Film. Illustrated Walking Maps. Signs.

Film as Art – Week 01 Dramatic Action, Assignment 1

Film as Art
Week 01 Dramatic Action, Assignment 1
Michael McVey
February 1, 2010

“”Write a description of an action taking place. Describe only those things that can be seen. Use no dialogue, although you may use other sounds. The scene should take place in one location, …” and in one moment of time. (Hall, 1). All scripts are written in the third person present tense!

“Imagine yourself looking at a one-minute scene on a movie screen. Write down what you see and here on the page. That’s it. Nothing more. What does the audience see and hear? If they can’t see and hear it, then it doesn’t belong in the script.”

The screen is pitch black. A shrill alarm fills our ears. We hear the deafening slam of a metal door. We hear the panting of a woman, running footsteps echo in an unseen space. The screen turns red like a siren, and then we see sweat dripping down a frantic face. It is a woman. She clambers down a vast concrete corridor. Her eyes dart frantically about. She clutches a metal box in her arms, struggling to hold on. We see she is bleeding from the hip – she is wounded. She staggers. The box is too heavy. She stumbles into the wall. Both box and woman crash to the ground.

Red alarm sirens oscillate across her collapsed figure. Her red blood looks black in the light. She struggles to breathe. She turns her head, looking behind her. Her eyes widen in terror. She crawls towards the box. The woman braces herself against the concrete wall and leverages herself upright. Her eyes narrow – she sees a large metal door at the corridor’s end. She is close. The woman forces herself to her feet. Her breathing intensifies. Her face twists in pain. She drops to one knee. She cannot stand. She eyes the door again. The woman braces her back against the wall and kicks the box with her legs. The box moves a few feet towards the door, and the woman scrambles after it. She kicks again. A blood trail marks her progress. She ignores the wound. She kicks and heaves again and again. With a final kick, the box slams against the door. Near collapse, she props herself up. She pulls a card key from her pocket. The woman struggles, hand reaching for the door’s security card reader. Suddenly, the alarm stops. The sirens cease flashing. The screen turns to darkness.

The woman’s breathing reaches fever pitch. The metal door opens in front of the woman, flooding the corridor with light. The woman lays wounded, her body distorted in pain. A silhouetted figure steps through the doorway. The woman makes a desperate attempt to shield the box. The figure hovers for a moment, then kneels down in front of her, calm and collected. The figure moves into focus – the silhouetted figure is the woman’s exact twin. She smiles kindly at her wounded counterpart. The twin gently moves the woman off the box. Exhausted, the woman offers little resistance. The twin savors the moment, and then opens the box. Her calmness evaporates in an instant, replaced with rage. The wounded woman laughs. The box contains a lone cinderblock, a decoy.

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