Behind the Scenes – Good Job, Baby Girl

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Author: Figuring out how to add movie scenes to a memoir was challenging. My first attempts were rough and confusing. One woman in my critique group unabashedly told me exactly how much she didn’t “get it.” She made my writing better. I kept furiously working until even she agreed it made sense. This was the scene in the book where I finally won her over. It was a painful memory to write about, but using the movie scene to distance myself really helped tell the story.

 

My Movie Memoir Screenplay Novel, by Betts Keating
Chapter Sixteen – Good Job, Baby Girl

…I remember standing next to my husband in a brightly lit, white hallway while holding my seven-day-old daughter in my arms. I remember looking down at her and thinking to myself, No way. There is no way I’m handing this child over to those people. No way, no way, no way, no way….

Back to the movie.

OPEN: INTERIOR/BOSTON HOSPITAL/HALLWAY

CAMERA HOLDS on MOMMY and DADDY standing in front of sign that says “Pediatric Surgery.”

MOMMY holding BABY. DADDY stands with arms around MOMMY.
Two young DOCTORS stand nearby waiting to take BABY to surgery.

MOMMY (crying)
I don’t think I can do this.

DADDY (with emotion)
Me either.

MOMMY and DADDY cry over and hug BABY murmuring “We love yous” and other reassurances.

DOCTORS motion that it’s time to let them take the BABY.

MOMMY won’t let go. She clings to the baby, wetting the baby’s face with her tears.

DADDY makes small motion towards helping MOMMY hand over BABY.

MOMMY (whispers)
Not yet… not yet…

CAMERA HOLDS on MOMMY – hugs baby close almost “blocking” the doctors from taking her.

MOMMY (blubbering)
OK, baby girl… this is it. All you have to do is take a nice long nap while the
doctors do all the work. OK?

MOMMY makes small motion toward letting go.

In one swift move the DOCTORS seize their moment, swoop in, grab BABY, and walk quickly down hall toward the double doors of surgical wing.

CUT TO: MOMMY and DADDY – left standing in hallway with empty hands and obviously deflated spirits.

CAMERA pulls back from couple and continues down hallway away from MOMMY and DADDY (from POV of BABY as if BABY was looking back at her parents and seeing them fade away).

Emphasize smallness of two parents standing lonely in a large, colorless hallway.

VOICE-OVER/MOMMY (whisper)
Ouch.

FADE TO BLACK

 

©2016 Betts Keating. All rights reserved.

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