Music for the Weekend: Angel Duster by Run the Jewels.
So I got this record at the crack of dawn and have been listening to it nonstop. GO GET IT. NOW. HERE. It’s fueling my writing as I knock out the script for Six Angry Women, which is being based upon our improvisational work during rehearsals. We’re using the screenplay format employed in Curb Your Enthusiasm, which doesn’t have any dialogue but instead sets out the actions of the scene and the objectives for each character. Here’s an example from a Curb screenplay:
Season Three: Scene 1 from “Krazee-Eyez Killa” (Episode 8)
EXT. THE WATKINS’ HOUSE
We open on a RACIALLY-MIXED party. CHERYL is talking to WANDA and her boyfriend, KRAZEE-EYEZ KILLA. They have some interaction with an OLDER BLACK COUPLE, who are Wanda’s parents. During all of this, we keep hearing a popping noise that sounds like a cap gun going off. We then pan to LARRY and find him stomping on packing bubbles. Cheryl approaches Larry and tells him to cease and desist. He then winds up next to Wanda’s father and, desperate for conversation, mentions how he once dated a black woman and was quite surprised by some of the negative comments he heard when they went out, but he wasn’t phased by it at all. Then Mr. Watkins excuses himself and Larry starts chatting with Krazee-Eyez Killa. Larry asks where he lives, and after going into some detail about its location, Krazee-Eyez Killa abruptly changes the subject and asks Larry if he likes to eat pussy. Larry, a tad thrown by the question, tells Krazee-Eyez Killa that he used to, but now he’s too lazy. “It’s a lot of work and it hurts my neck. It’s a whole to-do.” Krazy Eyez-Killa, taking Larry into his confidence, says that he loves Asian pussy. Larry, a little shocked, says,’ You mean you used to.” Krazee-Eyez Killa says, “Still. No way I give that up.” Now Cheryl approaches. Larry tells her that he has to go to Jeff’s new house to pick up a script. Cheryl thought Jeff was in a hotel because of the dog, but Larry explains that he’s getting allergy shots and they’re helping.
In this format we’re allowing the actors to improvise within the constraints of the narrative. We’re also using very composed shots, so my actors are having to learn their blocking as they improvise. Not easy, but we’re getting the hang of it.
Six Angry Women is shaping up to be an interesting hybrid, an improvised film that is shot like a fully storyboarded and structured piece of cinema. It’s pushing and pulling us in various directions, and forcing us to create a multitude of ready-to-go visual options to have at our disposal, should the script dictate their use. It’s an exciting way to make a film, but the preparation is enormous, probably even more than a conventional, fully-scripted film. Being ready for the unknown takes a lot of work, but what fun and amazing work it is. I’m enjoying this process immensely and am excited to see what comes of it. Two more weeks to go before shoot, and I feel good. Once we lock our location I’ll feel great, so that’s our main priority now.
Have a great weekend!