Script thrown together in an hour and a half

Kas01

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May 24, 2018
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So this is an idea I had for a new Titanic movie based in large part on On A Sea of Glass (thus the title). Eventually I plan on fleshing this out through the Carpathia docking at New York on April 18, 1912. It's still very much a work in progress and I am by no means a screenwriter.


ON A SEA OF GLASS



BY



KAS01


FADE IN:


DARKNESS. The chattering of telegraph signals is all we can hear in the pure inky blackness, unsubtitled, rapid, and confused. A Morse enthusiast might pick up one letter in three. After a few dozen seconds, we hear the sound of metal SCREECHING, ice CRUMBLING, and one signal break through over all the others.


WIRELESS OPERATOR (OS): (signaling, unsubtitled) CQD MGY CQD MGY CQD MGY CQD MGY CQD MGY CQD MGY POSITION 41.44 N 50.24 W…


CUT TO:


POV: A MAN, lifebelt slowing him down, swimming toward an overturned lifeboat as we hear the WIRELESS OPERATOR’s signals get ever more disjointed but paradoxically louder and insistent. We hear something else over the man’s labored breathing: SCREAMING. A few hundred people. Possibly as many as 1500. THE MAN begins thrashing, holding his hands over his ears, squeezing his eyes closed, trying everything he can to block out the noise. As the screaming dies down, THE MAN goes limp.


FADE TO BLACK


SUPERIMPOSE: IT IS THE TURN OF THE TWENTIETH CENTURY. THE BRITISH WHITE STAR AND CUNARD LINES DOMINATE THE IMMIGRANT TRADE TO NORTH AMERICA. TO MAINTAIN NATIONAL PRESTIGE, WHITE STAR AND CUNARD ARE BUILDING THEIR SHIPS BIGGER, FASTER, MORE LUXURIOUS, AND SAFER THAN EVER BEFORE.


THE PRESS CALLS THEM PRACTICALLY UNSINKABLE.


FADE IN on a shipyard, unusually clean and packed with spectators. An observant person might or might not recognize the name Lusitania on the bow of the giant liner in the ways.


SUPERIMPOSE: CLYDEBANK, SCOTLAND. JUNE 7, 1906.


CLOSE on two men who look far too dour for the occasion. These are LORD PIRRIE (59) and THOMAS ANDREWS (33).


PIRRIE: What do you think of her, nephew?


ANDREWS: She’s a great triumph for John Brown and Company, Uncle, and for Cunard. (as Lusitania slides from her ways into the Clyde) For me, she’s a damn embarrassment.


PIRRIE: Language, boy.


ANDREWS: I’d like to see your face after a day at the slips.


PIRRIE: Fair enough.


ANDREWS (consulting pamphlet): Remind me of the figures for Adriatic again.


PIRRIE (from memory): 729 feet overall length, maximum breadth 73 feet, enclosing about 24,500 tons gross.


ANDREWS (reading from pamphlet): 787 feet overall, beam of 87 feet, enclosing 44,060 tons gross. We have a great deal of ground to catch up if we want to compete for mail contracts as well, assuming she can meet the Admiralty’s specifications.


PIRRIE: Assumptions are the mother of all foulups, nephew (crowd thins out, while walking). I should like to see how she handles in service. Parsons is charting new ground with his damn turbines.


ANDREWS: I see. Let Cunard make the first mistake?


PIRRIE: Indeed. Dominion Line will likely want new tonnage, but I doubt the keels will be laid before White Star takes them over. We run the tests there, then we see about competing with Cunard on their own turf.


ANDREWS: Ismay must be losing his marbles over this.


PIRRIE: Can’t lose one’s mind if one never had it.


ANDREWS: Point taken. How soon until we get started?


CUT TO:


A TIME-LAPSE MONTAGE of two ships being built almost in tandem, one in brilliant “virgin white” livery, the other in typical transatlantic black, INTERCUT with grainy footage of ocean liners clawing their way through rough seas.


FADE TO BLACK. THE CRASHING OF WAVES MORPHS SLOWLY BACK INTO THE SCREAMING OF HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE.


SUPERIMPOSE TITLE.
 

Kas01

Member
May 24, 2018
146
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Continuing on...


CUT TO:

AN OFFICE, lavishly appointed in late Victorian style. J. BRUCE ISMAY (46) is pacing behind his massive desk. ISMAY is a taciturn, solidly built footballer. He genuinely cares about people, but more often than not comes across as either taciturn or brash. It depends on the day, really.

SUPERIMPOSE: LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND. JANUARY 23, 1909.

MESSENGER (OS): Telegram for Mr. Ismay.

ISMAY (offhandedly): Enter. (After taking telegram and unfolding it, but before reading) Thank you, son.

THE MESSENGER (~16) departs wordlessly; ISMAY is just another guy on his route. The fact that ISMAY is the president of International Mercantile Marine and managing director of White Star Line does not register.

ISMAY (Waiting until the MESSENGER leaves, scanning message): Oh, bugger me!

CUT TO:

THE ATLANTIC OCEAN in the middle of winter, shrouded in fog. A SHIP’S WHISTLE sounds, but we see nothing. THE WHISTLE sounds again, and A MEDIUM-SIZED LINER appears out of the fog, twin screws churning behind it.

SUPERIMPOSE:

RMS REPUBLIC-40.26 N 69.46 W

0540 HOURS BRIDGE TIME

CUT TO:

RMS Republic’s BRIDGE. The Captain, INMAN SEALBY (47) is keeping watch alongside Chief Officer CROSSLAND (~40). Both are veteran seamen; the fog is unusual but not unheard of. CROSSLAND is eager to be off his graveyard shift watch. SEALBY stands like a rock on the bridge. They’re in a moderate sea and the QUARTERMASTER (mid-to-late 20s) continuously has to adjust rudder to stay on course.

SEALBY: Quartermaster, maintain course.

QUARTERMASTER: Maintain course, aye.

CROSSLAND is scanning the horizon on the STARBOARD BRIDGE WING.

SEALBY: Mr. Crossland, what do you see?

CROSSLAND (deadpan): Fog.

SEALBY opens his mouth to chew out CROSSLAND but is interrupted by a SHIP’S WHISTLE, higher pitched than Republic’s, off their PORT SIDE.

SEALBY (calmly, like an airline pilot): Full astern.

QUARTERMASTER: Full astern, aye.

VIBRATIONS rattle the camera as Republic reverses. The SHIP’S WHISTLE sounds again.

SEALBY crosses to the PORT BRIDGE WING. A SMALL LINER appears out of the fog-the Italian liner Florida. It’s much too close.

SEALBY: All ahead full. Close the watertight doors.

QUARTERMASTER: All ahead full, close watertight doors, aye.

SEALBY: Brace for impact.

Florida RAMS Republic. Crewmembers, SEALBY and CROSSLAND included, are THROWN DOWN to the deck by the impact.

CUT TO:

A THRONG OF REPORTERS surrounding ISMAY.

ISMAY (singling out a reporter): Yes.

REPORTER: Is the Republic in any immediate danger?

ISMAY: None whatsoever, but she remains in danger of foundering. Captain Sealby and a skeleton crew remain aboard her and will attempt to keep her afloat.

SECOND REPORTER: What of the Florida?

ISMAY: I’m not privy to that information. The last information I’ve gotten claims her passengers along with Republic’s passengers were taken off safely.

FIRST REPORTER: Were there any casualties?

ISMAY: I do regret to say that two people on Republic were killed in the collision. I don’t know about Florida. Reports indicate at least one dead, possibly as many as three, from the collision, but like I said, I’m not privy to that information.

THIRD REPORTER: What can you tell us about the evacuation?

ISMAY: I’m pleased to say that the evacuation of passengers was a total and resounding success. The White Star Line and myself would like to extend our deepest gratitude to the crews of Republic, Baltic, and the Italian liner Florida. We will keep you updated as further events transpire.

ISMAY leaves and returns to his OFFICE as the REPORTERS continue to SHOUT QUESTIONS. We find that ANDREWS (35) is already seated across from ISMAY’s desk, with several empty shot glasses lined up in front of him.

ISMAY: I hadn’t figured you for the drinking type.

ANDREWS: If I don’t, Uncle will disown me as an Irishman. (Pours another glass) I have to say that he was right about the lifeboats. “A lifeboat is worthless without a ship to launch it from”, he said.

ISMAY sits and pours himself a glass.

ISMAY: It’s been just a month since you laid down Olympic’s keel.

ANDREWS: Of course.

ISMAY: In your estimation, could she take a liner broadside?

ANDREWS: Once she’s complete? She could take a dreadnought midships and the dreadnought would be worse off.

ISMAY: After this, I’m damn impressed with your work.

ANDREWS: I’d be worried if you weren’t.

ISMAY: You’ve finished the work on the powerplant?

ANDREWS: Absolutely. Triple-screw, combination machinery. Same type we’ve put into Laurentic with a higher power output.

ISMAY: She can compete with the Cunarders?

ANDREWS: Absolutely. She won’t win any Blue Ribands but if she’s fired hard, she can keep up with Lusitania and Mauretania with no issue. (downs another shot) Another two months and we’ll have Titanic’s keel laid.

ISMAY: What did you disagree with regarding the lifeboats?

ANDREWS: How many ought to be carried. I proposed 48, in order to get the passengers off in one lift.

ISMAY: And your uncle?

ANDREWS: 20. Possibly as many as 24. Wouldn’t be nearly enough crew for all the boats, so it’d be much easier to take them off in two or three lifts.

ISMAY: Certainly seems impracticable to use 48.

ANDREWS: Absolutely. Would clutter the deck too much in an emergency.

ISMAY (nodding): Certainly. Always good to discuss these things with you, Andrews.

ANDREWS: Very good, sir. Good day to you.

ISMAY: Good day to you as well.
 
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