Freedom Writers Opening Scene by taoyni


									                                   The opening scenes
Freedom Writers Opening Scene – ‘War has been declared.’
Setting: time/place                             Dialogue: (include voiceover)
    Street fighting / turf wars                    „…First day of school.. I saw the war
    1992 Long Beach                                   for the first time‟ „They call my people
    Freshman Year 1994                                a gang because we fight for our own.‟..
    Suburban Street (Eva‟s house)                     „War has been declared‟. (Eva
    School – Wilson High School                       voiceover during childhood and
                                                    Eva‟s Dad speaking in Spanish.
                                                    „ Since voluntary integration we‟ve lost
                                                       over 75% of our strongest students.
                                                       (Margaret to Erin)
                                                    „I wouldn‟t wear them [pearls] to
                                                    „I think the real fight should happen in
                                                       the classroom.‟ (Erin)
Characters                                      Costumes
    Eva as a child and as a teenager               Ordinary street wear
    Eva‟s Dad                                      Riot gear
    Police and Rioters                             Erin – dressed professional - pearls
    Erin Grewell and Margaret Campbell
      (Head of English)
    Eva‟s gang
    Asian shooter
Mis en scene (everything within the scene,      Diegetic Sounds (from within the scene)
including props)                                    Gun shots
     Destroyed cars                                Fire/flames
     Fire                                          Sirens
     Guns                                          Beeping horns
     Boxing gloves (Eva as a child)                Helicopter
     Barbie doll (white and black)                 Punching
     Journal                                       Screaming
                                                    Baby crying
                                                    Eva‟s father‟s voice
Camera shots/movements/angles                   Non-diegetic sounds (from outside the scene)
   1. Black screen/ screenwriting ‘LA                     News reports „
       riots 1992‟                                        Rap music with report
      Live news footage – montage of events               Screaming
   from the riot (panning of fires, shooting,             Calls to police
   helicopter shot of wall of fire, Asian man             People talking outside school
   shooting at police)                                       office‟

   2. Yva’s childhood sequence Father
      teaching Eva boxing
      Doorstep, drive by street shooting,
      Father being taken by police.
   3. Present (1994) Eva and boyfriend on
      street, chased by rival gang, Eva being
      accosted by rival gang at school.

   4. School office – Close ups, over the
      shoulder shots, of Erin and Margaret
      in conversation.

Any other techniques which stood out to you     lighting
e.g. editing techniques

What we have learned from the opening scene: Setting, Eva’s background, Erin’s
background and current situation.

    1994 (with flashbacks to childhood and 1992)
    Long Beach California,
    Woodrow Wilson High School
         - part of re- integration programme (previously a white school)
         - 75% of best students left as a result
    Post 1992 La Riots
    racial tension – People of different ethnic groups see life as a war
         - a racially mixed society – gangs – affiliated through race 9Latino
            (Spanish), African Amerians, Asians…
    Corrupt police ? at least in the eyes of gangs

Scene 2: Welcome to Freshman English
First day of school
    Pan of the school yard – graffiti/ student cleaning off graffiti. Close up of
      Erin, (smiling)
    Erin goes to the „honours classroom‟ Pan (point of view shot) of the classroom
      (signwriting over board „Honours Class‟ , Whiteboard, White clean walls, tidy.
    Erin walked to her room (contrast) blackboard, c.u. broken blinds, graffitied
      desks. C.u. of Erin‟s face (disappointment)
    Students enter: introductions (Eva disrespect for Erin) and fight between
Erin Gruwell
    Father worked for civil rights movement
    From Newport Beach
    First Year Teacher - she is teaching to make a difference (fight for student‟s
      rights) „The battle begins in the classroom.‟
    Margaret sees her as idealistic
    First day of class – disappointment (poor equipment)
    Did not understand the seating arrangements by ethnicity and moving students
      caused them to stop coming to class.

Eva Benitez
    Latino, raised in gang life. Taught to box and defend herself at a young age.
    Father in prison. Father was respected by their people.
    Loyal to her „people‟. E.g. Dairy shooting. Eva defended Paco (boyfriend), even
     though she knew the truth. Was expected to testify in court.
    Has no respect for white people

Relationship between Eva Benitez and Erin Gruwell
    First encounter in the classroom when Erin is calling the roll, cut to - “It‟s
      Ayva, not Eva” c.u. of Eva showing anger.
    Poetry lesson. Erin teaching Tupac for poetry. Eva, angrily. „You‟ve no idea what
      you‟re doing up there do you? You ever been a teacher before?

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