It's a movie featuring Smitty, my dark, lovable (ah . . . huh?), implacable killer who somehow has a broad streak of humanity in him. I find the writing of a script challenging. I've done only one other before. A long, long, long time ago. It was an action-comedy set in Prohibition. I still got the rough copy around here somewhere . . .
The Smitty script. Mixing action, drama, and humor within the confines of roughly 120 pages. And doing it for a visual audience. Daunting to say the least. But that's the challenge, isn't it? A writer, I think, should be challenged. Should explore new territories in the worlds of wordsmithing. Success or failure doesn't come in to play. It's the challenge . . . the journey . . . that should liven up a writer's dance routine.
So I thought I would offer up the opening seen of the movie. Just getting a glimpse of it. I'd be interested in hearing anything you might like to say. Good or bad. (yes, I DO take ant-acid pills on a regular basis. No . . . not really. Just kidding)
Give it a look.
The Dark Holds No Secrets
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.
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
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
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
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'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.