Monday, February 1, 2010

Screenwriting and Real Estate: LOCATION, LOCATION, LOCATION!

Recently, while watching the 1963 classic "Charade," we realized the importance of utilizing location in writing. The final showdown takes place first in a busy, columned courtyard. It then moves to a theater (rich with trap doors). Wherever your characters are, is the scene in some way enriched location?

This isn't a steadfast rule, but something to look for, particularly in action or comedy scenes.

Check out the scene below. Unique Location bits: perfume, lipstick, make up counter, escalators, disguise.

Clearly, this is to the extreme, so proceed with caution.


Dick sprints into the store carrying a bucket of fried chicken. Jane is close on his heels.

You won't get far! I can smell that chicken, Dick!

Dick's eyes dart across the room. He scurries to the perfume counter, breaks the display and grabs Britney Spears' new scent, "WASHED UP HO". He sprays it on the chicken, smirks and takes a bite.

Dick looks into a magnified makeup mirror and spots Jane lurking. He grabs a tray of sample lipsticks. He turns to swing, but Jane is still across the room.

The lipsticks CRASH to the ground.

Jane leaps through woman's clothes and lunges at Dick. Dick runs towards the escalators. They are off. He climbs up one flight but Jane flips a switch. He's running up the down escalator.

Dick falls backwards and the escalator slowly carries him back to a waiting Jane, now disguised as a man.

Dick looks up hopefully.

Sir, you have to help me! Thank God!

Or thank Jane...

Jane rips off her costume mustache and shoves it down Dick's throat. He chokes loudly.

I always thought I'd die choking on a mustache...

Dick dies.

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