Monday, March 29, 2010
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Act 1: College
The Mid Ninties
A dirty college students apartment. The stage is split into two large rooms. The first is the kitchen/living room The second is Sean’s bedroom. There is a door leading between the two rooms. There are also two other doors in the Kitchen that lead to unseen rooms. One for the bathroom. One to the outside world.
Both rooms are covered in filth. The general detritus of college life. Paper, booze bottles, dirty dishes. The floor of Sean’s room is covered in dirty clothes.
As the lights rise we see Sean, a slightly shabby but good looking guy in his early twenties. He is lying unconscious on his bed. He is fully clothed and lays on top of the covers.
After a few second in silence the phone begins to ring loudly.
Sean opens his eyes and looks around dazed. He is extremely hung over. He rolls over and searches the floor with his hands for the phone.
Once he finds it he picks up the receiver and hangs it right back up.
Sean lays back down. After a few seconds just as he’s drifting back to sleep the phone rings again. He waits for five or six rings before sighing and picking it up.
Sean: Hello… Hey, um what’s up?… No… I don’t really remember last night all that well I think I actually blacked out… okay, I guess… Wait I kinda need a little more sleep… I… okay… yeah… no… like two hours I guess… what’s all this about anyways? Did I do something?… Um… okay that’s good… no I’m fine I just need some sleep… yeah just like two hours okay… cool… later.
Sean hangs up the phone and looks a little worried for a few seconds then lays back down to drift back to sleep.
Same apartment two hours later. Sean is pretty much in the same position as the opening. He is fast asleep.
There is a loud knock at the door. Nothing happens. A few seconds pass then a loud doorbell rings. Sean sits up groggily but quickly. He sits on the edge of his bed trying to wake up. The doorbell rings again.
Sean: (To himself) Jesus fuck. Hold on I’m coming. (He throws a robe on and goes to answer the door in the living room)
Terry, a young man about Sean’s age enters, dressed in fairly nice casual clothes, he caries a tape recorder. He is in an excited state.
Sean: Hey come on in. What’s up?
Terry: Hey… I huh… how are you?
Sean: Okay. Hung over.
Terry: Yeah. (abruptly getting to his point) How much do you remember about last night?
Sean: Huh… not much. (he attempts to do some remembering then decided he’d rather not) I remember some broad strokes but most of it’s a little blurry. Did I do something? Do you want some coffee?
Terry: No thanks. I don’t really drink coffee.
Sean: Well I’m gonna have some (goes to pour himself some). So come on what did I do.
Terry: Well you started telling us stuff. Stuff about about you and Carrie.
Terry: No… it wasn’t like that. I mean it was but that’s not why I’m here. I… How do I explain this? You told us everything that happened.
Sean just looks mortified
Terry: No not like that. I mean sort of but that’s not what’s awesome. You see at first you just told us about the break up. Then you told us about how you met. Then you started describing your first conversation and you where like explaining it word for word. I figured you where just being romantic and depressed and shit but then you started going off about other stuff. It was like you could remember every word you’d exchanged with her. Like every word.
Sean: Fuck sorry that sounds irritating.
Terry: Yeah it was but it was also amazing. Eric wanted to take you home but I’ve been learning about this stuff. About memory and stuff and I wanted to do some tests.
Terry: Yeah. Not much. So last night. I asked you to tell us about something else. Another conversation. You told us about these girls you’d heard on the train earlier that day. I recorded it.
Sean: Wait what the fuck are talking about? What’s going on?
Terry: I think you have like super photographic memory or something.
Sean: Huh… I don’t know man I can’t even remember what happened last night.
Terry: Will you just try something?
Terry: I just want you to repeat word for word the conversation you heard on the bus yesterday. The one between the girls. You know what I’m talking about.
Terry: Something about skaters and rockabilly and something.
Sean: Oh okay. I guess I know what your talkin’ about. Where should I start.
Terry. Hold on. (he reaches into his bag and get’s out a tape recorder. Presses record.) Okay. Just start anywhere.
Sean: (He’s skeptical but too hungover to argue) Okay… Huh let’s um… so at first there where just two girls, pretty normal looking, and the first thing I think I heard her say, the thing that caught my attention she goes: “He has like a naked lady tatooed on his belly” and the other girls says “does he have a pot belly” and the first girl says “no” then the other one asks “is he a rockabilly?” and she says “no I don’t really think so” and then they say something about him being a skater.
Terry: What does she say?
Sean: Something… I…
Terry: Try and remember just say what you think it was.
Sean: Okay one girl says “No he wears like skater clothes only he’s not a skater. He doesn’t skate. And he’s like 27 and he dates this girl who’s like 20” and the other girl goes “Yeah, that’s total skater boy.” then the first tries to say something.
Sean: (Totally irritated) Just something. She says like “Only he doesn’t…” but the other girl cuts her off and says “He doesn’t skate. I know but he’s a skater boy type.”
Sean: (Still irritated but at some point he decides just to dive in) Then the subway made a bunch of noise and I couldn’t heat them. When I could hear them again the first girl is asking the other one. “So you don’t know if your brothers gay?” and the other girl goes “Well it’s never really come up. He’s 24, he’s never really had a girlfriend. He’s kinda into fashion. He eats really well except when he’s depressed then he eats chocolate chip cookies. But he likes video games a lot so that sorta throws the whole equation off.” Then there’s another loud noise I think and…
Terry: (stopping the tape recorder) That’s fine. Stop there. Listen, Terry, I asked you about that same event last night and I’m pretty sure you explained it with the same exact words. I want to listen to both of them now and see but first can I ask you something?
Sean: (starting to realize what he might have just done) I guess. Yeah. Sure. Sure.
Terry: Do you really not remember anything from last night.
Sean: I remember some but…
Terry: No I want you to take a second and just try. Really try. Do you really not remember what you where saying? How you got home? Did you really forget anything at all?
Sean: (Takes a few long seconds to try) No.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
I haven't really spent any time thinking about this one over the past year.
I did a little brainstorming this week and came up with a few little concepts. It's still a very nebulous thing.
Here's the original post: http://gotprojects.blogspot.com/2009/02/week-4-inside-aclu-playshort-story-or.html
Here's my notes:
The ACLU was originally a group of fiercely libertarian lawyers who banded together in the colonial united states. They where instrumental in the founding of the country.
There original leader was present at both the signing of the declaration of independence and both continental conferences.
Something happened during the revolutionary war in that made it essential that they be erased from the history books.
They've operated since then as a sort of clandestine branch of the United States government.
Not sure why they ever felt the need to create a public face.
Sort of like the Freemasons, every ACLU lawyer knows there are secrets most just don't really know what they are.
All scenes take place in super hippy dippy "progressive" settings. Especially the really sinister stuff. Maybe the first time we see get a glimpse of their darker side is at Cafe Gratitude.
Each regional branch of the ACLU has a distinct character and purpose.
The Oregon branch is much more cultish than the others. They hold tight to old rituals and practices. The other branches are a little freaked out by them. They in turn look at all other branches of slightly heretical.
The LA branch is totally fixated on celebrity. Very much like scientology they actively recruit people from the entertainment world with whom they share some but not all of their secrets. Most other branches see them as essentially a rogue element and never associate with them except when unavoidable.
The Chicago branch is the paramilitary center. They are the people who continue the work started during the revolutionary war, whatever that was. They have the closest ties with the government.
Their main offices in New York are really just for show.
The real power center is in Butte Montana.
Tuesday, March 9, 2010
There pretty rough and I'm not sure how the formating will transfer but here goes:
Ext. Night an Old out of use Hollywood lott
As we pan in toward a building on the lot the first thing we see is a large cobwebbed sigghn with the Z in O. Oz symbol.
We pan past that and into a sort of broken down old cabana on a out of use Hollywood lot. As the camera pans through a bunch of old relics of the past 50 years. We see an overwhelmingly large amount of them are pieces from past oz movies. Some from the MGM movie if we can get them. Even some from the Wiz maybe.
Many years ago, through the kindness of Dorothy of Kansas, afterward princess Dorothy of OZ, a humble group writers and film makers where appointed the Royal Historians of OZ with the honor of Chronicaling that wonderful fairy land.
But after making 48 movies, 44 play and 182 books and countless other works of imagination about the interesting but queer people who live in the land of OZ, the historians learned with great sorrow that by an edict of the supreme ruler, Ozma of OZ…
As we pan out from the old Ozcot sign we see that it’s now the signet above the gate to the royal palace of OZ. Where we see Ozma holding court talking inaudibly to a great assemblage of her subjects. The Lion, the scarecrow, the Tin man and the Wizzard are all there as well as Aunt em Uncle henry, Dorothy and Toto. Also in addentance are some less familiar inhabitants of OZ, the hungry Tiger, the shaggyman, the Wizards amazing Piglets, The shaggy man, the Sawhorse even Jelly Jam.
All communication with the OZ would be cut off and…
We see the gates of OZ which opened a second before to let us in close in our face.
Her country would there after be rendered invisible to all those who lived in the outside world.
The Screen goes black
The Children who had learned to look for the stories of the happy people inhabiting that favored country where as sorry as the historians that there would be no more stories about OZ.
A series of scenes of children furiously writing letters. Pages flying through the air. Mail heading into mail boxes.
They wrote many letters to the historians asking if he didn’t know any adventures that had happened before the land of OZ was shut off from the rest of the world and he did. But it was not enough.
More scenes of children writing, first with feather pens then typwriters, using a telegram machine then finally sitting at a computer writing and email.
Finally one of the children inquired why we couldn’t hear from princess Dorothy by electronic mail. Which would enable her to comminticate with the historians whatever happened in the far off land of OZ without them having to see her or even know where the land of OZ is. That sounded like a good idea so the historians all got together.
A group of writers, filmmakers and such, maybe even a few people who worked on the 1939 film. There’s a few showgirls from the staged version, hopefully a quincy jones look alike or someone else from the Wiz. There all standing around a computer mumbling, poking at it, trying to get it to work. Finally a twenty something young man in sweats and a t-shirt sits down and starts typing.
And got themselves a computer. Regestered themselves a email address and started sending Dorothy messages through cyperspace.
Now it wasn’t likely Dorothy would have a computer or ever be looking for emails but one thing the historians where sure of and that was that the powerful sorceress Glinda the good would know what he was doing.
For glinda had a big book…
Glinda standing in her chamber reading her big book. She is beautiful and serene, interested in what she’s reading but never surprised.
In which is recorded every event that takes place anywhere in the world, just the moment it happens. And so of coarse the book would tell her about the email address.
Glinda walks from her chamber swifly down the beautiful hall in her palace to dorothy’s room down the street. Dorothy’s room is a little more modest but still nice.
And that is how Dorothy heard that the historians wanted to hear from her.
Dorothy and the shaggy man contructing an elaborate “computer” out of emeralds and sticks and huge vine like wires.
Luckily there was a shaggy man in the land of OZ who knew how to build a computer and connect it through the air it the internet. The result was that the Historians begged so hard to be told the latest news of OZ so that they could tell it to the children of the outside world.
Dorothy kneeling at the feet of Ozma in her thrown room.
Dorothy asked permission of Ozma and Ozman graciously conceded.
The camera pulls away and tranvels down the halls of the palace sweeping outside through the emerald city in all it’s splendor.
That is why after ___ long years of waiting another OZ story in now presented to the children of the world.
While the titles are running the camera continues to sweep through the country side slowly pulling farther out as it goes eventually we see the whole map from obove with it’s four colored blocks surrounded by the deadly deasert. It appears now like a traditional map with titles and everything.
The Patchwork Girl of OZ
As the credits continue to roll we pan in on Munchkin land the large blue block on the western side of OZ. As we pan is we begin to see details once again slowly we see a model of a forest inside muchkin land, as we continue it turns into a real forest. Paning through the forest we eventually reach a small clearing with a little house of the Munchkin style, painted all blue with a tall pointed roof and little points all the corners of the roof.. On this particular munchkin house however the paint is peeling and even some of the little poity parts have begun to slope. The front yard of the house is completely desolate with nothing in but a decreped old “Bread Tree” drooping and leaf less with just two odd looking loaves of bread hanging from it’s branches.
The door of the house opens and a young munchkin boy Ojo walks leasurely out side and picks one of the loaves of bread. He’s dressed in traditional munchkin attire. All in blue with a tall pointed hat and little points on his shoes with bells on them. Ojo’s clothes like his house are faded and worn. Some of his bells are missing.
Loaf in hand we follow Ojo back through the front door of his house. As we pass the front window we see looking out of it an old man Unc Nunkie. Inside the house there is nothing but an old chair a small table and a tiny bare kitchen.
Once inside Ojo goes quickly to the kitchen and starts digging through the cuppards. He find nothing and runs back to where Unk Nunkie is sitting.
Unk is an old munchkin man with a long bears and white hair. He wears the same style clothes as Ojo but his are much more worn.
Where’s the butter Unc Nunkie?
Isn’t any butter? That’s too bad Unc. Where’s the jam then?
No jam either? And no cake, no jelly, no apples, nothing but bread.
Ojo sits down next to Unc Nunkie on a little stool. They both look out the window.
Nothing grows in our yard but the bread tree and there’s only to loaves of left on that tree and there not ripe yet. Tell me Unc, why are we so poor?
Unc just looks at him
I think we are, what have got?
I know, but everyone in the land of OZ has a place to live. What else Unc?
I’m eating the last loaf that’s ripe.
Ojo begins to wrap up the rest of the ripe loaf in a blue handkerchief.
Here I’ve put aside your shar, Unc. It’s on the table so you can eat it when you get hungry. But when that is gone what shall we eat?
Unc just shakes his head.
Of coarse, no one starves in the land of OZ either. There is plenty for everyone. There is plenty for everyone you know, only if it isn’t where you happen to be you must go where it is.
Unc just starts to look a little disturbed.
By tomorrow morning we must go where there is something to eat, or we shall grow very hungry and become very unhappy.
Where shall we go? I don’t know, I’m sure, but you must know, Unc. You must have traveled in your time because your so old. All I’ve ever seen in the land of OZ, Unc Dear, is the view of the mountain to the south.
Ojo motions all around as the camera pan around to the huge mountain looming outside there back window.
Where they say the Hammerheads live-who won’t let anyone go by then. And the mountain to the north.
Ojo motions again and we pan around to the Northern window with it’s mountain.
Where they say no one lives.
Oh yes! One family lives there I’ve heard. That’s the crooked magician who is named Dr. Pipt and his wife Margolotte. One year you told me about them. I think it took you a whole year, Unc, to say as much as I’ve just said about the crooked magician and his wife. They live high up on the mountain and the good munchkin country where fruits and flowers grow just on the other side. It’s funny you and I should live here all alone, in the middle of the forest, isn’t it.
Then let’s go away and visit the Munchkin country and it’s jolly good natured people. I’d love to get the sight of something besides woods, Unc, Nunkie.
Why I’m not so little as I used to be. Why I think I can walk as far and as fast through the woods as you can. And now that nothing grows in our woods that is good to eat we must go where the food is.
A shot of the the withered weird forest outside the house.
Inside the house Unc is seen looking out the window at the woods. Looking dejected. Behind him we see Ojo biting his lip nervously then giggles and goes about his day.
Int: Later in the Day Inside the House
Unc is still sitting in the same place looking out the window. Behind him Ojo is seen lighting a fire in the fireplace.
After lighting the fire Ojo slowly walks up beside Unc and hands him a piece of bread.
Eat your bread Unc and then we will go to bed.
Unc does not respond.
Int: Inside the house later that night
Unc. is still sitting in the exact same place looking out the window. Behind him we see Ojo asleep in his bed. Slowly we see a few streaks of light move across Ojo’s face signifying the beginning of dawn.
Unc reaches down and puts a hand lightly on Ojo’s shoulder. His eyes open slowly.
Ojo jumps up and starts franticly running around the room putting on his traditional munchkin clothes.
“blue silk stockings, blue knee pants with gold buckles, a blue ruffled waist and a jacket of bright blue braided with gold. His shoes were of blue leather and turned up at the toes, which were pointed. His hat had a peaked crown and a flat brim, and around the brim was a row of tiny golden bells that tinkled when he moved.”
Ext: Morning outside Unc and Ojo’s house
Long shot looking at the house as if from the forest.
Ojo and Unc emerge from the house and walk toward us Unc walks slowly and deliberately while Ojo runs ahead and back over and over like a cartoon dog.
We follow them as they walk along a path that leads them into the woods and finally to a fork in the road. One way leads along the flat ground, the other leads steeply up the hill. Ojo running a head instinctively follows the flatter road after a few yards though he looks back and notices Unc is not following. Unc points up the hill. Ojo runs back to him.
Unc motions for Ojo to sit on a log with him. They sit and Unc pulls out the small piece of bread they have left and rips off two small parts. He hands a small piece to Ojo. They eat it in silence.
Once they’ve eaten there morsels Unc raps them up in a handkerchief and points up this hill.
They begin to ascend the hill
Fade to Black
Scene 2 The Crooked Magicians House
Ext. Day a Clearing in a Forest
Ojo and Unc slowly emerge from the forest into a large clearing with a house in it. This is the crooked magicians house.
“a big house, round, as were all the Munchkin houses, and painted blue, which is the distinctive color of the Munchkin Country of Oz. There was a pretty garden around the house, where blue trees and blue flowers grew in abundance and in one place were beds of blue cabbages, blue carrots and blue lettuce, all of which were delicious to eat. In Dr. Pipt's garden grew bun-trees, cake-trees, cream-puff bushes, blue buttercups which yielded excellent blue butter and a row of chocolate-caramel plants. Paths of blue gravel divided the vegetable and flower beds and a wider path led up to the front door.”
Ojo and Unc take a few seconds to admire the house then walk up to the front door and knock.
The door opens and Dame Margolotte; a pleasant faced munchkin woman appears.
Ah you must be Dame Margolotte., the good wife of Dr. Pipt.
I am my dear and all strangers are welcome to my home.
May we see the famous magician Madam?
He is very busy just now, but come in and let me give you something to eat for you must have traveled far in order to get to our lonely place.
We have. We have come from a far lonelier place than this.
Unc, Margotlotte and Ojo enter the house and close the door behind them.
Monday, March 1, 2010
Still I took the time to sit down and at least draw up the first outline below.
There’s a lot of details missing but looking at it like this I actually think I might be able to make a go at writing it.
Scene 1: Our main character, a private detective who we’ll just call Frank for now, meets the wife of the “missing person”, a wealthy San Francisco socialite, who for now we’ll call Arthur. The wife gives Frank Arthur’s diary and makes it clear she wants to hear nothing about what’s written in it.
Scene 2: Frank meets a friend at a bar and tells her about the assignment he’s received to find a missing socialite. They have a few drinks and the friend reads a little from the diary.
Scene 3: A short scene back at home with Frank and his girlfriend. We see him lie a little to her about how much he drank at the bar and with who. She then goes to bed and he reads aloud (or maybe with voice over) another short passage from the diary.
Scene 4: Frank interviews Arthur’s best friend Robin. Robin is entertaining, charming and not very helpful. He believes that Arthur is probably just off on a little mid-life crisis binge.
Scene: 5: Frank interviews Arthur’s sister not sure what she tells him but whatever it is is leaves him with a pretty good idea what path to follow.
Scene 6: Frank alone reads from an especially debaucherous entry in Arthur’s diary. The passage includes details about Franks double life and his other house in Oakland.
Scene 1: A meeting in Oakland with the young family friend who lives at Arthur’s secret house in Oakland. Their meeting opens more questions and leads Frank farther into the rabbit hole of Arthur’s secret life.
Scene 2, 3 & Maybe 4: Frank believes he has discovered Arthur’s location and follows the clues farther in that direction. I’m not sure what direction this will be but it brings him back to re-interview the people he’s already talked to. Eventually, after reading a particular entry in the diary, he realizes that his path was misguided.
Scene 5: Frank returns to Arthur’s wife to tell her that he’s reached a dead end, arthur is probably far away and if he kept looking it would probably be very expensive and possibly lead nowhere. Arthur’s wife pay him for the work he’s done and says that she’s received peace of mind and won’t require any more of his services. She just wanted to know if he was coming back and now feels since he won’t be she can move on.
Scene 6: A year later. Frank is in Oregon with his girlfriend on vacation. He goes into a bar to ask directions and finds himself face to face with Arthur, the man he’d spent months looking for. They talk for a while.
This is the first time we actually see and hear Arthur. He should be in many ways very different than the image we’ve formed in our mind during the play. For Frank he’s somewhat of a disappointment. Sadder and more petty than his diary and friends made him out to be. Arthur asks Frank if he can help him get his life back. Frank tells him he doesn’t think that’s a good idea. That his life is gone and his family has moved on.
In the end Arthur is left sitting alone on stage with a drink.