Motion Picture Company

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"This is the way the world ends…"

For the last 2 years, “BADLANDS” is an idea that has only existed in my head.  Finding a story to tell, one that was worthy to bear the incredibly badass title “BADLANDS”, proved to be a bigger challenge than I could have ever imagined. 

Some early outlines of the story involved a treasure hunt, much in the style of classic Westerns such as “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly”, but it proved to easy and no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t find the ‘panache’ I was looking for.  I needed a story that, for the most part, had never been told.  

Every time I came up with a idea I thought worthy, one that I could work with, I encountered a massive plot hole that just couldn’t be convincingly fixed.  

After my first few outlines fell flat on their faces, I wanted to find a way to incorporated one of my personal heroes, Nikola Tesla, into the script.  I studied this fascinating man for weeks, looking for something I could use.  I eventually settled on the idea that Tesla would be involved in an experiment gone wrong and was transported through time to the American Wild West.  He would ultimately have to find his way home by using old world equipment to recreate his invention to make his way home.  On paper it sounded great and in my head it sounded even better. I thought to myself “THIS is a film I want to see!”, but no matter how hard I tried and how many pages I wrote, I just wasn’t doing the great Nikola Tesla justice.  His REAL life was far too incredible for me to use him in a fictional piece.  One of the greatest minds in history deserves a film of his own.  

Since that didn’t work, I tried to use Nikola as a supporting character, where his assistant was the protagonist.  They are both thrusted through time and find themselves in what appears to be the Wild West, but with dinosaurs roaming and terrorizing the locals.  Awesome, I know, but again, I still couldn’t find a workable plot in there.  There were just too many plot holes in the story to be believable (as believable as a movie about time-travel, cowboys and dinosaurs can be).

Eventually BADLANDS faded from my memory when I was diagnosed with Stage IV Oral Cancer.  When I lost 2/3 of my tongue and my ability to speak properly, I thought my life was over, but the opposite happened.  It took losing my ability to speak for me to realize that I have a voice.  It gave me the confidence to write what I could no longer say.  And soon, I was flooded with ideas and eventually a fully formed script outlined poured out of me like vomit from a drunken teenager.  BADLANDS 2.0 was born, free of plot holes and completely badass.

With exactly 5 months until the deadline for screenplay submissions to the Austin Film Festival, I am hard at work turning my 5 page outline into a fully formed script that I cannot wait to share with all of you.  

Stay tuned as I post tidbits of plot and maybe even a few pages (if you’re good).

 - Kirk Out!

 

 

Create a character who wants something specific, give him/her conflict to make it difficult to attain, and then find a climax and resolution that are unexpected.

Linda J. Cowgill, Writing Short Films

To me, this is basically everything.

Out of the Frying Pan…

INT. A POORLY LIT OFFICE - NIGHT

CAMERON, a tall, handsome young man, sits at his desk, struggling to find the right words to begin his inaugural blog post and ultimately his future as an Academy Award winning Screenwriter. 

A BEAT.

The cursor mercilessly blinks, further cementing his writer’s block.  With each blink, CAMERON is reminded that his screenwriting career is not off to a good start.

AND WE - CUT TO:

INT. DATED 90’s LIVNIG ROOM - DAY

An even younger, more adorable CAMERON, sits in front of a television, watching his favourite Disney film, MARY POPPINS.  He dreams of the day he too would become a world class CHIMNEY SWEEPER, just like DICK VAN DYKE.

DICK: “Never was there a more happier crew, than them what sings Chim Chim Chiree Chim Chiroo! Chim Chim Chiminy Chim Chim Chiree Chim Chiroo…”

CAMERON: "Soon."

AND WE - CUT TO:

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

A TITLE CARD FADES IN

“The Not-So-Distant Past”

CAMERON wanders the mean streets of suburban NIAGARA FALLS, pondering where is life is headed after learning that CHIMNEY SWEEPING is not a viable career…

AND for the sake of timing and budget constraints, we join CAMERON, returning to his old friend CINEMA.  Over the years, the unlikely duo have shared many tears, and even more laughs.  As their friendship is strengthened CAMERON begins exploring the creative process of FILMMAKING he is introduced to CINEMA’s smoking hot blonde sister, SCREENWRITING.  

Through crafty editing and a likeable 90’s POP SONG, we watch as CAMERON and SCREENWRITING sail through a montage of terrible ONE-ACT SCRIPTS and cliched PLOT LINES. Suddenly CAMERON is struck with an idea so good, it is sure to become OSCAR BAIT.

AND WE - CUT TO:

INT. A POORLY LIT OFFICE - NIGHT

CAMERON, a tall, handsome young man, sits at his desk, no longer struggling to find the right words to begin his inaugural blog post and ultimately his future as an Academy Award winning Screenwriter. 

A BEAT.

The CURSOR has no time to blink as CAMERON frantically jots down the PLOT to a film that is sure to become the toast of HOLLYWOOD.

BADLANDS was the name of the film… The genius LOVECHILD of the SCIENCE-FICTION and WESTERN genres. A film so good that CAMERON turned down PETER JACKSON’s offer to adapt the SCREENPLAY into TWELVE, NINE-HOUR FILMS.

The FILM centres around the character of LEWIS KING, a young engineer in 1890’s NEW YORK CITY. He is brought aboard a secret government project researching NUCLEAR WEAPONRY when an unknown MALFUNCTION has universe shifting consequences. The MALFUNCTION lands LEWIS KING in the middle of the NEVADA DESERT, in what appears to be the early days of the AMERICAN FRONTIER, but with one STRANGE twist… These are the BADLANDS! 

And in typical HOLLYWOOD fashion, we end there and this POST with a message from the blogs PROTAGONIST.

CAMERON: “BADLANDS is an idea I’ve been toying with for quite some time, but never had the courage or the “know how” to put it on paper.  Recents events in my life have changed my priorities and it has become my mission to see this project through from the ROUGH DRAFT to the FINAL CUT. I created BDLNDS.COM as a place where I can collect my ideas and share them with all of you attractive people.”

Be sure to FOLLOW and SHARE this blog as we start a journey that neither of us is soon to FORGET

A BEAT.

CUT TO BLACK