Friday, September 16, 2005

The Ghost and the Darkness

I'm on a reading binge (which is better than a Cookies n' Cream ice cream binge. Edy's Grand Churned Light. Heaven on Earth).

I just finished reading the softcover copy of Goldman's script.

I'm amazed. Goldman throws all them dern rules under the bus.

There's not one INT. or EXT. in the script.

He uses parantheticals like Twinkerbell sprinkles fairy dust.

There are pages of action with no dialogue.

There are pages of CUT TO's.

There are lines that are totally unfilmmable. "These three will be friends forever."

He bolds. Italicizes. Underlines (don't know how to do that here). CAPITALIZES.


It's magnificent.

And it took Goldman more than a dozen years and twists of fate and reversals of fortune and just being in the right place at the right time to get this to the screen. Even if it hadn't been a true story, Goldman makes me believe.

To think, it coulda been Kevin Costner and not Val Kilmer.


Scott the Reader said...

Well, it's easy not to follow the rules if you're William Goldman (who I love -- but Ghost and the Darkness isn't his best movie. Did the script work better than the film did?)

PJ McIlvaine said...

Yes, the script was SO much better than the final product. Just didn't care for Kilmer.

Anonymous said...

I recently read an interview with Goldman (from the early eighties) and he said that he writes two versions of his scripts: one to sell, which is full of things that can't be filmed but which reads well; and one that *can* actually be filmed but is more boring to read.