Sample Pages From Broadcast Films And Series

In the pages that follow, I've included some sample pages of outlines, treatments, and scripts for a range of programs that have already been broadcast. The samples reflect diversity in the program styles and the varied uses of the print material. The editing outline for Lalee's Kin, for example, was created for in-house use only. In contrast, the treatment for Getting Over (an hour of the six-part series This Far By Faith) was submitted to numerous public and private funding agencies, including the National Endowment for the Humanities.

Sample page, outline, Ain't Gonna Shuffle No More'

PROGRAM TITLE: À in *t Gonna Shuffle No More (1964-1972)

Synopsis: This hour looks at rising Black consciousness through the transformations of Cassius Clay, who becomes Muhammad Ali and takes a stand against the war in Vietnam; students at Howard University, who fight for a curriculum that recognizes their Black heritage; and elected officials who join Black nationalists at a National Black Political Convention in Gary, Indiana.

Program outline:

Sequence 1: Tease: Black is Beautiful

A montage of archival images and sync material that introduce the Black Arts and Black consciousness movements of the 1960s.

PEOPLE: Interview with Sonia Sanchez, poet

FOOTAGE: Archival of Amiri Baraka (at the Congress of African Peoples, 1970) and the Last Poets

Sequence 2: "I Shook Up The World"

We begin the first act of our first story: Olympic champion Cassius Clay challenges World Heavyweight Champion Sonny Liston. Rumors are spread that Clay is spending time with Malcolm X, spokesperson for the Nation of Islam. Fight promoters want Clay to deny the rumors; he refuses, and after he defeats Liston, he publicly announces his new Muslim identity: Muhammad Ali.

PEOPLE: Edwin Pope, sportswriter; Kareem-Abdul Jabbar, student; Angelo Dundee, trainer; Herbert Muhammad, son of Elijah Muhammad

FOOTAGE: Archival of Muhammad Ali, Ali with Malcolm X, the Liston fight

Sequence 3: A Heavy Price

As associates and the press react to Muhammad All's new identity, he embarks on a tour of Ghana, Nigeria, and Africa, where he is welcomed as a hero. Returning to the U.S., he

1 Episode five of the second season of Eyes on the Prize. This page was written as demonstration only. The initial outline for Ain't Gonna Shuffle No More was ihr a program called New Definitions.

Outlines, Treatments, and Scripts 167 Sample page, preliminary treatment, You Could Grow Aluminum Out There1

ACT I, THE CENTRAL VALLEY PROJECT

Real estate signs whiz by the ■windshield "Quail Meadows," "The Grasslands," "Indian Creek," "Riverbank Estates," "Elk Grove Townhouse.?," "Miwok Village."

Before the Spaniards came, 300 tribes shared the Central Valley of California...Maidu, Miwok, Patwin. A few weeks of flooding each winter fed the great marshes and seasonal lakes, but for most of the year—the seven month dry season when Indians moved to the cooler surrounding foothills—the Great Central Valley got, and still gets, less rain than North Africa. It was the American Serengeti

Richard Rodriguez, or perhaps Maxim Hong Kingston or Jesse De La Cruz pick

The wet winters and dry summers unique to California had gone on for a hundred thousand years before Europeans came. A rich, complex ecosystem had evolved with such intelligence that the great condors, elk, delta smelt, cougars and bunch grass could survive in the natural cycles of drought and flood. Each carried genetic information for the next generation to thrive in arid land, and the next and the next. Bidwell saw 40 grizzlies in a single day, and Central Valley salmon ran in the millions. Muir, standing on a hill south of San Francisco looked 100 miles east toward the Sierra and saw "...a carpet of wildflowers, a continuous sheet of bloom bounded only by mountains."

1 Program produced, directed and written by Jon Else; page 4 of 40, episode three of Cadillac Desert, broadcast as The Mercy of Nature. © 1995 Jon Else, reprinted with permission.

Sample pages, NEH treatment, Getting Over1

HOUR THREE: Getting Over ri'jlQ-1939)

Tell me how we got oyer, Lord; Had a mighty hard time, comin* on over. You know, my soul looks back in wonder, How did we make it over?

Tell me how we got over, Lord; I've been falling and rising all these years. But you know, my soul looks back in wonder, How did I make it over?

"How I Got Over" (gospel song)

THE PRESENT:

"Where is hope? Hope is closer than we know!" declares the Reverend Cecil Williams, pastor of the Glide Memorial United Methodist Church in San Francisco.

I want you to know this morning that this is Bethlehem! The rejected are here. The wretched of the earth are here. Poor folks, rich folks, middle-class folks. You can be yourself here. You don't have to run from yourself here. You don't have to put yourself down here. You can embrace love here. Where is hope? Hope is here! Amen!

Glide Memorial Church in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, an area of tenements, crack houses, and shooting galleries, lies at what Rev. Williams calls "the intersection of despair and hope." Williams took over the church in 1966, when the congregation included about 35 people, nearly all of them middle-class whites. Today, it has 6,400 members and a reputation, as Psychology Today reported in 1995, as "an urban refuge for the spiritually disenfranchised...a faith steeped more in heart and soul than in scripture."

Powerful and influential visitors like Oprah Winfrey and President Bill Clinton speak of Glide as a model religious institution. Poet Maya Angelou, a parishioner for nearly 30 years, calls it "a church for the 21 st century." Glide is San Francisco's largest provider of social services, offering recovery centers for substance abusers, domestic-violence workshops for batterers and victims, anger management classes for youth, job skills and computer training for the unemployed or those wishing to further their education. Its tradition of outreach is a hallmark of African-American religion, especially as it developed in the decades following the Great Migration.

On a Sunday morning, we watch as Rev. Williams evokes the past in his demands for the future:

Faith and resistance are the fuels that power the train of freedom and transformation The train of freedom and recovery chugs on daily. Claim your place on this train. The freedom train is passing you by. Catch it. Then listen. Listen carefully. Those on the train are singing. Can you hear the voices of a New Generation? They are singing and shouting with unchained abandon. Lift your voice, raise your fist. You sing, too.

We will return to Glide throughout this program, as its ministry informs the historical events in this hour.

A train rushes by, seen in grainy black-and-white footage reminiscent of the early years of this century. A woman can be heard singing softly, unaccompanied, as if comforting a sleeping child on board: Plenty of good room, plenty of good room in my Father's kingdom. A few cars back, we catch a glimpse of a window, the curtain drawn. Inside, a man's hand sets words to paper:

I am writing on board a Jim Crow car... a horrible night ride Why does the negro leave the South?... You feel a large part of that answer on this train.,, and share for one night the longing of the people to reach the line.. .which separates Dixie from the rest of

The third hour of THIS Far By Faith begins with the onset of the greatest internal population shift to have yet occurred in the United States. In 1910, more than 90% of African Americans live in the South. Between the turn of the century and 1930, nearly two million will make their way north in a mass exodus. They are "led as if by some mysterious unseen hand which was compelling them on," reports Charles S. Johnson, an African-American sociologist in Chicago at the time. A group of nearly 150 Southerners, crossing the Ohio River, a divide "between Dixie and the rest of creation," kneels together and prays.

1 Treatment written by Sheila Curran Bernard and Lulie Haddad, episode three of This Far By Faith, broadcast as Guide My Feet. C 1998 Blackside, Inc., reprinted with permission.

Sample treatment, The Militait Pack

The Militait Pack

At the edge of a dirt roadway which runs along a thick wooded area, three red wolves appear as dusk begins to fall. The leader of the pack is an Did male in his twilight years with a thick auburn coat and a long nose. Though he's not as fast as he used to be, his gait remains quick, his eyes and ears alert. Close behind are two noticeably smaller wolves. They are siblings, a male and a female just turned three years old. The pack is heading to a com field just at the end of the road. In the brown dry stalks of last month's corn live mice, rabbits and voles -tasty appetizers for the Milltail Pack.

At nine years old, the aging male is raising, in all probability, his last offspring. He's seen a lot of change over the years, and he's survived to tell the story of how a species on the brink of extinction came to be saved by a handful of dedicated humans and a branch of government. Known to biologists at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge in North Carolina as #331, this old male is living proof that predators and people can live together and flourish. The only remaining red wolf that was born in captivity and reintroduced into the wild, his life parallels the timeline of a unique government initiative.

In 1980 the red wolf was declared biologically extinct - in the wild. In answer to this, the US Kish and Wildlife Service implemented the Red Wolf Recovery Plan - an all-out effort to save the species using captive wolves. This was the first re-introductory program of its kind for any carnivore in the world! Against overwhelming odds and after countless setbacks, the program has managed success.

In 1987, a red wolf breeding pair was reintroduced into the Alligator River Wildlife Refuge, and by the next year their first litter of pups was bom in the wild. Since then wolves have been introduced on three island sites, three wildlife refuges, a national park, and a number of privately-owned properties in North Carolina, Tennessee, and South Carolina. But it wasnt easy. The recovery plan had to insure genetic diversity, hope the wolves tolerant of people in a captive setting would shy away from them once wild, and enlist public support for réintroduction of a predator in their neighborhoods. And the ultimate goal of the plan, not yet realized, is to have a total population of 220 wild red wolves.

Today there are about 70 wolves living in northeastern North Carolina, and all but one were bom in the wild. Number 331 and his brother, 332, were released when they were just under one year old. Running together they sought out a home range that was occupied by a resident male. They killed the wolf and began consorting with his mate, 205. Together the young males shared the area with 331 mating with 205 and 332 taking up with 205's daughter. But 332 was killed by a car leaving 331 the leader of the Milltail Pack. Like gray wolves, red wolves mate for life, but 331 lost his first mate several years ago. He then mated with his step daughter, 394, who was mother to the siblings he takes hunting today. Last year, she died leaving him without a mate and the youngsters without a mother.

The Milltail Pack ranges through farmlands, wooded areas, public roadways and along the banks of Milltail Creek in search of food. They mainly eat white-tailed deer, but their diet also consists of raccoons and small mammals like rabbits and mice. Similar to gray wolves, they tend to shy away from people and stay close to woodlands or farm edges that provide cover. In their home in North Carolina the habitat ranges from farmland to wooded areas including marshy wetlands, and even a military bombing range!

Before becoming extinct in the wild, red wolves populated the southeastern United States, but as man began clear-cutting areas for wood, drainage and farms, wolves and men came into closer contact. Fear and misunderstanding led to indiscriminate killings and bounties. In addition, as coyotes adapted stretching their habitat from western states into the southeast, they interbred with red wolves, threatening the wolves' genetic purity.

The Milltail Pack has lived through the successes and failures of the Red Wolf Recovery Plan and now stands on the threshold of a new debate. Can man use this program as a model for other species and can we learn from our mistakes? Despite the success of such re-introductory programs, there will always be opponents of predators. In 1995, gray wolves were reintroduced into Yellowstone National Park and today their fate is questionable because opponents to the reintroduction have waged a court struggle to have them removed. In North Carolina opponents to the Red Wolf Recovery Plan still threaten to shut down the program with lengthy court battles. Last year 11 Mexican wolves were released in Arizona after 16 years of planning, and today they are all dead - most were shot by angry ranchers. For conservationists and biologists these programs represent a chance for society to learn from our mistakes. Without the existence of top predators, prey animals go unchecked and often overpopulate area®. And not only is it important to save wolves because of their role as predators, but they are a leading

Because red wolves were virtually extinct until 1987, little was known about their behavior. But biologists are learning that their social structure, feeding and breeding habits are similar to gray wolves. Ten years after reintroducing the first red wolves into the wild, their numbers are growing - evidence of their adaptability, strength and stamina. The leader of the Milltail Pack has survived to sire 4 litters and he and his offspring have a unique story to tell.

Wolves have been in the news for the past few years and are a hot topic. But little has been said about the red wolf or this recovery project. Most of the national press has focused on the gray wolves and their réintroduction to Yellowstone. While there has been regional press about the Red Wolf Recovery Plan, this film is the first documentary to offer an in-depth look at these beautiful animals and the circumstances that have brought them back into the wild.

This film offers an opportunity for a rare glimpse into the lives of a fascinating species, and the film's goal is ta tell a success story. Using the Milltail Pack well chronicle the program from the early days of life in captivity, move to life today in the wild, and finally speculate about the future of the recovery program and these amazing animals. We have access to footage of wolves in captivity, footage of animals being released, and filming in the wild today. {In order for the biologists to monitor the health and movements of released wolves, most of the animals are radio collared which makes it easy for us to locate packs and differentiate between them.}

This film will take the viewer on an odyssey of survival through the eyes of an aging red wolf. Filming will include captive animals at the Alligator River National Wildlife Refuge, wolf capture and tagging, wolf release, and behavior of family groups in the wild. In addition, interviews with biologists who have been working in the program for 11 years as well as area farmers and townspeople will help illustrate how these wolves came to be accepted on both private and refuge land and how they've managed to survive. While the focus af the film is the red wolf, well round out the piece with a look at what's happening to the Mexican wolf and the grays in

' Treatment written by Holly Stadtler, film broadcast on Explorer Wild as America'» Last Red Wolves. C 2000 Dream Catcher Films, reprinted with permission.

Sample editing outline, Lalee's Kin'

AUGUST

A NEW SCHOOL YEAR BEGINS

LLW AND KIDS ON PORCH Intro kids

Main flunked first grade BOYS BATH - before school LOST CLOTHES (night before school) TELEPHONE GAME

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL - LW brushes Redman's hair PARKING LOT ADVICE - LLW and Redman REGISTRATION - LLW and Redman SAN'S HOUSE

Supplies DON'T NOBODY KNOW SUNSET

Praise Jesus GRANNY CRIES ON PORCH No pencils

KIDS GET ON SCHOOL BUS/ARRIVE AT SCHOOL

REGGIE - If kids don't come to school first day we're not going to solve anything We have a test Oct. 1 and instruction begins now Someone has to be Level 1, but we don't want to be it GRANNY IN SCHOOL SADIE DILLS COTTON FIELD

LALEE AND REGGIE RE COTTON PICKING AND PLANTATION MENTALITY R- Closed schools

1 © 2002 Maysles Films, Inc., reprinted with permission.

Sample page, script (single column), The Danner Party

VOICE 001: It is odd to watch with what feverish ardor Americans pursue prosperity - ever tormented by the shadowy suspicion that they may not have chosen the shortest route to get it. They cleave to the things of this world as if assured that they will never die - and yet rush to snatch any that comes within their reach, as if they expected to stop living before they had relished them. Death steps in in the end and stops them, before they have grown tired of this futile pursuit of that complete felicity which always escapes them.

Alexis de Toqueville

TITLE: THE DONNER PARTY

NARRATOR: It began in the 1840s, spurred on by financial panic in the East, by outbreaks of cholera and malaria, and by the ceaseless American hankering to move West. When the pioneer movement began, fewer than 20,000 white Americans lived west of the Mississippi River. [Ten years later the emigration had swelled to a flood, and] Before it was over, more than half a million men, women and children had stepped off into the wilderness at places like Independence, Missouri, and headed out over the long road to Oregon and California. In places their wagon wheels carved ruts shoulder-deep in the rocky road. The settlers themselves knew they were making history. "It will be received," one Emigrant wrote, "as a legend on the borderland of myth." But of all the stories to come out of the West, none has cut more deeply into the imagination of the American people than the tale of the Donner Party high in the Sierra "Nevada in the winter of 1846.

INTERVIEW IIS24: Human endeavor and failure. Blunders, mistakes, ambition, greed - all of the elements. And if you call the rescue of the surviving parties a happy ending, it's a happy ending. But what about those that didn't make it Terrible, terrible.

Harold Schindler

INTERVIEW JK1: We're curious about people who've experienced hardship, who have gone through terrible ordeals. And certainly the Donner Party, you know, 87 people went through a crisis the like of which few human beings have ever faced. And we're curious about that. It can tell us something

1 Written by Rio Bums. © 1992 Steeplechase Films, Inc., reprinted with permission.

Sample page, script (two column), Lift Every Voice1

SERIES TITLE

I'LL MAKE ME A WORLD: A CENTURY OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN ARTS

NAME OF SHOW

EPISODE 1: LIFT EVERY VOICE

Van Peebles: People always talk about the—the down side of racism. There's an up side, too. The up side is that nobody thinks you're smart. They don't even know why they don't think you're smart. Don't woke 'em, let 'em slept. Just go ahead and do the deal you have to do. Racism offers great business opportunities if you keep your mouth shut.

Lower third: Melvin Van Peebles Filmmaker clips of Bert Williams -

Nobody

(hearing a few bars of Nobody)

When life seems full of clouds and rain

And lam full of nothing and pain

Who soothes mv thumping, bumping brain?

NOBODY.

lower third: Lloyd Brown Writer lower third: James Hatch Theater Historian

Stills of Bert Williams

LLOYD BROWN: Bert Williams combined the grace of a Charlie Chaplin, imagery and all, and at the same time with a very rich voice too. And so he—he was...wonderful comedy.

HATCH: He has a...(laughing) song where he's obviously explaining to his wife who the woman was that he was seen with. And the refrain chorus line is "She was a cousin of mine." He has that line, I would say, six or seven times in the song: "She was just a cousin of mine." Every time it's different. Every time it's a new interpretation, (v/o) The man was a genius.

NARRATION 1: In the earliest years of the 20"1 century, Bert Williams was the most successful black performer on the American stage. But each night, he performed behind a mask he hated: blackface.

Lower third:

Ben Vereen Performer

VEREEN (v/o): Bert Williams didn't want to black up. But socially during that time, he had to. And he realized that. He was a very intelligent man We have to hide our identity by putting on this mask, in order to get things said and done, (o/c) But we did it. We did it. And today we don't have to do it. But we cannot forget it.

1 Written by Sheila Curran Bernard; episode one of f'HMake Me A World. © 199S Blackside, Inc., reprinted with permission.

Was this article helpful?

0 0

Post a comment