Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Foreigner

March 28th, 2015 by

The Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Foreigner.

“That’s a knife.”

Crocodile Dundee (1986)

Could be a foreigner here in North America. Or an American in an international setting. Hell, how about an alien from another planet. That would certainly qualify as a ‘foreigner’.

Take part in the grand Daily Dialogue tradition — 2,500+ consecutive days and counting! How about your suggestion for this week’s theme?

The usual drill:

* Copy/paste dialogue from IMDb Quotes or some other transcript source.

* Copy/paste the URL of an accompanying video from YouTube or some other video source.

I’d also ask you to think about why the dialogue is notable. Is there anything about the dialogue which provides some takeaway re screenwriting?

Here is our lineup for upcoming Daily Dialogue themes:

April 6-April 12: Interrogation
April 13-April 19: Amnesia
April 20-April 26: Betrayal
April 27-May 3: Stammer
May 4-May 10: Graduation

Check this out: The GITS Daily Dialogue Topic Index! You can read about Liz and Allie, two sisters who are big fans of the blog, and were inspired to create the index. A great resource for writers looking for inspiration for their own dialogue writing. You can be a part of this proud tradition with your ideas for weekly themes and Daily Dialogue suggestions.

Please post your ideas for this week’s theme — Foreigner — in comments. Thanks!

Daily Dialogue — March 28, 2015

March 28th, 2015 by

“You must make your own life amongst the living and, whether you meet fair winds or foul, find your own way to harbor in the end.”

The Ghost and Mrs. Muir (1947), screenplay by Philip Dunne, novel by R.A. Dick

The Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Ghost.

Trivia: One of a small handful of films produced by 20th Century-Fox which does *not* use the fanfare of trumpets with the opening logo. (All About Eve (1950), The Song of Bernadette (1943), Twelve O’Clock High (1949), The Robe (1953), Patton (1970), Sounder (1972)_, and The Sound of Music (1965) are others.) The moody and lovely opening music is by the film’s composer, Bernard Herrmann.

Dialogue On Dialogue: If you are a fan of romance movies and have not seen this movie, do yourself the biggest favor in the world: Watch it. It’s wonderful!

Daily Dialogue — March 27, 2015

March 27th, 2015 by

“They’re here.”

Poltergeist (1982), screenplay by Steven Spielberg & Michael Grais & Mark Victor, story by Steven Spielberg

The Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Ghost.

Trivia: Steven Spielberg’s premise for ‘Poltergeist’ was based on the history of Cheeseman Park in Denver, Colorado. The park was originally a cemetery, which was converted into a park during city beautification efforts in the early 20th century. The man hired to move the bodies scammed the city of Denver into overpaying him, and the city quickly ran out of funds to pay for moving the dead. With no money left in the coffers, the city decided to simply leave the remaining ‘residents’ buried in unmarked graves underneath the sod. The park was completed as scheduled, but supernatural occurrences have been reported ever since.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Out of the mouths of babes…

If you have a suggestion for this week’s theme, please post in comments.

Daily Dialogue — March 26, 2015

March 26th, 2015 by

Ghost of Christmas Present: [kicks him in the groin] Hello Frank, I’m the ghost of Christmas present.
Frank Cross: I had a funny feeling. Why did you do that?
Ghost of Christmas Present: Sometimes you have to *slap* them in the face just to get their attention!
Frank Cross: Fine, slap me in the face. But you kicked me in the b…
Ghost of Christmas Present: [grabs his lip] Hush Frank, it’s time to begin your journey. Now, close your eyes…! And think of …
Frank Cross: No, you close your eyes. I’m through…
Ghost of Christmas Present: Oh no…[grabs his ear] Don’t you talk back. Close your eyes…! And think of snowflakes and moonbeams and whiskers on kittens…
[She notices Frank peeking and goes to jab his eys with two fingers]
Ghost of Christmas Present: Nooooo peeking!
[Frank blocks the jab and closes his eyes]
Ghost of Christmas Present: Of rainbows, forget-me-nots… of misty meadows and sun-dappled pools. Oh, look! There’s Mr Hedgehog. I wonder where he’s going? Perhaps to HARLEM!
[She punches Frank]
Frank Cross: Oh God, my jaw!
Ghost of Christmas Present: Sometimes the truth is painful, Frank.
[She slaps his face]
Ghost of Christmas Present: But it’s made your cheeks rosy and your eyes bright as stars!
Frank Cross: If you TOUCH ME AGAlN, I’m gonna rip your goddamned wings off! Okay?
Ghost of Christmas Present: You know I like the rough stuff, don’t you, Frank?

Scrooged (1988), screenplay by Mitch Glazer & Michael O’Donoghue, novel by Charles Dickens

The Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Ghost. Today’s suggestion by James Schramm.

Trivia: When the Ghost Of Christmas Present (Carol Kane) grabbed Bill Murray’s lip she tore it so badly that filming was halted for several days.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by James: “Ghosts with an attitude. How come they never find ghosts like her on those ghost hunter shows?”

If you have a suggestion for this week’s theme, please post in comments.

Daily Dialogue — March 25, 2015

March 25th, 2015 by

VOLDEMORT: Pick up your wand Potter. I said pick it up. Get up. Get up! You’ve been taught how to duel, I presume, yes? First we bow to each other. Come on now, Harry, the niceties must be observed. Dumbledore would not want you to forget your manners, now would he? I said bow!

Voldemort forces Harry to bow with magic.

VOLDEMORT: That’s better. And now…

Voldemort casts at Harry and he wriggles in pain.

VOLDEMORT: Atta boy, Harry. Your parents would be proud, especially your filthy muggle mother. I’m going to kill you, Harry Potter, I’m going to destroy you. After tonight, no one will ever again question my powers. After tonight, if they speak of you they’ll speak only of how you begged for death, and, I being a merciful lord, obliged. Get up.

Voldemort pulls Harry to his feet, Harry hides.

VOLDEMORT: Don’t you turn your back on me, Harry Potter. I want you to look at me when I kill you, I want to see the lights leave your eyes.

Harry re-emerges to face Voldemort.

HARRY: Have it your way.

They both cast and their streams of magic meet. They both struggle.

VOLDEMORT: Do nothing. He is mine to finish. He’s mine!

Shapes form in the surrounding magical energy.

JAMES POTTER: (voice) Harry, when the connection is broken you must get to the port key. We can delay it for a moment to give you time but only a moment. Do you understand?
CEDRIC: (voice) Harry, take my body back, will you? Take my body back to my father.
LILY POTTER: (voice) Let go. Sweetheart you’re ready. Let go! Let go!

The connection breaks, Harry runs to Cedric’s body and summons the cup over to them. In an instant they vanish.

VOLDEMORT: No!

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (2005), screenplay by Steve Kloves, novel by J.K. Rowling

The Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Ghost. Today’s suggestion by Will King.

Trivia: Mike Newell decided against the studio’s original idea of adapting the extremely long book into two separate films to be released several months apart, figuring that he could cut enough of the book’s bulky subplots to make a workable film. It was Alfonso Cuarón, the director of Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (2004), who convinced him.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by Will: “The ghosts of Harry’s parents have appeared before this instance, but this time they actively come to Harry’s defense as he engages in his first direct battle against Voldemort.”

If you have a suggestion for this week’s theme, please post in comments.

Daily Dialogue — March 24, 2015

March 24th, 2015 by

INT. MODEL – DAY

Betelgeuse has run a beat-up old pickup into a fire hydrant. He stands nearby, hopping mad; shakes his fist at Adam.

BETELGEUSE: You pansy-assed cretins! How dare you do that to me. I coulda finished the job!

IN THE ATTIC

Barbara and Adam, obviously disturbed, look at one another with concern.

BETELGEUSE (V.O.): (thin and piping voice) Why did you stop me?
BARBARA: I don’t like Charles Deetz particularly, but you could have killed him.
BETELGEUSE: Hey, I’ve been bottled up for six hundred years. Every dog has his day. This is my town. I need a night to howl.
ADAM: This is my town.
BETELGEUSE: You wish! I nearly scored with that little blonde. I need me a short little queen.

Angry, Barbara reaches down into the model and plucks Betelgeuse up. Barbara lifts him up toward her, squeezing him slightly.

BARBARA: You leave her alone, you horrid little prick!

CLOSEUP – BETELGEUSE IN BARBARA’S HAND

Betelgeuse grins. Suddenly large spikes shoot out all over his body, piercing the skin of Barbara’s palm and fingers. Barbara’s blood is a rich pink. She squeals and releases the evil spirit and he plummets.

EXT. MODEL – DAY

Betelgeuse lands on the town common. Betelgeuse is defiant.

BETELGEUSE: Go ahead. Make my millennium!

We hear the tinny strains of “Honky Tonk Angel” as if from down the street. He turns around to follow it.

BETELGEUSE: This burg got a cathouse? I’m getting anxious if you know what I mean. Six hundred years and all.

He turns the corner to a whorehouse, with women — women with demon horns — hanging out of the window, beckoning. Betelgeuse rubs his hands together and swaggers inside.

INT. ATTIC – DAY

Barbara aghast, watching this from above.

BARBARA: Adam! Why did you build a whore house? Have you ever been to…?
ADAM: I didn’t —

He doesn’t finish — a strong WIND blows through the attic, nearly knocking Barbara and Adam over. They close their eyes against the gale. When they open their eyes again, they’re no longer in the attic. They’re in —

INT. JUNO’S OUTER OFFICE – DAY

A cubicle in a much larger office. Miss Argentina swishes by.

RECEPTIONIST: God, you have got her steaming now.

She exits. There are other special workers. The place is really, really busy. Adam and Barbara sit down to wait. Juno storms through with a sheaf of papers. She sees them. She is steaming mad.

JUNO: The whorehouse was my idea. I want Betelgeuse out of the picture! We’ve got some serious talking to do.
BARBARA: About what?
JUNO: You people have really screwed up! I received word that you allowed yourselves to be photographed. And you let Betelgeuse out and didn’t put him back, and you let Otho get ahold
of the handbook.
ADAM: Handbook? When…?
JUNO: (continuing tirade) Never trust the living! We cannot have a routine haunting like yours
provide incontrovertible visual proof of existence beyond death.
ADAM: Well, we didn’t know —

A BUNCH OF FOOTBALL PLAYERS

follow Juno like hungry dogs.

DUMB #1: Hey, Coach, where’s the men’s room?
JUNO: (frustrated) I’m not your coach. He survived.
DUMB #2: You don’t need a men’s room. You’re not no man no more. But Coach, let me get this — What’s our curfew over here?

They start squabbling. Juno has to wrangle them into another room.

JUNO: (frustrated) I’ll be right back.

Beetlejuice (1988), screenplay by Michael McDowell and Warren Skaaren, story by Michael McDowell & Larry Wilson

The Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Ghost. Today’s suggestion by Lois Bernard.

Trivia: The original script was a horror film, and featured Beetlejuice as a winged, reptilian demon who transformed into a small Middle Eastern man to interact with the Maitlands and the Deetzes. Lydia was a minor character, with her six year old sister Cathy being the Deetz child able to see the Maitlands. Beetlejuice’s goal was to kill the Deetzs, rather than frighten them away, and included sequences where he mauled Cathy in the form of a rabid squirrel and tried to rape Lydia. Subsequent script rewrites turned the film into a comedy and toned down Beetlejuice’s character into the ghost of an wise cracking con-artist rather than a demon.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Oftentimes the living are the Protagonists of ghost stories, but with
Beetlejuice
the narrative point of view is that of the young ghost couple, Adam and Barbara. Meanwhile Betelgeuse, played wonderfully by Michael Keaton, is the story’s Trickster.

If you have a suggestion for this week’s theme, please post in comments.

Daily Dialogue — March 23, 2015

March 23rd, 2015 by

Grace: Where’s my daughter? What have you done with my daughter?
Anne: Are you mad? I am your daughter.

The Others (2001), written by Alejandro Amenáb

The Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Ghost. Today’s suggestion by Daniel Cossu.

Trivia: The script was written by Alejandro Amenábar in Spanish and then translated into English.

Dialogue On Dialogue: The exchange here is one of many that speaks to a central theme of the story: What is perceived to be real.

If you have a suggestion for this week’s theme, please post in comments.

Daily Dialogue — March 22, 2015

March 22nd, 2015 by

“But they showed no corrections of any kind. Not one. He had simply written down music already finished in his head. Page after page of it as if he were just taking dictation. And music, finished as no music is ever finished. Displace one note and there would be diminishment. Displace one phrase and the structure would fall. I was staring through the cage of those meticulous ink strokes – at an absolute beauty.”

Amadeus (1984), screenplay by Peter Shaffer based on his original stage play

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Competition.

Trivia: Several professors of music stated, after studying all of the musical keys struck on pianos throughout the film, that not one key is struck incorrectly when compared to what is heard at the exact same moment. In other words, what you see is exactly what you hear.

Dialogue On Dialogue: So many great scenes in this movie, this being one of them. Salieri experiencing musical perfection and cementing his plan to take down his rival.

Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Ghost

March 21st, 2015 by

The Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Ghost.

Take part in the grand Daily Dialogue tradition — 2,500+ consecutive days! How about your suggestion for this week’s theme?

The usual drill:

* Copy/paste dialogue from IMDb Quotes or some other transcript source.

* Copy/paste the URL of an accompanying video from YouTube or some other video source.

I’d also ask you to think about why the dialogue is notable. Is there anything about the dialogue which provides some takeaway re screenwriting?

Here is our lineup for upcoming Daily Dialogue themes:

March 30-April 5: Foreigner
April 6-April 12: Interrogation
April 13-April 19: Amnesia
April 20-April 26: Betrayal
April 27-May 3: Stammer
May 4-May 10: Graduation

Check this out: The GITS Daily Dialogue Topic Index! You can read about Liz and Allie, two sisters who are big fans of the blog, and were inspired to create the index. A great resource for writers looking for inspiration for their own dialogue writing. You can be a part of this proud tradition with your ideas for weekly themes and Daily Dialogue suggestions.

Please post your ideas for this week’s theme — Ghost — in comments. Thanks!

Daily Dialogue — March 21, 2015

March 21st, 2015 by

“Yeah, there was pressure. I didn’t want to get beat by a guy with a hook, you know.”

Kingpin (1996), written by Barry Fanaro, Mort Nathan

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Competition.

Trivia: In the final tournament the announcer says there is a Cinderella story shaping up here. Possibly referring to one of Bill Murrays famous lines in Caddyshack.

Dialogue On Dialogue: And here’s that scene from Caddyshack.

If you have a suggestion for this week’s theme, please post in comments.