Archive for the 'script action' Category

23
Mar
10

‘Mankind Is Unkind, Man’

WIP poem for a new project.  Poetry is something I’ve never studied or really practiced – We’ll see how this turns out:

In between the skulls, stacked twelve stories high,

the brackish pools, cypress walls, and mossy carpet,

fluttering reptile covens, and cloudy gray sky,

Stand, man, stand damn tall against the windy cry

murder”.


Street corner physicians and by the hour

girlfriends blow kisses and whisper love.

The weak and poor huddle together and cower,

and spit obscene shit, and scream “It’s now or

never.”


Mankind is unkind, man.

Hustlers rape and politicians bribe,

and fuck you cause they can.

Mankind is unkind, man.


Southern discomfort comes in waves,

Twos and threes cheap clinic connections circle

and drip yellowy heaven that saves,

Trip hard a path that blazes and paves

onward.


Personal mayhem and a path to kill,

Your best friend drugged and out on the floor

Artful revival paramedic skill,

and you don’t care that his hearts still

beating.


Mankind is unkind, man.

Don’t you hate this town and this life,

the fucking dirty air and swamp land.

Mankind is unkind, man.


I don’t pretend to understand they why or how,

or where the need comes from.

It’s still enough to know certainly now,

what abuses the vile and beaten allow

freely.

28
May
09

Grinning White Teeth is done

That is, my novel Grinning White Teeth, is complete on it’s second draft. Query letters have been sent out to various agents around New York, and the clock is on for returns. Typically, established writers will tell you “It’s a 1 in 12 success ratio” with agents. So, here’s hoping that it is picked up.

In the meantime, I have been plotting and outlining a new novel, based on the beautiful world of Windsor McKay’s “Little Nemo In Slumberland/In The Land of Wonderful Dreams”. It has been in the public domain for some time now, and I’m excited as hell to work on it. Depending on how it works I’ll be looking to either go the traditional route, or possibly take it in a GNU direction (which has, for various reasons, fascinated the hell out of me.)

Geen was handed, the other day, a micro rewrite of the Child Ballad “Twa Corbies” for his upcoming art book, Cheap Vodka. (I love the name. I had been kicking it around like an old can for years before unknowingly handing it to him.) I anticipate it will be posted here when it’s complete. We’ve also considered continuing to adapt child ballads for a submission to Zuda.com. However, the prose script can be seen below. I used it as an exercise to play with an idea I’d had during the writing of Grinning White Teeth. It wasn’t as prevelant in the novel, however it should be up front and center when reading this:

The Three Ravens –

In the valley down the river, in the low light of a pink sunset, on a crooked and dry husk of a tree, sat three Ravens. They had watched as the two armies clashed, and they had watched as the solider fought bravely, and they had watched as he was run through. The Ravens waited as the battle receded, the victors moved in pursuit of the defeated, and the solider was left to die with the day.

The first said to the others, “We should not have waited, my friends. We have lost too many meals to the heat.” The second said to the others, “We should follow the armies. The wounded will be freshly dead as they travel.” The third said to the others, “I stake my claim here.”

Below them, below the dry and dead tree, in the tall blood soaked grass of the valley, sat the soldier’s three animals. The hawk, the falcon, and the dog. They waited by their master, waiting until the day died, waiting until their master followed soon after.

The hawk said to the others, “He is lost to us. We should look for food.” The falcon said to the others, “He is lost to us. We should look for shelter.” The dog said to the others, “He is lost to us, let us look for a new master.”

The soldier lay in the tall grass, in the valley, under the crooked tree, and passed as did the sun. Next to him, the hawk, the falcon, and the dog began to mourn their master, and above him, the three ravens grew restless.

The first said to the others “We have waited too long.” He crooked his head to the third, and flew off to find other food. The second turned to the third and said “The wounded have surely now died, watch as our brothers follow the armies.” He crooked his head and joined the murder flying above them. The third sat stoically watching the soldier. “I stake my claim here.”

The hawk watched as the sun fell behind the far mountains, and watched as the the field mice began to scurry along the ground, and left to hunt. The falcon felt the temperature dip, and the winds picked up, and flew off to find shelter. The dog saw, in the distance, a lamp light flicker in the dark, and left to find a new master.

Above the knight, in the dry and crooked tree, in the valley covered in the dead, sat the third raven, who had yet to eat.

22
Sep
06

The Reformers

(script action, politics)

“The Reformers”

Script – Mike Black

PAGE 1-

1 – Ext. suburban home. Backdoor of the house, a lone light sits lighting a small area of the backyard, the rest of the panel is pitch. Directly under the light is Richard, a cigarette dangling out of his mouth. His arms are crossed , but in one hand he holds the leash for his dog, sniffing at the ground in front of him.

TV (From inside door)-
The newest rounds of cuts has set off a fire storm of controversy across the country.

TV-
In The Slate-Helders budget, federal grants for student housing in post-graduate programs has been cut by some thirty percent. When asked for comment, Representative Helders stated…

TV (Helders)-
“The success from those programs was marginal. We’ve seen very little of value come from it over the past ten years. This is a society of success, and we cannot tie ourselves to endeavors that fail year in, year out.”

Richard-
Well, atleast I can still go home.

PAGE 2-

1 – These panels will all be widecreen. I want a real movie feel to them, maybe even light-boxed. The dog wanders out of the circle of light. Richard’s head leans back as his knees bend. He’s staring straight into the night sky. His cell phone rings.

2 – Richard straightens up, and the dog runs back into the light. The phone rings again.

3 – The phone is in his free hand, the other holding the leash out. He holds the cell to his ear and answers.

Richard-
Mom?

4 – Richard’s head sinks down as the dog jumps up and down at his leg playfully. The cigarette goes limp in his mouth.

Richard-
When did you sell it?

Richard-
Boca Raton. How nice.

Richard-
Alright, ma. I’m kind of busy right now.

Richard-
Alright, love you too.

5 – Same panel as last. The dog is clawing up at Richard’s knee. His head is now up, looking forward into the darkness as he plunges the cell phone into his pocket.

Richard-
Home is out of the question, then.

22
Sep
06

[My Dead Rock Star Boyfriend, or COME BACK]

(script action)

PAGE 1-

1 – Est. shot. A honky tonk in the middle of nowhere. A real retro feel to the
place, with classic cars all around. It’s a clear night outside, or only so
because of the light eminating off of the bar. Neon signs and car lights
illuminate the immediate area.

Singing from inside-
Whooaaaaaaa!!!!

Singing (cont.)
All I waaaant!!!!

2 – Int. of the bar. It’s packed. Psychobillies, gutter punks, retro mods, and
alt. country folks everywhere. Drinking and carousing about, enjoying themselves
as a three piece band is on stage.

Nathaniel-
Whoo–oaaaaa–o-oaaaaaa!

Nathaniel-
Whooaaa–AAAAAAAAA-OOOOO!

3 – Close up of the band on stage. Nathaniel striking the last chord, the band
of psychobillies enjoying the hell out of themselves.

PAGE 2-

1- Nathaniel holds the mic with his fret hand. He’s got a sort of goth-pretty to
him, but he’s too vulnerable to rely on it.

Nathaniel-
Thanks.

Nathaniel-
This next song was originally written by a band who took their name from the
song we just played.

Nathaniel-
God that sounds stupid when you say it aloud.

Nathaniel-
Did that make sense to anyone else?

Nathaniel-
Regardless, this is “No Other Girl”.

2- Small panel of the guitar and Nate’s hands working over it delicately. He
only picks one string at a time.

3- Two table back from the stage, over Nate’s shoulder we see a girl. Meet
Angela, our female lead. She’s trying not to look too enamoured. A drink is
playfully circled with her fingers. He’s intently watching the show, ignoring
everyone around her.

4 – His eyes closed, Nate gets awfully close to the mic as he sings. Put some
soul into him.

Nate-
Let me tell you something, baby.

PAGE 3-

1- A close up on Angela’s face as she watches.

Nate (off panel)-
Your my only woman.

2- The whole band plays in a subdued manner. Nate croons.

Nate-
All I need is you, my gal.

Nate-
Why don’t you listen to me?

3- In the back of the bar, leaning against a pool table is Sebastian. The angry
little bastard of our story. Too fashionable for the rest of the bar, he sits
back seething like an evil little Arthur Fonzarelli. Behind him there are
four guys playing pool.

Nate (off panel)-
Cause your MY only one.

PAGE 4-

1 – Sebastian turns to one of the guys playing pool, Whispering in his ear.

Sebastian-
Keep him away from Angela.

2- We see Angela again, intently watching Nate on stage.

Goon (off panel)-
Didn’t you dump her, Sebastian?

3- We see a different time, a different place. Angela’s screaming at Sebastian,
another girl behind him with her clothes part way taken off.

Angela-
WHO IS SHE?!

4- Back to the present, Sebastian doesn’t even look at the goon, he just stares
hatefully at past him towards the stage.

Sebastian-
Yeah.

PAGE 5-

1 – Nate is placing a his guitar in it’s case. The band behind him cleaning
up their gear.

Angela (off panel)-
Nice set, greaser.

2- He turns his head to look over his shoulder, shot from behind, we see his
eyes peeking out over his shoulder.

Nate-
I’m happy to please, M’am.

3- Big money shot here. Full on gorgeous woman. This is our formal introduction
panel for Angela.

Angela-
My name is Angela.

PAGE 6-

1- Wiping his hands clean with a shop rag, Nate stands straight in front of her,
caught slightly off guard.

Nate-
Hi.

Nate-
I’m Nate.

2- We see Nate’s hand pointing to the two-piece behind him, cleaning up their
equipment.

Nate-
And these are The Hanks.

3- Nate steps off the stage.

4- And stands right infront of Angela.

Nate-
I know you from somewhere.

PAGE 7-

1- Angela drops her head a little bit, looking out from under her brows, smiling
endlessly.

Angela-
I dated your ex-bass player.

2- Close up on Nate smirking.

Nate-
Ha, Sebastian?

3- Angela pushes the hair on the right side of her head over her ear.

Angela-
Yeah.

Angela-
It took me far too long to realize what kind of a child he is.

4- Nate smiles and scratchs the side of his head, his elbow sticking straight
into the air.

Nate-
Well, I can’t fault you for that.

PAGE 8-

1- Nate drops his head a little bit, a trying to hide his laughing as he stuffs
the shop rag into his back pocket. Angela holds her hands in front of her. The
panel should look like the two of them are finally realizing that they’re into
eachother, a little uncomfortable about it.

2- Viewing them from off in the distance is Sebastian. He’s massively pissed,
the goons swarming behind him like evil little clones.

3- Close up on Sebastian’s face, his eyes bloodshot.

Sebastian-
THIS isn’t going to happen.

PAGE 9-

1- EXT of the Honkey Tonk. Nate and Angela are walking out of the bar, Nate with
guitar in hand. Angela holding tightly onto his arm. The parking lot is clear
of all but three cars.

Nate-
And the guy from Moon Records offered us a contract on the spot.

2- Angela looks up to him, smiling.

Angela-
But why play rockabilly?

Angela-
What’s so special about it?

3- Nate’s a bit taken a back, his eyes wide, like someone just knifed him.

4- His eyes soften and he gives a thoughtful half-smile.

Nate-
Why not?

22
Sep
06

Flood, opening.

 (script action)

 

FLOOD-

W – Mike Black

A    Adam Geen

 

Issue 1

 

PAGE 1-

 

1 – We see a wide-screen panel. A man’s eyes, with the barrel of a gun pointed at his temple, are bloodshot. We can also see that he has a phone receiver on his ear.

 

Man-

No, he says he isn’t going to talk to you.

 

2 – Widescreen panel. From the ground (looking up,) we see a Texas Ranger on a cell phone. He’s standing behind a parked police cruiser.

 

Ranger-

I’d like to talk to him.

 

Ranger-

Could you-

 

3 – Widescreen. The man on the phone’s eyes squint.

 

Man-

He’s got a…

 

Voice (off panel)-

Smith & Wesson model 500 revolver.

 

Man-

Smith & Wesson model 500 revolver pointed at my head.

 

4 – Widescreen. The ranger remains unmoved.

 

Man (from phone)-

He says he doesn’t want to talk.

 

Voice (from phone)-

This is the Safari Club custom. Has some real fine engraving.

 

Man (from phone)-

Please help us.

 

PAGE 2 –

 

1-     Widescreen. We’re peering over police cruisers through large open glass window-doors of the bank. Inside we can see people laying on the ground, the silhouette of a gunman standing above them.

 

Ranger-

What are his demands again?

FLOOD-

 

W – Mike Black

A    Adam Geen

 

Issue 1

 

PAGE 1-

 

1 – We see a wide-screen panel. A man’s eyes, with the barrel of a gun pointed at his temple, are bloodshot. We can also see that he has a phone receiver on his ear.

 

Man-

No, he says he isn’t going to talk to you.

 

2 – Widescreen panel. From the ground (looking up,) we see a Texas Ranger on a cell phone. He’s standing behind a parked police cruiser.

 

Ranger-

I’d like to talk to him.

 

Ranger-

Could you-

 

3 – Widescreen. The man on the phone’s eyes squint.

 

Man-

He’s got a…

 

Voice (off panel)-

Smith & Wesson model 500 revolver.

 

Man-

Smith & Wesson model 500 revolver pointed at my head.

 

4 – Widescreen. The ranger remains unmoved.

 

Man (from phone)-

He says he doesn’t want to talk.

 

Voice (from phone)-

This is the Safari Club custom. Has some real fine engraving.

 

Man (from phone)-

Please help us.

 

PAGE 2 –

 

1-     Widescreen. We’re peering over police cruisers through large open glass window-doors of the bank. Inside we can see people laying on the ground, the silhouette of a gunman standing above them.

 

Ranger-

What are his demands again?

22
Sep
06

Jennifer Belle

(prose action)

 

It’s a shitty night. Not shitty in the way that everything seems to be going wrong – No, it’s more of a shitty weather thing. There is blackish slush that barely passes for dirt in the gutters. The peat-soil is diluted enough to be damaging to everything it touches, but still thick enough to stick to all of those same substances. Moreover, it’s ninety-three degrees outside.

Rainy summer evenings here in Tampa are downers. The rain is supposed to cool everything off, yet it still seems like god is pouring boiling water down on us. Everything just gets hotter. Drizzling summer nights in Tampa are frustrating in that regard. It’s January 27, by the way.

 

My name is Dexter Cochran. I’m tearing through a pack of Marlboros, it’s raining, and I hate the south.

 

Walking down 7th street here in Ybor City on a Friday night is supposed to be an exercise in molestation from hundreds of drunks. However, it’s raining, and hot as hell, and all those drunks are still inside their bars, getting sufficiently hammered. Everyone is piss-ass-drunk as they slush their way around bars, groping each other in what vaguely passes for dancing. Genitalia rubbing against their opposites and sometimes their counterparts in swirling motions; make shift dry humping arousing anyone within a fifteen foot radius.

 

I’d kill for a shot of Wild Turkey right now.

 

I’m struggling as I try to find the right club. Ybor, as I understand it, has degenerated in the past few years to the point that it accommodates nothing but bars, clubs, and one lonely ATM machine. Therefore, looking for this place is mildly frustrating.

I grab a reveler from a table just outside of the James Joyce, and ask him if he’s lucid enough to answer some questions. He gives me the kind of stare that says, “You kick puppies.” The drunk in the cowboy hat asks for a cigarette, and I oblige him. In between drags, he relates to me.

 

“You’re looking for the Castle?”

“Yes. I was supposed to meet someone there 10 minutes ago.”

“Alright, just go back down 7th like 4 blocks. Turn right through Centro Ybor, and its right there.”

“It’s not on 7th avenue?”

“No.”

“Have fun with the freaks, man.”

 

I thanked him. He trolled his way back up the stairs to the James Joyce, and I turned and went on my way. The sky had finally cleared up enough for sweat soaked morons to stumble out of the clubs into the street. A particularly “tough” looking young man throws up in a trashcan as I stroll by.

The scent of pot, beer, and sex dance around my head as I move through the street. Paid sign girls tout the greatness of their establishments with lines like “No cover ‘til 12!”, and I press on. It’s a bit overwhelming at first. This place is everything I always told myself I hate. Innocuous bars line a street that feels like a cage holding the last party before the rapture. Its acts of hedonism that aren’t my own.

The Castle is a Goth club nestled between buildings owned by a college. It’s a degenerated building nestled between what city council members call “The New Ybor City.” The entrance is as expected – double wooden doors decorated with ornate ironwork. A bouncer asks for my I.D. and I can’t help but laugh.

I climb the stairs, and around the corner, I find home. I’ve never quite felt happy in normal locales. The atmosphere – it’s a decorative death thing. Elitists in latex and vinyl litter the place. A bar runs its way around the auditorium; wallflowers looking too high class for each other hold it up as if it’s a mudslide.




Mike Black is…

A writer, reader, commentator, music lover, art lover, futurist, tech lover, pragmatist, romantic, DepDecoist, and a bastard. Hopefully you enjoy.

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