< http://www.johndinglerart.com/1/post/2013/06/after-robert-dowd.html >
The Previous Format
But I also make moviettes, short videos I upload to YouTube. Formerly only of a supplemental interest, they are now growing in importance to my other art forms, mostly paintings, and it shows in the way I produce them. In my previous moviettes, I normally teased out a story only after I shot the raw footage. I examined all of the footage i shot at a certain location to find a theme. From this, I edited the footage to tell a story. There was never any formal screenplay.
You may have seen the result of that method here:
< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZHSrA4lN2_c >
The Current Format
Now, however, my approach is different: I intend to write a screenplay first, and in Hollywood Screenplay Format; I hope to shop it around once I complete a moviette from it based on the screenplay.
For now, I am thinking that the genre of the moviette would be a traditional "sceneggiata," a sub-genre of theater local to Napoli, Italy characterized, in large part, by emotional content and a conflict and resolution played out between criminals. Mario's ganster character is being cheated upon by his girlfriend with a competing gangster. Notice the stage setting, the expressive acting, and the emotional story. For the time being, I want these in the next moviette
Here's a typical sceneggiata style:
< https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzVfu9BVYVs >
My own synopsis and emotional hook:
Germany 1944. With the impending defeat of Hitler's army, Himmler flies a Black SS officer to Riverside's Nazi franchise of 2013 to see how well the seeds of Nazism took hold in this part of the multi-cultural world and, if need be, to either salvage it or to bolster it.
The Nazi officer is being cheated upon by Wells Fargo for not being Nazi enough for Himmler. Through the course of setting up several Nazi promotional activities in Riverside, he is confronted by racism from skinheads as well as by disrespect from Blacks.
"He may be a Nazi officer but he's still a Nigger to us. His name may be Claus, Dieter, or Emmett, but I call him Nigger."
"He may be Black and even a nigga to some homies, but he's still just a shithead Nazi to us. He may dress like a colonel, a general, a tank commander, but he's still working for the plantation, meandering among us."
Rejection from all sides leads him down the road of self-examination, the meaning of his role in Himmler's effort. He would spill out part of his agony by singing a song lamenting his state of mind and his likely fate. This also makes him into a sympathetic figure, even into a victim. But a victim of what and of whom? Being in a foreign culture? His African roots? His Nazi devotion? Of Skinheads? Of Blacks? Of banks even? And how much? It would be cool if someone composed a song on this theme.
I have to work out how he overcomes his conflicted nature which would be about his private journey toward redemption, the character of that redemption, but not confident about how. The resolution should neither simplistic nor clicheic.
My intent is to make an entertaining, gripping story that depends on incendiary scenes. I believe that I can do this by throwing stereotypes into confusion. It is my intention to shock, induce fury, and produce outrage in the viewer.
Juan Brown, an early participant in Occupy Riverside, and Black, is enthusiastic about taking on this plum, lead role. The transgender Michelle, also an Occupier, with whom he hangs out at Back to the Grind, would make for an awesome incipient quasi-romantic interest. This would be in the opening scenes are least. Juan expressed an enthusiastic interest when I presented him with this part of the script.
Progress with the Script
I already outlined Part I and some of Part II in standard Hollywood Screenplay Format but, now that the story is getting longer and getting complex, am stuck with wrangling with keeping the rest of it coherent. I have been keeping it together manually by modeling it after a script that was sent to me, not with a software program.
In the opening scene, I envision the Nazi officer on a plane reading his orders.
Hey, remember that pudgy guy with a mustache who writes documents in Victorian font with a quill pen at various coffee houses in Riverside? He could be the officer in old age, retired in Riverside. I could do a very short shot of him writing his life story as that Nazi, this, to establish the setting. It's an autobiography. He's White so this would be a further twist. Not sure how to resolve this but I am sure it would be fascinating. And, since race is not supposed to count, it should not make any difference in the change of skin color. I would simply present this as a fact, no explanation required. And the idea of his being in Riverside at the same time as his younger self...This conundrum -- about which I am not a student -- opens up several kinds of creative solutions.
I like the idea that I would be tackling race identity, gender identity, banking, politics, and time travel but the latter only in a conceptual way. What else?
I would love to have Riverside Occupiers participate, so this demands a predetermined plan, by way of a written script, in order to know when to notify them of the various scenes in which they would be needed. Having Occupiers would give some of us prominence, meaning, and it would be fun besides.
In the second scene, we would be seeing him exiting the Riverside courthouse in full Nazi SS uniform, full of happy anticipation, skipping down the steps. By the way, this is no time machine story and his travel is not technological; It's hidden on purpose to emphasize the personal narrative. People can figure out this beginning.
So this is what I am doing and thinking. What do you think?
John Dingler, artist