HEATHERS

For Class #3 and #4

 Instructor: Norman Hollyn T.A.: Robert Abilez
 Office: 323-275-1869 Phone: 213-220-0213-220-0408408

 E-Mail: hollyn [at] usc.edu

E-Mail: rnabilez [at] gmail.com

What follows are a series of scenes, making up a sequence, from the film HEATHERS. We will be studying it next week, in order to learn how manipulation of scenes (as opposed to the manipulation of shots) affects our perception of characters. Primarily, we will be focussing on the middle of these three scenes -- in Pauline Fleming's classroom.

Once again, as you do in every scene, try and find the beats. To do that, ask yourself "What is this scene about? Who is/are the characters going through change? What are those changes? Where to those changes occur? Are there areas earlier in the scene which presage those changes?"

As usual, the script isn't presented exactly in screenplay style, just in a way that's easier for me to deal with on the Web.



INT. SCHOOL CONFERENCE ROOM--DAY

At the head of a long conference table is the bearlike PRINCIPAL GOWAN. Circling the table is the gray-haired but savvy MRS. POPE, the yuppie black counselor PAUL HYDE, TWO large DISCIPLINARIAN-TYPES, and most noticeably, the eccentrically dressed MS. PAULINE FLEMING. Coats are in chairs and cigarette smoke is in the air, as the group batters their way through a morning mourning conference.

PRINCIPAL GOWAN
Any other Principal would take the same position. Keep things business as usual.

COUNSELOR HYDE
Heather Chandler's not your everyday suicide. She was very popular.

PRINCIPAL GOWAN
Come on Paul, I let the kids go before lunch and the switchboard'll light up
like a Christmas Tree.

COUNSELOR HYDE
The parents will be sympathetic, sir. These are troubled times for the young.

MRS. POPE
I must say I was impressed to see that she made proper use of the word
"myriad" in her suicide note after brutalizing it in a vocabulary test.

PAULINE
(dramatically cutting in)
I find it profoundly disturbing that we are told of a tragic destruction
of youth and all we can talk about is adequate mourning times and
misused vocabulary words.

A collective sigh goes across the room.

PRINCIPAL GOWAN
Oh Christ.

PAULINE
The school, meaning both students and teachers, must revel in this
revealing moment. I suggest we get everyone into the cafeteria and
just talk. And feel. Together.

PRINCIPAL GOWAN
Thank you, Ms. Fleming. Call me when the shuttle lands...Now is
this Heather the cheerleader?

COUNSELOR HYDE
That would be Heather Mcnamara.

PRINCIPAL GOWAN
Damn. I'd be willing to go half a day for a cheerleader.

MRS. POPE
Let's just pack it in an hour early.

PRINCIPAL GOWAN
Done. I hate Mondays.

 

INT. PAULINE FLEMING'S CLASSROOM--DAY

The desks of the classroom have been maneuvered into an amusingly chaotic position by PAULINE'S PUPILS. She is furious.

PAULINE
I said a circle you imbeciles! Forget it! Just sit down. I'm just so thrilled
to be given an example of everything I've taught you. That example is
Heather Chandler. I have the note!

PAULINE melodramatically lifts the suicide note. The class AAAHS.

MALE STUDENT
Awright!

PAULINE
I'll pass the suicide note around the room so you can feel its tragic
beauty for yourself. Let us share together the feelings the suicide has
spurred in us all. Who wants to begin?

FEMALE STONER IN ARMY JAKET
I heard it was really gnarly. She sucked down a bowl of multi-purpose deodorizing
disinfectant then she smashed....

PAULINE
Now, now, we're not here to rehash the coroner's report. Let's talk emotions.

ALL-OUT NERD
Are we going to be tested on this?

A stunned PAULINE glares until preppie PETER DAWSON speaks. The note continues to be breathlessly passed around.

PETER
Heather and I used to go together, but she said I was boring. I realize
now I wasn't really boring. She was just dissatisfied with her life.

PAULINE
That's very good Peter.

VERONICA lets out a laugh that she disguises as a sob by putting her hands over her face.

PAULINE
Dear Veronica, Heather was your soulmate.....Share.

VERONICA
Heather was cool, but cruel. The good looks and bad manners gave her power,
but it could not give her happiness.

The class stares to VERONICA as the suicide note is passed to her. She acknowledges it in horror, passes it on, then continues, realizing her ability to create truths for a captive audience.

VERONICA
She realized the only way she could be happy was to give up her power and
the only way she could do that was Death.

PAULINE cries. The PUPILS applaud. VERONICA queasily smiles.

 

INT. THE GIRLS LOCKER ROOM--DAY

The GIRLS are finishing up putting on their clothes.

HEATHER MCNAMARA
Oh God, it's so unfair. It's just so unfair! We should get a whole week
off not just an hour.

HEATHER DUKE
Write the School Board.

HEATHER DUKE gnaws on a chicken leg as she speaks.

VERONICA
Watch it, Heather. You could actually be digesting food.

HEATHER MCNAMARA
Yeah, where's your urge to purge?

HEATHER DUKE
(belching)
Fuck it.

HEATHER MCNAMARA pulls a Swatch from one of the lockers.

HEATHER MCNAMARA
Look, heather left behind one of her Swatches. She'd want you to have it,
Veronica. She always said you couldn't accessorize for shit.

HEATHER MCNAMARA tosses the watch to a spooked VERONICA who stands up and solemnly puts it on. The FEMALE STONER IN ARMY JACKET stops next to their bench.

FEMALE STONER IN ARMY JACKET
I'm sorry about your friend. I thought she was your usual airhead bitch.
Guess I was wrong. Lot of us were.

HEATHER DUKE bobs up from the world's largest sno-cone.

HEATHER DUKE
What a waste.

VERONICA zombiesquely moves into the shower area.

HEATHER DUKE (V.O.)
Oh the Humanity.

 

INT. THE SHOWER--DAY

VERONICA turns on a shower and lets the water spray against her clothes.





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All material, except where noted, ©1999-2012 by Norman Hollyn. Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Send me an e-mail at my office
Last Modified - October 15, 2012