Saturday, September 14, 2013

2013 VIDEO: COMEDY: WRITE: Letitia Meets the Press. Shooting plan

Letitia Meets the Press. Shooting plan

The backstory 
Shooting plan
Since this project is intended to produce marketable comedy shows, I will publish notes about how we have done things.   That does not mean we are doing things right.  It just provides a basis for thinking about how to do things better next time.   Below is the shot list and script we worked from for Letitia Meets the Press.
Promo1:  Flying saucers, Letitia Meets the Press
Copyright: Copyright 2013 Neil Griffith and Selby Evans
Creative commons License, attribution only.
Scene 1 (See notes at the end)
The Immaculate Perception Trailer Park, Where the elite meet for treats.   Microwave pyramid in the background (no Neurevog).  LARRY (with camera) and Rich in the foreground, positioned as ready to start a shot with the pile of microwaves in the background. Letitia stands near the trailer door.  (She may be off camera if needed.)
Shot 1 Rich Ready
Camera sees LARRY facing Rich.  LARRY’s camera is on Rich.
Rich positioned farther away, ready start an interview.  
 (Camera will zoom in on the interview later)
RICH (quietly, to LARRY): OK.  We got the crap collection detail today, so we make the best of it. 
LARRY: Camera on, sound on and stable.  Talk, boss.

Shot 2
Camera zooms in on Rich. 
RICH: (facing Larry camera) Welcome everyone.  This is your investigative reporter, Rich Roundly, reporting to you from an undisclosed location in southern Virginia.  We are here to investigate the raging rumors of strange happenings in these regions.  If these rumors are true, you will want to protect your family.
RICH: We have confirmed the reports of a huge explosion nearby.  That, however, has been explained as the detonation of a large still, with associated alcohol and propane.  Nothing unusual about that around here. 
RICH: We are continuing to investigate the rumors of flying saucers, little green men, and robotic invaders.  I first want to assure our audience that nothing of that sort is around here now.
Shot 3
Camera sees AUTOMATRON walk into the background carrying a microwave.  It places the microwave on the microwave pyramid and walks back the way it came.  
As this is happening, LARRY waves frantically.
RICH (with irritation): Yes, LARRY, I see you waving.  Now listen and listen good.  This is my interview.  You just get the video and audio.  You are not paid to think.
LARRY stops waving.
Shot 4
Camera adjusts to see Letitia standing by the trailer
RICH (resuming announcer voice): But now let’s get a first-hand eye-witness description of the events from one of the residents.  (Turns sideways and notices Letitia.)  Ah, I think here is one of the residents now.  (To Letitia) Madam, could you spare us a moment to tell our audience about the recent events here?
LETITIA (Walking forward):  Oh, certainly, Mister Roundly.  I have been waiting for you to interview me. It was so exciting.  The sky turned positively green.--.”
RICH (Interrupting):  First, can you tell us your name?
Letitia steps forward to put herself in the foreground, a little ahead of Rich.  Rich immediately moves to upstage Letitia.
LETITIA (Offended):  Well, of course I can tell you my name.   I am a mature lady, but my mind is as sharp as the day I was born.  And this encounter with grunge art, and the omelet, and the robot has not unbalanced me in the least.  It did set my pussy aquiver, but—
RICH (Interrupting):  But first, please tell us your name—
LETITIA (Interrupting):  But I already told you when you asked me to wait for the interview.  Oh, it probably slipped your mind.  I am Letitia Sludberry, of the New Jersey Sludberrys.  And I must show you my pussy—
Letitia raises Pussy-in-box.  Cat eyes stare out through the front screen. Camera: get a good shot of this
RICH: (Desperately): Oh, no.  Please wait. --
Rich is interrupted by the howl of an angry cat.  
LETITIA (to the cat):  Oh, my pretty pussy is upset.  Don’t worry, pussy.  The nice man won’t hurt you.  
RICH (with relief): Oh, yes.  Your cat!  In the box.  Your cat.  You wanted to introduce your cat.  (The word cat gets growing emphasis.)  And you were telling us about the recent events.
LETITIA :  Well, it started when one of our artists was preparing her newest work.   That was Catherine Greene.  Oh, my!  I had not thought of that. Catherine Greene!  Catherine Greene.  She did her art and the sky turned green!   A new way to sign her work!   She works mostly in grunge, you know. She--
RICH (Interrupting):  But, Miss Sludberry, did you actually see the sky turn green?  That is one of the reports we had.  And many of our viewers are skeptical. 
Cue green sky
LETITIA :  But of course I saw the sky turn green.  Everyone around here saw it.  You can ask that brave General Hightower. 
As Letitia speaks, the lower part of the sky behind them turns emerald green.  The rest of the sky remains normal.
RICH (turning to camera):  General Hightower is an officer in the National Guard.  We have been unable to reach him for comment.  An official, speaking off the record, confirms that the National Guard did respond to some event here, but the matter is classified at a supersecret level. 
As Rich speaks, the green sky fades to normal.
LETITIA:  Supersecret means that even if you need to know, you still are not allowed to know.  Unless you are in the NSA.
RICH (turning to Letitia):  But the main thing we are here to report about is the wild rumors of space aliens.  Can you tell us anything about that?
LETITIA : Wild roomers?  We do not take in roomers here at Immaculate Perception.  We do have some wild residents here, but they all have their own trailers.  Trailers are not big enough to let one take in roomers.  You should know that.
RICH (Controlling his irritation):  Not roomers.  Rumors.   Unconfirmed reports.  Did you see any flying saucers, for example?  There were reports of flying saucers.
LETITIA (Firmly): Oh, those reports were quite wrong.  
RICH (Eagerly):   Wrong?  I think our viewers suspected as much. There were no flying saucers, then?
LETITIA:  There was only one.  It flew over and shot at us with green lightning.    That was shortly after the sky turned to a beautiful emerald green.  I don’t know how Cathy did that. 
RICH (puzzled):   Cathy?  Oh, the grunge artist!  You think she produced the flying saucer?
LETITIA:  Of course not.  I think she produced the green sky.  That was part of her grunge art.  Have you no artistic sophistication?
RICH:   Well, no.  They took me off of the art desk last year when I did the story about art in the men’s restroom.  I thought I was surrealism. And it was a slow news day.
LETITIA:  You should have recognized it as grunge art. 
RICH:  But back to the flying saucer.  Who do you think produced that? 
LETITIA:  Well, the little green men, of course. 
RICH:   Space Aliens?
LETITIA:  I prefer to call them undocumented space people.  Your term suggests racial profiling.  I am sure your management would not approve of racial profiling. 
RICH (urgently):  Oh, I would not think of it.  Did you see any undocumented space people, then?
LETITIA:  I did not.  But Mama did.   You can ask her.  But you better bring a bottle of Jack Daniels with you.  … Oh there she is right now.  (Looks toward stage right.)  Oh, come over here, Mama.  This is a famous television news reporter, Mister Rich Roundly.  He will want to interview you.  I was just telling him about your preference in refreshments to accompany interviews.     
Letitia walks to the Microwave stack and exits behind the trailer*
RICH: Oh, we are not allowed to bribe for interviews.
MAMA (stepping into the shot from stage right, in front of the trailer):  Don’t give me that crap.  You get paid for interviews.  Your cameraman gets paid for interviews.  Your producer gets paid for interviews.  You want me to talk.  You want me to come on camera and cry.  I do the work, you collect the money.  You’re just like my old man.  Only not as pretty as he was before I worked on his face. 
During her speech, Mama continues to walk toward Rich, almost bumping into him as he backs away (being careful to stay in the shot). 
RICH (urgently): I am afraid that’s all folks.  We have to run.  (Shouting) Cut! Cut! 
SL camera pulls back to show the cameraman and his camera.  Larry waves to Rich.
LARRY: We can wrap there, boss.  I got some interesting stuff for you in this clip.
Roll promo and credits.   In the background, the automatron enters with another microwave, pauses a moment, turns and exits without  leaving the microwave

*Note:  The actors could not all be available at the same time, so the role of Mama was rewritten so that the shot of Mama's speech could be captured at a different time and cut in.  

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