The “inciting incident” of the screenplay of The 23rd Letter is the moment when a mysterious rabbi confronts Dexter on the New York subway and tells him he must find the missing letter, which has been stolen and is in the possession of evil people. Dexter is skeptical. At the end of the scene, as Dexter is getting off, the rabbi makes ALL SOUND FALL AWAY. The #2 IRS Express races into the station on the center tracks, but NOISELESSLY. It’s as if the station has suddenly been submerged in water. Dexter reaches up to clear his ears, but it doesn’t help, he’s a prisoner in a mad mime’s nightmare. People are shouting and shoving, trains are pulling in and out, but he can’t hear anything except the Rabbi’s smooth, insistent voice, from the open subway door: “What you are searching for is a sound.” The doors close silently. The #1 Broadway Downtown pulls out. Sound returns slowly. Dexter is stunned!
Patrick’s challenge as an artist is to visually represent the absence of sound. He’s talked about a couple different ways he might do that. It will be interesting to se what he comes up with!