Boston Party Scene, parts 2 and 3

Glory: Boston Party Scene, parts 2 & 3

File created 2 October 2009.

In HtM, chapter 3, we write this about the "Boston Party Scene" from Glory (1989):

    The party scene begins at about 00:09:30, lasts just over 5 min, and is heavily scored--only about 30 seconds are without music. . . . [The scene] breaks down readily into three parts, the first being Shaw's decidedly self-conscious entry into the party, the second a conversation with the Governor and others about forming the regiment, and the third a final conversation with his friend Forbes (Cary Elwes) carried on outdoors. We will be concerned here only with the first part and its transition into the second.
Here are details about the remainder of the scene. The shot list starts with "12" -- there were 11 shots in the first segment.

2. Second segment: Conversations. Action: Shaw and Thomas Searles converse as Shaw serves himself punch from a bowl. A servant closes a window noisily in the background, causing Shaw to spill the punch. Shaw's mother enters, taking him to see a group of men assembled about a desk; he talks with his father, Governor Andrew, and Frederick Douglass. Then he excuses himself and turns to leave. Duration: 2:08. First subsegment (Thomas): 0:30; second subsegment (mother and group): 1:38. Shot 13 is quite long (0:34); the pacing after that is consistent but fairly quick, the effect being that of a complicated "triangular" crosscutting series, with Shaw, Gov. Andrew, and Frederick Douglass being the main conversants.

Shot list:
12. MS Shaw with Thomas' back close to the camera

    Music: nondiegetic music abruptly out at the beginning as we hear Thomas say "Robert." Piano music as abruptly returns; continues to shot 15. Piano total time: c. 0:42. (Negative: Piano music's volume is now lower than before, but Shaw is standing within ten feet of the instrument. Indeed, the volume level now suggests that the piano is in the next room. The status of the harp visible in the scene is never clarified.)
13. MS Shaw, Thomas conversing with punch bowl in front; piano just visible behind; servant enters and closes shutters on window in background.
14. MS Shaw, his mother; camera pans as they walk into another room to a group of men standing behind and to the sides of a desk.
15. MS Shaw
    Music: Piano music fades out slowly by this shot. (Negative: Fade out without finishing composition is unrealistic.)
16. MS Gov. Andrew (as reverse shot), then pan to Frederick Douglass
17. MS Shaw
18. MS Douglass
19.-22. shot/reverse shot series, Gov. Andrew/Shaw
    Music: Bugle call enters in shot 20; continues to shot 35. Time without music (shots 15-20): c. 0:30. Bugle call total time: 0:54.
23. group
24. MS Shaw
25. MS Douglass and Shaw's father
26. MS Gov. Andrew
27. MS Douglass and Shaw's father
28. MS Shaw
29. MS Gov. Andrew
30. CU Shaw with his mother standing behind and to the right
31. group
32.-35. Shot/reverse shot series: CU Shaw with his mother/MS Douglass and Shaw's father.
    Music: Bugle call finishes within shot 35.


3. Third segment: Shaw's exit; he and Forbes talk. Action: Shaw walks past a row of guests who make approbatory comments. He does not speak. Shaw emerges from the front of the house and walks to the fence. Forbes comes out also and talks with Shaw. Later, Thomas comes out as well and talks briefly with Shaw. Duration: 2:01. The first two shots are a bit longer, but then the pacing is similar to that of the group conversation in the second segment.

Shot list:
36. MS Shaw; camera moves with him and pulls back a little as he walks.

    Music: Nondiegetic music (strings), continues to the end of the segment. Total time: 1:01.
37. outdoors, view (LS) of the front door; Forbes comes out; camera moves back to reveal Shaw (MS) standing at the gate.
38.-50. shot/reverse shot series: MS Forbes and Shaw, seen from the left/MS Forbes and Shaw, seen from the right. Both views put the gate in the foreground.
    Music: Nondiegetic music begins statement of the first main theme in shot 38 as Forbes initiates the conversation with Shaw.
51. MS Forbes and Shaw, seen from within the yard, Thomas in the background (MLS)
52. CU Forbes and Shaw
53. CU Thomas
    Music: Drums enter here under the nondiegetic music (which has completed the thematic statement). Drums enter 6" before the end of the scene.
54. MS Forbes and Shaw (as in 51).
(55.) Simple cut to the next shot, which begins the following scene. Drums are revealed as diegetic--the first shot is a close-up of the drummers playing as the regiment is to be mustered in to service.


All original material copyright David Neumeyer 2009.

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