Thursday, September 02, 2004

opening scene-wedding/airport

Fade in from black to a military wedding scene. Smiling faces, hugs, everyone excited about the ceremony. Ushers seating people. Guests exchanging pleasantries. Every couple shots follow our man, Ashley, as he goes through everything. All the while the song “Sinner’s Prayer” by Ray Charles and B.B. King plays. Finally we follow Ashley as he takes his seat and leans back in his chair.

Ashley muttering under his breath: I can’t believe she’s doing this. Seriously, it’s like she decided to just turn her brain off.

He’s interrupted mid-mutter by a bunch of uniformed marines doing their thing for a military wedding. (research what kinds of things stand out in a Marine wedding)

A: seriously, I just don’t know how she could do this. I mean, just because a guy asks, do you have to accept? Seriously. I don’t know if I could be any more serious.

Unnamed guest: excuse me, you’re being very disrespectful.

A: oh, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that caring enough to call an insane person crazy was disrespectful. I mean, how else will they ever get help? I guess it’s just better to hold their hand as they walk over the edge. Here we go, let me just grab a prilosec and fall in line with the rest of you. *Fakes pill-popping motion.* There it is, now I’m a happy idiot too.

Unnamed guest: prilosec is for acid reflux disease, don't you mean zoloft or some other anti-depressant?

A: no, i meant prilosec. i get really bad heartburn from crappy weddings like this.

Unnamed guest, disgusted, turns and complains to her husband, who doesn’t seem to empathize with her.

A to himself again: I mean, this is the same girl who told me a year ago that she thought people who got married to someone they met boot camp were being foolish.

He heaves a humongous sigh and sits back popping his ipod earbuds in, finishing the song that began the scene.

Zoom out and cross fade to airport with the title 13 months earlier. Montage of airport scenes that signify lateness and the hassles of flying. Wide shot of people waiting for passengers at airport. Settle back on crowd and scan, until finding a girl who is waving. Zoom in.

Paige: Ashley! It’s so good to see you! Here, let me help take one of your bags.

Ashley: no, I’m really fine. I only have these two carry-ons, and they aren’t a problem. Sorry you had to wait so long. Not that I could really do anything, but I still feel bad.

P: oh, it’s not a problem at all. It worked out better anyway because Bill’s plane was delayed too. I got to just sit with him while I waited for you to get in.

A with obvious scorn in his face: oh, that’s great. So Bill was here…and I missed him…too bad. Maybe next time we’ll finally get to meet.

They’ve been walking and are almost to the exit.

P: do you have any checked bags to get?

A: no, I don’t really like a lot of baggage. Things tying me down, things like that. The less I have to worry about the better off I am, I guess.

P: sounds good to me. My car’s over here.

They leave the terminal, cross the bridge to the parking lot, and ride up to the top. They begin approaching a green mustang…very ugly green mustang.

A sarcastically: oh yeah, I forgot you had a mustang. Wow, that must be great…but how does Bill fit in it?

P missing the sarcasm: oh, he just puts the seat as far back as it can possibly go. It’s really not too bad for him.

A: wow, that’s great.

They get in and take off, some music goes in the car (question whether to use pop music that might have actually been played, or music to help move the story) montage of leaving the airport type shots, parking booth lines, paying, merging, near-wrecks, etc.

Back inside as they drive down the freeway

A: so, you and Bill seem to be getting pretty serious…how’s that going…I mean, are you getting any pressure to get married?

P: oh no, mom thinks that it’s good to live a little before you get married.

A: wow, imagine that.

P: yeah, and I’ve seen too many people in boot camp get close to someone they barely know and decide then and there to get married. I mean, how can you develop a relationship in that kind of environment so quickly? I just don’t think it’s possible.

A: so then you and Bill aren’t serious?

P: well, of course we’re serious. I mean, he was just out here visiting. But I think that it would be a huge mistake to get engaged now. If we can make it through the next six months, while we’re stationed at different bases, then maybe we can start thinking about marriage. But until then, it’s just too soon to commit long-term like that.

A: wow, after all the other sentiments on marriage and relationships I’ve heard in the last month, you are a great breath of fresh air.

Zoom out from her smiling face, cross fade to her smiling face at the wedding. The minister pronounces them man and wife and they walk through the saber tunnel. Cut to Ashley, sitting there listening to another Ray Charles duet, “Here we go again” with Nora Jones. He files out of the sanctuary area, only to get in the receiving line. Multiple cuts showing the awkwardness between him and other guests as he listens to his ipod. As he approaches the bride and groom, he gets several more dirty looks from marines and decides to turn the music down (which happens correspondingly in the soundtrack) and then takes his earbuds out (music fades even more, just a whisper behind the dialogue)

A: wow, umm, congratulations. I guess you guys are married now. Wow. That’s fantastic.

He gives Paige an awkward hug and tries to shake Bill’s hand. The whole time looking over his shoulder at several mean-looking marines.

P and B: we’re really glad you could make it. Your mom didn’t think you’d be coming.

A: yeah, I guess I just had to be here to see it happen. I mean, you know, to "celebrate" with you. Really, congratulations. Wow.

He takes one more look at the marines that have been scowling at him, gives a smile, and puts the earbuds back in. the song picks up, quite loudly, on the organ solo. He makes his way out and gets in his car. As he pulls away the music changes to the title music, “I’ve got it bad” by Duke Ellington, the title appears, and the proper opening montage starts. All things to come.

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