Posted by: steveonfilm | October 7, 2008

Before And After: Red Shack Scene

I haven’t been posting, but that’s not to say I haven’t been writing. Truth is, I’ve been working on some other things in the evenings that have kept me from getting on here. When I’ve got a spare hour here or there I’ll sit down and work on a few pages of Marianas, but I’m not at the normal 2-3 hours a night I’ve had available to me over the past year or so. Things should clear up again mid-November.

At any rate, I’d mentioned that I was going to post up some before and after scenes as I work on my new draft of Marianas. I just rewrote a scene that is short enough to post, but has enough changes that a reader can see how the same basic scene can be covered two different ways.

Please bear in mind, a formatted screenplay appears different than this. I will post the original scene first, and then the revised scene.

BEFORE:

INT. SMALL RED SHACK – CONTINUOUS

Cammy whips open the door of the shack startling MANUEL, 30’s, a dark skinned Hispanic man who hasn’t shaved in days. Manuel abruptly gets up from his seat.

MANUEL (SPANISH)
Cammy, what are you doing here?

Daniel shuts the door so no one can see inside.

CAMMY (SPANISH)
How many were smuggled in last night?

Manuel looks nervous.

MANUEL (SPANISH)
What do you mean?

CAMMY (SPANISH)
How many boats were there?

MANUEL (SPANISH)
Just the one, like I told Daniel.

Manuel frantically looks over to Daniel.

DANIEL
Don’t look at me man. You fucked up. This is your shit now.

Manuel’s attention snaps back to Cammy.

CAMMY (SPANISH)
Manuel Hernando Velasquez, on the holy virgin herself, don’t you lie to me.

MANUEL (SPANISH)
I only saw the one boat. I swear.

CAMMY (SPANISH)
Liar!

Cammy grabs Manuel’s face.

CAMMY (SPANISH) (CONT’D)
How many did you see?

MANUEL (SPANISH)
Just the one.

Cammy pulls out a knife and holds it close to Manuel’s face. Manuel is trembling in fear.

CAMMY (SPANISH) (CONT’D)
You lie, you sit to piss the rest of your life. Understand? Now tell me how many boats there were.

Manuel responds in English. He has a thick Latin American accent.

MANUEL
Okay, okay, okay.

Cammy lets Manuel go and he flops down on a chair behind him. Cammy puts her knife away.

MANUEL (CONT’D)
Two boats, fifteen to twenty girls each. Some of them were taken to a warehouse, some to the brothels.

CAMMY
Why so many to the brothels?

MANUEL
Something about a bunch of Americans coming. They wanted fresh girls.

Cammy looks suspicious, this is out of the ordinary.

CAMMY
Americans? For what?

MANUEL
A party, some sort of party at The Sebastion. That’s all I know, I swear.

Cammy looks over at Daniel who shrugs.

CAMMY
Who’s paying you?

MANUEL
What?

CAMMY
Don’t act stupid, you heard me, who paid you to lie to me?

Manuel looks over at Daniel again.

DANIEL
I’d tell her man.

MANUEL
A man from Red Star. It started a few weeks ago. Cammy, I’m sorry…
Cammy cuts off his sob story.

CAMMY
Shut up….shut up…I don’t want to see you down here again. You take your stuff and you go.

MANUEL
Cammy, I didn’t have a…

Cammy doesn’t care.

CAMMY
Go.

Manuel doesn’t move.

CAMMY (CONT’D)
Go!

Cammy smack the back of is head. Manuel scrambles, taking a few things quickly before leaving the hut.

AFTER

INT. SMALL RED SHACK – CONTINUOUS
Cammy whips open the door. MANUEL (30’s), a dark skinned Filipino, hasn’t shaved in days, jumps up from his chair.

Cammy looks pissed.

MANUEL (SPANISH)
Cammy, what are you doing here?

Daniel peeks outside and then shuts the door.

Cammy gets right up in Manuel’s face.

CAMMY (SPANISH)
How many were smuggled in last night?

MANUEL (SPANISH)
What do you mean?

CAMMY (SPANISH)
You know damn well what I mean. How many?

MANUEL (SPANISH)
I already told Daniel. Nothing. There hasn’t been any.

Manuel frantically looks over to Daniel.

DANIEL
Don’t look at me man. You fucked up. This is your shit now.

Cammy grabs Manuel’s face.

CAMMY (SPANISH)
Manuel Paulino Alcántara, on the holy virgin herself, don’t you lie to me. How many?

MANUEL (SPANISH)
None. I swear. There hasn’t been any. I swear. I swear.

CAMMY (SPANISH)
Liar!

Cammy pulls out her gun and shoves it in his crotch. Manuel eyes widen so much they look ready to burst.

CAMMY (SPANISH) (cont’d)
Lie one more time and you sit to piss the rest of your life. Tell me how many.

Manuel responds in English.

MANUEL
Okay, okay, okay.

Cammy lets Manuel go and he flops down on a chair directly behind him. Cammy tucks her gun back into her pants.

MANUEL (cont’d)
This new guy, Yun, he’s running most of the show now. Brings in twenty, thirty, forty people a week, sometimes more. They use nine, ten boats at a time. Container ships. Hidden compartments. Everything.

CAMMY
Who’s buying?

MANUEL
The plants, mostly. There’s been an uptick in sales to brothels.

DANIEL
Smugglers don’t usually sell directly to brothels.

MANUEL
Something about some big party. Lots of American’s and foreigners coming in. Maybe they want to stock up with new some new girls.

Cammy looks over at Daniel. He shrugs.

DANIEL
No idea.

Cammy looks back at Manuel.

CAMMY
Yun, he the one that paid you off?

MANUEL
What?

CAMMY
Don’t act stupid. Who paid you off?

Manuel looks over at Daniel again.

DANIEL
I’d tell her man. She will shoot your balls off.

Manual snaps back to Cammy.

MANUEL
Red Star. They know about what we’re doing. They threatened my family.

CAMMY
Shut up.

MANUEL
Cammy, I’m sorry, but I had no–

CAMMY
Shut up!

Cammy raises her hand to smack him. Manuel tries to cover his face.

MANUEL
Cammy they’re going to kill you.

Cammy slowly lowers her hand.

MANUEL (cont’d)
They told me to tell you that if you don’t stop they’ll kill you. Both of you.

Cammy looks over to Daniel. He just stares back, worried.

The biggest difference is the ending of the scene. The death threat is implied in a different scene in the earlier draft. But in the revised version it’s explicitly stated. This removes some ambiguities that people had with some later parts of the story. Cammy has a gun instead of a knife. This comes into play later in the story too. Manuel changes from Hispanic to Filipino. This is the result of a bit more research I’ve done about the island of Saipan. The Spanish speaking was fine, but I thought a Filipino character would seem more realistic.

But overall, the same thing is accomplished in both scenes, albeit from a bit of a different perspective. Hopefully this helps a few readers out.

Until then.
Enjoy.
-Steve

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