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Lecture 13: Transitions Boys Don’t Cry (1999) Screenplay by Kimberly Peirce & Andy Bienen Lecture 13: Transitions Boys Don’t Cry (1999) Screenplay by Kimberly Peirce & Andy Bienen Professor Christopher Bradley 1

Previous Lesson • Exposition – The Facts – Furthering the Conflict – Action and Previous Lesson • Exposition – The Facts – Furthering the Conflict – Action and Revelation – Flashbacks and Dreams – Screenplay by Alvin Sargent Based on the novel by Judith Guest Montages – Ordinary People (1982) Voiceover Narration 2

Previous Lesson (Continued) • A Writer’s Method – PLAN! – Write From the Inside Previous Lesson (Continued) • A Writer’s Method – PLAN! – Write From the Inside Out – Story to Step Outline to Treatment Casablanca (1942) Screenplay by Julius J. Epstein and Phillip G. Epstein and Howard Koch Based on the play Everyone Comes to Rick’s by Murray Bennett and Joan Alison 3

This Lesson • Composition – Unity and Variety – Pacing – Rhythm and Tempo This Lesson • Composition – Unity and Variety – Pacing – Rhythm and Tempo – Progression • Social Progression • Personal Progression Boys Don’t Cry (1999) Screenplay by Kimberly Peirce & Andy Bienen 4

This Lesson (Continued) • Ascension – Symbolic – Ironic • Transitions – Boys Don’t This Lesson (Continued) • Ascension – Symbolic – Ironic • Transitions – Boys Don’t Cry (1999) …on an object, a word, an action, a character Screenplay by Kimberly Peirce & Andy Bienen trait, etc. 5

Composition Boys Don’t Cry (1999) Screenplay by Kimberly Peirce & Andy Bienen Lesson 13: Composition Boys Don’t Cry (1999) Screenplay by Kimberly Peirce & Andy Bienen Lesson 13: Part I 6

Composition (2) • Unity and Variety • Pacing • Rhythm and Tempo • Progression Composition (2) • Unity and Variety • Pacing • Rhythm and Tempo • Progression – Social Progression – Personal Progression Boys Don’t Cry (1999) Screenplay by Kimberly Peirce & Andy Bienen 7

Boys Don’t Cry • Pause the lecture, and while you’re watching, think about the Boys Don’t Cry • Pause the lecture, and while you’re watching, think about the scenes in terms of: – Unity and Variety – Pace: how quickly things happen – Rhythm: how scenes vary in length – Progression: in this case, Personal Progression 8

Boys Don’t Cry (2) • Brandon Teena violated two social contracts that these characters Boys Don’t Cry (2) • Brandon Teena violated two social contracts that these characters consider sacred: 1. Male privilege is to be enjoyed only by genetic males 2. This community operates according to the sexual mores of the larger community 9

Boys Don’t Cry (3) • Unity: Because Brandon Teena violated these mores, these characters Boys Don’t Cry (3) • Unity: Because Brandon Teena violated these mores, these characters feel that the mores must be reaffirmed. • Variety: These scenes are consistent with both an Action Story and a Love Story/Romance. 10

Boys Don’t Cry (4) • Pacing – SLOW. Lana returns home. Calm (or at Boys Don’t Cry (4) • Pacing – SLOW. Lana returns home. Calm (or at least trying to remain calm). – FAST. Fight at her bedroom door. – SLOW. Brandon arrives and the men question him. – FAST. Fighting to expose him. 11

Boys Don’t Cry (5) • Pacing – SLOW. Lana checks Brandon’s gender in private. Boys Don’t Cry (5) • Pacing – SLOW. Lana checks Brandon’s gender in private. Claims he’s a man. (There’s a great transition here, did you notice? ) – FAST. Exposing Brandon’s gender, forcing Lana to look. 12

Boys Don’t Cry (6) • Rhythm, Varying the length of scenes: – Lana arrives Boys Don’t Cry (6) • Rhythm, Varying the length of scenes: – Lana arrives home (00: 00 to 00: 52) – Brandon arrives and is accosted (00: 52 to 03: 16) – Lana pretends to check his gender (03: 16 to 04: 16) – Forcing the revelation (4: 16 to 6: 23) 13

Boys Don’t Cry (7) • Personal Progression, or driving the actions deeper into the Boys Don’t Cry (7) • Personal Progression, or driving the actions deeper into the inner lives of the characters: – Lana is confronted alone – Brandon is confronted in front of Lana – Lana refuses to actually to check his gender – Lana is forced to look at Brandon’s genitalia 14

Wizard of Oz • Pause the lecture and watch Clip 1 from The Wizard Wizard of Oz • Pause the lecture and watch Clip 1 from The Wizard of Oz. Again, while watching, think about the scenes in terms of: – Unity and Variety – Pace: how quickly things happen – Rhythm: how scenes vary in length – Progression: in this case, Social, Personal and Symbolic Progression 15

Wizard of Oz (2) • Unity: Because Dorothy went looking for the solution to Wizard of Oz (2) • Unity: Because Dorothy went looking for the solution to her problem outside of the confines “of her own backyard, ” she must struggle mightily and earn the right to what she always had. • Variety: The film has aspects of an Action/Adventure Story as well as those of a Political Drama. 16

Wizard of Oz (3) • Pacing – SLOW: Humorous scene in which Miss Gulch Wizard of Oz (3) • Pacing – SLOW: Humorous scene in which Miss Gulch insists on meeting with Uncle Henry and Aunt Em. – FAST: Dorothy argues, actually slams the basket shut. The Wizard of Oz (1939) Screenplay by Noel Langley and Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolfe, based on the novel by L. Frank Baum 17

Wizard of Oz (4) • Pacing – FAST: Toto escapes. Dorothy packs to run Wizard of Oz (4) • Pacing – FAST: Toto escapes. Dorothy packs to run away. – SLOW: Professor Marvel tricks Dorothy into returning home. – FAST: Dorothy faces the horror of the cyclone. – SLOW: Dorothy enters the seeminglypeaceful Land of Oz. 18

Wizard of Oz (5) • Rhythm – Scene at the gate (00: 20) – Wizard of Oz (5) • Rhythm – Scene at the gate (00: 20) – Negotiating for Toto (01: 30) – Miss Gulch on the bike, Toto’s escape, deciding to run away (00: 38) – Meeting Professor Marvel (02: 12) – Threatened by tornado (00: 53) – In the tornado (01: 54) – Landing and venturing out (01: 00) 19

Wizard of Oz (6) • Progression (Personal) – Dorothy misbehaves and faces much larger Wizard of Oz (6) • Progression (Personal) – Dorothy misbehaves and faces much larger consequences than she anticipated. – Because her protectors won’t protect Toto, she takes it upon herself to do so. – She is confronted with even greater consequences (the possible death of Aunt Em) and works to reverse that. 20

Wizard of Oz (7) • Progression (Social) – Dorothy’s misbehavior causes the government (in Wizard of Oz (7) • Progression (Social) – Dorothy’s misbehavior causes the government (in the person of the Sherriff) to become involved. – Dorothy’s attempt to escape the consequences of her actions lead her into even greater danger, having been in the house when it lands on a political threat in Oz (The Wicked Witch of the East). 21

Wizard of Oz (8) • Progression (Symbolic) – Dorothy’s problem is framed symbolically by Wizard of Oz (8) • Progression (Symbolic) – Dorothy’s problem is framed symbolically by her subconscious. – The unknown world beyond Kansas is recast as a larger, more colorful and perhaps more dangerous version of Kansas itself. The Wizard of Oz (1939) Screenplay by Noel Langley and Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolfe, based on the novel by L. Frank Baum 22

Composition Questions • Are the Characters experiencing progression? • How are they progressing? • Composition Questions • Are the Characters experiencing progression? • How are they progressing? • How long are the scenes? • How intense are the scenes? 23

Transitions Citizen Kane (1940) Screenplay by Herman J. Mankiewicz and Orson Welles Lesson 13: Transitions Citizen Kane (1940) Screenplay by Herman J. Mankiewicz and Orson Welles Lesson 13: Part II 24

Transitions • Deliberately linking events one to another will give your screenplay a seamlessness Transitions • Deliberately linking events one to another will give your screenplay a seamlessness that will keep your reader reading, and your audience in their seats. • Strategies include continuity of action, an object, a kind of light, a character trait, a sound, or an idea. 25

Wizard of Oz Clip • Please pause the lecture and watch the fourth Wizard Wizard of Oz Clip • Please pause the lecture and watch the fourth Wizard of Oz clip. • Be watching for the transition moment. In this example, the transition is made via a line of dialog. The Wizard of Oz (1939) Screenplay by Noel Langley and Florence Ryerson and Edgar Allan Woolfe, based on the novel by L. Frank Baum 26

Citizen Kane Clip • Now please pause the lecture and watch the second Citizen Citizen Kane Clip • Now please pause the lecture and watch the second Citizen Kane clip. • Be watching for transition moments such as: – A name that is mentioned and there is a cut to that person – An location that is mentioned and there is a cut to that address – Kane being addressed formally and then in a more familiar way 27

Citizen Kane Clip (Continued) • “No, I’m staying here. ” Kane moves from the Citizen Kane Clip (Continued) • “No, I’m staying here. ” Kane moves from the shadows into the light, from hiding to telling the truth. • Kane is still yelling when the door closes, and the sound is drowned out by a car horn (a warning inside transitioning into a warning in the larger world). • The reality of the front stoop transitioning into a newspaper photo as the scandal breaks. 28

Transition Questions • How are you using transitions in your screenplay? 29 Transition Questions • How are you using transitions in your screenplay? 29

Assignments Boys Don’t Cry (1999) Screenplay by Kimberly Peirce & Andy Bienen Lesson 13: Assignments Boys Don’t Cry (1999) Screenplay by Kimberly Peirce & Andy Bienen Lesson 13: Part III 30

Reading • Review Chapter 12 in Story, “Composition” • Do the Reading Review to Reading • Review Chapter 12 in Story, “Composition” • Do the Reading Review to be sure you’re clear on what you’ve read! 31

E-Board Post • Post at least one example of a concept you can identify E-Board Post • Post at least one example of a concept you can identify from Chapter 12: – A transition (a continuity of action, a word an idea, etc. )? – An example of the progression of a certain character’s story (that is, the stakes intensifying over several scenes, personally, socially or in another way)? 32

End of Lecture 13 Thelma & Louise (1991) Screenplay by Callie Khouri Next Lecture: End of Lecture 13 Thelma & Louise (1991) Screenplay by Callie Khouri Next Lecture: Move Them! 33