First 250 frames

In my library talks, I always mentioned my having finally worked out what Patti Miller meant when she annotated the first two drafts, here and there, with the phrase “Why am I reading this ?” (causing me enormous choler). The discovery was that a writer may not simply put in every little anecdote s/he likes because s/he likes it: there has to be a reason for everything.

So here, completely out of any context whatsoever, is my first piece of ‘film left lying on the cutting-room floor’. It was written as a very short preface, without regard given to the fact that anyone who’s never been on a film crew can’t possibly have any idea of its meaning …


EXT.       FILMING LOCATION         DAY


FIRST ASSISTANT
Standing by, everyone…?
OK… Turn over!

CAMERA OPERATOR
Rolling…

SOUND RECORDIST
Speed…

CAMERA OPERATOR
(to Clapper-Loader)
Mark it!

CLAPPER-LOADER
“And Then Like My Dreams”, slate 1, take 1…
(claps the slate, slips quickly out of shot)

DIRECTOR
(a quiet, deep breath)
And — action…