“I don't paint dreams or nightmares, I paint my own reality.”
FYI: A film producer looking for a project to develop will read the tagline, logline, and synopsis first, and if that whets their curiosity --- only then do they ask to read the script. Check out my tagline, logline, and synopsis.
..WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THAT THE PRODUCER READ THE SCRIPT ?
NOTE: Because I'm publicly sharing the synopses,
I withhold the spoiler plot surprises that will be shared with a producer.
She Has Her Toto. It's Not A Friendly Little Dog.
An outcast who embraces being shunned
ends up fighting to save the world she turned her back on.
"The most common way
people give up their power
is by thinking
they don’t have any."
"I alone cannot
change the world,
but I can cast a stone
across the water
to create many ripples."
SYNOSIS: It’s (1995), supposedly the year the future begins with the establishing of the world wide web, yet the past is what dominates for BILLIE, an unsuccessful and angry Black actress, who has returned to New York City but can’t bear to face her mother and the low-income Fort Greene Brooklyn tenement building where she grew up. Instead Billie is living in a roach-infested shoebox room in a Chelsea rental-by-the-week rooming house. Then at an old money Brooklyn Heights party where Billie is a server, she enjoys a high-spirited sparring moment with BENJAMIN, the reluctant guest of honor. Later they accidently run into each, kindling another sparring round that leaves both of them more alive. A charged yet comforting relationship starts. They both steer clear of sex sensing that, under all their disparities, there’s a sameness to the rawness of what each has buried inside.
Ben opens a new world of possibility for Billie when he offers her use, rent free, of an empty luxury Fort Greene apartment he moved from that still has six months on the lease. Now living close to her family home, Billie makes tentative approaches, each time stumbling into confusing encounters with three flamboyant local characters, DOROTHY, PETEIE, and DADDY-O. As Billie’s depression grows, she wants more from Ben, just when he wants to reveal less and is pulling away. Then a series of small accidental dis-closures leads to Billie catching a glimpse behind Ben’s curtain of humbleness. Shock supersedes her depression as Billie realizes Ben is protecting corrupt forces that threaten the very family home that Billie’s not ready to face. Will a wrathful Billie be able to pull herself and a motley threesome of angry locals together to find a way to stop the wrong?
Check out the StoryTelling Lessons that use
excerpts from BILLIE'S SONG as sample content.
Somebody Wants To Come Out
At a budding age when nothing fits, you might not see what's coming at you.
“If there’s a book
that you want to read,
but it hasn’t been written yet,
then you must write it.”
— Toni Morrison
“Since it is so likely
that children will meet
let them at least have heard
of brave knights and
-- C.S. Lewis
SETTING: (1975) ROWS AND ROWS OF SMALL, WOOD SKELETON FRAMES -- THE GRAVEYARD OF AN ABANDONED HOUSING DEVELOPMENT -- BORDER FOUR OLD HOUSES THAT SIT STRANDED AT THE BOTTOM OF A DEAD-END STREET IN RICHMOND CALIFORNIA.
SYNOSIS: The new freedoms and awareness of the 1970s mean nothing to 13-year-old CHARLIE, the dutiful daughter of a working mom who is mostly gone, leaving Charlie to take charge of both the house and her spoiled 9-year-old sister MAX. It doesn’t help that Charlie is often the butt of ridicule by both her mother and her sister, and without any friends.
Then GARNET, a warm and charming new neighbor, moves in next door and suddenly each day is exciting for the sisters. For Charlie though, thinking of herself differently –- as someone who might have dreams -- is confusing. Then, as if being punished for looking beyond her confines, an overpowering threat erupts and becomes a life and death situation for the sisters ! Suddenly Charlie must transform into a different person – a person with a will and mind of her own – if the sisters are to survive !
The Way Through The Impossible Is Together.
Being a team means you don’t wait for the storm of problems to pass;
you learn to come together in the rain.
“All good ideas
start out as bad ideas,
that’s why it takes so long.”
- Steven Spielberg
“I’m obsessed with giving
an audience something
they didn’t see coming.”
- Jordan Peele
“People who say
it cannot be done
should not interrupt
those who are doing it. "
- George Bernard Shaw
“When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look
so long at the closed door
that we do not see
the one that has been
opened for us."
- Helen Keller
SYNOSIS: It’s October 2016 and filmmaking is a $9 billion a year industry in New York City, but that prosperity doesn’t reach into Brownsville Brooklyn, where ANTHONY, Black and just-out-of-film-school, has returned and is struggling to keep a roof as he pushes along small projects and big dreams. ANTHONY, is desperate to get his 1960s set action feature project ‘MARVIN’ produced. A do-it-all-himself-kinda-guy, Anthony must learn how to build a crew who’ll stick with him during his own development. He attracts an international group of misfits of varying skill levels with their own agendas and problems, but all having a belief in Anthony and wanting to grow belief in themselves.
A surprise cameo by the FAMOUS ACTOR on a music video Anthony is directing sends him in pursuit of his leading man for ‘MARVIN’. Unbeknownst to Anthony the Famous Actor -- famous in Anthony’s community for having been discovered at a local dojo and cast in a major film as the sidekick -- is having his own career freak.
It is two new women in Anthony’s life who’ll challenge how he approaches life and help him pull together a crew who’ll stick. KAZIA, his Mexican/Polish ambitious new cinematographer, is driven by her own ticking clock and pressure from her boyfriend to have kids. APRIL, a White awkward wannabe actress from Muscle Shoals, Alabama, green to everything New York yet who will reveal steely determination and sharp wit, shares a frequency with Anthony that awakens his intuitive, unscripted self.
But there are myriad forces putting a constant drag on Anthony’s urge to grow. DANTE is Anthony’s flippant Filipino-Being-Black Gaffer and best friend since high school, when Dante was the guy’s-guy and Anthony his shy brainy friend who followed. Now positions are reversed, Dante alternates from being stuck in cruise control, to (behind Anthony’s back) forcefully trying to bend people to his will. BETTY, Anthony’s mom, badgers Anthony to get a real job as her own job as a toll booth collector is threatened. MICHELLE, Anthony’s well-to-do Black sorority Ex and now social media wiz, seductively hovers offering help with strings attached. Add to Anthony's headaches: college debt; chasing tips at a restaurant; warring instincts and values; and having to now contend with, as part of his own life, his crew’s personal crises, immigration status, disagreements, and extreme opinions.
Then put all these traditional hurdles as small within a larger world where a new Trump government will create new barriers and threats, increasing violence by law enforcement towards communities of color and immigrants. It will seem as if the world couldn’t get worst -- except if a plague struck !
When it feels impossible to dream, a dogged Anthony digs in deeper and tries a new way. What keeps him going ? Anthony wants to create (and believes he can) his own road map to his own world; his film. The place he wants to go most is into himself to use everything he has; to fire on all cylinders! MARVIN is his way to that experience. Will Anthony be able to keep his eyes on the prize -- 'MARVIN' -- as he struggles to keep both himself and his crew together ?
the ultimate team sport.”
- Michael Keaton