So when I had gotten hired to write the script for Mad Devil, I was about to travel to D.C. and I had gotten a page and a half of broad story lines and sum dialogue. Traveling is always a great for inspiration. I happen to be going during the week when the cherry blossoms would be in full bloom around the Jefferson memorial called the tidal basin. So stark and beautiful, their brilliance were pronounced as most of the D.C. days were cloudy, cold and grey. This was a great springboard, as the story is so dark, so hopeless, that I needed to find the beauty, the love and laughter, so the characters would be more than just cookie cutter figures killing each other. I needed to raise the stakes!
This laughter and violence is shown pretty well in a scene were I have the lead male a female, who are married, argue as they are training stick fighting. Here is the scene.
DOJO - DAY
The couple in mid workout are drenched yet powerful. They exchange strikes and kicks.
One more fight Kimmy. It will set us up for a few years.
We don’t need it honey. Pappa said-
I’ve been taking good care of his blossom for some time now.
So one more and it will be all done.
Kimiko, not happy with his words, riffles off kick and after. Elias almost loses his balance.
It will never be done. As long as you continue to win, they’ll never let you go.
Smirking as he deflects her every move.
See, even you know I can’t lose.
She grabs a few pair of STICKS. Throwing a set to Elias. They fight.
Lord, you got such a big ego. If you weren't so cute, I’d kick your ass myself.
Now that’s funny.
This sets her off, she increases her speed, finally delivering a hit to Elias’s ARM.
I’m sorry, you were saying?
Pause followed by laughter.
So the cheery blossoms and the Japanese culture sink deep into this script. The female lead is half Japanese, Kimiko, and there's a profound sense of honor and sorrow in the lead's behavior and road to redemption. Also the songs "Sakura, Sakura," and "Sakura I" intertwine with the story and will later serve as scoring once we get into post editing. But if anything D.C. and the adventure of being a stranger in a new land birthed so many ideas that have found their way into the story.
Now in about six weeks total I was able to create the basic storyline, scenes and dialogue of the short film. That's pretty quick but once the major themes and characters were in my head it was pretty easy to get them on paper. When I did get stuck I would do the "Don Draper," and grab a drink, nap, forget it all and start all over again, from the beginning. So I believe we got the makings of a great story. We plan to shoot this late summer, but one step at a time.
Coming up next, notes and re-writes.
P.S. Other titles included "Devil's Smile," "Swing," and "Sakura."