Monday, December 20, 2010

Want to see my dick?

I've talked about PRIVATE DICKS here before -- the dildo-puppet noir that we filmed as part of a 72 hour film festival challenge a couple of years ago.

It's not the first thing I wrote and it's not the only thing I've filmed, but it's the first thing that I wrote that was filmed.

It proved to be one of the biggest learning lessons in my career thus far in both writing and film making.

At the start of the challenge, I received a package with a couple of character profiles, a few story elements and a mystery prop in a paper bag, all of which had to incorporated into the storyline. We had exactly 72 hours to write, film and edit a short film.

It was definitely challenging and when our mystery prop turned out to be real human-size handcuffs, it definitely forced me to the edge of my creativity to come up with a semi-plausible storyline.

There are a few things we could have done better -- the biggest being less "talking heads"(no pun intended) and more puppet interaction -- and I'm not actually completely satisfied with the dialogue, but all in all, I think the team pulled together and made at least a halfway decent film for our talent and level of experience at the time.

And, if I do say so myself, there is a 90 second sequence near the end that we NAILED. I think that sequence was perfect film making on the part of the whole team.

PRIVATE DICKS has screened at The Caprice, The Rio, The Hollywood and The Vancity theaters and now it's finally time for me to post it here.

Private Dicks from High Deaf Productions on Vimeo.

Monday, December 6, 2010

What is that smell?

Oh, yeah, it's December and Christmas is in the air.

I like to spend every December in reflection on how I've lived my life in the past year and if there is anything I could improve upon or anything I am not happy with.

I also take the time to remember the all beautiful moments, and believe me, the beautiful moments far surpass the "not-so-beautiful" moments.

Appreciating the beauty in life is really very easy to do. Anything that put a smile on your face or made you feel good, or made you connect with another human, is a beautiful thing. If you take the time to reflect, you will find that you literally had hundreds and hundreds of these moments in your life.

Off the top of my head, I could easily come up with at least 20 moments that made me smile in the past week, but I won't because it doesn't matter. They are my beautiful moments, not yours, so they won't mean anything to you. It's up to you to recognize your own.

My wish of the season would be that you -- yes, you, the one who is reading this blog right now -- will take the time to reflect upon your own beautiful moments in life. What have you got to lose? Nothing. But you have the chance to gain some much needed joy.

And life without joy isn't really life, it's just existence.

I'd like to leave you with a short script I wrote one night a couple of Christmases ago, just for fun. For a brief moment in time, I contemplated trying to get it made, but then I realized what it would cost to animate it so I moved on.

Even if the script didn't go anywhere, it gave me joy to write it, so I'm good. And if it makes you smile, or maybe even giggle, then I'm better.

After, all, tis the season...

(and I was going to install the scrippets html in this blog so the script would be properly formatted, but since this is a custom-made blog, I didn't want to take the chance of screwing anything up)


SANTA'S SPECIAL DELIVERY
By Lisa Purves



INT. PRISON INTERVIEW ROOM - DAY


A CAMERA CREW sets up in the corner, the only movement in the otherwise seemingly empty room.

REPORTER (O.S.)
Well, Santa --

KRIS (O.S.)
It’s Kris. I go by Kris, now.

REPORTER (O.S.)
Okay, Kris. You are finally ready to share your side of the story, that is why you requested this interview, correct?

KRIS (O.S.)
Yup. I have something important to say...

The CAMERAMAN flicks the on switch, and points the camera across the room to where KRIS and a REPORTER sit at a table.

THROUGH THE CAMERA LENS

Kris stares straight at the camera, his plump red cheeks now pale, and his previously bushy beard trimmed into a tidy goatee.

KRIS
I’m not guilty by reason of temporary insanity.

REPORTER
(snorts in disbelief)
Pardon me?

Eyes wide as Kris tries to adopt an “apologetic” look for the camera.

KRIS
It’s the truth. I was driven to it.

REPORTER
Mr. Kringle --

KRIS
Don’t “Mr. Kringle” me! I was insane!

INT. SANTA’S BEDROOM - NIGHT
- FLASHBACK

Kris as he relaxes in his underwear and eats bon bon’s.

KRIS (V.O.)
I’m immortal! Know what that means? It means I’ll live forever!

The bedroom door FLINGS OPEN and in storms MRS. CLAUS screeching like a banshee as she flings a pile of Kris’s clothes at him and motions for him to get dressed.

KRIS (V.O.)
Imagine living with the same woman forever. All that nagging, day in and day out! With no end in sight!

Mrs. Claus as she follows Kris around the room, mouth still chattering a mile a minute.

KRIS (V.O.)
And the shopping!

INT. MRS. CLAUSE’S DRESSING ROOM - DAY - FLASHBACK

Row upon row of IDENTICAL RED DRESSES... thousands of them, as Mrs. Claus carefully chooses the one she would like to wear.

KRIS (V.O.)
What the hell is she gonna do with all those dresses? It ain’t like we get company!

REPORTER (V.O.)
Kris, that doesn’t explain the reason why you did what you did.

KRIS (V.O.)
I needed the money.

INT. SANTA’S WORKSHOP - DAY - FLASHBACK


PILES OF SUPPLIES to build toys are stacked knee-deep in the room, with the elves carrying in many more.

KRIS (V.O.)
It ain’t cheap to be Santa Claus. Who do you think pays for all the toys?

INT. SANTA’S KITCHEN - DAY - FLASHBACK

KRIS (V.O.)
Not to mention the upkeep of the elves! Especially since they brought that damn union in.

MOUNTAINS OF FOOD cover every available table top, but not for long as the elves furiously devour everything in sight.

KRIS (V.O.)
Those little elves are deceiving!

Kitchen elves sweat profusely over vast cook pots as they rush to keep up with the angry demand for more food.

KRIS (V.O.)
They’re little alright... little pigs!

EXT. SANTA’S FARM - DAY - FLASHBACK

REINDEER happily prance in from the trees when they see Santa coming.

KRIS (V.O.)
And I was sick to death of the reindeer. There’s just too many of ‘em.

The reindeer keep coming... and coming... and coming...

KRIS (V.O.)
All they do is fly once a year, and the rest of the time, they screw like rabbits!

PAIRS OF HUMPING REINDEER are visible behind every tree, nook and cranny.

REPORTER (V.O.)
Can we get back to the subject at hand? Why don’t you tell us how you got started?

INT. SANTA’S BEDROOM - NIGHT - FLASHBACK


Kris, as he lay back on the bed, his swirling thoughts not allowing for sleep.

KRIS (V.O.)
Alright, already! So there I was, broke and temporarily insane...

Kris gets out of bed and goes to the window.

THROUGH THE WINDOW

Kris watches as the reindeer devour all the greenery in sight, and the elves madly plant new patches of grass in their wake.

Kris watches carefully, then his EYES WIDEN.

KRIS (V.O.)
... when the idea came to me.

EXT. SANTA’S FARM - NIGHT - FLASHBACK

Kris as he runs outside in his boxer shorts, to round up the planting elves.

KRIS (V.O.)
It was easy.

Kris as he supervises the elves while they build a HUGE GREENHOUSE.

KRIS (V.O.)
If you know the right people, word gets around pretty fast. The “letters to Santa” that were full of money started pouring in.

INT. SANTA’S BEDROOM - NIGHT
- FLASHBACK

As Kris waits until Mrs. Claus leaves the room, then opens a hidden wall safe to gaze adoringly at the STACKS OF CASH inside.

KRIS (V.O.)
So I started making two deliveries every Christmas Eve.

EXT. ROOFTOPS - NIGHT - FLASHBACK


Kris as he guides the REINDEER AND SLEIGH onto the rooftops, and carefully deposits TWO PACKAGES in each one.

KRIS (V.O.)
One for the children, and one for the adults. Everything was groovy. I was almost set to retire in a tropical resort, anonymous and alone...

REPORTER (V.O.)
Until the incident at the orphanage. How did that make you feel?

INT. PRISON INTERVIEW ROOM - DAY - PRESENT


Kris turns his gaze away from the camera to stare at the reporter for the first time since the start of the interview.

KRIS
(hands up in defense)
Oh no, you don’t! You’re not blaming me for that one. That wasn’t my fault.

INT. ORPHANAGE - NIGHT - FLASHBACK

All is silent as the NUNS do their nightly check to ensure the children are asleep.

IN THE FRONT ROOM

A small group of ORPHANS huddle around the Christmas tree as they lay in wait for Santa.
Shivering with cold, the oldest of the group heads over to the fireplace.

KRIS (V.O.)
I mean, come on! Who leaves a fire burning on Christmas Eve? It’s not like people don’t know Santa’s coming!

EXT. ORPHANAGE ROOFTOP - NIGHT - FLASHBACK

Kris as he deposits PACKAGES down the chimney with glee.

INT. ORPHANAGE - MORNING - FLASHBACK

As the nuns enter the smoke-filled room to find the orphans deliriously happy and giggling hysterically as they charge around the room.

Behind them in the fireplace, the smouldering remains of Santa’s presents:

PARTIALLY BURNED BOXES FULL OF MARIJUANA.

KRIS (V.O.)
That was the orphans fault. If you want to blame someone, blame those little bastards.

FADE OUT.