Script To Screen: “Beavis and Butt-Head Do America”

September 18th, 2013 by

One of countless scenes of stupidity in the 1996 animated comedy Beavis and Butt-Head Do America.

Plot Synopsis: The dimwitted teen duo of Beavis and Butt-Head travel across America in search of their stolen television set.

	ANGLE OUTSIDE MUDDY'S TRUNK. From within we hear:
					BUTT-HEAD (O.C.)
			Hey, Beavis, check it out. I'm jacking
			Huh huh huh huh huh huh.
	Pumping up the jack, they cause the lid of the trunk to start to 
	Suddenly, it pops open. B&B are a sweaty mess. They gasp.
			This sucks. Let's get outta here.
	They look out. The road behind them races past at 80 mph. Beavis 
	stares dumbly.
			Uh, you first.
			C'mon, Beavis, just start running really
			fast when you hit the ground. It'll work.
			Okay. I'll go right after you.
	Butt-Head shoves Beavis out of the car.
	Beavis tries to run, but hits the road and flips over and over - 
	and smashes his butt.
			Owwwwww, my butt!!!!!!
	His body stops in the middle of the road. A huge truck, about to 
	hit him, swerves and jackknifes over the side.
	Behind the truck, several cars screech to a halt, one smashing 
	into the other.
	Butt-Head looks at the road.
			Huh huh huh huh huh. That was cool.
	ANGLE ON MUDDY'S TIRE. It hits a pothole.
	ANGLE ON BUTT-HEAD, shooting out of the trunk, he grabs onto the 
	lid. He bounces against the road again and again.
	Finally, he loses his grip as the lid to the trunk closes.
	ANGLE ON BUTT-HEAD, rolling along the highway.
	A car, about to hit Butt-Head, screeches to a halt. Other cars 
	behind it smash and pile up.
	ANGLE ON ROAD SOME WAYS BACK. On Tom and Marcy in their car.
			Boy, what I wouldn't give for five minutes
			alone with them two little bastards...
	The car ahead of Tom crashes into the car ahead of that. Tom 
	crashes into it. And the car behind crashes into Tom.
	OVERHEAD ANGLE shows cars and trucks behind, crashing, piling up. 
	A massive pile-up.

The scene from the movie:

Beyond the comic inanity, one thing you notice when comparing a shooting script of an animated movie to the film version: They are almost always identical. Any idea why that might be the case?

One of the single best things you can do to learn the craft of screenwriting is to read the script while watching the movie. After all a screenplay is a blueprint to make a movie and it’s that magic of what happens between printed page and final print that can inform how you approach writing scenes. That is the purpose of Script to Screen, a weekly series on GITS where we analyze a memorable movie scene and the script pages that inspired it.

One thought on “Script To Screen: “Beavis and Butt-Head Do America”

  1. SteveEnloe says:

    Directors in jodhpurs and actors with motivations? :-)

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