Sunday, October 7, 2007

Cool words for writers - Dialogue Hook

A Dialogue Hook is a verbal example of of a dangling clause and what is said provides a transition to the next scene.

Tension is created because we’re left wondering just what is going to happen.

Here’s a example from “Toy Story” (1995)


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Thought for the day...

"Every piece of work in the shops moves. Save 10 steps a day for each of the 12,000 employees, and you will have saved 50 miles of wasted motion and misspent energy."
- Henry Ford


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Film Breakdown - Mystery - The Last of Sheila (1973)


1. 2:02 - A party is underway and a couple are arguing. Sheila (Yvonne Romaine) walks out of the house, followed by her husband Clinton Green (James Coburn) who demands she return... she does not, instead choosing to walk through the dark streets of Bel Air. Out of the evening comes a green car, speeding and swerving... likely a drunk driver as the car hits some trash bins. The car hits Sheila... the driver of the car reverses and gets out. Evidently grasping the seriousness of their dilemma, and perhaps being too late to do anything about it, the lone driver gets back into their vehicle and with a squeal of tires disappears into the night. Ends: 0:02:02


2. 1:12 - Dissolve to a yacht anchored off the coast of some small town. The name of the yacht reads SHEILA. Credits roll as we peek inside, though all we hear is the tap-tap-tap of an old mechanical typewriter and all we see are fragments of a crossword, pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, board games etc. Clearly the boat’s owner likes games. Clinton Green sits among his things, typing away on what look like stiff, card-like paper. As he finishes, he puts the card stock away into what looks like an envelope whose face already sports a handwritten name in ink. Clinton smokes a cigar and adopts a smug little smile. The names on the two envelopes read “Lee” and “Tom”. Ends: 0:03:14


3. 1:02 - Tom (Richard Benjamin) sits in his living room watching television. His wife Lee (Joan Hackett) enters the room from outside.Through exposition, Tom reveals that their luxurious house (the pool can be seen in the b.g.) belonged to her dead father, else Tom would unlikely to be able to afford such luxury. Lee holds a letter from Clinton and reveals they’ve been invited to join him for a week-long party on board the yacht. Tom is excited but his wife tells him to write something new... Clinton is never going to produce his “Freak show” script. Ends: 0:04:16



4. 0:02 - Clearly in flashback (since we have now seen those letters arrive at their destination), we now see Clinton continue typing on his old machine. An envelope to one side already awaits his labor, the name “Christine” can be read. Ends: 0:04:18


5. 1:11 - A loud A-type personality Christine (Dyan Cannon) talks on the phone and is evidently discussing the upcoming week-long party on Clinton’s yacht. Whoever it is that’s on the phone, it isn’t Clinton Green talking to her since Christine is disrespectful towards the deceased Sheila. However, she does reveal that it is the one year anniversary of Sheila’s death. She phones someone called Freddy and reveals she wants to go to the South of France (evidently Clinton’s origin or destination). Ends: 0:05:29

6. 0:06 - Clinton folds something into another envelope, seals it shut... the name on the front reads “Philip”. Ends: 0:05:35


7. 1:01 - On a television or movie set, Philip (James Mason) sits and barks orders to those around him. A group of children are dressed-up and sit on large props... likely they’re making a television commercial. Philip is called away to answer the phone... it is his wife or secretary and after listening for a bit, he instructs her to send a telegram of acceptance. Ends: 0:06:36

8. 0:06 - Clinton stares at another two envelopes whose handwritten names are “Alice” and “Anthony”. Ends: 0:06:42


9. 0:52 - Anthony (Ian McShane) handles the press while his wife Alice (Raquel Welch) fields questions from the paparazzi. She reveals that she’s exhausted after shooting her latest motion picture and she and her husband are going to vacation on the yacht of a famous producer friend. They’re both in Rome - at the airport waiting to board their plane - and Anthony man-handles an insistent Italian who chases them both as they head towards their plane - he falls to the ground and Alice is upset with Anthony because he’s so brutish. Ends: 0:07:34

10. 0:09 - Clinton Green holds a card which reads simply “The Game Will Begin Every Night At 9:00pm Sharp”. Ends: 0:07:43


11. 2:22 - The yacht is moored at the quay... however, there’s no one on board. Tom and Lee sit on their luggage, not wanting to board because they would be leaving their luggage unattended... Tom’s back is evidently not what it should be and so they dare not risk hauling all their stuff on board themselves. An open topped Rolls Royce arrives with everyone else crammed into the vehicle... Clinton sits prominently above all others and shouts a welcome to Tom and Lee. Clinton wants to take a group photograph and arranges everyone into a particular order by the bow of the yacht. Only then do they all board. Ends: 0:10:05

12. 0:37 - Clinton’s guests mill around the yacht’s main living room; they observe all the games strewn around. There’s a notice board standing to one side with everyone’s name on it... Clinton reveals that is “for later” and pins up the group photograph on a cork board. Ends: 0:10:42


13. 2:10 - Clinton shows each guest their rooms on board. Alice and Anthony get a large double room... in a smaller room, the other couple Tom and Lee speculate that Clinton did that so as not to put up with sulking for six days. Christine barges into their room and she and Tom speculate about what Clinton is up to... they seem to think that a movie about Sheila is brewing (as Sheila appears to be a compulsive subject of Clinton). Through exposition, it is confirmed to us that her killer was never found. Ends: 0:12:52

14. 2:57 - The guests are outside on the deck soaking up the sun and Clinton is talking (presumably) about a movie. Sounds like Christine was right after all; Clinton mentions wanting to call it “The Last of Sheila”. Anthony appears interested but presumptuously mentions that he’s not sure if Alice will be available (to play the lead). Wanting to change the subject, Clinton prepares to outline the upcoming game - what he’s dubbed “The Sheila Green Memorial Gossip Game”. He goes on to explain that he’s prepared six little pieces of pretend gossip, one for each of these guests in attendance... they’re to be kept secret by each person there. We then see some individually-typed cards revealed from the opened envelopes... for example, “You are an Informer”, “You are an Ex Convict”, “You are an Alcoholic” and so-on. However, we don’t see who revealed them. The idea of the game is to discover everybody’s secret and prevent everyone from discovering yours. Clinton goes on to explain that every day they will dock at a different port and at that place, they can discover the proof of one guest’s secret... Clinton will announce which secret to look for and give them all a clue beforehand revealing what to do/where to go on shore. Tonight they’re looking for the “Shoplifter”. Ends: 0:15:49


15. 1:15 - Evening finds our guests on a motor boat heading for the shore. Clinton isn’t with them though he’s following behind the boat in one of his own. Christine has a silver key in her hand, this apparently being their clue for the night. Inscribed on the key is simply STERLING 18K and it is obvious that each of the guests have their own key. Clinton reminds them to not confer with each other and with an extravagant circle around their boat with his, he’s off... back to his yacht. Ends: 0:17:04

16. 2:37 - Series of Shots - Anthony knocks on the door of a private home near a large novelty key somewhere in downtown... however the door is opened by a grouchy Frenchman who appears to cuss him out. Lee is about to enter a store when she’s pounced upon by Christine... sure she’s breaking the rule, but she speaks some French and doesn’t want to do this alone. Alice sits in an outdoor bar and is served a beverage... she’s deep in thought. Back with Lee and Christine, Lee is busy trying to get an expert’s opinion on the key itself while Christine is evidently shopping. Lee is told that it’s the key to a hotel and armed with this information, Lee skulks out of the store without Christine (who stands by the register haggling with the sales person over some trinket). Tom meanwhile has walked up to the door of an advertised “Hotel Sterling”... as he walks into speak to a receptionist, he finds Philip there asking to compare his keys to those of the other rooms. Tom hides and scuttles up a staircase unseen... out on the street, Christine is running after Lee. Unable to catch up with her, Christine stops running when she catches sight of Anthony and latches onto him instead. She tells him the French word for key is clef and armed with that, Anthony disappears. Lee is searching through a phone book’s yellow pages. Philip is behind the hotel’s reception, visually comparing each room key to his clue. Meanwhile, Tom is outside room 18K and taps on the surface... getting no response, he inserts his key and turns the lock... the door opens!
Ends: 0:19:41

17. 2:38 - Tom lets himself into room 18K. Inside a television set blares out the noise from some old B/W movie. The room is seemingly filled with junk... trinkets are on every flat surface, things are stacked against every wall. He opens a door and creeps in... on a nearby table, a clothed mannequin lies with a knife sticking out of his back. As Tom is about to reach out, Clinton shouts out NOT to touch the dummy! Clinton is sitting quietly to one side, watching everything. Clinton tells Tom to figure out what happened and to leave before any of the others arrive. Tom reveals that this must be the shoplifter’s room... there’s a lot of stuff in there, each still with a price tag attached. The dummy is a detective whom the shoplifter has killed. In the dummy’s hand is a bottle of perfume... a revelatory Chanel #5 is uttered by Tom, who beams and returns to the other room, switching the noisy television over to channel five. A fake documentary is shown to be playing on that station, Clinton’s voice can be heard... the picture of the shoplifter is clearly that of Philip. The door rattles with another key being inserted and Clinton quickly switches channels back to where it was originally and tells Tom to run away... Lee now enters the room and Tom leaves after a quick kiss. Ends: 0:22:19

18. 1:43 - Series of shots - Anthony walks outside on the street. He comes to the outside bar area and spots Alice smoking a cigarette. He offers to help but she’s not interested and he leaves. Back in room 18K, the fake documentary is running again and a beaming Philip sees himself as the Shoplifter. Outside La Clef du Sol restaurant, Christine meets Anthony who has just come out... she inadvertently gives him a clue about it being a hotel key and he skulks away. She embarrasses herself by barging into the restaurant, convinced (at least initially) that the solution is there. Anthony arrives outside the hotel room 18K but sees the sign on the door know which reads “The Game is Over”. Ends: 0:24:02

19. 0:42 - Alice continues to sit at the outside bar when to one side, an unseen person catches her attention. She becomes agitated, telling them that the mustn’t be seen here but that she does want to get together tonight on the top-deck of the yacht. She thinks they’ll be alone and she wants to talk about the game. Anthony now returns to the bar and the unseen person leaves quietly. Ends: 0:24:44

20. 0:34 - On the motor boat waiting to take everyone back to the yacht, Christine is hearing from Philip how there’s no such thing as 18K silver. Tom and Lee arrive and sit at the back... it looks like Tom is helped back on board by the crewman, no doubt because of Tom’s continuing back pain. Anthony and Alice return to the quay... Anthony wants to know who solved the riddle and how many solved it in total. But no one is telling as they head back to the yacht. Ends: 0:25:18

21. 1:28 - Later on the yacht, Tom brushes his teeth in the bathroom while Lee reads a magazine on their bed. It seems Clinton reminds Lee too much of her father... domineering individuals who play games and rewards those they like. Outside there’s some sort of argument going on between Clinton and someone else... Tom and Lee decide to ignore them all and engage in an intimate embrace... Ends: 0:26:46

22. 2:02 - Alice is talking to the unseen person again, this time on the top deck of the yacht as originally planned. She reveals that it was she who was once caught for shoplifting. She shows her card, which reads “You are a Homosexual” and she believes Clinton might have mixed-up the cards... she really wants to know what card the unseen person has... Ends: 0:28:48

23. 0:33 - Anthony lies alone on his bed listening to music on headphones. Alice comes into the room and Anthony taunts her with the fact that she always loses at games. Alice tells him to get a real job and Anthony mocks a hurtful tear... Ends: 0:29:21

24. 0:39 - In Clinton Green’s bedroom, it is evident that he’s listening-in on the conversations of his guests. Clinton switches off listening to Anthony & Alice. Christine enters his bedroom dressed provocatively... not finding him there, she opens the bathroom and joins Clinton.
Ends: 0:30:00

25. 0:10 - Tom sits on the bed smoking a cigarette. He appears deep in thought and absentmindedly buttons up his shirt. Ends: 0:30:10

26. 2:33 - Philip is in the main living area preparing himself a drink. To his side stands the notice board, the first row of a table reads MONDAY and we see the winners of the first game are Philip and Tom whose columns are circled; everyone else’s columns are X’d. Philip spots Lee sitting outside and joins her on deck. They reminisce about times past. Philip asks Lee why she and Tom don’t simply finance Tom’s movie themselves (instead of waiting for Clinton) but she poo-poohs the idea, adding that it’s not something Tom would consider. Tom now joins them on the deck and impersonates Clinton’s voice... once Philip leaves, Tom and Lee retire back to their room. Ends: 0:32:43

27. 1:01 - Back in their room, Tom reveals that there’s something going on and he’s going to talk to Clinton about it. Lee thinks it’s too late but they both know Clinton hasn’t slept eight hours since Sheila died. Tom leaves the room. Outside of Clinton’s room, Tom can her Clinton and Christine frolicking (or at least laughing) in the cabin and Tom decides not to disturb them. Philip now exits his bedroom and catches Tom outside of Clinton’s room... Philip tells Tom to go to bed. Ends: 0:33:44

28. 2:34 - Morning finds everyone out on deck relaxing in the bright sunshine. Clinton is shooting golf balls across into the ocean and at his feet, Anthony chit-chats about managing Alice’s career, being interested in that end of things, and asking what Clinton would say to making him an assistant producer on his next movie. Clinton walks away, not answering the question but choosing to mimic Anthony’s mocking hurtful tear (see #23). Over by the ladies, Alice walks away from Christine after a catty exchange of words. Christine reveals that she’s on the yacht to keep one client and get another... Lee reveals she’s there to try and keep hold of a husband. Off to the side, Alice joins Clinton who has now donned some diving gear. Alice apologizes to him for Anthony not having handled things better earlier on... Clinton dives overboard into the water. Ends: 0:36:18

29. 1:46 - The crew are having their naps and Christine asks Anthony for a drink - she’s parched floating around on the sea alongside the yacht in the afternoon. Inside, Tom plays darts alone. Anthony comes into the room to get a drink. Meanwhile, back outside, Clinton surfaces and shouts out various attempts to engage his guests in conversation... however, Tom, Philip etc aren’t biting, probably because Clinton’s tone is borderline patronizing. Ends: 0:38:04


30. 3:11 - Christine floats on her back in the ocean, close to the yacht. She sings to herself. Meanwhile, inside the boat we see someone’s POV... someone who secretly skulks around the boat, making sure the various crew members are occupied in personal pursuits. The POV shifts to the engine room. Outside, Christine is at the stern, the yacht’s silent propeller just beneath her. Inside, the POV lingers by the engine lever. Elsewhere, the cabin staff are undertaking mild chores when the sound of the boat starting is heard... the yacht shudders a little. Outside, Christine is sucked off her inflatable raft and into the churning slipstream of water. She struggles to swim away from the rotating blades, but the current is too strong. One of the crewmen dives for the engine shutoff switch on the top deck and at the same time, Anthony dives into the water to help Christine. The motor stops and Christine is hauled on board by Tom and Anthony... she is clearly intact physically and coughing water out of her lungs. Philip covers her with a towel and Christine is borderline hysterical, laughing up a storm and screaming at the same time. Clinton swims quickly up to his yacht to tend to his guests... satisfying himself that she’s alright, he proceeds to chew out the crew about starting the engines while they’re out there in the water.
Ends: 0:41:15

31. 2:11 - Tom & Philip conspiratorially whisper to each other about who could have turned on the yacht’s motors... between them they try and account for everyone of the guests and where they were when the incident occured. Tom’s back is acting up and asks Clinton to be spared having to play the game that night - Clinton says it’s okay, his big night will come on Saturday. Clinton then joins a few of his crew members to go inland to one of the islands. He’s probably preparing tonight’s game. Ends: 0:43:26


32. 0:49 - Clinton arrives back on his motorized boat in the evening; a few yards away from his yacht, he uses a loud-hailer to summon everyone of his guests onto the top deck. He throws them one parcel - the so-called clue for that evening - and tells them the launch will return at 8 pm that night. The island has a monastery and tonight they have to find “The Homosexual”. Ends: 0:44:15

33. 2:09 - The guests sit around in the living room. Their clue for this evening seems to comprise a guide book of the island they’re about to visit... Anthony reads out loud and there are some typos (deliberate?) and some cryptic facts which are unlikely to be true. Back in their quarters a few minutes later, Tom decides to shower before they leave for this evening’s festivities. Lee decides to leave him to it, choosing to go upstairs. While Tom is alone showering, we see an unknown someone enter their room. Whoever it is make their way to Tom’s wallet, in which lies Clinton’s card for him... it reads “Hit and Run Killer”. Ends: 0:46:24

34. 1:11 - Inside the island monastery, Clinton is dressed in the simple habit of a monk. He has lit candles throughout one of the rooms and lowers a tape recorder into a hidden crevice... it emits the spooky sounds of thunder, lightening and an owl hooting. The atmosphere suitably spooky, Clinton withdraws... Ends: 0:47:35

35. 2:05 - The guests now enter the monastery and written instruction direct them all to wear the monk habits left for them by Clinton. They are reminded to maintain their vow of silence. Meanwhile, Clinton makes his way throughout the large building, laying clues and printed messages throughout. The guests contemplate their next move when monastic chanting can be heard from several different areas of the monastery - no doubt tape recordings, but the ensuing chorus is humorous to several of the guests and does add great atmosphere for tonight’s game. They all disperse in different directions. Ends: 0:49:40

36. 6:48 - Series of shots - Anthony follows the sound of a particular chant, convinced this is Clinton singing and not some tape recording... he finally arrives at the source of the singing, but there’s a sign there that reads “Wrong”. Philip enters a large, cavernous candle-lit room... he decides to move into a smaller chamber to one side and finds a wooden confessional... a door to the side invites him into the confessional... he sits down and finds himself confronted with Clinton in drag. It turns out that Philip has used the wrong door to the confessional... however the other one is stuck and Philip is told to leave while he deals with getting it unstuck out of its jammed state. Meanwhile, Tom arrives at a source of chanting, and himself sees a “Wrong” sign... Tom spots Philip emerging from the confessional and himself tiptoes in to find Clinton for himself. Later, Christine does the same thing. As she steps out, she comes across another guest and (like us) doesn’t know who it is... but she says to them that this is the best game ever. Later in another room, she hears the ominous sound of a crash coming from Clinton’s direction... and we then see Clinton fall out of his confessional... dead! The killer (unseen, dressed in a monk’s habit) is about to escape when Alice appears outside the door... she knocks and asks to know what is going on. A sign is pushed out to her from under the door... it reads “The Game Is Over”.
Ends: 0:56:28

37. 0:49 - Morning finds our guests on the top deck, enjoying their breakfast in the bright sunshine. Philip mentions that Clinton didn’t sleep in his bed last night and nobody picked him up from the island. Anthony tells them all that his disappearance is part of the game. Philip disagrees, citing the fact that he hasn’t filled-in the scoreboard in the living room. Ends: 0:57:17

38. 2:32 - We hear the echoes of the guests calling out for Clinton in the monastery. Daylight now fills the rooms which only a few hours ago seemed so dark & shadowy. They make their way to the confessional room and open the door. We hear a scream from the ever-loud Christine and she’s told to get out. Tom and Philip enter and examine Clinton's corpse. Anthony enters and Tom tells them to not touch anything. Anthony appears to think it is an accident. Tom smells a rat. Philip finds a cigarette butt in Clinton's confessional but Tom reminds him that Clinton didn’t smoke cigarettes. Anthony is taking Alice back to the yacht as she’s sick. Ends: 0:59:49


39. 21:25 - The yacht’s captain tells Philip that the police have been summoned but won’t get there until the morning... they will harbor where they are until then. The guests now fix themselves drinks and talk about Clinton. Alice says it’s such a shame and Christine is upset. Anthony maintains that Clinton’s accident shouldn’t halt the movie continuing as originally planned. Tom reminds them this isn’t the first accident - yesterday’s propeller incident. Tom asks who solved the clue last night... as Alice had the “Homosexual” card, the game should have continued until she solved it... but she never got the chance to do so. So it was unlikely that it was Clinton who ended the game... furthermore (Tom says) the piece of stone that struck Clinton was ornately grooved, meaning it came from the base of a stone pillar and not the top. Tom takes the lead in trying to solve Clinton’s death... he starts by trying to analyze the very purpose of the original game. He asks everyone for their original cards and seeing them, believes the whole game to have been Clinton’s private joke.

Tom picks out the “Homosexual” card. It appears to be confession time... Lee is speechless but Tom admits he had a “thing” with Clinton. Alice admits to the “Shoplifting”. Christine admits to be the “Informer”. Anthony claims he’s the “Ex Convict” and can prove it. The tension now builds considerably as only Lee and Philip remain to claim their sin.

Lee finally fesses-up and admits she was the one who accidentally hit & run into Sheila.

We flashback to yesterday night and witness Lee confronting Clinton in his confessional - she knows what the game is about and wants the game to stop. When he whispers to her to get out, she does so but picks up the candleholder and rams it through the confessional door... Clinton falls out. Dead.

She then stages the crime scene to hide the fact that she killed Clinton. She now wants to make a clean exit and leaves the room by herself. Ends: 1:21:14

40. 0:34 - Philip mentions to Tom that he’s worried about Lee having made the “clean exit” line... he therefore rushes out of the room and to their bedroom. The door is locked to their cabin. He threatens to knock it down but she reassures him that she’s okay and wants to take a nap. He promises to come back later. Ends: 1:21:48

41. 0:52 - Anthony and Alice stand outside on the top deck. Anthony walks down to where the others are once Tom returns... Lee just wants to be alone. Ends: 1:22:40

42. 0:52 - Christine eats cake in the dining room and is sick at the news... sick at the news of hearing about the deal that Alice got on her last picture. Tom has obtained a master key from the Captain... Lee is apparently still not answering the knocks on her door. Christine admits to knowing she is a recovering alcoholic. She offers to accompany Tom to Lee’s cabin but he declines. Ends: 1:23:32

43. 0:31 - Tom lets himself into the bedroom and Lee lies there on their bed. He makes his way over and she moans in her sleep. She is alive. Tom removes a bottle from her grasp. Ends: 1:24:03


43. 0:26 - Philip stands outside while the others chat indoors. He hears a ker-splunk and sees a bottle of Scotch thrown into the water float-by. Ends: 1:24:29

44. 1:31 - Tom lays on the sofa... Philip holds the cigarette butt found in Clinton’s confessional. Philip appears deep in thought and tries to get Tom’s attention. However, he’s fast asleep... Philip makes his way to the yacht’s control room and helps himself to a key from a set hanging there. Philip then knocks on Lee’s bedroom door... not hearing a response, he lets himself into the room. However, her bed is empty and there’s nobody in the bathroom. Ends: 1:26:00

45. 0:07 - There’s a knock at Christine’s door and we hear her puff & pant suggestively... Philip makes his way in and we now see Christine doing sit-ups with the help of a crewman who holds her legs in place. No, she hasn’t seen Lee. Ends:1:26:07

46. 1:09 - Philip now wakes-up Tom and tells him that Lee has disappeared. She’s nowhere to be found. Tom rushes back to their room to verify this for himself... finding Philip is correct, Tom disappears to find the Captain. Philip gets an idea to look into Clinton’s room... in the bathroom, in the only cabin with a bathtub, Philip finds Lee. Dead... her wrists slashed. Ends: 1:27:16

47. 3:14 - Back on dry land, a stretcher covers a body on the quay and the Captain stands there talking to a man in a suit (a detective?). We’re seeing this from the POV of a telescope or a small movie-camera. The body is placed into a waiting ambulance. The POV changes to Alice who watches the ambulance... holding the camera is Anthony but he leaves when Alice starts to become morbid about Lee’s death. Christine is carrying a set of clothes to shore, claiming she wants to look terrific for their interrogation by the police. Anthony leaves to find a taxi, claiming the hotel will give away their rooms if they don’t check in soon. Tom exits a room smoking a cigarette... Alice thanks him for not revealing anything about “them” yesterday. She leaves and Philip comes to say his goodbyes. Tom asks him whose at fault for all of this... Clinton, Lee, Sheila...? He makes a move to leave and Philip mentions wishing he could remember something Clinton said. Ends: 1:30:30


48. 8:14 - The crew are celebrating their shore leave. Tom walks among them and heads for the waterfront in the night. From the shore, he notices the yacht’s living room lights flicker on, then off... on, then off. His curiosity piqued, he makes his way back on board. Inside sits Philip who calls out for Anthony in the dark... Tom says it’s him and the lights come on. Philip is practicing stomping out cigarettes in the light and in the dark. It is evident that the cigarette butt they found in Clinton’s confessional was odd in that it appeared as though the filter was stomped out... leaving the lit end to continue burning.

It now appears that Lee only thought she killed Clinton. But actually he was already dead.

Tom is now incensed that his wife Lee died for nothing; she killed a dead man. So someone killed her. Philip wants him to calm down but Tom leaves the room and says he’ll be right back. Ends: 1:38:44

49. 2:53 - Montage - Tom enters a bedroom and is searching for something. Back in the living room, Philip fixes himself another drink... while at the bar, he notices Clinton’s group photograph from the first day of their vacation. He remembers Clinton saying that for this game, you didn’t have to move if you were smart enough. In the bedroom Tom is rummaging through a set of chest drawers. Philip has retrieved everyone’s game cards from the trash and is comparing them to what’s on the photograph. Philip has flashbacks of what transpired on the boat throughout the week... Clinton telling Tom his special day was on Saturday... Christine revealing to all that Lee was a recovering alcoholic etc. Philip is deep in thought and appears to have had some sort of revelation. Behind Philip a hand appears outside the glass door and quietly locks access out of the living room. Philip presses a button on the bar to summon the kitchen staff but we see the kitchen is deserted. Ends: 1:41:37

50. 16:00 - Tom walks up the staircase and rejoins Philip. It seems each have “found” the beginnings of an idea.

Philip has found that everyone’s “secret” card formed the letter of an acronym which spelled SHEILA. Two odd things he’s found though... the “little child molester” makes no sense unless it was so phrased that way to form the “L”... this is probably the clue that gave him the insight into the acronym. Secondly, Tom’s secret should be “A” which doesn’t match his “HIT AND RUN KILLER” card. It should have been “Alcoholic” which Tom actually got as a card and represented Lee’s secret.

Philip admits it was he who started the yacht’s rotors but that was to kill Clinton - he’d realized what he was up to and had no desire to be exposed as a pedophile. Philip does a masterful job explaining just how Tom carried out the crimes.

Tom reveals that the crew have the day off since their master is now deceased. Philip makes a run for it but Tom is younger & quicker and manages to attack Philip and strangle him. In flashback we see Tom carry Lee’s drugged body over to Clinton’s bathroom... he had drugged the bourbon bottle with Seconal (prescription anaesthetic/sedative/hypnotic drug), knowing full well that no one else on board drank bourbon.

Philip and Tom continue to fight when suddenly Christine walks into the room. It appears she and Guido were on board entertaining themselves when she turned on the radio in Clinton’s room and instead of music, heard Tom and Philip’s conversation.

Philip reveals that the entire saga is worthy of a motion picture... to that end, he reassures Christine that they will need her services in putting together the movie. Tom will provide the money, now that he’s the sole inheritor of Lee’s fortune ($5M+). Philip then leaves with Christine, reassuring Tom that all will be well.

Tom is stuck between a rock and a hard place... he has basically been blackmailed into cooperating with Philip and Christine... and there’s nothing he can do about it.

The end credits roll with Bette Midler singing “Friends”. Ends: 1:57:37

Cool words for writers - Gerund

Originates from Latin and is the name for a form that is derived from a verb but that functions as a noun.

Easily spotted because it typically ends in an “ing” and feels like an incomplete action.

For writers, especially screenwriters, these words are probably most effective in titles. Examples:-

        “Searching for Bobby Fischer” (1993)

        “Killing Mrs. Tingle” (1999)

        “Finding Nemo” (2003)

        “An American Haunting” (2005)

        “Running Scared” (2006)

Some may find using them to be pretentious, but others find that the incomplete action conveys significantly to the selling of the story premise.

So... consider a gerund in your story title if you want to hint at something or “dangle a promise” to pique some curiosity.

Just remember to deliver on that promise...

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Great Moments in Cinema - SCARFACE (1983)



The Bengal tiger paces his spot, restless.

A monsoon-like wind blows through the trees on the estate.

The monkeys listen quietly.

The flamingoes flutter.

... Then there’s a burst of loud music from the stereo speakers on the balcony -- a Billy Joel song, something smooth and easy about the high times and how fast they go...

See Tony in a long shot, throw open the terrace doors and stagger out onto the balcony, overlooking his estate.

... On a closer angle, we track him to the edge of the balustrade. He’s done so much coke now he’s practically catatonic; staggering and muttering to himself.

                ... Jesus fuckin' Christ whatsa matter
                with me, get a hold of y'self now
                these cocksuckers gonna run over you
                let 'em try I bury the cocksuckers...

His point of view -- panning his estate. The dark emptiness. The wind rustling the treetops.

Tony echoes back at him. Shaking his head at himself, He starts to cry!



                        ...Ooooh fuck Manny, how the fuck
                        did I do that? How the fuck! ...oh
                        Manny, Manny... you were there
                        for me, you were the one, Manny, you
                        understood, always understood...
                        well what the hell happened, huh?
                        What the hell happened to us?...

In far b-g. Now behind Tony, on the video monitors in his office we see:

The main gate and guard shack -- a Marielito crosses into view, checks the gate, turns. Suddenly two figures spring out at him. One of them garroting the Marielito. He struggles.

Another monitor now reveals two more figures moving into the interior of the guard shack. They knife the other Marielito.

A third monitor carries another image of shadows moving through the trees on the state.

On the balcony, Tony is oblivious to it all, almost incoherent.

                        I said you, Manny, I said I
                        never go crazy and you said, I would
                        you sonofabitch and you were right...
                        those were the good days hunh, we
                        was crazy back in those days, we’d
                        do anything, you and me, we was on
                        the way up, nobody nothing coulda
                        stopped us cause we were the best hunh
                        -- the fucking best...

As Tony turns and starts back through the terrace doors into his study, the camera glides around to a view of a hook flying up and catching the balustrade.

A shadow starts climbing up as:

                        ...we still are Manny, we still are
                        -- see, I’m gonna wipe out all them
                        fuckers out there, I’m gonna run the
                        market, I’m gonna be King Cocaine
                        you hear me, you buy you buy from me
                        -- Tony Montana. Covers all the
                        magazines. Fan Mail. Television
                        stars, movie stars, shooting stars
                        --- he’s a star...



As he crosses his office, the camera moves to reveal Gina standing there half-dressed in the doorway, her eyes blazing with hatred.

Tony sees her.

She steps forward, offering her body almost naked to her brother.

                        Is this what you want Tony?...

Tony shocked.

                        You can’t stand another man touching
                        me. So you want me Tony, is that it?
                        Well here I am.

She fires the Baretta we now see in her hand.

The bullet grazes Tony in the leg, snapping him from his catatonia as he goes reeling across the floor behind his desk. She fires again. Again.

                        I’m all yours Tony, I’m all yours now.

Bullets ripping into the desk. She advances, offering her sex, methodically shooting out the clip at rhythmic intervals.

                        Come and get me Tony. Before it’s too late.

He spins across the run away from the desk, trying to put distance between them. She sees his scurrying, turns, and expression like a demented angel.

                        Come on Tony, fuck me! Fuck me! Fuck me!

Advancing on him, firing. The furniture tearing up, the chair spilling, television sets and computer toys shattering, Tony squirming away, hit again in the thigh, shocked and scrambling over to the terrace windows. Her next shot shatters the window and as Tony ducks again to the side, we see outside onto the terrace behind him!



A young Columbian punk no more than than twenty -- one of the hitters -- is crouched there, reacting to the broken window.

He doesn’t hesitate, turning his machine gun on Gina.

Gina is torn to pieces by the firepower -- blown across the room, spine severed and dead before she hits the floor.

Tony sees it, yells something, in the same instant swivels to knock the barrel of the machine gun aside. The punk is taken by surprise, not having seen Tony, and Tony now runs him backwards across the balcony and hurls him over the balustrade.

The punk lands in one of the shallow pools on the grounds at the base of the balcony.

Tony, from above, grabs the punk’s machine gun and empties the whole clip into the figure thrashing in the pool below.

Ernie runs into view on the far side of the pool, spots what is going on and yells up ---

                        Tony, they’re everywhere! Get outta here!

Ernie suddenly wheels, hit in the face, by a burst of silencer bullets.

We catch a brief glimpse of Sosa’s black side, the Skull, moving quickly along the wall of the house -- directly underneath the balcony on which Tony stands.

Tony, tossing the empty machine gun aside, wildly runs back into his office to get more guns, crosses to Gina’s corpse. It takes him by surprise. He comes to a dead stop, kneels, looking questioningly in her face.

                        Hey Gina come on, you still angry at
                        me? I didn’t mean to kill Manny, I
                        was... I was--

Running his hands along her face, trying to rouse her, gently lifting her eyelids. Blood’s running out of her mouth in rivers.



                        Come on Gina, get off the floor.
                        You’re all dirty now, you need a
                        bath... Mami’s gonna be angry baby
                        -- ooh is she gonna be mad at me!...
                        Come on open your eyes my baby,
                        open your eyes... - give me a smile.

There’s been a steady pounding and calling on the door of the office. Tony finally hears it, looks up, then over at the monitors.

One of them reveals Chi-Chi standing there outside the door pounding it.

                        Boss! Hey Boss! Open up!

On the monitor we see Chi-Chi suddenly spin and open fire down the foyer. Return fire decimates him. A grenade goes off, blows him up against the door.


He now seems to come out of his catatonia, runs to his sideboard, hauls out a rocket shoulder-fired rocket launcher and straps an Uzi across his shoulder. He looks up at the monitor.

On the monitors, the hitters are now darting across the foyer and coming up to the left and right hand stairs.Three of them are already huddled outside the door, around the corpse of Chi-Chi, motioning to each other, laying a grenade at the base of the door to blow it out.

Tony loading his rocket, intends to beat them to the punch, talking to himself.

                So you wanna play hunh, say hello
                to my little friend here.


The rocket tears down the door and blows the Columbian punks off the landing into the foyer.

It sounds like Armageddon, one of the hitters is screaming, smoke billowing out wildly.

Tony, at the height of his mad glory, steps out at the apex of the stairs, firing his machine gun and yelling.

                Whores! Cowards! You think you
                can kill me with lousy bullets hunh?



Another hitter tumbles down the right-hand stair.

                Who you think I am? I kill all you
                fuckin’ assholes. I take you all to
                fuckin’ hell!

Left. Right.

Another hitter drops, screaming, off the stairs into the pool below.

A grenade goes off. Tony is hit again, but keeps on firing away. Laughing like a madman.

                You need an army you hear! An army
                to kill me!

Behind him we see the remainder of the pound of cocaine go up in a burst of wind, whipping around the office in auras of white. It is a ghostly effect out of which now appears the face of the Skull moving from the terrace towards Tony’s back with a sawed-off shotgun.

                Ha ha ha ha ha! You whores, you
                scum, I piss in your faces !!! Ha
                ha ha ha ha!!

Skull, now inches from Tony’s back, pulls the trigger and blows Tony’s spine out his belly.

Tony crashes forward over the bannister into the interior swimming pool below.

He floats quietly face down in the lit blue waters.

As the titles begin their crawl up, the music theme is expressive salsa with a dash of gaiety.

The camera moving off Tony to catch the reflection of the lit sculpture on the surface of the still waters. It says:

                        “THE WORLD IS YOURS”

And so, for the brief moment, it was.



Our camera now distancing itself from the body in the pool, panning past the dream villa, past the shambles and the wealth, past the hitters pillaging and looting and drawing that obscene word “Chivato” in blood on the outside walls, past the stacks of cash blowing across the floor like leaves in autumn, with the looters running after it across the busted door with the tropic wind blowing down Coconut Grove -- to the Miami skyline across the Biscayne Bay.

                THE END

Thursday, September 20, 2007

SP Terms - Sluglines

Sluglines or probably more accurately Slug lines provide information about a specific scene. Also known as a scene heading, a master scene heading or shot heading.

In Spec scripts, the slug line is typically comprised of three pieces of information:-

1) Scene intros - an abbreviation documenting information about where the scene is set.

        INT. - interior and tells us the scene is shot indoors
        EXT. - exterior and tells us the scene is shot outdoors
        I/E. - also known as INT./EXT. (or vice-versa) this tells us the scene
                is a combination of indoors & outdoors

2) Location - information about where the scene takes place


        Note how elements of a location are separated by a hyphen and
        need to occur from general to specific

        e.g. INT. ROLLS ROYCE - TRUNK

        (though too much information makes for a difficult read.)

3) Times - the time of day that the scene is taking place (a practical implication for eventual production)

        e.g. DAY or NIGHT

        They recommended that for Specs, writers should confine
        themselves to these two only. This is to maintain the reader’s         orientation and still be able to tell the story.

        However, any or more of the the following are deemed valid with
        many readers:-

        (and so-on).

In addition to master slug lines, it is now commonplace to see what are called mini-slugs (or secondary headings) within a master slug lined scene. In other words, once the scene has established itself as being (say) in an apartment, it is acceptable to shift focus to a specific part of the apartment without the accompanying (messy) new slug line.


Matt sits down on the sofa... he rolls up his newspaper and swats the cat playfully. The cat jumps off and walks over to Matt’s


where he jumps up and lays down on the keyboard.


In a shooting script, the slug line can comprise extra components :-

                                        AERIAL, UNDERWATER etc

        2.6) Subject of shot - focus is deliberately concentrated
                                        e.g. TRACKING SHOT - JIM, MIKE, PAT

(these are outlined here only to explain what one might see - maybe - in a shooting script... it’s worth noting however that standards are not always consistent, so variations can/will occur.)

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Thought for the day...

I'd just like to inspire people to be themselves and do what they want and not conform to the rigid guidelines of the music or entertainment business.
~Juliana Hatfield


Tuesday, September 18, 2007

SP Terms - Shooting vs Spec

A screenplay that is written but not as part of a paid assignment is known as a “Spec”, because it is deemed speculative.

A screenplay that is put together to support the production of an actual movie is known as a “Shooting script”, because these scripts don’t just tell the story, they also have a bunch of technical content (e.g. scene numbers, special effects etc).

It is obviously best if the two aren’t confused.

In other words, go to someplace on-line like Amazon and search for “shooting script” and you’ll see a variety of available publications that elaborate how a given motion picture was made... the detailed instructions supporting each scene in the movie, the exact dialogue used between characters, the transitions between scenes, any effects required and so-on.

This kind of detail should always be absent from a Spec.


Probably because the writer should focus on the what and not concern themselves with the mechanics of how it will be made.

To dwell on that interferes with the telling of the story, besides which the story itself will be rewritten in potentially dozens of drafts long before any thought of making it will arise. In fact, the odds of the script becoming a shooting script at all are very slim. So it probably comes across as presumptuous (at least) or unnecessarily dictatorial (at most).

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Thought for the day...

“We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.“
~ Stevie Wonder


Saturday, September 15, 2007

Film Breakdown - Action - The Double Man (1967)


1. 1:55 - Opening credits. Ends: 0:01:55


2. 2:36 - At a military facility, some officers from an Eastern European country confer. There’s a plan afoot and a lot at stake. Ends: 0:04:31

3. 0:29 - A screaming man hurtles down a snowy mountain and lands at the bottom - dead. We see that this is a young man. After the fall, from a bird’s eye view high above the the top of the mountain, two anonymous skiers casually make their way off the mountain, their job now done. Ends: 0:05:00


4. 0:23 - Montage - Establishing shot of Washington DC at night. A noisy teletype urgently spits out a message addressed to a Dan Slater at the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). The message reads that with regret, his son has been killed in a skiing accident. D. Slater’s office door shows his title to be Assistant Deputy Director. Ends: 0:05:23

5. 0:40 - Dan Slater (Yul Brynner) exits his office and makes his way down the hall to a colleague. He’s told by an assistant that Edwards is at the Pentagon and Slater drops off the teletype and indicates he’ll be back in 24hrs. The assistant reads the teletype. Ends: 0:06:03

6. 1:48 - Match cut on the teletype and we now find the urgent message being read by Edwards (Lloyd Nolan), presumably Dan Slater’s boss. Exposition reveals to us that the message was from someone called Frank Wheatley, a British agent who has previously worked with Slater. Also, Slater has left the previous night to go to collect his dead son in Austria; his sixteen-year-old son was Slater’s only family. Edwards tells his assistant that he would never have approved Slater going off like that - he’s suspicious of “accidents”. Ends: 0:07:51


7. 1:22 - Series of Shots - an Austrian train arrives in a snowy village. Skiers exit the station office and begin to board the train. Dan Slater emerges and purposefully walks away from the train. A taxi speeds along a mountain road, snow having been cleared off the road’s surface as though routine. Slater sits in the back. The taxi arrives at a town and Slater exits... he is watched by two men, one of whom we have seen previously as a senior officer but now in civilian clothing posing as a tourist. Slater makes his way to a church. Ends: 0:09:13

8. 3:38 - Slater makes his way up a staircase. We hear the V.O. of a service in progress and Slater enters a larger room to see a priest and some locals standing by a coffin. The coffin is taken away by pallbearers and Frank Wheatley (Clive Revill) and his wife Anna (Julia Arnall) pay their condolences; they were looking after the young man. The son’s ski instructor attempts to say something but is coldly rebuffed by Slater. Slater does not believe this is an accident, though Wheatley tries to reassure him otherwise. Slater is upset & angry. Later when Wheatley asks what he should do with his son’s belongings, he’s told by Slater to burn them. Ends: 0:12:51

9. 2:00 - Slater enters a restaurant; he is still being watched/followed by two men. Inside, he and Wheatley have a drink. Slater apologizes for his outburst in the Church. He reveals that he wrote his son & that his plan was for them to ski together soon... however, Frank Wheatley corrects him to say that Slater’s secretary typed-up a note to send to his son. Slater makes a move to leave and tells Frank he might be back in the Spring. He’s clearly headed back to Washington DC. Ends: 0:14:51

10. 0:45 - Slater and Wheatley say their goodbyes outside the restaurant and Slater boards a newly-arrived train. One of the two men watching Slater boards the train with him while the other stays behind.
Ends: 0:15:36


11. 1:30 - Slater sits in a full train compartment, stares contemplatively out at the snow-capped mountain scenery flashing past. The man following Slater enters the crowded train corridor and moves towards Slater’s compartment. Slater opens his bag to pour himself a drink from the bottle supplied by Wheatley in the restaurant. Inside his bag however, Slater also finds his son’s blood-stained jacket. The tourists and other train occupants are singing joyously, in abject contrast to what Slater is silently experiencing. In the back of Robert’s jacket are two mysterious holes. Slater makes the connection as to what they might be when he spots a pair of skis nearby and notices their menacing spikes. Ends: 0:17:06

12. 0:35 - Slater’s train arrives at the next town and Slater gets off. He makes his way to the taxi ramp and enters the vehicle, asking to be taken to the International School. As the car takes off, the man who was following him removes the receiver from a public phone. Ends: 0:17:41

13. 2:55 - Slater arrives and walks through the snow into the building. It appears deserted inside. Wheatley’s classroom door is opened and Slater steps in, holding a pair of ski poles he’s picked up at the entrance. Dan interrogates Frank Wheatley as to the whereabouts of his son’s clothing - Frank put everything in a trunk but the jacket in Slater’s bag wasn’t among them. Slater demands an answer and Wheatley has no answer that satisfies Slater. In fact, Slater ends up decking Wheatley with a punch to the jaw. Ends: 0:20:36

13. 0:49 - Slater leaves and Wheatley’s wife Anna tends to Frank. Just then, Frank’s phone rings and it is Dan Slater’s boss at the CIA... Edwards thus hears from Wheatley firsthand how Slater believes his son’s death was no accident. Ends: 0:21:25


14. 1:36 - Slater is at the medical examiner’s office and hears that despite seeing the marks on the body, these were not the cause of Bobby’s death. Slater argues the marks may prove that his son was pushed to his death. The local police chief discounts this, further suggesting that the last thing he needs in this small skiing community is a murder case. Slater leaves with Wheatley. Ends: 0:23:01

15. 1:24 - While leaving the medical examiner’s office. Wheatley tells Slater that Edwards is worried and wants Slater to call him immediately. The two join Anna in a VW van and Slater asks to be taken to the location where his son Bobby was skiing before his apparent accident. As they head out, one of Slater’s pursuers watches them drive away and quickly follows in his own car. Ends: 0:24:25

16. 1:25 - Slater, Wheatley and Anna arrive at the cable car station at the base of the mountain. Slater decides he wants to go up by himself. Once inside the building, Slater checks out a wall map of the skiing areas on the mountain, specifically eyeing Buler which is where his son was skiing that early morning on the day of his death. Slater insistently knocks on the door of a staff office, much to the consternation of the cable car operators who are having their lunch inside. Ends: 0:25:50

17. 0:54 - Slater’s pursuers meet back at their house and discuss Slater being at the cable car station. It appears everything is going to plan - Slater must continue to do exactly what he’s been doing as regards pursuing his investigation. Ends: 0:26:44

18. 0:58 - Back in the station office, Slater and the two cable car operators are apparently the best of friends. They all discuss Slater’s son - a regular - specifically that morning he rode up on the first cable car of the day. He was not alone but the other passengers in the car that day were a couple of unknown men and a woman who the operator says he would recognize again if he saw her. Ends: 0:27:42

19. 0:45 - Back in Washington DC, Slater’s boss Edwards and his assistant are discussing the facts as they are known regarding the location of the ski resort/town. Clearly, Slater hasn’t yet called Edwards as he was asked to do. Their nearest agent is revealed to be in Zurich and Edwards studies the case folder some more. Ends: 0:28:27

20. 1:03 - An art dealer in Switzerland answers some questions from a potential customer eyeing a sculpture in a gallery. The dealer sees a flashing light and excuses himself... once alone in his office, he unlocks a drawer and takes a phone call from Edwards. The dealer - clearly an Agent - is ordered to contact Slater in the small town of St. Anton in the Austrian Alps. Ends: 0:29:30

21. 1:23 - Having obtained himself some skiing equipment, Dan Slater boards the cable car to go to the top of the mountain. Slater’s pursuer - Berthold (Anton Diffring) - makes sure to board the same cable car ahead of Slater. Ends: 0:30:53


22. 3:32 - The cable car makes its way up the mountain. Inside, Slater nudges his way through the crowded car to get closer to a young woman looking out the window. It is obvious that back on the ground, the cable car operator gave Slater an indication that this was the woman who went up with his son Bobby on the fateful day. Slater attempts to engage Gina (Britt Ekland) into a conversation and offer to ski with her (for safety) but she’s not interested and moves away. The car arrives at the top and the car disgorges its passengers. Slater follows Gina to another cable car which takes a smaller group of skiers all the way to the very top. Once that car arrives, it is obvious that Slater’s tail - Berthold - is still there with him. Ends: 0:34:25

23. 3:53 - Gina dons her skis and heads down the mountain, followed closely by Slater and then Berthold. Gina eventually figures out she’s being followed and implores Slater to stop doing so. She begins skiing faster when it becomes obvious that Slater has every intention of continuing to follow her. Slater eventually crashes/falls while skiing due to inexperience and taking pity, Gina skis over to offer him some help. However all she really does is rebuke him for trying to ski beyond his abilities and leaves before Slater can say too much. From a distance, Berthold tells Slater where Gina can be found in the town. Slater then heads for the top of the mountain to share Bobby’s last view.
Ends: 0:38:18

24. 0:47 - Miller, the CIA Agent in Zurich posing as an Art Dealer, contacts Edwards and relays the fact that Slater has been in touch. Slater apparently asked him to investigate a few names (eg. Gina). Edwards makes a note of these. Edwards tells Miller to get Slater on the next flight to the U.S. out of Zurich - it’s only a few hours away and Edwards orders him to tell Slater to be on that plane and to call Edwards back once this is confirmed. Ends: 0:39:05

25. 4:00 - Slater arrives at the home of Mrs. Carrington where Gina Erickson is staying. Mrs. Carrington mistakes Slater for a party guest but once the confusion is cleared-up, she invites him to her party that evening and suggests he enters the contest. Slater is flying home that night, so he politely declines. Once alone, Slater begins to grill Gina about what she was doing that fateful Tuesday morning. Annoyed, Gina more or less has him escorted out of the house... however, Slater promises to be back that night based on Mrs. Carrington’s invitation. Ends: 0:43:05


26. 0:15 - In Zurich, Miller the CIA Agent removes a gun from his office desk drawer. Ends: 0:43:18

27. 2:37 - At the International School, Wheatley receives a phone call for Slater. It is Washington DC and Edwards finally gets to talk to Dan Slater. Edwards is upset that Slater clearly is not flying out that night as ordered... both he and Slater suspect a trap but Slater intends to play it out and see what is going on. Edwards reveals that he’s ordered Miller to join him out of Zurich... he’ll be arriving that night. He orders Slater to stay in the School until Andy Miller arrives; however, later on Slater admits to Wheatley that he’s going out to Mrs. Carrington’s party after all but intends to be back before Miller arrives. Ends: 0:45:55

28. 1:34 - Miller boards a train in Switzerland, presumably to travel to Austria. He is being watched by an unknown character at the train station... once Miller has boarded his train, the anonymous character phones Berthold’s gang. Berthold himself is pleased to hear his news and afterwards reveals that Mrs. Carrington’s butler (an informant) has told him that Slater will be at the party this evening. Berthold shouts up to someone called Max to tell him to get ready. Ends: 0:47:29

29. 4:35 - The party at Mrs. Carrington’s is in full-swing that evening when Slater arrives. Gina makes her way over to Slater... unbeknownst to him, he is also being watched by Berthold and Max, who are themselves guests at the party. Gina is very friendly and the sudden change of mood has Slater’s paranoia raised a notch or two. He asks to speak to Gina privately, away from the party crowd. She takes him upstairs. Once alone in her room, Slater grills Gina about that Tuesday... he asks if she knows or can describe the two men who accompanied her on the cable car. She reveals that one of the men talking to the boy was wearing a ski mask (it was very cold that day). Gina tells Slater that the boy looked happy to be accompanying the masked man. Slater then leaves Gina, having revealed nothing about himself to her. Ends: 0:52:04

30. 2:49 - Slater joins the party downstairs but is annoyed. Berthold makes his way over to Max... both watch as Slater stands by the bar sipping a large Scotch. Max then intercepts Gina and forces her to dance with him. While Slater talks to Mrs. Carrington, Gina hurries over to tell Slater that she has just met one of the men from the cable car (the unmasked one). They leave Mrs. Carrington to search for Max, but are told that he just left the party alone. Ends: 0:54:53


31. 1:14 - Slater searches for Max outside, but Max has clearly left without a trace. Slater returns to the party and asks Gina for the guest list. A helpful butler informs Slater & Gina that he overheard Max tell the taxi driver that he wanted to be taken to the Bahmer Farm. Slater calls Wheatley who knows where the farm is and offers to come at once to pick him up. Ends: 0:56:07

32. 2:15 - In the VW van later on, Slater and Wheatley wonder what it is they are getting into by going to the Bahmer Farm just outside of town. Wheatley tells Slater why he got out of the spying game... to be a normal human being again, away from professional paranoia that turned everything ugly. They finally approach the farm and Slater tells Wheatley to drive up close without his lights. Wheatley offers to wait and Slater exits the van to investigate... he’ll be back in ten minutes.
Ends: 0:58:22

33. 1:13 - Slater approaches the quiet farm house alone from the unlit roadside... he scurries over to spy on any inside activity. Back at the vehicle, Wheatley quietly exits the VW van. Slater makes his way over to the front door and this is suddenly opened by a German-speaker who asks what it is he wants... Slater wants to talk to Max Gruner. He is invited into the farm and told to make himself comfortable. Ends: 0:59:35

34. 2:19 - Once inside, Slater is held at gunpoint by Max who appears out of the darkness. Slater is told by Max to remove his jacket... then everything else. While undressing, Slater whips one of the two men with his belt and begins fighting with Max. Eventually all three are fighting and eventually Slater is overcome... however, while kicking away Max’s handgun, one of the assailants accidentally causes a shot to ring out. Thus alerted, Wheatley (outside) gets back into the VW van and takes off (presumably to summon help). However, it’s not long before his instinct to flee is checked and he quickly returns to help. Slater is seen running out of the farmhouse and meets up with Wheatley... in fact, Slater nudges him aside and drives the VW van himself. Ends: 1:01:54

35. 0:54 - The two men talk while driving away from the farmhouse. Slater accuses Wheatley of having set him up. Wheatley wants to know what is going on... he blames Gina, saying it must have been her that set them up. Slater indicates he’s going back to talk to her and find out. Ends: 1:02:48

36. 1:52 - Mrs. Carrington’s party is breaking-up. Slater and Wheatley return and the butler offers to look for Gina. When she arrives, Slater tells her they have to talk. Needing somewhere quiet, she suggests her room (again) and says she’ll meet him there and disappears. When Slater goes upstairs, he’s confronted by several doors and doesn’t know which one is Gina’s. She eventually opens her door and he makes his way inside. Ends: 1:04:40


37. 0:19 - Once inside Gina’s room, Slater hits her hard across the face. In fact, the two begin fighting and breaking stuff as he attacks her. She scratches him across the left-side of his face and now angered further, Slater twists her arm behind her back and throws her on the bed.
Ends: 1:05:19

38. 2:01 - Wheatley waits downstairs while upstairs, Gina asks Slater why he has attacked her. Slater tells her he doesn’t like being setup. Gina doesn’t understand what has possessed him and threatens to attack him with a lamp. She orders him to get out and Slater is unwilling to do so until Wheatley lets himself into the room and tries to make him see reason. The two men leave. Outside, Slater tells Wheatley that he’s going back to the farmhouse... but he wants to go there alone. Slater orders Wheatley to meet with Miller and for them to return to the farmhouse and join him. Ends: 1:07:20

39. 1:56 - Wheatley goes back up to Gina’s room. He’s not there to apologize to Gina because Slater wouldn’t want that - in Slater’s world, you don’t apologize. Frank reveals to Gina that the dead boy was Dan Slater’s son and that the death was no accident. In fact, Slater suspects everyone of having had a hand in the boy’s death. Wheatley asks Gina to try and forgive him (Wheatley) and leaves. Ends: 1:09:16

40. 5:49 Slater’s VW drives right up to the farmhouse... he gets out and enters the house but there’s nobody around, Slater makes his way up a staircase and walks over to one of several doors and opens it. It is dark inside but once he has entered, an unseen hand turns on an overhead bulb to reveal several men standing around... in the centre of which is a casually dressed other Dan Slater! The well-dressed Slater is the fake... he’s the one who attacked Gina... he’s the one who killed Bobby and he’s the one who will return to Washington with Miller to resume working at the CIA. The real Slater is bound and gagged and a ski mask is placed over his head... he is taken away to be killed. The fake Slater sits down and smokes a cigarette... and waits. Ends: 1:15:05


41. 0:50 - Miller and Wheatley are in a taxi, speeding back to the farmhouse. Neither can understand what Slater is doing. Wheatley tells Miller that he is not armed. Ends: 1:15:55

42. 1:38 - The taxi arrives at the farmhouse. The driver is paid and leaves... the two men enter & quietly make their way through the house and find Slater sitting alone in the dark. He feigns waiting for the bad guys who haven’t turned up yet... Miller pulls a gun and tells Slater that he’s under orders by Edwards to escort him back to Washington DC. They will not wait for the bad guys. Ends: 1:17:33

43. 0:36 - When Wheatley, Miller and the fake Slater drive off, from a distance Berthold and his crew get into their car. They tell the masked (real) Slater that he’ll soon be dead and buried. Ends: 1:18:09

44. 2:09 - Miller drops off Wheatley at the school and the latter says his goodbyes to Slater. Meanwhile, Berthold and his gang drive the real Slater somewhere unspecified.. however, while driving through a town there’s the sound of music and the streets are filled with skiers. The driver honks his horn to disperse the obstacle of the crowd, but they’re too busy enjoying themselves. Slater seizes the opportunity to lunge forward and force the driver against the car horn... the noise of which seems to irritate the crowd enough to surround the car. One of the gang gets out to pacify the crowd and so now Slater has a second opportunity as only Berthold is now covering him with a gun. Slater elbows him in the face and escapes from the car, still bound at the wrists. Ends: 1:20:18


45. 2:47 - The real Slater, masked and still bound, now plays hide & seek with his pursuers in the fading light. The village festivities continue around them, music blaring etc. The hunters get closer & closer, Slater finally deciding that his best chance will be to run across a snowy field and join the torch-lit procession. Half-way across the field, Slater is spotted by Berthold. Eventually, Slater makes it to the procession and is now safe among the crowds, who are festively walking en masse to the cable car station. Berthold blows his car horn and his colleagues run back to join him... by the time they drive to the cable car station where Mrs. Carrington is holding up some sort of award, Slater has arrived by foot with the revelers and makes his way inside. Berthold and others get their skis. Ends: 1:23:05

46. 1:25 - There’s a mad scramble by everybody to get into the cable car and be the first up the mountain. Slater gets on board, as do two of Berthold’s henchmen. Berthold himself doesn’t make it before the car is full and the doors are closed - through the glass, Berthold tells his men that he’ll meet them up there on the other side of the mountain. Over by Mrs. Carrington’s group, Gina stands looking at the cable car and her eyes widen when she spots Slater in the dark ski mask. Although she doesn’t know it to be Slater, it is evident that she recognizes the eyes as belonging to the exact same man who went up with Bobby on the day of his accident. Ends: 1:24:30

47. 0:57 - Gina flees from the cable car station... Mrs. Carrington is upset and demands to know where she’s going. When it is clear that Gina is leaving, Mrs. Carrington tells her that she’s needed there - if she insists on leaving, she need not return. Gina tells her that’s okay and leaves anyway... Gina then makes her way to the International School, where Anna opens the door and Gina asks to speak to Wheatley. Ends: 1:25:27

48. 1:51 - The revelers sing in the cable car as it ascends up the mountain. The masked Slater and his two pursuers can only stand and stare at each other at opposite ends of the crowded car. Once it arrives, Slater runs out of the car and his pursuers follow... Slater successfully hides and evades them. They eventually take the next cable car up to the top of the mountain. Slater comes out of hiding place but is too late to summon the attendant of the now empty car that heads back down the mountain. Ends: 1:27:18

49. 1:27 - Miller is in a restaurant and waits for a return call to Edwards. He joins the fake Slater who sits at a table smoking his cigarette. Miller is afraid that the bad guys will try something in the restaurant - however, Slater tells him that all will be fine. Just then Wheatley barges in with Gina in tow. Gina explains that she saw the masked man alone in the cable car tonight... Slater decides to abandon his trip to Washington DC and head back to the village. Miller threatens to pull his gun but Slater ignores him. Ends: 1:28:45

50. 3:00 - The two bad guys arrive at the top of the mountain and do not see Slater. They decide he must still be back at the middle station. Everyone is given flares and the villagers light them up and head down the mountain. From the middle station, the real Slater watches the torch procession approach his way. Two of the skiers with flares break away from the line and head towards him. Slater hides as the two arrive and begin to search the quiet middle station. Ends: 1:31:45

51. 0:35 - The fake Slater, Wheatley, Miller and Gina enter the cable car station at the base of the mountain. Excited voices are raised when it is evident that the torch-lit procession of skiers are now visible on their way down the mountain. The first skiers make their way past the finish line and the crowd in the station are ecstatic. Ends: 1:32:20

52. 1:26 - Back at the middle station, a masked Slater is still trying to hide from his hunters... however, he’s finding a lot of locked doors. Down the mountain, all the skiers are now past the finish-line and Gina didn’t see the masked man. Wheatley concludes that he must still be up the mountain. The fake Slater tells Miller that he’s going up to find him. Meanwhile, Mrs. Carrington awards her prize to the winner of the downhill race. Ends: 1:33:46

53. 3:05 - Slater is very close to being discovered. His pursuers are now in the kitchen where he’s hiding out. They’re almost on top of him when a loud noise is hear elsewhere - it is the sound of the cable car, which unbeknownst to them is actually arriving with Gina, Wheatley, Miller and the fake Slater. Suitably distracted, the two pursuers split up and one of them is attacked by the real Slater. The second gang member fires off a few shots, but Slater gets away. The cable car arrives and everyone gets out and takes cover when they see the body of the gang member lying outside of the restaurant.
Ends: 1:36:51

54. 0:58 - The fake Slater attracts the attention of the only surviving gang member in the middle station... he’s told that the real Slater is here, somewhere in the building, but before he can say much else the fake Slater shoots him from point-blank range... dead. When Miller goes to investigate, the fake Slater karate chops his across the back of the neck and renders him unconscious. Meanwhile, Wheatley and Gina haven’t seen any of this but move forward nevertheless. Wheatley picks up a gun from the fallen gang member and pushes Gina to one side, telling her to stay out of the way. Wheatley spots an unconscious Miller on the floor ahead of him. Ends: 1:37:49

55. 0:57 - The fake Slater speaks into the darkness, tells the real Slater that they cannot both exist. When Wheatley calls out to Dan Slater, he hears Slater’s voice beckoning him... fearing Wheatley will be killed, the real Slater comes out of hiding and attacks the fake Slater. Both begin to fight, the real Slater still in a ski mask and the fake Slater dressed smartly and donning a hat. They stuggle for control of the gun in the fake Slater’s hand. Shots are fired in the process; plates and other kitchen items are smashed in the struggle. Wheatley barges into the room where the men are fighting - he has his gun ready. The fake Slater tells him to shoot! The real Slater breaks free and fears being shot by Wheatley... so he runs away, but Gina trips him to the ground and rips off his ski mask! Ends: 1:38:46

56. 2:07 - Gina is in shock. So is Wheatley, who is conflicted about which Slater to believe. He holds both of them at gunpoint. The real Slater tells Wheatley the only thing to do is to shoot them both. The fake Slater tells him to shoot Bobby’s killer - he loved his son. Wheatley’s gun goes off! Ends: 1:40:53

57. 2:43 - At the train station, Slater stands with Miller by the restaurant. Not too far in the distance stands Berthold. A train goes by obscuring the view - once it passes, Berthold is no-longer there. Inside the restaurant, Slater stands staring out of the window. Miller brings them both a drink. As they finish up, Wheatley joins the men. Slater tells Wheatley that he was right - Dan Slater never loved a damn thing in his life. Miller and Slater enter their rail car. Now walking through the train corridor is Gina... Slater offers her a seat next to him. Ends: 1:43:36


Sunday, September 9, 2007

Handy Writer's Software - Quickstory

Quickstory 5 software (Windows)
by Typing Chimp software ~ $50 US approx.

(formerly QuickPlot)

Quick rundown

The idea is that you establish your story by navigating your way through a traditional tree structure (on left) and fill-in the blanks and/or free-form text (on the right). (Click on any of the screen shots below to enlarge so you can better see what’s on each page.)

This software is probably a good tool for helping to overcome writer’s block. The imagination is easily sparked by selecting a structure (3-acts, 8-sequences etc) and then generating plot points “Generate a Story”). If any one plot point feels promising, it can be locked/hold to prevent it being overwritten by the next set of generated plot points.


Once back on the main page (”Done“), the tree structure is established with all the generated/selected text under each plot point.


Any of the text that is assigned to the whole story or to each plot point can be changed by-hand.


If you change your mind about any one plot point, new plot point text can be generated. However, it will be necessary to tell the software which plot point you have currently selected because once the whole thing has been generated initially, it no-longer knows due to the extensive changes you might have made.


Once you are satisfied with the story, it will be necessary to generate the entire set of text you’ve created into the Pad... from thereon out, it can be printed or copied elsewhere.


Saturday, September 8, 2007

Handy Reference Book - How NOT to write a screenplay

How NOT to write a screenplay: 101 Common mistakes most screenwriters make
1999 by Denny Martin Flinn $12.00 new


(from the back of the book)
...Having read tons of screenplays as an executive, Denny Martin Flinn has come to understand that while all good screenplays are unique, all bad screenplays are the same. Flinn’s book will teach the reader how to avoid the pitfalls of bad screenwriting, and arrive at one’s own destination intact. Every example used was gleaned from a legitimate screenplay. Flinn’s advice is a no-nonsense analysis of the latest techniques for crafting first-rate screenplays that sell...

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Thought for the day...

“There's a lot of frustration in trying to get music out when you're the only one who hears it, especially if you have something in your head that's not normal.“

~ Neil Young


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Thought for the day...

“... it is always the simple that produces the marvelous.”
~ Amelia Barr


Cool words for writers - sitzfleisch


German word meaning “sitting” and “meat”. Writers need to have this - the ability to endure sitting around and doing your thing.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Film Breakdown - Horror - The Reincarnation of Peter Proud (1975)


1. 0:40 - Opening credits. Ends: 0:00:40

2. 2:35 - A naked man swims across what looks like a lake in the dead of night. He swims towards a neon sign on the bank which advertises The Puritan Hotel. A small powered raft creeps out of the darkness... a woman sits alone, scanning the dark surface of the water. The man treads water as the woman pulls up alongside of him... he apologizes for what he said to her and claims he was drunk. Marcia (Margot Kidder) listens to him and responds sympathetically - it has clearly happened before. She invites him to enter the boat and as he does so, she attacks him with an oar. Unconscious, he sinks to the bottom of the lake.
Ends: 0:03:15


3. 2:07 - A naked, sweating Pete (Michael Sarrazin) is woken from a nightmare by his naked girlfriend. She is concerned by his restlessness and frightened by his changed voice (she says). He lights a cigarette and jokes that he’s really a Jekyll & Hyde personality. She calls him Professor and talks about her students - it’s likely they’re both teachers. As she leaves to shower, Peter writes notes in a bedside journal. Ends: 0:05:22


4. 0:49 - Peter is lecturing a room full of students when mid-sentence he experiences a shooting pain in his side. He cuts the lecture short.
Ends: 0:06:11

5. 2:25 - Peter is being examined by a doctor and questioned about his symptoms. It is revealed that he’s had this attack of pain three times already in the past six months. The doctor still can’t find anything wrong with him - x-rays are still showing everything as normal. Peter is given a mild sedative and he lays there alone in the examining office... he experiences images of architecture, a couple out on a ride in the country, intimate moments between strangers (possibly of a different era entirely)... Ends: 0:08:36


6. 1:14 - Peter is talking to what might be a psychiatrist. He’s told that it is normal for people to dream but Peter argues it’s always the same people, the same locations etc; the exact same dream. As Peter claims he’s almost afraid to go to sleep for fear of their returning, the doctor prescribes something to alleviate his anxiety. Peter appears frustrated at being given pills for his problem - the doctor tells him that there’s someone on his campus undertaking studies in parapsychology... this man - Dr. Samuel Goodman - might be able to help. Ends: 0:09:50

7. 2: 32 - Match cut over to what is presumably the office of Dr. Samuel Goodman (Paul Hecht) who is verifying some of the details in Peter’s dreams. Peter hands over his journal and the parapsychologist puts it away. He then gives Peter the tour of his facilities. We see first hand how several sleeping subjects have their vital signs monitored. Ends: 0:12:22

8. 1:42 - Peter drives through town during a bright, sunny day when he sees a luxury car showroom... in the window is displayed a vintage automobile which attracts Peter’s curiosity. He enters the showroom and makes his way over to a beautiful vehicle similar (if not identical) to the one in his dream. A salesman approaches him and talks about this particular car, the Cord super charged Sportsman convertible - and reveals they stopped making these in 1937. Ends: 0:14:04

9. 1:07 - Peter and his girlfriend are relaxing at home when he gets a call from Dr. Goodman - though very short-notice, Peter is asked to come in immediately because there’s an opening in the sleep lab’s patient schedule. His girlfriend is very disappointed. Ends: 0:15:11


10. 1:32 - Montage - Peter is wired-up to monitors by Dr. Goodman and one of his students. Peter - aka “number seven“ - is bid a good night and left alone in the dark. Peter’s girlfriend misses him in their lonely bed. The lab’s monitoring machine registers very little activity for patient number seven. A now dozing Peter experiences more images - a small house in a forest, a young couple having sex (always different women - not Marcia), a naked man jumping off a small pier and swimming in a lake. The techs in the sleep lab comment on the fact that patient number seven hasn’t dreamt anything as yet. Meanwhile, Peter’s visions continue... a building, a couple playing tennis, a bridge, a statue etc. Ends: 0:16:43

11. 1:06 - At lunch the following day, Peter talks to his girlfriend at the University. She asks how it went and Peter doesn’t know - he thinks Goodman is avoiding him since he hasn’t seen nor heard from him since the sleep monitoring began. Suddenly we see Peter again as patient number seven - we see his visions of an orange stained-glass window in a church, period architecture, a child running down the stairs while a woman plays the piano. In the lab, Dr. Goodman gets up off his chair to take a look at the readings from patient number seven. There’s nothing to see. Ends: 0:17:49


12. 1:07 - Goodman and Peter take a walk through the campus during the daytime. Peter is told he’s not dreaming at all. It’s more of a psychic experience but definitely not a dream of any kind. Ends: 0:18:56

13. 1:55 - Peter walks into an Occult store; lectures are being held inside, as well as there being a book store with quite a number of customers. He inquires about reincarnation and is directed to an entire section devoted to this subject. Ends: 0:20:51

14. 3:06 - Peter and his girlfriend are having dinner out; he’s frustrated by his dreams or visions. On their way home, Peter speculates that the man in his dreams was the man that he once was... his girlfriend is puzzled by his embracing the reincarnation theory. Back at home, Peter installs a tape recorder next to his side of the bed... he asks her to record whatever he says in his dreams as the other man. Later, we witness a sweating Peter mutter in his sleep and a wide-awake girlfriend turning on the tape recorder as requested. We hear Peter speak as the male victim of the murder, as we again see the same night-boat recapitulation sequence from the start of the story. Ends: 0:23:57


15. 2:16 - Match cut on Peter’s scream over to Dr. Goodman hearing the tape recording of the same event. Peter is distraught - he can’t eat, sleep or even face his students any longer. Dr. Goodman asks if he’d consider hypnosis... Goodman tells Peter to lie down and it’s clear they’re to try suggestive hypnotherapy. Peter is relaxed into a trance... he is ordered to forget all about his troublesome dreams as they are robbing him of energy and sleep. Ends: 0:26:13

16. 1:23 - A visibly relaxed Peter sits alone one night at home, enjoying a cold martini. He watches tv when suddenly some imagery of a New England town is shown... Peter recognizes some of the architecture from visions in his dreams. He calls out to his girlfriend Nora (Cornelia Sharpe) and goes over to the telephone and begins dialing the tv station.
Ends: 0:27:36

17. 1:51 - Peter is reviewing the show’s footage with Dr. Goodman at the tv station. None of the tv personnel know which town the footage came from - it’s just listed as a Massachusetts town. Outside, Dr. Goodman confirms that Peter’s dreams have returned, triggered by the imagery of the tv show. Peter has never even been to New England, but believes he has actually lived in that particular town in some previous life. Dr. Goodman reveals he has an open mind on reincarnation - it has never been proven, nor disproved. Peter is committed to proving the town of his dreams exists and that he’ll find it. Ends: 0:29:27


18. 7:18 - Series of shots - Peter and Nora fly to Massachusetts and drive to a place called Farmingham. The two have lunch and Nora comments on the fact that she would have liked to take in the sights; Peter however seems more focused in getting to where they’re headed and Nora seems bored. Peter and Nora check into a hotel for the evening. Peter’s hip suddenly begins to shoot pain (as it has done previously). Later, in their room he feels a lot better. However, Nora has had enough and feels they should give up trying to look around the big state. The next day while driving yet again, Peter stops on a bridge overlooking a small town - he thinks it might look familiar. While driving through that town, many images from his dreams start to match the sights surrounding them. He guesses that the statue in his dreams is a short distance away... however, once there it turns out to be a demolition site; no statue. Nora therefore remains unconvinced and wants him to take her to the airport. She’s through traveling around. Ends: 0:36:45

19. 0:28 - Peter and Nora say their goodbyes outside the airport building. She hopes he finds what he’s looking for. Ends: 0:37:13

20. 1:08 - Peter drives alone through the streets of the large town, still searching for more points of recognition. He eventually parks his car and walks over to a small wooded area... and sees the statue of his dreams before him. Ends: 0:38:21

21. 1:04 - Peter enters a police station and stops just inside the front entrance. He imagines what will transpire if he goes in front of the desk sergeant with his cockamamie story of looking for any information about an unknown victim from an unknown era. Peter leaves the police station before talking to anyone. Ends: 0:39:25

22. 0:47 - Peter checks into a large hotel and casually chats to the hotel employee about looking for a lake. He eventually hears that he must be referring to Crystal Lake, near which was the Puritan Hotel on the North shore. However, it is now called the Crystal Lodge. Ends: 0:40:12


23. 1:36 - Match cut to the view of the lake with the sign-posted Crystal Lodge Hotel. Peter sits in his rental car, overlooking the lake. He makes his way over to a small gas station, and while the attendant fills-up his car, Peter chats to the old-timer about murders in the area. The conversation goes around to the 1940’s and the attendant talks about the ”Brady case“. A man was allegedly killed by his wife on the dock and bled to death when his genitals were cut off... the wife however wasn’t convicted and eventually remarried. Ends: 0:41:48

24. 0:57 - A recapitulation scene now finds us seeing Peter walk through the town’s streets while his V.O. talks to Dr. Samuel Goodman (probably on the phone). Peter says he is sure this is the place but wonders what was his name, where did he live, who was Marcia, why did she kill him etc? We then see Peter in his hotel room, lying on the bed with the phone in hand... Sam Goodman and he are talking and Peter speculates that Marcia is probably still alive, she would perhaps be in her 50’s. Ends: 0:42:45

25. 0:43 - We again witness Peter’s visions. The stained-glass window, the child running through the home etc. Peter is asleep but sweating profusely and mumbling in his sleep. Ends: 0:43:28

26. 0:49 - The following morning, Peter is driving through a residential area when he suddenly sees the home in his dreams; it is unmistakable. Watching the house from his vantage point in the rental car, Peter smiles a little to himself. He drives over to the house and gets out of his car. Ends: 0:44:17

27. 1:45 - Peter makes his way to the front door of the mystery house and rings the bell. He is watched next door by a girl in her driveway washing her car. When he gets no response, Peter is told (by her) that nobody is home. The old lady, Mrs. Curtis who lives there, is away and has been for years. When Peter feigns interest in old houses, the girl offers to show him inside the house... she knows of a secret entrance and disappears into this and reappears at the open front door for him. Ends: 0:46:00

28. 2:53 - Peter enters the house. Suzy introduces herself as he walks around and recognizes the stained-glass window and the staircase. He walks upstairs and Suzy follows him into a boy’s bedroom... Suzy poses provocatively on the bed for Peter but he’s oblivious and reads the details off the the wall-mounted diploma. He thanks Suzy and leaves. Ends: 0:48:53


29. 3:27 - Peter walks into the offices of a newspaper. An employee looks through the 1940’s archives for mention of ”Curtis“.... and finds a Jeff Curtis, deceased Sep 27th 1946. The employee sets up the microfilm reader for Peter. Now alone, Peter scans the pages of the newspapers going back to that date and sees the headline. While he reads the front page article reporting the death of Jeff Curtis, we hear V.O. of a conversation between reporters discussing the case... we thus hear the back-story of the victim’s life... how the widow and infant daughter buried Jeff Curtis after the accidental death. Peter takes a printout of the article. While signing out of the newspaper office, he inadvertently signs the log book as Jeffrey Curtis. Ends: 0:52:20

30. 1:00 - Peter drives to an address he got out of the phone directory. He parks outside the large, opulent home but sees nobody there. While waiting, a police car crawls by and an intimidated Peter drives away. Ends: 0:53:20

31. 1:32 - A large cemetery finds us watching Peter read the engraved names of head stones. He finds the one he’s looking for. Ends: 0:54:52

32. 1:26 - Back outside the large, opulent home Peter sits in his car and sees a young woman in tennis gear exit the house. She drives off in a station wagon and Peter follows her in his rental car... all the way to a nearby country club. Ends: 0:56:18


33. 2:59 - Peter secures himself a temporary membership at the country club in order to play some tennis. In the Pro shop, Peter inquires after Jeff Curtis and is told in no uncertain terms that he wasn’t such a nice guy. Outside on an empty court, Peter spots the young woman he followed in his car and introduces himself. She is Ann Curtis (Jennifer O’Neill) and they play tennis. After their game, they have a drink together. Ends: 1:00:06

34. 3:53 - In the evening, Peter calls on Ann and the front door is opened by Marcia who welcomes him into their home and offers him a drink. While they chit-chat waiting for Ann, Marcia reveals that her deceased husband played tennis but went to war and seldom played after that - apparently he’d been injured by shrapnel in the hip which caused him some pain. Peter nervously taps his glass and Marcia reveals her husband had the same habit. Ends: 1:03:59

35. 1:05 - At dinner together, Peter and Ann discuss her father and mother. Ends: 1:05:04


36. 0:23 - Marcia Curtis sits at home, drinking large vodkas neat.
Ends: 1:05:27

37. 1:15 - Peter drives Ann home after their restaurant dinner. It appears as though Peter has to restrain himself from being anything but a gentleman... he walks her to the front door and says goodnight.
Ends: 1:06:42

38. 1:46 - Peter and Ann play tennis at their club. Standing watching them is Marcia, who appears a little unsteady in her chair as she sits there smoking her cigarette. The Pro shop attendant (an old acquaintance) appears alongside Marcia and says hello - they talk about Peter and the attendant reveals that Peter was asking a lot of questions about Jeff... seems Jeff was a friend of Peter’s father (or so Peter told him). Once alone, Marcia hears Peter call out something to Ann and it is identical to something Jeff once said to Marcia. She is a little distraught. Ends: 1:08:28

39. 0:56 - Peter enters his hotel room in the evening. Once inside, his phone rings... it’s Sam Goodman and he’s been trying to contact Peter. The latter reveals he’s just played tennis with his daughter and that his wife was watching... needless to say, Sam is amazed and wants all the details. Peter agrees to do so, providing it’s just between the two of them. Ends: 1:09:24

40. 1:55 - Ann is preparing food in her kitchen; her mother Marcia enters and it turns out Ann is going out on a picnic with Peter. Marcia is already drinking and breakfast hasn’t even been served as yet. They begin an argument - Ann accuses her mother of drinking when previously she had been doing so well... Marcia tells her to quit being a nursemaid but Ann counters that’s the reason she came back to the house to be with her. Marcia then warns Ann about Peter - she believes he’s after something, she doesn’t know what, but it’s her instinct, warning her to beware of him. Ann doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Ends: 1:11:19

41. 0:56 - Out on their picnic, Ann and Peter lie on a blanket and talk. She reveals that she’s just gotten over a divorce, after which she decided to come back home and be with her mother for a while. A ”while“ has now been 10 months. They kiss and Peter is somewhat repelled... Ann is upset but Peter tries to explain it’s his fault and if he tried to explain, she’d think he was crazy. Ends: 1:12:15

42. 0:34 - Marcia lies in bed and accepts a tray from Ann; she asks if Ann could take something to her grandma and Ann says she’ll be busy playing tennis with Peter. Marcia pleads somewhat and says Ann hasn’t visited her grandmother for some time... Ann agrees to the chore. Ends: 1:12:49

43. 2:56 - Peter accompanies Ann to visit her grandmother at an expensive retirement home. Ann’s grandmother is being fed lunch by one of the staff members but it’s pretty obvious she’s out of it memory-wise and doesn’t recognize Ann. Suddenly, the grandmother turns and calls Peter ”Jeff“ and moves over to hug him. Everyone else is surprised and Peter doesn’t say much, though he does hug the old lady and calls her ”mother“. Ends: 1:15:45


44. 1:02 - Ann is extolling the virtues of Peter to her mother... he apparently made an old lady very happy. Peter, Ann and Marcia are having tea together. Marcia can’t understand how Peter could be mistaken for Jeff - Peter can’t explain it either. Ends: 1:16: 47

45. 1:21 - Ann drives Peter past Crystal Lake and points out that her father drowned there. They stop near the family cottage and view the lake. Peter asks if they can go into the cottage and Ann agrees. Inside, Peter has a flashback and sees Jeff there with Marcia. Ends: 1:18:08

46. 2:11 - Montage - Banjo music plays and Peter and Ann square-dance with a group of people from the town. Back at her home, Marcia drinks her vodka, but washes down a pill she’s taken out of her medicine cabinet. Meanwhile, Peter and Ann continue to dance. Ends: 1:20:19


47. 2:35 - After their dance, Peter and Ann leave and decide to go for a drive. She knows of a great spot. Down by the lake, both stand watching the night view of the town... Ann reveals that her father proposed to her mother at that spot. Peter kisses her. They undress and have sex under the moonlight. Jerry Goldsmith’s composed score swells in the background. Ends: 1:22:54

48. 1:59 - Back at her mother’s house, Ann offers Peter a coffee. She’s about to go to the kitchen when she spots her mother passed out on the sofa. Ann runs over to Marcia to verify she’s alright... Peter offers to leave but Ann tells him it’s okay and to please stay; this has happened before. Later, alone together in the kitchen, Ann reveals that Marcia has been drinking heavily since Ann was a baby; probably because of her father’s death and not being able to get over it. Peter comforts her. Ends: 1:24:53

49. 1:56 - Dr. Samuel Goodman arrives at the airport and is met by Peter. They have a drink and discuss his case. Goodman is very excited, believing as he does that Peter’s story proves the existence of reincarnation. Goodman wants very much to document the whole case but Peter wants to wait a while. Peter reveals that the images - or hallucinations - have disappeared with the exception of the lake dream... that one keeps coming back. Goodman advises that sometimes the best thing is to reenact or play-out the fantasy and it often disappears. In his opinion, that’s why the other dreams have gone away. Ends: 1:26:49

50. 1:54 - Peter is dozing by the pool at the country club. Ann asks if he’ll come for a swim but he sleepily declines. Above him, Marcia sips her drink and watches Peter. While Ann is swimming, Peter begins to sweat in his sleep and mumble. Eventually, Peter’s voice changes to that of Jeff and Peter’s tortured body is used to reenact the attack on Jeff that night out on the water of Crystal Lake. Marcia is distraught at hearing Peter/Jeff’s mumblings. Ann runs to Peter and tries to wake him... eventually he does and reassures Ann that he’s okay. But Peter does turn and look back at Marcia... who promptly drops her drink and flees the country club. Ends: 1:28:43

51. 2:55 - Back at the house, Ann runs up to Marcia’s room but her mother who won’t let her in; Ann leaves. Marcia lies in a bath of hot water and we see her flashbacks of that night. Jeff is ripping off his & her clothing and is sexually assaulting Marcia in the lakeside cottage. V.O. of their argument can be heard - it appears that a philandering Jeff was bringing women back to the cottage and Marcia found out about it. Despite the violence of the flashbacks, Marcia in her bathtub is aroused enough to masturbate to the vintage memories. Ends: 1:31:38


52. 2:20 - Peter meets Sam Goodman in a bar; he specifies to Goodman that he wants the whole case to die as a secret between them both. Sam is upset but Peter reveals that he wants to marry Ann. Peter is going out to the lake and get rid of that last dream, once and for all. Ends: 1:33:58

53. 0:32 - Ann enters her mother’s bedroom but there’s no sign of her. Jeff’s photo portrait lies to one side, its glass shattered. Ends: 1:34:30

54. 2:25 - Peter is in his hotel room packing a towel and some items of clothing when there’s a knock at his door. It is Marcia and she walks into his room and asks point-blank ”Who are you?“... she asks how Peter could know what they said out in the lake and he grabs her and shouts ”because I was there!“. Marcia flees from the room in horror. Peter now makes moves to leave the room and his phone rings... he ignores it and leaves. Ann is on t the phone and leaves a message for Peter.
Ends: 1:36:55

55. 3:05 Montage - Marcia drives erratically through the night streets. Peter is at the lakeside and lets himself into the cottage. Marcia is speeding down a freeway, dodging in & out of traffic. Peter walks towards the lake in his swimming trunks and dives into the black water. Marcia sits at the wheel of her idle car and she relives the last meeting with Peter in his hotel room. She eventually looks up and finds herself at the cottage - and all the lights are turned on. More flashbacks relive her last humiliating encounter with her husband Jeff. Peter swims across the lake in the dead of night.... he’s bobbing in the water when he hears the faint sound of a boat’s engine come out of the darkness. Ends: 1:40:00

56. 2:35 - Marcia is at the back of a small boat motoring across the lake. She cuts the power and all is silent. Peter is in the water, but a few feet away... Marcia asks Peter why Jeff had to come back? Peter wants to talk to her but Marcia now has an automatic weapon in her hand. She calls Jeff a monster. Marcia wants to save their daughter Ann, afraid Jeff is going to do to her what he did to Marcia. She points the gun to herself and Peter swims hard towards the boat to try and stop her. As Peter climbs into her boat, in almost the same exact pose as Jeff on that fateful night, Marcia is distracted and turns the gun to him and pulls the trigger. There’s a loud report of gunfire and Peter falls back into the lake. He sinks to the bottom. Ends: 1:42:35