I LOVE TO TELL STORIES

Every life is full of stories that need to be told.

His story has dominated the literary world.

Now it’s time for HER story as well.

Screenplay Doctor

 

…now making house calls.

I like to see writers succeed.

I read a screenplay and help the author discover, and evaluate what they REALLY want to say.

Then I show them HOW to say it.

Screen Writing Workshop

 

This 6 weeks workshop is based on the Aristotlean “Poetics”. It has evolved in the measure that cinema and the viewer have evolved. The accent is in Structure, the Achilles Heel of most screenwriters. The course is offered both in person and online, in German, English and Spanish.

Only $10

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Explore My Writings Here

Poem of the Month

To Love

Distance draws space for my dreams!

Confided the wind to the storm

The rain beat the drum and with a moan

The bamboos licked the ground


Gentle breeze sneaked between our seams

Whispering goose bumps beyond the skin

Look, my love: Our faces mirror the stream

Of the wind’s wild-tempered dreams

 

We were lights dancing a tango

Passionate illusions caressing the night away

Souls touching, leaving traces on the naked skin

Of our wings … and… on the wind?

 

An echo bounced between us

Soared uncontrolled, opened it all

Tore down the screens

Of our windows, that steamed

 

The wave closed our eyes in mid stare

Our mouths dreaming dreams of no distance

Blew a glimpse of timelessness into a kiss

We wove the tides of eternity – and bliss

 

We expand …and …and …expanded

Joy increased our deepest being

Demanding surrender

Open up! Rise to sing!

 

Said the night to the day:

You’re the light, the caress

I am yielding the earth

Let us fly and be wind

 

Sophia

January 30, 2004

Short Film Screenplay of the Month

 

The Crow

A man’s foot clad in a thick leather boot buries itself in the wet grass with a sucking “swoosh”. It is a steep slope. The second boot hits the grass about a foot higher up the hill. Right boot, then left boot hit the wet grass heavily. Richard climbs with difficulty. He carries a heavy backpack. On the backpack, seemingly unconscious, rests Fred, his face buried between Richard’s neck and the upper part of the backpack. Richard is out of breath. Although the kerchief tied around his forehead captures most of the sweat, thick beads form rivulets along his forehead and cheeks. He is a handsome man in is late thirties. Don’t worry, my brother, we’re almost there. Shit!
He slides on the muddy terrain, but with some difficulty recovers his balance.
Who would have thought we would have to be coming up at the end of the autumn? It was always in the middle of the summer. How the sun burns here in summer, remember? The top of the hill is thickly shrouded in fog. Somewhere beneath it, a pale and bluish sun shines tiredly. Shreds of fog reach almost to his legs. I don’t remember ever seeing a drop of water along this path. Ever.
He keeps on walking up the hill. The effort turns his face redder, almost purplish.
He lifts his eyes to the top of the hill.
We’re almost there. Not more long to go. Jesus! Once more, he slides. The
hill tilts dangerously. This time, unable to recover his balance, he falls on his face.
His backpack and his “brother” on his back make his breath come out in a hard gasp.
Making an effort he tries to stand up. It’s not easy. His muddy hands slide along the wet grass. He finally rises on all four and then, slowly, stands upright. With a simultaneous movement of arms and hips, he places Fred, once again, in the center of his spine. Sorry, brother. This way seems so long. Not because of you, no, really, it must be all this mud. And this backpack that weighs a ton. They reach a clearing in the forest. Very old pine and alder trees, with thick corrugated trunks. Only a few reddish leaves hang from the naked branches. Richard looks around.

– It smells of vanilla cookies. The ones aunt Susana baked. We would produce hand-fulls of crumbs from our pockets to share them here. My mother was always after me to explain what that sticky stuff we had in our pockets was.

He looks around. The landscape is beautiful in the fog.

– Ok. Brother. Here we are. I told you, we promised, and I have delivered. Thank God it was not the other way round. I doubt you would have been able to carry me up that hill.

Very delicately, he helps his friend from his back. He sits Fred with his back to a very thick tree trunk. Fred’s head hangs down. Richard straightens it up and leans it against the tree trunk. Fred’s eyes, open, are beyond seeing.

I want you to see every step of it. Look while I dig. I want you to see it all.

Richard opens the backpack and takes out a thick piece of cord and a shovel in three pieces, which he puts together. A sandwich wrapped in foil. He straightens up and looks around. Walks two steps in one direction, two steps in the other.

About here?
He stares at Fred’s face for a few seconds.

Yes. This is the exact place.

He begins to dig with stamina. He pushes the shovel into the ground, forcing it deeper with his foot. He pushes the broom down and lifts it upwards, heavier now, carrying a big chunk of earth covered with grass. He shakes the earth off
the shovel farther to one side. He pushes the shovel into the ground.

A crow flies silently over Richard. Very gently it sits on the naked branch of a tree. A slight, almost imperceptible drizzle begins to fall.

(OFF)The only time I felt unprotected was in the war. If you had been there, covering my back, I would not have been scared. But, where I was, you had to have eyes in your neck. Four eyes. Yes, sir!

His voice reaches the silhouettes of another crow who joins the first with a fluttering of wings.

Richard has dug up a fairly big hole. He works rhythmically, almost mechanically. He is deep in thought. At his sides, in front and at his back, little mounds of earth and grass have been growing and grow with each shovel. Now and then, shards of his words reach us. The sky is taking a darker hue of grey as dark clouds gather overhead.

Fred slides slowly and three-quarter falls to one side, where he keeps sitting, in rigor mortis. His arm rests on the coil of rope.

Not even when we both fell in love with Lisa. The day you told me you didn’t love her, I was about to tell you the very same thing. I would never have allowed anybody to ruin our friendship.

Richard looks around, satisfied. He has dug a huge grave. His shape is really small in the hole now. The walls are almost twice his size.

The drizzle turns into gentle rain. It falls on the trees, trying to compete witht he fog.

Richard looks at the gray sky. Around himself, he can only see walls of black and shinny earth. On the upper margins of the hole, now rest spiky hills of black earth and grass. He turns around in the grave and nods appreciatively.

Ready. I think you will be happy here. A beautiful and ample grave. Richard lets go of the shovel and tries to climb out along one of the walls that has

turned into a skating ring. He slides down again and again … and again.

He looks around. Lifts the shovel, sticks it into the wall. He tries to lift himself with the shovel. The shovel tenses and bends, and then breaks with a loud crack.

The crows lift their heads, surprised; two of them rise a couple of inches away from the branches. Then, slowly and deliberately, they descend back to their places. The rain falls steadily now.

Richard walks to the end of the hole, runs against the opposite wall, trying to gather momentum for the climb. By now, a thick layer of mud covers him completely except for parts of his face.

Somewhat unsettled, Richard walks around the hole, looking for something with his stare. He finds it. It is a root that protrudes half way up. Richard’s strong, muddy hand closes around it. He pulls. It seems to hold. When his feet are perpendicular to the ground, the root, rotten, slides out of the earth. In his hand he holds only crumbs.

Richard slams his angry fists against the earth wall, furious. – The rope! Where is the rope?

Looks around the earth at his feet, where pools are forming. He kicks one with his muddy boot.

Richard looks up. The sky is stormy gray, with touches of violet.

Brother! Hand me the rope will you? The unmovable face of Fred stares straight ahead. The coil of rope is pressed under his arm. The crows stare straight ahead, unmovable. Richard sits on his toes, blows at his frozen fingers in the twilight.
The sandwich, wrapped in foil, falls on his head. He jumps up, startled.
In the semidarkness of dusk, he can barely see the walls that surround him, or the sky. Richard picks up the package and looks up in wonder. The body of Fred has slid down completely. His head protrudes over the top of the hole, his eyes frozen. Falling, his body has pushed the rope into the hole. Part of it is still resting under him. The rest dangles a little over Richard’s head. Richard lifts his hand incredulously, wraps the rope around his wrist, puts his right leg against the wall and pulls himself up with all his might. The rope underneath Fred, tenses to the pull. Somewhere, in mid air, he meets Fred’s almost surprised stare. Then they fall, Fred in Richard’s arms. The backpack lands on top of them. Semi darkness. It is raining.
The tree branch where the crows sat is empty.
A last terracotta leaf falls, shrunk and wet, and is carried away by the wind.

The End

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