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    1st Minute Script + Breakdown

    on November 6th, 2009, by Colin Levy


    Since before the Blender Conference we’ve been working to improve and condense the script– and we’ve ended up restructuring the film somewhat. Β So the first minute has changed dramatically!

    Here I give you the script and temporary breakdown for the new First Minute of “Sintel.”



    We’re gonna do a few tweaks and polishes today, and then the script will be locked!


    Edit: Here’s a PDF version of the breakdown, for those who requested it.

    50 Responses to “1st Minute Script + Breakdown”

    1. Markus Kothe Says:

      Love the script so far! There is some spelling errors though πŸ˜‰

    2. Nik Says:

      I like this version much better! In the old one the fight with the butcher was very unprovoked.

    3. Ninjabuntu Says:

      Nice… I’ve written a few screenplays in my day. Mostly just for fun. The first page seems to me more like the first 15-30 seconds however.

      I understand that most people equate a standard screen play format as a page a minute. Then again the animation will likely be vastly different from how I read it and way more detailed. Great start guys. I’m hooked.

      @Markus Kothe: Spelling errors really doesn’t harm anything with an in house script. after all, It’s going to be made into a short at this point, there is no question about that. Being a spell check Nazi is only really useful for when you want to sell your screenplay to a third party.

      I figure it’s good enough to get the main idea across, and in the end, that is all that really matters….

    4. diablothe2nd Says:

      Nice start on the script! πŸ™‚

      the open office spreadsheet file doesn’t want to open for me though i’m using 3.1.1

    5. diablothe2nd Says:

      nevermind… it just got corrupted in transit… working now πŸ™‚

    6. Carsten Says:

      Now iΒ΄m even more glad i preordered this DVD. Great read..

    7. Matt Says:

      Now we just need to persuade Morgan Freeman to voice the shaman for free. :o)

    8. Sympodius Says:

      Looks good, guys πŸ™‚

    9. Riton Says:

      Awesome job, this version is really better than the previous one!

      I’ve just a question, What is the meaning of the ‘character anim column’ ?

      Keep it up guys, you’re work is really great! πŸ˜€

    10. dsavi Says:

      What unit does the “Duration” column use? Seconds?

      Looks very good, I have it playing in my head right now and it looks awesome. A good sign. πŸ˜›

    11. Colin Levy Says:

      Hey guys! Thanks for the comments!

      Uhh, spelling errors? Tell me what’s wrong, I don’t see it!

      Yep, duration currently refers to seconds. Once we do our first pass at an animatic we’ll switch to frames, I think.

      The Character Anim column refers to an estimate of character animation seconds. So if the shot lasts two seconds but there’s three characters in the frame that all need animation, it’s more work– we log it as six seconds of character animation!


    12. Sleeper Says:

      Many STONG men…?

    13. Colin Levy Says:

      Ah! Thanks, I totally missed that. Eesh, I’m blind.

    14. Gu4r@ Says:

      Much more mature and attractive. Much better! Excellent work

      spelling error :
      “Many STONG men have fallen…”

    15. wo262 Says:

      so the little dragon (the one above, with “blog” in his mouth ) become giant (the wallpaper one) heheh. look for professional doublelers for voices in other languages (spanish for me) contact with or another companies and the may do it for free. maybe πŸ˜€

    16. D Says:

      Oh my God, the epicness emanating from the words on the screen…! Imagination going wild on what the shots look like…! Can’t… breathe…! How does she get up in shot 1W in just 2 seconds…? πŸ˜€

      Thank you, Durian Dudes! Thank you, first minute! Life is good!

    17. Another fellow Says:

      Epic… that’s all

    18. Lasse R. Bruntse Says:

      Oh oh, I got an idea! – What if, the shaman was really Yoda, and Sintel was a Jedi knight!?!?!

      Just kidding, it sounds great. I hope there will be a bit more dialog before the cut-to-black though.

    19. Eagleshadow Says:

      Pure awesome! πŸ˜€

    20. dronix Says:

      Alright, very nice. The part were Sintel says that she’s looking for someone she loves sounds a bit cheesy. Might be better leaving that part out. Thanks for the updates, keep it up!

    21. rogper Says:

      It’s perfect! Now I’m already seeing the scene with infinity definition and infinitum quality sound in my head πŸ˜€
      I see that even the thumb rule of 1 minute by page applies.
      So, this scene is all written by Esther Wouda with revisions by Colin Levy…
      Humm! One curiosity if I may:
      Regarding to the entire script, more or less, which percentage still is from Martin Lodewijk?

    22. kenden Says:

      Hmm… miss being introduced to the world through the eyes of the small dragon! I thought that was way more original…

      And careful, the dialog is different in the .pdf and in the .ods:
      A sibling, perhaps? A lover?”

      A member of kin, perhaps? A lover?”

    23. Seleigothrion Says:

      Much more satisfying than the fight with the butcher, looking forward to seeing this animated!

    24. Nate Says:

      Looking good guys, like this one a lot better than the previous one. Mountain scenes always inspire more epicness.

    25. Consideringthepickle Says:

      This is really nice.

      Is it safe to assume the story is going to have a unique and interesting theme? Possibly a little more sophisticated than with Big Buck Bunny (revenge) but less obscure than Elephants Dream.

      I just have one crit. You should really plan to have a shot just showing Sintel’s face before the fight to introduce her. Just like a 2 second shot of her with some kind of expression that shows she’s desperate but persevering, worried but committed, and scared but unabated. And maybe just like one quick shiver (cause its cold).
      I think its important to portray all those things even if she is tough-action-hero to show that she’s alive and a human being it’ll really help the audience relate to her really quickly to see her in dire straights -and then they’ll be hooked when she doesnt let the circumstances bring her down and suddenly starts kicking butt.

      -First introductions are really important. (Or first entrance really since this whole first page is sort of her introduction)

    26. Ovidiu Says:

      @Colin: Uhh, spelling errors? Tell me what’s wrong, I don’t see it!
      …well, it seems that between the “SLAM CUT to BLACK” and “.” there is like 4 pages missing… we want that! πŸ˜€ ehehe
      Keep up the good work guys, I also think this is more promising that the initial beginning. Also some teller in the background gives a nice touch of mystery to the whole thing (and you don’t even have to render the guy πŸ˜‰ )

    27. s0ndeb0k Says:

      Epic!! πŸ™‚

      @billy Right click-> Save As and open with you favorite office program a.k.a Open Office πŸ™‚

    28. Rafster Says:

      I like how this blog has become somewhat of a film school, and is not just about Blender. I want to say ‘don’t leave anything out’, because I want to hear it all (the production process, how you guys come to decide things, etc.)


    29. Rafster Says:

      Please PDF the break down! I want to be able to see it on my work computer.

    30. Lasphere Says:

      yearh, like s0ndeb0k said. I managed to open the breakdown in Excel. (:

    31. Colin Levy Says:

      Hey guys, thanks for the comments and suggestions! Just uploaded a PDF of the breakdown as well to make things easier.

    32. MTracer Says:

      Violence is fine, just keep it tasteful. You know how a lot of people die in star wars, and chronicles of narnia? But you never see someones intestines flying across the screen? (Though now that I think about it, that could be used for comic relief.) Hide actual wounding with clever cuts and poses. I specifically don’t want my parents to forbid me from watching this movie.

    33. Guybrush Threepwood Says:

      4K. Mountains in 4096Γ—2160. Just epic. Much better than the basar theme. And the story seams to get more epic too (…many have fallen to the gatekeepers…). Makes the story more interesting and the viewer curious. Gatekeepers of what? Great. It’s so important to impress and to keep the viewer curious and excited.

      I write some ideas here (even nobody is interested in, but I can leave them and don’t need to carry them around anymore;)

      [ ] Would be nice to have a color concept for the bad guys and for sintel, so the viewer will realize during the short movie who belongs to whom e.g. good guys white, bad guys black. You know what I mean
      [ ] Sintel needs a coat – it’s cold guys. Don’t let her freeze πŸ˜‰
      [ ] Create great 4K places/situations: sunrise, sunset, riding a dragon in full speed through narrow gaps, etc…
      [ ] Let the heroine have secrets, that will not be unwield in this short movie. This will keep the community later on talk a lot about it πŸ˜‰
      [ ] When she collapses you could give her during the fall into the snow a few flash-backs (2-5 sec) so the viewer gets an idea why she went up on this mountain, or how she made it to get up on the mountain, or anything that helps to make sense that she made it on top of this mountain
      [ ] Please don’t forget the snail !

      I’m sure everyone has it’s own ideas, but why not share I think.
      Hope the Durian Team has a lot of fun as a team. Never forget – life is short, enjoy the ride πŸ™‚

    34. Josh Says:

      Personally I don’t understand what all the hubub is about; I love the first “minute”. Upon reading the script and breakdown I saw nothing that implied any sort of guts flying or RAMBO style violence. Sure there seemed like quite a bit of slashing and cutting resulting in quite a few gashes, but from the looks of things it’s beautifully choreographed which in my opinion makes it absolutely acceptable if not fantastic.

      Loving all of the great work.

    35. tyrant monkey Says:

      is this not vying to the predicable and overdone territory

    36. Spencer Dupre Says:

      Sounds great, blog more often (like, once an hour)

    37. Spencer Dupre Says:

      jk, keep up the great work guys!

    38. yoff Says:

      Number of movies that start with a fight in snowy mountains: > 200
      Number of movies that start with you realizing you are a baby dragon: < 5

      I have to say that the original intro was creative and…original, while the new is really not.

      Please make this more than a tech demo. Fight choreography is fun, but you are presenting Sintel as “the standard hero”, whereas before you presented her as someone who could sympathize with a baby dragon and was willing to fight for a defenseless creature.

      Well, I do not know the rest of the script, so things may come later, but it is more important to give her feelings than super fighting skills, I think.

    39. Snapai Says:

      “The lovely lady sang so sweet, upon her harp she plucked.
      The dragon’s love grew great and strong, his heart thundered and bucked.
      When she was through, he took her home, and all night long they…
      (Those of you with dirty minds are gonna be working overtime…)”
      [White Plectrum – The Dragon and the Lady, ]

      Script looks awesome, very epic, very visual. Keep it up! πŸ˜€

    40. D Says:

      I concur with Consideringthepickle about making the first shot of Sintel’s face being a good introductory one. But I can imagine this being satisfied without even needing to change the breakdown.
      Assuming that 1G is the first shot where we get a first proper look at Sintel (all the earlier ones being wider or reverse shots with her) all that needs to happen is have it a couple of frames longer than necessary than for just a reaction shot. That one second duration sounds adequate, I think. Naturally, the shot can be sold even better if the attack at 1F is very scary beat! πŸ˜€

      I think you guys know what you’re doing. πŸ˜‰

    41. Jack-Jack Says:

      Where can i find the meanings for all of these “OTS”, “ELS” “3/4 CU” and other spells?

    42. Bailey Says:

      Sounds like this could be epic! Keep up the good work guys. Love keeping up with Durian. It’s so cool!

    43. D Says:

      ELS – Extreme long shot
      MCU – Medium close up
      MS – Medium shot
      OTS – Over the shoulder
      CU – Close up
      MW – Medium wide
      POV – Point-of-view
      3/4 – Three quarter, between front and profile view
      High angle – Seeing from higher up
      Low angle – Seeing from lower down
      Dolly – Moving on a track
      Pivot – Background moves while subject stays on frame

      I don’t know where on the internet you can find this info, though…

    44. Jack-Jack Says:

      D, thank you!

    45. Jimbo Says:

      If there’s one thing that bugs me about the script it is the line: “Before long all five bandits lie motionless at her feet.” ….Before long?? A vague statement like that has no right being in a script.

      How about:

      A Bandit slashes at her leg. Sintel twists in pain, roaring. In a flash, she lashes out – a flurry of precise, powerful blows, felling each Bandit in one continuous move. She spins to a stop, elegantly balanced. Their bodies lying at her feet.

      Obviously you need to write the action you have in mind, but ‘Before long’ ain’t it.

    46. Greydesk Says:

      Film making resources:

      There are lots more, but those are the most recent ones I’ve stumbled on.

      Greydesk (aka Statik)

    47. yoff Says:

      I second rogpers question: How much of Martins original story is still in the script?

      I realize compromises must be made, and please understand that I still predict that you will do a fantastic job πŸ™‚

    48. Riboshom Says:

      That would make an awesome trailer!

      “I’m looking for someone I love”
      “A sibling? A lover?”
      “A dragon.”


    49. mmz Says:

      will it be the young sintel odr the older sintel in those first seconds?

    50. yoff Says:

      An easier question, maybe: Will all the versions of the script be on the dvds?