Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Screenplay Diary: "Between Love and Orgasms"... Based on a True Story?

Every writer, no matter the genre, will eventually run into (or run over and fall into) that giant sucking sinkhole of creative quicksand... alliterative pun full intended... the, “how close is too close?” question.  Mulling this over for a solid five minutes before I began writing today’s entry in The Screenplay Diary, it got me to thinking about something you see in the super short TV trailers for films about to be released (or released straight to DVD).

Something I now call, “the source tag”.

“A true story”… “Based on a true story”... “Inspired by true events”... “From an original concept developed by”... “Stolen from the intellectual property of”...  Seriously, where does it end?  And where does a writer have to draw the hard line between life informing fiction, and autobiography? 

You tell me when you figure it out, because I have no idea.

As with pretty much anything I’ve ever written that has ended up read in public places, the crafting of personal words usually find their way into the light because of very personal experiences.  Personal, that is, unless they are the very personal words of some other “character” in the story.  And sometimes, a story that’s too close can take on an unanticipated (at least for the viewer) element of extreme Cinema verite.    

For the sake of once such character, this Screenplay Diary marks the end of one in particular which has dominated the last several of entries.  For all who have been regular readers here, it’s time for you to say goodbye (for now) to the character of Buddy.


INT. WAREHOUSE – Late Afternoon

Buddy sits at his computer in the dispatch office.  Robbie enters, and flops into a spare office chair, never looking up from texting.  Buddy’s desk phone rings.

                                                                                BUDDY (on phone)
                                                Yes?  Sure... be right there.
                                                                (mutters, half in Tagalog)
                                                Ina fucker.

                                                Who’s that?


                                                The big boss?  What’s he want?

                                                He’s going to fire me.                    

                                                He can’t do that!

                                                He thinks he can.

                                                What are you going to do?

                                                I’ve got peek-chures.  Sa aking lock-air.

                                                In your locker?  Pictures of what?

                                                Peek-chures of Randall giving me my job back.
                                                And maybe a raise.

                                                No really.  Pictures of what?

                                                Ang pinakamahusay na hindi mo alam
            Best you don’t know.

Robbie stops texting.

                                                Seriously, why?

                                                Because then, I would have to kill you...
                                                and the goat.

The desk phone rings again.  Buddy answers it.

                                                 I'll be right there... Randall.

See you later Buddy.  And see you all later too.  Next time... a love story.

Copyright © 2012 Bill Friday