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Daily Dialogue — April 20, 2014

“My predecessor in this job left a man named Charles Grady as the Winter caretaker. And he came up here with his wife and two little girls, I think were eight and ten. And he had a good employment record, good references, and from what I’ve been told he seemed like a completely normal individual. But at some point during the winter, he must have suffered some kind of a complete mental breakdown. He ran a muck and killed his family with an axe. Stacked them neatly in one of the rooms in the West wing and then he, he put both barrels of a shot gun in his mouth.”

The Shining (1980), screenplay by Stanley Kubrick & Diane Johnson, novel by Stephen King

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Job Interview, suggested by blueneumann who also suggested The Shining.

Trivia: During filming, Stanley Kubrick made the cast watch Eraserhead (1977), Rosemary’s Baby (1968) and The Exorcist (1973) to put them in the right frame of mind.

Dialogue On Dialogue: This is a spin on the job interview scene, instead of the focus being on the interviewee, here it’s all about providing some exposition about the hotel. Takeaway: If you’re going to lay down some backstory, might as well make it about a patricidal murder-suicice.

Daily Dialogue theme for next week: Sales Pitch

We move from this week’s theme (Job Interview) suggested by blueneumann. Next week: Sales Pitch.

“Listen, I’m not here to tell you about Jesus. You already know about Jesus. He either lives in your heart or he doesn’t. Every woman wants choices, but in the end, none wants to be one of a hundred in a box. She’s unique. She makes the choices and she’s chosen him. She wants to tell the world he’s MINE. He belongs to ME, not you. She marks her man with her lips. He’s her possession.
You’ve given the gift of total ownership.”

The usual drill:

* Copy/paste dialogue from IMDB Quotes or some other transcript source.

* Copy/paste the URL of an accompanying video from YouTube or some other video source.

I’d also ask you to think about why the dialogue is notable. Is there anything about the dialogue which provides some takeaway re screenwriting?

Here is our lineup for upcoming Daily Dialogue themes:

April 28-May 5: Nemesis [Alejandro]

May 6-May 12: Lying

May 13-May 19: Advice [Aarthi Ramanathan]

May 20-May 26: Robbery

May 27-June 2: Time Travel Talk [Bob_Reo_Inc]

June 3-June 9: Bad News

June 10-June 16: Flirting [SabinaGiado]

June 17-June 23: Happy Birthday

Hit Reply and see you in comments for your suggestions: Sales Pitch.

Daily Dialogue — April 19, 2014

Pam: Well, Brennan, you certainly have had a lot of jobs.
Brennan: I’m a bit of a spark plug. And, Human Resources lady, when I think…
Pam: You know, it’s… Actually, it’s Pam.
Brennan: I’m sorry. Well, Pan…
Pam: No, my name is Pam.
Brennan: Are you saying Pan or Pam?
Pam: I’m saying Pam.
Brennan: Yeah, I’m sorry.
Pam: Who is this gentleman sitting behind you?
Dale: Hello, Ms. Lady. I’m Dale. I’m Brennan’s stepbrother… and I think I might be able to help
with the Pan-Pam dilemma.

Step Brothers (2008), screenplay by Will Ferrell & Adam McKay, story by Will Ferrell & Adam McKay & John C. Reilly

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Job Interview, suggested by blueneumann.

Trivia: Adam McKay wanted to make this a drama, not a comedy.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Job interviews are almost by definition awkward, which makes them a natural for comic talent who specialize in awkward humor like Ferrell, Reilley and McKay.

Daily Dialogue — April 18, 2014

“Why shouldn’t I work for the N.S.A.? That’s a tough one, but I’ll take a shot. Say I’m working at N.S.A. Somebody puts a code on my desk, something nobody else can break. Maybe I take a shot at it and maybe I break it. And I’m real happy with myself, ’cause I did my job well. But maybe that code was the location of some rebel army in North Africa or the Middle East. Once they have that location, they bomb the village where the rebels were hiding and fifteen hundred people I never met, never had no problem with, get killed. Now the politicians are sayin’, “Oh, send in the Marines to secure the area” ’cause they don’t give a shit. It won’t be their kid over there, gettin’ shot. Just like it wasn’t them when their number got called, ’cause they were pullin’ a tour in the National Guard. It’ll be some kid from Southie takin’ shrapnel in the ass. And he comes back to find that the plant he used to work at got exported to the country he just got back from. And the guy who put the shrapnel in his ass got his old job, ’cause he’ll work for fifteen cents a day and no bathroom breaks. Meanwhile, he realizes the only reason he was over there in the first place was so we could install a government that would sell us oil at a good price. And, of course, the oil companies used the skirmish over there to scare up domestic oil prices. A cute little ancillary benefit for them, but it ain’t helping my buddy at two-fifty a gallon. And they’re takin’ their sweet time bringin’ the oil back, of course, and maybe even took the liberty of hiring an alcoholic skipper who likes to drink martinis and fuckin’ play slalom with the icebergs, and it ain’t too long ’til he hits one, spills the oil and kills all the sea life in the North Atlantic. So now my buddy’s out of work and he can’t afford to drive, so he’s got to walk to the fuckin’ job interviews, which sucks ’cause the shrapnel in his ass is givin’ him chronic hemorrhoids. And meanwhile he’s starvin’, ’cause every time he tries to get a bite to eat, the only blue plate special they’re servin’ is North Atlantic scrod with Quaker State. So what did I think? I’m holdin’ out for somethin’ better. I figure fuck it, while I’m at it why not just shoot my buddy, take his job, give it to his sworn enemy, hike up gas prices, bomb a village, club a baby seal, hit the hash pipe and join the National Guard? I could be elected president.”

Good Will Hunting (1997), written by Matt Damon, Ben Affleck

The Daily Dialogue theme for the week: Job Interview, suggested by blueneumann. Today’s suggestion by Michael Corcoran.

Trivia: At a WGA seminar in 2003, William Goldman denied the persistent rumor that he was the actual writer of Good Will Hunting: “I would love to say that I wrote it. Here is the truth. In my obit it will say that I wrote it. People don’t want to think those two cute guys wrote it. What happened was, they had the script. It was their script. They gave it to Rob [Reiner] to read, and there was a great deal of stuff in the script dealing with the F.B.I. trying to use Matt Damon for spy work because he was so brilliant in math. Rob said, “Get rid of it.” They then sent them in to see me for a day – I met with them in New York – and all I said to them was, “Rob’s right. Get rid of the F.B.I. stuff. Go with the family, go with Boston, go with all that wonderful stuff.” And they did. I think people refuse to admit it because their careers have been so far from writing, and I think it’s too bad. I’ll tell you who wrote a marvelous script once, Sylvester Stallone. Rocky’s a marvelous script. God, read it, it’s wonderful. It’s just got marvelous stuff. And then he stopped suddenly because it’s easier being a movie star and making all that money than going in your pit and writing a script. But I did not write [Good Will Hunting], alas. I would not have written the “It’s not your fault” scene. I’m going to assume that 148 percent of the people in this room have seen a therapist. I certainly have, for a long time. Hollywood always has this idea that it’s this shrink with only one patient. I mean, that scene with Robin Williams gushing and Matt Damon and they’re hugging, “It’s not your fault, it’s not your fault.” I thought, Oh God, Freud is so agonized over this scene. But Hollywood tends to do that with therapists.” As of 2009, Matt Damon and Ben Affleck have both co-written one other script each, although not with each other; Damon co-wrote Gerry (2002) with Gus Van Sant and Ben’s brother Casey Affleck, and Ben Affleck directed and co-wrote (with his childhood friend Aaron Stockard) the script for Gone Baby Gone (2007). In 2010, Ben Affleck directed The Town (2010), for which he had also co-written the screenplay.

Dialogue On Dialogue: Long monologues are a real challenge. They have to be great to work. This job interview monologue is great.