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FINDING STORY HANDOUT FOR VIDEO #3 – THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT

by on Jan.01, 2021, under events, Featured, Personal tips

THE QUEEN’S GAMBIT

Someone is knocking on a hotel room door. We see a disheveled woman run out of the bathroom. She says, “I’m coming.” She looks in the mirror. She is a mess. She says, “Fu—.” She starts to clean up. We see that it’s Paris 1967. She takes some pills. We see that there is someone in the bed. She takes a swig of alcohol.

She takes the elevator down to the lobby. She rushes. We see that she enters a chess tournament. Lights start flashing from all of the photographers’ cameras. She is late for her match. She apologizes to the Russian player for being late. They both sit down to play chess.

(CONSEQUENCE – FUTURE MOMENT. FLAW – ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR.)

We go back in time to when this chess player was a little girl. We see a car accident and hear some officers talking about what happened. We see a body that is covered next to the accident. We see the little girl standing in front of it all.

A woman drives the little girl somewhere. She apologizes that her mother passed on in the accident. We hear V.O. that the little girl, Elizabeth (Beth) Harmon, was orphaned after the accident. She surveys a troubled future.

(EARLIER WOUND.)

The woman reading the information about Beth is at the orphanage. She talks about Beth’s mother, Alice, being pronounced dead at the scene. There’s no info on the father.

Beth arrives at the orphanage. Mrs. Deardorff welcomes her. She gives her the tour. She meets some people, including Mr. Fergusson. We hear one of the orphans cussing in the background. It is Jolene.

Mrs. Deardorff brings her to where she will sleep. She tells her that there are twenty-one girls there. Beth has a stuffed animal. Mrs. Deardorff tells her that she knows that all she’s feeling is a loss. She says that after grief brings you low, prayer and faith will lift you.

(SERIES TRIGGER AND DILEMMA.)

They cut Beth’s hair. They pick out some clothes for her. We see that her name, Beth, is in her old dress. But they call her Elizabeth. Jolene gives Beth info on the pills the kids are given. Jolene tells her about the green ones. Jolene asks if her mother and father are dead. Beth nods her head. Jolene asks what the last thing was they said to her before they died. Beth has a vision of her mother right before the accident. She says, “Close your eyes.” Beth tells Jolene that she doesn’t remember.

Jolene takes the pills. Beth takes both medications despite Jolene telling her that she should hold the green one for bedtime. Beth has trouble walking. She sees the Janitor cleaning the floors. She sees his keys.

(WORLD SHIFT AFTER SERIES TRIGGER AND DILEMMA. LOSS OF CONTROL.)

At the meal, Jolene can tell that Beth took the green pill. Beth asks about the dinner. Another girl tells Beth to eat everything. Otherwise, they’ll tell Mrs. Deardorff, and she won’t get adopted.

(GREEN PILLS – THIS LINKS TO BETH’S FLAW OF HER ADDICTIVE BEHAVIOR. THIS FLAW LINKS TO THE WOUND.)

We see all of the girls in bed. Beth watches the shadows on the ceiling. She has a dream. She sees a man talking to her mother. He tells her that she’s not taking care of herself. Her mother drops a bottle of pills. Her mother burns some things. We see that the man asks to see Lizzie. Alice says that she belongs to her. The man says, “You honestly believe that our daughter belongs in a trailer in the middle of nowhere?” Alice says, “Who says she’s our daughter. And she doesn’t like being called Lizzie.” Beth sees what her mother is burning. It’s titled Monomial Representations and Symmetric Presentations—Department of Mathematics at Cornell University. The man tells Alice that he can’t keep chasing her. Alice says, “I’m sorry, Paul.” He tells her that once he drives away, he’s not coming back. Beth hears him drive off.

(EARLIER WOUND – EMOTIONAL AND PHYSICAL ABANDONMENT OF THE FATHER.)

In class, we see that Beth finished her assignment early. The teacher is impressed since it is before everyone else. The teacher suggests that Beth goes to the basement to clean the erasers. Beth sees the Janitor playing chess. He looks up at her. She goes back to class.

Jolene shows Beth how she saves the green pill on her tongue. Beth thinks about the chess game. She sees the shadows on the ceiling. She plays the chessboard on the ceiling.

Beth makes her bed. Jolene and Beth watch as a little girl packs her suitcase. She gets adopted. Jolene tells Beth that no one is going to come for them now; they’re too old.

Beth goes back to the basement. The Janitor is playing chess. She asks him what game he is playing. He tells her that it’s chess. She asks him to teach her. He tells her that he doesn’t like strangers.

(PILOT TRIGGER, DILEMMA, AND PURSUIT SETUP. FROM THE RESOLUTION, IT APPEARS THAT THE GOAL IS TO GET ACCESS TO THE GREEN PILLS SO THAT SHE CAN CONTINUE TO PLAY AT THE LEVEL THAT SHE DOES.)

Beth takes the green pill. She sees the chessboard on the ceiling again. She considers the chess pieces.

Beth tells Jolene she was right; the vitamins work better at night. She tells Jolene that sometimes she skips a day or two. Then, she takes three at once. She says that she likes the way that it makes her feel. Jolene tells her not to get too used to the feeling.

(ADDICTION STARTING.)

Beth cleans the erasers. She tells the Janitor that she’s not a stranger. She lives there. He tells her that girls do not play chess. She tells him that she already knows some of it after watching him. She shows him what she knows. He engages her. He says, “Let’s play a game. I play white.” She sits down to play. He teaches her. He shows her a play. It’s called “The Scholar’s Mate.”

(ACTION TAKEN.)

Beth takes her green pills. She sees the chessboard on the ceiling. She goes through the plays. She sees them all. She teaches herself about The Scholar’s Mate from what she remembers.

She plays with the Janitor the next day. He teaches her how to “resign” when she loses the Queen. He tells her that she lost. She says, “You cocksucker.” He tells her to leave.

(ACTION TAKEN. OBSTACLE HIT.)

Beth goes back the next day, but the basement door is locked. She imagines the chess game on the ceiling again. She goes through the plays.

(ACTION TAKEN. OBSTACLE HIT.)

She cleans the erasers outside. There’s a boy at the gate. He waves to her.

Beth asks Jolene what a cocksucker is. Jolene tells her about it.

In class, Beth is bored.

Beth reads about the male and the female body.

Beth goes back to the basement. The Janitor hears her. They play a game of chess. She beats him. He tells her that she’s gloating. He shows her a new play. She asks about it.

We see a montage of them playing in a sequence with taking the pills and playing chess. It shows that Beth is learning a lot about the chess game. They play several games. The Janitor teaches her about king’s bishop three. He teaches her several more plays.

(ACTIONS AND OBSTACLES SEQUENCE. THE PILLS AND THE GROWING ADDICTION ARE THE OBSTACLES THAT RAISE THE STAKES.)

The teacher notices that Beth is not in class.

Beth watches a film with the rest of the girls. In it, a young woman tells her mom that she started her first period.

The sequence continues with the pills and playing chess.

Beth watches a couple on the outside of the school property making out.

(BETH WATCHING THE COUPLE AFTER SEEING THE FILM SHOWS HER COMING OF AGE.)

Her chess lessons continue. She learns about one of the openings, The Queen’s Gambit.

(ACTION TAKEN.)

Beth is surprised when the janitor, Mr. Shaibel, tells her that she’ll play white. He tells her that from now on, they’ll take turns. This is the way games are normally played.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Beth continues to see the chessboard on the ceiling at night. She sees Mr. Shaibel drinking whiskey. He gives Beth a book, Modern Chess Openings. She asks if she is old enough to read it. He finds out that she’s nine. He tells her that she is astounding.

Jolene looks at Beth in class. She is reading the book under her desk while class is going.

The Janitor introduces Beth to Mr. Ganz from the Chess Club. He tells her that he is also a coach for the high school team. She plays. She impresses him. He asks if she plays with the other girls. She tells him that she just plays with Mr. Shaibel. He asks what she does in between games. She says, “I play in my head.” She mentions that she does this on the ceiling. Beth plays both men. She steps away from the board while playing. They say their moves out loud. She tells them her moves in response. Mr. Ganz can’t believe it. He gives her a gift. It’s a doll. Beth pretends to be grateful. He asks to take a picture of Beth with Mr. Shaibel. This picture is for the chess club.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Mrs. Deardorff calls Beth in her office. She tells her that Mr. Ganz says Beth has a gift. She is a phenomenal chess player. He asks if she can go to high school. He wants her to perform for the chess club. He wants Beth to play all of the players at the same time. He mentions that he will bring a young woman as a chaperone. They make plans.

Mrs. Deardorff asks Beth if she’s been playing chess with Mr. Shaibel in the basement. She says that she has. Mrs. Deardorff tells her that she can’t have her playing in the basement, so she will arrange to have chess sets put in the game room.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Beth notices that she doesn’t get a green pill anymore. She is upset. The man distributing the medications tells her that the state won’t let them give tranquilizers to kids anymore. She knows that the pills help her play. She finds that she has one pill still saved. She takes it.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Beth looks at where the locked up green pills are.

In the bathroom, Beth asks Jolene if she has any extra green pills. She tells her that she doesn’t. She tells Jolene that the pills are still there in a jar. Jolene asks if Beth is having withdrawal symptoms.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Fergusson goes to get Beth. She is in the dark. They are there to pick her up to go to high school.

The woman that accompanies them talks with Beth. Jolene catches them before they leave. She gives Beth a green pill.

(ACTION TAKEN.)

Beth surveys the chess room. A bunch of high school students enters. They are all male.

Mr. Ganz tells everyone how it is going to work. Beth is in the middle of the room. She starts with board #1. Then she goes to the next one. Beth proceeds to play. Mr. Ganz tells her that they can’t respond until she opens every board. Beth proceeds to win every game. She tells Mr. Shaibel how she had the best players’ pieces tied up in fifteen moves. She mated him in six more with a knight-rook combination. She tells him that Mr. Ganz said that she beat them all in an hour and twenty minutes. She tells him that it felt good. She’s never won anything before. This outcome starts her addictive behavior with winning.

(ACTION AND OBSTACLE.)

Beth asks Jolene for more vitamins. Jolene tells her not to be rude. Jolene introduces her to Samantha.

Beth goes to get a drink of Mr. Shaibel’s whiskey.

(ACTION AND ALL IS LOST MOMENT. BETH CAN’T GET ACCESS TO THE PILLS. SHE THINKS THAT THE PILLS ARE WHAT MADE HER WIN.)

She watches a film with the rest of the girls. She tells them that she has to go to the bathroom. She takes a tool out of her pocket to pick the lock where the green pills are. After struggling, she gets in. She is trying to do it before someone catches her. She opens the jar. She puts a bunch in her mouth and a bunch in her pockets.

The movie dismisses.

Beth hears her mother’s voice. She drops the bottle of green pills as she falls from the chair and passes out in front of her class.

(SHE ACHIEVES THE GOAL. SHE GOT ACCESS TO THE PILLS. SHE HEARS HER MOTHER. THE ADDICTION/FLAW IS THE SETUP OF THE SERIES ARC.)

 

 

*Copyright® 2020 Jen Grisanti Consultancy, Inc.

 

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