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  • I'm Lulu on.

  • I'm the writer and director of the Farewell, and today we're gonna look at a couple drafts of the script you probably don't want.

  • Theo scene we're gonna look at today is a scene that takes place in a wedding photography studio between Billy and 99 which is Chinese for grandmother and in the background, the bride and groom are having their photograph taken.

  • One of the main things we wanted to establish was the relationship between Billy and her grandmother.

  • Nine I and, you know, at the same time, we wanted it to be really visual, even though it's a dialogue heavy scene.

  • I wanted to make sure that we were always looking at something interesting on screen and reminded that there is a wedding that is supposed to be the focus of the story, even though, for Billy, her mind is clearly on the impending loss of her grandmother.

  • Here is a version of the Chinese script.

  • I speak both languages, and I understand both languages, but I don't write or read Chinese, so I don't really know what any of this says, but as you can tell, the formatting is very different.

  • Instead, of having this indented dialogue that is traditional for American or Western scripts.

  • I guess the dialogue here is written more like in prose.

  • This says 99 that I know.

  • And then here is her dialogue I'm seeing now that they've retained the brackets, meaning that this is in Chinese.

  • I think the biggest challenge in writing a bilingual script for me what I hear in my head is not what I have the ability to write down on the page.

  • I hear it in my head and Chinese, and I'm translating it and writing it down in English.

  • And then the translator would have to take this English and translate it to Chinese.

  • My mom, she did a lot of work with me on this where she would read through the Chinese dialogue and asked me, Is this what you heard in your head?

  • Or she would say It sounds very formal.

  • This doesn't seem like the way that nigh nigh speaks to you.

  • We would make corrections that way.

  • I would tell her what I actually heard, and then she would go into the document and change it.

  • We had professional translators and they had their versions And then I would have this side version from my mother.

  • I had no way of distinguishing between them.

  • I think that thes folded lines are the scene headings.

  • This is Billy here.

  • This is no no nanny that's in English.

  • It's phonetically spelled out.

  • I mean, you can see this was very challenging for me because I don't read Chinese.

  • But this was given to the actors to read so that we could cast them.

  • I couldn't correct it on the page.

  • I had to correct it once I heard them say it at a table, read or even on set.

  • So before we started developing the script, I actually did an episode of this American life.

  • So for a long time, I just called it untitled.

  • Ta l this American Life project.

  • I originally wrote all of the Chinese dialogue in I talents.

  • You'll see and later drafts that I actually changed it to brackets because the italics air a little bit confusing.

  • I'm kind of o C.

  • D.

  • So I really like consistency throughout a script.

  • So it just became easier to create brackets around any dialogue that is meant to be smoking in Mandarin.

  • The name of the main character.

  • Funny coincidence was Nora and I don't remember why I named her Nora, and this was way before I cast Aqua Fina, and that was a very weird coincidence.

  • I think that the main reason I changed the name to Billy was because Nora is a difficult name to pronounce in Chinese.

  • And so I wanted to have a name that sounded the same in English as in Chinese.

  • It would.

  • So this is the final shooting scripts in the earlier drafts.

  • A lot of these conversations happened in different scenes.

  • Nine.

  • I had multiple conversations with Billy, you know, here you see, it's nine Eyes Apartment and then another conversation happens in a car.

  • In the final film, I convinced all of the conversations that Billy and Nine I have in tow one scene at a wedding studio, and this is the main scene that you have the dialogue between nine I and Billy.

  • This is nine.

  • I complaining about the wife in this first draft, she says.

  • What is wrong with this girl?

  • There's a part of Billy that feels like if she knew why this wedding was put together, she might have a little bit more appreciation, you know, even here, Nora is defending Ami the Bride or Eiko the bride.

  • Her name also changed at some point.

  • And then here she Billy says, she seems really sweet.

  • So that was one thing that I kept the same from the first draft.

  • The final shooting script was always nine eyes Dissatisfaction in this first draft.

  • Nine hotels.

  • Billy, when you were little, you were so generous.

  • You haven't been yourself lately, perhaps because of your break up.

  • There's no longer a break up in the final script, but this stays the same nine.

  • I says.

  • When you see people, you should say hello, Auntie.

  • Hello, Uncle.

  • Don't be Union Union.

  • So this is silly child here.

  • But throughout the movie nine.

  • I refers to Billy Stupid Child.

  • It was one of my producers who suggested we translate it to silly child.

  • Stupid Child seemed very harsh in the context that nine eyes speaking to Billy.

  • She's saying the word dumb or stupid, but she doesn't really mean it.

  • And actually Shaft, she uses shot to refer Thio Niko, the Japanese bride.

  • It's on Lee for me, within context of how my grandmother is saying that word.

  • Do I not take offense to it?

  • I wanted to give the audience that same moment of being a little jolted by it, but then relearning the word through the context.

  • So this is a really big moment that's been in every single draft from tthe e inception of the scripts where nice is gonna meet you.

  • Other drafts of the script.

  • This line was sort of interspersed in between other dialogue.

  • Here in the final shooting script, we end the scene with it, and I didn't really right.

  • You know the reaction.

  • Because I knew that I was gonna shoot the reaction of Billy and that we were really gonna linger on her face for a significant be as a reaction to nine.

  • I saying this because, of course, she knows that that day may never come.

I'm Lulu on.

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'The Farewell' Screenplay Breakdown: Lulu Wang Compares First To Final Drafts | Vanity Fair

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    林宜悉 posted on 2020/03/19
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