For Class #3
|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|
This evening we will be looking at a scene from MEET JOE BLACK. As I mentioned, I will usually not show something that I don't like because a) it's a cheap shot, and b) I'd rather you learn from well-edited scenes than badly edited ones. However, this scene has much to teach us in terms of trusting an audience.
We examine the build of the two characters' emotions as they clearly relate to each other. If Susan wasn't engaged she might leap at this chance. But fate is forcing them not to be together at this point (very soon we will find out that fate is bringing them together, but that is outside of this class -- go watch the film if you want to see how it works out).
One of my points about "When Should I Cut" in the first class was to cut when there is nothing new to be gleaned from the shot. The same is true for a series of shots. How do you know when to finish a scene (or a moment in a scene)? I'd answer the same way: when there is nothing new to be gleaned from them. As you watch the scene below ask yourself where we stop making our point and where we begin to repeat it.
I've highlighted in yellow the area where you should pay particular attention.
EXT. CORINTH COFFEE SHOP,
YORK AVENUE - DAY
The Young Man holds the door for Susan as they step out onto the street. Susan is staring at him now, he smiles, all open and vulnerable.
I've got to go --
Did I say something wrong?
No, it was so right it scares me.
I've been thinking... I don't want you to be my doctor. Because I don't want you to examine me.
Because I like you so much.
You have coffee here every morning, don't you? If I came by, could you give me the name of a doctor?
Sure, I'll give you the name of a doctor.
...And I don't want to examine you.
Because I like you so much. Now I've got to go.
She hurries away down the sidewalk, the Young Man watching her. Now he turns and starts off in the opposite direction.
ANOTHER ANGLE - SUSAN
She looks back at the Young Man, then turns and walks on.
ANOTHER ANGLE - THE YOUNG MAN
He looks back at Susan as the distance between them widens, now he turns and walks on.
She looks around once more but the Young Man is still headed in the opposite direction, his back to her. She turns the corner and continues on.
ON THE YOUNG MAN
Approaching the corner, he looks back for Susan yet again, but she is gone, still turned he steps off into the street and a hospital supplies truck, speeding down the curb lane, HITS HIM BROADSIDE, a horrific impact, the THUD echoes as his body arcs through the air.
Another sickening THUD as it lands, the Young Man lies crumpled, still.
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by Norman Hollyn. Questions? Comments? Suggestions? Send me an e-mail
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Last Modified - October 15, 2012