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`````Atlas shrugged (screen play)

1

The great oak tree stays on a hill over the Hudson. At night lightning strikes the tree and it has broken in half. Eddie Willers aged 14 in his bedroom sees the tree, which is falling apart. He is running, undressed through the storm to the top of the hill and in the light of the lightning he discovers with horror that the oak’s trunk is only empty shell; its heart had rotten away long ago; there is nothing inside-just a thin gray dust.

2

In the sunny morning two children Eddie Willer and Dagny Taggart age 15 solemnly stand around the fallen tree.

Dagny Eddie, what you would do when you grow up?

Eddie

Whatever is right. You ought to do something great…I mean, the two of us together.

Dagny What?

Eddie

I don’t know. That’s what we ought to find out. Not just what you said. Not just business and earning a living. Things like winning battles, or saving people out of fires, or climbing mountains.

Dagny What for?

Eddie

The minister said last Sunday that we must always reach for the best within us. What do you think it is?

Dagny doesn’t answer; she is looking away, up the railroad track

3

. Futuristically designed train crossing American continent .The name “Atlas shrugged” appears on this background. Dagny Taggart now 30 years old, Vice-president in charge of operation of Taggart Transcontinental Railroad Company in her private railroad car, is watching program of Eugene Lawson, the moral conditioner.

Lawson

The situation in the People Republics around the globe becomes quite. desperate. People are in need of every thing-food supplies, water, electricity, petrol, and health services. They are starving and dying from mysterious diseases. We ought to help. We are our brother’s keepers. But notorious pirate Danneskjold has attacked unfortunaly ours ships caring relieve supplies again. The crews have been rescued without any casualties, but all cargo has lost…”(TV footage)

Dagny is dozing. In her dream she is in the large auditorium listening to Richard Halley piano concerto. The music is of triumph, joy and deliverance. When she wakes up, she notices young steward is adjusting the controls of the air-conditioner and whistling the theme of the music.

Dagny Tell me please what are you whistling?

The boy turns to her. She meets a direct glance and sees an open, eager smile, as if he were sharing a confidence with a friend.

The steward It’s the Halley Concerto (smiling)

Dagny Which one?

The steward The Fifth

Dagny Richard Halley wrote only four concertos.

The boy’s smile vanishes as if a shutter were slammed down; his face become empty.

Steward Yes, of course. I’m wrong. I’ve made a mistake.

Dagny Then what was it?

Steward Something I heard somewhere.

Dagny What?

Steward I don’t remember (turning away from her)

Dagny

It sounded like a Halley theme. But I know every note he’s ever wrote and he never wrote that.

Steward You like the music of Richard Halley?

Dagny Yes, I like it very much.

He considers her for a moment, as if hesitating, and then he turns away. She’s watching the expert efficiency of his movements as he continues to work. He works in silence.

As they speak the train is approaching New York City, passing slums area. Large poster on the dirty wall reads, “ Who is John Galt?” Big digital calendar hung over the city says: September 2. 2027.When the train plunges into the tunnels, Dagny sit up straight, watching bare walls of concrete, a net of pipes and wires, a web of rails that went off into black holes where green and red lights hung as distant drops of color. When the train stops, she gets off, walking fast, whistling a piece of music-the theme of Halley’s Fifth Concerto. She feels some one is looking at her and turns. The young brakeman is watching her tensely. (this brakeman is John Galt)

4

Eddie Willers now 29 years old in James Taggart’s office. James Taggart is President of Taggart Transcontinental. He looks like a man approaching fifty, who had crossed into age from adolescence without the intermediate stage of youth. He has slender body; the flesh of his face is pale and soft. He is 39 years old.

Eddie

You know what I’m saying, Jim. The Rio Norte Line is done for. That track is shot. down the whole line.

James We are getting a new track.

Eddie

Jim, there isn’t going to be any new track. I’ve just come back from the office of Associated Steel. I’ve spoken to Orren Boyle. He spoke for an hour and did not give me a single straight answer.

James What you want me to do? I cannot run Orren’s business.

Eddie I want you to understand that we cannot wait.

James

Well, whatever else you say, there one thing you’re not going to mention next-and that’s Rearden Steel.

Eddie

Jim, we cannot lose Colorado. It’s our last hope. It’s everybody last hope. We are going to lose every big shipper in the state to the Phoenix. We’ve lost the Wyatt oil fields.

James

Ellis Waytt is a greedy bastard who’s after nothing but money. It seems to me that there are more important things in life than making money. What does he expect? That we drop all our shippers and give him all our trains?

Eddie

No. He doesn’t expect anything. He just deals with Dan Conway of the Phoenix railroad.

James

We won’t allow this unfair cutthroat competition to continue. Dan Conway is just working for a profit. He contributes nothing to the public good.

Dagny storms into the office.

Dagny

The Rio-Norte Line is a pile of junk, but we’re going to save it. We’ll get the new rail in two months

James Oh, did Orren say he would…

Dagny I’ve ordered the rail from Rearden Steel.

Eddie Willer makes chocked sound of laugh

.

Dagny And it’s not going to be steel. It’s Rearden Metal.

When she sees the expression on Taggart’s face, she bursts out laughing. Suddenly her voice became cold and harsh.

Dagny

Drop it, Jim. I know every thing you’re going to say. Nobody’s ever used it before. Nobody approves of Rearden Metal. Nobody wants it. Still, our rails going to be made of Rearden Metal.

James But… but nobody’s ever used it before.

Dagny doesn’t answer, angry.

James

The consensus of the best metallurgical authorities seems to be highly skeptical about Rearden Metal, contending-

Dagny Drop it, Jim.

James Well, whose opinion did you take?

Dagny I don’t ask for opinions.

James What do you go by?

Dagny Judgment

.

James Whose judgment did you take?

Dagny Mine.

James But whom did you consults about it?

Dagny Nobody.

James Than what on earth do you know about Rearden Metal?

Dagny That it’s the greatest thing ever put on the market.

James Why?

Dagny

Because it’s tougher and cheaper than steel and will outlast any hunk of metal in existence.

James But who says so?

Dagny Jim, I studied engineering in college. When I see things, I see them.

James What did you see?

Dagny Rearden’s formula and the tests he showed me.

James

But the board hasn’t authorized it. I haven’t authorized it. You haven’t consulted me.

Dagny Taggart picks up the phone and hands it to Jim Taggart

Dagny Call Rearden and cancel it.

James I haven’t say I want to cancel. I haven’t say it at all.

Dagny Than it stands?

James

That is the trouble with you. You always make it ‘yes’ or ‘no’. Things are never absolute like that. Nothing is absolute.

Dagny Metal rails are, whether we get them or not.

James Are you taking the responsibility for it?

Dagny I am

James

Go ahead, but at your own risk. I won’t cancel it, but I won’t commit myself as to what I’ll say to the board.

Dagny

Say anything you wish. I’m going to Philadelphia to night to see Rearden. He and I have a lot of work to do. (Leaving the office)

Eddie Willers follows her to her office

Dagny to Eddie

Please call Owen Kellog of the terminal division. I’d like to appoint him as Superintendent of the Ohio Division.

Eddie I cannot do this, Miss Taggart.

Dagny Why?

Eddie He quit.

Dagny What? One of my best.. But why?

Eddie Who is John Galt? (Meaning- who knows?)

Two months later

Dagny Taggart in her car, traveling to Philadelphia. Scattered lights appeared in the darkness, the black shape of a structure comes next, barely visible against the sky, than a big building, wrapped in coils of steam. The rays of a few strong lights cut straight sheaf through the coils. The steam is red as the sky. The thing that comes next did not look like a building, but like a shell of checkered glass enclosing girders, cranes and trusses in a solid, blinding, orange spread of flame. An office building appears with big neon sign on the roof “REARDEN STEEL”. Dagny is entering the building, searching for Hank Rearden. His secretary directs her to go to the mills. Hank Rearden stands in the distant corner of the huge building, the red glare keeps slashing his face with prominent cheekbones and sharp lines. His eyes are pale blue ice .He is tall and gaunt. Dagny is approaching him. The metal came rising to the top of the ladle and running over.

Rearden This is the first heat for the first order of Rearden Metal. Your order, Dagny.

Rearden and Dagny walk to Rearden’s office trough the mills.

Dagny

That’s the story, Hank. I had worked out an almost impossible schedule to complete the Rio Norte Line in twelve months. But they’ve passed Anti-dog-eat-dog proposal into the law against unfair competition between railroads. Shipping of Wyatt’s oil by Phoenix railroad will stop in nine months. That is all time I have now to save Taggart Transcontinental and Colorado. Can you give us the rail within nine months?

.

Rearden I’ll do it. And I intend to make you pay for it.

Dagny How much?

Rearden Twenty dollars extra per ton.

Dagny Is that the best price you can give me?

Rearden No. But I could ask twice that and you’d pay it

Dagny Yes, I would. And you could. But you won’t.

Rearden Why won’t I?

Dagny

Because you need to have the Rio Norte Line built. It’s your first showcase for Rearden Metal.

Rearden

That’s right. I like to deal with somebody who has no illusions about getting favors.

Dagny touches green-blue bracelet on Hank’s desk

Dagny Rearden Metal

Rearden Yes.

Dagny

Hank, this is great. When I think of what that metal can do, what it will make possible…Hank, this is the most important thing happening in the word to day, and none of them know it.

Rearden We know it.

6

It is dark road; Rearden walks from his mills toward his house. The man steps

suddenly out into the road. Rearden’s hand goes to the gun in his pocket.

Man

No, Mr. Rearden, it’s no need for it. I don’t intend to rob you of you money but to return it to you.

Rearden What money?

Man The money that was taken from you by force.

He extends to Rearden a bar of solid gold

Man A small refund on very large debt.

Rearden

Do you mean that you had to stalk me at night, on a lonely road in order not to rob me, but to hand me a bar of gold?

Man Yes.

Rearden Why?

Man

When robbery is done in open daylight by sanction of the law, as it done today, than any act of honor or restitution has to be hidden underground. This money represents only small fracture of your income tax collected from you for the last twelve years.

Rearden How did you collect it?

Man I took it from those who robbed you.

Rearden Who are you?

Man Ragnar Danneskjold.

Rearden You chose to live by means of force, like the rest of them.

Ragnar

Yes-openly and honestly. I do not rob men who are tied and gagged. I’m Robin Hood in reverse, taking unearned from the parasite poor and give it back to productive rich.

Rearden

Take that gold of yours and get away from here. I won’t accept the help of a criminal.

Dagnar

No, Mr. Rearden. The money is rightfully yours. You can to with it whatever you like

.

The beam of lights hits them and police car stops next to them.

Policeman Is every thing all right, Mr. Rearden?

Rearden Yes

Policemen And who is this man? (pointing to Ragnar)

Rearden My new bodyguard.

Policeman Oh…sensible precaution, Mr. Rearden, in times like these. Good night, sir.

(Drives away)

Ragnar

You didn’t lie. Your bodyguard-that’s what I am. Thanks, Mr. Rearden and good by.

He vanishes beyond the stone fence abruptly and soundlessly.

7

Hank Reardon enters his house. His wife, Lillian is talking to family friend Paul Larkin (middle of conversation)

Lilian

-but it’s just that a man of culture is bored with the alleged wonders of purely material ingenuity. He simply refuses to get excited about plumbing.

Than she notices Rearden’s presence.

Lilian to Rearden Darling, isn’t it too early to come home?

Rearden

I’m sorry. I know I’m late, Lilian, but today at mills we poured the first heat of Rearden metal.

Phillip (his brother)-That’s nice.

Rearden drops a small chain of metal into his wife’s lap.

Rearden I brought you a present, Lilian.

Lilian What’s that?

Rearden The first thing made from the first heat of the first order of Rearden Metal.

Lilian

You mean, it’s fully as valuable as a piece of railroad rails? Henry, it’s perfectly wonderful! I shall be the sensation of New York, wearing jewelry made of the same stuff as bridges, truck motors and soup kettles!

Phillip God, Henry, but you’re conceited!

Lillian No, it’s sweet. Thank you, dear.

Rearden to Phillip What were you doing today. Phil?

Phillip

I’m trying to raise money for Friends of Global Progress. We need ten thousand dollars for a vital program, but people just don’t have a speck of social conscience. When I think of the kind of bloated moneybags without any sense of moral duty…

Rearden is laughing

Phillip. What are you laughing at?

Rearden

Phillip, call Miss Ives at my office tomorrow. She will have a check for ten thousand dollars for you.

Phillip Thank you, Hank. I’m surprised.

Lillian

Don’t you understand? Henry’s poured his metal today. Shall we declare it a national holiday?

Phillip

By the way, Henry, do you mind if I ask you to have Miss Ives give me the money in cash? You see, Friends of Global Progress are very progressive group and they have always maintained that you represent the blackest element of social retrogression in the country, so it would embarrass us, you know, to have your name on our list of contributors…

Rearden wants to slap his brother’s face. Instead he closes his eyes.

Rearden All right, you can have it in cash.

8

Taggart Transcontinental building. Dagny Taggart in her office, working.

Eddie Willers enters.

Eddie Dagny, turn on TV

TV anchor

The State Science Institute disapproves on using of Rearden Metal, saying that it safety is not sufficiently established. The convention of the grade teachers of New Mexico has passed resolution, that children should not be permitted to ride on new Rio Norte line of Taggart Transcontinental because it is unsafe. The steel workers union of Detroit is debating whether their members should or should not be permitted to work with Rearden Metal. Taggart stock has crushed. Jim Taggart, the president of Taggart Transcontinental is not available for response.

Eddie turns off TV, picks up a file with head letters “ The State Science Institute” and reads aloud-

Eddie

“It may be possible that after a period of heavy usage, a sudden fissure may appear, though the length of this period cannot be predicted…The possibility of a molecular reaction, at present unknown, cannot be entirely discounted…Although the tensile strength of the metal is obviously demonstrable, certain questions in regard to its behavior under unusual stress are not to be ruled out…”

Eddie drops the file

Eddie

We cannot fight it. It cannot be answered. We can’t demand a retraction. We can’t show them our tests or prove anything. They’ve said nothing. They haven’t say a thing that could be refuted. It’s the job of a coward. But Dagny! It’s the State Science Institute!

Dagny, what is happening to people? Why did that statement succeed? It such an obvious rotten smear-job, how could they accept it? What is it in people that let them to do this? Ah, who is John Galt!

Dagny Quiet, Eddie, quiet. Don’t be afraid. (Leaving the office)

9

Dagny stands in the middle of the room in the house of the old Taggart estate. The room is used, yet uninhibited. James Taggart lies on the couch, with a towel wrapped for a scarf around his neck.

James

It is a lie! I didn’t run away! I came here because I happened to be sick. Ask Dr. Wilson.

It’s a form of flu. He’ll prove it. And how did you know that I was here?

Dagny I have no time for arguments, Jim.

James

It was your idea! I hope you’ll admit to the Board that it was your idea. That what your goddamn Rearden Metal has done to us! If we had waited for Orren Boyle…Now there nothing left for us to do! We’re caught. We can’t give up that branch and we can’t complete it. We can’t stop or go on. We have no money. Nobody will touch us with a ten-foot pole! What have we got without the Rio Norte Line? We’d be boycotted and blacklisted. The union of track workers would sue us. Christ! What are we going to do?

Dagny

Through, Jim? If you are, I'll tell you what we’re going to do. This is not a proposal, Jim. It’s an ultimatum. Just listen and accept. I am going to complete the construction of the Rio Norte Line. I personally, not Taggart Transcontinental. I will take a leave of absence from the job of Vice-President. I will form a company in my own name. Your Board will turn the Rio Norte line over me. I will get my own financing. I’ll take full charge and sole responsibility. I’ll complete the Line on time. After you have seen how the Rearden Metal rails can take it, I’ll transfer the Line back to Taggart Transcontinental and return to my job. That is all.

He looks on her, dangling a bedroom slipper on the tip of his foot. His face express hope mixed with cunning

James

Well…of course, the problems involved in the policy of a great railroad system are complex…while a small, independent company could afford to…

Dagny

Yes, Jim, yes. I know all that. The moment you announce that you’re turning the Rio Norte Line over me, The Taggart stock will rise and…

James And…if you fail?

Dagny If I fail, I’ll go down alone.

James

You understand that in such case Taggart Transcontinental will not be able to help you in

any way?

Dagny I understand.

James

I think we should agree that in case of failure you leave of absence will become permanent…that is, you will not expect to return to the post of Vice-President.

Dagny All right, Jim. In such case I will not return.

James Taggart remains silent, trying to think, starting down at the floor

James What you are going to call it?

Dagny What?

James What you going to call your company?

Dagny Oh…the Dagny Taggart Line, I guess.

James

But… Do you think that’s wise? It might be misunderstood. The Taggart might be taken as-

Dagny

Well, what you want me to call it? “ the Miss Nobody? The Madam X? The John Galt?

She stops. She smiles suddenly, a cold bright, dangerous smile.

Dagny That’s what I’m going to call it: the John Galt Line.

James Good God, no!

Dagny Yes!

James But it’s…it’s just a cheap piece of slang!

Dagny Yes.

James But for God’s sake, why?

Dagny Because it’s going to shock all the rest of them just as it shocked you.

James I’ve never seen you playing for effects

Dagny I am, this time.

James Look, Dagny, you know, it’s bad luck…what it stands for is…

Dagny Fear? Despair? Futility?

James Yes…yes, that’s what it is

.

Dagny

That ‘s what I want to throw in their faces! Draw up all the papers in the name of the John Galt Line.

James Well, it’s your Line.

Dagny You bet it is.

10

Francisco d’Aconia sits in front of Dagny’s desk.

Dagny

I need fifteen million dollars to complete the Rio Norte Line. I have obtained seven million against the Taggart stock I own free and clear. I will issue bonds in the name of my new company, in the amount of eight million dollars. I called you here to ask you to buy these bonds. Will you do it, Francisco?

Francisco No.

Dagny

I can’t struggle to understand you any longer, Francisco. You, the best industrialist in the country, suddenly became worthless playboy. Why don’t you tell me what happened to you?

Francisco Because at this moment, the answer would hurt you more than the doubt.

Dagny

I don’t know what is of value to you any longer. So I thought …if the memory of what had been your values, just like putting flowers on a grave…

11

Francisco and Dagny, both teenagers, stand on the summit of a cliff by the river, their shorts and shirts torn in their climb to the top, immerged in the haze of three different kinds of light merging together; the river, the sky and the sun.

Francisco Hi, Slug! I wish you’d learn to climb faster. I always have to wait for you.

Dagny Will you wait for me, Frisko?

Francisco Always

.

Dagny

You may like to know, that I have job on railroad. Night operator at Rockdale station.

Francisco

All right, now it’s a race. Let see who’ll do better job, you at Taggart Transcontinental, or I at d’Aconia Copper.

12

Dagny and Francisco, in there twenties, together in the hotel room. He holds her, pressing the length of his body against hers. She things that she must escape; instead, it was she who pulled his head to find his mouth again. After violent lovemaking Dagny lies awake in the bed by Francisco’s side. He looks at her naked body, than he falls forward and buries his face between her breasts

.

Dagny What is it, Frisco?

Francisco I can’t tell you

.

Dagny I want to help you.

Francisco You can’t

Dagny Than let me share it with you

Francisco If I’m not sure I can stand it, how could you?

Dagny Francisco, I have to know.

Francisco

Will you forgive me? I know you are frightened, and it’s cruel. But will you do it for me-will you let it go and don’t ask anything?

Dagny I. –

Francisco That’s all you can do for me. Will you?

Dagny Yes.

13

In the morning Francisco is dressing, preparing to go.

Dagny When will I see you again?

Francisco

I don’t know. Don’t wait for me. Next time we meet, you will not want to see me. I will have a reason for the things I'll do. Remember that I told you this and that it was all I could tell you.

14

Dagny’s office. Back to scene 10.

Francisco

I warned you. Maybe now you begin to realize that what you want to accomplish is impossible task in our irrational world of looters

.

Dagny If you see what’s happening in the world, you of all men should fight them.

Francisco Whom?

Dagny The looters, and those who make looting possible.

Francisco No my dear. It’s you that I have to fight.

Dagny Why?

Francisco You’re not ready to hear it

.

Dagny All right, Francisco. I won’t ask you for anything.

Francisco If it could be built, I wish good luck to the Rio Norte Line.

Dagny It’s “John Galt” Line.

Francisco starts laughing, than turns to Dagny.

Francisco What do you like about this name?

Dagny

I hate it! I hate the doom you’re all waiting for, the giving up, and that senseless question that always sounds like a cry for help. I’m sick of hearing pleas for John Galt. I’m going to build a railroad for him. Let him come and claim it!

Francisco smiles sadly

Francisco He will.

Francisco

I still want to sleep with you, Dagny. But I’m not a man who’s happy enough to do it. You want it too, don’t you?

Dagny (coldly) Yes.

15

Dagny on John Galt Line construction’s site. The rails rise through the rocks to the oil derricks and the oil derricks rise to the sky. Dagny stands on the bridge, looking up at the crest of the hill where the sun hit a spot of metal on the top of the highest rigging. It looks like a white torch lighted over the snow on the ridges of Wyatt Oil. She glances around and sees the tall figure of Hank Rearden standing at the foot of the bridge, absorbed in calculations. She runs toward him, he sees her and smiling.

Dagny Hi, what are you doing here?

Rearden

Oh, I came to Colorado on some business of my own, so I thought I’d take look at this.

Dagny At what?

Rearden points at the bridge.

Rearden

It’s ready for the scrap heap. You are wasting your money, trying to repair it. I can build new bridge and it will cost you less than repair. Look-

Rearden opens laptop computer and Dagny sees calculations and sketches.

Dagny That’s brilliant! Thanks, Hank

Rearden

Don’t thank me. Don’t you know that I want to have a bridge of Rearden Metal to show the country? To give them something real to yelp about!

Dagny Yes, Hank. I know it.

They walk to the edge of the canyon. Together, they look at the dark drop, at the rise of rock beyond it, at the sun high on the derricks of Wyatt Oil.

Dagny Hank, do you think we can build it in time? There are only six months left.

Rearden Sure.

Dagny What about the Metal?

Rearden Have I ever held you up on an order?

Dagny

No. But after they’ve passed Equalization of Opportunity Bill and you’ve been forced to sell your iron ore and coalmines, you might not be able to help it.

Rearden

Forget looters and their laws! Who do you think you talking to-Orren Boyle? I’ll just work a bit harder.

16

Dagny sits at her battered desk of her new office. The office is dilapidated room with blotched walls.

The only décor is Taggart’s original railroad map and picture of Nat Taggart, founder of Taggart railroad.

A man enters the office.

Man

Well, it likes this, Miss Taggart. I’m representative of the Union of Locomotive Engineers. And I don’t think we’ll allow you to run trains on John Galt Line.

Dagny Get out of here.

Man I came to tell you-

Dagny If you have anything to say to me, start over again.

Man What?

Dagny Don’t tell me what you’re going to allow me to do.

Man

I mean, we’re not going to allow our men to run your trains. This is a violation of human rights. You can’t force people to get killed just to make money for you.

Dagny searches for a sheet of blank paper and hands it to the man.

Dagny Put it down in writing and we’ll sign a contract to that effect.

Man What contract?

Dagny

That no member of your Union will ever be employed to run an engine on the John Galt Line.

Man Why…wait a minute…I haven’t said-

Dagny You don’t want to sign such a contract?

Man I only want-

Dagny

I know what you want. You want a stranglehold on your men by means of jobs, which I give them-and on me, by means of your men. Now I’ll give you a choice. The train is going to run even if I have to drive it myself. If you choose not to let them, then no member of your union will ever get a job on the John Galt Line. Don’t think I need your men more than they need me.

Man But you can’t force men to risk their lives on something nobody’s ever tried before.

Dagny I’m not going to force anyone. I’ll ask for volunteers.

17

Six month latter. Cheyenne Taggart station. It is official opening of the John Galt Line. Long freight train is ready for journey. It is large crowd around the train. Dagny and Rearden are answering questions for press.

1st reporter What protections do we have against your Line?

Dagny Don’t ride on it.

2nd reporter What is your motive for building this Line?

Dagny The profit which I expect to make.

3rd reporter Mr. Rearden, how do you know that your rail will hold?

Rearden The man who invented a printing press, how did he know it?

4th reporter

Miss Taggart, what’s going to support a seven thousand ton train on a three thousand –ton bridge?

Dagny My judgment.

Dagny and Rearden go into the cab, engineer and fireman goes after them, and door of the engine is shut.

Eddie Willers raises his hand - open her up, Pat - he calls to the engineer.

In the moment when the engine starts forward, he cuts the white ribbon and leaps out of the way. From the sidetrack, he sees the window of the cab go by and Dagny waving to him in an answering salute. Then the engine is gone, and he stands looking across at the crowded platform that kept appearing and vanishing as the freight cars click past him.

18.

The green-blue rails run to meet them, like two jets shot out of a single point beyond the curve of the earth. The green plans stretched past. At the end of the sky, a long wave of mountains reversed the movement and seemed to follow the train. Dagny is sitting in the fireman’s chair and looking across at Logan, his hand resting lightly on the throttle as if by chance. The speedometer stays at one hundred. Rearden stands in the middle of the cab, watching the rail. Dagny smiles, her eyes closed, the wind streaming through her hair. When she opens her eyes she sees that Rearden is looking at her with the same glance he had looked at the rail than looked away. They are passing Denver at a hundred miles an hour and were out again, traveling through the mountains. Dagny looks down and sees the silver side of the engine hanging over empty space. The nose of the engine was aiming straight to the sky. Than they are flying downward and she sees the bridge growing to meet them-a small tunnel of metal lace work, struck by a long ray of sunset light. Dagny hears the rising, accelerating sound of the wheels- and some theme of music: the Fifth Concerto by Richard Halley. The diagonals of the bridge went smearing across the windows, the sweep of their downward plunge was carrying them up a hill; the derricks of Wyatt Oil are reeling before them-Pat Logan turns and says “ that’s that” The train came to stop.

19

The door of the cab flung open. Dagny, Rearden and the crew are descending and have been greeted by laughing young man.

Dagny Ellis Wyatt! I haven’t expected to meet you here!

Ellis

We all are here. Nielsen, Hammond, Stokcton, and all others. All stockholders of John Galt Line. All, who need it so desperately.

Dagny shakes their hands and the hands of the crew, without words, with the seal of the grins on their faces.

One of the media people with the cameras broke through to her side.

Reporter Miss Taggart, who is John Galt?

Dagny We are!

20

It was dark when Dagny, Rearden and Wyatt sit at the dinner table in the Wyatt’s house. The room has large windows and a few pieces of costly furniture. The dinner is served by a silent figure in a white jacket, an elderly Indian with a stony face and a courteous manner. A few points of fire are scattering through the room, running over and out beyond the windows; the candles on the table, the lights on the derricks and the stars.

Ellis Wyatt

Do you think you have your hands full now? Just give me another year and I’ll give you something to keep you busy .Two tank trains a day, Dagny? It’s going to be four or six or as many as you wish me to fill.

His hand sweeps over the lights on the mountains.

Ellis

This? It’s nothing, compared to what I’ve got coming. The Buena Esperanza Pass. Five miles from here. Everybody is wondering what I’m doing with it. Oil shale. How many years ago was it that they gave up trying to get oil from shale, because it was too expensive? Well, wait till you see the process I’ve developed. It will be the cheapest oil ever to splash in their faces, and unlimited supply of it. Depleted resources? Hell! Did I order a pipeline? Hank, you and I will have to build pipelines in all directions…

Ellis glances at Rearden What are you smiling at?

Rearden I’ve always been curious to see what you’re like.

Ellis I’ve never had a chance to be what I’m like-except tonight.

Ellis Wyatt picks up his glass To the world, as it seems to be right now! I hope it will last.

21

Later Wyatt leads them up an outside stairway to the second floor of the house to the gallery at the doors of the guest rooms. Dagny doesn’t turn to the door of her room. Hank doesn’t move. At the level of their feet, there is nothing but a thin railing and a spread of space. Dagny feels Rearden’s arms around her, her legs pulled forward against him and her chest bent back under the pressure of his, his mouth on hers. He takes her wrist and threw her inside his room, making the gesture tell her that he needed no sign of consent or resistance. He is holding her across the bed, tearing her clothes off, while her face pressed against him, her mouth moving down the line of his neck and shoulder. Rearden stands, looking down at her naked body.

Rearden You want it?

Dagny

Yes, I want you, Hank. I wanted you from the first moment I saw you. I want you in my bed-and you are free of me for all the rest of your time. If I’m asked to name my proudest achievement, I’ll say: I’ve slept with Hank Rearden. I had earned it.

Their bodies met like the two sounds: the sound of his moan and of her laughter

22

In the morning Dagny pulls herself away from him, and stands up, brushing her hair, dressing. Rearden lies still, looking up at her.

Rearden Dagny, when did you take a vacation last time?

Dagny I think it was two…no, three years ago.

Rearden

I did five years ago. Dagny, let’s take a vacation together. Let’s drive away for a few weeks, anywhere, just drive, down the back roads where no one knows us. You can take a few weeks off, can’t you?

Dagny All right, Hank. But does holydays have to be purposeless?

Rearden Which abandoned factory you want to see?

Dagny The Twentieth Century Motor Company.

Rearden

Oh, of course! That was one of the best motor firms, perhaps the best. I seem to remember that there was something odd about the way it went out of business… can’t recall what it was.

Dagny Hank, what if anything happens to Ted Nielsen, our supplier of Diesel motors?

Rearden Why should anything happen to him?

Dagny

I don’t now, but…well, there was Dwight Sanders. He vanished. United Locomotives is done for now. And the other plants are in no condition to produce Diesels. And…and of what use is railroad without motive power?

Rearden Of what use is anything, for that matter, without it?

23.

The earth goes flowing under the hood of the car. Uncoiling from among the curves of Wisconsin’s hills, the highway is the only evidence of human labor, a bridge stretched across a sea of bush, weeds and trees. The long strip of concrete road is bleached to the powdery gray of bones left on desert. Green weeds rise from the angular cracks of the concrete.

Rearden It’s a good road. It was built to last. I don’t like the looks of this.

Dagny I don’t like it either.

The road ends abruptly behind the turn of a hill. It takes them three hours and a punctured tire to crawl in low gear through trackless soil to reach the settlement. A few houses still stand within the skeleton of what had once been an industrial town. Beyond the town, on distant hill, stand the factory of the Twentieth Century Motor Company. They see no trace of a road to the factory and drive to the door of the first house in sight. Old women comes shuffling out. She is bent and swollen, barefooted, dressed in garment of flour sacking.

Rearden Can you tell me the way to the factory?

Women What factory?

Rearden That one. (pointing)

Women It’s closed.

Rearden I know it’s closed. But is there any way to get there?

Women I don’t know.

Rearden Is there any sort of road?

Woman Maybe.

Rearden Well, which would be the best road to take?

Woman I don’t know.

Dagny has been studying the women for some minutes and realizes that she’s pregnant.

Dagny How old are you?

Woman Thirty-two.

24.

Dagny and Rearden sit in the local pub. The place is dirty and neglected.

Dagny

Hank, that woman is only two years older than I! God, how did they ever come to such a state?

Rearden Who is John Galt?

The voice behind them I can tell you, who is John Galt!

They turn and see a man in his early fifties. His face is wind-browned, cut by lines of weariness and cynical resignation; the eyes are intelligent, his suit is a mass of careful patches.

Man Yes I can tell you. Only I don’t like to say that.

Dagny I don’t either. I wish I knew why people are saying it and who started it.

Man That’s it, ma’am. That what I’m afraid off. It might have been me who started it.

Dagny What?

Man Me or about six thousand other workers of Twentieth Century Motor Company.

Dagny What do you mean?

Man

It was when the old man died and his heirs took over. There were three of them, two sons and a daughter, and they brought a new plan to run the factory. They let us vote on it too, and everybody-almost everybody-voted for it. We thought it was good. The plan was that everybody in the factory would work according to his ability, but would be paid according to his need. What is it that hell supposed to be? Evil-plain, naked evil, isn’t it? That’s what we helped to make. They told us that we’re all one big family; we’re all in this together. But you don’t all stand working an acetylene torch ten hours a day-together, and you don’t all get a bellyache-together. What’s whose ability and which of whose needs comes first? Oh well, anyway, it was decided that nobody had the right to judge his own need or ability. We voted on it. Yes ma’am, we voted on it in a public meeting twice a year. How else it could be done? It took us just one meeting to discover that we had become beggars-rotten, whining, sniveling beggars, all of us, because no man could claim his pay as his rightful earning, he had no rights and no earnings, he belonged to “the family”. God help us, ma’am! Do you see what we saw? The honest ones paid, the dishonest collected. This plan turned decent people into bastards-and it was called a moral ideal! Well, we got what we asked for. The best men among us left the factory. A man of self-respect doesn’t turn into a milk cow for anybody. People kept escaping from the factory like from a pest-hole-till we had nothing left except the men of need, but none of the men of ability. The production felt and the quality became so bad that nobody wanted our motors even for a gift. Eventually the factory went bankrupt and they closed it down.

Dagny But what about John Galt?

Man

Oh…yes. It was something that happened at that first meeting when we voted for this God damned plan…

25

12 years ago

The six thousand people crowd in the largest factory’s hangar, making too much noise, cheering, White arc lights beating down on the crowd. Ivy Starnes, the new owner yells through the noise

Ivy Starnes

This is a crucial moment in the history of mankind. Each of us belongs to all others by the moral law, which we all accept.

John Galt stands up

Galt I not. I will put end to this, once and for all.

John Galt starts to walk out.

Everybody suddenly turns dead still.

Ivy Starnes cries suddenly after him How?

John Galt turns and answers I will stop the motor of the world. (walks out)

26

(Back to present time)

The man to Dagny

Buy me another beer, will you?

Dagny orders beer.

Man

Thanks. We never saw him again. But years later, when we saw the lights going out, when we saw the roads growing empty-then we began to ask it of one another. We began to think about him whenever we saw another collapse in the world, which nobody could explain. When I hear that question, I feel afraid. You see, his name was John Galt

27

The factory had been gutted long ago. There was nothing left, expect worthless piles of twisted, rusted scraps.

Dagny to Rearden

We’d better look through it, just in case. You take the shops and I’ll take the annexes. Let do it as fast as possible.

Dagny walks through the factory. She stops in the laboratory. It is a coil of wire that made her stop. The coil protrudes from a pile of junk. Dagny tries to remove the coil, but it doesn’t move it is part of some larger object. She kneels and begins to dig through the junk. She cuts her hands; she covered with dust by the time she stands up to looks at the object she had cleared. It is the broken remnant of the model of a motor. She examines the tarnished tubes and odd-shaped connections. Her sudden gasp was not a sound, but a jolt that throw her at the junk pile. She is on her hands and knees, crawling over the wreckage, seizing every piece of paper in sight, flinging it away, and searching further. Her hands are shaking. She finds a thin sheaf of yellow and dry pages, clamped together.

28

From the empty enclosure of the plant’s powerhouse, Rearden hears Dagny’s voice screaming, “Hank!” He runs in the direction of the voice. He finds her standing in the middle of the laboratory, her hands bleeding, and a bunch of papers clutched in her hand.

Dagny

Hank, what does this look like? ( pointing at an odd piece of wreckage at her feet.)

Rearden Are you hurt? What happened?

Dagny

No! Oh, never mind, don’t look at me! I’m all right. Look at this. Do you know what that is?

Rearden What did you do to yourself?

Dagny I had to dig it out of there .I’m OK

.

Rearden You are shaking.

Dagny You will, too, in a moment. Hank! Look at it. Just look and tell me what you think it is.

He glances down, and then looks attentively-than he is sitting on the floor, studying the object intently.

Rearden It’s a queer way to put a motor together

.

Dagny Read this - (extending the pages.)

Rearden reads, looks up and says Good God!

Dagny

It was the coil that I noticed first-because I had seen drawing like it in some book many years ago. People worked on it but couldn’t solve it, so they gave it up. But there it is-a motor, which is working on static electricity from atmosphere-the cleanest, cheapest and unlimited source of energy ever available!

Rearden

Your are right. This is the greatest thing I’ve ever laid eyes on. But we can’t make it work again. To supply what’s missing would take a mind as great as it’s inventor.

Dagny I’ll find him-if I have to drop every other thing I’m doing.

Rearden -and if he still alive.

Dagny Why do you say it like that?

Rearden

If he were still alive, you wouldn’t have had to look for him. The whole world would know his name by now.

Dagny I’m going to find the man who made it.

Rearden We’ll try.

29

Dagny and Rearden in the Hall of Records of Rome, Wisconsin

Clerk of the Hall of Records

God have mercy on us, ma’am! Nobody knows who owns that factory now. I guess nobody will ever know it

30

Dagny and Rearden in the office of Mayor of Rome, Wisconsin

Mayor

No use, no use, lady, absolutely no use

That would be just a waste of your time, trying to question the folks around here. They’re no factory people left, and nobody that would remember much about them. So many families have moved away that what’s left here is plain no good, if I do say myself, plain no good, just being Mayor of a bunch of trash.

31

Dagny and Rearden approach small bungalow. They knock the door. It’s no answer. The door is unlocked and they enter in.

Ivy Starnes sits in the bungalow on a pillow like a baggy Buddha. In front of her incense was burning in silver jars at the feet of contorted Oriental deities.

Dagny

I’m Dagny Taggart of Taggart Transcontinental. You used to be the owner of Twentieth Century Motor factory. Can you, please, tell me about research laboratory team?

Ivy Starnes

I can’t answer this kind of questions, my girl. The research laboratory? The engineers? Why should I remember anything about them? You should have asked my father about this kind of things. He was evil man who cared for nothing but business. Our aim was not to produce gadgets, but to do good. We brought a great, new plan into the factory. It was based on the principle of selflessness and love for our brothers…noble historical precept…

Dagny hears a cold voice within her: Remember it-remember it well, look at it –this is pure evil. She suddenly sees gray old pregnant women, 32 years old. Dagny starts to shake.

Ivy Starnes

What the matter with you, my girl? Why are you shaking? I don’t like your face. Stand back. Oh, yes, yes, I know that one. Yes, William Hasting, the head of laboratory. He went off to Brandon, Wyoming. He was the second man to quit us…No, I don’t remember who was first. He wasn’t anybody important.”

32

Dagny and Rearden in front of the small suburban house. Dagny rings the doorbell. A small elderly woman opens the door.

Dagny

May I see Mr. Williams Hasting? I’m Dagny Taggart of Taggart Transcontinental.

Women

Please come in Miss Taggart. I’m Mrs. William Hastings. Were you acquainted with my husband in business, Miss Taggart?

Dagny

No, I have never met Mr. Hastings. But I should speak to him on matter of business of crucial importance.

Mrs. Hasting My husband died five years ago, Miss Taggart.

Dagny I’m sorry. Mrs. Hastings, would you permit me to ask you a few questions?

Mrs. Hasting Certainly. Please sit down.

Dagny

When your husband was at Twentieth Century, did he ever mention to you a motor he had designed?

Mrs. Hasting

A motor? Yes, yes, he spoke of it several times. But it was not his design. It was the invention of a young assistant of his.

Dagny Mrs. Hasting, who is he?

Mrs. Hasting

I don’t know. I never knew any of the men on my husband’s staff. He told me only that he had a young engineer who, some day, would up-turn the world.

Dagny

You don’t know what became of this young engineer?

Mrs. Hasting

No, I…wait a minute! I thing I can give you a lead. I can tell you where to find one friend of his. It’s an odd story. Nine years ago I drove to the restaurant at the railroad station to pick up my husband after dinner. I saw him standing outside the restaurant with two men. One of them was tall and young, the other was elderly. My husband pointed after young man and said,” That’s the boy I told you about.” Last spring, I went to visit my brother who lives in Cheyenne. On the way I stopped at a roadside diner. It seems strange, but I’m certain that the cook in this diner is the man I saw at the railroad station with my husband’s young idol. You’d better go there. It’s on Route 86, west of Cheyenne by the Lennox Copper Foundry.

Dagny Thank you Mrs. Hastings. (Dagny and Rearden leave the house)

33

The diner stands on the summit of long, hard climb. Its glass walls spread a coat of polish over the view of rocks and pines. Dagny sits at the end of the counter, eating a hamburger and watching the man behind the counter as he’s removing dishes, wiping the counter, working with swift precision.

Dagny How is business?

Diner owner

Pretty bad. They’re going to close the Lennox Foundry next week, so I’ll have to close soon, too, and move on.

Dagny Where to?

Dinner owner I haven’t decided yet.

Dagny I can give you a job on a big railroad, in charge of the dining-car department.

Diner owner No, thank you. But may I ask why should you want to?

Dagny raises the hamburger There’s one of the reasons.

Dinner owner And what will be another?

Dagny I hate to see ability being wasted!

Diner owner slowly, intently

So do I. But I don’t believe you came all the way from New York just to hunt cooks for railroad.

Dagny

No, I came for something else. Did you know, about ten years ago, a young engineer who worked for the Twentieth Century Motor Company?

Diner owner Yes, I did.

Dagny Could you give me his name and address?

He let a moment pass.

Diner owner May I ask who you are?

Dagny Dagny Taggart. I’m the Vice-Pre-

Diner owner I know who you are, Miss Taggart. May I ask what has aroused your interest in him?

Dagny

His motor. I found a broken remnant of it in the ruins of the Twentieth Century factory. Don’t ask me how I happened to come to you. You’re the end of the trail.

He doesn’t move for a long time. Than he says:

Diner owner Give it up, Miss Taggart. You won’t find him.

Dagny What is your name?

Diner owner Hugh Akston..

Dagny Hugh Akston? The philosopher? The last advocate of reason?

Akston Or the first of their return.

Dagny

But …but what are you doing here? It’s just doesn’t make sense. Are you studying something for some special purpose?

Akston

No, I ‘m earning my living. Give it up, Miss Taggart. The secret you are trying to solve involves something greater, than invention of a motor run by atmospheric electricity. There is only suggestion that I can give you: By the essence and nature of existence, contradictions cannot exist. If you find it inconceivable that an invention of genius should be abandoned among ruins, and that a philosopher should wish to work as a cook in diner-check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong.

Dagny rises, pays her bill.

Dagny

Thank you Dr. Akston. I think I have to tell you that I’m not going to give up. I must find the inventor of that motor. I will find him.

Akston Not until the day when he chooses to find you-as he will

34

As Dagny drives back to her motel, her cell phone rings.

. Eddie Willers is shouting Dagny, For God’s sake, where are you?

Dagny In Cheyenne. Why?

Eddie You better come back at once as fast as you can.

Dagny What happened?

Eddie Haven’t you been reading the newspapers, watching TV?

Dagny No.

Eddie Dagny, this is insane, but they are going to kill Colorado.

35

Dagny and Rearden in their motel room are watching TV news in silence.

TV anchor

The federal bureau of environmental affairs has decided to revoke its license for oil production in Colorado. This decision is based on the research conducted by large environmental group named Friends of Global Progress, which has showed that oil production may endanger certain species of flora and fauna in this State…

On TV screen demonstrators with placards “ Animal blood for oil”, “ Ellis Wyatt, stop to rape our Mother-Earth!”

Rearden has spotted his brother on the TV screen.

Rearden Phillip, the bastard! I was a fucking idiot! I’ve donated money to them…

Dagny Ellis! What he’ll do?

She dials Ellis’ number but it is no response.

Dagny Hank, we have to fly to Colorado!

36

Dagny and Rearden drive very fast to the airport, not stopping on the red lights. They board Rearden ‘s private jet and take off. Dagny sits in the plane, her head in her arms, watching the darkness in the window. Suddenly she screams In the break between mountains, lighting the sky, the hill of Wyatt Oil turned to solid sheet of flame. The plane has landed in the local airport. Dagny and Rearden drive trough burning oil fields to the Ellis Wyatt’s house, searching for him, but only thing they’ve found was a board, nailed to the door. On the board is written” I am leaving it as I found it. Take over. It’s yours.”

37

Washington DC. White House. Meeting in progress in Oval room with the Head of State Mr. Thompson.

Wesley Mouch But can we get away with it?

Eugene Lawson

That’s not, it seems to me, the way to put it. This is a noble plan motivated solely by the public welfare. It’s good for people. The people need it and the need comes first.

Mr. Thompson

That’s the line, Wesley. Tone it down and dress it up and get your press boys to chant it-and you won’t have to worry.

Mouch Yes, Mr. Thompson.

James Taggart

It’s obvious that measures have to be taken. Drastic measures. People are quieting and disappearing. Industrialists, engineers, skilled workers. You cannot find decent handyman nowadays.

Mr.Wheterby

The fact is that in the twelve-month period ending on the first of this year, the rate of business failures has doubled, as compared with the preceding twelve-month period.

Mouch I cannot help it!

Mr Thompson Really? And what I need Co-ordinator of the Bureau of Economic

Planning for?

Mouch I need wider powers!

Mr. Thomson

Go ahead, Wesley. Go ahead with Number 10289. You won’t have any trouble at all.

Mouch

This is just a rough draft of Directive Number 10289, which I dashed off just to give you the general idea.

He starts reading from the paper:

“ Point One. All workers, wage earners and employees of any kind whatsoever shall be attached to their jobs and shall not leave nor to be dismissed nor change employment, under penalty of a term in jail.

Point two. All industrial, commercial, manufacturing and business establishments of any nature shall henceforth remain in operation, and the owners of such establishment shall not leave nor retire, not close, sell or transfer their business under penalty of nationalization of their establishments and all of their property.

Point Three. All patents and copyrights shall be turned over to the nation as patriotic emergency gift by means of Gift Certificates, which to be signed voluntarily.

Point Four. All wages, prices, salaries, dividends, profits, interest rates and any forms of income shall be frozen at their present figures, as of the date of this directive.

Point Five. All cases arising from and rules not specifically provided for in this directive shall be settled and determined by the Unification Board, whose decisions will be final.

Directive 10289 will go into effect on the morning of May first.”

All nod approval. None look at his neighbor.

Mr. Thompson I’ll leave you boys to iron out the wrinkles. Glad to have seen you.

James Taggart raises, walks to the window and pulls the blind down over the white obelisk.

38

Eddie Willers and Dagny Taggart are looking on large digital map of Colorado. Using compressed time presentation computer shows how lights of new towns of Colorado are dying during few last months. Only few lights left scattered through the mountains.

Dagny

We have to close another branch, Eddie. This time it is Marsh Electric Factory of Roger Marsh. His town is dying after he quitted and disappeared, like many others.

From the intercom her secretary calls- Mr. Quentin Daniels is here, Dagny. Can he come in?

Dagny Yes, please

Young lanky man enters the office.

Daniels Hello, Miss Taggart- he says with a smile.

Dagny

Good afternoon. Please sit down. The reason I’ve asked you to come here is that I’ve learned you’ve been the brightest student of Dr. Stadler. Why did you refuse to work for him?

Daniels

You know, Dr Stadler once said that the first word of “ Free, scientific inquiry” was redundant. As the head of State Science Institute, he seems to have forgotten it. Governmental scientific inquiry is a contradiction in terms.

Dagny So, what kind of job do you have now?

Daniels Night watchman.

Dagny What?

Daniels

Night watchman in the Utah Institute of Technology. You see, the Institute was closed for lack of funds. So I’ve remained there as night watchman. The salary is sufficient to pay my bills, and the Institute’s laboratory is there for my private use.

Dagny So you’re doing research work of your own?

Daniels That’s right.

Dagny For what purpose?

Daniels For my own pleasure.

Dagny Haven’t you any desire to be of service to humanity?

Daniels I don’t talk this kind of language, Miss Taggart. I don’t think you do, either.

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This is quite interesting, Leonid. Frankly I don't know how to adapt novels into screenplays.

For one thing, it would help me to know how long it takes to recite a 1000 page novel; then I could assess how hard or easy it would be to translate the essence of the novel's plot into a screenplay. I used to have the "book on tape" of Atlas, but I believe I lost it.

But from what I see here, these two sequences at the beginning are strikingly emotional, which make their placement at the beginning appropriate for drawing the viewer into the movie: a lone tree as the focus of the scene, followed by lightning striking it, followed by Eddie Willer's desperate run toward it; and Dagny's focus on the television set with the program featuring the "moral conditioner."

Also, it was important to include the Willers/Dagny/James dialogue in the beginning. This lets the audience, particularly those who haven't read the book, catch a glimpse early on of Dagny's fact-based independance and James's "social metaphysics," to use Nathaniel Branden's term--and worse, of his evasion to any alternative to that type of thinking.

I didn't finish reading it, but what I read needs a copyeditor who would fix the few grammatical and adaptation errors I noticed. But that is no biggie according to what I did read. Good job.

--John

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  • 3 months later...

Copyrights, Leonid, copyrights.

You can't just rip off another author's dialogue and put it in your own work.

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  • 7 months later...

Value Chaser wrote:

This lets the audience, particularly those who haven't read the book, catch a glimpse early on of Dagny's fact-based independance and James's "social metaphysics,"

No it doesn't. It merely replicates a scene literally from the novel that won't mean a thing to anyone who hasn't already read it and thought about the philosophical/psychological implications of it. The responsibility of the screenwriter -- whether writing something original or writing an adaptation from another literary form -- is to tell a story. The writer shouldn't be teaching philosophy; he shouldn't be giving glimpses of "social metaphysics." That can emerge from the storytelling, of course, but the first and last job of the screenwriter is to COMPEL ATTENTION ON THE PART OF THE VIEWER to look at a screen for 2 hours. It's a very practical job.

There are several things wrong with Leonid's above attempt that illustrate why it won't work -- not to say that I don't like the writing, or that it isn't good; rather that it won't work, structurally and narratively, as effective screenwriting. A brief tutorial:

First:

Screenplays are a highly compressed dramatic form of writing, entirely different from the novel. The usual method of constructing a screenplay, used by the pool of writers in the old Hollywood studio system, and successfully repeated by the later post-studio-system writers, was to start first with an OUTLINE, the purpose of which was to grasp the "skeleton" of the overall movie. Screenwriters don't just put a piece of paper in their typewriters (or, rather, their printers) and then start with "scene 1" and keep writing until they have finished what they believe to be their story. They start from the opposite end. They first ask very practical questions about the overall movie they wish to write, such as "How long a movie would I like this be? Approximately how long of a movie will it take to tell the essential narrative story of AS?" They then use the usual rule-of-thumb (still good after all these years) of: 1 minute of screen time = 1 page of screenplay. Example: a 2-hour movie is 120 minutes which will require approximately 120 pages of screenplay. They then apply another tried-and-true rule: A dramatic story like a screenplay is actually a chain-link structure comprising a number of dramatically self-contained subunits called "scenes"; like the overall movie, each scene has a "beginning, middle, and end" with a definite dramatic climax that pushes the scene into the next scene. The average length of such a subunit, of course, can vary greatly, but traditionally 3-4 pages, with both description and dialogue, is taken as an "average" scene length. So taking 3 pages as an initial starting point, a 120 page screenplay will have about 40 scenes.

Now you can start laying this out rationally (always with the proviso, of course, that you can change things as you go along, but you're at least creating a plan, a map, that you can follow): If you decide to follow a classic 3-part structure for the overall movie, you can, in advance, plan out X number of scenes out of the 40 scenes devoted to exposition (i.e., statement of the initial dramatic problem, i.e., "someone wants/needs/desires something and tries to pursue it, but his or her attempts at doing so are blocked by someone or something else" The first someone is the protagonist; the second someone is the antagonist); you can then map out Y number of the remaining scenes for the longer development section (i.e., the protagonist attempts to exercise her will and achieve her goal by trying ( a ) but is blocked by the antagonist and suffers a temporary setback; then she tries ( b ) and achieves only partial success; then she tries ( c ) and suffers a setback again; etc. During each attempt during the development section more is at stake; and -- another consideration that will require a separate thread to discuss fully -- each time the protagonist exercises her will to achieve her goal, more of her character is revealed. "Character" in screenwriting is revealed through action; and by action, I mean the concrete choices that character makes to achieve the goal that drives -- i.e., gives purpose to -- the entire movie).

So, you have X scenes devoted to exposition of the dramatic problem and introduction of main characters; Y scenes devoted to development -- now this is very important: the FINAL scene of the development section (a/k/a "Act 2") is, technically, THE CLIMAX -- not necessarily the "most exciting" or "most action-packed" or "most violent" scene: but the dramatically most SIGNIFICANT scene. The end of ACT 2 -- the climax -- answers the dramatic question posed at the beginning: does the protagonist achieve her goal? Or does she not achieve her goal? Either answer is acceptable from a structural point of view.

The remaining scenes -- "Z" -- are classically called a "denoument" (originally meant "an untying") but which answer the question: "What's the upshot, the result, of the protagonist having achieved or not achieved her goal?" This would be "Act 3", and is usually very short, since all you're doing is tying up loose ends (or "untying" tangled ones, in the case of the word "denoument").

I'm trying to show you that there's a lot of pre-planning and "laying out" or perhaps "mapping out" is a better phrase, that occurs in screenwriting prior to the actual writing of scenes. All of this should be done first and then put in hierarchical form in an OUTLINE.

Summary: decide on the basic conflict in a story; decide on the antagonist and the protagonist; decide on an overall length of the envisioned completed film; use that to decide on a page-count for the screenplay; divide the page-count into a reasonable average length for each scene (3 pages/scene is a good average); create a skeleton outline in which each bullet point corresponds to the climax of each putative scene, and which logically moves the story along. In a 2-hour movies of 120 pages, you can reasonably assume 40 scenes (on average), and therefore, an outline with 40 bullet points -- each bullet point represents the "most significant" event of each proposed scene, i.e., the climax of each proposed scene. Once you have that, you can divide that into the larger sections for a 3-part, or 3-act structure: X number of scenes for Act I (exposition); Y number of scenes for Act II (development and story climax); Z number of scenes for Act III (the final upshot of the climax, the tying up of loose ends, etc.). At this point, you might even decide that 40 scenes are too few to tell the story; perhaps you need 60. All right, if that's the case, you must now assume that each scene, on average, will be compressed to about 2 pages -- you don't suddenly enlarge the entire page-count to 180 pages and assume that you now have a 3-hour movie.

Second:

Then, once you have an outline in which the logic of the story -- the story, not the details about the characters, because there's no room for that in an outline -- is readily apparent, THEN AND ONLY THEN do you start taking each bullet-point on the outline and fleshing it out into a scene description. The description can be, for the sake of clarity, approximately 3 paragraphs long: first paragraph for scene exposition; 2nd for scene development; 3rd for climax. The climax of each scene in your treatment exactly corresponds with its respective bullet-point on your outline. This step is usually called "THE TREATMENT" which is -- sort of -- what you have started with above. Again, classically, the purpose of the treatment is to describe the details of each scene in the 3rd person without any dialogue -- dialogue is another problem to solve and it comes later in the screenwriting process.

Third:

Third, of course, is fleshing out the treatment into a first draft of the screenplay, where you take each scene and flesh it out with dialogue so that it comprises about 3-pages of screenplay (as per the original "map" or "plan"). The great advantage to this method is that you can very easily tell if you are "over-writing" or straying from the storyline: if, for example, you find that most of your scenes are indeed 3 pages, but that one particular one requires 9 pages to tell satisfactorily, then you can ask yourself some tough questions regarding structure: have I actually found the essentials of this scene? Why is it 3 times longer than most of the other scene? If I leave it as 9 pages, can I then shorten some other scenes, or perhaps cut out some scenes entire?" etc. I admit . . . this part of screenwriting is not necessarily fun; it's more like solving a kind of narrative engineering problem and can very often leave you with a headache.

After reading the rough draft of the screenplay, you now have 2 additional tools to help guide your writing: the initial outline, and the treatment. If you find that something doesn't "hang together" in the first draft of the screenplay, you're in a much position to fix it, since, if it turns out to be a purely structural issue regarding the logical flow of events, you can skip over the treatment and rework the outline -- you'll know where to look, Then you make adjustments in the treatment, and then the 2nd draft of the screenplay.

Writing for the screen is a process and requires a method. There may be many, of course, but the classical one of outline, treatment, 1st draft is still one of the best and most practical, as long as you rigidly adhere to the purpose and integrity of each step of the process (e.g., NO scene descriptions in the outline; just story logic and narrative "beats". NO dialogue in the treatment; just 3rd person description of places, people, and the choices they make in action).

Using your writing above as an example, I would ask the following: since the job of the screenwriter is first to identify the dramatic conflict of wills involved between a protagonist and an antagonist, the question is: who wants what? and why can't she have it? If our protagonist is Dagny (as I think it should be). The main dramatic question to answer is: what does she want? why can't she have it? who or what is blocking her from getting it? There are lots of elements in Atlas Shrugged, so deciding on which should be the essential one for screenwriting purposes is difficult. My own answer would be this:

It's pretty apparent that what she wants is that motor. That's what used to be called "The McGuffin" (another example of a "McGuffin" would be those pesky "Letters of Transit" -- signed by General DeGaulle and which "cannot be rescinded, not even questioned!" -- from the movie Casablanca. That's what ultimately drove the characters to do what they did, including reigniting an old love affair. So Dagny is driven to do certain things because she wants/needs/desires that motor. Now, who or what is stopping her from getting the motor? Is it her brother? Is it Wesley Mouch? No. It's John Galt, the very inventor of the motor. So the interesting thing about Atlas Shrugged is that the antagonist -- the one stopping Dagny from getting what she wants -- is really the hero of the whole thing (though we don't find that out till much later in the story). So this is really a story between Dagny Taggart and John Galt, and all other characters (including Rearden) should be subordinate to the telling of that story.

What this means, of course, is that, for the sake of narrative "drive", the plotline cannot follow exactly what Rand wrote in the novel: the conflict has to consist of Dagny trying to get the motor, and John Galt trying to prevent her from getting the motor . . . with the grand theme that Rand supplied of Galt convincing the productive members of society to strike and join Galt's Gulch being secondary to the pursuit and counter-pursuit of the motor. If you don't do that, then there's no real dramatic conflict: i.e., why should Galt's getting D'Anconia and Dannager and others to disappear somehow prevent Dagny from acquiring the motor? One is only very tangentially related to the other. They are related by a kind of philosophical theme -- not by dramatic conflict -- which is fine for a novel; but you cannot drive the plotline of a movie by means of a theme, philosophical or otherwise.

You might actually choose some other goal than pursuit of Galt's motor for Dagny to pursue. That's fine. The main thing to remember is to decide clearly in advance on the dramatic forces that determine the respective wills (and therefore choices and acts) of the protagonist and antagonist.

Finally, you should also realize that the terms "protagonist" and "antagonist" do not correspond to "good guy" and "bad guy." It's more structural and less judgmental than that. The first "takes action on behalf of a goal", the second "blocks the action of the first and tries to prevent the goal from being achieved."

Personally, I don't think Atlas Shrugged will work as a feature film; too much compression is necessary and one would have to leave too much out for the sake of structure. It could, possibly, work well as a multi-part miniseries on television where the writer would have a lot more time than a mere 2 or 3 hours to tell the story effectively.

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Copyrights, Leonid, copyrights.

You can't just rip off another author's dialogue and put it in your own work.

Fair use, Phil. Fair use.

The adaptation of a small part of a huge work which is not in commercial competition with it and which serves as commentary - here showing what can be done - is well within the law.

Copyright is not some intrinsic absolute.

(If you want to see copyright enfringement and outright theft of commercial media, look at Richard Gleaves' "This is John Galt Speaking" YouTube mash-up.)

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Two things that might help you with learning to write screenplays:

1. http://screenwriting.4filmmaking.com/read.html (this is a decent online tutorial dealing with the all-arounds of film making, including screenplays)

2. http://celtx.com/ There are only two main screenwriting packages used in Hollywood, both cost money. HOWEVER, this one (in standalone form, at least) is free, and is very useful for organizing/writing. It does in fact put you into the accepted format, which is very rigid in terms of spacing, fonts, etc.

rde

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Aristotle's Advance writes:

Personally, I don't think Atlas Shrugged will work as a feature film; too much compression is necessary and one would have to leave too much out for the sake of structure. It could, possibly, work well as a multi-part miniseries on television where the writer would have a lot more time than a mere 2 or 3 hours to tell the story effectively.

I respond:

I concur fully. -Atlas Shrugged- is too big and rich a work to capture in a single or even a set of motion pictures of "reasonable" length. I give as an example was what done to -Lord of the Rings- by Peter Jackson who made three concurrent movies over a period of two years at great expense. Even with all that money and technical expertise Jackson and his screen writers created a "franken-movie" with pieces stitched together. It was in effect a cut and paste job done on LOTR. I found it quite disturbing and offensive, what Jackson et al did to Tolkien's opus.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Two things that might help you with learning to write screenplays:

1. http://screenwriting.4filmmaking.com/read.html (this is a decent online tutorial dealing with the all-arounds of film making, including screenplays)

2. http://celtx.com/ There are only two main screenwriting packages used in Hollywood, both cost money. HOWEVER, this one (in standalone form, at least) is free, and is very useful for organizing/writing. It does in fact put you into the accepted format, which is very rigid in terms of spacing, fonts, etc.

rde

With all due respect . . .

If Leonid is serious about wanting to write screenplays, the place to start is not with books or software purporting to teach screenwriting (most of them are a waste of time and money); but, rather, in learning some basic principles of dramatic writing, i.e., start by writing ONE SCENE. Just a scene, with a beginning, middle, and end, that goes somewhere dramatically, and has a definite climax.

For what it's worth, that's the usual method of teaching screenwriting -- or, rather, trying to teach it -- at the major film schools like USC, UCLA, NYU, etc. Students alway start by writing stand-alone scenes, not full screenplays.

If you were trying to learn to write music, would you start off with a book on orchestration purporting to teach the reader how to write a symphony? Wouldn't you begin by writing, e.g., eight bars of melody that had a definite "shape" and a definite "high point" or climax before coming to a close? So start small. Start with a form and a size that is manageable . . .

. . . Just write a simple 3-or-4-page scene, between, let's say, 2 characters. You don't necessarily have to invent anything; you can, as an exercise, choose a simple -- SIMPLE! -- scene between two characters from Atlas Shrugged and rewrite it as a dramatic scene.

Now that I think of it, a scene from AS might be too much. Tackle something much smaller and far lighter. Here's an idea: choose a short story from someone who already provides the reader with memorable, colorful characters and pretty sharp dialogue -- O'Henry might be a good start, even if he's somewhat dated. O'Henry has many wonderful stories that are begging to be rewritten in dramatic form. And since he was so prolific, you've got plenty of material to choose from.

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The problem with writing a screenplay for a movie is it will be outright discarded or rewritten by others. The finished product will not be yours. You still have to sweat buckets and do your very best or you have no hope unless you have a lot of money.

--Brant

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Aristotle's Advance writes:

Personally, I don't think Atlas Shrugged will work as a feature film; too much compression is necessary and one would have to leave too much out for the sake of structure. It could, possibly, work well as a multi-part miniseries on television where the writer would have a lot more time than a mere 2 or 3 hours to tell the story effectively.

I respond:

I concur fully. -Atlas Shrugged- is too big and rich a work to capture in a single or even a set of motion pictures of "reasonable" length. I give as an example was what done to -Lord of the Rings- by Peter Jackson who made three concurrent movies over a period of two years at great expense. Even with all that money and technical expertise Jackson and his screen writers created a "franken-movie" with pieces stitched together. It was in effect a cut and paste job done on LOTR. I found it quite disturbing and offensive, what Jackson et al did to Tolkien's opus.

Ba'al Chatzaf

There is nothing inherent to the story which required they make a bad adaptation. But they hired Jackson, a director of exploitation horror flicks, on the cheap. They rehired the cast of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

15564682-15564685-large.jpg

How could anyone have been surprised with the outcome.

By the way, Bob, you are making the same exact mistake here you are making with induction. You are failing to distinguish between the process, in this case, adaptation, and the fallibility of its practitioners, and are assigning the blame to the activity, when it rests with the hacks who don't perform it properly.

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By the way, Bob, you are making the same exact mistake here you are making with induction. You are failing to distinguish between the process, in this case, adaptation, and the fallibility of its practitioners, and are assigning the blame to the activity, when it rests with the hacks who don't perform it properly.

I understand scientific induction (as opposed to enumerative induction) at least as well as you do. I have studied the work of C.S.Peirce on Abduction (a form of Induction that hypothesizes to causes) in a reasonably thorough manner. As to not understanding adaptation of novels to screen you are quite right. I know very little about that process. What I do know is the Result. LOTR the movie was an abomination. I expect no better from Atlas Shrugged the Movie.

Wait and see. Let it be released. Look at it and tell me what you think

Ba'al Chatzaf

Edited by BaalChatzaf
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There is nothing inherent to the story which required they make a bad adaptation. But they hired Jackson, a director of exploitation horror flicks, on the cheap. They rehired the cast of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert

I have no doubt that a better director could have made a forty hour movie that captured the magnitude of LOTR. Unfortunately it would have been a marketing disaster and a looser without a mazoozer. In addition to which the cast and crew would have aged at least ten years in the process.

I am betting that the movie version of Atlas Shrugged which I enjoyed at alternative time line a-historical fiction, will be thoroughly trashed in the movie version. Wait and see.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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By the way, Bob, you are making the same exact mistake here you are making with induction. You are failing to distinguish between the process, in this case, adaptation, and the fallibility of its practitioners, and are assigning the blame to the activity, when it rests with the hacks who don't perform it properly.

I understand scientific induction (as opposed to enumerative induction) at least as well as you do.

Is that a backhanded way of finally admitting you recognize the difference in validity of the two? That wasn't so painful after all.

As for the movies, beside poor visual choices, the most serious flaws in LotR resulted from deviations from the story, most of which were unnecessary. Hopefully the movie will avoid that. Unfortunately there does seem to be a lack of visual stylization, for instance in the unfortunate choice of fonts for the Rearden Steel and Taggart Transcontinental Logos.

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Is that a backhanded way of finally admitting you recognize the difference in validity of the two? That wasn't so painful after all.

.

No sir. Scientific induction yielded the theory of caloric, the phlogiston theory and Newton's Law of Gravitation all of which have been empirically falsified. The fact still stands that reasonable scientific inductions starting with true premises do not always yield true general conclusions. The counter examples will not go away just because you want them to.

Some scientific inductions produce as yet unfalsified general results, others do not.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Is that a backhanded way of finally admitting you recognize the difference in validity of the two? That wasn't so painful after all.

.

No sir. Scientific induction yielded the theory of caloric, the phlogiston theory and Newton's Law of Gravitation all of which have been empirically falsified. The fact still stands that reasonable scientific inductions starting with true premises do not always yield true general conclusions. The counter examples will not go away just because you want them to.

Some scientific inductions produce as yet unfalsified general results, others do not.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Newton's theory was not falsified, it was made more accurate. The false phlogiston theory was a priori and did not reflect observation - i.e., did not have true premises. You act as if it is some grand mystery why such inductions fail. You keep dropping the context of correct premises and correct form.

Please provide one example of an induction with correct premises and correct form which fails.

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If Newton's theory was made more accurate then just using Newton today would yield more precise or accurate results than before--no?

--Brant

The precession of the perihelion of Mercury is incorrectly predicted by Newton's Law. The basic problem is that Newton's Law assumes gravitational interaction is instantaneous. It isn't. Einstein's theory predicts better. Furthermore Newtonian Gravitation does not account for the bending of light correctly around the Sun (it is off by a factor of two). Also Newtonian gravitation does not account for the slowing of clocks in greater field of gravitation and the speeding up of clocks in lesser fields. Using Newtonian Physics one gets incorrect location information from the 24 sats that constitute the GPS.

There really is no way of fixing up Newtonian Gravitation. It is based on an incorrect concept of space and time.

Adding correction factors would just be an ad hoc fix --- like epicycles.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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> The adaptation of a small part of a huge work which is not in commercial competition with it and which serves as commentary - here showing what can be done - is well within the law.

Ted, taken together, the three things above make what Leonid did not an example of 'fair use'.

Copyrights, Ted, copyrights.

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> The adaptation of a small part of a huge work which is not in commercial competition with it and which serves as commentary - here showing what can be done - is well within the law.

Ted, taken together, the three things above make what Leonid did not an example of 'fair use'.

Copyrights, Ted, copyrights.

Copyright is not an absolute ban Phil, your objecti-lawyering notwithstanding. Ever heard of Bored of the Rings?

"Small part" is relative.

How does what Leonid posted here compete with an existing work commercially? Are you saying rather than buy the book or watch the movie, people will read this instead?

And it serves to show that a successful dramatization can be done, in spite of what naysayers like Bob Kolker spew.

Really, Phil. Have you had a stroke in the ability to understand criticism part of your brain?

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Aristotle's Advance writes:

Personally, I don't think Atlas Shrugged will work as a feature film; too much compression is necessary and one would have to leave too much out for the sake of structure. It could, possibly, work well as a multi-part miniseries on television where the writer would have a lot more time than a mere 2 or 3 hours to tell the story effectively.

I respond:

I concur fully. -Atlas Shrugged- is too big and rich a work to capture in a single or even a set of motion pictures of "reasonable" length. I give as an example was what done to -Lord of the Rings- by Peter Jackson who made three concurrent movies over a period of two years at great expense. Even with all that money and technical expertise Jackson and his screen writers created a "franken-movie" with pieces stitched together. It was in effect a cut and paste job done on LOTR. I found it quite disturbing and offensive, what Jackson et al did to Tolkien's opus.

Ba'al Chatzaf

Exactly.

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The problem with writing a screenplay for a movie is it will be outright discarded or rewritten by others. The finished product will not be yours. You still have to sweat buckets and do your very best or you have no hope unless you have a lot of money.

--Brant

Yep. And that is precisely the reason that many screenwriters want to become directors: to protect their work.

The only Hollywood screenwriter I can think of who commanded such overwhelming respect from producers and directors that they dared not alter his work (significantly) is Paddy Chayefsky, writer of such movies as "Marty", "The Americanization of Emily" (which was an adaptation from a novel), "The Hospital", and "Network." If I remember correctly, Chayefsky even gets a top credit in "Network" -- i.e., "A Paddy Chayefsky Story", or something similar -- right at the very beginning of the credit roll: before the stars (like Faye Dunaway, William Holden, Robert Duvall, et al.); before the producer; and before the director (Sidney Lumet). Highly unusual.

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(If you want to see copyright enfringement and outright theft of commercial media, look at Richard Gleaves' "This is John Galt Speaking" YouTube mash-up.)

Ted,

Richard Gleaves pushed the envelope because of the length of the speech, but I disagree with your claim of outright copyright infringement (with an "i" not an "e").

I know you and Gleaves tangled over this on RoR and I don't feel like rehashing all that with you. So I will refer you to Lawrence Lessig's work on these things for further information--not that I agree with everything Lessig says (especially his leftist leanings), but merely to illustrate that YouTube mashups for noncommercial use are far from cut-and-dry copyright infringement.

Lessig was the one who founded the Creative Commons licenses. His idea with hybrid works like mashups is for the two creative cultures, amateur and professional, to coexist and ultimately nourish each other. There are many big guns in the copyright world--both political and commercial--who think like Lessig does. Many of those who agree do not lean left, either.

Ultimately, should Richard Gleaves go to court over his mashup of Galt's speech, the bottom line is that it would have to be decided at the discretion of a judge. He credited the work and titles his as a derivative (using the term "based on"). The fact that he was not sued by Rand's estate (or maybe Aglialoro depending on what is in his rights contract) shows that they do not consider his work damaging (or possibly damaging enough) to pursue legal action. YouTube also keeps the videos up. A simple letter from the estate (or Aglialoro if relevant) would be enough to have them removed. This makes me suspect that the rights holders are in tune with Lessig's notion and like the publicity value of Gleaves's mashup.

There is also another possibility. Gleaves just might have formal permission, but that is nothing but a speculation.

Michael

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(If you want to see copyright enfringement and outright theft of commercial media, look at Richard Gleaves' "This is John Galt Speaking" YouTube mash-up.)

Ted,

Richard Gleaves pushed the envelope because of the length of the speech, but I disagree with your claim of outright copyright infringement (with an "i" not an "e").

I know you and Gleaves tangled over this on RoR and I don't feel like rehashing all that with you. So I will refer you to Lawrence Lessig's work on these things for further information--not that I agree with everything Lessig says (especially his leftist leanings), but merely to illustrate that YouTube mashups for noncommercial use are far from cut-and-dry copyright infringement.

Lessig was the one who founded the Creative Commons licenses. His idea with hybrid works like mashups is for the two creative cultures, amateur and professional, to coexist and ultimately nourish each other. There are many big guns in the copyright world--both political and commercial--who think like Lessig does. Many of those who agree do not lean left, either.

Ultimately, should Richard Gleaves go to court over his mashup of Galt's speech, the bottom line is that it would have to be decided at the discretion of a judge. He credited the work and titles his as a derivative (using the term "based on"). The fact that he was not sued by Rand's estate (or maybe Aglialoro depending on what is in his rights contract) shows that they do not consider his work damaging (or possibly damaging enough) to pursue legal action. YouTube also keeps the videos up. A simple letter from the estate (or Aglialoro if relevant) would be enough to have them removed. This makes me suspect that the rights holders are in tune with Lessig's notion and like the publicity value of Gleaves's mashup.

There is also another possibility. Gleaves just might have formal permission, but that is nothing but a speculation.

Michael

Ah, yes, the poor persecuted Objectivist victim of my tangling, Richard Gleaves.

I don't know Gleaves from any venue except from his attack on me for quoting Mark Steyn saying "muff diver." Gleaves argued it was a bigoted (anti-lesbian, apparently) slur and that it made Objectivism look bad. Having followed the thread, maybe you could post the link?

Only after Gleaves insisted I was making Objectivism look bad did I then mention his explicit theft of finished works and point out his hypocrisy. But I never, for example, pursued him on the link he had made to show off his theft in the first place. I didn't care.

The fact that Gleaves was not sued shows nothing. It is negative evidence.

I also note that you dropped the context in which Gleaves was originally brought up. Why not opine on whether Gleaves' infringement of copyright is a much more obvious example than the supposed one of Leonid's, as I argued? I suspect you agree.

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Either way, Maestro, that was an intended-serious attempt at overwhelming your bandwidth via text. Jesus, the bull left the tunnel. What was that all about? Nasty screenplay action, narcissism. . . whuh? I read that and I was like WHO THE FUCK IN THE TRAILER PARK PUSHED ALL THAT TEXT?

Next up: Entire Gideon Bible, scanned, with translation notes. Damn knuckleheads!

It leaves me in a foul mood. If it weren't for you, I'd publish the entire "Fundamentals" on this thread just to see if if would blow up, or not. Be strong, I think your bandwidth can withold such atavistic attacks; I will withold until further notice. That is, unless you continue to DROP CONTEXT. I knew it was going to be OK until a dame like you walked into the joint.

rde

Jexux Xsti WTF? Heh!

I Wanda as I Wanda. . .

Edited by Rich Engle
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