Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Chaplin script


Bibliography for Silent Film Research


BFI Contributors. "Charlie Chaplin." BFI. BFI, 14 Nov. 2006. Web. 08 Oct. 2013.

The Biography Channel. "Charlie Chaplin Biography." Bio.com. A&E Networks Television, 2013. Web. 08 Oct. 2013.

Silver, Charles. "Charles Chaplin's City Lights." InsideOut. MoMA, 31 Aug. 2010. Web. 08 Oct. 2013.

Silent Film Research

        Charlie Chaplin is arguably America's most popular silent film star. And with good reason. He not only stared in films, he also directed, produced, wrote, edited and composed them. This wide variety of talent stemmed from many things, starting with his mother, a vaudevillian and music hall singer that inspired Chaplin to pursue a career in show business.
        As he aged, he took jobs like news-vendor, printer and doctor's assistant, while continuing to periodically call and audition for talent agencies. Eventually, he earned a spot in the Fred Karno pantomime troupe. This paid him good money and allowed him to focus more heavily on his craft.
        In 1914, Chaplin's career began to take off with the creation of "The Tramp," a character that would not only come to define his overall career, but early American cinema as well. He began to appear in more and more films such as The Tramp, The Rink and Easy Street.
        As he produced more and more work, he became more and more of a perfectionist. This lead to issues such as reshooting countless scenes, rebuilding entire sets and recasting lead actors that didn't fit Chaplin's vision. Some say it made him hard to work wit but it still produced strong results.
        The Kid, The Gold Rush and The Circus, which all came out in the 1920's, were some of Chaplin's best films. His perfectionist method helping to get them to be exactly the way he wanted.
        He was very popular during the silent film era and influenced many forms of physical comedy and social commentary that he showcased in his work. His popularity surged until he hit a speed bump with the talkies.
        Audiences wanted to hear the dialogue, not read it off of title cards. However, the power of the Tramp powered over America's desires and Chaplin got away with many more silent films even after talkies became the hollywood staple in the early thirties.
        One of these films was City Lights (1931), the film I chose to focus on for my creative assignment. The film covers the relationships between the Tramp, a blind florist and a suicidal millionaire. Chaplin directed, wrote, produced, composed, edited and starred in the silent film.
        I chose to focus on his writing of the film. The format of the screenplay is essentially a detailed shot sheet. He did this to maintain continuity in the film. Chaplin did this so he could easily change things while on set.

        For my creative piece, I wrote a short screenplay in the format Chaplin used. A detailed shot sheet. I told a short story that could easily fit in with the rest of Chaplin's work.
        My story is about the Tramp visiting a 1920's movie theater. He gets into several shenanigans and hijinks in his attempt to see the movie "The Boy who Cried Wolf."

"Trouble at the Movies" A Chaplin inspired short by Connor Odom


A. Part One.

  1. Start and Framed Leader.
  2. Fade in - Title - Trouble at the Movies - Fade out
  3. Dissolve in - Wide shot - exterior - Outside of Large Theater.
  4. Long shot - People walking on sidewalk outside of theater. Full body Tramp appears from back of crowd and walks towards the theater ticket booth.
  5. Wide shot - Tramp asks cashier for ticket. Tramp points towards sign above the cashier. 
  6. Medium - Sign says "The Boy who Cried Wolf."
  7. Wide shot - Cashier responding to Tramp.
  8. Title - “25 cents please.”
  9. Wide shot - Tramp reaches in pocket for money. He does this for several seconds. A man in line behind Tramp gets frustrated. He talks to Tramp.
  10. Title - “The movie’s going to start any minute. Hurry up!”
  11. Wide shot - Tramp goes faster. The cashier leans forward to collect the money. Tramp pulls a quarter out of his pocket quickly. It flys out of Tramp’s hand.
  12. Medium close up - The quarter hits the cashier in the head. The cashier falls over.
  13. Wide shot - Tramp apologizes to cashier and the man behind him in line. The cashier gets up and hands Tramp a movie ticket.
  14. Long shot - Tramp walks towards the entrance quickly. Camera follows as he gets closer to the doors. Tramp knocks over man talking to his wife. The man falls down. Tramp turns to apologize to the couple but runs into a family posing for a picture. The family yells at Tramp. Tramp turns to apologize again but stumbles into a revolving door. Angry people chase Tramp.
  15. Medium shot - interior - Tramp inside revolving door. He spins around several times.
  16. Wide shot - exterior - Angry people trying to get into the revolving door that spins too fast for them to get in.
  17. Medium shot - interior - Tramp jumps out of the doors.
  18. Wide shot - Tramp lands on the floor of the theater lobby. He rolls in front of a theater employee.
  19. Medium close up - Tramp looking up at theater employee.
  20. Medium long shot - Employee looking down at Tramp.
  21. Wide shot - Tramp stands up and apologizes to employee. He brushes his shoulders off and walks past the employee.
  22. Medium shot - Tramp approaches the door to the theater. He opens it.
  23. Wide shot - Tramp enters the dark theater.
  24. Medium long shot - Tramp looks around for a seat.
  25. Half body Tramp from behind - looks for a seat.
  26. Close up - Tramp spots a seat.
  27. Long shot - An empty theater seat right off the aisle.
  28. Medium shot from behind - Tramp walks to seat and sits down.
  29. Close up - Three quarters. Tramp is bouncing in his seat. He looks down.
  30. Medium shot - Tramp is sitting on midget.
  31. Long shot - Tramp stands and apologizes to midget.
  32. Wide shot from back of theater - Theater attendees yell at Tramp.
  33. Title - "Sit down! We can't see the movie!"
  34. Wide shot from back of theater - Tramp walks across the row in the opposite direction he came from. More attendees shout at him.
  35. Medium shot - Tramp exits the row from the opposite side.
  36. Wide shot from back of theater - Attendees settle down and watch the movie.
  37. Medium shot - Tramp turns to watch the movie. An attendee walks towards his seat. Tramp is in the way. Each time the attendee tries to get around Tramp, he moves to a new spot that is in his way, trying to get a better view of the movie. The two mirror each other.
  38. Long shot from head on of Tramp - Tramp finally lets attendee through.
  39. Medium shot - Tramp watches movie. Tramp starts overreacting to what's happening in the movie. A woman in a large hat walks behind him. Tramp and the rest of the audience flail their hands into the hair as they react to the movie. Tramp's right hand knocks the woman's hat off.
  40. Close up - The hat lands in a male attendee's lap.
  41. Long shot from head on of Tramp- Woman yells at Tramp. She is on the camera left side of him.
  42. Medium shot - A male attendee throws the hat to Tramp and the woman.
  43. Long shot from head on of Tramp - The hat flys in from camera left and hits the woman in the back of her head. She leans forward and kisses Tramp.
  44. Medium shot - Tramp keeps kissing the woman. She refuses. She finally pulls away. She screams to the whole theater
  45. Title - "Help! I'm being attacked!"
  46. Long shot - Two theater employees run into the dark theater. They see Tramp and run towards him.
  47. Medium shot - Tramp picks up the woman's hat and throws it at the employees.
  48. Long shot - The employees are hit by the hat and fall over.
  49. Medium shot - Tramp apologizes once more and runs away.
  50. Long shot - Tramp jumps over the employees and exits the dark theater.
  51. Wide shot - Tramp runs through the theater lobby towards the revolving door.
  52. Medium shot - The two employees come out of the theater and into the lobby.
  53. Wide shot - The employees run towards the revolving door.
  54. Medium close up - Tramp hides behind a pillar in the lobby.
  55. Wide shot - Employees can’t find Tramp.
  56. Half figure Tramp - steps out from behind the pillar and looks around.
  57. Wide shot - The employees stand ten feet from the revolving door.
  58. Half figure Tramp - runs away from the pillar.
  59. Wide - Tramp runs past the employees and into the revolving door. The employees notice and chase him.
  60. Long shot - Tramp and the employees run after each other inside of the revolving door.
  61. Wide - exterior - Tramp jumps out and rolls onto the pavement.
  62. Half body Tramp - stands and looks at revolving door.
  63. Long shot - Employees still run around inside the door.
  64. Half body Tramp - shrugs and walks back onto the sidewalk outside of the theater.
  65. Wide shot - Tramp walks further away from the camera.
  66. Fade in - Title - The End - Fade out