NOTE: The following contains spoilers for Disney's BEAUTY AND THE BEAST. If your nose is going to get bent out of shape regarding spoilers from a movie that came out in 1991, please up your dosage.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST RC2 NETWORK NOTES
Hello! Thanks for addressing the notes from Rough Cut I. We do appreciate your team turning those notes around so quickly. Unfortunately, as it now sits, we feel we do have a long way to go in before we can really truly lock this episode. Timecoded notes will have to wait; we are in emergency mode. Right now, Belle is coming across as too scholastic and the Beast has too much camera time. Can we recut this so Belle and Gaston end up together? (Just an idea) There is also a lot of potential right now amongst the Beast's staff; let's flesh that out a bunch (please see below). Also, where is the bite pass we requested? Guys, we need to really be up front with our viewers about the characters' feelings and intentions. Let's get into the heads of every human, creature, and talking armoire in our cast! Every scene has to have TENSION AND STAKES; right now, we are way off the mark. Detailed notes are below.
Is this scratch VO explaining the Prince's background? The guy sounds really old; is this one of the editors? Let's re-record with someone younger with more energy. Right now, we do feel this is a great set up for the story. Let's maximize our screen time by grabbing the viewers right from the start. Maybe a Zach Ephron-type? Let's discuss.
BELLE IN THE VILLAGE
I've never been fond of casting Belle; too bookish. (We should have gone more Megan Fox than Amy Adams, but I was overruled). Our research shows that our audience likes seeing women WITH books over actually LOVING books; the latter makes our target demographic feel dumb and unproductive. And who wants that? Let's do an opening montage of Belle walking through her hometown where she explains who she is, where she lives and her interests (THEN show her reading a book for maybe 3 seconds). This whole section can be trimmed down.
Gaston has a great entrance. He is testing very well and we are big fans of his over here, so let's set him up for success, shall we? Add in some very empathetic bites from him and La Fou about how much he's loved in town. That way, he can be great foil for Belle and not be so douchey. (Though a bit of douchiness is good; the affluencers in our demographic thoroughly enjoy tweeting about a lovable bad boy!) Recut Belle's and Gaston's confrontation where we tone him down some. You guys, we need to protect our cast from themselves.
BELLE'S FATHER AT THE BEAST'S MANSION
Belle's father Maurice is going to a fair because he's an inventor? I know Belle explained this to Gaston in the previous scene but I totally forgot about it! Let's put in a flashback here to drive this home. How important is the fair? How often does this happen? Why is Belle not going with her father? So many loose ends here, guys; sloppy, sloppy, SLOPPY! Let's do a serious bite pass on this scene so we can set ourselves up for success.
When Belle's father actually gets the Beast's house, let's cut this scene way down. Frankly, the Beast is just too ugly. We want TV Ugly, not ugly-ugly. Are there better shots of him? Why is he so hairy? (Again, overruled in casting). My heart aches at all the cost overruns we're going to have in Color Correction to make him on brand with our network, but oh well.
GASTON PROPOSES TO BELLE
Wait, Gaston is proposing already? Aww, that's so sweet! But this comes out of nowhere! Let's add a pickup scene where he goes to buy the ring. (Maybe Harry Winston? Some of your producers have connections there from previous seasons of The Bachelor, yes?)
Belle explains in song why she said no to Gaston after she kicks him out? NO NO NO. We need to hear from her BEFORE she kicks him out! Let's get some Belle bites in there now; if she isn't telling us how she's feeling at every second, how can we root for her?
BELLE ARRIVES AT BEAST'S MANSION
After conferring with other people here at the network, I really think that the strongest elements in the show are the Beast's staff. A talking clock? A teapot with a British accent? A French candlestick having an affair with a feather duster? And a boss that looks like Rob Kardashian crossed with a wildebeest? Now THIS is the sexy, urbane show that we ordered! This has so much comedic and romantic potential. Comb through your footage and see what we can do to really get the best material we can. Maybe it's a backdoor pilot! We think this could be a great workplace show; think Vanderpump Rules with a less frightening boss. Or a more believable Jerseylicious.
Belle agrees to stay at the castle instead of her father, but she doesn't tell us why. I guess it's to get her father out of that cell so he can be free, but if she doesn't tells us this word for word, then how am I to know? HOW AM I TO KNOW? Get a bite in here where she explains this.
GASTON DRINKS AT THE BAR
La Fou and Gaston having some bro time is great, but we are missing some opportunities here. La Fou sings this whole song about Gaston's features but does he like-like Gaston? If we can possibly play up that La Fou is gay, this could help get GLAAD off our backs. Please double check your footage.
If Gaston is really covered in hair and uses antlers in all of his decorating, then we are really missing a Lumbersexual angle with him that we should really exploit. Let's do some pick up interviews where he's styled like Mumford or one of his Sons.
BELLE IN THE CASTLE
The Beast does has a great scene with Lumiere & Mrs. Potts about the importance of witch's curse and wilting rose, but this really could be explored a lot more. When Belle first arrives at the castle looking for her father, let's put in a couple bites to really drive this home. The more often we reiterate a story point, the stronger the story we tell!
BEAST SCARES BELLE
The Beast scares Belle causing her to run off and then he rescues her from a pack of wolves in the woods. Why haven't we seen these wolves before? Are they there often? Let's set up the wolves in a previous scene so we can really maximize the drama. Also, again here's my mantra: BITES BITES BITES! If the Beast didn't like Belle being in the West Wing of his castle, why is he rescuing her? It's not realistic that a Beast would change its emotions like that so quickly. Let's get into his head and figure out why the sudden change of heart.
I can sort of see how the romance is starting to blossom between Beast and Belle but let's drive this home. While they are outside flirting, make the following changes to the audio design:
* When Belle smiles at the Beast as he's feeding the birds, add a cymbal scrape.
* When the Beast looks at Belle as she's walking to the tree, add a cymbal scrape.
* When Belle laughs at the Beast when she sees all of the birds resting on him, add a woodblock sound THEN a cymbal scrape.
Let's be creative with the audio design to really tell the audience how they should feel at all times!
BELLE AND BEAST DANCE
This is the best the Beast has ever looked and Belle finally looks like good. But all we hear during this scene is Mrs. Potts singing. Can we add a bite from the Beast in here, saying how he feels for her. Maybe a funny bite from Cogsworth? Take a look.
GASTON RALLIES THE TROOPS/INVADES CASTLE
Gaston is really saying "Kill the Beast?" Is there a take where he says "I want to call the Beast out" instead? Per legal, we really can't advocate murder. Maybe cheat in some audio?
The Beast's staff does a great job fending off the marauding horde. Do they have experience with this? Some additional bites here would really work wonders.
Is there another take where Gaston learns his lesson and doesn't plummet to his death? We'd like to keep our options open with him (maybe a dating show? On The Hunt With Gaston has a great ring to it).
Belle's confession of love is all nice and good but it could stand more of a setup. Maybe an additional bite about her feelings? Let's play around it it.
Thanks again for attacking these in a timely manner. Please have these tomorrow by 1pm. I look forward to your notes responses as well!