“Come, he flew away!” A genius script for a 10-second movie

Federico Fellini once made a bet with a screenwriter friend that he could not come up with a movie ten seconds long.

“You can’t, my friend,” said Fellini. “It can’t be done.”

Guerra shrugged his shoulders.

“If you’re willing to part with $12, Federico, let’s make a bet: tomorrow I’ll bring you such a script.”

“It’s a deal, Tony, I could use $12 right now.”

So they made a bet.

Fellini was sure that he would win and $12 was already in his pocket. And he was close to it.
Later Guerra admitted that in the evening he had a panic attack – he could not write a script for ten seconds of film. The task seemed impossible. According to the terms of the dispute, the film had to be a full movie: with a plot, a climax and an unexpected denouement. But how could he manage it all in ten seconds?
It was only towards nightfall that the screenwriter had an epiphany.

“Did you bring twelve dollars, Tony?” looking at his friend’s slightly wrinkled face after a sleepless night, Fellini asked.

“Take your time, Federico. I brought the script.”

And Tonino Guerra held out a piece of paper to his friend.
Federico unfolded the piece of paper and read the following:

“A woman is watching television. On the screen is a broadcast of a rocket launch. The countdown is on: 10… 9… 8… We see her face, which reflects a storm of worry. In the final seconds she picks up the phone, dials a number, 7…6…5…4…3…2…1 and as the rocket launches, she says into the receiver: “Come here, he’s gone!”

After reading the script, Fellini silently took out his wallet and counted out $12 to his friend.
The script offered by Guerra is an absolutely full-fledged film, a real comedy drama in the spirit of Italian films of the 50-60s. We see only one character on the screen – a woman, but, in fact, the film has three characters: she, the husband-carrier, who went to the stars, and the happy lover.
The countdown to the rocket’s launch gives the movie some dynamics, a kind of suspense. The denouement is unexpected and absolutely brilliant.

This is what true craftsmanship is all about!

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