Today, in looking at how to look at beats when writing, I am going to go through the first six and a half pages of one of this year’s best new shows: EMPIRE. Yes I could do the whole episode, but that is A LOT and I would rather give you many shorter examples so you can adjust your mind when reading scripts, rather than give you one long breakdown. If you would like to read the pilot as you go through these beats you can find it here:
So here we go…
- Lucious listens to a girl group sing. He tells them he hates it.
- Lucious gives an empowering speech. The girls sing again, and it’s perfect.
- One of Lucious’s employees says “It’s better” (re. the girls’ song) and Lucious quickly puts the employee in his place with pleasure.
- Lucious doesn’t feel well as he sits next to his girlfriend and faints. He wakes up in the hospital.
- The doctor gives Lucious news on his condition. Lucious’s face drops.
- Hakeem “holds” court on a yacht. His followers are mesmerized.
- Jamal sits alone playing guitar. No one notices him.
- Hakeem starts freestyling with Jamal, their connection is palpably strong. The crowd eats it up.
- Andre listens to his brothers from above on the yacht. He and his wife, Rhonda, are not amused.
- Rhonda states her annoyance. Andre says he is surprised Hakeem is performing when their dad is not there.
- Becky struggles to keep up with Lucious as she reads his schedule. He declines most everything and tells her to clear his schedule.
- Lucious announces the company will become a publicly traded company. When his son, Andre, and chairman, Vernon, smile at one another, Lucious attempts to hide his annoyance.
- Cookie Lyon is released from prison. She declares: Cookie’s coming home.