HEART OF CLOUDS – novel to screenplay adaptation Mr. Honeygarten/Teenie apples

red apples

HEART OF CLOUDS

by Adrienne D. Wilson

copyright 2009 by Adrienne D. Wilson, all rights reserved

Screenplay by Adrienne D. Wilson

copyright 2020 WordPress.com all rights reserved

for Walter Halsey Davis

of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference

CONT.

EXT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. BEACH MORNING PEARLED LIGHT

Teenie leaves Devlin a note, under three beach stones, she has walked beach, dreamlike, to gather them. Close in on her drawing him a heart surrounded by clouds, with “Who are you?” then a seal’s head pops up from the waves as she walks away, smiling.

EXT. MR. HONEYGARTEN’S HOUSE. BRIGHT SUN, DAY

Teenie parks her bike by the old fence. MELLOMAN his dog is so happy to see her, clowns at fence, wagging and jumping. Birdsounds, Bluejay with peanut, landing.

TEENIE

Mr. Honeygarten are you there?

HONEYGARTEN

Just a minute, dear, let me get my staff. Well, hello Teenie dear how very nice to see you again

TEENIE

Mr. Honeygarten, I was wondering if I might be able to have some of those apples on your trees. I want to make a pie

Mr. Honeygarten smiles dearly at Teenie and begins to pick some flowers for her. Close in on his aged face, smiling eyes and warm smile, as Teenie pets Melloman.

HONEYGARTEN

You do? I see. Well suppose you help me pick them, and of course you can. I seem to have plenty to spare this year.

TEENIE

I want to share it with you Mr. Honeygarten

HONEYGARTEN

Oh my, I haven’t had an apple pie for a very long time

TEENIE

Neither have I, not since Dad left

HONEYGARTEN

You must miss him very much Teenie

TEENIE

I do. Every single day.

HONEYGARTEN

(old hips aching, puzzles)

Well let me see, we’ll need a basket and the ladder. How about if you go around to the garden shed and collect those for us and I’ll meet you by the trees.

Melloman and Teenie meander through English garden style flowers to the old shed, Honeygarten limps with staff toward the trees- lilting music, uplift close in on her hands picking apples, while he watches, Mellowman by his side

MONTAGE FLASHBACK – ESTABLISHING

Close in on a FOR SALE sign, Teenie’s parents working for a newspaper, bustling business – The Village Crier. Teenie’s parents at work, secretary and reporter. Out of business signs along streets. Teenie’s old house FOR SALE SIGN. Teenie in beautiful bedroom, packing, overhears her parents

INT. NIGHT, TEENIE’S BEDROOM

JAX

They closed it, everything. Lock, stock and barrel.

CHRISTINA

What are we going to do?

EXT. BEACH – DRIFTWOOD HUT – SUNNY, BRIGHT DAY

The summer of our discontent

How to even begin, with the world in this kind of state?

I would not know.

Except for one thing. I am furious with a ghost. It was my screenwriting teacher Walter Halsey Davis from the SB Writer’s Conference who passed away last summer not long after the Conference ended.

They say it isn’t right to speak ill of the dead, except, what he did to me was unfathomable, but not if you understand the kind of shit Hollywood can be made of. From 2006 until 2019 he was my teacher, and I waited. Twice when I was published under my nom de plume I handed him the books, so that he could see I was a published writer, so that he would take me seriously. Then I handed him my children’s book Heart of Clouds, which I wrote (as a Depth Psychologist from Pacifica Graduate Institute) to address core woundings and how to heal them. I was taken with his film “Do You Remember Love” that starred Joanne Woodward who is one of my faves as an actress, especially for her films like Rachel, Rachel and The Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds. Are those links in youtube? They might be.

Never put all your eggs in one basket. That’s something my grandmother used to say, and I did.

The last thing I ever handed him was a copy of my play, Vanilla Suede.

One dirty trick he pulled on me?

At the last night dinner at the Conference the teachers hand out prizes to the writers who have been in the workshops. Well, I handed him the assignment, do a screenplay using cliches. It was a Rom Com, and funny as hell. I thought he actually meant it, as a teacher. I have had many many teachers in my life. He never said ONE WORD to me, about my writing. He never said ONE WORD about my screenplay. He never said ONE WORD about the book to go to film I wrote that was dedicated to him. Here is what he said in class. “Does anyone have something they want to pitch to me?” I was so in awe of him that it took me three years to work up to that.

What a mean, sorry piece of shit he was.

So here is the deal.

The last sentence he ever said to me was “Let’s go to France.” That was by the pool, when I bought him a drink at the Conference and got him a plate of food. “I need red berries,” he said. In two months he would be gone.

I still have a bad taste in my mouth from those berries.

Last summer I asked a priest at the Mission to bless the book, and I handed it to a bookstore owner here, to ask him what he thought. He loved it. He saw it as a film.

So here is what I am going to do. Right here, in WordPress, copyright to me, I am going to rewrite the book as a screenplay. I am finished with writing under noms, forever. The book has themes that are important to children in it. For survival. So you can help me out here if you want because I would love feedback from the global audience that reads WordPress. The kids need a feel good film. They and the audiences need to see HOPE, and I wrote that for them.

“Let it go,” my husband said. “Just let it go.”

He cannot possibly understand the level of hurt Walter inflicted on me. He can’t. Chalk it up to the men in Hollywood being Weinsteinesque.

They aren’t the only men in the world.

I’m still in a bad mood, and we are a summer past last year.

Good thing I have WordPress, huh?

I grew up on the finest films that ever came out of Hollywood. In fact both my uncle Spencer Crilly and my dad Don Brown were both filmmakers. Yeah, they were. You can see pictures of both of them over in FB. Heart of Clouds is a charmer of a story about two kids on a beach, one summer, like the kind of childhood I had, which was sweet and full of good people. I set the place as Summerland, here in California, and so in the book when I refer to “the village” that is the setting for the location.

End scene from the film Rachel, Rachel is here:

Here is the film Effect of Gamma Rays on Man in the Moon Marigolds

xxoo!

from Adrienne

(who can go back and even see the notes in my old blog from the years I wrote it, in Nanowrimo)

C.S. Lewis came to me in a dream the last few days of the writing of the novel. It was fab. As I wrote the scenes for the book I had favorite actors in mind for the parts. But there are lots of actors and people in Hollywood who can play them, no? So what I write are called character studies. Those are the kind of classic films about people my generation grew up on.

Who were the actors I had in mind as i wrote the book?

One of them lives here in town. Jeff Bridges. I had the part of Grandpa Jess in mind for him because when I was a little girl, just a teen, I saw one of my favorite films on earth, “The Last Picture Show.” Here it is from youtube:

I have seen nearly every film Jeff Bridges ever made. I wanted to write parts that can win an OSCAR. Walter, my teacher WON THE HUMANITAS PRIZE. It matters. But the really big part in the film goes to the character Mr. Honeygarten, because both these characters are seminal in the story. I was just a kid in High School here in Santa Barbara when I saw The Last Picture Show. I wanted the part of Mr. Honeygarten to go to Robert Duvall. These are two actors that I love, for all the years they have been in film. Both these guys are BELOVED. In fact last night on TCM I watched Duvall in Altman’s MASH. I never saw that as a kid, wow. It was on TV, but what a film. Altman’s “Short Cuts” is one of my all time favorites. So, what the kids are watching in 2020 does not have the innocent beauty of stories like we grew up on, or even films we saw. As kids we grew up on a very different Disney.

I went to school with the Bottoms Boys. In this film. I saw it the year it was made on the big, big screen. What a film. It just so happens I grew up in this town, where SBIFF is. So here is Jeff Bridges a few years ago. Walter should have taken me seriously.

Look what Jeff Bridges is up to!

The character of Grandpa Jess plays a stringed instrument. Check it out!

Thinking about Vanilla Suede, and SBWC 2019 a few notes…

First I am so incredibly lucky to have Matt and Anne, because, well Matt and his Phantastic fiction class, and now Anne who is an actress, and has so much depth.  So on the whole Method Acting thing.  These are like my fave actors, this style.  So I recently have been watching some things on that.  For me acting is like magic?  To watch actors in films and in plays.  I have no idea how this is pulled off by them, to inhabit a character.  As a writer, it is very easy for me to understand and know my characters?  But the idea of setting a stage, or an emotional stage for them.  This is the making of a work of art for me.

Anyway that Talent Show, and seeing Matt and all the others up on that stage, the last night of the Conf.  I haven’t always stayed because sometimes so exhausted, but the times I have, it’s just this really beautiful thing that comes together.  I know Vanilla Suede is very poignant, because of the music I wrote it to.  So this is a total rewrite in a sense because edited from the shorty that was just dialogue.  So, music for me is the way I write everything?  My ideas on the songs I have chosen to illustrate the feelings.

4cd5e6baa19633c17e31ff18988d0b94--s-shoes-vintage-shoes

So I printed out the play, but we can make notes to that – this is the cover.  So what the play is about for me – character MARINA, and the longing for love, the sort that was 1929, except that she is in the here and now, of this generation.  It’s not like that for TRENT character.  Let’s assume that TRENT is so broken (backstory) a few pages back, but he has this brave face in the face of this generation, he is a cheerful character, all surface smiles and no one can see the pain?  MARINA is flip, as in the song I played, and yet, in these poems they will chose by themselves, hers, and then the ee?  Well this will be totally improv as an insert.  It isn’t that she is flip, as very wounded and non-trusting.  She lets TRENT lead, but heart is shattered glass, she does not show.  This whole method style is that you pull something up out of your own depths in order to become a CHARACTER.   The characters then, are part of HUMANITY in a kind of transcendence?  I think this is how the audience is moved, and it is so magic to me.  I am the luckiest person on earth right now, and I am smiling as I say it.  I mean the TALENT SHOW!  So this is proving I have some.  Am I ever lucky.

I’m just so lucky because for me I am going to see the words come to LIFE?  I can’t explan how much that means for me to see that.  It’s everything, so anyway this is what I am watching this morning and I am really glad Carmen and Walter can be like the directors because they both come from that tradition, as does Anne, so Matt has nothing to worry about.  So anyway, I am watching this today Method Acting a little – so excited!  Just know that, there are not RULES, just words on a page for the actors.  So, the theme:  Love conquers all, even death.  My image for this is that, we have to keep going, in life.  We keep going, and so MARINA and TRENT are doing this.  Yesterday I walked down by the harbor and spent some time talking to a man about Odin my dog.  He was walking and we started to talk about the country at this time, and he said he was a quadriplegic.  He has walked himself out of that. It was very moving to me, and so think of it like that.  Two characters with the woundings that this generation has lived, in the soul.  And then, when they dance, and she says: “I’m afraid” this is where TRENT takes the lead.  I know it will be so beautiful.  Sigh.  Yeah. No way to be able to thank the two of you but the Rose Peeps?  I think I can give you the prettiest gift.  Actually those.  But you two are the gift to me.

 

Finished Play Vanilla Suede

4cd5e6baa19633c17e31ff18988d0b94--s-shoes-vintage-shoes

VANILLA SUEDE

a play by Adrienne D. Wilson

for

Walter Dallenbach

copywright SBWC 2019

based on her short story Vanilla Suede first published at ERWA c. 2013

 

CAST OF CHARACTERS

THE MOURNERS                       an assorted group of people at a funeral

TRENT                                         a man in his 50’s, divorced

MARINA                                      a woman in her 50’s, divorced

CORE THEME:  Love conquers all, even death

SCENE

A temporal space on a black stage

An apartment, a balcony, moonlight

TIME

The present

STYLE OF ACTING FOR VANILLA SUEDE = METHOD ACTING

 

VANILLA SUEDE

SCENE ONE, ACT ONE

SETTING: We are at a funeral attended by several mourners. They are all friends who have known the deceased. The stage is PITCH DARK BLACK. These are the MOURNERS and all of them form a circle around a capstone laid flat on the floor. ONE WHITE CANDLE sits near the capstone on the grave. Each MOURNER carries a FLOWER to represent taking flowers to a grave. EACH MOURNER PRESENTS THE EMOTION OF SADNESS IN DEAD SILENCE almost as a PANTOMIME.

AT RISE: We see the lights slowly come on to illuminate a group of people. In silence and slowly one by one while doing a pantomime style set of grief actions similar to Marcel Marceau audience watches them each in turn place a flower near the candle. They will show grief as EXPRESSION on faces and BODY. At the LAST MOURNER we hear the words, “TAKEN TOO SOON.” THE MOURNERS HAVE WALKED SLOWLY UPSTAGE INTO COMPLETE DARKNESS TO EXIT IN TURN STAGE RIGHT AND LEFT. Characters TRENT and MARINA are the only two left on stage. The LIGHTS move to their faces and TRENT is the first to speak, after a long audible sigh.

TRENT

(letting out long and deep sad sigh)

Sometimes you just need to be held.

(he looks at MARINA, as he says this – lights illuminate their faces only)

MARINA

(looking sadly up at him)

What do you mean?

TRENT

It helps, especially when life throws you curve balls

MARINA

Maybe you’re right

TRENT

I am

MARINA

What about the ghosts of the past

(she moves away from him, looks off into space as if she is remembering all the ghosts of people and her marriage, that ended very sadly)

TRENT

Forget ’em

MARINA

What if I can’t?

(she looks back at him across a great void on the black dark stage, light illuminates her expression, which is of a lost thing)

TRENT

You have to

MARINA

I can’t

TRENT

You have to

(he looks off into distance, across the great black void of space and we see him turn back to face her)

TRENT

Going to that Halloween Party tomorrow?

MARINA

I might

TRENT

Let’s go together

(he puts his arm around her, as a friend would, after the sadness of the funeral – not romantically, as a friend.  They begin to walk a little, lights are on the two of them, as full bodies now)

TRENT

What are you going to wear?

MARINA

I thought I might go like the 1920’s. I saw some shoes.

(says this wistfully)

TRENT

What kind?

(he perks up out of sadness, gives a little smile at her)

MARINA

Vanilla suede with a tiny strap,.  My grandmother would have worn shoes like that, while the moon shimmered off the surface of the lake.  My grandfather would have taken her in his arms.

TRENT

A different time I guess

MARINA

It was

TRENT

People fell in love

MARINA

I guess they did

 

END SCENE – STAGE FADES TO DARKNESS AGAIN

 

VANILLA SUEDE

ACT ONE,  SCENE TWO

“Moonlight Serenade”

SETTING:  TRENT APARTMENT

Look:  EMPTY STAGE, only a table with a portable record player.  There is an opened wine bottle and two empty glasses.  Trent has invited MARINA over before they are both about to go to Halloween Party together, for a drink.  This will be liquid courage for Trent.  He has invited her in friendship.

AT RISE:

TRENT paces around his empty apartment nervously awaiting MARINA’S arrival.  This is shown in PANTOMIME perhaps with “Sugar Mountain” playing. For instance he could MIME himself as brushing his hair, he keeps checking his looks in the mirror.  Both TRENT and MARINA live in a small town, and so some of the MOURNERS will also be at the PARTY they plan to go to.  They have been friends in the way that they have known each other across many years and even in their marriages at parties and social events.  They had not seen each other in many years, until the funeral.  Now they are both divorced.

I love the imagery in this one for TRENT inner state.

WE HEAR A KNOCK AT THE DOOR (sound of knocking)

MARINA

Trent I’m here

TRENT

Just a second, I’ll be right there Marina

MARINA

(entering from stage left)

TRENT

(warmly)

You look beautiful

MARINA

(smiles softly, turning to show him a tilt of her new shoes)

TRENT

(smiling)

Let’s have a glass of wine, shall we?

MARINA

(glances around apartment and heads over to bookshelf – this can be pantomime and she says)

I can’t believe you have read e.e. cummings, he is one of my favorites

TRENT

I have a favorite one

MARINA

(smiles softly at Trent)

So do I

TRENT

Another glass?

MARINA

(nods, smiling, hands her glass to him so he can refill it)

TRENT

(Pantomimes looking through records til he finds it)

Moonlight Serenade have you ever heard that?

MARINA

I don’t think I have

TRENT

I’ve got it around here somewhere

MARINA

(to opening of the song)

It’s beautiful

TRENT

Want to dance?

MARINA

I’m not sure I know how

TRENT

You just relax and let me lead

MARINA

What if I trip you?

TRENT

You won’t

TRENT

(very gently and softly, with great male confidence, places her hands into a position for a slow dance to Moonlight Serenade, they begin to move every slowly)

My hand goes here and yours goes there, now we’ll just sway a little in place before we start moving

MARINA

(slowly starting to relax, in a slow whisper)

That’s nice, like this

TRENT

(nodding softly against her)

Your hair smells so wonderful

MARINA

Does it?

TRENT

You’ve always smelled like that

MARINA

I’m afraid

TRENT

Of what?

MARINA

The past and the future

TRENT

Don’t be.

MARINA

I can’t take any more death

TRENT

This is the worst decade isn’t it?

MARINA

I think it is

TRENT

You know what we have to do?

MARINA

(spoken very softly, against him, she almost exhales at the word and the feeling of relief as she says)

No

TRENT

Try and love

MARINA

What if that’s not possible?

TRENT

It is.  Put your head on my shoulder

MARINA

You’re so warm

TRENT

Am I?

MARINA

Strong.  You feel so strong.  Stronger than me.

TRENT

Maybe

MARINA

What did you do after Janine?

TRENT

Rambled

TRENT

(pauses for some time, softly says)

What did you do after Evan?

MARINA

Folded up

TRENT

You don’t seem folded to me

MARINA

I don’t?

TRENT

No

MARINA

Our grandparents, they lived in such a different time

TRENT

1929

MARINA

All those years they were together

TRENT

Yes, mine too

MARINA

They knew about love

TRENT

(nods, slowly, pressing her more tightly)

They did.  I’ve made so many mistakes

MARINA

I feel like that too at times.  Maybe it’s this era we have lived

TRENT

Shhhhhhhhh

MARINA

That feels good Trent.  Having your arms around me.

TRENT

Good

MARINA

You’re warm.  It’s like you are solid

TRENT

(rubs his stomach)

I’m solid, as solid as can be.  Feel

MARINA

You big silly.  I wasn’t expecting a washboard

TRENT

Yes you were

MARINA

No, I wasn’t

TRENT

Let me hold you?

MARINA

What do you mean?

TRENT

It’s been years since I’ve touched anyone

MARINA

Trent?

TRENT

It would feel good Marina

MARINA

I haven’t since Evan

TRENT

Janine cut me off at the end

MARINA

She did?

TRENT

The last ten years.  It’s been so long

MARINA

I can barely remember Evan, Trent.  I never thought I could go fifteen years without sex, you know?

TRENT

Me neither

MARINA

How did we do it?

TRENT

I don’t know.  Love’s a funny thing

MARINA

After marriage?

TRENT

Yeah.  Let me put that song back on.

MARINA

Okay

END SCENE FADE TO BLACK

VANILLA SUEDE

ACT ONE, SCENE THREE

SETTING:  TRENT’S Apartment, BALCONY SCENE

AT RISE:  In soft light, we see MARINA and TRENT a little giddy from the wine, having danced away the sadness of the funeral of their old friend.

TRENT

Which one of the poems is your favorite, can you read it to me?

MARINA

It’s somewhere I have never traveled, gladly beyond.

TRENT

I don’t think I know that one

MARINA

(clearing her throat a little)

begins to read https://poets.org/poem/somewhere-i-have-never-travelledgladly-beyond

TRENT

Did you see the moon tonight?

MARINA

No

TRENT

Take my hand, let’s go see

MARINA

(puts her hand in his, he leads her to the balcony)

Funny old moon

TRENT

Ever see the face, I did once

MARINA

Really?

TRENT

I’ll never forget it

MARINA

I don’t want to say anything

TRENT

Me either

MARINA

What if our lips

TRENT

Met?

MARINA

I don’t know

TRENT

Let me make love to you

MARINA

Must be the moon or that song or?

TRENT

It’s you

MARINA

We’ve always been friends

TRENT

(kisses her on her neck)

MARINA

If you keep that up I might melt

TRENT

You look so beautiful in this moonlight

MARINA

So do you

TRENT

I think we should lie down

MARINA

On this balcony?

TRENT

We can use my jacket and make our bed out of moonlight.  I just want to hold you.  It’s been so long since I felt a woman underneath me.

MARINA

Starts to cry a little

TRENT

It’s okay if you cry Marina, I understand

MARINA

It’s been so long

TRENT

Do you know how I want this to be Marina?  Like the Moonlight Serenade neither of us ever had in our marriages.

MARINA

I thought I’d be rusty

TRENT

I guess it’s the kind of thing you never forget

MARINA

You’re crying

TRENT

Must be the magic

MARINA

Must be the moonlight

TRENT

Must be you

MARINA

Must be you Trent

TRENT

Put your head on my shoulder

MARINA

But Janine was

TRENT

Forget it.  Life can be Heaven or Hell here on earth.

MARINA

Your eyes are twinkling

TRENT

Stars, I saw them for the first time

MARINA

I did, too.

 

END FADE TO BLACK

 

 

 

 

 

Vanilla Suede PLAY SBWC 2019

So more backstory on character interiority MARINA and TRENT before we move into DANCE SCENE.

For MARINA

(wise, wounded by love)

ARCHETYPE = The Wounded Feminine

(wary)

For character interiority MARINA listen here

TRENT

Trent has been very wounded by women.  He is willing to take another chance but his heart is set up for disappointment.  Nevertheless – he remains the STRONGER of the two.  Willing to take the lead and take a chance.

For TRENT many of his girlfriends did not want him to father their children.  In his marriage, his ex-wife cheated on him, under his nose, and so he was humiliated.

ARCHETYPE = The Wounded Masculine

Character Interiority TRENT listen here

Character interiority for BOTH listen here

 

PLAY VANILLA SUEDE

ACT ONE,  SCENE TWO

“Moonlight Serenade”

SETTING:  TRENT APARTMENT

Look:  EMPTY STAGE, only a table with a portable record player.  There is a opened wine bottle and two empty glasses.  Trent has invited MARINA over before they are both about to go to Halloween Party together, for a drink.  This will be liquid courage for Trent.  He has invited her in friendship.

AT RISE:

TRENT paces around his empty apartment nervously awaiting MARINA’S arrival.  This is shown in PANTOMIME perhaps with “Sugar Mountain” playing. For instance he could MIME himself as brushing his hair, he keeps checking his looks in the mirror.  Both TRENT and MARINA live in a small town, and so some of the MOURNERS will also be at the PARTY they plan to go to.  They have been friends in the way that they have known each other across many years and even in their marriages at parties and social events.  They had not seen each other in many years, until the funeral.

I love the imagery in this one for TRENT inner state.

WE HEAR A KNOCK AT THE DOOR (sound of knocking)

MARINA

Trent I’m here

TRENT

Just a second, I’ll be right there Marina

MARINA

(entering from stage left)

TRENT

(warmly)

You look beautiful

MARINA

(smiles softly, turning to show him a tilt of her new shoes)

TRENT

(smiling)

Let’s have a glass of wine, shall we?

MARINA

(glances around apartment and heads over to bookshelf – this can be pantomime and she says)

I can’t believe you have read e.e. cummings, he is one of my favorites

TRENT

I have a favorite one

MARINA

(smiles softly at Trent)

So do I

TRENT

Another glass?

MARINA

(nods, smiling, hands her glass to him so he can refill it)

TRENT

(Pantomimes looking through records til he finds it)

Moonlight Serenade have you ever heard that?

MARINA

I don’t think I have

TRENT

I’ve got it around here somewhere

MARINA

(to opening of the song)

It’s beautiful

TRENT

Want to dance?

MARINA

I’m not sure I know how

TRENT

You just relax and let me lead

MARINA

What if I trip you?

TRENT

You won’t

TRENT

(very gently and softly, with great male confidence, places her hands into a position for a slow dance to Moonlight Serenade, they begin to move every slowly)

My hand goes here and yours goes there, now we’ll just sway a little in place before we start moving

MARINA

(slowly starting to relax, in a slow whisper)

That’s nice, like this

TRENT

(nodding softly against her)

Your hair smells so wonderful

MARINA

Does it?

TRENT

You’ve always smelled like that

MARINA

I’m afraid

TRENT

Of what?

MARINA

The past and the future

TRENT

Don’t be.

MARINA

I can’t take any more death

TRENT

This is the worst decade isn’t it?

MARINA

I think it is

TRENT

You know what we have to do?

MARINA

(spoken very softly, against him, she almost exhales at the word and the feeling of relief as she says)

No

TRENT

Try and love

MARINA

What if that’s not possible?

TRENT

It is.  Put your head on my shoulder

MARINA

You’re so warm

TRENT

Am I?

MARINA

Strong.  You feel so strong.  Stronger than me.

TRENT

Maybe

MARINA

What did you do after Janine?

TRENT

Rambled

TRENT

(pauses for some time, softly says)

What did you do after Evan?

MARINA

Folded up

TRENT

You don’t seem folded to me

MARINA

I don’t?

TRENT

No

MARINA

Our grandparents, they lived in such a different time

TRENT

1929

MARINA

All those years they were together

TRENT

Yes, mine too

MARINA

They knew about love

TRENT

(nods, slowly, pressing her more tightly)

They did.  I’ve made so many mistakes

MARINA

I feel like that too at times.  Maybe it’s this era we have lived

TRENT

Shhhhhhhhh

MARINA

That feels good Trent.  Having your arms around me.

TRENT

Good

MARINA

You’re warm.  It’s like you are solid

TRENT

(rubs his stomach)

I’m solid, as solid as can be.  Feel

MARINA

You big silly.  I wasn’t expecting a washboard

TRENT

Yes you were

MARINA

No, I wasn’t

TRENT

Let me hold you?

MARINA

What do you mean?

TRENT

It’s been years since I’ve touched anyone

MARINA

Trent?

TRENT

It would feel good Marina

MARINA

I haven’t since Evan

TRENT

Janine cut me off at the end

MARINA

She did?

TRENT

The last ten years.  It’s been so long

MARINA

I can barely remember Evan, Trent.  I never thought I could go fifteen years without sex, you know?

TRENT

Me neither

MARINA

How did we do it?

TRENT

I don’t know.  Love’s a funny thing

MARINA

After marriage?

TRENT

Yeah.  Let me put that song back on.

MARINA

Okay

END SCENE FADE TO BLACK

Next scene will be Balcony Scene (edited from Original to be more PG)

Next scene will have them reading EE to each other – the fave poems.

On METHOD ACTING – handy tuck in. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5_MhhxXSGmo

On Method and Realism https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tE0prIjgmMY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARINA

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Yes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vanilla Suede SBWC 2019 – learning blocking – scene writing

So now I am going to try and break the short story into blocking it out.  Watching this and other vids today.

I am looking at this, and will try and use WP to do it, then get printed.  I don’t have a way to “create” this style of formatting, what a drag, oh well.  Consider me a rank beginner, but I am doing this for Walter and all I can think of is the way he taught me to move time using Lawrence of Arabia and the match scene.  I have the dialogue, so now it is a matter of fleshing out what that looks like as a temporal art form.  I am so excited about this omg.  Becoming a playwright before your and my very eyes.  It’s like a long forgotten dream.

So, looking at this for style: https://ptfaculty.gordonstate.edu/lking/CPF_play_formatting2.pdf

VANILLA SUEDE

a play by Adrienne D. Wilson

(based on her short story Vanilla Suede first published at ERWA 2013 as Valentine Bonnaire)

copywright SBWC 2019

MUSIC

 

 

 

 

CAST OF CHARACTERS

THE MOURNERS                       an assorted group of people at a funeral

TRENT                                          a man in his 50’s

MARINA                                       a woman in her 50’s

CORE THEME:  Love conquers all, even death

pink rose.jpg

For Walter Dallenbach who taught us screenwriting, using the Match Scene in Lawrence of Arabia.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SCENE

A temporal space on a black stage

An apartment

TIME

The present

STYLE OF ACTING FOR VANILLA SUEDE = METHOD ACTING

 

 

 

The LIGHTING in this play is EVERYTHING, because the settings are STARK and MINIMALISTIC.  The play will be shown by the movements of the actors with ACTION and the SHOWING OF EMOTION via THE BODY ACTIONS, so this is VERY DRAMATIC LOOKING.

So, REALISM.

I will try to write it showing the sorts of actions, except I know that the ACTORS themselves will KNOW the parts of TRENT and MARINA and can access these feeling states through the body.  I will do my best to write the bodily actions today.

VANILLA SUEDE

SCENE ONE, ACT ONE

SETTING:    We are at a funeral attended by several mourners.  They are all friends who have known the deceased.  The stage is PITCH DARK BLACK.   These are the MOURNERS and all of them form a circle around a capstone laid flat on the floor.  ONE WHITE CANDLE sits near the capstone on the grave.  Each MOURNER carries a FLOWER to represent taking flowers to a grave.  EACH MOURNER PRESENTS THE EMOTION OF SADNESS IN DEAD SILENCE almost as a PANTOMIME.

AT RISE:  We see the lights slowly come on to illuminate a group of people.  In silence and slowly one by one while doing a pantomime style set of grief actions similar to Marcel Marceau audience watches them each in turn place a flower near the candle.  They will show grief as EXPRESSION on faces and BODY.  At the LAST MOURNER we hear the words, “TAKEN TOO SOON.”  THE MOURNERS HAVE WALKED SLOWLY UPSTAGE INTO COMPLETE DARKNESS TO EXIT IN TURN STAGE RIGHT AND LEFT.  Characters TRENT and Marina are the only two left on stage.  The LIGHTS move to their faces and TRENT is the first to speak, after a long audible sigh.

(I can use psychodrama techniques to help teach this) – GESTALT via Modern Dance)

(note- use circular space to pull emotions from mourners as dance/experiential)

TRENT

(letting out long and deep sad sigh)

Sometimes you just need to be held.

(he looks at MARINA, as he says this – lights illuminate their faces only)

MARINA

(looking sadly up at him)

What do you mean?

TRENT

It helps, especially when life throws you curve balls

MARINA

Maybe you’re right

TRENT

I am

MARINA

What about the ghosts of the past

(she moves away from him, looks off into space as if she is remembering all the ghosts of people and her marriage, that ended very sadly)

TRENT

Forget ’em

MARINA

What if I can’t?

(she looks back at him across a great void on the black dark stage, light illuminates her expression, which is of a lost thing)

TRENT

You have to

MARINA

I can’t

TRENT

You have to

(he looks off into distance, across the great black void of space and we see him turn back to face her)

TRENT

Going to that Halloween Party tomorrow?

MARINA

I might

TRENT

Let’s go together

(he puts his arm around her, as a friend would, after the sadness of the funeral – not romantically, as a friend.  They begin to walk a little, lights are on the two of them, as full bodies now)

TRENT

What are you going to wear?

MARINA

I thought I might go like the 1920’s. I saw some shoes.

(says this wistfully)

TRENT

What kind?

(he perks up out of sadness, gives a little smile at her)

MARINA

Vanilla suede with a tiny strap,.  My grandmother would have worn shoes like that, while the moon shimmered off the surface of the lake.  My grandfather would have taken her in his arms.

TRENT

A different time I guess

MARINA

It was

TRENT

People fell in love

MARINA

I guess they did

 

END SCENE – STAGE FADES TO DARKNESS AGAIN

Scene two will take place at TRENT’S APT.

This will be DANCE SCENE and this is not Tennessee William’s Glass Menagerie by a long shot.

Omg I DID IT, I have figured out where to break it.

Damn!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Vanilla Suede SBWC 2019

So more thoughts on the characters and so forth this morning and thankfully I can tag my actor and actress in FB with all of this because they can talk between themselves about how they want to “BE” Marina and Trent. So this is a very Romantic play.  However these two MARINA and TRENT, like most, had many relationships before marriage, and then marriage went sour for both of them.  Giving this backstory now.  On the invention of what the backstory is, this will be something each actor can know, and pull from.  When I say this I mean the deep betrayals that can happen.  The crux in this is the ability to try for actual love again but the hesitancy about doing that.

I am so happy I have these two actors you would not believe it.  For one thing their looks are perfect as they are playing a certain age, in life.  The marvelous thing about the last night at the Conf is that everyone is exhausted, but the show is a calming time and so what I am going to do is change the words.  To make them PG, except maybe for one that TRENT says because this line is the crux on many levels, so, this can be worked out when we all get to the Conf.  If there is discomfort with the usage of a word, but I don’t there will be.

Notes on SCENE #1 and the MOURNERS

The flowers the MOURNERS carry.  I found some great chalice shaped flowers the mourners could carry.  I was going around and around thinking which sorts of things, but another thing that would be cool is maybe to have the actors find a FLOWER.  Why I say this.  The MOURNERS are like PANTOMIME since only ONE OF THEM has a line “TAKEN TOO SOON.”   The MOURNERS can be any ages, and hopefully we can get six or seven volunteers to flesh out that part.  On costumes for the MOURNERS, they can wear anything they would like, just be themselves.  For the PANTOMIME, this could be things like WIPING AWAY TEARS, anything that these actors can pull from that has been a LOSS in their own lives whether PEOPLE or say, an ANIMAL.  That sort of thing.  We are just pulling up the expression of sadness from the depths. So EACH MOURNER will look like themselves BEING SAD in front of the TOMBSTONE.

I want that part to be VERY DRAMATIC looking.  By this I mean as each steps forward to place a flower on the grave of their friend.  So this takes place one at a time as each steps forward and places the flower.  TRENT and MARINA will be the last to do this in SILENCE and then he will turn to her with “SOMETIMES YOU JUST NEED TO BE HELD line.

THE MOURNERS can watch Marcel Marceau here to have an idea of the SILENCE and how he pulls that up and out.  EACH MOURNER will look DIFFERENT in their expression of sadness, by the PHYSICAL EXPRESSION of that, IN TOTAL SILENCE as PANTOMIME.  This could be something like wiping away tears of a hand to the heart, a deep sigh and so forth.  Hopefully we will get volunteers, because this will be THEM in a PLAY!  But also then they can go watch the play!  after EXITING the STAGE.

I will get this whole thing printed out at Fed Ex, so everyone gets a copy!  Sorry it isn’t coming at you in proper form.  Though the play has words, the most important thing in this is going to be ACTION on the part of these characters.  It is very subtle in places so I am going to try and use PANTOMIME as Marceau to show you that.  I have no worries at all about the actors for TRENT and MARINA.  I am going to ask Carmen and Walter to help us pull it off.  The Lighting should not be hard because whoever does that over the last few years, it’s been so gorgeous.  Last year there was a white curtain?  Maybe we have a curtain similar for the effect?  Of a stage curtain.  It could be that white one?  Just whatever will work and be SIMPLE.  To give the MOURNERS an idea of how powerful their parts actually are?  Watch this.

Also watch this to see how much power a Pantomine has, with the audience.  This is for PEOPLE PLAYING THE MOURNERS to understand that they have really big parts because they are setting the stage for what happens NEXT.

Here is the mime giving a workshop on Pantomime, just beautiful.

 

 

SBWC 2019 – writing a play, from Vanilla Suede

Okay so like I do not have the time to learn to use Pages, and my WP Blog has served me well, so well and for so long that, this is just easiest.

Fed Ex can handle the print out.

So I am adapting a short story that I wrote in 2013 for ERWA called Vanilla Suede that they put in the Treasure Chest. It’s a real little shorty and totally dialogue but as I was writing it, and now that I think about it, that might have been the year that Walter Dallenbach had passed away and so the PLAY “Vanilla Suede” is FOR Walter, just as Heart of Clouds was writ for Walter Davis based on the title of his “Do You Remember Love” which won a Humanitas.  In 2006 when I saw that prize on his mantel at a party I almost keeled over.  Well I was a therapist you know?  That is HUGE.  So anyway, Vanilla Suede is just dialogue, that my editor Bob Buckley taught me to write and I was able to do as he did, with all his dialogue pieces as Flash Fiction.  He is so very dear to me.  Always.  So anyway I am breaking my words into three scenes and all morning I grasped a new understanding of “spectacle” and what that means for set design.  So this is really simple in some ways.

— I am breaking up the story into three distinct scenes.  The first scene starts at a funeral where two old friends who have known each other for years meet up at the death of a mutual friend.  These are my MC’s Trent and Marina – they are older – mid 50s or?  But the essence of these two characters is that they have lived in long marriages and are now divorced, but, hesitant to get involved with anyone else.    So I know that I wrote the shorty with Aristotle’s Poetics.   Even as thinly as the dialogue is! — we used to write to 1200 words sometimes in my genre at ERWA so this is one of those shortys.  And I want to use a very minimalist style to present this.  Painting the props myself and I only need like three.  It’s set to Glenn Miller “Moonlight Serenade, and that will be the second part of the scene.and I am just going to do this here because can access right at the Santa Barbara Writer’s Conference.

So where I am going to break the text and how that will look.

The PLAY VANILLA SUEDE = three scenes.

SCENE #1

THE MOURNERS

There is a dark stage and as the lights come on dimly lit, “DARK” we see maybe seven people standing in a circle the mourners are EXTRAS in a sense because this is the only line ONE OF THEM will say.

EVERYONE IS HOLDING A FLOWER to symbolize putting a flower on a GRAVE.  ONE BY ONE silently and with great care, EACH MOURNER places A FLOWER at the base of the tombstone until we hear “GONE TOO SOON” by the last mourner, who shakes his head, sadly and slowly back and forth.  The mourner’s FACES all hold the sadness one sees at the loss of someone dear.

The mourners recede into darkness, BY ONE BY ONE WALKING BACKWARDS AND UPSTAGE until THEY EXIT STAGE LEFT ONE BY ONE, and the LIGHTS now move to a spotlight on the faces of my two MC’s.  TRENT AND MARINA.

 

SO, NEW LINE = “TAKEN TOO SOON” as said by one of the mourners.

Now we hear TRENT say to MARINA the next part.  This is a play for TWO PEOPLE.

We see TRENT and MARINA as the last of the mourners, when he says:  “Sometimes you just need to be held,” ——– This line is where my shorty started.

SCENE #2

TRENT and MARINA are now the last mourners left at the site of the grave but we DO NOT NEED TO SEE TOMBSTONE, so lights are just ON THEM.

In this part the conversation between them is about the 1920’s, as in the shorty.  However I am going to make another break in the action here so – I have to move them from Marina talking about the Halloween Party and her grandparents to the TWO OF THEM deciding they are going to go to the party together.  Also work in the EE and I have thought how to do that.  TRENT can have a book of EE’s poems on the set on a table.  In this part, MARINA can say, “Oh, you have read ee, and Trent will say, “YES.”  Then she will say, “Oh I have a fave poem of his.”  So what has happened here is that there is going to be a LOVE SCENE with the BALCONY involved.  They have decided to go to the Halloween Party together.  But we never see the Halloween party.

SCENE TWO is at TRENT’S APT and in this scene is where we will see the DANCE SCENE so this goes in where he says, “HAVE YOU EVER HEARD THIS” —- enter the Miller SOUNTRACK on Moonlight S.

This is also the part where MARINA will read EE poem.

SCENE THREE IS BALCONY LOVE SCENE I AM EDITING.

I think this is a one act play in two scenes?  Not sure what to call it but Walter and Carmen will know.

SETS #1 TOMBSTONE AND MOURNERS

SET #2 TRENT APT DANCE SCENE

SET #3 LOVE SCENE ON BALCONY BEHIND BALUSTRADE (hidden from aud) just hear the voices and the lines.

FINALE- the lights turn into the stars! ❤ How is that for a spectacle!!!  ha!

Here is a link from my old blog Valentine Bonnaire (my nom de plume) for when I wrote Vanilla Suede for ERWA, it may have run in September that year?  So.  2013.  ERWA changed hands at some point, so here I talked about writing it and there is a picture of the shoe and music link.  I was writing Suede Shoe Stories, at that time.  Pink Suede, Green Suede, Red Suede and Vanilla Suede.  You will see Red Suede in the archives at ERWA if you feel like it.

*author note, sadly Walter passed in 2014, so I wrote this before that but, the play Vanilla Suede that is SBWC 2019 is dedicated to my screenwriting teacher, the magnificent Walter Dallenbach.  The match scene in the film Lawrence of Arabia.