Our Town - Special Effects Draft
Thornton Wilder’s Classic - developed for the screen by
Industrial Light and Magic.
To join the recent trend in cinema for enhanced storytelling.
FADE IN :
Blackness. Then a hint of green becomes EARTH. It lies across an expanse of space. Richly colored. Fertile.
A GIGANTIC SUN cuts into frame.
After a few beats, the town of Grover’s Corners, 1913, sweeps on screen in a single WIPE. As it does, the town’s citizens, dazzling silver emanations, slowly become flesh-like and begin their day’s routines.
Letters push towards us--
Act One: Daily Life
A bolt of aspic-like gel rolls out of the sky. It contains a globular fetal mass and lands by Dr. Frank Gibbs’s house. The fetal mass slowly transforms into the adult Stage Manager. He gets to his feet.
Joe Crowell Jr. comes by delivering his newspapers. He greets and chats briefly with Dr. Gibbs.
Stage Manager: That’s young Joe Crowell Jr. And Doc Gibbs. Joe grew up here to become an outstanding scholar in high school and college. But he went off to fight in the war.
MONTAGE of the short life of Joe Crowell Jr. concluding with him single-handedly blowing up forty-two Fokker monoplanes in a spectacular late night raid.
Milkman Howie Newsome arrives in a cart drawn by his 17-year-old horse, Bessie, and delivers milk to Dr. Gibbs.
Howie stops Dr. Gibb’s son George and Mrs. Webb’s daughter Emily, and the three sit on the milk cart looking out at the sky and pondering the meaning of the universe.
FULL SHOT: The universe swirls about as we ride through several galaxies until we are sucked into a black hole, which takes us out the other end and back in time to the day Howie the milkman regretted touching Mrs. Gibbs inappropriately.
Act Two: Love and Marriage
EXT. RADIANT MEADOW - DAY
Three years later on the day George Gibbs and Emily Webb are to be married. They frolic about the meadow.
Suddenly, Morgan’s Drugstore heaves up out of the ground in front of them. They see their younger selves inside the day they had their first ice-cream and soda together. The Older George and Emily try to tell the younger about life, but the Younger Emily gets an ice cream headache, and runs home sobbing.
An earthquake tears into the wheat field around her causing great fissures and suggesting that cataclysmic things can occur even if you’re having an ice-cream and soda.
The Older George and Emily run to the closest doorway for protection.
Morgan saves his chocolate malt machine.
Act Three: Death
EXT. CEMETARY - DUSK
Nine years later. Emily has passed on. Observing her own funeral, Emily asks to return to the day of her12th birthday. She sees her mother and father, except that they cannot hear her; and Emily has to send poltergeist signs to them: throwing the ice box across the room and pretending to hack off her own head, until they recognize her.
Emily finally agrees to leave her 12th birthday. Wings grow boldly from her lower back; and as they flap, they wipe away decades of dust from Grover’s Corners, revealing it for the first time Newark, New Jersey.