Progress Report 32 – Year Two

Keep calm and enter year two

Yeah…keep calm. I wish…

#ProjectMomentum year 2, let’s kick some ass in 2017.

2016 is the past now and so are all the past accomplishments. Not that there were many but at least I wrote one decent screenplay. The plan is to pick up where I left off. I started a new script last week and I hope to finish it within 2-3 month while also continuing to improve “Die Klientin”.

Last week I focused on doing as little as possible. I just needed some time for myself and I finally feel ready to sit down in front of the keyboard again.

Let’s do the numbers.

One book/screenplay: Some school reading.
Two movies: I watched quite a few movies over the Christmas break. I’m using www.letterboxd.com to log my movies this year and I also started a list where I log all my consumed media. I might do something with that on this blog. The three things I want to mention this week are “John Wick”. “Kubo and the Two Strings” and the documentary “O.J.: Made in America”. Three very different but equally interesting offerings. I highly recommend them. “John Wick” I especially watched in preparation for my new Project.
Seven pages: I started a german version of “The Eternal” (the title will change). It’s going to be a no hold barred action romp with some genre stuff thrown in, John Wick meets Memento and Underworld or something. Just action, a decent MacGuffin and lots of dead bodies. That’s exactly what I need right now. I scraped the idea I talked about in my last post, at least for the moment.
Seven hours: I’m still outlining the rest of the story but I have a good grasp of the tone and where I want to go, I just have to get the details nailed down. Orlindo finally delivered the first draft/version/pages of his screenplay. It was a long way coming but he’s on track to delivering something really interesting. I was a bit skeptical about his idea but he fleshed it out and it makes sense now. I see what he’s trying to get at and it has potential. I’m really looking forward to the rest.

This is it for today. I have to get back to outlining and there are other things that require my attention but stay tuned, there’s more to come, 2017 is going to be the year I take my writing to the next level.

Progress Report 31 – Going Rogue

It’s the last week of work and to be honest, I’m a bit behind on my writing but I’m confident that I got through that little rough patch. After completing the current draft of “Die Klientin” my batteries were empty but I’m confident that they are about to recharge over the next couple of days. I finally had some creative ideas and I hope to put them to good use in the next couple of weeks.

But lets do the numbers, shall we:

One book/screenplay: That Hamilton book is really thick, especially if you have school reading as well. But I introduced my students to Watchmen this week, at least I have that going for me.
Two movies: “Rogue One” was decent and stupid me started rewatching “The O.C.” and “Friends”. I’m not a film critic so I’m not going to review “Rogue One”, let’s just say it’s the best of the prequels. I also don’t have to say how good “Friends” is, from the get go it’s just a good show and please don’t laugh, so is “The O.C.”, it gets really bad after a while and there are some stupid , very stupid storylines but the first 10 episodes have been great.
Seven pages: I started to rework “The Passion of the Geek”, not a page one rewrite but it’s going to be different, I have to streamline the whole thing and get rid of everything that’s not working and focus on the characters. I also startet working on another dialogue driven idea. I’d pitch it as “Before Sunrise meets Burried”. I’m writing that one in German and I wrote the first two pages. I don’t have a real title yet.
Seven hours: This week has has been a mix between developing and writing. Orlindo promised me some pages and I’m really looking forward to them.

C0DhffEVEAAqHWv

Not in the movie.

The new idea just came to me. I started outlining a much bigger version of it, a complicated story about love, rejection and whatnot. But I soon realized that I’m only interested in one scene so I decided to skip all the boring parts on focus on that one scene. I have no idea whether it’s going to be a short or a feature length script. I know how I have to set the characters up and how to get them to where I want them and from there on I let them speak and hear what they have to say. I’m not ready to go into details let me just say that it’s cheaper than a therapist.

On a side note. I’m below 80 kilos and I never felt better. People (some) are noticing and it feels great. I just hope that Christmas isn’t going to be too bad but then again, who cares, you have to enjoy some things without thinking too much about how many calories they have.

See you next week for the last post of 2016.

Progress Report 30 – Loglines

You might remember some of my post about some of my random ideas, some of them I’m working one others are on the back burner. Last week I had the opportunity to take part in a little logline competition. I didn’t win (Orlindo has a different story to tell about that) but it was a good exercise and I feel a lot more motivated now. I handed in two loglines, one about the Idea I’m currently working on “The Company” and of about an older idea that I keep coming back to. Guess which one was more popular?

I call it “The Eternal” and this was the logline I submitted:
John has a problem – he keeps dying but he doesn’t stay dead. Too bad no one explained that to the Russian mobsters after him. John needs to hide and he has to find answers about his past but that’s almost impossible if you lived too long to remember who you are.

The second sentence still makes me smile. The feedback I got was encouraging and I think I’m going to pursue this project more than I intended to. Positive feedback is really encouraging.

“The Company” wasn’t that successful but working on the logline helped me define the project for myself: A young ambitious engineer invents technology that enables her to talk to her future self. Trying to prevent a family tragedy leads to even more hardship and soon she has to realize that she’s turning into the problem she’s trying to solve.

Before I share the winners with you, lets do the numbers:

One book/screenplay: Not too much time to read this week. Still reading the Hamilton biography.
Two movies: Arrival was amazing, finally a smart alien invasion movie. Great performances and great direction. Looking forward to Rogue One.
Seven pages: Still rewriting “Die Klientin” but the end seems nigh.
Seven hours: Time spent with the loglines and thinking about my other projects.

Orlindo dominated the competition. He entered three ideas and two of the took the top spot. I like to think that I helped a bit (I translated them from German to English) but the ideas were his.

Spacewhale: A starving moon sized creature threatens earth. Humankind descends into chaos but a young boy connects with the creature on the only level that exceeds its hunger.

One million Ways to die in the Holocaust: A girl in a concentration camp has to relive her last days again and again but trapped in hell on earth she finds hope: Freedom for her and her family could just be one death away.

I really liked the Holocaust idea, both of them are touching on an emotional level. I just hope that this success translates into hours spent at the keyboard. 🙂

NewImage

Writings on the Wall.

Progress Report 29 – Hamilton!

I know I repeat myself but the break went on way longer than expected but it was necessary. I’m focusing on school and rewriting “Die Klientin” at the moment but I think I have finally decided on my next idea. I figured out a way to make “The Company” work. It’s going to be 500 Days of Summer meets Primer, sounds a bit strange but in my mind it makes sense.

I’m outlining and I hope to get started over Christmas. But let’s crunch the numbers.

One book/screenplay: I listened to “Hamilton” again and I finally decided to read the biography by Ron Chernow the musical is based on. He had quite the life.
Two movies: I watched a few movies but nothing worth mentioning.
Seven pages: Rewriting “Die Klientin”.
Seven hours: Outlining “The Company” and waiting for something from Orlindo.

There’s another idea I’m working on. A few years ago I wrote an opening scene about an immortal guy waking up after getting killed. It never amounted to much but a couple of weeks ago I rediscovered the file and I think there’s something there. I have moments and some plot-points but not a full story yet. But I’m optimistic that I can turn this idea into something worth my time.

As for the title of today’s post: Hamilton seems like an awesome musical, I have to see it but do I plan my next vacation before or after I get tickets?

Ham 1

I need to see this!

Progress Report – 28 Days Later

28 Days Later main

…almost 28 days…

That little break went on longer than expected. November is just a busy month with exams, concerts and meetings. But my break isn’t/wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, I think that my writing batteries are charged again and I’m looking forward to using the new found energy and get some stuff done.

Unfortunately I’m still looking for my next idea, but I hope that once I finished work on “Die Klientin” and did some feedbacking on Orlindo’s project, I should have formulated my new idea. I’m toying with the idea I shared a couple of month ago, “The Company”, but I haven’t cracked it yet.

But let’s turn to the numbers, they are depressing though:
One book/screenplay: The Martian for school and I’m prepping Watchmen.
Two movies:The Fantastic Beasts movie was surprisingly good and the Gilmore girls revival was fun as well, the musical sequence was a bit long though.
Seven pages: No new pages, but I’m on it.
Seven hours: Still nothing but I’m ready.

That’s it for today.

Progress Report 27 – Better late…

As predicted, I’m a bit late, but I’m not worried. There were and are good reasons for the delay and there are just 24 hours in a day. I’m back in the saddle and I hope that the momentum returns, I’m very confident though, the only thing I have to manage is my drinking, I drank way too much in the last two weeks. 🙂

The concert was a success but I’m glad that we have a break now (see drinking). November is also a busy time in school but as soon as I’m done with my schoolwork (later this month/ early December) I’m back at the keyboard.

It doesn’t really make sense to talk numbers today. I did absolutely nothing. I was busy remember, I hope to find some time next week to log some keyboard time. I’m still struggling to find a new idea. There are bits and pieces but nothing fully formed. I have some ideas though on how to get there, one of my next runs is going to be dedicated to coming up with one.

I guess this is it for today. Not much but it has to do for today.

Progress Report 26 – Too many Cooks

Greetings, another week ha passed and I have to admit that it wasn’t my most productive one. I didn’t write anything and I didn’t come up with that great idea for my next project. The Firefly thing seems to be dead. The Project leader was absent for a week (work related) and the momentum is gone and I doubt that it will come back. I have some intensive days ahead of me and I doubt that i’ll be able to put in the necessary hours, I’ll try though. I’m pretty sure that this will turn into one of those “Too many cooks” scenarios though. 5-6 people is just too much. Everyone thinks that the others should and could do more, me included, and in the end nothing gets done.

With the concert ahead I’m really busy, I’m not even sure that there will be a post next week but I promise that November and December are going to be very productive. I toyed with the idea of participating in NaNoWriMo but I’ll focus on December and a screenplay.

But let’s do the numbers, even though they are terrible.

One book/screenplay: Didn’t do any reading besides the Firefly reading I mentioned last week.
Two movies:I saw Doctor Strange and I really liked it. I also saw some silly romantic comedies (…I know…) I’m not going to mention.
Seven pages: No new pages, still waiting on feedback.
Seven hours: Still nothing. I’m also waiting until Orlindo has something new to show me. If you’re reading this…I’m waiting.

600px US 83 svg

83.6 kg

There’s one other number I want to mention today and It’s probably the number I’m most proud of at the moment. I weight in at 83.6 today. I had some celebratory dinner afterwards but for the first time in many years I’m considerably below 85kg. I have about 10kg left to go but things are looking good. I’m really proud and it was the right decision to start this journey. I’m feeling fitter and healthier than ever and maybe even a bit more handsome. I’m trying out facial hair at the moment but it seems that’s not going to be a success. I hope to hit my weight goal early next year, Christmas might be a bit of a problem but I managed worse.

This is all for today but don’t worry I leave you with something funny, in German this time.

Progress Report 25 – An anniversary and more Space Cowboys

Firefly class ship

Serenity

Another week, another post but this time I actually have something to report. First of all, I think it’s time for some celebration, 25 progress reports, #ProjectMomentum is going strong.

Congratulations to myself. 🙂

A couple of weeks ago I told you about this Masterclass I’m taking. Aaron Sorking talking about screenplay, it’s really interesting and enjoyable. I decided to participate in one of their group assignments. Together with some others, I’m supposed to write the next episode of Firefly, yeah, more space cowboys.

The group seems nice so far and I’m pretty sure that we’re going to be able to come up with an interesting addition to the firefly universe.

I’m a little worried though, I never worked with so many people on a story. I’ll keep you posted.

One book/screenplay: Got some homework from that writing group: read 3 Firefly teleplays. I cheated a bit, I read the Train Job, Out of Gas and Serenity (the movie, not the pilot). Afterwards I felt really annoyed, why was that show canceled again?
Two movies:Some episodes of Firefly, Serenity and I’m on a West Wing Marathon. Seems like I left that silly romantic comedy and action movie phase behind. I just hope it doesn’t come back, If it does…it’s time for the big guns, Richard Curtis and Stallone, but fingers crossed.
Seven pages: No new pages, waiting on feedback.
Seven hours: Still no concrete idea, I have a few things floating in my head but so far nothing worthy has emerged. I probably focus on that Firefly thing though, maybe afterwards the new idea will present itself.

So how did that Blacklist feedback for The Passion of the Geek go, you ask? Well, good and bad. It’s no surprise that they criticized my lack of thorough proof reading, they also disliked the meta jokes, no surprise there, but the one thing that made my day was the fact that both reviewers liked some of my original jokes/set pieces. They liked the absurdist nature of it, even though they criticized a lack of escalation. It’s starts pretty wild and there’s no room for build up anymore.

They disliked quite a lot though, some of it deservedly so, with some of their findings I plainly disagree, they didn’t get it and maybe I did’t do a good enough job of explaining or setting those jokes up properly.

What do I take from this? Well, apparently I have (at least in some sort of way) a voice. It’s still in development and I have to stop hiding it behind the meta crap. That’s probably what I’m going to do in the long run. Write a Passion of the Geek with the meta turned down and the humor turned up.

Maybe that’s what my next, german project could be as well, a german Passion with less meta and more fun. There seems to be a market in Germany for comedies, who knows, maybe I could write the next one.
The downside to this is the fact that I’m planing to write something with a female protagonist and The Passion is too personal for me to gender switch and I doubt it would work as well.

So I’ll probably do something else first. I’m toying with the idea of a workplace romance comedy with a female protagonist, a single mom or so, new job, stupid boss, strange coworkers and some gender reversals like a male nanny or something like that. The more I think about this, the more I like it.

Stay tuned.

tumblr_mxjznu8quy1qg1lp6o1_1280

Mal and his Crew.

Featured Screenplay: Saber Rider & the Star Sheriffs

$ 32Finally, the third (and hopefully not last) part in this ongoing series. Today I want to talk about “Saber Rider & the Star Sheriffs” and what went on behind the scenes.

If you visited the “Saber Rider & the Star Sheriffs” section on www.whiteworms.com you are probably familiar with the basic story but let me recap.

After “Skyscraper” we wanted to write a big space adventure. We tried to come up with original ideas but the more we worked on our ideas and the more thy took shape, the more we realised that our minds were set in something else. During a long “meeting” at the bar during Comic-Con in 2012 we decided that instead of an original space opera, we were going to write a “Saber Rider & the Star Sheriffs” movie.

Right from the beginning, the process was very different than what we were used to. Unlike “Skyscraper” we had underlying material and we had something to build on, admittedly flawed material but there was stuff to build on. There was/is a world, characters, rules and plot-points that just need(ed) to happen. Looking back, it’s quite interesting to realise that we probably had the same discussions that are happening right now at big studios when they decide to reboot an old property.

What has to be in the movie? What has to go? How do you make fans happy? How do you recruit new fans? It’s impossible to keep everyone happy. I joined a “Saber Rider & the Star Sheriffs” message board and I floated some ideas, and to say that reactions were mixed is an understatement. Some people feel very protective of the thing they liked as a kid and are not able to talk about its shortcomings, and trust me “Saber Rider & the Star Sheriffs” has a lot of those.

Our main job was to turn the pilot into a movie that makes sense and is not too different from the show to alienate fans. That’s a tall order from the get go. How do you turn 20 minutes into two hours? Well, we fleshed out the backstory of the worlds and decided to turn the Outriders into an old enemy that returns after many years. We put Fireballs dad into the prologue (you might need him in movie 2 or 3, who knows) and tried to give the characters more of a reason to join/be selected to become Star Sheriffs.

We added some big disasters and some nice action set-pieces, sky-beam finale1 included and made sure that the story had some urgency, the basic structure was that of a “chase-movie”, our characters have to get somewhere before the enemy, simple but effective.

The first version wasn’t bad but it’s wasn’t that good either. We were looking for the idea to tie everything together and we found it. We went bold and made some changes to the main character. We turned Saber Rider into an old guy. Needless to say, the message board wasn’t too happy about that but we stand by our decision. It made everything more personal for Saber Rider, he was there when it all started and he is now there to finish it, 25 years later, after 25 years of him being laughed at for his views but suddenly, as the Outrider return, the Cavalry Command needs him. It also makes sense that he assumes the role of the leader and it makes for a good surprise that he doesn’t know about Project RAMROD. I actually talked about this change in an earlier post.

But enough about the history of “Saber Rider & the Star Sheriffs”, you’re here to get a sample and here it is. It’s one of my favourite sequences. Orlindo came up with most of it and I translated and fleshed it out. It’s the in the first act, Vena2 escapes from the hospital and kidnaps April. A chase ensues. Enjoy.

INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY

Saber looks around and catches a glimpse of Vena pushing her bed along the hallway.

SABER

Stop her!

Vena turns around, smiles and keeps running -- still cuffed to the hovering bed.

Colt steps out of the room, smiling.

COLT

Wow, I’m not sure what’s more impressive. That she can still walk or that you let a gal with two broken legs slip.

Saber turns and looks really annoyed, he had it with this guy.

SABER

You were there too, so stop talking and get to the ground floor to cut her off.

But too late -- Colt is already running.

Saber pursues him.

Then Fireball -- paddling in the air -- using his hover bed as a boat -- floats out of the room.

FIREBALL

Guys?!

But they’re gone. Fireball looks around and an OLD LADY in an electric wheelchair passes him. Fireball smiles at her.

FIREBALL

Excuse me ma’am!

The old lady turns and smiles as well -- she looks quite smitten with him.

OLD LADY

Are you my grandson?

INT. HOSPITAL HALLWAY – MOMENTS LATER

Vena runs along the hallway, still pushing the bed she’s cuffed to.

She runs past a supply station and grabs a pair of scissors. She tries to open the cuffs but the scissors break in half.

A GUARD tries to stop her but Vena stabs him in the neck with the broken scissors. The guard SCREAMS and falls to the ground.

Vena stops, takes the guard’s gun and aims at the cuffs. Still -- no luck.

Vena starts running again and turns around a corner -- a dead end. The doors are too narrow to get the bed through.

Then -- Colt and Saber come around the corner. They have Vena cornered but she is not giving up.

Vena turns the bed around and runs towards Saber and Colt and FIRES at them.

Colt and Saber duck and FIRE back.

Vena starts running again, she picks up speed and presses some buttons on the bed’s hover controls.

The bed picks up height. Vena slides onto the bed and uses the momentum to float past Saber and Colt.

Vena FIRES at the large panoramic window ahead, turns and smiles at Colt and Saber.

Saber and Colt look astonished.

INT./EXT. YUMA MEMORIAL

Vena CRASHES through the window. For a moment she’s floating in the air.

She presses the button again and reverses the hover engine -- the bed is now vertically attached to the building; Vena slides off the bed but the cuffs save her from falling.

The bed picks up speed. Racing down the wall.

Vena pulls herself back onto the bed.

Saber and Colt look out the broken window. They are speechless.

Vena waves at them with a smile. She presses another button and the bed slows down.

SABER

Cuffing her was a great idea.

Colt GROWLS. Saber turns on his heels and runs away to the elevator.

Colt presses some buttons on his wrist and we can hear an ENGINE ROARING and the Bronco Buster approaches the broken window. The cockpit opens and Colt jumps into the cockpit.

He looks back through the broken window. Saber is still waiting for the elevator.

Colt smiles at tips his head.

COLT

See you later!

The cockpit closes and the Bronco Buster dives.

Saber frowns and presses the elevator button again.

BACK ON VENA

Vena doesn’t slow down. Below her a large glass ceiling.

She presses the buttons again -- but this time she’s not so lucky -- the strain is too much for the bed -- it breaks in half.

Vena keeps falling and with a BANG she CRASHES through the glass ceiling into:

INT. EXAMINATION ROOM – DAY

SHATTERING GLASS. Vena lands on her feet, the cuffs dangling from her hands.

Vena wipes away the glass shards and looks around. She stares directly at April. She is sitting on a hovering gurney and is being examined by a DOCTOR. Jesse stands next to her.

Vena grins. Jesse gets in front of April to protect her. Vena grins even more.

VENA

I love it when a plan comes together?

Jesse pulls his gun.

JESSE

What the...

April wants go get up but Jesse signals her to stay down.

Vena moves her hand towards her stomach, she’s bleeding.

The doctor looks at Vena and then at the emergency button.

Vena smiles and pulls out a big glass shard and throws the shard at the doctor.

April SCREAMS and jumps up.

The doctor collapses, Jesse turns towards him -- Vena kicks the gun out of Jesses hand, catches it mid air and roundhouse kicks Jesse across the room.

VENA

(smiling gleefully)

Best day ever.

Jesse lies unconscious on the ground.

Vena points her gun at April, takes a step towards her and smiles.

VENA

Do you fancy a little trip little dove ... or should I say little eagle?

INT./EXT. ENTRANCE HALL

Under the giant glass ceiling people are running around, doctors SHOUTING for nurses and gurneys.

The elevator door opens. A DOCTOR IN WHITE emerges with a hovering gurney with a body bag on it.

It’s Vena. She steadily walks across the hall towards the exit. Even through her disguise we can see her smiling.

The Bronco Buster lands in front of the entrance. Colt exits the Bronco, an ambulance approaches and lands next to him.

Nurses and doctors start running towards the ambulance.

Vena sees her chance and walks towards the ambulance.

INT. ELEVATOR

Saber stands in the elevator. A muzak version of the “Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs” theme song is playing.

EXT. HOSPITAL

The nurses and doctors get close to ambulance. Vena, hiding in the CROWD, passes Colt.

Colt is looking around but he doesn’t pay attention to the people attending the ambulance.

Three people get pulled out of the ambulance. Vena waits and then shoves her gurney into the now empty ambulance. She climbs in and shuts the door.

Colt is still screening the crowd.

The ambulance’s front door opens and a dead body falls out. The body hits the ground. Colt turns towards the ambulance.

The engine ignites and the ambulance lifts off. Colt draws his gun and fires -- A HIT. Parts of the engine get blown away.

The ambulance sinks to the ground.

ON VENA

VENA

Stupid mutton-puncher, praise NEMESIS for ground propulsion.

BACK ON COLT

Colt keeps firing. The ambulance pulls back and crashes into the Bronco.

Colt almost gets squashed and the ambulance races away towards the main gate.

On a terrace above the entrance hall Fireball has seen the scene unfold. He sits in a motorised wheelchair. The engine cover is missing and it looks like Fireball rewired the whole thing.

FIREBALL

(shouting at Colt)

Now you know how that feels!

Colt looks up mumbles something and looks at the big dent in his Bronco, parts of the engine are broken.

Fireball takes a look at his wheelchair and sighs.

FIREBALL

Here comes nothing!

He presses the controller forward and accelerates, the wheelchair sound like a race car -- Fireball built himself a “race chair”.

He drives (or slides) down the glass ceiling and tries to steer towards the side closer to the main gate.

He jumps off the glass roof and lands on the grass hill that leads down to the main gate.

In his face we can see equal parts excitement and terror.

The ambulance reaches the gate and CRASHES through, turns into the main road and -- a SCREAM.

FIREBALL

AHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!

He flies through the air and reaches the ambulance and manages to grab the door handle. The ambulance accelerates.

Fireball is dangling from the ambulance and his splinted leg is stuck in the wheelchair. His excitement turns into pain.

The speed is too much for the wheelchair and the wheelchair falls apart.

Fireball still has part of the wheelchairs arm rest in his hand. His splinted leg grinds along the pavement.

Fireball pulls himself further up, opens the door and climbs into the ambulance.

INT. AMBULANCE

Fireball lays on top of a body bag. The bag starts to move.

He opens the zipper and finds a gorgeous blonde, April. She is cuffed and gagged.

Fireball starts removing the gag. April MUMBLES.

Fireball points at Vena who is busy steering the ambulance and signals April to be quiet.

He tries to remove the cuffs but as he looks up he sees that Vena is doing something on the steering wheel.

The HUD reads “AUTOPILOT ENGAGED”.

Fireball lips mouth the word SORRY.

He puts the gag back, April protests silently; he closes the body bag and rolls under the gurney.

Vena opens the slide door and walks towards the body bag, unzips it and removes the gag.

VENA

So, Miss Eagle, tell me, where is it?

APRIL

I have no idea what you’re talking about.

VENA

I really thought we could solve this issue like reasonable people, woman to woman so to speak. I just need to know where you stored the RAMROD...

This word makes April shudder.

VENA

... device. Ahh, so you do know what I’m talking about.

APRIL

I’ll never talk. I’ll rather die than talk.

Vena smiles.

VENA

They always say that.

Fireball is quietly looking for a weapon of some sorts.

VENA

I’m quite good at figuring out what motivates people.

Vena presses a button, the gurney sinks down and Fireball is caught between gurney and floor. He can’t move.

Vena looks at him and smiles.

VENA

Hi Raceboy! This is perfect, just when you need someone to prove a point.

Vena pulls a knife and shows it to April.

VENA

So Miss Eagle, please picture me cutting his throat very slowly. I know you would sacrifice yourself, but can you sacrifice someone else?

FIREBALL

What are you waiting for, tell her everything.

The autopilot starts to BEEP. On the HUD: COLLISION ALERT.

VENA

I’m really sorry! Just give me a second to take care of this mess.

Vena returns to the steering wheel.

EXT. MOTORWAY

The ambulance races towards a road block, about a mile ahead, heavily guarded by armed POLICEMEN.

INT. AMBULANCE

Vena accelerates -- then someone knocks on the window.

It is Saber, riding on Steed.

Vena lowers the window.

SABER

Stop the car now and let them go.

Vena smiles.

VENA

A welcoming committee, how nice of you.

She turns around and looks at Fireball and April.

VENA

Just as we thought you might get out of this alive.

Vena turns the wheel hard left.

EXT. MOTORWAY

The ambulance almost knocks Saber and Steed over and CRASHES through the beam barrier into oncoming traffic.

Breaks SCREECHING. Cars CRASHING into each other but the ambulance evades them almost effortlessly.

Saber keeps pursuing. He closes in on the ambulance -- but then -- hard left again -- the ambulance CRASHES through another beam barrier and flies off the motorway.

The ambulance CRASHES through a big billboard -- Fireball selling “Pearl White Toothpaste – The fastest way to pearl white teeth” and lands on an other motorway lane -- two cars break hard and two others CRASH into them.

INT. AMBULANCE

Vena looks into the rear mirror. Behind her cars are piling up. Total car mayhem.

She smiles.

VENA

This is getting better and better.

She switches on the autopilot and gets back to April and Fireball.

VENA

So where were we? Oh yes....

She pulls his knife out and puts it at Fireballs throat.

VENA

... last chance before I cut him up, where...

She gets interrupted by a voice over the radio.

SABER (V.O.)

It’s useless Vena. You can’t escape.

VENA

I’m trying to work here, all I want is just a few minutes without being interrupted? Is that too much to ask?

She gets up and switches the radio to hands-free.

VENA

I’d love to chat with you about the two or three times you almost caught me but I’m hitting it off with this cute blonde.

(to April)

Do you want to say something?

APRIL

(shouting)

We are fine Sir! Just get her!

FIREBALL

You call this fine?

Vena kicks him and knocks him out.

VENA

Hey, I didn’t say it was your turn to talk.

The autopilot BEEPS again. The HUD reads: Energy levels low.

VENA

Looks like I have to hurry. Talk to you later Sheriff.

She switches the radio off and looks around in the ambulance. She takes a bottle off the shelf and fills a syringe and injects April.

APRIL

What are you doing?

VENA

Let’s see if this makes you more cooperative?

Vena rips Aprils cloth off, puts sensor patches on her bare skin and switches the heart monitor on.

April looks dizzy.

VENA

This should do the trick. Where is the RAMROD weapon?

APRIL

(with a weak voice)

I don’t know what you’re talking about.

The monitor shows some spikes.

VENA

Naughty girl. You shouldn’t tell lies. Is it on Yuma by any chance?

No spike on the device.

VENA

I guess not. What about Ganymede?

EXT. MOTORWAY

The ambulance is racing along the motorway.

Saber and Steed still in pursuit but he’s not alone. The Bronco Buster is approaching fast.

COLT (V.O.)

Hey old geezer, missed me?

SABER (V.O.)

Go away, or I’ll have you arrested for obstruction of justice.

COLT (V.O.)

Because you’re doing such a bang up job arresting people.

Then someone else joins the conversation.

JESSE (V.O.)

Can’t you solve this after we get her?

Jesse, with a black eye and a swollen nose, is standing behind a road block and stares at the fast approaching ambulance.

JESSE

Slow him down and we’ll take care of the rest.

SABER (V.O.)

That we can do.

The Bronco Buster FIRES a rocket at the ambulance -- a hit.

The back door gets blown to bits. Saber can see Vena interrogating April.

INT./EXT. AMBULANCE

Vena stares at Saber who is just a few horses lengths behind. Saber has to evade debris from the door and loses ground.

For the first time in all this Vena looks nervous. Fireball slowly regains consciousness.

Then -- on the radio.

JESSE (V.O.)

Surrender now and you will get a fair trial. Hurt her and I will personally make your life a living hell.

Vena starts smiling again.

VENA

(to April)

OK, last chance girl, is RAMROD on Alamo?

The drugs have kicked in fully. April MOANS, and the device spikes.

Vena looks pleased with herself.

VENA

Alamo it is. Thank you very much.

Right at this moment -- the Bronco Buster is directly behind the ambulance

COLT

(over loud speakers)

Hands up! It’s dead or alive so I don’t mind if I have to shoot you.

Vena turns toward Colt and starts laughing.

VENA

Be my guest cowboy.

Vena starts dancing around.

VENA

Am I moving too fast? C’mon, shoot already.

Colt fires but it’s not a rocket, it is a grappling hook. Vena looks disappointed.

VENA

That’s it?

Colt hits the breaks and the ambulance slows down. Vena stumbles.

Fireball, fully conscious again sees his chance, he pushes the gurney up and manages to move a few feet, enough to free himself.

He pulls himself up and tries to punch Vena but Vena doesn’t even blink when he hits her straight in the face.

VENA

Is that all you’ve got? I barely felt that. Want to try again?

Fireball punches her again -- no reaction.

VENA

Pathetic!

Vena kicks Fireball right into the stomach and he falls out of the Ambulance and lands on the Bronco. He stares at Colt through the window.

Colt tries to look past Fireball but Fireball tries to evade him as well and they keep staring at each other.

The Bronco starts to trundle and with it the ambulance.

The Bronco CRASHES into the ambulance’s rear suspension, gets stuck and rips the suspension off. Fireball gets thrown back into the ambulance.

The ambulance starts to grind on the road.

Vena is back at the wheel. She hits the breaks and turns the wheel hard left.

The ambulance flips over -- flying over the road block -- and lands in the side. There -- a small fire at the bottom of the ambulance.

Jesse looks at the flipped over ambulance and starts running towards it.

He signals the other policemen to stay back.

JESSE

Stay back! It’s going to blow!

Jesse climbs into the Ambulance. Fireball is picking up April.

JESSE

Let me!

Fireball nods and hobbles away. Jesse takes her.

JESSE

April? You all right?

April MOANS, she’s barely conscious.

Up front he sees Vena. Still sitting in the chair -- fixed with a piece of metal through her chest.

Vena, barely alive, turns around and smiles.

VENA

I’ll greet the other side from you.

She picks up a bottle of sterilizer with a “highly flammable” sign on it.

Jesse grins and carries April out of the ambulance.

EXT. MOTORWAY

Jesse and April exit the ambulance. Fireball is still crawling. Saber and Colt run towards them. Colt picks up Fireball.

COLT

Where’s your wheelchair?

Fireball smiles.

Saber keeps running towards the ambulance but Jesse signals to get down.

JESSE

Get down! The ambulance...

The ambulance EXPLODES in a big ball of fire.

The blast blows everybody down.

Saber is the first one to get back up and stares at the burning ambulance.

SABER

So much for my only lead.

INT. AMBULANCE

The ambulance is burning and the fire has reached a lifeless Vena, her face is already melting away and leaves behind a strange looking skeleton that gets consumed by the flames.

EXT. MOTORWAY

Saber, Jesse are staring at the burning ambulance.

Colts gets up and wipes away the dust.

COLT

There goes my reward.

TWO MEDICS are attending Fireball and April.

Saber turns towards fireball and starts interrogating him.

SABER

What did she say?

FIREBALL

I don’t know, something about a secret project and then she started to call out planets.

SABER

What planets?

FIREBALL

I don’t know. I was knocked out.

Hearing this, April regains consciousness.

Everybody turns towards her.

JESSE

April, are you all right?

But April ignores the question, she looks at Saber.

APRIL

Nice to see you again sir.

SABER

Likewise, but you can drop the sir Miss Eagle. Your father fired me today.

April looks surprised. Saber turns to Jesse.

SABER

Mr. Blue.

Jesse nods.

APRIL

We have to go to Alamo!

SABER

What about the attacks.

APRIL

You don’t understand. She knew about the RAMROD project! We have to go there, now!

SABER

RAMROD? It can’t be more important than the attacks.

April touches her pendant.

APRIL

But it is.

JESSE

More important than 4000 lives?

APRIL

Yes.

Saber nods. He seems to understand. For now.

JESSE

And how shall we get there? I doubt they have a spare ship down at the cavalry command.

APRIL

We could borrow one.

Everybody turns to Fireball.

Fireball smiles shyly, he’s not happy, not at all.

> FADE TO BLACK.

FIREBALL (V.O.)

I’m not going anywhere until someone fixes my leg.

A bit long but, at least in my opinion, a really great sequence. I’d love to see it realised one day. I’m sure people would really like it. If you want to read more, head over to www.whiteworms.com and read the rest. You’re welcome.

  1. Mea culpa, mea maxima culpa.
  2. Another one of these changes we made that not everyone is happy about.

Progress Report 24 – The One with the unique Voice

NewImage

Voice! Where are you?

A new week but unfortunately no real news. I’m still on track though, the rewrite is going well and I really think I have a decent TV movie there. I’m not saying it’s perfect and there is a lot of work to do but I feel that I’m definitely on track. Who knows, maybe I can report my first sell sooner than later…but maybe not.

Lets’s have a look at the numbers.

One book/screenplay: School reading.
Two movies: I’m still in “that” kind of mood s it’s still mostly silly action movies and cheesy romantic comedies. I saw “Playing it Cool” with Chris Evans and for some reason that movie hot way too close to home. It reminded me a bit about the “Passion of the Geek” obviously not that crazy but I’m pretty sure that the writers had to work though something. I also watched “New Year’s Eve”, what a messy dud of a movie.
Seven pages: Not new Pages but reworked pages, besides “Die Klientin” I also polished “The Passion of the Geek” but more on that later.
Seven hours: Orlindo is giving me great feedback and I hope that his new office makes him productive enough to return the favor. I’m also trying to come up with my next idea. I have some thoughts, but nothing conclusive yet, I wrote a bit for my immortal idea but that was just finger stretching, all I know is, that I want to write something with a female protagonist.

But let’s talk a bit about why I decided to polish, “The Passion of the Geek”. Every time someone talks about breaking into screenwriting, well writing in general, they talk about finding your voice, your unique voice, that thing that is special about you, the story only you can write. When I look at everything I’ve written, for me that’s the “The Passion of the Geek”. It’s my strangest but also most personal movie. I’m not saying that I loved through all of that but some of the moments, some of the emotions are 100% real, and that’s saying something for a strange movie like that.

Full disclosure, I’m not sure if “The Passion of the Geek”has a unique voice or if I even have one, but it’s definitely the thing I’ve written that comes close. It’s totally me on every page, I still love all the jokes and all the choices and there are countless moments in the script I’d do almost anything1 to see them realized. That has to count for something, doesn’t it.

I decided to add the current version to the Blacklist site to get some feedback. I doubt that they’ll discover my voice but I might get some pointers on how to discover it and maybe I get some ideas on how to improve the script and get it to the next level.

Stay tuned.

  1. If some studio executive is reading this, I’m really willing to do almost anything. I’m sure we can figure something out, I’m willing.