I'm sure I've talked before about how "Deleted Scenes" can be an excellent learning experience for writers. If you watch that section of most DVDs you'll often come away thinking "Yeah, I can see why they cut that." It's a short hop from that realization to understanding how a scene needs to move the story forward.
If you're smart, you can then turn around and apply that insight to your own script. So let's look at a deleted scene I came across recently. It's from Sucker Punch, which I lambasted in three separate blog posts. And true, the theatrical version of the film isn't exactly the model of coherence either - but this scene seems to exist in its own reality.
There are a number of reasons I can surmise that this scene was cut. First, it's shot and edited like a music video. Other parts of the film are frentically edited, but this sequence really feels like an MTV video. It's not really telling a story - it's just a montage.
Related to that, there really isn't a point of view to the sequence. Everything else in Sucker Punch is essentially from Baby Doll's perspective. I'm not sure who's perspective this sequence belongs to.
It's also four minutes of screentime that doesn't tell us anything we don't already know. Yes, we see the girls perform in individual dances, but those dances seem to have nothing to do with the girls' individual personalites or arcs. If they were going to to the trouble of giving each girl a dance solo, it feels like a missed opportunity not to have the dance or the music reflect something relevent to them specifically.
(There's also the fact that I don't understand why the two characters played by Carla Gallo and Oscar Isaac are performing the song themselves. They're the people behind the scenes - not the talent.)
So I put it to you, does this scene seem to make any sense on its own? And to those of you who saw Sucker Punch, does it add anything to the overall experience?
2 weeks ago