a pro script reader ponders movies, reading, writing and the occasional personal flashback

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Sometimes Real-World Dialogue Is Better Than Anything You Can Make Up

So I spent much of the weekend down in San Diego, where I dropped in on my brother and his family, who spent the whole week down there in Mission Bay.

They live in Alaska, and though I've been up there a few times over the years, the last time was 7 years ago, so I'd never met his 6-year-old twin daughters.

Bad uncle, I know.

So anyhow, I'm hanging out with these two little girls, who look scary-identical but are sweet nonetheless, but obviously they are a little cautious, because I'm this uncle who they have never met before.

So we swim in the ocean together, and we swim in the pool, and hey, I'm the fun uncle, and we're all having a good time. And finally, one looks at me, with big eyes, and says:

"I'm getting used to you."

Doesn't get any better than that.


At 10:21 AM, Blogger Chris (UK Scriptwriter) said...

My boss was telling me how he was working in his garden yesterday when his five year old son come up to him and said:

"Dad, what would we do if the house was made of bananas?"

He said he had no idea how to answer :)

At 2:07 PM, Blogger Tom said...

You're not the bad uncle anymore, Scott, you're the fun uncle, and as one fun uncle to another, welcome to the order. Meetings are on Thursdays at 7:30.

I tell this to people, but they never, ever believe me. I was walking through Astoria, Queens when I lived there years ago and on a long block that ran parallel to Manhattan, an older man was walking toward me and pointing in the direction I'd just come from. As I got closer, he finally asked me, "Philadelphia...This way, right?"

At 4:31 PM, Blogger Abe Burnett said...

Sometimes (okay, all the time) I wish that I had a method for capturing every precious piece of dialogue when it happens--while avoiding the almost certain demolition of the moment itself...should I make any effort to do any "capturing" of it. I guess that's where I just have to trust my "writer's brain" (assuming I came so equipped) to remember those precious dialogues.

I was floored a month or two ago by the unconditional love (well, for lack of more explanation let's call it that) of a five year old boy. I was just over at his single mother's apartment for a meeting, and a number of times while we were talking this kid just comes up to me and gives me a hug; like eight times. As I was getting up to go he came up to me and gave me another hug saying, "I don't want you to go," and then, when it was obvious I was still going, "I'm going to miss you." How do you respond to that? In that moment I was both grateful for his adoration and love and simple methods of communicating he used. It was a gift; yet, I was also deeply pained for that little boy--desperate for love and attention from others other than his mom, and particularly male figures. *sigh*

Thanks for sharing!

At 6:08 PM, Blogger Julie O. said...

Very sweet story, Scott. (Fwiw, I'm getting used to you, too.)

Anyone else think Abe should marry the boy's mother?

At 6:50 PM, Blogger Chesher Cat said...

Must be long lost brothers week. Mine is visiting from Australia. Haven't seen him in about 9 years.

I let him drive my car to the nearest Starbucks the other day for his morning caffeine fix. He drank a cup there, then got a triple shot to go. He went back to the car with his coffee and newspaper and planted himself in the right front seat. He sat there for a moment, scratching his head, before he realized the steering wheel was on the other side of the car. His dialogue? "Ooops."

At 3:07 PM, Blogger writergurl said...

Funny, I just quoted a great "line" on my blog... It's one of those that stick with you and even years after the fact, makes you smile.

At 7:20 PM, Blogger Dave said...

My wife is a chronic "taster" - meaning she's always tasting what somebody else has instead of purchasing her own.

Thus, we are getting a slurpy at 7-Eleven for our 5 year-old. She samples a couple, decides on one, I get one, too. Wife - she doesn't want one.

So we pay, get into the car. I start the car and the wife takes my slurpee and begins to suck it down.

From the back seat our daughter chimes up, "hey mom, why don't you get one for yourself instead of always drinking everybody else's?"

It was a difficult moment for me. I really wanted to laugh, but I knew if I did the wife might just execute me on the spot and worry about the childhood trauma later.

Talk about "on the nose dialogue".


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