This was a short I did for The Canadian Film Centre's Chatterbox Monologue Series in 2004 to showcase my writing. My character Walter Rilke is from my screenplay The Kid with The Camera, and is played here by Andrew Hachey. In my feature screenplay, Walter is pudgy with a greasy Hitler hair-do, and has beady black eyes that don't reflect light. Andrew did a great job, even if he wasn't pudgy, greasy and a teenager. Jim Rolfe plays the Unfortunate Homeless Man, and I still feel a tinge of guilt for having that sherry bottle poured down his throat.
CFC CHATTERBOX MONOLOGUE SERIES
HOW TO TAKE A PHOTO LIKE WALTER RILKE
FINAL Draft DECEMBER 4, 2004
In black and white.
Ext. PARK - DAY FOR NIGHT
WIDE MASTER SHOT
An UNFORTUNATE homeless man of unspecified age, is passed out on a PARK BENCH a blanket covering him. His hooch, cheap SCREW TOP WHISKY gripped, tight in his hand. He wears EAR MUFFS.
A blast of light illuminates the man.
SLOW ZOOM OUT TO:
Walter Rilke (pronounCed Reich),a young man who resembles a young Stanley Kubrick, has a 35 MM MANUAL CAMERA with AUTOMATIC FLASH set up in front of the homeless man. He wears a suit and TIE under a trench coat. Walter is also a bit greasy and unkempt.
The camera is in close up slightly above the man.
The UNFORTUNATE homeless man reacts feebly, mumbling.
Walter advances the film adjusting the camera.
He looks down at his subject.
WALTER (VO) (childlike yet cold Light sensitive silver halide crystals form in the emulsion on the negative, like snow flakes on a windowpane. The exposure to light creates a latent image we can only see through chemical development.
CLOSE SHOT - APERTURE RING ON LENS
I have control over the image by changing the aperture of the camera lens or by adjusting the shutter.
CLOSE SHOT - CAMERA APERTURE OPENING
I add light, so to speak, by either of these methods, in increments of one third of a stop.
That is simple photography.
CLOSE SHOT - THE FLASH CHARGES
WALTER (VO CONT’D) I’ve rated this particular scene at four hundred ASA using Kodak Plus X Black and White negative film stock. It is daylight rated at one twenty five.
CLOSE UP - BACK OF CAMERA - KODAK PLUS X LOADED
CLOSE UP - FINGERS CHANGE 125 ASA TO 400
WALTER BEHIND THE CAMERA.
CLOSE UP - FINGER PRESSING SHUTTER RELEASE “FLASH”
CLOSE SHOT – HOMELESS MAN’S FACE, flinching as the light hits him.
That means, in effect, I am forcing the development two stops, plus adding one third of a stop for a denser negative.
PAN ACROSS - HOMELESS MAN, FEET TO FACE
You want a negative that is rich with information in the shadows. So the rule for negative film is expose for the shadows, print for the highlights.
Walter changes angle.
If you are using a positive film stock, please do the opposite.
With flash photography it is important to control the burst of light. Get close enough.
Walter moves in closer, resetting the tripod.
You probably need a flash metre to get a proper reading. I do the calculation in my head.
Walter looks down at the blanket covering the homeless man.
MED SHOT - the camera positioned with Walter behind it.
Be sure to remove any distractions from your frame.
CLOSE SHOT - HOMELESS MAN - his blanket is SLOWLY PULLED AWAY FROM HIS BODY OUT OF FRAME
WALTER (VO CONT’D) Terrible composition will ruin a photograph. So don’t make terrible compositions!
Please remember, your photographs will not look as good as mine.
You must practice.
Walter is reloading the camera.
Make sure you are prepared. Carry enough film with you.
Inspiration can strike at any moment.
The bottle suddenly drops to the ground.
CLOSE SHOT - BOTTLE ON GROUND
Walter looks at the bottle for a moment.
He picks it up, then opens it.
The homeless man is stirring. He grunts and groans.
He suddenly realizes Walter is before him. He looks at Walter, dazed.
Walter grabs his face and begins to force feed him alcohol. The man starts to struggle, his hand going up in front of his face as Walter empties the bottle.
ZOOM IN ON HOMELESS MAN’S EYES WIDENING IN TERROR
Sometimes it takes all night.
ZOOM IN ON WALTER’S EYES