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  • Well, I did this in the beginning.

  • Before you watch this, watch the show.

  • I'm Carmel Non Johnny.

  • I'm Emily V.

  • Gordon and I am Lee Eisenberg.

  • And we are talking about an episode of Little America called the Rock, which we all wrote together.

  • $65,000 for this.

  • It's just you.

  • Well, yeah, it's only 65,000 but you see the rock right?

  • Little America is an anthology series that is eight stories that are based on the actual true story immigrants who have come to America that are dramatized by us and a team of other people.

  • This episode is about a guy who lives in Yonkers with his family.

  • They live in apartment, and he wants to buy his first house in states, and he's looking with a realtor and he can't afford anything.

  • And he finally finds a property that has an 8000 square foot rock on it.

  • And he's like, All right, I'll get rid of the rock and then I'll build my dream house.

  • Him and his family are from Iran, and this episode is really about this man trying to defeat this indestructible rock.

  • It is not about Dwayne the Rock Johnson.

  • It would've been great if we've got to stand there for a whole half hour.

  • We blow up the rock.

  • Great time to invest right here in young.

  • It's exactly like New York, but less loud and much cheaper.

  • The city that sleeps.

  • I think this scene represented one beat going from I've got a great credit score.

  • I've got money.

  • My credit score is 710 being like, Oh, this is gonna be much harder than I thought and it's on Lee 610,000 a t.

  • End of that beat.

  • Finding a solution.

  • $65,000 for this way.

  • Want to show with this sequence one what his problem is, but also his attitude.

  • As each house he goes, Thio, you see that he's like, That's okay, I can work with it.

  • I can work with this.

  • I can work with this and that sort of who he is.

  • This is where we would I think I know.

  • I wrote, at least maybe the first version of this that Ronnie's described as forties poofy hair mile a minute.

  • And then in the later version, Ronnie is described as forties poofy hair uncomfortable smile.

  • Things have shifted a little bit.

  • This is the place bang for your buck on Lee.

  • Going up, Up, up.

  • What I I hate doing in any draft of anything is describing someone physically connect something.

  • Yes, please.

  • Poofy hair is a physical description.

  • Right, But to meet movie here signify so much about a human being.

  • Sure.

  • I think you always want something.

  • You can kind of instantly picture what that person would be like.

  • It's also, you know, she's a realtor.

  • Now.

  • We sort of have an image of what a Realtor is like in our heads and started this description sort of plays into that.

  • This is the 13 bedrooms, two bags.

  • Oh, my gosh.

  • There was the most charming addict with this beautiful floral paper.

  • You're not gonna believe it, by the way.

  • I'm incredibly lazy.

  • Ronnie is my mother's name.

  • And so what?

  • You're trying to come up with character names.

  • You're like, OK, well, Ronnie, we'll figure it out.

  • We'll figure it out later.

  • Well, it's office and I could be my mom's name.

  • That's great.

  • So basically the original draft, what we had was he's going in different properties and each one is slightly cheaper, but well outside of his rage.

  • And we just thought it would be a funny montage sequence of him, like tempering his expectations every scene.

  • And we had sort of a funny beat in each house that he goes to see the houses shrink with, the prices shrink until it just becomes a rock that he can finally afford.

  • However, the reality of budgeting and scheduling meant that we had to compress it into one that one house.

  • What happens when you start looking at a production schedule is you guys want to the montage where you're seeing eight different houses, or do you want to do 15 other scenes?

  • I guess we should maybe haven't ending to the show right on the page because it's so short.

  • And then each time that there's a sentence that says a different place.

  • I think we also converted it from square feet two meters.

  • When he thinks about his place in Iran, he probably thinks of it in meters and not in square feet.

  • That's the kind of attention Thio.

  • Eventually I wrote the script and then come on.

  • Emily came in and said, You know what if it was meters way spent the money on for these reasons, I'm after so yeah, it says here that we were going to shoot in a mansion.

  • Now that means that you have to pay for rent a mention.

  • Find a mansion you have to pay the neighbor's and asked the neighbors permission to the other mansions.

  • Mansion people don't come cheap.

  • And so I think that was one of the big rewrites was it wasn't imagine anymore.

  • It was kind of a modest house, comfortable but not a mansion.

  • From a grounded standpoint, he probably knows that he can't afford a mansion.

  • And so it was like not everyone's dream house is a mansion.

  • His dream house in the show is really nice, but it's not like he didn't choose to live in Versailles.

  • He was gonna live in a you know, 1000 square foot house is how many.

  • How many is that in Meters 600?

  • He's also ripped out from a real estate magazine a picture of his dream house.

  • He's always kind of looking at this picture that you got from the magazine, as this is the house I want to build for my family go to me.

  • That was such a powerful image.

  • This is obviously a guy who sees the world as it should be, not as it is on the page, could say, Oh, he keeps talking about his dream house.

  • But until you see that dream house personified and seeing what the reality is of his situation, where he can afford this one, this one's too expensive.

  • This one has a squatter in it.

  • I want to buy my room.

  • The listing agent said The squatter will be gone by next week with Farrah as he loves numbers.

  • You know I love you.

  • By sundown, there goes to SUNY Lehman, 3.65 g p.

  • A.

  • He's obsessed with bottom, tremendous pride in himself, and his family is also a musician.

  • Like for you to credit score.

  • I'm a credit score of 7 10 and my credit score is 710.

  • My dad always knows exactly what his credit scores and I knew what mine waas.

  • But it was very bad.

  • No, it's not.

  • Whoa, You should see what price Gordon meters.

  • It's much more sometimes when you do a first pass of something, I'll see like an older person would be like Nah, dawg, And I'm like, Yep, that's me.

  • That's me putting myself in there.

  • Let's go back and back this out.

  • Not everybody can talk in my voice.

  • The house is very close from the street, and although the walk to the curb is quick, ultimately will become a nuisance.

  • And for these reasons, when I'm kind of thinking of characters, I'm always trying to think of them on the phone.

  • One thing I heard from some of what they sound like when they're calling to cancel cable.

  • Some people would be apologizing the whole time for causing any trouble.

  • Some people will be trying to get his money going in already angry.

  • That's correct.

  • The way I do it is I think, about what sounds like at a wedding, a funeral and the grocery store perfect thing.

  • The other advantage we had is that we had, like all these interview transcripts from the actual person that this is based on and that person who is based on its such a specific personality.

  • It really helped us in writing these characters because because we could always go back to the original cadences of the original character of the original prison.

  • Don't worry.

  • We'll find you a better place than you had in Iran.

  • This is an interesting thing when the realtor says we'll find you a better home than you had in Iran and he sort of give this.

  • You know, people think I escaped the run.

  • I had a good life, great to us.

  • That was a very important little moment.

  • And if you could see it's completely unchanged from the first draft to the shooting draft, because to us that was a little bit the thesis of the show, which was There's a certain way that immigrant stories that portrayed in pop culture and that's not what we're gonna d'oh.

  • People always think that an immigrant to America is escaping something and running from something horrifying to come to America, and that is not the case with this character.

  • That's not the case with this family.

  • This guy had an amazing life.

  • Hey, just wants to get having amazing life in a new country.

  • That's it.

  • I came to America to provide my family knew and excellent opportunities.

  • It's also the American perspective.

  • I mean, the Realtor feel you must have run away from something Iran was was a problem, and it's dangerous and there's terrorists in all these things, So you must have escaped there to come here.

  • Getting his point of view on that was really important to us.

  • That's great.

  • I'm sorry I didn't mean anything by it.

  • It's okay.

  • I like this little bit here because it's not really essential to the story.

  • It's really my favorite scenes and movies and TV shows.

  • The ones that really remember are those, like little moments that aren't essential.

  • You could take that out and people wouldn't really ask for it.

  • But the fact that it's there, it just draws people's attention to it more.

  • There was my choice, so please don't feel sorry.

  • I tried to cut down on like monologues like You don't have a chance of dialogue because in real life people don't stop very often and give speeches.

  • I think that you have two condom modulate how long you're doing it so that it feels like he's a little bit offended.

  • He's probably has probably happened before.

  • To me, the main thing is him saying this was my choice and getting to that as fast as possible.

  • was the most important part, right?

  • Right?

  • Exactly.

  • People think I escaped the run.

  • I had a good life, a great life.

  • I came to America to provide.

  • My family knew and excellent opportunities.

  • There was my choice.

  • Well, the other thing that happens is, honestly, when you're sending in the script to somebody, you have to cut down extra lines.

  • That's the last thing every writer does.

  • Is trying, like remove lines to make it look a little shorter than it is because of this season.

  • It's 40 pages.

  • That's gonna be a lot of money.

  • Same exact script with just some words taking out 35 a lot more reasonable if the feeling when you could believe just a little And then one page comes up.

  • Oh my God, you can't go down Oh, like I'm surprised that we let one word go to the next day and the words, What period?

  • Here and then this is gone, and then you could take out It's not staying.

  • Just waken a four dimensional way didn't direct this episode.

  • But even as writers, you're instructing the director and everyone what your attempted So first Ronnie's car pulls into frame.

  • We're not seeing anything, and then the car comes into it, then turn to reveal.

  • And so that moment.

  • So you're kind of on your characters and then turn to reveal means we're reversing the shot.

  • And now we see what they're looking at.

  • And what they're looking at is the massive rock.

  • It's just you.

  • Well, yeah, it's only 65,000 but you see the rock, right?

  • I think, as Lee said, as long as you can convey what you're trying to, you don't want to overdo it.

  • Especially, I think in TV you get more leeway to direct in your I also think it's like if the director said, I don't want to turn to reveal what if we gotta float it in?

  • That's a conversation and you see the way that looks and we're storytellers, and so you could tell us what we're telling stories on the page, and then the whole 250 people are going to take it, and then they're going to interpret it in a different way, so many different ways to do it.

  • You see Iraq.

  • I see an opportunity when we're saying in all caps, massively overshadowed by the massive rock.

  • This is the main antagonist of the episode.

  • This is gonna be his obstacle.

  • So we really want to make sure that someone who's reading it understands this is the big moment spatters you're not just addressing This is an important character, right?

  • I think also that for sale sign.

  • I think we bowled it because it's gonna be a sign.

  • So for props is just like, hey, make sure that you get assigned Yes, because they could just look through and say they aren't gonna get that.

  • Gotta get that, Yeah, This is where we were.

  • I'm going to make an offer of $64,000 no more.

  • You know, he's a hustler.

  • He's a negotiator, He's a businessman.

  • This property cost $65,000 1st we have This is where we will live, and he's really kind of taken with this and then he can't help himself and says he's gonna make an offer for $64,000.

  • He's obsessed with are taking the episode.

  • And so we love this idea that in the same way that the people are negotiating with sharks, that in this moment he's gonna negotiate, and he didn't get with Ronnie Pickens.

  • Oh, every character is the euro of their own story.

  • So many writers just treat characters that have fewer lines, like they don't matter.

  • When I read scripts to hire writers, that's the first thing I think starting in a way is the hardest part of the script.

  • Like you're staring at an empty pages.

  • Just be any talk yourself out of it.

  • Yeah, I think people get caught up and I got to get this perfect.

  • Until we thinking back to that, I'm not sure there is a beauty and finishing something.

  • It's gonna suck.

  • The first draft is always gonna suck.

  • So finish it and then you can go back and fix it, because then you finished it.

Well, I did this in the beginning.

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クメール・ナンジャニ、エミリー・V・ゴードン、リー・アイゼンバーグが「リトル・アメリカ」の脚本を語る (Kumail Nanjiani, Emily V. Gordon & Lee Eisenberg Break Down the ‘Little America’ Script)

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    林宜悉 に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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