My Ideal Titanic Film


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Nov 5, 2006
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My idea for a film is Very different from what hollywood has created. Instead of focusing on fictional characters primarily, it will show the ships conception, birth, launch, and maiden voyage. The end will have the inquiry and then the discovery of the wreck. Heres how the film would start:

1.We see Bruce Ismay and Lord Pirrie discussing the Mauretania and Lusitania, and then the dream is born...
2.The drafting of the ship with Alexander Carlisle, and the beginning of construction...
3.The launch of Olympic, and then the maiden voyage. Then comes the Atlantic Storm with Olympic, and last minute modifications to Titanic, and then the launch day.
4.The fitting out, the hawke collision, along with the repairs of the ship, and postpoing of the maiden voyage of Titanic.
5.The sea Trials of Titanic, and then the docking and final touches to the ship at southampton.
6.The maiden voyage, the docking in france, then queenstown, along with the Reverand getting off, and crewmembers sending letters, some passenger interaction, and of course...premonitions!
7.The days before the collision, church services, Alfred Rushes final birthday...
8.Warnings ignored,the californian, and the final night...
9.The collision, Thomas Andrews inspecting the damage, the launch of the rockets, the californian stays put, Carpathia and Olympic get distress warnings.
10.The launch of the first lifeboats, contrasts with Murdoch and Lightoller. The collapses, the final lifeboats, panic, archibald butt and other passengers, and crew doing their final things aboard the ship.
11.The splitting in two, the final plunge, and the waiting, and(of course)Molly Brown and ruth beckers bravery. Haunting lifeboat stories.
12.Being picked up by Carpathia, makeshift bunks, the speddens provide care, and Olympic wanting to rendesvous with Carpathia, Californian looks for survivors.
13.The arrival to New York,launch of the lifeboats, and the inquiries.
14.The Olympic mutiny, refits, and Britannics improvements and launch.
15.The 1934 collision with the Nantucket lightship, and ghostly memories of Titanic...
16.Scrapping of Olympic, Cunard-White Star Merger.
17.The desire to discover Titanic, failed discoveries, and ballard finding the boiler, and a year later, the first view of the ship by the human eye up close in Alvin...

So, pretty good idea? No? Your opinions will be respected and responded to.
 
Feb 18, 2006
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Tricky, could be a combination of ANTR and the better documentaries. Be great if it were told straightforward. If there has to be a "fictional" element, why not from the view of one (or more) of the ship's crew over the years, kind of the life of both. It wouldn't even have to an invented character, Titanic carried quite a few interesting people, Second Officer Lightoller springs to mind. Or maybe flesh out some of the unknowns in the crew? They'd be in the best position to know about Our Lady.
 

Jason D. Tiller

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While it may be a good idea for a film, keep in mind that it would only appeal to the Titanic community and not to the general public. Plus, a lot of detail and background history would need to be included when focusing on her birth and the various events leading up to the disaster, and the aftermath, rather than just a mere mention of them.

But, by the time it's all finished it would be several hours long. You'd need at least a few intermissions in between, since I don't know anyone who'd want to sit for that long without a break; no matter how much they are interested in Titanic.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>So, pretty good idea? No? <<

For those of us who love the real history, such a film would be a dream come true. Unfortunately, as Jason said, it would take several hours to even begin to do justice to it all. It might work well as a miniseries. The problem is that the general public seems to like sappy love stories and improbable sex scenes in places that would make the authors of the Kama Sutra wince.
 
Feb 18, 2006
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I fear Michael is right, esp about the love story ^_^ sigh. The 1953 film did have a different take, the end, not beginning, of a relationship.
It would work best as a miniseries, I bet.
 
May 3, 2005
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Gabriel-

How about starting with the BBC Interview with Boxhall in 1962 , then a flash back to pick up where you began ? Or maybe an actor portraying Boxhall could continue the story in flashbacks....something in the manner of "Old Rose" ?
 
May 3, 2005
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>>The 1953 film did have a different take, the end, not beginning, of a relationship.<<

Or maybe it (the 1953 film) could have had another different take and the beginning of a relationship - Annette and Gifford ?
 

Inger Sheil

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The Boxhall idea is a good one, Robert. I'm also partial to the idea of the story being told through a revolving viewpoint centering on the deck officers - an idea the late Ted Dowding (nephew of Clear Cameron) was quite keen on. He had some fairly well developed ideas about points at which they could interact with the entire crew and all three classes of passengers. They were quite a diverse group in terms of personality and background, and their different characters, outlooks and fates would make for a fascinating focal point.

Another good idea a friend of mine had for an opening scene would be a sequence where James Moody cycles out to Netley Abbey to visit Lightoller, who - having left the Oceanic the previous December - is anticipating being assigned to the Titanic. Moody himself is looking forward to spending summer on the Oceanic, having weathered what he termed a 'rotten winter' on the Atlantic. He is also hoping to shortly go on vacation in Paris with a friend. On the way back to the Oceanic, stalled by the coal strike, he is caught in a sudden downpour...

All this is based on Moody's own letters - although he didn't name the person who he and one of his Oceanic shipmates cycled out to take tea with that day, it's better than even odds that it was Lightoller, of whom Moody thought a great deal. He was very disgruntled about getting caught in the rain shower.

Pitman is on leave when he receives notification of his reasignment, as is Boxhall (visiting relatives in Ireland, I believe). Harold Lowe has done back to back voyages on the Tropic and the Belgic, and the crew was fractious on the last voyage - having proved himself a 'smart young officer' as one source put it, he joins the group as the outsider, a hawsepipe officer who knows none of these men and has never served on the Atlantic run, although he has a wealth of experience elsewhere.

Joining the ship in Belfast...seeing it through its trials...a colourful scene (again, based on Moody's letters) when the dressed her the morning they arrived in Southampton...then the shakeup in the bridge hierarchy with Wilde brought aboard and Blair bumped off altogether.

If romance is deemed a necessary element, there's plenty of scope - Boxhall with his girlfriend in far away Australia and Lowe engaged. Murdoch and Lightoller are married to interesting women, and there's Wilde's tragic story (and I believe that was one of the great love stories connected with the ship). I don't know much about the movements of Moody's sweetheart, and doubt she visited the ship, but as that's a gap it lends itself to interesting dramatic conjecture.

Sometimes it would be necessary, if anything, to keep the script from overly-ominious/obvious forshadowing...Wilde's letter, and some comments Moody made in his correspondence might be a bit too unsubtle. Although handled well, could be pulled off.

And that's just the opening scenes...
 
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sharon rutman

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Sorry the flashback idea has been milked dry so there's no point in doing it again. How about seeing the disaster from the point of view of the Carpathia for a change? The ship and the iceberg has also been milked dry so wouldn't it be refreshing to see the disaster from the viewpoint of the rescue ship for a change?
 
Feb 18, 2006
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For that matter, what about the Californian? Whether or not that ship was near the stricken Titanic, Californian too gives a important viewpoint, the men not realizing that this was a night the world would change....
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>For that matter, what about the Californian?<<

ANTR anyone?

What would be refreshing is that if this affair was shown from the viewpoints of the people on the Californian as they spoke to it in their testimony, affidavits, and personal recollections. Sadly, as radioactive as the Californian Incident is in the Titanic Community, producers might be a bit leery of touching it!

No matter how objective they tried to be, the hate mail would be eye watering!
 
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sharon rutman

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How about a movie covering the AFTERMATH of the disaster? we could see the huge crowds gathering at the White Star offices in NY and Southampton, huge crowds lining the pier as the Carpathia enters New York Harbor, and of course, the inquiries. These things are never ever taken into consideration. All Titanic movies, good, bad or indiferent follow the same pat story line--ship is used as a backdrop for a love story or some dysfunctional family melodrama. Ship then hits iceberg and sinks. Carpathia picks up survivors. CUT! End of story.
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>How about a movie covering the AFTERMATH of the disaster?<<

I could go for that! I don't know how much can be done with the inquires however. The transcripts cover over 2000 pages of testimony that's about as exciting to read as it is to watch paint dry. I think about the only attempt that would really do the inquiries any justice and be historically accurate would make for a lengthy miniseries.
 
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sharon rutman

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Lots of other courtroom dramas have been very successful--what about the Caine Mutiny and Inherit the Wind which is being revived on Broadway starring Brian Deheny and Christopher Plummer? They're not boring. Wouldn't it be fun to watch Ismay squirm during the New York Inquiry at the Waldoff-Astoria?
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>They're not boring.<<

I'm sure they're not. Scriptwriters are paid to make sure it happens that way. I've seen the Caine Mutiny and it has it's moments. The problem lies with trying to do something with a real courtroom proceeding. The O.J. Simpson trial...some of which I watched because nothing better was on...was a real sleeper. Especially when the opposing sides were going back and forth with nitpicking motions.

>>Wouldn't it be fun to watch Ismay squirm during the New York Inquiry at the Waldoff-Astoria?<<

Wouldn't bother me in the least. Might be just as entertaining to watch a few other people squirm!
 
Feb 18, 2006
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"All Titanic movies, good, bad or indifferent follow the same pat story line--ship is used as a backdrop for a love story or some dysfunctional family melodrama. Ship then hits iceberg and sinks. Carpathia picks up survivors. CUT! End of story." All true, but what of a version that downplays the fate aspect, no cliches, no talk of Fate, no cataclysmic family problems, just a family or couple that happens to be on a ship that sinks. "Psalm at Journey's End" takes this approach, it could be about any tragic ship, not necessarily Titanic.
 
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sharon rutman

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I'd love to make a documentary FOR WOMEN ONLY on the Titanic focusing on female passengers, the impact on the suffrage movement, female writers, female researchers and so forth. No guys need apply! You've all had your say and now it's finally our turn!
 
Jul 9, 2000
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>>I'd love to make a documentary FOR WOMEN ONLY on the Titanic focusing on female passengers,<<

I'd like to make one for everyone and without discrimination. Focus on the whole of the events and their impact on all of this history which followed. Make it a multipart series as needed to do justice to it all.
 
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sharon rutman

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Sorry Michael, but the sad truth is that all the major Titanic documentaries are totally dominated by male scientists, male researchers, male writers, male producers and directors, male technicians and a solid male point of view for much too long. I think it's time to level the playing field and give neglected females who love the Titanic as much as the men do their say. The defense rests.
 
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