Monday, September 14, 2015

TODAY'S NUGGET: The Big Lebowski (1998) - Gap Filling

[Quick Summary: The Dude, an inept courier, loses (and then locates) the ransom money for a kidnapping victim.]

Reading a Coens' script reminds me that I don't have to show every single moment.

The audience's mind will fill in the gaps.

For example:

Scene #1 (below): Brandt is a rich man's assistant and offers the Dude a job as a courier. 

Scene #2 (below): The Dude tells his friends about it back at the bowling alley.

Question: Did he accept the job? How do we know?

"BRANDT: Mr. Lebowski is prepared to make a generous offer to you to act as courier once we get instructions for the money.

DUDE: Why me, man?

BRANDT: He suspects that the culprits might be the very people who, uh, soiled your rug, and you're in a unique position to confirm, or, uh, disconfirm that suspicion.

DUDE: So he thinks it's the carpet-pissers, huh?

BRANDT: Well Dude, we just don't know.

.... [At the bowling alley] BACK TO WALTER AND THE DUDE

They have been joined by Donny.

WALTER: Anyway. How much they offer you?

DUDE: Twenty grand. And of course I still keep the rug.

WALTER: Just for making the hand-off?

DUDE: Yeah.

He slips a little black box out of his shirt pocket.

DUDE: ...They gave Dude a beeper, so whenever these guys call --"

Answer: Yes, he took the job.  We know this because the Dude is acting like he has the job and we see that he has the beeper.  

We don't need to see him actually taking the beeper. It is enough that he has it.

WHAT I'VE LEARNED: Jumps in time are ok. As long as there's a logical leap between scenes, the audience will be able to fill in the gaps.

The Big Lebowski (1998)
by Joel Coen & Ethan Coen

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