How about I take you through a journey from start to finish as I write the photoplay for my Caged Martial Arts movie: Uncaged Hearts? You know, my rethink of the remake of 1989's Road House. This will more than likely be a long haul series of blog entries; but why not? I'm not going anywhere. I mean, I did go to college for this very thing. Let's see if my tuition fees were money well spent...
So, for those of you just joining us, might I suggest you read my blog "Road House Re-Make Blues" for some more background on what we're about to undertake.
Ever hear of Syd Field?
Back to Syd Field.
When I was in film school back in the mid 80's at good old Boston University; I had a screenwriting class that was very influential on me. I forget the professors last name; but his first name was John, which is rather beside the point. Anyways, the go to textbook for this screenwriting class was Syd Field's Screenplay:
In one of those weird little coincidences, it turns out that the late Mr. Field and I share the same birthday: December 19th. Which is a little sign to me to go through with this idea.
So, the upshot is, is that Mr. Field introduced his screenwriting paradigm which has sort of become the template for typical three-act screenplays; which is pretty much the basis for most mainstream Hollywood movies. Field has sort of become the last word in screenplay structure. Now, you would think that Mr. Field, with his insights and expertise would've had all kinds of movies made from his scripts; but that is not the case. I believe only one of his scripts was produced; in Argentina. Which makes me think that, yes, he had a lot of insight as to how a script should be structured; but was perhaps himself a bit lacking when it came to ideas? That's not to say his paradigm doesn't hold up. I think it does. So here it is:
Uncaged Hearts is, in its most basic element, a story about two men who are professional fighters. Rivals. Rivals who happen to fall in love. It's a gay love story: with kick-boxing. Now, if you are squeamish about the idea of two men kissing; or whatever, this might not be the story for you. But, as I'm gay and I lived most of my 57 years being force-fed standardized heterosexual love stories; I'm not about to bore myself with a kick-boxing gal who falls in love with her hunky trainer. We can leave that to, oh, I don't know, Florence Pugh and Justin Timberlake with a script by Nicholas Sparks and Cameron Crowe behind the camera. But I do want have two male stars in my head (and yours) so that you can picture them in the scenes. I find that helps to bring the written image to life inside the brain. My first thought was to stick with Jake Gyllenhaal and Conor McGregor; but since they're already doing their own thing and getting to do it in real life and be paid for it, well, more power to 'em.
So, for our American fighter on the skids...I think we have to go with Zac Efron. He has the body of a fighter and the face of a movie star. For our Irish love interest...I'm gonna go out on a bit of limb here; but this actor has impressed me in films as slight as Peter Rabbit. I give you: Domhnall Gleeson. Now here's a bit of serendipity. As I was doing a little research here, I thought of Adam Driver for the American. But then I thought...well, he gets so much work as it is...but man he has the body of a fighter too.
Then I came across this:
We have our two leads. Sorry Zac, but you weren't tall enough. Don't fret; you'll be fine.
So...how are we going to do this?
Well, I think we should do it much the way I did the sit-com blogs. We'll break it into three acts. I'll write the scenes within the blogs, then transcribe the most recent blog into a Word document. You'll have to keep checking back for new material. And once the final blog is completed at the end of Act 3 I will post the screenplay in its entirety on the website as a proper film script. I will put notes in italics. Now, since I don't know the ratio of the number of pages here vs. a Word document, we'll have to play it by ear. I can't promise that "Plot Point #1" will happen exactly on page 25; but I'll give it the old college try!
So, I'll see you in the next blog: "Uncaged Hearts; A Screenplay / Act 1"