Thursday, April 29, 2004

a look at process

Here's part of the opening act for my film several drafts ago (it has altered since, so it's okay for me to post without fear of theft). Take note that these are outline paragraphs. My final scriptment has actual scenes and dialogue imbedded.

Also, there is a lot of singing and dancing - O, Bollywood!

This is how I begin writing things like this:

ACT ONE: India, 2004

A pair of young twin women, Savita and Jaya, are sitting on a balcony of their home. Savita, with her marvelous voice, is singing a song composed by Jaya. It is a haunting and poignant song about true love. Suddenly, the original sheet music Savita is holding is blown away by an strong breeze. Jaya fails to catch the paper as it wafts down the balcony and into the busy streets. Feeling responsible, Savita runs after the sheet.

With the music still playing, Savita pursues the paper as it winds through the intersecting lanes, twisting over and around pedestrians. It strikes a handsome young man direct in the face – this is Rishi.

Rishi peels off the score and begins to hum the tune and sing the song. He is a good singer with great potential. He dances in the street while singing as the theme grows and explodes, transforming into a wonderful score.

Savita enters the scene, sings a bit and then grabs the sheet music and runs away.

Rishi falls in love with both Savita and the music. He tracks her down and discovers that she is one of the daughters of a famous family of musicians. He decides to hit two birds with one stone: to advance his non-existent music career by marrying the beautiful girl who can create such great music.

What he does not know at first is that he is in love with one of a pair of twin girls. Savita (the one he wants) and Jaya are as different in temperament as night and day. Both are stunning beauties. In terms of musical ability, Savita is gifted with a beautiful voice, while Jaya is a composer (but unable to carry a tune).

Savita is beautiful and completely uninterested in Rishi. When he tries to create circumstances for them to talk, she ignores him. This does not deter Rishi in any way – he takes it on as a challenge, thinking about how far he would go to pursue his dream of being a star.

Savita’s twin sister, Jaya, falls in love with Rishi. Rishi ignores her, focused on Savita’s beauty and inaccessibility. Jaya tells him she will help him win her sister. She has fallen hard for him, and even if she has to act like a martyr, she plans to get him eventually. Jaya wants to escape her home, escape New Delhi, escape India, and find life elsewhere. She wants to compose great songs in a different place, but thinks that she needs a man by her side. She wants Rishi to be that man.

Jaya writes a song for Rishi to sing under Savita’s balcony. It is a lovely song and Rishi’s performance wins Savita’s heart. She agrees to see him in secret the next night.

Jaya drugs Savita’s drink, causing Savita to fall into a deep sleep, unable to make the appointment with Rishi. Instead, it is Jaya who meets with Rishi.

In a telling romantic scene, Rishi and Jaya meet in an arbor, kiss and make love. Jaya makes Rishi swear to marry her. Thinking that he is talking to Savita, Rishi swears happily. At that moment, members of the family discover them (as coordinated cleverly by Jaya). Rishi stands up and tells the family he will marry the woman beside him – then Jaya reveals herself. Rishi is shocked.


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