NOTE: The following contains spoilers on one of the most beloved and acclaimed action films of all time. If you do not wish to be spoiled, please grab an unused firehose and shimmy down a skyscraper.
DIE HARD ROUGH CUT 7 NETWORK NOTES
Hey guys. Thanks for all of your hard work on the past 6 rough cuts. We are definitely getting closer to where we need to be but we are pretty far from where we need to go. Right now, the show is lacking what we here at the network call "storytelling." We're missing some key aspects, guys. The "Who." The "How." And most importantly, the "Why." We have an idea who John McClain is, but we need to dig in more to the "who." We know Hans Gruber by name and expensive suit, but we really don't know his "who." And with Sergeant Al, we know him but we really need to know his "how", you know? Without us digging into these, the show currently lacks focus and drive. The show really needs a smoothing pass, a bite pass, a comedy pass, a chyron pass and a suspense pass. Once these passes happen, then we can give time coded notes. Until then, it's just a pass.
Also the show right now is rather violent. We take acts of aggression very seriously on this network. Let's make sure we get McClain, Al and others to discuss this at the reunion. That way we can have some apologies, a logo for an anti-violence charity and boom, ratings gold!
JOHN MCLAIN ARRIVES IN LOS ANGELES
Wow guys, our introduction to our lead guy is on an airplane and some rando guy talks first? WRONG. John is our lead. He's what our focus group of women 30-42 in Kansas City, Kansas describes as "non-threateningly aggressive in an non-approachable relatable manner." In short, the ideal lead for our network. So, we need to give him the intro package that he deserves. Have him arrive at the airport in New York with some snazzy b-roll and a Dua Lipa sound-alike with a bite like "My name is John McClain. I'm a New York City cop devoted to getting all the scum off of the streets. I'm flying to Los Angeles to see my wife and kids and hopefully repair my marriage. My wife Holly took a job in LA and it actually took off. It's formed a rift between us and maybe we can work things out. Hopefully, nothing bad will happen during my time in LA. But I'm glad I have years of experience dealing with bad guys, just in case." (Please get him to say that in his own words)
Per legal, please have somebody check to see if balling up your bare feet on carpet can get rid of jet lag. If it's not true, we're just begging for a lawsuit.
Whoa, what's happening? We smash cut from LAX to the inside of a big office Christmas party? Are we still in Los Angeles? Are we on the moon? I'm so lost! Let's do a big juicy b-roll transition with shots of palm trees, the beach and festive non-denominational holiday decorations that are in the public domain. Over that, put a big chyron that says "Los Angeles." Then, put in some dusk b-roll shots of "Nakatomi Plaza" with the chyron "Nakatomi Plaza." That way, the audience will know exactly where we are at all times!
Holly is a great female role model for our network. She's feisty (but not too feisty), independent (but not too independent), and has big hair. Since she's our lead, let's throw in an intro bite with her along the lines of "Hi, I'm Holly Gennaro, director of corporate interests for the Nakatomi Corporation. I love my job and my two kids. My husband is due in any minute. Hopefully nothing bad will happen while he's here. It's Christmas Eve!" (Since she's good in interview, please have her say this in her own words. But organically and succinctly)
Is someone snorting cocaine off of a desk? Per S&P, we'll need to blur that. Or cut around it. Especially if there are visible logos on the blotter.
AND THE GERMANS INVADE
Wait a second, hold up. Two guys come in and shoot the security guard? And then other guys hack and take over the building systems? And bring up a bunch of guns and rocket launchers and start to take people hostage? Why is this happening? I'm so confused. You know what would help out here? A FUCKING BITE, GUYS. This is just soooooooooo slapdash and amateur hour. What do you think this is, the FYI network? Add in a bite from Hans explaining who they are and what they are doing. If I don't know who they are right off the bat, then why should I care about them taking over a building?
Per S&P, please blur the woman's breasts as she's being pulled out of an office.
MCCLAIN STARTS TO FIGHT BACK.
McClain's fight with the blond terrorist is thrilling and scary. Kudos to your editing team. The one thing that would help this scene is a bite from John as they fall down the flight of stairs. Let's get inside his head as it's being bashed!
Oh, Hans wants the $640 million of bearer bonds from the Nakatomi safe. Got it. Let's throw in an infographic explaining to the audience what a bearer bond is. Our audience loves take-home information!
Please add a bite where John says he now has a machine gun. Otherwise him writing "Now I have a machine gun. Ho-ho-ho" on the dead terrorist's sweatshirt doesn't have any context.
SERGEANT AL'S INTRO
Please add an intro bite and b-roll to when we meet our lovable and pleasantly irascible sergeant. Great Hostess Twinkies product integration, by the way. Is there any way we can add it earlier in the show? Let's put some in at the beginning of the party. We don't want to give the connotation that an artificially made pastry has anything to do with killer German terrorists.
THE POLICE RAID NAKATOMI PLAZA
Wait, why are the police here again? Oh right, the hostage situation with the terrorists! I completely forgot. Let's add flashback to them taking over the building and Hans shooting Takagi. If we are constantly telling the audience exactly what to think and feel at all times, then we are doing our jobs. Remember, guys, it's storytelling!
Per S&P, please make sure the line is now "Yippie-Kai-Yay, mother [BLEEP]!"
THE PRESS AND THE FBI ARRIVE
William Thornburg is a highly unscrupulous, amoral creep who will stop at nothing to wring every ounce of drama out of an awful situation. Is he looking for a job? Because we need a new Director of Development and we think he'd be a perfect fit. Let us know!
Per S&P, please add a disclaimer warning people not to run on broken glass. Again, we don't need another lawsuit here.
When Al mentions that the FBI has "Universal Terrorist Handbook" and "they're playing it step by step," do we have a shot of that handbook? If they mention the book, we definitely need to see it! (And make sure we have a material release too.)
MCCLAIN SAVES THE DAY
Once John saves everyone including Holly, let's add a bite from him saying how relieved he is that Holly is safe. If we don't hear him say it, how would we know? HOW WOULD WE KNOW?! You know our motto: "A Bite Is Worth A Thousand Shots."
It's 1pm EST. Please have this cut turned around by noon PST. Thanks a bunch! And Merry Christmas!