Some ideas came out, and then we went back to school.
Fortunately, before our spring break, Warren started the ball rolling again and managed to beg, borrow, and steal enough video equipment that we could make the movie for almost no budget. We also had no actors and no script, so I whipped up a script based on the ideas we had and we managed to coerce enough suckers to help out by sending press gangs to the Computer Science labs and knocking on doors around residence.
After two solid days of shooting (where "solid" starts at the
holiday wake-up time of 12 noon),
we managed to get most of the raw material together. Then
in May we got out hands on a
Video Toaster and did the editing. Now we just have to sit
back and wait for the money and
awards to come in. Well, actually, the distribution side of
things hasn't really been
worked out, but until we acheive worldwide acclaim, you can
read the script below. The
Credits are at the end, and Warren has put
up another page of
The Director Copyright (c) 1997 Brett Allen 1. INT. STUDIO - ROMANCE SET SLATE, sitting on a table, with our movie info on it (i.e.: "The Director", Scene 1, Take 1, directed by ..., etc.). DIRECTOR'S VOICE: What is this? DIRECTOR's hand comes on screen, flips the slate over. On it is his movie information: Scene 1, Take 27, and several titles (9 2/3, Citizen Walker, Romeo of the Spirits, The Magic Piccolo, Green, Gone with the Gale) - all crossed out except for the last one. He crosses it out, pauses, and, failing to think of a better title, puts the chalk down. Now we look at a book - a French-English dictionary. Pulling back, we see that it is under a tiny stool. Next to the stool is a folding chair. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR, casually dressed, walks on. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Put that light over there! He then sits comfortably in the folding chair. Director walks on, dressed completely in black and sporting a turtleneck, beret, and reeediculous accent. He points in the opposite direction: DIRECTOR: Move that light over there! ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: I told him, I told him, people just don't listen... Assistant Director hastily scrambles onto the tiny stool. Director looks at the folding chair and sniffs as if it is not quite good enough. He points at a passing crew member: DIRECTOR: You! Bring me a new chair! Immediately the Director's chair is whisked away as another, identical one is brought back on, which he accepts and gingerly sits down. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: I hope you don't mind me saying again, what a great opportunity it is to work with you. Director pauses just long enough for one to think that he is not going to acknowledge the statement. DIRECTOR: This is not work, this is ART! (gestures broadly) These are not cameras, they are windows to the soul, doors to the inner psyche, skylights to the spirit... ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Hatchways to the human condition? DIRECTOR: (ignores him) ...and yet, they are flawed. But I will not be flawed. The mistakes of imbeciles and moral cowards will not be made here. ACTRESS'S VOICE: Oh, oh, sir! DIRECTOR: Yes? You have a question? ACTRESS'S VOICE: Can we move this camera over here? It catches my bad side. I look much better from the right. DIRECTOR: No, no! This camera will not be moved. No more questions! Let us begin! Places, places... aaaaaand action! ACTOR'S VOICE: Listen, my darling... DIRECTOR: Cut! ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Oh, that was terrific! Terrific! The passion in those words... DIRECTOR: It was merde!! ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Absolutely! Even as he is nodding in agreement, Assistant Director whips out the French-English dictionary and flips through it. He then turns to the actors: ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: You should be ashamed, I mean... DIRECTOR: (cutting him off) Perhaps I have not been clear. What we are trying to do here is delineate the intellectual Libensraum of the postmodern bourgeois ideology. It is a pseudo- manicheistic strike against monolithic cognivity, breaking apart the hermeneutic circle like so much cottage cheese! When Mirabella says "Oh, I love the way you hold me in your arms," it is not merely a case of pithecanthropic ebullition, but an illocutionary struggle for self-reification; the result of a hegemonial anodyne of class consciousness, vis a vis her own repressed Wandervogelen-ism. This is no arbitrary cacophony of ideological contingencies! We must make a philogenetic step towards the perlocutionary ideal. This is not a movie for the barbarian obscurantists or university disimbricators! Do you understand? From the top! Action! Throughout the shooting the director appears distracted; he stares into space, oblivious to his surroundings. The Assistant Director is thoroughly engrossed in the action. ACTOR'S VOICE: Listen, my darling, we don't have much time... I must leave soon... to fight, hopefully someday, to return... to you... ACTRESS'S VOICE: Oh, Hans.... A romantic encounter ensues. Director stares into space for a while. DIRECTOR: Cut! No, this is wrong! (points at actor) You! Come here! Actor walks up to director, with his back to the camera. DIRECTOR: What were you doing?? ACTOR: Well, I... DIRECTOR: No!! You were not! Why, why are you doing this to me? Was it too much to ask? Director falls to his knees and begins sobbing uncontrollably. Assistant Director tries to console him and helps him up. A sudden inspiration hits. The Director grabs the script. DIRECTOR: Aha, I know the problem. We will remove this line here. And this one here. Director flips through all the pages frantically scratching out lines, faster and faster, then tears the entire script to shreds and throws the pieces in the air. 2. EXT. GRASSY AREA - NIGHT Director and Assistant Director are standing, giving instructions. Assistant Director's stool is there, but no director's chair. One is promptly brought on by a crew member just as Director blindly sits down. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: This time it's going to be really good, I know it. (looks to D for confirmation; gets none) I *knew* that last scriptwriter was useless, just a real... imbecile! DIRECTOR: Yes, an imbecile. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: (overjoyed to receive a response) OK, everybody, get in your places now. Director is sitting in his chair, catatonic. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Oh, oh, may I? Beat. Director nods. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: (gushing) Aaaaaand... roll em! ACTRESS'S VOICE: Hey Billy-Bob, what's that light up in the sky? ACTOR'S VOICE: I dunno Billy-Joe! FX: spacecraft landing ALIEN'S VOICE: Greetings, Earthlings. Take me to your leader. DIRECTOR: (jerking to attention) CUT!!! You -- come here! Alien approaches director, keeping its back to the camera. DIRECTOR: Just what do you think you're doing? ALIEN: Well, I'm an alien from the planet Zort, with the mission of... DIRECTOR: (choked scream) I'm surrounded by eeeediots! In a rage, takes off his beret and starts jumping on it. Then he picks it up, and, finding it improved, puts it back on. 3. EXT. DEMOLITON SITE - DAY Crew is set up next to some orange webbing fence. Director is standing, giving orders. DIRECTOR: Now, this explosion, it must be perfect, do you understand? It must crumble down in one smooth motion, just like civilization is crumbling. I don't want to see senseless smoke pouring out the sides or flames licking the base. You have all seen the decay of modern society - that is what I want to see in this explosion! Director sits and begins staring into space. Assistant Director comes over and sits on his stool. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: OK, we've got the explosives all wired up. Everybody, get behind the fence. When you're ready. Director absently waves his hand. CREW MEMBER'S VOICE: OK, we're going live. Starting countdown sequence... DIRECTOR: Wait, no, stop!!! That flower pot -- it's... it's in the wrong window!! Director dashes out of his chair, arms windmilling. CREW MEMBER'S VOICE: Fire in the hole! FX: explosion. Debris flies past the camera: pieces of wood, earth, a flower pot, and the director's beret. 4. INT. STUDIO - WESTERN Assistant Director and Director are sitting on their chairs. The director is has a bandage on his forehead. DIRECTOR: Is everybody ready? Good! Action! FX: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly-type sounds ACTOR'S VOICE: This town ain't big enough for the both of us, pardner. DIRECTOR: CUT! What are those beasts doing there? They are not in the script! ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: (shocked) They're the horses, sir. This is a Western... DIRECTOR: Is that so. Very well, take them away! FX: Horse walking DIRECTOR: No, no! The actors... take the actors away! I have had enough of your petty human faults. We will begin again! Actors protest in background. 5. EXT. BUSHES/FIELD - DUSK ACTOR'S VOICE: (narrating) Dusk on the Serengeti. Here nature roams free in this untamed wilderness. Watch as this young lion sneaks up on an unsuspecting herd of gazelles. Closer and closer it gets... DIRECTOR: Cut!! Can't you move them any closer to the river? 6. INT. STUDIO/EXT. NIGHT FX: chainsaw noise, screams Assistant Director has covered his eyes and is peeking at the scene through his fingers. Director is staring into space, being splashed by blood. This lasts for roughly 15-20 seconds. 7. INT. STUDIO Assistant Director, now wearing a turtleneck, is giving orders. Director is next to him, completely in another world. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: OK, get all the dwarves lined up. Woodsman, I don't think we'll be needing you again today. Where's Snow White?? Sleeping again? Somebody go get her. (turns to director) OK, sir, when you're ready. Director holds up his hand to block out the Assistant Director, and continues to do this every time the Assistant Director speaks. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Sir, we're ready to start. Sir? Director absently walks off the set. Assistant director looks lost. 8. INT. INTERVIEWER'S COUCH Assistant director is sitting on talk show-style couch. His transformation complete, he is now wearing a black turtleneck and beret. ASSISTANT DIRECTOR: Oh, we really only see him during the filming. The editing he always does himself, in private. He needs to be alone with his own ingenuity to work, I guess, not surrounded by the common folk. He's a brilliant man. Working with someone like that, well, it can really change the way you see the world. (adjusts his beret) I know I was changed. 9. EXT. VARIOUS Scenes of director "getting inspiration" -- pacing all over different places: Nitobe gardens, through bushes, Spanish Banks Beach, the duck pond at Jericho... Now he is sitting under a tree, lost in thought. Suddenly, an inspiration hits. He jumps up and bolts off camera... 10. INT. LIVING ROOM Director's artsy friends sitting on a couch, chatting to each other at once: CONVERSATION 1: -No, no, I don't like black and white... it doesn't work for my rods and cones. -But did you like his latest work? It's very avant garde. -Did I like it? Did I *like* it? Did *I* like it? No. CONVERSATION 2: -The car goes very fast, but the cook beats the batter better. -I'm waiting for the aqueduct to come and meet me at my windmill. -One can prove that social progress is definitely better with sugar. CONVERSATION 3: -I thought it would be sort of the result of a hegemonial anodyne of class conciousness. -You mean a case of repressed Wandervogelen- ism? Director arrives. A hush falls, then applause and whispering. Ignoring everybody, he sits down and raises his arm. The lights go out... 11. THE DIRECTOR'S MOVIE Typical 1, 2, 3 spinning thing. A brief moment of blackness. Then, the final, perfect scene: - fin - Blackout. FRIENDS' VOICES: - Amazing! - Profound! - Inspirational! - I laughed; I cried; it was better than Cats. - Truly a philogenetic step towards the perlocutionary ideal. Beat. FRIEND'S VOICE: I don't get it.