For Class #15
|Instructor: Norman Hollyn||T.A.: Dipesh Jain|
E-Mail: nhollyn [at] cinema.usc.edu
|E-Mail: dipeshjain007 [at] gmail.com|
We've seen a lot of different scripts this year -- from DALLAS, to the lined scripts that have already been completed, to the graphical one for POWERS OF TEN. Here is a script for the music video for Stain'd's "For You." -- The lyrics.
It's not a shooting script, per se. This has no storyboards. It's what the director Nigel Dick started with. See if you can find beats and moments where the thrust of the piece changes. Then when we watch the music video, see what happens there.
Below the lyrics is the treatment that Dick then wrote. Click here to go directly to it.
To my mother, to my father,
It's your son or it's your daughter,
Are my screams loud enough for you to hear me?
Should I turn this up for you?
I sit locked inside my head
Remembering everything you've said
This silence gets us nowhere!
Gets us nowhere way too fast!
The silence is what kills me
I need someone here to help me
But you don't know how to listen
And let me make my decisions
'Cause I sit here locked inside my head
remembering everything you've said
The silence gets us nowhere!
Gets us nowhere too fast!
All your insults and your curses make
me feel like I'm not a person
And I feel like I am nothing but
you made me so do something
'Cause I'm fucked up because you are
Need attention, attention you couldn't give
I sit here locked inside my head
Remembering everything you've said
This silence get us nowhere!
Gets us nowhere way too fast
© 2001 Aaron Lewis/Staind
And here is the treatment that Dick wrote before shooting. It helped him get to the storyboards and shot plan.
Video concept #1.1
m y m o m & d a d
overview...Ever had that feeling that Mom & Dad don’t know who the f*ck you are? Ever been in the car with them and feel like you could scream because they are suffocating you with their silence? If so this treatment is dedicated to you.
We shoot the band in an intense performance situation. This footage will be intercut with a concept involving a teen and his parents. Everytime we see the teen he is a screaming, frustrated youth driven to distraction by his parents. Whenever his parents look at him they only see a quiet, normally resentful teen listening to his Discman.
The cuts of the band and conceptual footage are brief, disjointed and shocking and marry perfectly with the unsettling tone and beats of the song.
music starts...in the driveway of a house in a slightly run down neighbourhood. We find Steven, 17 matted hair, double T-shirt etc. sitting forlornly in the back of a tired ‘77 Buick Le Sabre wagon. He’s slumped in the back seat so that only part of his face is visible from the outside - though he’s wearing his headphones he’s about to endure a fate more painful and torturous than the star performer of a Taliban hit squad could devise: a journey in the car with Mom and Dad.
A jolt and the car is on it’s way. With views reminiscent of the Sopranos title sequence we see Mom, Dad & Steven driving through their urban hinterland: a never ending succession of gas stations, mini-malls, breakers yards etc. Dad is overweight and scratches the bald patch underneath the plastic see-through mesh of his well worn International Harvester cap. Mom flips through the National Enquirer as she flicks the cigarette ash from her brown K-Mart slacks. Whenever they glance into the back seat Steven nods his head gently as he stares out of the window and fiddles with the controls on his Discman.
first verse and chorus... “To my mother, to my father...” Steven is a possessed, caged animal in the back seat of the car. He’s yelling the lyrics to the backs of Mom and Dad’s heads. “It’s your son, it’s your daughter...Are my screams loud enough for you to hear me?” Steven could not be more aggressive in his manner or his questioning...
But when Mom looks casually over her shoulder all she sees is Steven leaning against the window looking outside while the music plays. The teen Mom and Dad see is a Ritalin/Prozac child. The teen we see is the frustrated kid in all of us - misunderstood, unheard, ignored.
We intercut with furious footage of the band. Aaron grips his mic stand so hard it seems the steel will melt, Mike and Johnny flail at their guitars and Jon pounds his kit. We notice water damaged corkboard behind them, musty carpet at their feet. It seems that the cool afternoon glow of an autumn sun is falling on them through a large dusty window. The energy of the camera moves reflects the furious rage bottled up in the music.
“I sit here locked inside my head...” In the back seat of the wagon Steven is grabbing at the cheap plastic ceiling of the car interior trying express his rage. Mom and Dad are oblivious. “The silence gets us nowhere...” Dad looks at Steven in the rear view all he sees is part of a resentful figure pressed into the corner. A furtive close-up reveals Steven’s gritted teeth: “gets us nowhere way too fast...”
We continue to intercut band and concept footage throughout the video.
second verse & chorus...Dad has pulled off the road and parked at a fast food joint/ truck stop / gas station location. Steven sits quietly at the table while Mom looks absently out of the window. Dad is in line waiting for a tray of burgers and sodas. Steven, still wearing the headphones, stares intently at Mom and sings through gritted teeth: “the silence is what kills me, I need someone to help me.”
At a table nearby another teen, Shelby, looks over and sees Steven yelling at his Mom: “but you don’t know how to listen...” Shelby’s parents look up to see what she is staring at. All they can see is a morose Steven slumped in a chair with a Discman facing his Mom who stares out of the window. Shelby’s parents return to their burgers and fries. Shelby identifies instantly with what is going down: “but you don’t know how to listen...and let me make my decisions.”
Dad returns with lunch and sits next to Mom. Other kids in the diner see Steven screaming the chorus at his Mom and Dad. Other parents see only another family bent under the strain of paying the rent and trying to keep up with the demands of increasingly alienated teens. “The silence gets us nowhere...”
bridge...the music descends instantly to Mike’s chugging guitar figure. Steven leans in towards his oblivious parents: “All your insults...” Throughout the diner all the other Stevens and Shelbys have picked up the vibe. Each one leans into remonstrate at their oblivious parents their anger finding a channel at last: “ and your curses make me feel like I’m not a person...”
On the band’s crunching
chords the teens throughout the diner slam on the tables. Fries, sodas, burgers
leap in the air. Parents pay no attention as every kid in the room rises to
their feet and points to their parents: “You made me do something, because
I’m fucked up, because you are...” It’s outrageous - the Midwych
Cuckoos are wreaking their revenge...
third chorus...all the kids are sitting again but still yelling out at their parents: “I sit here locked inside my head...” From the parents’ point of view the diner is filled with Ritalin kids, though closer examination shows Steven and Shelby exchanging a conspiratorial glance.
fourth chorus...Dad is paying the check, Mom is leaving the diner and outside Steven has wandered over to a vacated car showroom on one side of the parking lot. He looks in through the window and sees Staind performing...Aaron looks at him and his breath clouds the glass for a moment: “this silence gets us nowhere, gets us nowhere way too fast...”
Over his shoulder the Le Sabre pulls into frame and dad honks his horn. Mom and Dad’s POV shows Steven peering in through the empty windows of the car showroom with tired FOR RENT posters stuck to the glass. (There is NO BAND INSIDE - they have been, of course, entirely a figment of Steven’s imagination).
Over the final bars we watch Steven slouch his way back to the car and his further imprisonment. He slams the door on the final guitar crunch. We focus on Steven’s face partly hidden as he slumps back in the seat and is driven back to the freeway by Mom and Dad.
© Nigel Dick 2001
This treatment was requested by L. Barnes when he asked me which, of my 250 vids, was my favourite concept...and this one felt as good as any.