This afternoon, I sent two of my assistants, who did not know each other well, to the Michael Jackson memorial in Harlem, NY to capture video of the proceedings. On the way there, they realized that they had both been in Harlem for President Obama’s inauguration and had a lot in common.
While they were there, capturing images, they found themselves becoming part of the crowd. Craning for celebrities, chatting up the other onlookers and buying merchandise.
As “film people” they both realized the fascinating coincidence that they had been at the same spot – The Apollo Theater – for both the inauguration of the new generation and the silencing of the last.
As an exercise: Consider this for the main character(s) of your own screenplay. Your character arrives at the memorial of a celebrity or icon. Why are they there? Who did they meet? What do they do? What happened? What do they take away from it? What have they learned?
As a bonus: Try to think of a moment in your own screenplay when there is this passing of one generation to make way for another.
UPDATE: CNN asked for my footage.