Notes from Previous Renderings:
“We live in an age where retrospect is something we cherish, if not, obsess over. The days of our past inform our future. Some regard this past in reverie, sharing their experiences with new loved ones and old. Some live in this retrospect, stuck behind their fears of moving past their experiences, the fear of forgetting their has-beens. These individuals lack the wherewithal necessary to living a progressive, healthy life.”
“We open ON BLACK with ambient lake noise. The sound of water current. Waves lap the shore. Birds go caw. Ducks go quack. Fish go blub. (And the seal goes oww oww oww / but there’s one sound / that no one knooooooooows … / what does the fox say!?). The swoosh of breezes. BLACKNESS FADES to our opening image and the symbol of our subsequent narrative: Evi floating atop an inner-tube on a body of water. She’s awakens, we PULL BACK to reveal that she’s a long distance from the shore on this great mass of water.
Waking up somewhere you don’t belong and not knowing how time passed so quickly is like floating on a tube in the ocean, taking a nap and letting the current pull you out to sea. You can use this metaphor in your script.
The idea that you’ve lost control of yourself … you don’t own yourself or that you’re governed by some idea of yourself that has taken control … no longer being in control of one’s self … the idea that you can fall asleep and end up in another place without her knowing how you got to be where you are is exactly the idea of forgetting yourself.
The definition of this image is simple: you’re stuck on an inner tube on top of a large body of water. You can swim to shore and change your fate, you can fall through the middle and remove yourself from the docket, or you can remain a product of your condition atop the inner tube and allow your situation to dictate the remainder of your stay away from salvation.”
Untitled Maine Feature Log-line:
A woman catches up to her past.
Movie’s about how memories fade
Why them and not me? Remorse
Adam and Eve? Spun new?
Protag always felt guilty about her friends death. The two of them planned to attend college together.
Protag loved her lost friend. Together, they were one.
Story told in chronological order
Protag is meeting the girl across the pond for the first time when she visits the lake house
- The story (short film) recounts the night that the Protag’s friend dies in the lake.
Reference: Blue Velvet
Story Arc: beginning, into the ear (dream state movie), out of the ear, conclusion; the phone on the wall is important - it’s our transportation into the ear and out of the ear!!!!!
Note for BV theme: girl is getting further away from her dream and getting sucked into this mystery and this strangeness until she ‘exits the ear’ and the conclusion is the protag spiraling out of control. something very strange about meeting a girl that the audience knows you’ve know at one point
Protag VO on black, she’s on phone talking to her mom, cut to WS of beach cut to in water with vomit girl cut to WS of beach post drowning cut to protag in cabin finishing conversation on phone, hangs up and turns off light as she’s heading to bed
Scene 1 - Shots:
EXT. LAKESIDE - PRIVATE BEACH
W.S. - Camera is high up, looking down at the beach from a good distance.
- We see the walk way that leads to the beach
- A few party remnants strewn on sand and rocks
- The lake, a dark blue
- String of pink lights strung across the beach
- Someone in the water, floating
The person in the water sinks, leaving a ripple in their wake
Camera shouldered, but maintains frame.
Start the VO?
INT. LAKE - UNDER WATER
F.S. - A high school senior (girl) vomiting under water.
The water is dark, dark blue. We see her face. Light in water, we see her body. But behind her, dark. A dark blue. And refracted in the water, neon pink lights from a string of lights tied from one tree to another spanning across the beach
The vomit is dark brown and light brown, lighter in the lit water. The water that is light or out in from today the girl fills with vomit and some of that vomit is getting push into the dark parts of the water
She heaves once and beigns to also take in water, breathe it in
She heaves four more times. The heaves of vomit begin to cease but her body continues to heave. More and more until she drowns, eyes open and sinking into that dark blue, and we stay in the vomit filled water, in the water
The camera never moves but to follow the girl vomiting and when the girl dies, the camera stays put and the girl floats off screen
The girl drowning is fading like a memory; face and body lit underwater, still murky, and all around her is an opaque dark blue and black; she’s inside a frame.
Camera under water, frame rate cranked.
EXT. LAKESIDE - PRIVATE BEACH
W.S. - Camera is high up, looking down at the beach from a good distance.
And the next shot is from afar and up high looking down at the beach and water, same setup as the opening shot. We see the ripple of the woman’s wake (from her thrashing, heaving). We see the beach, the stringing lights, the trees, the nature on both sides, the beach a ‘U’ shape
The water is dark, dark dark blue out there is the distance, lighter toward shore
INT. CAMP - LIVING ROOM
Camera to the right of and desk lamp, high angle; side profile on phone and the better part of house
Conversation she has on phone should summarize film in some way to have it have such an impact
hangs up the phone - it’s a corded phone on a wall
Protag turns off the desk lamp.
CUT TO: BLACK
- there music playing from a pair of speakers. It’s plays for the entire scene - this isn’t like soundtrack music, it’s part of the scenes natural world. Because it’s playing at a different camp than we’re at it’s a bit softer and muted
The music comes forward when we cut to the camp where our protagonist is having a telephone conversation
Protag is at college. She’s packing up her car, end of her freshman year.
Scene 2 - Shots:
- protag driving - we’re in the car with her, outside the window
- she turns a right and the camera stops and pulls out and we see she’s pulling into ta packing lot - she’s packing up her stuff to go home
- Protag trying to stay more obscure, probably would not say goodbye
- Protag not actively seeking out to say goodbye, people say goodbye to her
- painstaking for her, cause she was supposed to be with her best friend
- two girls we see making plans for next semester, summer plans - mirror what the protag would have wanted to do with her best friend
- she’s melancholy, trying to melt into the earth
EXT BEACH - DAY
Protagonist walking between the camps to the one with the big house
While we’re walking with her we’re on the left side of her face, opposite of earlier in the film
Protagonist (floating in lake on tube) falls through and never resurfaces. Water settles.
Scene Final - Shots:
EXT. BEACH - DAY
She unplugs the lights, the beach looks similar to the opening, but it isn’t.
It’s day time. The light and exposure through the camera will highlight the ugly truth that is the protagonist spinning out of control.
We’re up on her with the camera, medium closeup to closeup, stumbling through the woods with her, passing one residency to the other.
We bend with her when she drags the float tube into the water.
And we stop we she plops in and push out into the lake. We move backwards as she moves further into the lake.
And we, the camera and the audience become a mirror for both the protagonist and the story. And with that mirror, the camera’s lens, We show the protagonist’s true identity, the truth of her ugliness. The same truth that her best friend possessed, and terrible ugliness.
And we cut to the high angle from the beginning, the first shot of the film, accept now it’s daylight and we can truly see the ugliness inside.
and the high angle camera then becomes not a looking down in pity but a strong negative judgment on that character, the way she now sees and feels about herself ….. and we watch her sink from the tube and into the lake to not return.
How awful you are. You hold that guilt untruthfully.
You killed you best friend. yes you did, you fucking killed your best friend. You murdered your best friend the only way you knew how or had the guts to.
you poisoned her with her vice.
Protag wearing same bathing suit that her friend was wearing the night her friend drowned to death
low angle wide on camera, same as first shot: once the water gets still at the end, the scene cuts to day time and the float is on the lake
- so we see the float on the lake, the water settling, and once the water has settled the scene goes from night time to day time — sits for a second
- final scene from wide shot - very similar to first shot with lights, but what’s there is different
she’ll be in tube on lake, cups missing on beach, bottle instead of cup, the scene is similar but different, things missing or replaced
- Protag’s drinking, has been, stumbling in woods - we’re with her on the side of face, in that profile
going out onto the water
- Protag plugs in lights (neon lights)? maybe …
- Protag floats out into the lake, bottle in hand
cut into her once or twice to see her state; she’s passing out, drunk
- cut back to wide, and after a really long period of time we see her fall through the float
- stay on beach for a really really long time, wait until the water calms down (water is no longer rippling). Once water settles, cut to day, float still on water and then, only then, cut to credits
it’s night and we’re in the cabin with the protagnist. The best friend is drunk, swimming. we see the protagonist having the same conversation she had in the beginning. and we, the audience, think that it’s happening again. The best friend is going to die and the protagonist turns off the light.
however, now we stay with the protagonist and follow her outside.
and here we traveling at night with her the same shot that we’ll use at the end of the film.
The protagonist travels from one camp to the other, the camera on her (medium closeup to closeuup) until we come onto the other beach and rightly don’t see the best friend in the water, but we see a wake where a body could have made a wake.
And then, the best friend is on the other camps patio and calling the best friend up to check out the vacant camp.
we’re on the right side of her face when we’re waling with her ffrom one camp to the other. And on the right sdie of her face when she’s looking at the wake in the lake. and the right side of her face when her friend calls from the other camp’s patio. protag turns and so do we, as if both the protagonist and the audience look up in amazement that the best friend isn’t dead
and this is either at the end of the first third of the story or at the climax, and then something new will happen.
The importance of this scene is to show the similarities to the first scene and set up how similar they are and how “this could be when her best friend dies” sort of feeling, you know?
this def happens at the end of the first third of the film
WS with high angle on woman floating the water (same distance from subject as first shot)
FS of protag in camp talking on the phone
protag hangs up the phone and turns off the light, but we follow her now to the other camp
Protagonist and best friend see bring two freshman in high school girls to the vacant camp —- probably younger, as if he brought them to that camp after soccer practice and the two ten year old girls are in their soccer uniforms.
best friend’s father drives a mini van, blue silver color
We’re on the beach looking up at the camp
The father is in the kitchen with the two girls.
he’s made them both sandwiches and is leaning over the kitchen island and talking to the girls
We go inside to hear them better and really guage their manerisms.
And then one of the girls ask what’s in the sandwich. The father pulls back and winds up his potsure and smiles
And then we’re back outside, and the light inside the window changes as if someone were hitting dimmers. it’s now white hot white, neon orange and black in the window
And the father start singing about how her made the sandwiches and he begins to undress the sandwiches.
and he sings.
Once he finishes the room returns to the way it was before …
And we’re outside with the protagnois tand the best friend is now gone
Protagonist picks up the phone. It’s the best friend on the line. The best friend say’s after a long pause, “Come out and play.”
Soft and slow, but not a whisper. it’s enticing, soul gripping
Protagonist getting used to her new life back home, meeting her new co-workers (other real estate agents) all before her first showing
Notes from Bud:
- the girl across the pond is a heavy drinker, protag is not
- set up that the girl across the pond is a partier
- fact that protag is not a drinker or partier but dies at end of movie is inevitable yet surprising
- either set up each girl at beginning clear or muddle them purposefully … which? do we want to know the identities of each chick or not? (Corrie, chime in?)
- the girl drowning is fading like a memory; face and body lit underwater, still murky, and all around her is an opaque dark blue and black; she’s inside a frame.
- maybe she lost this friend when they were kids.
- not an honest memory - the trauma of losing a friend has taken this memory and continually applied it to represent new memories
- using the tropes but not giving the audience the product those tropes (giving the jokes, not the punch lines)
- the audience is playing to try and keep up
- the protagonist’s best friend died as a child from pneumonia and chokes on her own vomit.
- the phone transports, it takes us from one realm to the next. both realms look the exact same, however they act differently …. one is darkness and the other is light. that’s why the best friend dies at night and the protagonist dies at the beginning. right?
- but the phone, right? a phone and it’s chord. I’m thinking like a dark yellow phone with a same color receiver. and older looking phone does the trick, all right
- the phone and it’s chord and we go up the chord and to the phone when
- the best friend’s parents are selling the camp on account that they don’t use it anymore
- cathc up with me now … the woman drowning at the beginning is the protagonist and is part of the world that is surface
- the protagonist is from under the surface (the one talking on the phone) … and so, with that first scene, we’re seeing two worlds become one with a cut to the camp and with the bridging voice over.
- by this logic above, the protagonist was the one who dies in the lake at the beginning and the best friend died some other way
- and the protagonist moving into the camp for the week or weekend and her seeing her best friend makes a lot of sense from a psychological stand point.
- best friend has a good allergy while all pneumatic which leads to a coughing fit that strangles her
- the best friends father killed her at a young at, was molesting her when she had a pnematic attack and drowned in her own fluids
- the protagonist was also molested by her father, but that stopped when her best friend died
- the father tossed her daughter in the lake to seal up the fact that he killed his daughter
- a young girl from accross the lake drowns and that news is told to the protag from the best friend
-what we know is that there are two universes: the one on the surface and the one beneath that, or the subuniverse. And the opening shot represents both of those
- And here’s the backstory: as kids, the protaganist and BF were molested by the BFs father. On such molesting ended the BFs life and the father tossed her body in the lake to cover up the fact that he had killed his daughter while molesting her
- the entire film should have mixtures of these two universes crossing over into each other … that is, until the end (which proves to be the purest distillation of reality there is to give) and that’s why it’s so powerful
- the protagonist is coming home from college, a graduated senior. she has no plans to use her degree. she becomes an agent for her mother’s real estate company.
- and her first job is to try and sell her dead friend’s parents lake house/camp, the same camp that
- she starts to spend nights there, starts to form a strong bond with the real estate
- “yeah, it’s quiet out here. quiet enough to not get bothered.” says the father to the protagonist (and in reality to her as a child)
- the protagonist knows this place is quiet and edenesque, though there’s a neighbor who keeps a usually vancant home but that home is sometimes vacated by the best freind’s father and the girls her brings to the house
- every camera decision should either be to show the audience what their feeling (like a gasp means to quickly yank back the camera in surprise) or the camera should be trying to say one with when the story is saying another (which creates surprises and clear messages about the absurdity of life or whatever)
Two worlds combining at the beginning. It’s our protagonist that’s drowning in the lake, her best friend how died at an early age as a child. At the beginning we are seeing the protagonist in two worlds: drowning, as in the first shot and the in the camp, as later in the scene.
What’s beneath the lake water surface is future and past, and what’s above it is present