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Burning In Berlin / A Horror Movie

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[From my long-ago time in Berlin this movie script (and two novels) emerged. Here is the beginning sequence.]

EXT. BARREN FIELD WITH AUTUMN GRASS – DAY

Traffic sounds comes from the four streets bounding the field.

EXT. HILL IN FIELD – DAY

An information sign is at the foot of the hill. A newly-painted Linden tree grows beside it.

EXT. INFORMATION SIGN – DAY

THE INFORMATION SIGN READS Fehurer Bunker

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

A middle-aged TOUR GUIDE stands by the front seat, facing the passengers.

TOUR GUIDE

The Berlin police don’t

want us any closer.

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

Tourist faces peering from the windows.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

Tourists from the far side of the bus bend and peer over those seated.

EXT. LINDEN TREE ON HILL – DAY

One raven flutters and lands on a tree limb.

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

Two or three faces are pressed in each window.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Tour Guide is pointing through the window.

 

TOUR GUIDE

All of a sudden, the city says it

is unsafe. (laughs) They don’t want

to see all you rich tourists being

swallowed.

 

2.

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

Peering faces, and Tour Guide’s finger pressed to window.

EXT. INFORMATION SIGN – DAY

A second Raven settles upon the sign. It hops about until it

stops over the word ‘Fehurer’.

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

A BOY and GIRL, both slender and twelve, are staring from a window. A MAN WITH AN EYE PACH, in his forties and muscular, wearing a suit from the Salvation Army and a work shirt, bends over them, peering.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Boy and Girl have their heads together. The girl moves her

hand, and points through the top of the window.

EXT. LINDEN TREE – DAY

A third crow is landing on one of the branches. The other two

are agitated, but quickly settle.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Man With the Eye Patch hastily puts his hand over the

girl’s mouth.

 

MAN WITH EYE PATCH

Shh.

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The girl moves her hand from the window. The childrens’

faces move back.

EXT. LINDEN TREE – DAY

The two Ravens in the branches descend to the Information

Sign.

EXT. INFORMATION SIGN – DAY

The Three Ravens shuffle together, and stand shoulder to shoulder.

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Tour Guide has his head pressed against the window.

3.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Tour Guide, bent against the window, speaks loudly.

 

TOUR GUIDE

Too big for crows. They’re ravens.

 

EXT. INFORMATION SIGN – DAY

The three Ravens flutter down to the ground. They hop

erratically on the brown grass.

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Tour Guide reluctantly leaves the window, and faces

the tourists.

 

TOUR GUIDE

Maybe the ground is dangerous, and

they feel it. Hitler’s original

bunker is still down there. Even the

Russians didn’t dare blow it up. It

would have caved in a dozen

surrounding blocks.

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

There are now so many faces in the windows that some

jostling is going on. A few heads turn, speaking

angrily.

EXT. FOOT OF INFORMATION SIGN – DAY

The three Ravens no longer hop erratically. They are

obviously moving in a ritualized formation. Their

dance finishes with them lined up, staring at the

Tour Bus.

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Tour Guide is standing at the top of the steps,

facing a YOUNG MAN with a Movie Camera around his

Neck.

 

YOUNG MAN

I gotta get a picture for my

Gramps. He fought Hitler and

still hates him.

 

 

4.

TOUR GUIDE

I’m not supposed to let –

 

YOUNG MAN

One guy won’t make it cave in.

 

TOUR GUIDE

But the others –

 

YOUNG MAN

I’ll be off and back in a minute.

The YOUNG MAN hold up the Camera to the Tour Guide.

 

YOUNG MAN

I’ll use the zoom. I won’t even walk

on your precious field.

EXT. FOOT OF SIGN – DAY

The Three Ravens are stock still. The one in the middle cocks

his head toward the bus. The Other Two close their eyes.

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY.

The door of the Tourist Bus opens.

EXT. FOOT OF SIGN – DAY

The Two Ravens with closed eyes cock their heads in the same

direction as the middle bird.

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Young Man steps from the bus.

 

YOUNG MAN

Gramps will kick my ass if I

don’t.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The man With the Eye Patch pushes the Two Children onto the seat,

EXT. FOOT OF SIGN – DAY

The Two Ravens with closed eyes open their eyes in unison.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Man With The Eye Patch stands in the aisle.

 

 

  1.          MAN WITH THE EYE PATCH

Stop him!

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Tour Guide takes one step along the aisle of the bus.

 

TOUR GUIDE

It’s just a frigging picture.

 

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Young Man walks across the sidewalk to the edge of the field.

He holds the Camera in front of his face.

 

YOUNG MAN

Cement twenty feet thick. It

can’t cave in.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Man With The Eye Patch sits with the Two Children.

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Young Man looks behind him at the bus, then starts to walk

across the field.

 

YOUNG MAN

There’s something written on the

sign, but the zoom can’t get it.

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Tour Guide is standing on the bottom step.

 

TOUR GUIDE

Hey!

EXT. FOOT OF SIGN – DAY

The Three Raves silently take flight

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Young Man is adjusting the Camera when he hears the Tour Guide. He turns around with a scowl.

6.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Tour Guide is standing outside the open door. He is beckoning with his hand.

 

TOUR GUIDE

I can get fined. Come back here!

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Young Man is adjusting his Camera, his back to the field. He doesn’t look up as he yells to the Tour Guide.

 

YOUNG MAN

They’re not going to fine you

for two more minutes.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Middle Raven starts to dive, while the others fly on.

EXT. TOUR BUS – DAY

The Tour Guide starts crossing the sidewalk.

 

TOUR GUIDE

I’ve already got one guy

complaining.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Two Ravens fly in unison, side by side.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

 

The Young Man finishes adjusting his Camera. He looks up to see

the Tour Guide at the edge of the field. He holds up his Camera.

 

YOUNG MAN

It’s new. I got it for this

trip.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Tour Guide is on the grass. He stops, and puts his hands on

his hips.

 

TOUR GUIDE

You said a minute. I’ll have to

leave you here.

7.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Two Ravens start into a steep dive, one above the other.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Young Man lets go of his Camera. It swings on the neck strap,

bouncing against his chest.

 

YOUNG MAN

Then you’ll have another guy

complaining.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Single Raven adjusts its dive. Its eyes blink.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Young Man glares at the Tour Guide. He grabs his Camera again,

then turns back toward the Sign, raising the Camera to his face.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Two Ravens shift position, the bottom one moving to the top.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Tour Guide just starts to look up as the Lone Raven strikes

him on the side of the head.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Two Ravens are in a steep dive. The top one gets behind

the other.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Tour Guide is rolling on the ground. The Raven’s claws are

clamped to his ear, and its beak is in his eye.

EXT. TOUR BUS – DAY

The Two Ravens enter the door of the bus.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Single Raven tears off the Tour Guide’s ear.

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Bus Driver holds his hands protectively in front of his

face as the Ravens fly past.

8.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Young Man turns toward the bus. He starts filming.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Tour Guide attempts to get up. The Raven has its beak in his

mouth.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Ravens fly along the aisle, amid screaming passengers.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Man With The Eye Patch grabs the two children. He shoves them

onto the floor between the seats.

 

MAN WITH EYE PATCH

Stay down!

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Tour Guide has managed to stand. The Raven is fluttering in

front of his face. It has the Tour Guide’s tongue in its beak.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Young Man continues taking pictures.

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

Panicked, screaming faces are in the windows. Many passengers are

beating their hands against the glass.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Ravens keep a steady course, but get side -by- side.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Man With the Eye Patch is taking off his suit coat.

 

MAN WITH EYE PATCH

Not fucking again.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Ravens skim the roof of the bus. They both look down.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Man With the Eye Patch glances at the Two Children.

9.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Two Children huddle on the floor. The Boy lies on the Girl.

stretching over her. He turns his head toward the Man With the Eye Patch.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Man With the Eye Patch yells at the Boy.

 

MAN WITH EYE PATCH

Hide your face!

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Two Ravens dive simultaneously.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With the Eye Patch holds up his suit coat in front of him.

The two Ravens fly right into the suit coat, pulling it from the Man’s hands. The Birds, entangled in the suit coat, hurtle against the window. One Bird gets free, while the other, still encased in the suit coat, falls on the Children.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Boy shoves the Girl under the seat in front of them.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The freed Raven flies up toward the Man With the Eye Patch.The Man

crouches into the stance of a boxer, and punches the bird directly

on the side of its head. The stunned Raven tumbles over the

seat back.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Boy scurries under the seat where he had been sitting.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Man With the Eye Patch grabs his suit coat with the trapped

Raven, and throws it to the far side of the bus.

 

MAN WITH THE EYE PATCH

(yelling)

All of you – get down!

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Raven is half out of the suit coat when it hits the window.

10.

It spirals to the roof of the bus.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The raven which the Man With the Eye Patch hit, teeters on the

top of a seat back.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Man With the Eye Patch grabs for his suit coat.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Raven on the seat back lifts into the air.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Boy finally manages to squeeze completely under the seat.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The two Ravens start flying to the front of the bus.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Man With the Eye Patch holds his suit coat in front of him

again.

 

MAN WITH EYE PATCH

Stay down!

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Ravens reach the front of the bus. The Bus Driver is crouched

on the floor, jammed under the steering wheel.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Man With the Eye Patch lowers his suit coat. He glances at the

two Children.

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Two Ravens fly out of the door of the bus.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Tour Guide is sprawled on his back. The Raven’s claws are

gripping either side of his neck, and its beak is jabbing into

his other eye.

11.

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Two Ravens wobble in their flight as they raise into the air.

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Young Man is walking toward the Tour Guide, filming. He

hesitates, stops walking, and looks up.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Man With the Eye Patch is reaching between the seats.

 

MAN WITH EYE PATCH

Come on out.

EXT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Young Man raises his Camera and steps back, aiming into the

sky.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Man With the Eye Patch helps the Girl from under the seat.

As she gets up and stands by the window, he assists the Boy. When

The Boy is standing, the Man With the Eye Patch puts on his suit

Coat.

 

MAN WITH EYE PATCH

You two knew about this, didn’t

you?

The Girl taps her finger against the window.

 

GIRL

Look!

EXT. BARREN FIELD – DAY

The Two Ravens swoop toward the Third Raven on the ground.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

The Man With the Eye Patch and the Children look out the window.

The Boy glances up at the Man.

 

BOY

You said we’d be safe.

The Man With the Eye Patch stands straight.

 

MAN WITH EYE PATCH

You’re safe, ain’t you?

(Image)https://i.pinimg.com/originals/3f/33/98/3f3398e10b275d21c698e4918748f790.jpg

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Turning A Novel Into Film – Characters And Actors On The Loose

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When adapting a novel manuscript to a film script, I realize it will take a whole host of other people to tell me how successful I might be. I’ve done this twice before, and realize that I must not only ignore my usual method of writing, but often go exactly against it.

I attempted to “learn” how to write for film. I read many instruction books, attended classes and workshops, and had meetings with people. I read many film scripts, which did help me accept the (to my eye) arcane format. But the one thing that actually turned me visual, was the comment of a writer/editor friend who said, after reading my attempt, “I can’t see it.”

That is, it did not cause visual action in her mind.

And I understood.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle is to accept that a movie is not a book, and that changes, additions and omissions will be necessary. As with a play, there is a finite time limit, that generally clocks in under two hours. The threads and plot points of a movie are different. And the characters (I swear) feel this freedom, and choose to accentuate other aspects of themselves than revealed in a novel.

The very fact their paragraphs of dialogue are best reduced to two or three lines makes them uppity. And because they can, in mere seconds, be in diverse locations, performing radically different actions, they become exact without apology. They don’t have to fill in the spaces.

The writer has to fill in the spaces however, and do so with visual stimulation. The transitions have to be swift and their descriptions exact. The road is always the fast lane and the characters kick the tires with gusto.

The Script I Wrote For Star Trek

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Can I use the word eons when talking of Star Trek? Considering the time travel that often enveloped them, why – yes, I can.

So, eons ago, I wrote a script for Star Trek, The Next Generation. Memory says (and I’ve been told my memory is not up to light speed), this was the only television series that asked for, and actively used, scripts from writers outside their own stable. They used one script per season from these submissions. So I submitted.

I had a response from Lolita Fatjo.  It gave me some quiet thrill to see her name among the STTNG credits at the end of each show. I believe she was classed under “Pre production”. I also thought she had a real nifty name. I note she currently still has dealings with Star Trek, helping to facilitate Star Trek Fan conferences and arranging appearances by some of the Star Trek stars.

I did not have an abundance of communication with Ms. Fatjo (I liked to think of her as Lolita). I think I got a package of information about the type of thing they wanted for a script.

Memory says there was a desire to have a main plot line concentrating on just two or three of the main characters. There was to be one additional sub plot. There were arcs to accommodate the commercials. I believe they hoped for some humour. And timing, of course, all was timed to the exact minute.

I followed directions and wrote a script and put it into the format and sent it off. I had two further dealings with Lolita.

One told me they had received the script.

The other – so deliciously close to the end of the season – was to tell me they would not be using it.

The script was called The Minstrel.

In it, an alien had a musical instrument (I think a horn, but it might have been strings) that would play tunes attuned to whoever he was talking to. It had other properties, but I think I’ll keep them tucked away. You never know – there is a new show. Anyway, the Minstrel would interact (per act) with the Star Trek characters. Revelations were forthcoming. Not too many special effects (which was something else Lolita requested).

I received no cheques nor writing credits from this foray into television land. But not all was lost.

I was writing my script in tandem with a friend who was writing her own script. News of our endeavours made the local writing circuit, and we were interviewed on regional radio.

From that we were asked to speak to a couple of writing classes and even invited to an alternate world fan club to give a reading.

We boldly went.

DE

 

“Burning In Berlin” Horror Movie With Ravens

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9.

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Two Children huddle on the floor. The Boy lies on the Girl.

stretching over her. He turns his head toward the Man With the Eye Patch.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With the Eye Patch yells at the Boy.

 

MAN WITH EYE PATCH

Hide your face!

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Two Ravens dive simultaneously.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With the Eye Patch holds up his suit coat in front of him.

The two Ravens fly right into the suit coat, pulling it from the Man’s hands. The Birds, entangled in the suit coat, hurtle against the window. One Bird gets free, while the other, still encased in the suit coat, falls on the Children.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Boy shoves the Girl under the seat in front of them.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The freed Raven flies up toward the Man With the Eye Patch. The Man crouches into the stance of a boxer, and punches the bird directly on the side of its head. The stunned Raven tumbles over the seat back.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Boy scurries under the seat where he had been sitting.

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Man With the Eye Patch grabs his suit coat with the trapped

Raven, and throws it to the far side of the bus.

 

MAN WITH THE EYE PATCH

(yelling)

All of you – get down!

 

INT. TOURIST BUS – DAY

 

The Raven is half out of the suit coat when it hits the window.

DE

(image) https://a.travel-assets.com/mediavault.le/media/b45cf39976f82453d505684f9ab18f82fbd7f9ce.jpeg

Star Trek To Boldly Go To TV Again

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Can I use the word eons when talking of Star Trek? Considering the time travel that often enveloped them, why yes – yes, I can.

So, eons ago, I wrote a script for Star Trek, The Next Generation. Memory says (and I’ve been told my memory is not up to light speed), this was the only television series that asked for, and actively used, scripts from writers outside their own stable. They used one script per season from these submissions. So I submitted.

I had a response from Lolita Fatjo, and it gave me some quiet thrill to see her name among the STTNG credits at the end of each show. I believe she was classed under “Pre production”. I also thought she had a real nifty name. I note she currently still has dealings with Star Trek, helping to facilitate Star Trek Fan conferences and arranging appearances by some of the Star Trek stars.

I did not have an abundance of communication with Ms. Fatjo (I liked to think of her as Lolita). I think I got a package of information about the type of thing they wanted for a script. Memory says there was a desire to have a main plot line concentrating on just two or three of the main characters. There was to be one additional sub plot. There were arcs to accommodate the commercials. I believe they hoped for some humour. And timing, of course, all was timed to the exact minute. I followed directions and wrote a script and put it into the format and sent it off. I had two further dealings with Lolita. One told me they had received the script. The other – so deliciously close to the end of the season – was to tell me they would not be using it.

The script was called The Minstrel. An alien had a musical instrument (I think a horn, but it might have been strings) that would play tunes which adapted to whomever he was talking to. It had other properties, but I think I’ll keep them tucked away. You never know – there is a new show. Anyway, the Minstrel would interact (per act) with the Star Trek characters. Revelations were forthcoming. Not too many special effects (which was something else Lolita requested).

I received no big cheques or writing credits from this foray into television land. But not all was lost. I was writing my script in tandem with a friend who was writing her own script. News of our endeavours made the local writing circuit, and we were interviewed on regional radio. From that, we were asked to speak to a couple of writing classes, and even invited to an  alternate world fan club to give a reading. We boldly went.

DE

 

 

 

Adapt A Novel Manuscript To A Movie Script

(image)

It will take a whole host of other people to tell me how successful I will be. I’ve done it twice, and realize I must not only ignore my usual method of writing, but often go exactly against it.

I  have attempted to “learn” how to write for film, with many instruction books, and classes, and workshops, and meetings with people. I read many film scripts, which did help me accept the (to my eye) arcane format. But the one thing which turned me visual was the comment of a writer/editor friend who said, after reading my attempt, “I can’t see it.” That is, it did not cause visual action in her mind. And I understood.

Perhaps the biggest hurdle to get over is to accept that a movie is not a book  Changes, additions, and omissions will be necessary. As with a stage play, there is a finite time limit that generally clocks in under two hours. The threads and plot points of a movie are different. And the characters (I swear) feel this freedom, and choose to accentuate other aspects of themselves than are revealed in a novel.

The very fact their paragraphs of dialogue must be reduced to two or three lines makes them uppity. And because they can, in mere seconds, be in diverse locations, performing radically different actions, they become exact without apology. They don’t have to fill in the spaces.

The writer has to fill in the spaces however, and do so with visual stimulation. The transitions have to be swift. Their descriptions exact.

The road is always the fast lane, and the characters kick the tires with gusto.

DE

 

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