Action

Several years ago, I wrote the beginning of a screenplay.   Maybe the total page count went to eight.    All the scenes were pure description and action.  The action, though, was of a woman bathing.  She then washed her hands.   It then cut to a man walking on sand.  Very dull action.  Not sure what I was thinking back then.

The excerpt I’m posting today has one short action scene, almost reminiscent of a Charlie Chaplin film.  Prior to this scene there’s a moment that segues into a flashback.   This moment can easily be interpreted as sexual.  I can tell you it isn’t.  And no, Will is not pregnant…just in pain.

               INT. LOG CABIN - MORNING

               Damian closes the battery cover on the cassette player.  
               Glances over at Charlie whose curled up on the floor, snoring
               a way.   A grin takes over Damian's face.  He pushes play. 
               Mozart's Requiem in D Minor broadcasts.

               EXT. ISLAND WATERFRONT - MORNING

               A fishing pole stands up right, lodged in the sand.   Will
               yawns and lies down.   Stretches.   Rubs his belly. 

                                                          MATCH CUT TO:

               BEGIN FLASHBACK

               EXT. SCHOOLYARD - DAY

               JESSICA, a bright-eyed curly-haired girl bundled in winter
               gear, rubs Will's belly.

                                   WILL
                         Does it feel weird?

                                   JESSICA
                         Feels normal to me.

               Jessica withdraws her hand.   

                                   WILL
                         It hurts.

                                   JESSICA
                         Go see nurse Kate.

                                   WILL
                         Why do you call your mother, "Nurse
                         Kate"?  That's creepy.

               END FLASHBACK

               EXT. ISLAND WATERFRONT - MORNING

               Mozart's Requiem in D Minor intensifies. 

               A sharp bend in the fishing pole.  Will crawls over to it.  
               Lifts it out of the sand.   Tugs the pole side to side.   The
               bend in the pole intensifies.   

               Will digs his feet deep in the sand.  Struggles with the
               strength of whatever might be caught on the hook.  Sweat
               drips down his arms.  Looses grip on the pole.   It flies
               into the water.  He goes after the pole but it moves too
               fast.

               Will kicks the water, screams and shouts.   He stops short. 
               Squints.

               In the distance, a speed boat approaches at a rather rapid
               pace.

               Will runs out of the water, hides behind a shrub.  

               The speed boat continues straight on course.

               Will runs into the woods.

The Whine

It feels like forever since my last post.   Life’s been rather insane.   On December 8th, a letter from Department of Labor came in reminding me that my unemployment benefits could expire on the 30th of this month.   My finances are in the hands of congress.   This is so fucked up!  All I need is one more month.

Last Monday, I visited an organization in New York City called The Actors Fund.   This wonderful organization helps actors, filmmakers, writers, dancers, etc find work in everything but the entertainment industry.  There are networking opportunities, seminars, career counselors, so much!   Since I’ve never earned a dime in the entertainment industry, I’m in the process of asking former actors, musicians, collaborators of all sorts to write letters, vouching for my validity as a writer/filmmaker.   Maybe, just maybe, I can receive their assistance.  Isn’t this fucking blog enough?

In other news, this evening I’m auditioning for a role or two in a Vassar film.  There’s no pay but fuck I need something in life to feel good.   Yeah, I know, I sound whiny.  But if you were to walk in my shoes, you’d probably be dead…or lose your feet.

Enough of “me”.  Here’s the next installment of the script —

               EXT. CLEARING - EARLY MORNING

               Smoke rises from the log cabin's chimney.

               Damian and Will run through the clearing toward the cabin.

               EXT/INT. LOG CABIN - EARLY MORNING

               Damian and Will duck beneath the window.  

                                   WILL
                             (whispers)
                         I'm gonna take the shot.

                                   DAMIAN
                         Hold on.

               Damian raises his eyes to window level.  Bites his lip. 
               Crumbles to the ground.

                                   WILL
                         What?  Can I take it?

                                   DAMIAN
                         No.  Fuck!

                                   WILL
                         What?

               Will peers through the window.

               Charlie smokes a cigarette while hot water boils on the wood
               stove.

                                   WILL (CONT'D)
                         Who the fuck is that?

                                   DAMIAN
                         It's Charlie Hammond.
                             (loud)
                         What the fuck are you doing here,
                         Charlie?

                                   CHARLIE (O.S.)
                         Oh you're back.  Thank God.  It's
                         been lonely without you.   Thought
                         maybe you got eaten by a bear or
                         drowned or something.   Where are
                         you?  I'm making some coffee.  Want
                         some?

               INT. LOG CABIN - MORNING

               Damian and Charlie sip their coffees.

               Will's perched on the bed, his rifle aimed at Charlie's feet.

                                   CHARLIE
                             (to Will)
                         You can have some.  It's good. 
                         Picked it up at this health food
                         store.  Don't worry it's fresh. 
                         Organic and fair trade...

                                   WILL
                         I don't drink coffee.

                                   CHARLIE
                         Well, it's here if you want it.  I
                         mean it's like really...

                                   WILL
                         I won't.

               Damian slams his coffee on the table.

                                   DAMIAN
                         You can't be here.

                                   CHARLIE
                         I know, yes.  You keep telling me.  
                         This island must be messing up your
                         memory.   Is this island like the
                         island from Lost?  You know the TV
                         show?

                                   DAMIAN
                         Never saw it.

                                   CHARLIE
                         It's all supernatural.  Creepy. 
                         Only seen a couple of episodes. 
                         Induced the worst insomnia.  Had to
                         stop watching it.

               Will leaps off the bed and signals for Damian him.

                                   DAMIAN
                         What?

                                   WILL
                         Outside.

               EXT. LOG CABIN - MORNING

               Damian and Will sit on the last step, huddled close.

                                   WILL
                         You invited him.  Didn't you?

                                   DAMIAN
                         Will...

                                   WILL
                         You just want to sabotage this
                         whole operation.

                                   DAMIAN
                         Don't be ridiculous.  The man's
                         obsessed with me.

               A lump wells up in Will's throat.

                                   WILL
                         I thought you'd fix this shit with
                         Kate?

                                   DAMIAN
                         She's stubborn.

               Will cracks the step with the butt of his rifle.

                                   WILL
                         This is fucked!

                                   DAMIAN
                         Calm the hell down!  And loose the
                         rifle.  He's not gonna kill us. 
                         He's a neurotic comedian.

               EXT. ISLAND WATERFRONT - DAY

               Damian rolls the row boat right side up onto the sand. 
               Pushes the boat into the water.  He then hands Charlie the
               oars.

                                   DAMIAN
                         Get in.

                                   CHARLIE
                         Oh no, no.  I need a life
                         preserver.   How can I get into a
                         boat without the extra security?

                                   DAMIAN
                         Charlie...

                                   CHARLIE
                         Fine!

               Charlie fumbles onto the boat.  Once settled, he jumps off
               the boat.  Kicks and screams in the water.

                                   DAMIAN
                         Charlie, what's gotten into you? 
                         C'mon now.   Get the hell back in
                         the boat.

                                   CHARLIE
                         No, I can't.   I love it here.  
                         This is my dream island.  It's
                         where I'll channel Tolkien.   Trust
                         me.   Give me a month.   I'll stay
                         out of your hair.  I promise.  Just
                         a month.   

                                   DAMIAN
                         No.

                                   CHARLIE
                         What's you mean no?   You're
                         leaving and that's that.

               Will jumps off a boulder.  Tosses his rifle to the side.

                                   WILL
                         Damian, let him stay.

                                   CHARLIE
                         Really?   Oh God, I love you!  Ho
                         lord, I love you...

                                   WILL
                         There are conditions, though.

                                   CHARLIE
                         What kind of conditions?

A Little Blurb on the True Inner Voice

The seemingly endless search for one’s true voice.   Yesterday I heard mine.   It terrified me greatly.    In time, you will see this voice beaming through the writing.   In the meantime, I’ll post more of the script which I had titled Descent.

               INT. LOG CABIN - NIGHT

               Only a few items are illuminated.   A rusty lantern.   A
               clouded up mirror.   A clay mug.    

               Glass SHATTERS.

               A hand reaches through the open pane, turns the knob. 
               Someone stumbles through the dark, ignites a match which
               powers the lantern.  Light fills the room.

               Damian approaches the bed.  Shakes the lump underneath the
               wool blanket.

                                   DAMIAN
                         Hey.   Why was the door locked?

               Will, shirtless and half asleep, crawls out from underneath
               the wool blanket.

                                   WILL
                         What?

                                   DAMIAN
                         You didn't hear me come in?

                                   WILL
                         No.

                                   DAMIAN
                         I had to break the glass.  Why was
                         it locked?

                                   WILL
                         It was locked?

               Damian moves further into the bed.

                                   DAMIAN
                         Yeah.  Move over.

                                   WILL
                         You're here so late.

                                   DAMIAN
                         I got here as soon as I could.

               Damian sprawls out on the bed.

                                   WILL
                         You stink.

               Will crawls over Damian, reaches for the cooler.  Pulls out a
               beer.  POPS the cap off.

                                   DAMIAN
                         Where the hell'd you get that?

                                   WILL
                         The store.

                                   DAMIAN
                         Which store?

                                   WILL
                             (laughs)
                         The store.

                                   DAMIAN
                         Got another?

               Will hands Damian another beer.   Their fingers rub against
               one another.

                                   WILL
                         What's up with your hand?

                                   DAMIAN
                         Ah, it's nothing.

                                   WILL
                         Grabbed the honey locust, didn't
                         ya?

                                   DAMIAN
                         Something like that.  

                                   WILL
                         Didn't think you'd make it.

                                   DAMIAN
                         What?  And leave you here to rot?

                                   WILL
                         I wouldn't rot.

                                   DAMIAN
                         Will, listen, there's someone else
                         here.

                                   WILL
                         Here?

                                   DAMIAN
                         Not here here.  On the island.

                                   WILL
                         Who?

                                   DAMIAN
                         I don't know.   A figure ran past
                         me.    

                                   WILL
                         Human?

               Damian nods.

               Will takes a wrinkled shirt off the floor.  Reaches for his
               boots.

                                   DAMIAN
                         You can't be serious!

                                   WILL
                         We gotta find him.

                                   DAMIAN
                         I just got here.  I wanna sleep,
                         man.

                                   WILL
                         Then sleep.  I'm gonna find him.

               Will rushes out the door.

               EXT. LOG CABIN - NIGHT

               Will pulls the floorboard off the porch.  Retrieves a rifle.  
               Grabs a hemp satchel loaded with bullets.  Tosses the satchel
               over his shoulder.  As he steps off the porch, a hand stops
               him.

                                   DAMIAN
                         I'm coming with you.

                                   WILL
                         Thought you wanted to sleep.

                                   DAMIAN
                         I do. Let's go.

               EXT. RURAL ROAD - NIGHT

               Damian reaches out, preventing Will from walking any further.

                                   DAMIAN
                         It was right around here.

               Will pushes past Damian.  Cocks the rifle.  Disappears into
               the brush.

                                   DAMIAN (CONT'D)
                         Will!  Where the...

               Damian follows after him.

               EXT. WOODS - DAWN

               Damian lags thirty feet behind Will.  At a boulder, he stops,
               leans against it.

                                   DAMIAN
                         Will!

               Will doesn't stop.

                                   DAMIAN (CONT'D)
                         C'mon, dude, what the fuck!  We've
                         circled this island five times.  
                         The sun's coming up.

               Trembling, Will stops.  He turns back at Damian.  Charges
               after him. Pointing the loaded rifle at him.

                                   WILL
                         Did you see a figure or not?

                                   DAMIAN
                         Yes.  I'm pretty sure I did.  

               The rifle inches from Damian's forehead, Will cocks the
               rifle.

                                   WILL
                         I could kill you.

                                   DAMIAN
                         I know, Will.  But you won't.  You
                         need me.

               Will lowers the rifle. Shuffles in uncertainty.

                                   WILL
                         Didn't meant to...

               Will falls to the ground.   Tears drip down his cheek.

                                   DAMIAN
                         It's fine.

                                   WILL
                         No, it's not.  I don't like what
                         I'm becoming.

               Will tears the rifle off, throws it over a stump.

                                   DAMIAN
                         It's only temporary.   

                                   WILL
                         Bullshit.

               Will crawls over to the rifle, throws it over his body.

                                   DAMIAN
                         Onward?

A Roaring Welcome

Dear Readers:

The week before Thanksgiving, I sunk into the worst depression ever.   The descent rattled both my physical and mental health.   I did everything possible to stop myself from falling deep into this pit.   Called family and friends.   All they could really say was, “I love you.  We hope things get better.”   As warming as that might be to hear, I still hit rock bottom.

Once there, a voice spoke to me.   It said, “If you’re a writer, then just write!   Screw what Syd Field and Robert McKee preach.  Get something, anything on paper.  Doesn’t matter how fucked up it is.  Just fucking write.”   The next day I started work on a screenplay.   I had no clue where this was going.   I wrote three pages a day.  This, in conjunction with St. John’s Wort, proved to elevate my mood.   By the third day, I titled the piece, Descent (named after my descent into the worst emotional state I can remember.   More on the title in two paragraphs).

On the twenty-fifth page, questions started taking over.   Why is the boy character, Will, so hated by everyone except the protagonist, Damian?   What is the relationship between Damian and Will?    Upon reaching the bottom of the thirty-second page, I stopped.  Didn’t know what kind of story I was telling.

While my mind ruminated for further story ideas, I stumbled across an article entitled “The 15 Biggest Cult Films of the Past Five Years”.   The third biggest cult film, Descent.   “Shit”, thinks I.    Time to rethink things.   No better venue to rethink things than a blog.   This blog shall be called Descent into My Creative Mind:  A Rather Absurd Journey.

This is how it shall be laid out.  Excerpts of the script shall be posted whereupon the next day or days later analyze the piece along with discussing where the scene(s) could go.  Occasionally, I’ll insert random fictional absurdity that has nothing to do with script.   Some days, I’ll embark upon philosophical ramblings.

I ask you, the reader/follower, for honesty.  You have something to say, say it.  Don’t hold back.   Thank you and enjoy this blog.
–Eric Sazer