Thursday, August 4, 2011

TODAY'S NUGGET: #69 WGA Script of All Time - Dog Day Afternoon (1975)

[Quick Summary: Based on a true 1972 story, two robbers hold up a Brooklyn bank (one robber is financing his lover's sex change operation), and become the first inadvertent media darlings.]

Though the 1st half of the script was struggle to read, I was impressed by the opening lines:

"EXT. ELECTRIC SIGN

It FILLS THE SCREEN....It says:

2:51

This message will be a little cryptic to the movie audience on an essentially BLACK SCREEN. HOLD for a beat, then it changes: the lights flash this sign, which should explain it to everyone:

94 degrees F."

I know everything in a few sentences: 

- It's summer & hot & in the afternoon.
- We're at a bank.
- Something is about to go down at the bank.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED:  It's extremely smart to orient your reader to the location. 

It says, "I'm not trying to outsmart you, reader. I trust you. We're in this together."

Dog Day Afternoon (1975)
by Frank Pierson

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