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2024 – Feb 13 – My Favorite Movie

 

Newsletter “3 in 1” by Albán Brothers


"Tell powerful and commercially successful stories with practical insights."



My Favorite Movie

February 13, 2024




Writing Concept - What is it about? + What is it for?



  • What is it about?

 

"My favorite movie" suggests selecting a scene from a film and transforming it into a script excerpt, reversing the traditional chronological order.

 

The goal is to express only the elements that are visually and audibly verifiable, such as dialogues or actions.

 

  • What is it for?

 

This exercise, designed for beginners, is one of the first ones my brother and I undertook when learning how to write. It will help you overcome the fear of the blank page and develop analytical skills, understanding narrative structure, and logically grasping how scenes are visually constructed on a page.

 

By comparing your writing with the original, you'll notice how both maintain the essence or main idea and how a scene is created and unfold.





Exercise & Practical Example – Difficulty: Easy.


In this instruction, you don't need to worry about creating an interesting story, a masterpiece, or resonant dialogues. The only thing you have to do is:


  1. Choose a scene and watch it or read it 3 or 4 times.

  2. Write the scene in a logical and simple way; include only the dialogues and actions essential to the scene. Discard everything else.

  3. Compare your writing with the original version.



Here's an example of the exercise done by us:





American Beauty (Belleza Americana) directed by Sam Mendes, 1999. Exercise by Albán Brothers.


Lester, around 40, is having an ordinary day in his life, flipping burgers at "Mr. Smiley's." Through the order speaker, he can hear the playful voices of a couple ordering sandwiches and sweet shakes. Lester recognizes the voices with bitterness on his face. Suddenly, he puts on his work cap and smiles determinedly.

 

Lester walks up to the window and decides to personally deliver the order, but the couple seems not to notice him amid passionate kisses.

 

⎯ Smile! ⎯ Lester announces powerfully. ⎯ You're at Mr. Smiley's.

 

Carolyn, around 40, who has just heard a familiar voice, turns from inside her car to observe the man. She's looking at a ghost.

 

⎯ Would you like to order the $1,99 cheese sticks promotion? ⎯ Lester condescendingly asks.

 

⎯ Lester... ⎯ Carolyn hurries as her companion, Buddy, who appears to be 50, struggles to understand what's happening around him. ⎯ We just came from a seminar. ⎯ Carolyn assures as she explains the situation. ⎯ Buddy, this is...

 

⎯ Her husband. ⎯ Lester concludes. ⎯ We've been introduced before, but I'm sure you will remember me this time.

 

⎯ Uff! ⎯ sighs one of Mr. Smiley's employees. ⎯ You're fucked.

 

⎯ This is none of your business. ⎯ Carolyn points out.

 

⎯ She's the drive-through manager. ⎯ Lester corrects. ⎯ Technically, you’re in her business. ⎯ And he adds ⎯ What type of sauce would you like with your order?

 

⎯ Lester, that's enough! ⎯ his annoyed wife exclaims.

 

⎯ No. ⎯ Lester responds sharply. ⎯ You don't get to tell me what to do. Ever. Enjoy your order.


 


Extracted from the original text - AMERICAN BEAUTY By Alan Ball



INT. SMILEY'S - CONTINUOUS

 

A FEW people stand IN line at the counter. Carolyn enters with Leonard. He whispers something to her and she LAUGHS uproariously.

 

IN the KITCHEN, which is separated from the counter By a partition made up of various food service equipment, we see Lester, in a Smiley's uniform and baseball cap, flipping burgers on a grill. He recognizes Carolyn's LAUGH and peers over the partition.

 

His POV: Carolyn and Leonard stand at the counter, scanning the menu overhead. She leans against him affectionately.

 

Lester's face darkens, and then... he smiles. He adjusts his cap, and crosses toward the counter.

 

CLOSE on Carolyn and Leonard, peering UP at the menu.

 

CAROLYN

What's good here?

 

LEONARD

(a grin)

Nothing.

 

CAROLYN

(turns to him)

Then I guess we'll just have to be bad, won't we?

 

And just as they're about to kiss...

 

LESTER (O.C.)

Smile, you're at Smiley's.

 

Carolyn almost jumps out of her skin. She stares at us, startled, and quickly disengages herself from Leonard.

 

Her POV: LESTER leers at us, DRIPPING with sarcasm.

 

LESTER (cont'd)

Would you like to try our new beef and cheese pot pie on a stick,

just a dollar ninety nine, for a limited time only?

 

Carolyn struggles to appear nonchalant.

 

CAROLYN

(re: Leonard)

We just came from a seminar.

(then, all business))

Leonard, this is my –

 

LESTER

Her husband. We've met before, but something tells me

you're going [to] remember this time.

 

CAROLYN

Lester, please don't –

 

LESTER

(loving this)

Uh-un, You don't get to tell me what to do. Ever again.

 

Carolyn closes her eyes, defeated, then turns and walks out. Leonard glances at Lester, embarrassed, then follows Carolyn. L

 

ESTER (cont'd)

(calls after them)

Smile! You're at Smiley's!





Movie recommendation.


  • "American Beauty," 1999:  Lester Burnham is a middle-aged man in crisis, tired of his job and his wife. He awakens from his lethargy when he meets his daughter's attractive friend, whom he will try to impress at all costs.



 

Shout-out:


Exercise by Lorenzo Sanmiguel Gómez

"Chicken Run”, directed by Nick Park and Peter Lord, 2000. Translated by Albán Brothers



Attention!!!  Fowler commands, ensuring all the chickens stand at attention.

 

After the alarm alerts Ginger and her friends to line up, the henhouse doors open, allowing the main villain of the movie, Mrs. Tweedy, to enter. She walks slowly, but very threateningly towards the chickens.


 Welcome.  Mac says to Ginger.  Do you have a plan yet?

 

Ginger then discreetly passes a paper to Mac to show him her new idea, but before he can see it, Mrs. Tweedy stops, holds up one of her two plastic gloves, stretches it, and then releases it, startling all the chickens to instill fear in them. However, none of them move from their place. With that, Mrs. Tweedy continues forward.

 

Have you tried going underneath?  Mac whispers to Ginger.

Ginger takes the paper, flips it over, and hands it back to Mac.

 

Ah, above, got it.  he responds.

 

Mrs. Tweedy takes a board showing the egg production of each hen in the henhouse and begins to review it as she walks along the long line of hens.

 

 How's the egg count going?  Ginger asks Bunty.

 

 I put five eggs this morning.  Bunty responds.  Five. I'm sure of...

 

 Silence.  Fowler says, signaling them to stop talking.

 

As Mrs. Tweedy reviews the egg count of the hens for the week, we see from her perspective many green crosses, indicating successful egg laying. However, she stops at one specific hen that hasn't laid a single egg all week.

 

 Oh no.  Ginger exclaims.  Edwina.

 

 Bunty, why didn't you give her some of your eggs?  Ginger asks.

 

 I would have.  Bunty responds in shock.  but she didn't say anything, didn't tell anyone.

 

With fear in her eyes and trembling, Edwina is grabbed by the neck by the farmer, and along with Mrs. Tweedy, they leave the henhouse while all the hens watch in terror, unable to do anything about it.

 

 Oooh, I think Edwina's going on vacation.  Babs says innocently and incredulously.

 

Mrs. Tweedy then puts on her gloves and grabs Edwina by the neck to take her into a room with an axe stuck in a log. From a distance, Ginger watches as another one of her companions is about to be killed.

 

As Mrs. Tweedy takes the axe, she places Edwina on a table, prepares herself, and we hear the cut. Upon hearing this, all the hens return to their respective nests.

 

All except one; Ginger, who is on the roof of the henhouse silently mourning the death of her companion, watching as a flock of birds in the sky flies towards the horizon. Sigh.

 

 We have to get out of here.  Ginger says to herself.

 

 Pssst, Ginger.  Mac calls to Ginger.  Is everything ready?

 

 Indeed it is.  Ginger responds.  Let everyone know to meet tonight at henhouse




 


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Until next week,



Albán Brothers

Authors of ORDER.



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