Quickly putting down a scene is a sure fire way to see where I’m heading.
It may not always be in the right direction. Often it’ll be a trigger for another scene or some underlying tension (which is just another word for drama, right).
Will the third test scene below end up in the screenplay I’m writing on Orson Welles?
Jump in and share with your friends.
“BOSCUTTI’S ORSON WELLES” TEST SCENE 03 SHORTY
EXT. LOS ANGELES AIRPORT TARMAC – 1943 – MORNING
American Airlines DC-3 lands and steers towards a white art deco hangar. Propellers on the polished aluminum aircraft back spin and slow as it moves forward. Polished aluminum stairs are rolled across the warm bitumen towards the rear door.
Gleaming maroon 1942 Lincoln Continental swerves across the tarmac towards the plane. A beautiful, elegant limousine with a long hood and apparently no driver. A naval officer in full uniform reclines in the back seat.
Limousine sweeps to a stop at the base of the stairs just as the rear door of the plane opens. ORSON WELLES steps out into the soft California sunshine, smiling. Tall, proud, larger than life.
The driver’s door on the limousine opens and a hunchback dwarf in full chauffeur uniform clambers down from the driver’s seat. This is SHORTY CHIRELLO.
Shorty pulls down the bottom of his jacket, reaches in for his cap and snaps it under his arm. He walks round to the rear passenger door, dutifully opens it and stands at attention. He looks a little grim.
Welles dances down the stairs, grins at Shorty and hops into the spacious limousine. Shorty slams the door.
INT. LIMOUSINE – CONTINUOUS
The naval officer in the back seat is actor JOSEPH COTTEN. Smooth, handsome, gentlemanly. It’s hard to tell whether the uniform is a costume or for real. His voice is traced with a Southern drawl.
You’ve grown a mustache again.
Thank you for noticing, Jo. Nice uniform.
Well, you know I’ve always wanted to see the world.
Shorty tosses his cap across the front seat, climbs onto the driver’s seat and swivels into position. There are wooden blocks on the brake and accelerator pedals so his feet can reach them. His head hardly reaches the top of the seat.
He can see the reflection of Welles and Cotten in the rear vision mirror mounted on the dash.
Shorty, to the studio directly, if you please.
Shorty shifts the limousine into gear.
No, no, no. I have to see my darling Lolita first.
Didn’t you give her up?
How can I possibly give up on the most exciting woman I ever met?
Orson, you say that about everyone woman you bed.
But it’s Dolores? You love Dolores. Everyone loves Dolores.
Actually, I love my paycheck a little more.
Welles recoils in mock disgust.
Shorty, to the studio.
Shorty, to my love nest.
The limousine idles.
You knuckleheads want to work out where you want to go first?
Welles stares at Cotten.
I’ll toss you for it.
Cotten pulls a nickel out of his pocket, flicks it in the air and slaps it down on the back of his wrist.
Cotten lifts his hand away with a wry smile. Welles looks down. It’s heads.
Best of three?