Sunday, December 6, 2015

A Smitty Movie

Okay, I'll confess.  Several people have told me that 'Smitty,' my would be--ever lovable, dark eyed assassin who has a streak of Puritan honesty to him--would make wonderful fodder for an action adventure movie.

I agree.  But the problem is . . . how do you write a fracken movie?

Sure, I bought some books, looked at some 'how-to' videos.  I've got a germ of an idea on how it should be done.  Apparently the basic component is to remember that you are writing for a VISUAL medium . . . so you're basically giving directions at the cameraman on what they should be seeing in the camera lenses.  Yet. . . not writing n so much detail the movie director isn't allowed to use HIS imagination to fill out each scene with his own imagination.

And then there's the problem of the flow of the movie; meaning the flow from one scene to another has to make sense, and shouldn't have inexplicable 'breaks' between scenes which don't make sense.  

And then there's this thing about writing a 'spec' script versus a 'shooting' script.

So . . . how the hell do you write a movie script?

Apparently the only way to learn is to begin.  Write the damn thing, the proverbial first draft, and see where it takes you.  Okay . . . okay . . . okay.  I'm doing that.  Writing the damn thing.  I thought I might share with you the introductory sequence. . . the one where the main character (Smitty) and the main conundrum are introduced.

Tell me what you think.

FADE IN: Late afternoon with light rain.

EXT. SHOT--A busy city street filled with traffic shrouded in a fog-like downpour.
CUT TO: Black CTS Cadillac moving over rain filled streets. The car is weaving expertly in and out of slow moving traffic.

CUT TO: A second view, the Caddy's tail lights, lighting up the early evening light as it shows a right turn signal.

INT. SHOT: Car. Wind shield wipers sweeping back forth a windshield being pelted by a study rain.  Heavy city   traffic.  The sound of the wipers sweeping back and forth across the windshield is noticeable.

CUT TO: Hands, wearing black leather gloves, gripping the     steering the leather steering wheel. One hand moves     from the wheel and punches the ON button on the car's radio. Softly over the radio we hear the music of Depeche Mode's A Pain That I'm Used To.

Cut To: Interior of the car.  Just a slice of the driver's    dark eyes moving back and forth from side to side as he drives.  But his eyes keeps returning to the boxy   from of a yellow cab three or four car lengths in      front of his Caddy.

EXT. SHOT: Same rain filled heavy traffic. Black Caddy
     keeps following the yellow taxi four car lengths
     behind it through heavy traffic. In the back seat of
     the taxi we see the little girl (a 10 or 11 year
     old girl) turning her head back and forth to stare
     at the city's tall buildings.  She looks excited.
     Occasionally she points to something and leans toward
     her father to say something.

     Eventually the cabby's tail lights flash brightly
     in the rain as it stops in front of a line of
     parked cars sitting in front of a tall apartment

     CUT TO: The dark eyes of the driver turns to his left     and sees a man holding an umbrella in one hand and the     hand of a small girl in the other.  The man is trying     to hold the umbrella over the small girl as they hurry through the rain down the deserted sidewalk to the      entrance apartment building.

     INT. SHOT: The dark eyed man sitting behind the
     steering wheel of the Caddy.  As he watches the cabby
     come to a halt and the father and daughter get out
     of the cab, dark eyes wrinkle up in a frown.


FADE IN: Mid Day. Filled with sunshine. Somewhere    downtown.

INT. SHOT--An upscale bar:

CUT TO: A booth sitting in front of a large plate glass   window.  Outside the pub the city sidewalk is filled   with rapidly moving pedestrians.  City traffic on the     streets is moving stop and go action.  Sitting at the table is a dressed in all black.  He looks nervous.       Agitated.  In front sitting on the booth's table are three empty glasses.  A fourth is sitting by his hands.  Hands that are fidgeting nervously.

CUT TO: Same bar. Different angel. A man is sitting       alone
        in a booth. In front of him is a large piece of
      pie and cup of coffee. He's dressed casual sport
      coat, solid color shirt with no tie.  We see his
      hands, arms, upper torso, and the lower portion of       his jaw but nothing more.  His booth is beside a       large plate glass window that looks out onto the same       busy street. He casually eats his pie slowly,
      occasionally turning his head to glance out at
      the passing pedestrians.

      As the fork with the last piece of pie rises up
      to his face, the arm's motion stops at the mid-
      way point when the form of a man in dark
      clothing slips past the window.  We SEE the
      lower portion of the man's head half turn to
      glance at the passing stranger.

      When the dark from of the passer-by disappears
      the unseen man finishes his last piece of pie.
      reaches in his sport coat and pulls out a wallet.
      He throws a twenty dollar bill onto the table
      beside his coffee cup and slips out of his booth.

CUT TO:  The bar's entrance door opening and a compact,
     trim man dressed in a tailored suit enters the premises.  There is a suggestion of a predator, of      coiled and ready menace ready to explode, in the man's physical form.  He sees the agitated man sitting in a      booth and makes his way to him.

     Just as he turns to head toward the booth a figure,
     face UNSEEN, tries to step past the man standing
     in front of the entrance. The two accidentally
     collide. There's an awkward dance as each man tries
     not to the touch the other. We HEAR an "Excuse me,"
     coming from the man trying to depart just before
     the man slips out of the entrance and disappears
     into the pedestrian traffic.

     The man who just entered, still standing in front
     of the entrance, pauses for a moment and turns
     his head back to look at the figure disappearing
     behind him before looking back at the agitated
     figure sitting in the booth.

(noticing dark man approaching
grinning sheepishly. Still very agitated.)
     Smitty.  You got my note.    Good . . .good.
     I'm glad you came.  Really.
     I mean . . . really glad you came.

(Sliding into the booth, eyes on Danny.)

     It sounded urgent.  What's on your mind,

The pub's noise is not loud but is noticeable.  People are moving about.  Voices, some angry. . . some laughing, punctuate above the usual drone occasionally. Danny visibly
jumps nervously whenever anyone near his booth stands up and walks away.  Or when someone suddenly shouts unexpectedly.

(hands rolling over and over nervously and
constantly jerking his head to look at
complete strangers suspiciously.)

     Smitty, I got no other way to do this.  No one
     I know who'll help me.  All I got is you . . .
     and I don't know if you'll help or not.  But I
     gotta do something.  If I don't they're gonna
     kill'em. Both of'em. As sure as I sitting
     here talking to you, if I don't do something to
     stop it, both of'em are going to be dead by
     tonight.  So please...please . . .help me.

(Calm, quiet; centered.  But observing
Danny closely.)

     Who is going to die?

(leaning over the table to hiss
out the reply)

     My brother, Smitty.  My brother and
     my niece!  God knows I've been a
     terrible brother. I'm the one that's
     the criminal in the family.  But Robert's
     not!  He and my niece are just ordinary
     people.  They've done nothing wrong. 
     But . . . but the word is out.  There's
     a contract out on their lives.  It's
     supposed to happen sometime tonight. 
     Smitty . . . Smitty!  I gotta do something.
     I can't sit back and let the only two
     people who care about me get snuffed
     out'cause of something I must'uv done to                  someone. Please . . . please help me
     Smitty.  Please!

Smitty's face is unreadable.  He turns his head to glance out the plate glass window.  Turns his head again and watches someone get up off a bar stool and head for the pub's exit.  He then looks at Danny sitting across from him and nods his head slightly.


     Okay, Danny.  I'll see what I can do.
     But before I do anything, you've got
     to tell me everything.  How did you hear
     about this?  What does your brother do
     for a living?  Where does he live? 
     Everything, Danny.  Starting right now.

Danny nods eagerly, flashing a relieved grin across his lips. He glances at the crowd standing at the bar for a second and then turns back to Smitty.  He leans across the
booth's table and begins whispering eagerly.


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