HEART OF CLOUDS – Adaptation SCREENPLAY – 5

Heart of Clouds

(for Walter Halsey Davis, of SB Writers Conference, my teacher)

by Adrienne D. Wilson – adapting her novel Heart of Clouds for film.

INT. TEENIE APT BATHROOM. SILVERY LIGHT

Teenie while pie is baking and filling the apt. with scent, goes to the bathroom mirror, thinking of the boy who left her the abalone shell. She recalls the other teen girls at school, talking about pretty, and putting on make-up.

TEENIE

(asking mirror)

What is pretty? Is it like that abalone shell and all the colors that he left for me?

Devlin is the first boy she has ever thought about, on this cusp of her 14th year.

She goes to her bedroom, after trying on a bit of lipgloss, and wondering. Sitting crosslegged on her bed, she takes out her notebook again and draws a picture of the pie, while waiting.

She writes a note to leave at the driftwood hut, as if Devlin is an imaginary friend.

Close in on her hand and handwriting:

boy of the dunes

boy who was running like a wild horse

boy who wears plaid shirts and flannel

boy who I wish was my friend

what can I do to make you see me like I’m pretty?

CHRISTINA

Teenie what are you doing in there

TEENIE

Just writing Mom, I’m waiting for the pie to cool

CHRISTINA

It looks nice honey

TEENIE

Mom, I told Mr. Honeygarten I would take him some

CHRISTINA

That’s nice of you Teenie

TEENIE

He’s a really nice man

CHRISTINA

I know he is honey

TEENIE

Can you help me cut him a piece

CHRISTINA

Come on, let’s cut a piece of that beautiful pie and taste it

Teenie runs to her mother’s side and hugs her tightly

TEENIE

I love you Mom, I really do

CHRISTINA

(tenderly smoothing back her daughter’s hair)

I know you do

TEENIE

I just want you to feel better Mommy

Teenie and her mother taste the pie, then wrap a piece in waxed paper for Mr. Honeygarten.

EXT. HONEYGARTEN HOUSE. GOLDEN SATURATED LIGHT. DAY.

Teenie rides her bike through the village to his house. Melloman greets her at the fence, tail wagging and barking around, sniffing her hands carrying the pie.

TEENIE

(laughing)

Mello, it’s not for you but maybe you can taste some

Mr. Honeygarten waves at her from a second floor window with old fashioned lace

curtains.

HONEYGARTEN

(calling down to her)

Teenie dear whatever do you have in that basket

TEENIE

(smiling up at him)

The pie! You knew I’d be bringing it

HONEYGARTEN

Well, I was hoping so my dear. It isn’t often that I get to have such a wonderful piece of pie, now is it? come in and let’s have a seat in the parlor.

Mr. Honeygarten goes to his special china cabinet and takes out a beautiful tea set with old fashioned flowers and gilded rims. The silver had different fairies carved on the handles, a gift from his grandmother when he had been a boy.

HONEYGARTEN

Oh what a lovely piece of pie that is my dear. I’ll just put the kettle on for tea, dear and you serve the pie why don’t you?

Teenie carefully arranges the tea set, and slices the pie.

*this pin from my “pleinairella” storyboard space on Pinterest for Mr. Honeygarten style. Formal, Victorian, a gentleman, the tea set. I have props for the teaspoons.

Teenie and Mr. Honeygarten settle in comfort to have pie and tea.

TEENIE

Mr. Honeygarten?

HONEYGARTEN

Yes, my dear

TEENIE

Am I pretty?

HONEYGARTEN

Why Teenie whatever makes you ask that?

TEENIE

Am I?

HONEYGARTEN

Why of course you are my dear

TEENIE

Are you sure?

HONEYGARTEN

Why, Teenie I do believe what I can see with my own two eyes, dear

TEENIE

(sigh of relief)

Oh good

HONEYGARTEN

(kind eyes, smiling, close in)

Why on earth would you ask such a question?

TEENIE

Well, I just wasn’t sure whether I was or not

HONEYGARTEN

Well you are dear, and prettiness is something women grow into. It takes a very long time, by the way. I suppose you are just at the beginning of that rather long journey, yourself.

Mr. Honeygarten and Teenie sit sipping the tea. Silence, as they taste the pie.

HONEYGARTEN

Is there a boy, my dear? Is there a boy involved in all of this asking about prettiness?

TEENIE

(utterly blushing)

There is

HONEYGARTEN

You know my dear, when I was a boy, there was a certain girl I thought was the most beautiful girl in the world. Her name was Claire.

*the character Claire is based on the looks in the image above. It is from very old Hollywood, Mary Pickford.

*to page 39 in my novel, the chapter is Secret Smile

HEART OF CLOUDS – SCREENPLAY – 4

Heart of Clouds

by Adrienne D. Wilson

Adaptation chapter 4

Apple and Feather

(for Walter Halsey Davis, of the SB Writers Conference, my teacher)

INT. PRESENT TEENIE KITCHEN. DISMAL BLUE LIGHT.

(Teenie sighs in frustration)

Takes apples from the basket one by one, thinking of her father and better times. She rummages through the kitchen trying to find what she needs for the pie. Draws a list up, in her notebook. Close in on her hands with the apples, startling red and green. She shines one on her jeans, it glistens like a ruby.

(in handwriting)

we close in on her handwriting what she needs for the pie

FLASHBACK. JAX. OLD HOUSE KITCHEN. MAGIC HOUR LIGHT

(we see Teenie and Jax baking a pie together, he teaches her to cut the apples, they fall into flower shapes, smiling and laughing. Close in on his face, full of love for his daughter.

TEENIE

Mom do you feel like helping me?

MOM……….

CHRISTINA

No, honey, I don’t

TEENIE

Please?

CHRISTINA

Teenie I am trying to watch the news

TEENIE

But, Mom…

CHRISTINA

(sharply, angrily)

Teenie

CHRISTINA

Another species just went extinct, Teenie

The Wave is on its way now

TEENIE

Mom can we just make this pie together

Mom…….

FLASHBACK. TEENIE’S OLD HOUSE. DAY

Teenie and her parents having to move, throwing everything out, including all her childhood toys, FOR SALE sign on the house

CHRISTINA

What are we going to do, Jax

INT. PRESENT. TEENIE KITCHEN. DISMAL LIGHT

TEENIE

(Teenie whispers to the apples)

I just want to make the pie Mom. I just want things to be normal again.

Teenie begins to cut the apples into flowers, while her mother sits wrapped in grey on the sofa, eyes glued to the television, she makes the pie, rolling out the crust, shaping it for Mr. Honeygarten. The apartment kitchen has such a sad atmosphere she can barely breathe. She touches a golden locket, her father’s picture inside. Close in as her hand opens it, heart shaped. Smiles at his face.

EXT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. MORNING. SATURATED LIGHT.

(Devlin, puzzled, at her note, wonders how he can answer)

FLASHBACK

Devlin and his father, and his grandparents at the funeral for his mother.

*location SB Cemetary at Butterfly Beach

A plain pine coffin, flowers. Close in on all their faces. Devlin’s father with his arm around the boy. Tears. Devin stoic.

EXT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. PRESENT.

DEVLIN

How am I supposed to answer a question like that

Maybe she cries in private like I do

Devlin takes off down the beach running – long shot as we pan, seabirds scattering before him. His arms are outstreched like a birds wings, almost a dance against the waves near his castles, where the red tails roost. We see them against the sky twirling and gliding, riding the currents.

Devlin’s castle at Loon

(Devlin finds a feather)

DEVLIN

(screams into the wind)

This is who I am. I’m going to leave this for her.

INT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. BRIGHT SATURATED LIGHT

(Devlin smiling)

He pockets her note, and the origami bird, smooths the sand around the abalone shell, and replaces the stones in a stack. He scoops sand in the shell, and places the feather there for her. We see him walking through the waves, in his jeans pant legs wet to the knees, in the seafoam.

(to page 32, in my book)

Heart of Clouds screenplay

by Adrienne Wilson

adaptation from my novel, chapter three

(for Walter Halsey Davis)

EXT. DRIFTWOOD HUT, MORNING. SUNNY LIGHT

Teenie sits in the hut, marveling at the abalone shell, and her origami bird, while a seal dips and dives in the waves, watching her. She draws a little puffy cumulus cloud shape with a heart inside, and the words, “Who are you?” for Devlin, thinking of the boy, and that he must have left the beautiful shell. She decides to leave this for him, in a stone stack, and we see her combing the beach to find three stones, then carefully tucking the note and tucking it under the second stone.

EXT. MORNING, VILLAGE. SUNNY

Teenie rides her bike through village on way to Mr. Honeygarten’s Victorian to ask for apples. Mellowman, his Golden Retriever barks and clowns around at the old picket fence in happiness to see her again.

TEENIE

(smiling and petting his head, through the fence)

Mello, Mello, Mello

A jay comes to a screeching landing on the old fence, looking for peanuts near them.

TEENIE

Mr. Honeygarten are you there?

HONEYGARTEN

(calls down to her, from a window)

Just a minute dear, let me get my staff

Well hello, Teenie, How very nice to see you again

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.

(We close in on his eyes, crinkling at the corners, face breaking into a warm smile)

HONEYGARTEN

You do? I see. Well suppose you help me pick them, 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

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

INT. GARDEN SHED. DIM LIGHT

Teenie enters the shed, full of all the old seed packages and clay pots and tools and almanacs Mr. Honeygarten had collected over the years, brushing cobwebs aside, to get to the trug and ladder. Swallow’s nests cling to the eaves outside. She and Mr. Honeygarten both make their way to the trees, with Mellowman at his side.

HONEYGARTEN

(eyes follow a red tail hawk circling overhead, as he makes his way through the tangled grasses to his trees)

Melloman, look!

(dog’s eyes follow the bird)

EXT. APPLE TREES. DAY – SUNNY

Teenie picks twenty of the apples, and carries the basket to his porch, returns ladder to the shed.

HONEYGARTEN

Will you have some tea dear?

TEENIE

Can I make the pie first?

HONEYGARTEN

All right. Why don’t you take that old basket with you?

TEENIE

Thank you Mr. Honeygarten, I’ll be back this afternoon. I hope the pie will cheer Mom up.

MONTAGE (flashback)

Teenie’s parents Jax and Christina are seen dancing at a potluck at “The Village Crier” the town’s newspaper, during happy times. We see a “For Sale” sign on the shuttered building. Teenie rides through the village, looking up at her old house.

TEENIE

Mom, I have apples! You should see them.

CHRISTINA

(pulls blankets up around her, wan smile from the couch. The TV news blaring on and on about climate change and animals going extinct)

TEENIE

I’m going to make pie!

EXT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. MORNING.

Devlin at dunes, approaches the hut, sees Teenie’s footprints on the sand. Sandpipers and gulls flurry along the beach. Pulls harmonica from his pocket and practices blowing out some tunes. A huge gull perches on the seahut.

DEVLIN

Too much plastic in the sea right now, it’s not good for you.

Devlin climbs into hut, and sees the Origami bird and the shell, and the three stacked stones Teenie left him. He finds her note.

DEVLIN

(whispers)

“Who am I” How am I ever going to explain that to her?

HEART OF CLOUDS – Screenplay

I loved the sound, and the images of the wildflowers, in this.

This is the cover I designed from one of my images of the sea, at Summerland.

It’s a children’s book I wrote in 2009, at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference when I was studying under Walter Halsey Davis. I spent the years 2005 to 2019 with him and sadly he has passed. The film is for him. It was a book to film, as Walter told me it could be done that way. So, all the internals for the characters are in the novel, itself. That is available here: https://www.scribd.com/book/267783895/Heart-of-Clouds.

I’m using my WordPress blog, because I can edit easily here, and since I believe in Fine Actors and their craft, and improvisation, we can add or change lines, as needed with great ease. So, the format may not be perfect. It would also be easy for actors to come to the blog with comments. I wrote the film to be shot on a dime, on location here in Summerland and Carpinteria, as the setting for the film, as a young teen story in the era that is 1971. Those areas have not changed much, with time, and many location shots are easily had. So, here goes, and wish me luck. I will go chapter by chapter.

HEART OF CLOUDS

by Adrienne Wilson

for Walter Halsey Davis

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye”

—————— Antoine de Saint-Exupery

EXT. BEACH. MORNING (Sunny, Clear, Fall light)

Sweeping oceanic theme in the sound, piano music, from above, we pan down a long beach, from overhead. A young girl, running, as if away from home. Teenie Alexander is on the cusp of fourteen, she wants to escape from home, plans on running away. Her father has gone away to look for work, she is crying, slowly approaches a massive driftwood hut on the beach and curls up inside it, with her journal, and pen, gifts from her father.

INT. NIGHT. TEENIE’S ROOM (flashback)

Teenie’s father Jax is going to leave in the morning, south to leave for work, he is middle aged, her parents have been fighting since they have both been fired. In low light, we see father and daughter, emotional, tears.

TEENIE

Daddy, don’t go.

JAX

Honey, you know I don’t want to, but I have to. We need the money.

TEENIE

(hugging him tightly, as he brushes back her hair, dries her tears with his shirt)

JAX

I got you something honey.

TEENIE

(corners of a smile begin)

JAX

(pulls from the pocket of his jacket a beautiful paper journal and pen for her)

Teenie you have a heart made of clouds, you know that?

TEENIE

I do?

JAX

(gruffly, holding back tears)

Never forget that, okay?

Never lose that little twinkle in your eye.

TEENIE

(in awe at the beauty of the journal he picked for her, and the special pen)

Thank you, Daddy.

JAX

(exiting her room)

Sleep tight, now.

INT. MORNING. GREY APARTMENT (Blue sad, faded light, grey tones)

Christina Alexander middle aged, sits on a couch surrounded by pill bottles doctors have prescribed to treat her for depression. She is so stoned on the pills that all she can do is huddle wrapped in blankets and watching TV while the news drones on and on about climate change. Scenes play out of a tidal wave over and over and over. She doesn’t even know that Teenie has left the apartment. Her eyes are faded with grief. We close in on the blankness of her face, removed from life, removed from the world. Their house has been sold and the money is gone. She hasn’t heard from Jax in months.

EXT. BEACH. DRIFTWOOD HUT

Teenie curls herself into a ball in the hut, wrapping her sweater around her, pulls her journal and pen from her sweater pocket, to try and write. She is sad, thinking of her father’s absence. It’s been months since she has heard from him. She looks out to sea, and marvels at whoever built the hut. Its strength.

TEENIE

(whispers)

Maybe I could just live here, forever. Maybe whoever built it wouldn’t mind.

She runs the sand over and over like an hourglass through her palm.

(says loudly, to the sea)

I miss you, Dad.

Teenie scans the beach for signs of life, and watches as pelicans appear, in a line over the waves. In the midst of her sad feelings, suddenly on the horizon out over the islands a large cloud appears in the shape of a heart, as if by magic.

TEENIE

(sighs)

I love you, Dad

I love my Dad, I love my Dad,

She says, thinking he must have sent it. Close in on her face with a few salty tears, she watches the cloud and draws it before it dissipates, in the journal her father gave her. A boy has been watching the whole time from behind a dune, as it is Devlin Underwood who has been building it on the beach for himself as a fort. He’s on the cusp of fifteen.

Devlin watches her draw in the journal and then tear a page from it, a heart of clouds. Like a guardian he watches her from afar. He understands sadness, as his mother has passed away recently. He watches Teenie cry too. Devlin wonders if she is sad for the same reason he is. He watches her fold a tiny Origami bird and then she tucks it in the rafters of the hut, the note to her father. He watches as she climbs from the hut and walks the beach back to the village. When she is out of sight behind a fold in the cliffs, he climbs into the hut and sees the tiny bird in the rafters.

DEVLIN

(says softly)

I should leave something here for her.

MONTAGE images of Devlin and his father with books, on the shore, building things.

(can be shown with photographs, stills of the actors) as a flashback. Devlin misses his father, he had to drop him off with his grandparents in the village after his mother passed and now he has had to adjust to a new life in a new town, 1000 miles from where he grew up.

We see Devlin combing the beach to look for a shell to leave the girl he saw crying.

(says softly, as he climbs the rocks, close in on his face)

Maybe she could be a friend.

Heart of Clouds – my book to screenplay adaptation

Hi, I think I got a phone call yesterday, but the message was garbled saying they sent me an email. I get so many emails I would not know where to look? Omg. It is fine for you to leave a contact by leaving a comment on my blog if you want. That way I can find you. So I have been following the press on this: https://www.scmp.com/week-asia/opinion/article/3101740/disneys-mulan-tells-women-if-they-know-their-place-they-can-have

My character TEENIE in Heart of Clouds – this is a twinned hero journey, of Boy and Girl – you will see how she emerges as strong, and so does he. One of the things I wrote about was climate change, in terms of the ice melting. That is what THE WAVE is. So, the children such as Greta all over the world need to see HOPE. They absorb from the adults around them. The feelings and so forth. So on we go. I may put that page thing to take a donation, just not sure how. I am posting the images that are the actual pages in my book as I do the rewrite. So, I show the mother as antagonist. She was my hardest character to write, but, we will soon see her. Like all people, we face things in life, not just in childhood, but all our lives, as we look back across our lives we can see how we coped, this gives us empathy for others.

Your feedback as comments right here in my blog means everything to me. That you also would understand these characters, and the themes.

The first two scenes are here: https://adriennedwilson.com/2020/09/14/adaptation-novel-to-screenplay-my-heart-of-clouds/

CHAPTER ONE – DRIFTWOOD (establishing)

HEART OF CLOUDS

Copyright WordPress September 2020 by Adrienne Wilson, all rights reserved.

SCENE THREE – INT. MORNING. LIVING ROOM – TEENIE’S HOUSE

In gray light, grey and drab, the living room is quiet. Teenie’s mother CHRISTINA is sitting wrapped in grey light, drab old comforters watching TV. The news drones on about the melting Icecaps at the North and South poles, we close in on the footage. Close up to her mothers face, expressionless, somber. Her father is gone. They do not speak. Teenie silently lets herself out. On the side table by the couch are pill bottles, for depression. A sense of complete hopelessness.

SCENE FOUREXT. MORNING. DRIFTWOOD HUT – BEACH

Teenie approaches the Driftwood structure as if it is a marvel. No one is on the beach. She throws herself inside it, finding it has been grace. Close-up on her face, as she watches the sea, then tears.

TEENIE

(sadly watching the sea, whispers)

Maybe I could just live here forever. Maybe whoever built it wouldn’t mind.

Teenie watches the sea and a line of brown pelicans appear. She reaches for the book and pen her father gave her, and begins to draw. Suddenly a heart appears in the sky as a cloud.

TEENIE

(drawing a cloud, shaped like a heart in her book, tears the page out and folds it into an Origami bird, tucks it in the rafters of the driftwood hut)

I love you, Dad

EXT. MORNING BEACH. CLIFFS. DRIFTWOOD HUT

High on a cliff stands a boy 14. DEVLIN UNDERWOOD. He has been watching a girl cry, in the driftwood hut he has been building, close in on his face, puzzling why she is there. He watches as she tucks something in the rafters of his structure, watches as she exits down the beach. Devlin makes for his seahut, to see what she has done. He finds her note and puzzles at the bird shape but doesn’t open it. We see him climbing in and out of tidepools on the hunt to leave something of the sea for her. An abalone shell.

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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.