An excerpt from my script review for The Snowman which will be available 10/23/17:

4.) Dialogue and Description

Sometimes it’s fun how the script for a current week addresses issues mentioned in the previous week’s review.

For those of you following along at home, last week we took a look at The Triangle and one of my criticisms there was all the introductory dialogue.

Hi so and so. Nice to meet you. I’m blah blah blah.”

This script not only entered late, but had an entertaining level of subtext that made the characters come alive.

Page 6:

Steps in yawning, and is presented with a PORTLY man smashing
holes in his walls with a hammer. Portly startles…then:

PORTLY
You got fungus.

HARRY
A private matter, no?

PORTLY
(perfunctory smile)
Aspergillus I think. I knocked.

HARRY
I didn’t answer.

PORTLY
The Super let me in.

HARRY
What’s the Super’s name?

PORTLY
Peter. Tall guy.

Harry stares a moment longer. Itches his ass. Makes coffee.

PORTLY (CONT’D)
You get any headaches? Fatigue?

HARRY
For as long as I can remember.

PORTLY
Really?

Harry glances at his calendar. Marked on today’s date:
Television. Several hours blocked out. Strikes us as funny.
Beneath that, at 9 PM: Dinner. Rakel. Mia Francesca.

HARRY
I bet its because I’m an Alcoholic.

Harry’s witty, and although he doesn’t like the intrusion, it’s justified so he allows it.

Page 11:

Mid-conversation:

RAKEL
Even skinnier than you were on TV.

HARRY
You watched?

RAKEL
Flipped between you and Tresko.

HARRY
They’re re-running his poker
championship?

RAKEL
Or lack thereof. Has he recovered?

HARRY
He was 1 hand from 9 million bucks.

RAKEL
You haven’t called him have you?
You don’t have many friends.

HARRY
Leave the ‘m’ off ‘many.’

RAKEL
A girl I work with had sex with the
guy who was sitting to your left.

HARRY
Arthur Step?

RAKEL
Not an exclusive club. Handsome.

HARRY
And smart and rich.

RAKEL
She was on a panel with him in Ann
Arbor. He invited her to his room.
She told him she’d had a
mastectomy. Step said he’d ‘think
about that’, went back to the bar.

HARRY
Why are we talking about this?

RAKEL
Matt and I are getting married. In
May.

Harry stunned. Eyes on the table. Waiter shows up with wine.

HARRY
Just water…then her boyfriend is
gonna come touch it.

RAKEL
Pour anyway, just in case my
Fiancee doesn’t show.

Waiter pours, leaves. More silence.

What’s good about this bit, other than coming in mid-conversation, is that there’s a tension between Rakel and Harry.

A relationship we’re not yet aware of, and we continue reading because the information is presented in a fashion that makes us want to find out.

So we’re left playing catch up as they chat, and that’s good.

Page 16:

Harry points back to her smiling face in the photographs:

HARRY
She’s happy.

A telling hesitation from Ada. Harry moves an inch closer.

ADA
She has a good smile.

Wow. That’s pretty good!

(Because we’re learning Betty didn’t have a perfect home life without Ada coming right out and telling us.)

And there’s more throughout the script. Excellent example of writing entertaining dialogue that works.

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