Daily Dialogue — July 29, 2014

July 29th, 2014 by

Daniel: I’m being your goddamned slave, is what I’m doing. We had a deal.
Miyagi: So?
Daniel: So, you’re supposed to teach and I’m supposed to learn, remember? It’s four days and I haven’t learned a goddamned thing.
Miyagi: Learn plenty.
Daniel: Yea, how to sand your deck, how to wax your cars, how to paint your house…
Miyagi: Not everything is as looks, you know.
Daniel: Bullshit.
Miyagi: Danielsan.

Daniel stalks off.

Miyagi: Danielsan! Come here.

Daniel grits his teeth, but obeys, returning to stand before the old man, sullen and distant.

Miyagi: Show me wax on, wax off.

Daniel doesn’t move.

Miyagi: Show.
Daniel: I can’t lift my arms.

Miyagi feels around Daniel’s shoulder for a moment. He rubs his hands together back and forth, very fast, then applies them to Daniel’s shoulder, one on either side, pressing hard.

Daniel: Ow.
Miyagi: Now show.

Daniel does as he is told. To his surprise, the pain is gone. Miyagi fixes the angle of his elbow, tucking it in.

Daniel: How’d you do that?
Miyagi: Show. Left right. Left right. Left right.

Daniel catches the rhythm, making perfect half circles. Without warning Miyagi throws a chest punch. Before Daniel realizes it, his half circle intercepts the punch and deflects it effortlessly. His eyes find Miyagi’s. His face lights up. Miyagi remains emotionless.

Miyagi: Sand floor.

Daniel does what he told. Miyagi makes the right corrections so that his hands circle down. The old man shoots a half-speed kick to Daniel’s stomach. Daniel deflects it smoothly.

Miyagi: Paint fence.

Daniel is eager, quick to comply. Miyagi makes a small adjustment, Daniel keeps painting. Miyagi throws a head punch. On the upswing, Daniel’s wrist deflects the punch. Miyagi throws a stomach punch. Daniel’s downstroke deflects it perfectly.

Miyagi: Side side.

Daniel needs no promting. As he draws his hand side to side he deflects two rapid fire punches from the stone faced old man.

Miyagi: Look eyes.

Daniel’s eyes lock onto Miyagi’s.

Miyagi: Wax on.

Miyagi fires a chest punch. Daniel deflects it easily.

Miyagi: Wax off.

Again, the block is there.

Miyagi: Paint up.

Miyagi fires hard for the head. Daniel’s snapping block is there to meet the attack.

Miyagi: Down.

Daniel’s palm heel crashes into Miyagi’s fist.

Miyagi: Side.

He punches. Daniel blocks.

Miyagi: Side.

Daniel’s block snaps into place.

Miyagi: Sand.

Daniel sweeps two kicks out of the way.

Miyagi: On off.

The punches come faster. The blocks are right there. Suddenly, at the height of the exercise, Miyagi stops. Daniel, breathing hard, elated, waits for more. Miyagi picks up his fish.

Miyagi: Come tomorrow.

He turns abruptly and enters the house, slamming the door behind him before Daniel can say another word.

The Karate Kid (1984), written by Robert Mark Kamen

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Teaching. Today’s suggestion by David Proenza.

Trivia: Former screenwriter Dennis Palumbo has said that he was offered the screen writing job for the film but reacted to the offer by saying he’d be “willing to do it if he (the title character, Daniel Larusso) lost the fight in the end.” Palumbo explained his reasoning: “You can’t have Mr. Miyagi tell him, ‘It doesn’t matter if you win or lose,’ for 90 minutes and then have to have him win.” Palumbo went on to say, “But that’s because I was being a moron… Now, they made four sequels to that movie, so obviously I was wrong.” (Palumbo’s remarks appear in Tales from the Script (2009).)

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by David: “The best education are the ones you don’t realize are taught. In one of the greatest scenes ever, Daniel quickly realizes what Miyagi was doing all along. I mean, c’mon, who didn’t want their own Mr. Miyagi in the 80s? He was up there with Gizmo and Doc Brown (and Phoebe Cates).”

Daily Dialogue — July 28, 2014

July 28th, 2014 by

Anne Sullivan: [making hand signs which Helen feels with her hands] C… A… K… E…

Helen makes the letter signs for “cake”.

Anne Sullivan: You do as my fingers do, never mind what it means.

She gives Helen a piece of cake. Helen stuffs it into her mouth.

Anne Sullivan: Now…

She brushes a doll against Helen’s face. Helen feels Anne making hand signs.

Anne Sullivan: D… O… L… L.

Helen resists doing the right hand signs. Anne takes her hand to make the L sign.

Anne Sullivan: L.

Helen does the correct hand sign. Anne gives Helen her doll.

Anne Sullivan: You may take now. Understand later. End of the first lesson.

Helen hauls off and whacks Anne across the face.

The Miracle Worker (1962), screenplay by William Gibson, based on his stage play

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Teaching.

Trivia: The original Broadway production of “The Miracle Worker” opened at the Playhouse Theater on October 19, 1959, ran for 719 performances, and won the 1960 Tony Award for Best Play. Anne Bancroft (winner of the 1960 Tony Award for Best Actress in a Play) and Patty Duke recreated their stage roles in the movie. Also in the opening night cast were Kathleen Comegys as Aunt Ev and Beah Richards as Viney, both originating their movie roles. William Gibson wrote the teleplay, the stage play and the screenplay.

Dialogue On Dialogue: This is one of those movies that had a profound effect on me as a youth when I first saw it, a number of scenes seared into my memory… like this one.

Daily Dialogue — July 27, 2014

July 27th, 2014 by

The Old Man: Nice shooting, son. What’s your name?
Murphy: Murphy.

RoboCop (1987), written by Edward Neumeier, Michael Miner

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Robot.

Trivia: Edward Neumeier came up with the idea for RoboCop after he had helped out on the set of Blade Runner (1982), which was about cops hunting robots that looked like humans in the future. Intrigued, Neumeier turned the scenario around into a future where a cop looking like a robot would be hunting human criminals.

Dialogue On Dialogue: With that one word — “Murphy” — his character answers a critical question that has loomed since he became a hybrid robot: Who are you? Classic case of Disunity to Unity arc whereby he reclaims his humanity at the end.

Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Teaching

July 26th, 2014 by

The Daily Dialogue theme next week: Teaching.

5.0.2

“We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute.
We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race.
And the human race is filled with passion.”

* 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:

August 4-August 10: Grief

August 11-August 17: Voice-Over Narration

August 18-August 24: Smack Talk

August 25-August 31: Delivering Bad News

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 — Teaching — in comments. Thanks!

If you have any ideas for Daily Dialogue themes, feel free to post as well.

Daily Dialogue — July 26, 2014

July 26th, 2014 by

Max Kenton: His name is Atom. Can we get him a fight?
Charlie Kenton: I don’t think he was ever a boxing robot.
Bailey Tallet: He’s a G2, built in early 2014. He’s a sparring bot.
Charlie Kenton: They must have built robots like this one that could mirror the fighting style of any other robot.
Max Kenton: Okay, so can we get him a fight?
Charlie Kenton: Are you not listening? He’s a sparring bot. Built to take a lot of hits, but never dishing out any real punishment.
Bailey Tallet: You can always try sell him off for parts.
Max Kenton: Can’t you get him a fight?
Charlie Kenton: “Why can’t you get him a fight?” God, you don’t quit, do you? You want me to put him in some bottom-rung scrap-fest to the death? I saw how scared you were at Crash Palace. Yeah. The places that will let you fight this robot will make you pee your little pants.
Max Kenton: Excellent. Get him a fight.
Charlie Kenton: Stubborn kid.
Bailey Tallet: Surprise, surprise.

Real Steel (2011), screenplay by John Gatins, story by Dan Gilroy and Jeremy Leven, short story by Richard Matheson

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Robot.

Trivia: Much of the robot boxing fights were motion-captured using professional boxers, supervised by Sugar Ray Leonard.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Classic underdog story. You may be thinking Rocky, but its origin comes earlier: The Twilight Zone episode “Steel” written by Richard Matheson. Here it is:

Yes, that’s Lee Marvin in the starring role.

Daily Dialogue — July 25, 2014

July 25th, 2014 by

“Hey, laser lips, your mama was a snow blower.”

Short Circuit (1986), written by S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Robot.

Trivia: As per the original movie’s attempt to portray a living robot in the “real world”, every part of Johnny and his brethren was built to have a specific, logical purpose behind them; this was originally a source of contention between the director and the prop designer, the latter of whom insisted on giving Johnny “eyes” to give the character a method of visually expressing emotion. As a result, Johnny’s iconic “eyelids” were created, with the explanation that they were sun guards/camera coverings.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Nothing better than a robot with a snarky sense of humor. By the way, if you are not familiar with 80s movies, watch Short Circuit. It is the paradigm of that decade’s comedies. Including Steve Guttenberg!

If you have any suggestions for this week’s theme, please post in comments.

Daily Dialogue Topic Index

July 24th, 2014 by

I have been hosting this blog for over six years now and since just about Day 1, I have been blown away by the people who follow it. Aspiring writers, professional writers, screenwriters, TV writers, novelists, playwrights, poets, musicians, directors, producers, managers, agents, execs, actors, and on and on. Comments here on the blog, dozens of emails each day, tweets on Twitter. Talented people, passionate about stories and storytelling, committed to learning the craft, then bringing that knowledge to bear on their creativity.

It’s been a 74 month-long conversation in which I trust we all have benefited from our collective insights into the creative process, writing and life in general.

And then there are special moments like what happened yesterday. Out of the blue on my Twitter feed, I see this:

Curious, I clicked on the link which took me to the blog of Allie & Liz: “Screenwriters, Sisters, Junk-Food Addicts.” There on the front page of their clean, well-designed and attractive website, I read this:

Allie and I are big fans of Scott Myers’ blog, Go Into The Story. The other day I’m writing a scene where one character confronts another, and I’m a little stuck, so I start trying to think of other movies that have similar scenes.

That didn’t go so well. It was close to lunch. I blame the hunger.

Anyways, I immediately think, “I know I’ll check out some daily dialogue posts on GITS. Maybe I can find some on confrontation.” I did turn to GITS. I did not find any posts on confrontation. Turns out it’s kind of hard to search for daily dialogue themes, so I did what any reasonable human being would do in that situation. I put down the screenwriting and coded up a little PHP script to scrape the daily dialogue RSS feed from GITS and create an index of all the posts based on theme.

You’re welcome.

Now I’m really intrigued, so I click on the second link and it takes me to an astonishing page: An alphabetized list of links to hundreds and hundreds of Daily Dialogue posts, sorted by topics. Like this:

Acceptance Speech

And this:

Witty Banter

For years, I had been wondering about doing something like this to make the 2,261 Daily Dialogue posts (as of today) into more of a resource for writers. Just like Liz wrote, what if a writer needed a bit of inspiration to craft dialogue for a scene featuring a specific theme. Go to a list, search for the topic, and voila! Dozens of examples from notable movies.

I thought about it. Liz actually did it. On her own.

I was so excited when I realized what Liz had done, I sent the links to Franklin and here is how he responded: “JAW. DROPPED.”

Indeed!

This is an example of the type of thing that goes on here at Go Into The Story week after week, albeit what Liz has done is an extreme and extremely cool version of it.

My very first instinct about starting this site was to create a resource for screenwriters. The blog has evolved over time, but that mission is still a primary one. There are over 15,000 posts here and if there are ways to make it more user friendly or helpful to writers, I’m all for exploring those options.

Or as in the case of Liz and her sister, I’m equally happy to have readers just drop a Golden Egg of Virtual Goodness right in my freaking lap!

We’ll be figuring out how to incorporate the Daily Dialogue Topic Index into the site’s archives in a formal way with a permanent acknowledgement and High Hosannas to Liz and Allie, but for now, feel free to visit the page Liz created and worship its utter topical beauty. Then if you’d be so kind as to head to comments to thank the sisters for their commitment to GITS and creating such an awesome resource, I’d appreciate it.

Finally while we’re at it, occasionally I’ll open the floor for suggestions, so this seems like a good time to do that. If you have ideas on how to improve the site, things you’d like to see done, or anything you think would be of value to readers, please feel free to post your ideas in comments.

Onward!

Daily Dialogue — July 24, 2014

July 24th, 2014 by

Wally’s meter fully charges.
His head slowly rises from his box.
Blinks.
The cockroach hops with joy.
Eve is relieved.

…She holds out her hand to him.

EVE
(with love)
Wally…

Wally gives her a blank stare.
He turns away from Eve.
Motors out the truck.
She grabs him.
Turns him back around.

EVE
(It’s me!)
Eve!

Wally just stares.
Doesn’t seem to know who she is.

EVE
(hums)
[Here, look at these.]

She grabs the RUBIK’S CUBE and LIGHT BULB from the shelf.
The light bulb glows in her hand.
She gives them to Wally.
No reaction.

EVE
(Remember?)
Wally?

Wally looks blankly at the junk on the shelves.

EVE
(hums)
[I know!]

She hovers over to the video player.
Plays HELLO DOLLY.
Looks back to see if it has any effect.

Wally is over at the shelves.
Has scooped all his prized possessions into his compactor.
Crushes them into a cube.
Eve is gut-punched.

Wally motors outside.
Runs over the cockroach on his way out.
The insect pops back to life.
Watches his friend in shock.

EXT. WALLY’S TRUCK – DAY

Wally rolls up to a nearby trash pile.
Scoops up trash.
Spits out a cube.
Eve hovers over to him.
Still in disbelief.

EVE
(somber)

Wally continues to stack his cubes.
She stops him.
Lifts his head. Stares into his eyes.
Nobody home.

Eve presses his “play” button.
Nothing but STATIC.
Eve begins to panic.
Shakes him.

EVE
Wally…Wally! WALLY!

No response.
He’s gone.
She hovers in silence next to him for a long time…

Finally, Eve grasps Wally’s hand.
Forces his fingers to interlace with hers.
Holds him close one last time.
Leans her head against his.
Hums softly.

EVE
[Hums IOTAM]

She touches her forehead to his.
Goodbye Wally.
A TINY SPARK between them.

Eve turns to hover away.
Jerked back.
Her fingers caught between his.
She checks his eyes again.
Nothing.

But then…
No.

…a tiny SERVO NOISE.
She looks down at their hands.

CLOSE ON WALLY’S FINGERS

They start to move.
Slowly close around Eve’s.

She looks back at his face.
Wally’s eyes gradually come into focus.
His brows raise…

WALLY
Ee-vah?

EVE
Wally!

He notices their hands entwined. His dream come true.

WALLY
(amazed)
Ee-vah!!

She giggles.

Wall-E (2008), screenplay by Andrew Stanton and Jim Reardon, story by Andrew Stanton and
Pete Docter

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Robot.

Trivia: Within the first 5 minutes there is a monologue via the holographic billboards. The first dialogue between WALL·E and EVE begins 22 minutes into the movie. The first human dialogue begins 39 minutes into the movie.

Dialogue On Dialogue: This is such a great moment, a deft payoff to this:

Wall-E watches Hello Dolly, then imitates the humans holding hands. And we know from that visual what Wall-E wants. Therefore his ‘reawakening’ here is not out of the blue, but rather set up, then paid off beautifully.

If you have any suggestions for this week’s theme, please post in comments.

Daily Dialogue — July 23, 2014

July 23rd, 2014 by

TYRELL: Well, Mr. Deckard?

Deckard is looking at Tyrell and wincing indecisively.

He doesn’t get it. Are they playing with him?

TYRELL: (continuing) Perhaps some privacy will loosen your tongue, Mr. Deckard.

He turns to Rachael

TYRELL: Would you step out for a few moments, Rachael?

Rachael exits looking a little shaken. What’s going on?

Deckard stares at Tyrell.

Tyrell meets his look.

TYRELL: I’m impressed. How many questions does it usually take to spot one?
DECKARD: I don’t get it.
TYRELL: How many questions?
DECKARD: In columns of four cross referenced, twenty or thirty.
TYRELL: It took more than a hundred for Rachael, didn’t it ?
DECKARD: She really doesn’t know?
TYRELL: She’s beginning to suspect, I think.
DECKARD: Suspect! How can she not know she is.
TYRELL: Well, we began to notice in them a strange obsession.

Tyrell is pacing now, lecturing.

TYRELL: After all, they are emotionally inexperienced with only a few years in which to store up the experiences which you and I take for granted. If we gift them with a past… we create a cushion or pillow for their emotions.. and we can control them better.
DECKARD: They want memories?
TYRELL: It’s the dark corners, the little shadowy places that makes you interesting, Deckard….. gusty emotions on a wet road on an autumn night.. the change of seasons… the sweet guilt after masturbation.
DECKARD: Jesus Christ,Tyrell!

Tyrell looks startled.

DECKARD: Where do you get them, the memories?
TYRELL: In the case of Rachael, I simply copied and regenerated cells from the brain of my sixteen-year-old niece. Rachael remembers what my little niece remembers.
DECKARD: I saw an old movie once. The guy had bolts in his head.

Deckard looks amazed while Tyrell looks pleased with himself.

Blade Runner (1982), screenplay by Hampton Fancher and David Webb Peoples, novel by Philip K. Dick

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Robot. Today’s suggestion by Jon Raymond.

A note from Jon: “Note the script has been substantially changed. The production version is shorter, more concise, and direct to the point of the “memories” concept. In the released version, Deckard simply speaks the word “memories,” while in the script this is explained in much more detail.”

Trivia: Philip K. Dick first came up with the idea for his novel ‘Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?’ in 1962, when researching ‘The Man in the High Castle’ which deals with the Nazis conquering the planet in the 1940s. Dick had been granted access to archived World War II Gestapo documents in the University of California at Berkley, and had come across diaries written by S.S. men stationed in Poland, which he found almost unreadable in their casual cruelty and lack of human empathy. One sentence in particular troubled him: “We are kept awake at night by the cries of starving children.” Dick was so horrified by this sentence that he reasoned there was obviously something wrong with the man who wrote it. This led him to hypothesize that Nazism in general was a defective group mind, a mind so emotionally flawed that the word human could not be applied to them; their lack of empathy was so pronounced that Dick reasoned they couldn’t be referred to as human beings, even though their outward appearance seemed to indicate that they were human. The novel sprang from this.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by Jon: “The basis of robots in movies, for me, has always been the comparison with them to humans. What can they do that humans can’t? What can humans do that they can’t? Ultimately it always comes down to a reference to the abstract, such as to art, love or to the soul. Can a robot have a soul? Can a robot love? I find Blade Runner especially interesting. Rachel apparently isn’t aware she is a robot, she is so perfectly made. Even Deckard can’t detect her at first and he is the supposed expert. I love that she is a love interest in light of all this.”

If you have any suggestions for this week’s theme, please post in comments.

Daily Dialogue — July 22, 2014

July 22nd, 2014 by

Andrew Martin: May one, sir? Is now a good time?
‘Ma’am’ Martin: What? A good time for what?
Andrew Martin: Last night, Sir taught…
Sir: No, no, no, don’t blame me Andrew. Just… go ahead.
Andrew Martin: Thank you sir
Andrew Martin: [Very fast] Two cannibals were eating a clown. One turns to the other and says “Does this taste funny to you?” How do you make a hanky dance? Put a little boogie in it! What is a brunette between two blondes? A translator! Do you know why blind people don’t like to sky-dive? It scares their dogs! A man with demensia is driving on the freeway. His wife calls him on the mobile phone and says “Sweetheart, I heard there’s someone driving the wrong way on the freeway.” He says “One? There’s hundreds!” What’s silent and smells like worms? Bird farts. It must have been an engineer who designed the human body. Who else would put a waste processing plant next to a recreation area? A woman goes into a doctor’s office, and the doctor says “Do you mind if I numb your breasts?” “Not at all.” *makes ‘motor-boating’ noise. “Num-num-num-num.”
Andrew Martin: [Family chuckles] One did it sir!
Sir: Andrew, it was fine, but we might want to talk about appropriateness and um, and timing.
Andrew Martin: It’s ten-fifteen sir.

Bicentennial Man (1999), screenplay by Nicholas Kazan, novel by Isaac Asimov and Robert Silverberg

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Robot. Today’s suggestion by blknwite.

Trivia: Andrew is a NDR-114. This may be a tribute to Stanley Kubrick, who used the number 114 in multiple films such as A Clockwork Orange (1971) and Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964).

Dialogue On Dialogue: Commentary by blknwite: “I know its pure cheese but I love it. Also love this quote on IMDB, Nicolas Kazan: ‘The next time someone reads your script and either really hates something that you know works, or makes cavalier and foolish suggestions – perhaps you should ask them ‘Did you ever hear a song for the first time and hate it and then, two weeks later, find yourself singing it?’”

If you have any suggestions for this week’s theme, please post in comments.