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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Dunking the bucket: why Dorothy was lucky

Over at screenwriting blog Alligators in a Helicopter, a few notes about why you must earn The Bucket: “The longer I read, the more intolerant I have gotten about dumb logic mistakes in scripts. There’s nothing that makes me throw a script across the room quicker… I don’t think I even realized how stupid the bucket was, until I was an adult.The bucket, of course, is the bucket of water that Dorothy throws on the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz, melting her. There are so many amazing things wrong with the bucket. First of all, it has no reason being there… You’re a witch. And your main Achilles’ heel… is that water will melt you… it takes a lot of effort to avoid water your whole life.We’re talking no showers. No swimming in pools, or lakes, or skinning-dipping in the local pond. No dancing through the rain as a little girl… No toilets, because she wouldn’t want to risk the splashback… Was she limited to juice? Milk? Martinis? …But despite what must have been a tyrannical water ban… there’s a bucket of water. Just sort of sitting there…

The obvious fix is to have Dorothy learn of this, and bring a little water with her… A stoppered bottle, a prototype water pistol… even a flying monkey, that needs to pee really badly. But Dorothy has no idea. And this is the second problem. She douses the witch with the bucket accidentally, while putting out the scarecrow… Obviously, the idea is that Dorothy is really not a bad person. She’s not a killer, she just conveniently kills witches by pure contrivance… I’m more jaded now. The bucket has to be earned. I think that’s a good thing.”

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“Film festivals, for those who don’t know, are not exactly the glitzy red carpet affairs you see on TV. Those do happen, but they’re a tiny part of the festival. The main part of any film festival are the thousands of people with festival passes hanging on lanyards beneath their anoraks, carrying brochures for movies you have never and will never hear of, desperately scrabbling to sell whatever movie it is to buyers from all over the world. Every hotel bar, every cafe, every restaurant is filled to the brim with these people, talking loudly about non-existent deals. The Brits are the worst because most of the British film industry, with a few honourable exceptions, are scam artists and chancers who move around from company to company failing to get anything good made and trying to cast Danny Dyer in anything that moves. I’m seeing guys here who I first met twenty years ago and who are still wearing the same clothes, doing the same job (albeit for a different company) and spinning the same line of bullshit about how THIS movie has Al Pacino or Meryl Streep or George Clooney attached and, whilst that last one didn’t work out, THIS ONE is going to be HUGE. As the day goes on, they start drinking and it all gets ugly and, well, that’s why I’m the guy walking through the Tiergarten with a camera taking pictures of frozen lakes and pretending this isn’t happening.

“Berlin is cool, though and I’ve been lucky to be doing meetings with some people who want to actually get things done. We’ll see what comes of it.”
~ Julian Simpson 

“The difference between poetry and prose, and why if you’re not acculturated to poetry, you might resist it: that page is frightening. Why is it not filled? The two categories of people who don’t feel that way are children and prisoners. So many prison poets; they see that gap and experience it differently. I’m for the gap!”
~ Poet Eileen Myles