Sunday, December 30, 2007

Mister Rogers & Me: The Outline

I've been scripting segments all weekend. Bo, Amy and Tim are done. I'm on Susan Stamberg now. After that, I have four to go, plus making sense of the whole Pittsburgh trip and our visit to 826NYC.

Basically, the process entails transcribing each interview, and then pruning the conversation to its most essential elements. Not a huge challenge for a fifteen minute interview like Tim Russert's, but pretty daunting when you spent an afternoon with someone as we did Bo Lozoff.

When I'm done scripting, I send to Chris who's doing rough cuts of each segment. Next we'll identify still images, b-roll and footage we'll need to licence, borrow, or otherwise procure. In some cases this'll be a simple financial transaction, like dropping a few hundred bucks to licence, say, a photo of Mister Rogers receiving the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President Bush. In other cases we're going to need to get in touch with folks we've already interviewed, like Tim Russert who will hopefully share photos of his family on Nantucket. In all, I imagine we're going to need to acquire at least 100 pieces of additional media. Yunno, in our copious free time.

Sometime in the middle of all that, I'm going to write VOs (voice overs) for each which somehow summarizes the last interview while setting up the next.

I expect to confirm another (big!) interview or two, but here's a rough outline of the film as it exists right now. Let me rephrase that: here's a rough outline of the film as it exists in my mind right now, because it doesn't really exist anywhere else.

That said, at the very least, a rough cut of the film needs to exist by March 1, which ought to be just about time for the Nantucket Film Festival submission deadline. I figure it's out best shot at a festival, being that March 20, 2008 would be Mister Rogers' eightieth birthday, and the film's all about Nantucket. Plus, as I said to Chris, we can't be working on this thing forever, and I like deadlines.

Anyway, the film's much more interesting than this, but this is what we've got.

1. Open (NYC)
- Walking to work
- My Bio
2. Backstory (Nantucket)
- How we met
- What we discussed
- Why I decided to make the film
3. Smithsonian (DC)
4. Bo Lozoff MOS (SC)
- Driving VO (1:00)
- How They Met: Book orders, silent support
- Deep & Simple 101
- Walk and Talk
5. Amy Hollingsworth (VA)
- Driving VO (1:00)
- How They Met: CBN Shoot
- What She Learned: silence and song
- Letter: seeking connection
6. Tim Russert DC)
- Driving VO (1:00)
- How They Met: Nantucket
- What He Learned: Respect
- How Manifests: DC
7. Susan Stamberg (DC)
- Driving VO (1:00)
- How They Met: TV show
- What She Learned: Community
- How Manifests: On-air
8. Tim Madigan (NYC)
- How They Met: TX interview
- What He Learned: Death and spirituality
- How Manifests
9. Linda Ellerbee (NYC)
- Driving VO (1:00)
- How They Met: TV
- What She Learned: Four Rules
- How Manifests: Nick News
10. Marc Brown (NYC)
- Walking in (:30)
- How They Met: Arthur
- What He Learned: Advertising
- How Manifests: Arthur
11. Davy Rothbart (Pittsburgh)
- Driving (1:00)
- How They Met: Nantucket, This American Life
- What He Learned
- How Manifests: Found
12. Pittsburgh
- Statue
- Children's Museum tour
- Latrobe
13. 826NYC
- Tour
- Volunteering
14. Conclusion (Nantucket)
- Recap
- Now what?
15. Credits
16. Epilogue(s)

With any luck, this ought to constitute some 75 or more minutes of film. I'm sure the rough cut'll come in much longer. Heck, Bo, Amy, Tim and Susan already clock in at twenty minutes, and that's without any set up, b-roll, etc.

Anyway, it won't be "Mission: Impossible," but it'll be good. Slow, steady, deep and simple.

No comments: