roger.
Great movie. Great screenplay.
Wish they'd put some elements of this into the actual movie.
Don't think there's been a buddy cop movie as good as this since this came out.
You have to respect anyone who can write a screenplay that's as good as this at the age of 23. A very unique writing style. This is definitely worth a read by anyone who's learning to write.
Great opening first page.
Sets up the character of Olive and what she wants. She wants to be in a beauty pageant. This is emphasized with her freezing and rewinding the tape over and over again.
We then cut to Richard in class.
Nice bit of dialogue.
There's two types of people in this
world – Winners... and Losers.
Nice touch with the class being almost empty on page 2. What does that say about Richard and his teaching?
On page 4, you have the coke being lined on the mirror and then the dollar bill. Not something you relate to coke. A one dollar bill. Then the introduction of Grandpa.
Good turning point on page 8 with Olive being excepted into the Little Miss Sunshine Contest.
Great opening 10 pages. Sets up the characters.
Olive wants to be in the Little Miss Sunshine beauty contest.
Richard wants to be successful.
Sheryl has a suicidal brother, she's also trying to hold the family together.
Frank is Sheryl's suicidal brother.
Dwayne hates everyone and he's fedup with life.
Nice turning point on page 20 when Olive and Sheryl hear the message from Jeff. Olive's over the moon about the contest.
Grandpa gives a nice speech to Olive about trying and if you try you're not a loser on page 50. As much as this is about Olive and the contest. It's also about the family coming together, trying to be a family.
Sad moment on page 57 when Grandpa is declared dead. Looks like they won't make it to the contest now.
One of the funniest moments in the movie when the Trooper searches the back of the bus and finds the porn mags on page 70. Will he find Grandpa's body, will he bust them? No.
One of the funniest moments happens on page 76 when they're so close to the hotel but so far.
How the fuck do you get across?
You can really empathise with the whole family here. Even entering a hotel parking lot is a challenge. Could things get any worse?
The obstacles keep coming, now the Official won't let them enter on page 79. Rising tension. All this way, only to be told. Sorry, you're too late.
A good example of the dark humor on page 83.
Yeah. Is there a funeral home around here?
Things appear to be changing for Richard and Sheryl when they have the argument about whether or not Olive should continue on page 98. The first time Richard admits to being a loser, comes clean. This is emphasized when Dwayne walks in wearing his Loser T-shirt. Not to mention Dwayne talks to Sheryl.
Page 105 is very much what this whole story has been about. The family comes together and root for Olive when the Assistant tries to stop Olive from finishing her routine. Richard gets up on the stage with Olive and wrestles with the Assistant.
There's much more than just winning. There's the taking part and trying. Richard supports Olive by dancing with her. Perhaps he's learned something?
Great ending with the family together, apart from Grandpa. If you compare the closing scene with the scenes with the family in the kitchen on page 7 and beyond, it's the complete opposite. The beauty pageant has brought the family together, they managed to get through a load of obstacles and ended up being there for Olive.
It isn't always that important whether you can relate to or feel empathy for characters. You do not always need to feel empathy and a lot of the time characters do not need a flaw or character arc. If they don't change during the course of the movie, who cares, as long as the movie is entertaining and draws you into its world.
Not every single character created needs to have a flaw and character arc. You don't go to the cinema to learn, you go to be entertained.
But, when it comes to movies like this, it's very important that the audience and reader can relate to and feel empathy and sympathy for the characters. It must be done.
A great piece of writing to learn from. Also a great movie.
Later became The Descent
Great opening first page. Thrown straight into the action with Juno, Beth and Sarah making their way down the rapids.
Major turning point happens early on page 4. The car smashes into the van and Paul is killed when a scaffold support plunges into him.
Sarah's life is thrown in a new direction at this point.
First hint of death on page 23. The dead elk. This could be a sign of things to come.
Act 2 very much starts on page 25. They've discovered the sink hole and Juno prepares to go down. She's very much the leader of the group. She's in charge.
I'll go first. I'll see you
Once they enter the cave, they leave their old world behind.
A little more foreshadowing with the scratch marks on the side of the rock. Something was trying to get out the hole. Could be nothing could be something. A sign of their impending doom.
They're not alone. Something is moving with them in the Cathedral Cavern. The first hint of trouble on page 29.
Increasing the reader's and audience's anticipation that something is going to happen. A humanoid hand picks up the candy bar on page 34.
A bit of foreshadowing on Beth's part when she tells Sarah that she has nothing left to be afraid of on page 37.
It’s over. And you’re here. You didn’t
give up. This is just a poxy little
cave. You’ve got NOTHING left to be
The audience should have worked out by now who the star of the movie is going to be. Who's going to have the most character arc. Sarah's character is going to start as a weak character and grow into a strong character.
Problems really arise for the group when the fissure collapses and on page 40 they find out that Juno has not brought the book with all the routes.
They're in serious trouble now.
This is reinforced when they also find out that that this cave system isn't the one Juno filed a flight plan with mountain rescue. They really are up the creak without a paddle. Not to mention Sarah glimpses one of the freaky humanoid creatures. This all occurs on page 41.
Quite a scary moment on page 45. They aren't the first ones to come this way. Rebecca spots a really old Piton. Who else came this way?
Some hope for the team when they discover the painting and the two entrances on page 51. A false victory perhaps.
Again raising the tension on page 57 when Sarah spots the silhouette of the creature up ahead and Juno sneaks up on her.
Finally get to see a Stygian Crawler on page 61. It's poised to strike but runs off because of the light.
Juno doesn't come clean about what happened to Beth when Rebecca asks her on page 74. She had the chance to come clean but chooses not to. This sets up what happens at the end of the movie.
Two pages later Sarah discovers Beth's body. But there's a twist now, Beth isn't dead.
Everything is revealed to Sarah about Juno. Beth tells her everything. Not only did Juno leave Beth to die, but she was also having an affair with Paul. Page 77. This was hinted at the very start on page 3.
Sarah's character arc pretty much becomes fully realized when she plummets into the pool of blood. She kills the two crawlers and she becomes a cold ruthless killer on page 80. The complete opposite of how she was at the start of the screenplay.
Sarah saves Juno on page 86 and questions her about Beth. This is her chance to own up and come clean. But she doesn't. She tells Sarah that she saw Beth die on page 87. Big mistake.
Payback time on page 90. Juno finally owns up when she sees Beth's whistle around Sarah's neck. But it's too late and Sarah plunges her pick into Juno's knee.
Nice ending. You think she's escaped but she hasn't. It's her mind playing tricks on her.
If you're considering writing a low budget contained horror, this one's definitely worth reading. A very quick read.
Based on a screenplay
Dan O'Bannon and Shusett
Extremely concise action lines.
A bit of foreshadowing by Kane and Parker in the mess hall on page 4.
I feel dead.
Parker emphasizes this with his reply.
You look dead.
The fact that this is where the crew will first be introduced to the alien and where Kane will end up dead when it bursts out his chest. At this point, the audience won't understand these remarks.
On page 7, the first sign that's something's wrong. They're not anywhere near earth, they're in the wrong system.
On page 9, Dallas informs the crew as to why Mother woke them up.
On page 10, Ash reinforces why they must take a look. Almost threatening. He tells them that if they don't, they won't get paid. They don't have a choice.
On page 19, Brett and Parker question Ripley about getting shares.
Ripley's response. Could be seen as more foreshadowing.
Don't worry, you'll both get
what's coming to you.
It doesn't really matter, you'll both be dead. Audience won't know this, but it'll make sense once the alien arrives on board. The money and shares won't really matter.
Important moment at the bottom of page 28 when Ripley informs Ash that the signal might not be an S.O.S. But a warning instead. Ash is very reluctant to let her go and makes up excuses to keep her on board. His reasons for doing this will become apparent later on.
Major turning point when the facehugger attaches itself to Kane at the bottom of page 31.
Ripley won't let them enter the ship, she insists that kane should be quarantined. Ash goes against her again and let's them in. What's Ash up to?
Ash pretty much owns up to why he let kane on board on page 46 and is very blunt with Ripley.
Maybe I should have let him
die out there. Maybe I have jeapordized the
rest of us. It's a risk I'm willing to take.
What's attached to Kane's face is more important to Ash than the crew in other words.
Dallas explains on page 50 that Ash replaced his regular science officer two days before he left. Something's not quite right.
They're all a little shocked to see Kane on page 56. Perhaps he's okay after all.
Kane appears normal on page 58. They're at the table eating, talking. A false victory. Everything appears to be back to normal. But it's too good to be true.
A good high and low point.
One minute kane seems okay, next he's lying dead on the table. As Parker foreshadowed on page 4.
There seems to be a slight overlap with the dialogue on page 61 and 62. Possibly due to this draft being a revision.
Things get really complicated for the crew when Brett is killed on Page 70 and they discover that the alien has grown real big.
Everything comes to a standstill when Dallas appears to be killed on page 79. A pretty low point for the crew. He's the Captain. What are they going to do now?
Ash's intentions become apparent when it's discovered that he's actually an android who's been on a secret mission. Parker knocks Ash's head off on page 89.
A robot, a goddamn android.
Ripley discovers that Dallas isn't dead. He's been cocooned and asks her to kill him. This scene wasn't in the cinema release. I think it was added in a special edition at some point. I can see why it was taken out. It lessens the suspense for the audience, they think everyone is dead only to find out that they're not. Ripley isn't alone. Also Ripley killing Dallas, she has to, but it's not a nice moment. Had there been a couple of scenes showing Ripley's relationship with Dallas, it would have made sense in keeping this scene. It would have made more of an impact.
Also this would have setup what happens to everyone in the sequel Aliens as well. Showing what they do to their prey once they're caught.
A small scene showing the Nostromo alone in the black void of space and Ripley finding herself all alone on the ship herself.
A nice twist at the end. Ripley doesn't just hop into the Narcissus and escape. She discovers the alien has taken up residence. She must kill it. She manages to blow it out the rear hatch. Something they almost succeeded in doing earlier had it not been for Ash interfering.
Definitely worth a read. Again the action lines are extremely short, written with brevity and clarity.
Original Story by
A great opening on page 1.
Very concise action lines.
Extreme brevity and clarity.
Very much sets the tone of the movie.
Wally is introduced straight away. He's getting on with his job, compacting trash.
If you've seen the movie, then you'll know there isn't very much in the way of dialogue.
An important moment occurs on page 4 when Wally watches the video. He watches the characters on screen hold hands. He mimics them and holds his own hands. A little foreshadowing, he's after some company of his own. Someone to hold hands with.
While out doing his work, Wally discovers something important on page 7. He finds a small plant in the early stages of growth. Something living in this desolate landscape filled with mountains of trash.
Pages 8 and 9
A very important turning point for Wally. Eve arrives.
Wally and Eve meet on page 11. A brief meeting between them.
Everything is going smoothly for Wally, he's getting to know Eve until he brings out the small plant on page 17. This is when it all changes for Wally. This is what Eve has been looking for, signs of life on the planet surface.
In his attempt to rescue Eve, Wally climbs onto the Recon ship and scales the outside on page 21. This is the start of Act 2. Wally is leaving the world he knows behind and entering a new world in an attempt to rescue Eve.
Very clever on page 25 with the character M-O, this is a new world with order and no chaos. As soon as Wally arrives he throws everything into chaos. M-O is disgusted with all the contamination, leaves his line and proceeds to clean. The first sign of things to come. Change.
A great glimpse of how the human species has evolved since leaving Earth on page 26. Not very far it seems. They don't appear to have learnt anything from their previous mistakes that eventually led to them evacuating a desolate trash filled planet.
Things don't look good for Wally on page 51 when he discovers Gopher placing the plant in the pod and traps Wally inside it.
Wally escapes before the pod explodes on page 53. Eve is shocked, but Wally can't die. And he isn't, he uses a fire extinguisher to propel himself past her, much to her relief.
A low point precedes a nice high point for Wally and Eve who end up kissing each other on page 55. Could this be a false victory? It can't be that easy? They still have to get the plant to the Axiom Superior.
A great moment on page 84 when the ship tilts to one side and the passengers reach for and grab each other. The act of holding hands, something Wally and the passengers haven't done for a very long time.
Very clever on page 92. This all works because it's been set up and hinted at all through the story. Wally doesn't remember anything, no matter what Eve does. Until, until she grasps one of his hands in hers.
Check out page 4. Wally wants to hold hands with someone, he wants a friend.
On page 93, Wally notices them holding hands. This is what he's always wanted, this is what he dreamed about when he watched the video of the two people kissing on page 4. Setups and payoffs.
If you're considering writing a screenplay with minimal dialogue and want to learn how to write action lines that won't bog down the reader. Read this. The action lines are sparse and written with clarity and brevity. Each word has been meticulously chosen to convey what's happening and help the reader visualize what's going on.
When Eve and Wally do communicate, they don't just make beeps. They actually get lines of dialogue. Even though when they do communicate they do beep, the reader can see what they are saying, this gives the reader empathy for the characters. You empathize with what they're saying.
This is very much a movie about the visuals. It has many themes running through it. The two main ones deal with friendship, companionship and bringing humanity back from the brink to save the Earth. If we work together and learn from our mistakes we can fix this and restore Earth. Look at what we've become and look at what we could be.
Definitely worth a read, watch the movie and reread the screenplay.
Opening action line.
Blue sky, fluffy clouds.
Great opening with the first five pages. Sets up the characters, should you not have seen the previous two films. Especially with Buzz saving the train.
On Page 7 Mom comments about Andy's height.
Look how tall you’re getting!
Andy's growing up. Sign of things to come, possibly.
On page 10, the first turning point. Andy's now a teenager. He's grown up.
Woody even admits that it's time to pack it in on page 12.
I’m callin’ it, guys. We’re closin’
Even Sarge and his remaining soldiers make a dash out the window on page 12 just to reinforce that times have changed.
Mom mentions the day care center on page 18. A little foreshadowing of what's to come.
The children at the day care.
They’re always asking for donations.
The first sign of trouble when Andy puts the toys in the garbage bag. Will they be put out in the trash?
Scary moment on page 24. The toys have been crushed. But that can't happen. This is a kid's movie. And they're not. Woody spots them hiding under the recycling bin running toward the garage.
The toys are in trouble when the trunk slams shut and the toys are trapped on page 27.
The start of Act 2 when the Toys arrive at the day care center, Sunnyside on page 29. They arrive in a new world.
A great bit of foreshadowing when the aliens look at the claw on the crane toy. Also a reference to the first movie.
On page 33, the introduction of Lotso, the pink strawberry smelling bear. All cuddly on the outside, but hides a hidden agenda on the inside.
Even Lotso hints at what's to come for the new arrivals and things to come on page 35.
You got a lot to look forward to, folks
-- the Little Ones love new toys!
The fate of the toys are sealed when Big Baby closes the door and the lock clicks on page 40. Something isn't quite right. It's too good to be true.
A great moment on page 44 when Woody uses the kite to fly off the rooftop. He lands, everything looks great and a gust of wind takes him skyward.
Page 49, this is a great moment in the movie. When Bonnie is playing with Woody and the toys. Especially when she brings out the toy Totoro. This is a great moment, considering this character has his own movie. Sidetracking here, Japanese company by the name of Studio Ghibli. Worth checking out all their animated movies. Very good.
Very important moment on the bottom of page 51. Bonnie's on the bed hugging her toys. She hugs Woody, he's a little overwhelmed, it's not as bad as he thought. In fact it's pretty good. Bonnie reminds him of Andy.
This is a complete contrast to the following scene with the toys in the caterpillar room. It wasn't quite what they were expecting either.
Having Ken and Barbie was a great addition to the cast as seen on page 55.
Things look grim for Buzz when Lotso and his gang reset Buzz on page 62.
Woody learns the truth about Sunnyside on page 71.
A classic line.
Sunnyside is a place of ruin and
despair, ruled by an evil bear who
smells of strawberries!
An evil bear who smells of strawberries, haha.
Poor old Ken gets manipulated by Barbie. Pg 88
Ken... Would you model a few outfits
for me? Just a few?
Classic moment here. Mr Potato Head becomes Mr Tortilla. Haha Pg 91
They manage to reset Buzz only to have him speak Spanish. Haha. Pg 97
Out of the chaos on page 110, Buzz emerges after the television lands on him.
A little foreshadowing here, the aliens spot the claw on page 112.
A great scene on page 116 with Lotso and the emergency button. You almost believe that Lotso''s going to do the right thing and help save the toys by pushing the button. And then he chooses not to, he still doesn't believe.
Where’s your kid now, Sheriff?!
He runs off leaving them to their fate.
Pg 117, a great scene with them reaching out one after another and holding hands. Friends forever to the end. A great theme.
But we all know this is a kid's movie, they're not going to die.
A great payoff that was setup with the aliens seeing the claw when they arrived at Sunnyside. Good to see secondary characters steal the limelight for a few moments. Also a good reference to the second movie, in that movie, the claw represented something bad. Here the claw is used for something good. It saves the day, saves the toys.
Lotso gets his cumeuppance when he gets attached to the front bumper grill of the truck on page 120.
Classic line from the Frog.
...Y’might wanna keep yer mouth shut!
Great choice by Woody to have the toys go to Bonnie.
A nice little touch when Bonnie discovers Woody in the box. And she goes to take him and Andy pulls him away from her. He's still a little protective of his childhood toy. The toy he grew up with.
Another nice touch when the toys all sit up and watch Andy drive away.
Also the very last line of action ties in with the very first line of action.
Blue sky, fluffy clouds.
As much as I would like them to leave it wrapped up with this one and keep it as a trilogy. They've left it open for sequels.
The toys are with a new owner, Bonnie. So anything can happen from here. They could create a whole new storyline with Bonnie and maybe bring in characters from previous movies.
Another great screenplay to learn from.
Michael Arndt also wrote Little Miss Sunshine (2006).
Doug Chamberlin & Chris Webb
Woody sees Mrs. Davis hammering a 'Garage Sale' sign into the ground. He 's not impressed.
Great... this is the last thing
the toys need.
This is the turning point for Woody. He enters a new world.
Woody climbs onto the roof, slips on a shingle and tumbles into a cardboard box on a table.
THE MAN distracts Mrs. Davis and steals Woody. Now Woody is in serious trouble.
The First Ten Pages.
This is definitely different to the eventual movie.
I seem to remember Buzz is flying through space extremely quickly at the start and lands on the surface of a planet and subsequently surrounded by hundreds of robots. He then faces off to Zurg and loses.
This is actually a videogame Rex and Buzz are playing and Rex loses.
In the actual movie, Woody meets Wheezy the penguin. And Wheezy is the one Woody tries to rescue from the actual garage sale. And in doing so gets stolen by The Man.
Again this is different to the movie. I'm pretty certain they hide in orange road cones to cross the highway and cause all sorts of mayhem. Seem to remember they cause a large traffic jam as vehicles skid to a stop and Mr. Potato Head almost gets squished.
Okay, I've read through it. There are still some scenes and dialogue that made it to the final movie. The main change was the addition of Jessie the cowgirl and not having Bullseye speak.
Also the ending was completely different.
I don't think having a talking cactus would have worked. Having Jessie in the final movie added a new dimension for Woody. It was the perfect choice and I'm glad they made it.
I'm going to watch the movie again and compare it to this draft.
First 25 Pages
There are elements that are similar to the actual movie.
The fight between Buzz and Zurg at the start.
Woody being kidnapped by The Man.
Woody meeting The Prospector, Bullseye.
Buzz and the gang going off to rescue Woody from Al's Toy Barn.
It's just how it's written in this first draft.
In this Woody goes on the roof, loses his footing and falls into a cardboard box.
In the actual movie, Woody goes to save Wheezy the penguin when Mrs. Davis puts him in the garage sale. And ends up being kidnapped by Al.
There is one major difference, well two actually. In this version, Bullseye can talk. In the movie Bullseye doesn't talk. We also have a talking Cactus in this instead of Jessie the cowgirl. And I can honestly say I'm glad they chose to get rid of the talking Cactus.
It just doesn't work.
Having a cowgirl named Jessie changes the dynamics of the story.
There are a few other moments like when the toys cross the highway. In this draft they just amble across the highway avoiding the motorvehicles.
In the movie, they hide in orange road cones and end up causing mayhem and chaos when they cross. And poor old Potato Head almost gets squished.
This is enjoyable and you can learn a lot from it, but at 77 pages, I feel it falls short considering the movie is around an hour and a half.
It has a few elements that make the movies what they are.
I'm glad they changed the start and the ending. I really didn't feel The Prospector got what he deserved in this draft. In the movie the Prospector ends up in the kids bag and meets the defaced Barbie dol. This is far more satisfying.
Having Jessie instead of the talking Cactus in the movie also changed the dynamics. I really don't think a talking Cactus would have won any audiences.
There were also lots of other moments in this draft that were similar but eventually turned out differently in the actual movie.
The way the toys cross the highway in this was far too easy.
When Buzz meets Ultra Buzz, again this scene is far too easy. In this version they get on and have a male bonding moment and Buzz walks away.
Much better in the movie. Ultra Buzz traps Buzz in the toy box and goes and joins Andy's toys on their quest to save Woody. More conflict.
The ending of the movie was far better as well. Especially when you see them fighting on the luggage conveyor belts and Woody and Jessie escaping from the airplane with the help of Buzz and Bullseye.
Worth a read just to see how much the first drafts of a screenplay can change through the course of being developed. In this business, nothing is written in stone. Especially when it comes to a screenplay. Scenes are written and rewritten.
And I'm glad they made the changes.
Joel Cohen and Alec Sokolow
Final Draft 1995
This is a well written screenplay with a great setup. We are introduced to Woody's world from the very first page. From the reader's point of view we can see that Woody is Andy's favorite toy just from how he interacts with him. He also has him incharge of all the other toys. He's the sheriff.
The first five pages hook the reader. Woody is introduced on page 2 and the toys come alive by page 5. Hook the reader/audience as soon as possible.
Woody discusses the move and how he doesn't want any toys left behind on page 10.
A little foreshadowing on Woody's part.
I don't want any toys
We find out that it's Andy's birthday on page 11 and that he has a birthday party.
There's quite a bit of foreshadowing just to make sure that the reader/audience understand what will be at stake. Get the audience thinking about what might happen.
Pg 11 – The first mention of Andy's birthday.
Just to make sure the audience understands that Woody is Andy's favorite toy. Rex's dialogue.
He's been Andy's favorite
I'm not worried.
You shouldn't be worried.
Pg 12 – A bit of foreshadowing on Woody's part. Rex is worried about being replaced and Woody tells him no one's getting replaced.
Hey, listen, no one's
Pg 19 – Woody is still sure there's nothing to worry about.
Pg 21- First sign of trouble for Woody. He's flung off the bed.
Pg 23 – Woody still doesn't think there's anything to worry about until he sees Buzz Lightyear. We're introduced to the futuristic toy, Buzz Lightyear. The name says it all.
Pg 30 – This is when Woody's world changes. When Buzz jumps off the bed, bounces on the rubber ball and appears to fly. He's the new guy in town and Woody gets left in the shadows.
Pg 43- It could be argued that the start of Act 2 starts here when Buzz gets accidentally knocked out the window. And the other toys accuse Woody of doing it on purpose.
I personally think Act 2 starts on Pg 47 when Andy takes Woody with him to Pizza Planet and Buzz jumps onto the rear fender of the van. They're heading into a new world.
Pg 50- Things don't look good for Woody and Buzz when they get left behind at the gas station.
They might have to work together to get back home? This is when the fun starts.
Pgs 77-79- A low point for Buzz when he sees the commercial on television and realizes that he's just a toy.
Pg 122- Buzz flies, so he can fly? Perhaps.
This isn't flying. It's falling
I was a little bit worried when I saw the actual page count, considering the actual running time of the movie is around 77 minutes. As this is an animation you need good action lines to paint a colorful world and put across to the reader the visuals involved.
The animation department needs something to work from.
But this was a completely different read to UP. The action lines in that were written with brevity.
This is stated as the Final Draft which by no means makes it the actual shooting draft. And even shooting drafts go through rewrites while a movie is being shot.
The screenplay does differ in parts to the actual movie. Certain scenes that are written aren't actually in the final movie.
But this doesn't detract from being a great read. Again, much can be learned as to how to write and structure a movie whether animated or not for a family audience just by reading this one screenplay.
It has some very memorable scenes like the one where Buzz finds himself trapped in the crane game with the Green Squeeze Toy Aliens.
Who's in charge here?
All the aliens point upward.
Classic. Pure genius.
Read it. Watch it and read it again.
Screenplay - Bob Peterson (screenplay) and Pete Docter (screenplay)
When it comes to structure, these guys have it down to a tee.
If you are looking for inspiration and how a screenplay should be written with brevity and clarity. You should look no further than a screenplay written for Pixar. And this one is no exception.
And you'll understand why the movie turned out so well.
It's a very simple story expertly put together.
This all happens within the first 14 pages of the screenplay with just enough action lines for the animation department to work with. Brevity.
There are two very important turning points for Carl.
She sends him in a new direction. They get married and grow old together.
Carl and Ellie never got a chance to achieve their dreams of going to Paradise Falls together.
A great setup.
The main story revolves around Carl's unfulfilled need of adventure. His desire to travel to Paradise Falls for Ellie and himself.
The secondary story is that he never got a chance to have children with Ellie.
This is where the character of Russell plays a huge role and his introduction on page 17. This is the son Carl never had. This is when their friendship starts.
Russell actually mirrors a young Carl.
This all works because it's all been setup in the previous pages.
When it comes to structure these guys know what they're doing.
A lot happens in those first 14 pages.
We get introduced to Charles Muntz, his airship, his love of dogs and his passion for catching the bird. We see him get ostracized from the Explorer's Society. They don't believe him, they think he fabricated the skeleton of the bird. At this stage, we don't know it. But this sets up the situation Carl and Russell will find themselves in later.
What's also important is that Carl idolizes Muntz, this guy's his hero.
On page 4, Carl is playing with his blue balloon, balloons will play a big part in the story to come.
Carl meets Ellie on page 6. These kids have lots in common. They both have dreams of going on adventures.
On page 8, Ellie shows Carl her adventure book. 'My Adventure Book'. She trusts him.
Ellie talks to carl about going to Paradise Falls on page 9. This will be their goal. This is what they want to do together.
However things don't go according to plan, on page 12 they suffer mishaps. The car tire, in hospital, tree smashing through roof. Plans are put on hold.
Carl and Ellie aren't getting any younger either. Time is running out.
When Carl does decide that they should go for it, he's run out of time. Ellie falls ill and winds up in hospital. Some good visuals here. Well, it's just the one visual with the blue balloon when he visits her.
After his altercation with the construction worker and his appearance at the courthouse. Carl debates as to what he should do next. Ellie's adventure book. The Adventure Shrine. The Painting of their house next to Paradise Falls.
What will his life be like if he goes to the retirement home?
What's he got to lose?
He knows what he has to do.
Carl's adventure starts on page 24. The balloons rise above the house. This is the main story in the movie. The goal he had as a young boy, the dream he and Ellie had but never achieved. He's going to Paradise Falls.
This adventure he's going on is enforced on page 25 with his dialogue.
'We're on our way Ellie.'
The subplot happens not long after this on page 26 when Carl is startled to find Russell outside his front door. I say subplot, but this is the start of Carl's and Russell's friendship as they bond over the duration of the movie.
Ellie and Carl were unable to have children so Russell in some way is filling a gap in Carl's life. But I'm getting ahead of myself here.
We get introduced to Kevin the bird on page 41. This is one of the subplots.
Dug the dog on page 46.
We reach the midpoint on page 60.
Things aren't looking good for Carl and Russell. Alpha and the other dogs are leading them somewhere. But where? You could say this is a false defeat. They don't know it, but they're on their way to meet Charles Muntz.
Carl's childhood hero. The man he looked up to and idolized as a young boy. What could go wrong?
Everything goes smoothly when Carl and Russell meet Muntz. Carl can't believe how lucky he is. Especially when they get to go aboard the airship. And things do go smoothly until Russell puts his foot in it and mentions Kevin on page 68 after he notices the skeleton of the bird. This is when their situation takes a turn for the worst.
Things look bleak for Carl and Russell. On page 72 Kevin is bitten and on page 73 we find out how seriously the injury is.
On page 76 Kevin is caught and Muntz throws a lit lantern into Carl's house and causes a fire. Very much the low point of the film.
Some goods moments concerning the dimise of the bad guys.
Muntz falls but you don't actually see him die.
When the planes explode, the dogs don't die, they escape with parachutes.
Avoiding deaths in family movies like this is a must. Especially in animation.
You don't want to alienate your audience.
Lots of nice touches at the end.
Carl showing up and pinning Ellie's Grape Soda Pin on Russell.
The two of them on the curb counting the cars. Again these were set up at the start of the story.
Set Ups and Pay Offs.
The audience is more likely to go with things if they are set up early on.
And finally, having the house on top of Paradise falls at the end.
I recommend reading this screenplay. Then watch the movie and then read through the screenplay again. Much can be learned from this one script alone.
A great learning tool for screenwriters.
Welcome to Russell’s website. A storyteller who enjoys writing screenplays for movies. Even though the process is hard. It keeps his imagination working overtime.
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