My Obsession, an Open Confession
Scene Description and shot list (Work in Progress)
This is part script / part photo script / scene description and shot description and includes notes on the photography and the exact music I hear in the scene. I have also included two typography sections. It is my attempt at some sort of visual screenplay to allow the reader follow the monologue better.
Many scenes have I have imaged with video mixed and photography. I would like to work out a nice technique to mix and sometimes blur video and photo to resemble a sort of bad memory or inaccurate memory. The effect allows us to move between scenes and convey a warped perception. More info in production notes.
If you read the script from start to finish the isn’t much pause between paragraphs or presented ideas. I’d like to maintain that within the editing, a fluid spoken style. The voice carries the rhythm. Perhaps a recorded voice track could make a good guide to help the rhythm. The details in the descriptions below slow down this perception but should be cut into a solid monologue, just as it was written in the script.
Note: in certain parts when he speaks he pulls the blurry photography parts back into focus and back into the new scene/ theme.
All photos here are from google images and assumed to be in the public domain.
1. Intro Scene.
Music: Bob Dylan – Positively 4th Street. Play 45 seconds. From iPod.
Link : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vhr_umSnZH4
Terry is young, hip (but not hipster) cool, tattooed, he’s a band promoter, has the gift of the gab. NO glasses. I see the Terry as a semi wild experienced looking lad with a face that says he´s felt the consequences of his life decisions. A likeable rouge. He’s a smoker and uses cigarettes to show us his continuing addiction. He`s naturally cocky.
Action: Introduces the character Terry, tells us what he’s like visually.
Shot 1: Terry shaving and smoking in the bathroom listening and singing along to Dylan. He is wearing headphones for an iPod.
(Music – Mix track and Terry’s voice “you’ve got a lotta nerve, to say you are my friend” …..at second 10)
2: Terry drinking tea in his kitchen beside a window, 3: gulps it down, 4: throws on his shirt and 5: closes the door behind him.
6: stops to light up a cigarette outside the door 7: continues down the street 8: continues down the street (different angle)
9: Mix track and Terry’s voice and “To say you gota helping hand to lend”, at second 30 in the tune.
Photography 10: edits to a photograph/ photographs of a girlfriends for memory effect. Visual effect reference below.
Ref: The Rolling Stones – Like a Rolling Stone
Mix track and Terry’s voice – “you just want to be on the side thats winning” in sinc with the song, at second 36 in the tune.
Example photography shots 1,2,3.
2. Street scene I
He´s out and about in the city, walking down the streets. he’s looking into the camera. Small tight street, perhaps in Raval.
Music: Dylan song runs continuously into 3rd verse.
You say I let you down
You know it’s not like that
If you’re so hurt
Why then don’t you show it
Shot 11: (at 1 minute into the tune …) stops walking and looks directly into camera, right up close, hand held camera moving slowly around, left and right as if a person walking with him. He pulls the headphones off and the music disappears suddenly…allowing residual street noise in. He speaks matter of factly.
Terry: “Ive been taking a long hard look at myself recently! (nods at the camera) in the mirror, so to speak. A friend of mine, Wordsmith, said to me once, “Terry” “Treat people like mirrors and watch how you reflect in their eyes.” (nods at the camera) “I have no fucking idea what that means” “But I do know that I have an addictive personality, I’m obsessive and I’m generally happy about it.
Shot 11 B: Edit in pictures of famous authors that have been manipulated to look more modern.
Terry: “Take Byron for example, he was completely obsessed with sex”. “250 women in 1 year!” (tilts his head sideways in respect)
Terry: “or Charles Dickens !, he was obsessed with morgues, for fuck sake!!”
Terry: “and there was Hemingway with drink”
Terry: ” and Burroughs with drugs, I could go on and on”
Terry: “Anyway” (pause) “Obsession has really helped to look at who I am. Its helped me to understand a part of my real true nature. Ive accepted it, you know? Understanding obsession helps me to understand human nature and the situation I live in.”
3. Street scene II
Shot 12: Terry stays in position but camera cuts further away allowing us to see entire street and where he is. walking backwards away from him.
Shot 13: Camera, further away again, he’s speaks the next line below but starting to walk as if to catch up with camera. camera walking backwards away from him.
Terry: “It’s helped me position myself in the world, much in the same way that stories do.”
4. Street scene III (play on position)
Shot 15: camera stand still and lets Terry walk ahead, then he stops, turns half way and looks at the camera.
Pause. Then walking on. Looking into camera and nodding his head for us to follow him.
Talking over his shoulder, camera close enough to hear and see the side of his face.
Terry: “Well anyway, I’ve been struggling with obsession. Seems like I always need something to obsess about. Sometimes I obsess about random shit, other times it’s whatever is in front of my eyes.”
5. Poster scene
Shot 16: Terry shops. gets frustrated by poster
Music: background music is coming from someplace undefined, from a shop perhaps. The Skatalites – Confucius
Terry: “Its what`s advertised at me!”
Shot 17: Different angle, Staring intently at the above poster on the street. Makes a kind of pout at the picture. He likes what he see’s, makes a kinda “ohhhh” and slight frown.
Stopped in the street, Looking at the camera, then at the poster, then at the camera, like a conversation.
Terry: “Its whatever gets me through the day. If I was going home to that at the end of the day I could deal with any shit. It’s whatever distracts me sufficiently so I can dream, yeah, dream (pause) and avoid reality”
Terry: “It often takes the female form. I follow the curves and it follow the contours.”
6. Imagination/ dream scene. He goes into a fantasy about the poster girl.
Shot 18: Photography
I see this as quick flash photography edited to the beat of The Skatalites, mixed with a little video, some sexy movement, nudity, the poster girl doing her thing. A girl facing to the rhythm of the music. 15 seconds
example photography 5,6,7 as he says ” I follow the curves and it follow the contours.”
The sound mixes down and the shots blur to black and then he awakens, like in the morning and refocuses to..
7. Construction site scene.
Music: music with tools and drills, noise of the city.
Shot 19: The fantasy scene and transported him to a new location, as if he has lost time, breaking out of the fantasy in a dazed way, mouth open a little, Terry lights up a cigarette and draws deep. In contrast this scene has reality.
Breathing between commas.
Terry: “It gets me up, it gets me down, it creates awkward situations and it feeds ego and destroys ego and see-saw’s up my perspective, down my moods and into my actions.”
Shot 20: Looking at a building site, broken and dirty.
Shot 21: He leans up against a wall (perhaps with graffiti) and puts one leg up against it, and speaks.
One possible lead into the typography in this scene is to have actor do a type of magic trick with his hands, for the manipulate it, embrace it and then in some way throw the first card onto the scene.
Terry: “But rather than go dark and negative about it I should manipulate it, or embrace it, just as it does me. For its just as much part of my personality and it is character flaw. On the positive side..
– Insert Typography – (below are random examples)
“it can drive huge motivation
and create a great work ethic.
It’s a creative problem solver.
It’s a mountain mover.
If I feel inspired by an idea I can make concepts and ideas a reality
What a gift that is!”
Pause. then continuing at the same thought speed.
Cuts back to Terry, beside some classic street art piece.
Terry: “I have often been in situations thinking to myself “I can’t believe I just pulled that off” or “did that just happen?”. I sure that my emotions embellish every thought and warp my perception.”
8. Floating scene
Camera moves away from Terry against the wall towards the sky and simulates floating.
Pause. Slower and more pensive. Voiceover.
Terry: “I only see this now, but never at the time. I live in desire or need or obsession or fantasy for something, or someone, and if things are going well I’m perfectly happy to float through it.”
Smiling, enjoying the thought dream….
Dream turns to black and quickly refocuses. Noise of the site mixed into the beginning of the next tune.
9. Cafe scene. Inside.
Music: in the background – The Stone Roses – 10 story love song. Song and scene starts 46 seconds into this track
Scene change, again this dream and taken him someplace else, feeling of lost time, someplace darker, grim. Camera close up, matter of factly spoken…
He plays with facial expressions and touches his nose now and again.. there’s a series of blurred photographic images towards the end of this scene, random places and people. See below.
Camera is sitting across the table from him.
Terry: “On the negative side obsession is often ruthless. It considers the consequences as consequential. Consequences are somehow diluted down, argued with and rationalized, sectioned off effectively and reduced to a minimal level of noise. Often bias, it pushes aside moral objections. Often single minded it concentrates on the target, the goal becomes everything. The keep your eyes on the prize mentality”.
Camera pans to the right as he says “prize” as he eyes a beautiful girl looking at him.
Pause while he remembers a night gone wrong, blurred images. Video starts to mix with….
Shot 24: Photography as he remembers some previous party, varied confused images.
Terry: “This often results in fooling oneself into false or unreal situations”
essentially believing one’s own lies because
because they serve,
And They eventually always fucking humble.”
this scene can descend into a blurry mess and like a previous one, refocus into the next..
10. Shop scene.
Shot 25: He has arrived at a neutral place, he’s buying a packet of cigarettes.
Shaking his head in agreement with what he is about to say.
Shot 26: Walking out of the shop addressing the camera and nodding..
Terry: “Then theres a little something that I like to call The Responsibilities Waver”
Terry: “What a classic Joker!”
Shot 27: Stops outside on the street and lights up another cig. This monologue becomes faster and louder and angrier with every line. Integrated photographic images, examples below. Mixed sounds with images.
Terry: “It’s a mentally constructed legal document that acts as a waver, a get out of jail free card or a business card with the words “fuck it” written on it.
Terry holds up business card. It starts the photo sequence.
It’s Punk. Its ruckus. Its highly addictive.
I love the Anger, the rawness, the animal.
I can chase that fucker all day long. Even better is Self Righteous anger !
That is the bomb, the Nepalm,
the Apocalypse Now of self absorbed narcissism.”
Terry: “I will shoot you down!!” “I will shout you down”!!!!!
Photography mixed into the following scene, focused on Terry. Noise diminishes into the quiet of the park..
Shot 28: Cut to Terry sitting on a park bench – continue talking to the camera. Camera now looking at his profile. Matter of factly again..
He has someone or something completely out of place beside him. or the shot pulls out to allow us to see this ridiculous object with the words “I can imagine”
Terry: “There is a huge amount of self will involved with active obsession. That requires ego. Tons of it. It allows me to manipulate people and things. I can imagine scenarios and possibilities and what-if tales of self satisfaction, and I can imagine the best mechanisms for how to get them. Sometimes I succeed, other times I fail. With success comes short lived satisfaction but Christ it feels good. With failure comes insecurity and despondency, which can sometimes trigger a change of object attraction or trigger The Grass is greener syndrome,
that need to experience and taste it all syndrome or “You only live once syndrome”.
Pause. Reflection. He looks at the camera honestly.
11. Walking to the bar scene.
Shot 29: Cut to him on the street, near the bar. camera following him to the bar, stopping on street corners for a sentence or two. Terry is behaving like a TV presenter showing a camera crew around town.
Terry: “My obsession loves fiction. Always has. I used to think the dream world a superior existence than the real. In a certain way my obsessions act like bridges to that world, often with utopian qualities”
Stops on a street corner, address the camera.
“It manifests itself in the 3rd person, thereby personifying thoughts, dreams, lusts and sentiments as more real. They become objects to be admired and considered, added to the menu for instant cooking or frozen for later consumption”
Looking around at a commercial complex.
Terry: “Coz thats what we do!”
Shot 30: Cuts to a long shot of him entering the bar
13. In the Bar Scene.
Music: The Jesus & Mary Chain – Sometimes Always
The camera follows Terry around the bar for 5 seconds. Music is loud. Terry is smiling. He has just remembered something… He looks into the camera, up close, and speaks very loudly !
Terry: “And then there’s The Triggers. I love those triggers. I’m can`t resist them.”
Scene mixes into the “The Trigger Shot”: music loud.
I see this short entirely in black and white, except here where we sneak in a glimse of colour. Why? Because he’s just remembered to talk about triggers. But just a few seconds of colour to illustrate the neurones and the heart references, because thats where he feels it.
Shot 30: Montagne of Photography with spots of colour. The Trigger Shot.
multiple images flash across the screen, multiple triggers, women, money, drugs, food, sex, etc. This scene is a mix of images and half remembered blurred flashbacks.
Terry Voiceover –
Terry: “I stalk triggers, I watch how they behave, how they develop in thought and how they change and effect me.
“I let the thought dreams churn and stretch inside me. The longing starts. It hurts.”
“It pulls on my heart and it digs.”
“I swear the bastard toys with me.”
I often relish in the strength of it. It fires neurons of excitement. I get high of it, I admit.”
Shot 31: refocusing back on Terry for the next line
Terry: “My mate Wordsmith, he’s a poet, he said it best, it goes something like……”
14. Bar II scene – different and more sophisticated bar location. Its a blurry memory. Light soul / jazz playing in the background.
Music: Nina Simone – Please don`t me be misunderstood
Shot 32: edit to a drunken night at a bar with Terry and friends partying. Wordsmith reads his poem from a moleskin chapbook. he directs his poem at one specific girl at the table. The style of his speech is like a Spoken Word poem.
Wordsmith: “Intoxicated I fantasize frenzied scenes. There she is again, my wonderful trigger. How I want her! Uncontrollably I want her. To know every nuance, every gift of the mind and carnal experience. I see you and I surrender. In one ecstatic moment I would abandon all for that perfect lust filled fuck of decadence with you.
Shot 33: the friends all go “ohhhhhhhh” and the girls giggle! Wordsmith continues barely pausing his rhythm.
Wordsmith: A deeper instinct belongs to you, to you and the trigger you fire at me. I feel perfectly alive, all senses consumed, soul ignited. Its here …… in this moment……. I need to stay.”
Shot 33: Camera cuts back to Terry in Bar I and there´s a long pause. He’s floating in his moment. Its perfect. We watch him, absorbed. Scene obviously continues with The Jesus and Mary Chain track.
Shot 34: He mouths the next words but nothing comes out, he takes a second, smiles a little to himself and walks towards the toilet. He continues, stops, looking into the camera, very close to the lens and says….
Terry: “And I know the difference between passion and obsession!”
15. Bar Toilet Scene.
Music: The track changes but sounds muffled, in the distance.
Shot 35: we cut to inside the toilet with Terry waiting for his turn in the cubicle. Leaning back against the wall with his head against the wall.
Terry: “Passion sources from love and obsession sources from lust. Simplistic for sure but for me lust is a need or a lacking in oneself, resulting in the desire for someone or something else.
– Insert Typography – random examples below
“A need to please oneself.”
“A need to satisfy a raw desire and fill that hole!”
“Often this comes at the expense of others.”
“This is turn brings remorse, guilt and self loathing”
“In turn it forms a circle”
then a spiral down,
to someplace dark, cold, morbid and bleak.
I hit bottom.
I feel empty, completely void of anything resembling self respect.”
Terry: “I know addicts that like the pain, the longing and I might be one of them. I consider myself to have a low tolerance for both pain and addiction. Some addicts repeat the same obsessive based mistakes because each time the hit is the same and each time the hit works. Until it stops working”
Terry: “Personally I need to keep moving, I need new territory and different rewards. But that’s a different thing, another gem of self discovery.”
Terry: So, that’s the crux ladies and gentlemen, self discovery.”
Terry: “How very cliche I hear you say!” “But I’d bet there ain’t too many of you that’s heard this ….”” the good news is”
He’s looking straight into the camera, earnestly..
Terry: “A spiritual experience can change everything”
Terry winks at the camera cheekily, closes toilet door behind him and the shot goes to black.