EXT. PARIS CIRCUS - NIGHT
The normal activity and excitement of showtime around the
circus is in evidence where we see the half dark street and
alley directly adjacent to the circus tent which (in Paris
is an enclosure) ... the animals, the midgets, the people
and the roustabouts moving with a fixed speed and getting
faster as we now know showtime is momentarily due.
We MOVE TOWARD the action, slowly but definitely picking up
SOUNDS and actions of the busy people as we go.
STRAIGHT CUT TO:
EXT. CIRCUS - FRONT OF CIRCUS - PEOPLE ENTERING - NIGHT
We see barkers, children, people, pushing ... buying
tickets, hats, candy ... SOUNDS of children laughing, MUSIC
playing from o.s. within the tent area ... and we ...
EXT. BACK OF CIRCUS - NIGHT
A continuation of the animals, trainers, clowns INTERCUT
with the action of the circus customers jamming the
entranceway to get in ... (complimented CUTS from backstage
to out front ... building to the final crescendo ... as we
see the alley empty and clear out vs. the front area
clearing and also becoming empty.)
INT. CIRCUS PROPER - NIGHT
The fully dressed orchestra playing the oncoming people to
their respective seats as we PAN ALONG the happy faces and
excited children ... DOWN and BACK within the circus
backstage and SLOWLY COME TO A STOP OUTSIDE: "CLOWN ALLEY".
CLOWN ALLEY - NIGHT
The heartbeat of any circus ... The long row of unkempt, yet
beautifully neat trunks where the clowns make up, with many
of the clowns just coming in and setting their clothers and
things around their own little areas ... midgets running and
playing, like the little children they are about to
entertain ... MUSIC is in the deep background ... as we COME
TO A STOP at the large trunk with the letters clearly
printed ... 'GUSTAV - EUROPE'S PREMIER CLOWN."
We PULL BACK and AWAY from the lettering on the trunk and
REVEAL the face of a gentle but drawn man, a man whose body
and movements indicate he has been at this for a long time.
As he sits, the little midgets run close to see what they
can do to help; one pulls the chair for him to sit on;
another brings a hot cup of coffee; another takes his coat
and hangs in on the haltree, adjacent to his trunk ... as we
PUSH PAST HIM to introduce the other clowns ... some half
made up, others finishing their make-up ... and some just
sitting and rapping together, smoking, drinking coffee,
waiting for showtime ... and in the very distant b.g.,
almost against the wall of clown alley, we see the trunk and
the body of a "CLOWN" in silhouette ... we CRAWL TOWARDS the
body and the trunk ... and COME TO A STOP ... HOLDING FULL
FRAME. The clown, already made-up and dressed in his tramp
outfit, has his head in his hands, leaning down on the trunk
table top, a depressed and sad looking hulk of a man ... an
Coffee? It's nice and hot.
The MIDGET slides the cup in front of the clown's face ...
as he picks up his head and smiles and nods yes ... he sips
the coffee and we see the clown is HELMUT DORQUE (pronounced
He is a depressed and very unhappy clown ... the frown on
his face shows years of knocking around ... plus fear that
those years are now over. From o.s. we HEAR the SOUND of a
small air horn being blown and carried by one of the
midgets. He is yelling through an old megaphone.
15 Minutes to circus ...
15 minutes to circus.
Upon hearing this, "Clown Alley" really gets busy ... all
the clowns get up and put their last minute touches together
... touching up their make-ups ... getting their coats and
props together ... and as they get themselves up and ready,
they exit the clown alley area and start for the arena. The
last one to go is Helmut, lingering behind intentionally as