Re-Creating The First Five Minutes of "There Will Be Blood"

"There Will Be Blood," is an amazing movie. One amazing piece is how captivating it is even in the first five minutes while there is not a single word spoken by the single character that we have seen. What follows is my attempt at re-creating those first five minutes of script from watching the movie, then I will put the first five minutes of the actual shooting script, it will be an interesting comparison.

Image result for there will be blood

Display

There Will Be Blood (white on black)

Ext. Desert - Day

Fade from black to desert with hills in the background. Ominous sound building slowly to high chaotic pitch. Cut.

Int. Mine Shaft

Pick sparks as it strikes the rock. A dark shaft just large enough to work in. He strikes again, and again, and again... Cut.

Int. Mine Shaft - Continuous

C.U. of him running a file along the blade. Pan up and he begins striking the rock again. Cut.

Int. Mine Shaft - Continuous

C.U. of him looking through the broken rock, looking up. Cut.

Int. Mine Shaft - Continuous

He climbs the ladder to the surface.

Ext. Desert - Evening

He huddles next to a small fire, with a small tent shaking in the wind.

Display Over Scene

1989
Cut.

Int. Mine Shaft - Another Day

C.U. of him hammering a chisel into the rock face. He spits on a broken piece of rock and rubs it. Cut.

Int. Mine Shaft - A Little Later

He picks up a stick of dynamite and places it into the rock face. He places his tools into a bucket attached to a rope to the surface. The fuse is lit and he begins to climb the ladder. Cut.

Ext. Mine Shaft - Continuous

He climbs out of the shaft and begins to pull on the rope. The tools are too heavy and he tries again. Cut.

Int. Mine Shaft - Continuous

The tools rise, and then fall. Cut.

Ext. Mine Shaft - Continuous

He takes back ahold of the rope and begins to pull again.

Int. Mine Shaft - Continuous

The bucket of tools is rising again.

Ext. Mine Shaft - Continous

Explosion. He drops the rope as he is covered in dust. He approaches the opening and begins down the ladder. A rung breaks and he falls, bouncing off the side of the rock face before landing at the bottom. Cut.

Int. Mine Shaft - Continuous

He is gasping, out of air laying on his back.


Truly, it is at this point that the movie really starts to get good, almost completely absent of words, the writer Paul Thomas Anderson is able to show us that the character has such a strong driving intention that there appears to be nothing that will even slow him down. But, that is for another time. Now, the shooting script from the first five minutes.


1  OVER EXTERIOR SHOT OF HUGE MOUNTAINS IN THE B.G., PURE DESERT IN THE F.G. MUSIC BUILDS FROM SMALL TO LOUD, VIOLENT CRESCENDO, THEN OUT.

TITLE:  There Will Be Blood

2  EXT. NEW MEXICO DESERT - DAY - 1898

CAMERA looks up a steep trail. Half the frame filled with a hill in close distance, the other half is sky...over the top of the hill we see a prospector's pick come up and then down...up and then down...up and then down...

ANGLE. BEHIND THE MAN WITH THE PICK.
DANIEL C. PLAINVIEW (late 30's here) is, with pick and ax, in the middle of the day, in 110 degree heat in New Mexico, searching for SILVER.

He has a shaft about fifteen feet deep at this point.
Nearby is a MULE and a CART. He digs and digs and digs.

FRONT ANGLE. CU. DANIEL'S FACE.
He continues.


CUT TO:

3  EXT. DESERT - EVENING

The MULE is pulling a cart filled with his prospector's supplies. He walks beside, across the very rough desert terrain. HOLD.

CUT TO:

4  EXT. MINE SHAFT - ANOTHER DAY

He's back at it again. The SHAFT IS NOW TWENTY FEET DEEP.

He hears something outside the SHAFT in between swings of the pick...

He listens...waits...continues with the work...but turns back and climbs up out of the SHAFT...

ANGLE, MOUTH OF THE SHAFT.
He climbs out and looks;

4A  His MULE has dropped dead in the heat. It is out like a light, turned over on it's side, the CART has fallen over with it...

He walks over, inspects, wipes his sweat off, takes a break for a minute and then goes back in the shaft.

CUT TO:

5  INT. SHAFT. LATER.

CU. Pick into earth once again.

CU. DANIEL. He sees something in the earth here.

His POV - IN THE ROCK. The clear tracing, glistening vein of a SILVER ORE CHAMBER.

HOLD ON HIS FACE. AND THE CAMERA EXAMINES CLOSELY THESE MINERALS IN THE ROCK. PLAY OUT FULL.

6  OUTSIDE THE SHAFT, LATER.
He unleashes the dead mule from the CART. and begins to LOAD IN MASSIVE CHUNKS OF ROCK, LEADED WITH SILVER ORE INTO THE CART.

He catches his breath. He wipes his face and he goes back into the SHAFT - but as he starts back down - somewhere between passing out and tripping -- he plunges - loosing all his balance, twists around and HEADS FEET FIRST STRAIGHT DOWN THE SHAFT WITH NO HOLD - AND LANDS AT THE BOTTOM -

BOTH HIS ANKLES SNAP TOWARDS EACH OTHER.

Hold. He passes out.


Wow! What a difference. There is so much style, it is almost like reading a novel. The other thing is the direction, there is so much direction. It would be really interesting to get earlier drafts and see how this script evolved. I am not even going to comment on the formatting (because I don't understand it yet).

It is clear to see that just reading this script is enjoyable in itself. It is definitely one that I am going to continue to study. You are welcome to join me at JeffreyAlexanderMartin.com.

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