moedred (moedred) wrote,

Raiders Story Conference Transcript (tape 2)

G — The problem with the girl is that we had the ending and everything, and I didn't know how to get the girl on the submarine, and she just sort of drops out. You can't take a girl through that kind of story. We rationalized that she was German, and maybe could go with the professor or something so she could be there in the end. The story would come back together again. She wouldn't be on the ship, but she would be in the... The other idea was that she meets the guy when he gets back in the garage. They get on the Chinese ship together and have a relationship there, then when the Germans come, suddenly our hero is gone and they take the girl with them. She doesn't know what's happened to him or anything. Then he shows up again in the thing. We had worked it out where we could carry her along. It did make sense. If she's a German, and sort of a double agent, you could take her on one side, then take her on the other side. The biggest problem was how you get her to go along on everything, apart from the relationship. Obviously you can develop the relationship between two characters. All you have to do is get them in the same room together somehow. These are tangential things. We wanted to get a clipper, one of those flying boat things when he goes across the Atlantic. And also we wanted to get a flying wing out on the desert. Should this be in the desert or in the jungle? They pull these bushes apart and there's a landing strip there. This flying wing comes in and our hero has a fight with one of the guys around the flying wing. There are a few of those adventure scenes that get stuck under the main plot.

L — In the way you have it now, in the final confrontation with the arch-rival, the arch-rival is victorious, then he gets fried by the ark.

G — Right. The Ark is ultimately victorious. The other thing is, our guy would be really skeptical about the powers of the Ark, but the arch-rival is convinced that it's all true, the it has power, and with it they could rule the world. They sort of trade myths and legends back and forth. In the end the bad guy was right, and our guy is there to see it. He doesn't see the arcs and stuff, but he sees the tent go into a ball of fire. When he gets' back to Washington, he's telling the guys, "That Ark, it's true. It's the lost Ark." The Army guy tells him they'll take care of it. It's all top secret stuff. He gets shut out of it, and they don't believe him. They just put it away.

L — But you don't want him in the tent.

G — Right. I don't know how we get him out, and everybody else out. The thing of it is, you don't know what's inside the Ark through the whole thing. The audience is curious about what's going to be in it in the end. In the Cairo sequence he has some Arab friends, a family with kids running around, but he also has a friend who's sort of another archeologist, who doesn't like him. They're old friends, they went to school together, only he doesn't like him, 'cause he doesn't like what our guy is doing. He's a serious archeologist and doesn't really approve. They have discussions about the Ark. In the process of all this, they sort of explain more and more about the Ark, so we don't have one big long scene. Everybody has different theories about what's inside and what the power is and how it works. Throughout the script we're establishing the mystery of this Ark and what it can do. So at the end, when they finally open it, it's a big surprise. The idea is, when they open it up there should be something really neat inside. This was stuff that Phil was going to research, and we left it at that. The idea was that it was the head of Jesus or a scroll or whatever. We never see. All we see are these electrical charges and stuff. The real theory about the Ark is that if you take this Ark and put it in this conformation with these tents, you could talk to God in it. It's like a radio transmitter. That's the real legend. That's what they used to do. The Israelis used to set up these tents and they would talk to God and God would tell them what to do. And then they would march with it in front of their army. The other Armies would be destroyed. Our idea was that there must actually be some kind of super high-powered radio from one of Erick Von Daniken's flying saucers. The fact that it's electrical charges makes it vaguely believable. The idea was that if it was the right kind of trunk... We have to get descriptions of what it looks like, but supposedly it's like a big trunk. It's like a car generator that you crank and it goes... When they opened it up you had that sense of some kind of kinetic generator which creates a tremendous amount of static electricity. There are all these religious trappings and interesting mysteries and occult stuff, and at the same time it's something that people can carry around. It's a big thing. We have great scenes with these poor little Arabs trying to carry this thing to the truck. It's easy on basic plot to lay out the good scenes, good cliffhangers. In that sort of amorphous area in Cairo, that's where we can fit some in. In the essence it's just bullshit stuff where he wanders around Cairo trying to uncover the mystery of his puzzle. At the same time you meet all these interesting characters and every once in a while somebody throws a knife at him, or he beats somebody up, or somebody beats him up, typical middle-eastern stuff. What he's doing is going around getting the pieces of the puzzle. He starts with one piece and he gets another piece from his friend. The girl has one piece. He gets a piece from the Arabs who stole it from the Germans. He finally gets all the pieces.

L — The Germans have how much of it?

G — They only have like two-thirds of it.

S — But they have already done the groundwork.

G — Right. They're working with two-thirds, and they think they can figure it out. He has his pieces, and he gets a drawing of the German's piece, and he fits it all together. The Germans have found some ruins, but they haven't located it yet. It's part of a lost city.

L — Where is it when they throw him back into the tomb?

G — I had it about two-thirds of the way in. Once he gets the Ark. the whole thing is like a chase right to the end. Either he's chasing them or they're chasing him. It goes very fast. There's a little respite on the boat, but all around that it's a chase scene. Then he follows them into the cave, and you have the end of the movie.



S — ...a double agent, maybe. And I know you don't like the idea of somebody just tagging along for conversation, but make her someone who wouldn't have been in this picture, and if she weren't in this picture, a lot of this stuff wouldn't have taken place. As the place is crashing, she's the pilot. They're going to crash land together. She's really angry at him. She gets involved in the plot, and is useful. She's not just somebody to be around for comic relief or romantic relief. Rather than being a kind of quasi... In the Dietrich mold like a double agent.

G — It's more of a plot thing. I had her a German double agent who was stuck over there. Then we can use her in the plot. She sort of has access to information. She is useful and tied in. It has to be something where they're sort of tied in together on this thing, where it's conceivable. Again, she doesn't have to be German, she could be American, she could be French or whatever. But I don think that we should come up with some reason to keep her from being just a tagalong. The only thing I can come up with is that she's sort of a mercenary, and she' somehow involved. Like she has a piece of the puzzle, rather than being forced into the situation. Because if she's forced into it, you're constantly fighting to try and keep her there. Every scene you're going to have to explain why she's there and why she doesn't leave. Half of her dialogue is going to end up being "Smokey and the Bandit" dialogue. In this we have to come up with something so we're not constantly justifying her existence. She has to be there for a reason. I'd say greed.

S — If she's a double agent, I think it would be interesting. He goes from Washington to where?

G — To Cairo. We can have him go anywhere. The concept is that he's chasing a puzzle. He's got one piece of it, and he thinks he knows who has the other pieces. So you can send him to Hong Kong. I was thinking you could do a tiny piece in Hong Kong where people are constantly trying to knife him in the back and shoot poison darts into his ears. You had mentioned that you didn't want to spend all that time in the desert, so you can condense some of that time by taking the stuff that could happen anywhere, which is the finding pieces of the puzzle, and put it where ever you want.

S — One thing you should do — He's on this airplane. There are about four or five passengers around him. He's asleep and these passengers are looking at him. We don't know why. They they all get up and put on parachutes, and they jump out the door. He wakes up when he hears the door open, and realizes he's all alone. The door to the cockpit is locked. The airplane begins to go into a spin. He's trapped in this airplane and it's going down. The whole thing was a set up. That's a great cliffhanger, to see how he gets out.

G — That's great. Then what happens? One sentence further and it's a great idea.

S — Well, he's never flown an airplane before, but he kicks in the pilot's door. That would be interesting, he's never flown before, but he brings it down. The other thing would be if he knows how to fly, but he's too late. It's one of those jungle scenes, you've seen where the plane crashes into this dinosaur infested jungle, only now without dinosaurs. He has to bring it down over the tree tops. Either that or he crashes into the Mediterranean, into the water.

G — Part of it is stylistic, but one of the things that works in movies is when the guy gets out of that situation in a unique very bravado sort of way. He has to do something so audacious that you have to say, "I'd never think of anything like that." And he gets away with it.

S — One of the things he could try, although it takes away from the suspense... If I were him, I'd jump at the last minute with a parachute.

G — The way to do it is to have him... You have seat covers or something. He starts ripping off the seat covers and tying them together. Then he jumps out holding all these seat covers. That's sort of unbelievable. If you could make something like that believable. He's over the water. It's James Bond. Not only do you have to get him out of it, you have to do it in a very colorful way. I'm not saying that you actually have to be clever, just make it believable. Sometimes he does it in a totally outrageous way, but it works and it's truly great.

S — One thing he can do is wait until it's almost crashed into the ground and then jump out and land in a tree, or on a roof top.

G — If we take him from Washington, why don't we take him to Hong Kong or Shang Hai. That's a great place. It's more exotic than Hong Kong. So he's crash in the water, with islands and Chinese junks.

S — He does this. Under his seat is a life vest or a life raft. He takes the life vest out from all the seats and he blows them all up and he gets inside, and is completely insulated. Then her jumps out of the airplane. He just surrounds himself with these huge cushioned items.

G — Did they have those things in '36?

S — They had them in all airplanes.

G — That's a little research item. They might just have had life preservers. If they had life preservers, you could more or less do the same thing. If he's over water, the plane could be going down at a steep angle.

S — The other thing he can do that's more in keeping with the heroic side is, rather than abandon the plane, he could kick down the door and we see the ocean just coming up at him. He'd pull the plane up at just the last moment. That's the old cliche shot. The plane is bellying on teh water. The water bursts through the cockpit. The plane begins to sink, and that would be interesting. He gets out of this sinking airplane and finds a vacuum. He takes a big bteath of air. He can't climb out until the pressure is equal. That means the whole plane has to be under water before he can climb out the window. Then he just climbs out the window and swims to the surface.

G — I like the part where he jumps out. That's a clever idea.

L — What if he makes himself into a ball with the life preservers and just goes skipping into the water.

G — If he like he ties himself into a ball with these preservers and he jumps out at the last minute.

L — If there were a life raft he could enclose himself in it.

G — That's a good idea. I'm just worried they didn't have life rafts then.

S — They had life rafts all through the second world war that were inflatable. I wanted him to be on a clipper. It's a big plane.

G — Is there one we could use for take off and landing, and use a miniature for the crash.

S — I heard that there's one left in South America someplace.

G — I just want to send a second unit to shoot it taking off and maybe get some extra stuff. If we send him to Shang Hai we could have him going to see his enemy and we could connect it rather than having it unconnected. The only reason we're talking about the Orient is that it's exotic. He's going to leave Washington and go to three exotic places. He'll go to the Orient with the crowded streets and dragon ladies. Then we send him to the Himalayas, with the snow. And then we send him to Cairo. Going from the Himalays to Cairo he would be going over water.

L — He could land in the snow. One thing about landing in the water that bothers me is that we end up in the water on the sub.

G — Actually, he could land in the snow.

S — When he hits, the raft comes open and he has a toboggan ride.

G — It's even better, because when he thinks of the raft over, well that's why he thought of it. But if he thinks of it over snow, that's even more clever. And snow is soft.

S — If the plane gets to crash in the mountains, there would be a huge explosion that we wouldn't have in the water. The plane is going into a box canyon and the guy has to jump. On top of a mountain he jumps out. The plane hits the mountain adn there's a big fire ball. The pieces go everywhere. He's on the raft holding onto the ropes, coming down the mountain. And for comic relief he should go right through some sort of village, with a fiesta or something happening, with llamas. He knocks a llama over.

L — There could be a ceremony with monks... (garbled) They're all looking up.

G — It can be amusing, but at the same time it has to be very realistic. It has to be what would really happen. You have to believe that someone could live through it like that. We have to concentrate on keeping it clean and not go through unnecessary explanations. The fun part of that flight is that it comes out of nowhere. You just don't expect it. It's great if it's the second flight in the movie. We'll cut to him flying various places. We want to get all that great period stuff. We have all these flights, and then suddenly you cut inside to all this craziness going on. I think he should go to Shang Hai to find this guy, his enemy. We get a little more information about the enemy. Also, maybe he gets a piece of the puzzle that sends him to the Himalayas.

L — (garbled, something about a museum)

G — Right. Sort of the Shang Hai Museum of Modern Art.

L — He knows his enemy is in Paris, so he's on his own protecting the museum, his henchmen are. Is there anything our guy can do to pick up whatever information his enemy already has? Somehow see the information that has already passed through that room?

G — Right. He's trying to find out what that guy knows.

L — It takes him right to the heart of the other guy’s strength.

G — I like that. We can do that easy. Before I had the girl providing that. We can decide which way. I had the girl get a copy of the drawing. If that guy had it, it would have to be in a safe or something. (not clear, something about an indentation)

L — Exactly how do you see this puzzle?

G — I see it as a tablet, a piece of stone with a map. It's not really a map. It's a description of the site. It's like a plan of the city. It was drawn at that time. And it has hieroglyphics on it telling the legend. It's an architects drawing that was done in stone, and it shows the placement of various temples, and of the Ark. The tablet was found out in the desert where the Germans are. it has to be the lost city of something.

L — Does it lead you to the Ark?

G — It shouldn't be something that shows you where the Ark is. It shows you where a certain temple is. If you find this city, and you have the map that shows you where this temple is, then you can find the Ark. Otherwise you have to dig up the whole city. The Germans have found the lost city. And they have two-thirds of the map, which maybe they found when they were digging. Other portions of this map have been found before, antiquities in various museums and other places

L — Let's say her father is there. Her father may have been his mentor. He has been working on some unrelated project. But it was her father who discovered the first fragment of the map. She has it. Her father dies. That's why he's going to Nepal, to get it from her. That's why they know each other. That's why she's reluctant to part with it. Does any of this sound possible?

G — Sounds possible.

L — So they have a previous relationship through her father.

G — The other thing we can do, twisting what you've just done with what we've already got... My immediate reaction is to shy away from the professor's daughter goes along. But what if we do it, and since her father dies, he left her broke. He was an archeologist and le left her so broke she didn't have any money to get back. So she's stuck there. She runs the bar. She's the local Rick. Sort of the American Rick. She's sort of goofy...

S — Earning money to get back to the states.

G — Yeah. She wants to get back. She's sort of made it her hone. She started out maybe singing or being a call girl or whatever. Eventually she bought out the guy who ran the place, or he died. Now she's got this little tavern, and she's doing sort of well. She could only sell the place for as much money as it would take to get her back to the states, and then she would be stuck there with nothing, no job. What she'd like to do is really strike it rich. But she doesn't see any way of doing that. She's sort of a goofy tough, willing to take care of herself, mercenary type lady who's really out for herself. She has this piece and he wants it, so what she does is cut herself in on it. "Look, you're going to have to take me along with you." "What do you mean?" "Partners. I have one piece. You have the other." That old story. It's kind of the thing where she wants to go back to the states in style or something. She doesn't want to get on a tramp steamer and make her way back, which she could have done a while ago. She really wants to go back as a lady. This is her chance. She says she'll sell it to him.

L — This is in Cairo.

G — No. This is in Nepal. She's stuck there.

L — Who are her customers at this Rick's Place in Nepal?

G — There is actually a Rick's Place in Nepal. Bill and Gloria know about it. They stayed there. It's some expatriot American who lives there at the foot of the Himalayas. It's got this hotel/bar.

S — I like the idea that she's a heavy drinker and our hero doesn't drink at all. She gets drunk a lot. She's beautiful and she gets really sexy when she's drunk, and silly. And he doesn't touch the stuff.

L — I don't want to soften her. I like the fact that it's greed. I like all the hard stuff, but you're going to love here.

G — This is good, but she obviously gets into something that's way over her head as the whole thing goes along.

L — I wonder if someone hasn't approached her already. The map has heated up considerably in three weeks. They've found the town. Does she have some tip off that this is worth while? When he comes to her, "That's funny. I've had this ten years since my father died. Now in this week two people want it."

G — If the Germans got there, first, they probably would have offered her a lot of money. And she probably would have sold it to them. Maybe no one knew where she is and he finds her through Washington or something. Some way where he would know, but no one else. Or government would know and he gets it from them. Maybe the enemy doesn't know yet where this professor died. And that would make it interesting, because supposedly she's secure, and he gets sabotaged on the way there. You know that they know more or less where he's going. The immediate danger is that they're racing to get there. She tells him that if he wants this thing so bad it'll cost him $20,000. "I don't have that kind of money. I don't get anything until I get the whole thing, when we get the Ark. Then I get the money." She says, "Okay, We're partners." It forces her to stay with him. If the Germans came and offered her the money right away, she'd take it. And they would give it to her. I think it's better, at this point, to keep the Germans one step behind them. They're one step ahead in sabotaging him, but they don't know where he's going. They begin to figure it out, and they decide to kill him and go get it. They're on their way too. There's another plane that's flying alongside his that has the bad guys in it. They're trying to get there first. They just don't have as specific information as he does. They just know he's in Nepal someplace. So we slow them down once they get there.

S — She gives him this map right away?

G — It has to be fairly quick.

S — He has to win her confidence.

G — Right.

L — Let's say the Germans are a half hour behind them, and they're haggling. She is in immediate jeoprady and he represents some security to her.

G — Since he got there first, it's too late for them to try and buy it. All they can do is kill them both and take it.

S — How would they know where it is unless they torture her first to find out?

G — They won't know.

S — They wouldn't want to kill them until they have their hands on the map.

G — Maybe they'd just want to kill him.

S — She has a rooming house above the cafe. He hears this sound. In the middle of the night he gets up and looks over the banister. There are Germans everywhere. They have her and they're interrogating her, in the middle of this empty cafe in the middle of the night.

G — He comes in and saves her. You sort of introduce her as a damsel in distress. In the other way she's sort of a tough girl. Or you could do both. You could have him come and haggle with her, and have her say no way. "No money. No deal." He gets sort of pissed off and goes out. He comes back later and the place is empty and they're in there torturing her.

L — The thing hasn't been worth anything up until now. So she wears it around her neck, or it's on the mantle. It's like a joke.

G — Obviously it could be something semi-precious to her because her father gave it to her. We'll assume that she did love the old coot.

L — He goes off to his room for the night. He gets up; he's going to steal it. In the interim the Germans have arrived. When he goes down to steal it, he winds up rescuing her. He stumbles into this heroic role. She could doubt his motivation from then on. "You didn't come down there to save me."

G — We have to get them cemented into a very strong relationship. A bond.

L — I like it if they already had a relationship at one point. Because then you don't have to build it.

G — I was thinking that this old guy could have been his mentor. He could have known this little girl when she was just a kid. Had an affair with her when she was eleven.

L — And he was forty-two.

G — He hasn't seen her in twelve years. Now she's twenty-two. It's a real strange relationship.

S — She had better be older than twenty-two.

G — He's thirty-five, and he knew her ten years ago when he was twenty-five and she was only twelve.

G — It would be amusing to make her slightly young at the time.

S — And promiscuous. She came onto him.

G — Fifteen is right on the edge. I know it's an outrageous idea, but it is interesting. Once she's sixteen or seventeen it's not interesting anymore. But if she was fifteen and he was twenty-five and they actually had an affair the last time they met. And she was madly in love with him and he...

S — She has pictures of him.

G — There would be a picture on the mantle of her, her father, and him. She was madly in love with him at the time and he left her because obviously it wouldn't work out. Now she's twenty-five and she's been living in Nepal since she was eighteen. It's not only that they like each other, it's a very bizarre thing, it puts a whole new perspective on this whole thing. It gives you lots of stuff to play off of between them. Maybe she still likes him. It's something he'd rather forget about and not have come up again. This gives her a lot of ammunition to fight with.

S — In a way, she could say, "You've made me this hard."

G — This is a resource that you can either mine or not. It's not as blatant as we're talking about. You don't think about it that much. You don't immediately realize how old she was at the time. It would be subtle. She could talk about it. "I was jail bait the last time we were together." She can flaunt it at him, but at the same time she never says, "I was fifteen years old." Even if we don't mention it, when we go to cast the part we're going to end up with a woman who's about twenty-three and a hero who's about thirty-five.

S — She is the daughter of the professor who our hero was under the tutelege of. She has this little fragment of the map.

G — He doesn't have to have the fragment in hand. All he has to do is get a copy of it, make a rubbing of it.

L — (this section is not clear, something about the fragments and how he gets them)

G — His first job is to go to Shang Hai, into the lion's den to get this, which is usually at the end, so this is a twist. In Washington we have the advantage of being able to set up anything we want, in terms of information, what is going on. Say the Germans sent him the tablet to decipher.

L — They wouldn't do that. They would send him the rubbing.

G — Suppose the rubbing wasn't articulate enough. They could send a photograph, I guess.

L – Let's say the arch-enemy is gone now, but it had been there in his lab. Maybe the arch-villian has ahd a piece or two all along. But it was useless to him. Our guy knows that it's been kept there. The actual piece is no longer there. But it's been sitting on felt or in glass, and there's an impression of it.

G — Well, I like the idea of a sun spot, but then it would be the shape of the broken piece rather than what's on it. Again, we can design this however we want. It doesn't have to be a tablet. It could have been a painting on a vase. It can be any antiquity that we come up with. It could be a scroll. Or some kind of a statue or some sort of tall thing with a very strange design that is actually a design of the city. People have various pieces of it, something that's stacked. It could be a thing with lots of little gizmos in it, very intricately carved. It was the top of a stack that the mayor of the city carried around. This would be the sun, and this would be tie city. The city reached the sun, a symbol. It's been broken into a lot of pieces. There's a piece at this museum, which is one of the reasons they would call this guy in. Not only is he a shyster and all that stuff, but he already has a major piece of. Say the Nazis only have half of it, or a third of it. This guy has a third. So with their third and his third, they have two-thirds of it. This other professor has a little piece. Make it quarters, so the Nazis now have half of it.

S — Can they decipher every piece?

L — The design has the sun at the top of it. What if the way to the Ark is when the light hits a certain point on this sculpture it shows the entrance. So if you had the top half it would do you no good because the sun would be hitting nothing.

G — If you have enough pieces you can deduce the exact size. But if the Chinese and the Nazis have two sections, why doesn't he just go right there and get both of them at once rather than go to where just one piece is?

L — Unless he thinks it's going to be very difficult, as it turns out to be, to walk into the Nazi camp and get it.

G — Unless he thinks the Chinese guy is still there with both of them. He goes there to see if he can get it, and finds out the guy is gone. He knows exactly where it is because he's been there before. But now it's gone. Then he looks at the shadow. He doesn't know he's going to be able to get the Nazi piece. Right now he's going to get all the pieces he can. So he copies the silhouette. Then he goes to get the part the girl has. From that he figures it out.

S — How does the audience...


G — He says okay, I'll get you a ticket to Cairo, and you can leave tonight. He tells him he doesn't want to go to Cairo, he wants to go to Shang Hai, cause we'll have to have this piece that's there. If the scriptures are true or whatever, then you have to have this piece to make it work. I have to get it, or at least a copy of it. He goes to Shang Hai and it's been stolen. If he can make an outline of it, then I assume somebody has a still of it, and whatever information you can get off the real thing, you could get off a still. I'm just being the devil's advocate here.

S — If it's an important piece, certainly there are photographs of it. There is a coalition of museums where you have to register everything.

G — Assume at this point that no one ever thought twice about it. All it gives us is his clever way of taking the shadow.

S — Bow much film time is this going to take?

G — I'm also trying to get something that's very simple. We don't have to go into endless explanations about how... This has to be something that's extremely simplistic, in terms of the pieces. That is sort of foolproof in its own way. It has to be something very obvious. We know that whatever it is, we have to have pieces of a puzzle. It would be nice if the puzzle were some sort of great key thing with the sun hitting... That's always a lot of fun. And the girl has to have an important piece that makes her a vital link in the whole chain. We want to send the guy to Shang Hai first just for the environment. Have a little bit of adventure there before he goes to Nepal, before he ends up in Cairo. Between the point where he leaves Washington, and he's up there on the hill looking down at the Nazis part of it is in the Orient, part is in Nepal, part in the mud streets of some Arabian city. Then a lot of it takes place in the desert. What we have to do is figure how we're going to put the puzzle together, in terms of what can be missing that can be a key to this thing. The original was a plan of the city of this piece.

? — They do that to make more money. They'll take an object and break it up and sell the pieces.

? — We know that each person has a piece. That's the easiest thing. But having a staff...

? — A staff. That solves the problem.

? — I like the staff, and the sunlight thing.

? — we have to figure out is where she carries it.

G — Or what he's going to Shang Hai for. That can either be the stronghold of our guy, or not. He can be based in Shang Hai, or in Paris.

S — I thought he would meet his arch-rival in Shang Hai.

G — Only because of the fact that the arch-rival is oriental. We don't have to make him Oriental. We can make him black. The only other thing that gets "complex is if the bad guy is Oriental and he goes on the Oriental pirate ship, it doesn't have to be an Oriental pirate ship. Assuming that we don't make the arch-rival Chinese, make him French. When he goes to Shang Hai to get the piece that it is a surprise that it's missing.

L – It could be in a private collection. You wouldn't have to worry about stills of it. The private collection it's in could be...

G — Some very rich Chinese war lord. In those days they had war lords. They didn't get rid of them until the Japanese came in. A swordsman.

S — That's what happens in Shang Hai.

G — That would be great. The war lords were actually like banditos.

S — I'd like to see him taking on a whole bunch of Samurai.

G — It would be Chinese swordsmen, which is different.

S — Maybe we should move it to Tokyo.

G — Shang Hai is good. We could still have swords and stuff. It's just a different kind of sword and it works in different ways.

L — This could be a Japanese swordsman who was so bad they kicked him out of Japan. Now he's in China.

G — We have to do some research, but actually the war with Japan was going on then in '36. When you send him to Shang Hai, we'll have to check this, but I think the war was going on there then.

S — It's perfect. You have explosions and Zeros.

G — The war lords were sort of corrupt guys. If this guy is in league with the Japanese, we just touch on a whole other story. This guy is a war lord by virtue of the fact that he's sold out to the Japanese and the Japanese are using his influence and his thing as a base for their operation. They wouldn't be Samurai, but they would be your Rising Sun guys. Some of those guys carry Samurai swords. His personal body guards could have Samurai swords. We bring the Japanese into it, and Chinese war lords. This guy is helping the Japanese to kill and maim his country, so he's really a despicable person.

S — We have to have a beheading. We have to start this scene with a mass beheading. We don't have to show it. If you were really bad, it took three minutes to cut your head off. Then the Japanese Zeros strafe. They're cutting off the heads of Flying Tigers, american mercenaries.

G — He gets on his clipper and he flies from Washington to Shang Hai. At the end of the temple scene, probably some transitional device there. We may have some kind of...

L — The thing we've been avoiding is that he could pick up his piece there.

G — We were thinking that they had already got to it. Maybe he actually gets the piece there before the other guys get there. He's one step ahead of them at this point. An interesting there is how close the Germans are to getting it. You can have the Germans get it while he's there, and have him sabotage the Germans just before they get it on their airplane. I think it would be good if he got in and got out. When he gets on the plane you think he's escaping. So the whole thing, where he's going and everything becomes a real surprise.

S — This is where we can do our fist fight with the flying wing. We can do that sequence in the Shang Hai area.

L — And then he hops on a DC-3, which is their plane. It's the sabotaged plane.

G — One of the reasons I had the flying wing in the desert, landing on a secret desert base, was the fact that I assume that when we get it we're going to have to get it out of a museum somewhere around here, and we might be able to take it out to a desert around here. The mojave or one of these Air Force bases out there. It's clean, they can just fly it in and fly it out. It's sort of second unit. Fly the plane in, stage the fight, and fly it out agan without having to get into a big deal about getting it to a difficult location. Those flying wings are so dangerous that you can't fly them any more. But they're still around some where.

L — How many engines do they have?

G — Four. It depends on how big it is.

S — Is it the B-36 with eight engines backwards?

G — Yes. The wing has four engines backwards. If he gets into Shang Hai and he pulls off this thing, we have to figure out... Obviously it moves fast enough that we don't have to rationalize a lot of what we're doing. If the expert landed in Cairo, he would think the same thing our hero would think, and he would have had the Nazis wife to Shang Hai and have the Nazi agent there contact this guy.

L — At the same time the fight is going on with the Samurai the Germans can be going through the formality with the Japanese and the Chinese war lords about coming down and getting it. When they open the door, he's going out over the roofs.

G — Another way to do it would be to give our guy a jump a little bit. In Washington they tell him he has to get on it right away because the Germans have found the lost city or whatever two days ago. A lot of activity going on out in the desert. They've contacted his old friend. They're talking about the Ark. Somehow they say that he hasn't left Paris yet. They think he's scheduled to leave tomorrow for Cairo. We know that his rival hasn't left Paris yet. That's when our guy says it must be true. "I need a ticket to Shang Hai." Assume that the French guy wouldn't figure it out until he actually got there.

L — That's a question. How hip is the arch-rival? At this point our guy apparently knows that he needs the staff. He doesn't know if they've found the map. The arch-rival must know about the staff.

G — You assume he knows this stuff if his mentor found the top of the staff.

L — Now why would the arch-rival, upon hearing the news that they found the lost city, immediately say "I've got to get that staff put together."? Why do we have to have such a big lead

G — What happens if we don't?

L — It makes more sense if the arch-rival hasn't gotten all this stuff before. So it becomes a race all the way. What is the advantage of the lead he's got?

G — That's what it comes down to. It becomes slightly coincidence, and we have to avoid that, that his mentor knew all about this and that's how come he knows all about it. Of course it's not really a coincidence because he's going for the thing. If he knows the professor, and if he knows about this particular Ark, he is the one who is really the expert on it, but he's very skeptical about it. He's sort of researched it and his mentor has researched it, and he thinks it's sort of horse-shit. If they call him in and say, "It seems the Germans have found the lost city. The lost city is the part that was the myth. "They probably just stumbled into a big hole and think they discovered something." "Well, we're sending for this guy." So then our guy thinks maybe it is the lost city. If it is the lost city, they're going to need the staff. They're not going to figure that one out for a while. "If they have found the lost city and they're looking for the Ark, they're going to need the staff with the sun. I know where to get it, and I've got to get it right away, before they get it, and before my arch-rival gets it."

S — Then we'd better cut to the arch-rival away from our hero, make him a seperate character and let him give the same orders.

G — I think it's better not to. I don't want to set it up as a race. I think it's important that we set up the fact that our guy is getting to the thing before they do, or is trying to. And he does get to it before they do, and then he goes to the girl and gets the other part.

L — It seems like he could be just a step ahead all along. It could be a half hour or it could be ten minutes, (garbled, something about guns and Samurai) Do you have any problem with the fact that they bail out over the Himalayas when they had all the way from Shang Hai to...

S — No. That's the kind of stuff I like. I wouldn't question it.

G — It's the crazy Oriental mind. How do we know how it works. They always wait until the last minute or something.


G — forced into the situation. So he gets in there. The Nazis are closing in. He has a fight with the Samurai body-guards and maybe some of the Nazis. He steals the thing. The great thing we have to set up on this flight to Nepal is that our Chinese guys are the ones who booked this great plane and-all that stuff. So you just assume that it's safe.

S — They would have done this even if he got the thing safely.

G — Right. We won't explain how they have all this figured out. The ideal thing is to set it up as safe a flight as possible. You think when he gets on the plane and sits down, everything is okay. "Well, we got out of that one." Suddenly there's no one there. Just as you think he's safe and there's going to be a little quiet period, he goes on to the next thing and crashes.

S — Are we going to do the fist fight with the flying wing here at the Shang Hai airport?

G — No. I don't think we should do that. The fight should be at the war lord's temple. Then they jump in the car and race out to the airport. The Army Intelligence' guys and the Chinese underground guys say goodbye and good luck. They put him on the plane and they send him off, and he's safe.

S — What about the Nazis? Are there any close brushes with them?

G — In the temple he gets caught and has a fight. They sort of arrive together. When he arrives at the front of the temple, the Germans are arriving at the back.

L — And the Chinese war lord insists on a sort of ritual welcome.

G — Yeah. The Germans aren't in any hurry because they don't know what's going on yet, we assume at this point. "Well, close, but not close enough." They almost beat them, but they didn't. Once he crashes into the snow we don't need to spend any time there. We just cut to him hobbling into the village. Or we can have some people bring him down.

S — After the toboggan ride.

G — The other thing we have to do, he has to hide this thing somewhere or they'd take it. The one he picked up in Shang Hai We assume at this point they know that this is the guy and they want to kill him, what they also have to do is get this thing back. He hides it on his person. We can make it as big or as small as we want. If it's a big stone thing, then it's going to be a little difficult. We hide it, and he carries on the airplane a little box about the right size that he's very protective of. He sets it on the seat next to him. When all the people are getting out very quietly, somebody comes over and picks up the box. "Where did everybody go? Some bastard stole my lunch."

S — Where does he meet the girl then, Nepal?

G — Yes. She is running this American hostel and bar. Rick's Place, in the middle of Nepal in some little village.

L — Do you have a name for this person?

G — I do for our leader.

S — I hate this, but go ahead.

G — Indiana Smith. It has to be unique. It's a character. Very Americana square. He was born in Indiana.

L — What does she call him, Indy?

G — That's what I was thinking. Or Jones. Then people can call him Jones. He crashes into the snow, then dissolve to him with his crutch or something making hiw way down into a village. There is a little scene where he gets transportation. Where he lands is not next door to the village. We might have a lot of suspicious looking Himalayans standing around that you might think are spies. One guy rushes to a telegraph office. Create a little bit of tension. It's really a scene where we have him rent a car or something and drive to the next village. I don't think the trek is good getting out of the mountains, 'cause they have a tendency to be boring. It should be getting to where the girl is. Again we're just talking about a few shots because we don't want to spend a lot of time in between things. We go to him trying to get a car, then dissolve to him driving into the town, getting out, looking around. We have established tha fact that he's going to Nepal or someplace. It's not like he was going to Cairo and ended up in Nepal.

(long gap in tape)
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