|Posted on October 10, 2012 at 8:15 AM|
Not by me, mind you, since I have no idea how to write for the screen. By Bob Yates, a screenwriter who's actually gotten somewhere in Hollywood. Back in the day, he was also a ubiquitous talk radio host in Minnesota. As a bonus, I didn't even have to twist his arm to adapt it.
There are a couple reasons Yates said Cleansing Eden was saleable:
1) The story is presented in linear format, which makes it easier to adapt. Unlike books, it's more difficult for film to jump around time-wise. This makes the screenwriter's "carpentry" easier.
2) It could be shot entirely in Los Angeles. This is something I'd never thought of before, because I've not pitched a movie. Producers/studios taking a chance on a film don't want to fly all around the world to do it. Not unless you're a guaranteed money-maker. (Which, I'm more than willing to admit, I'm not). A local shoot in LA makes it more palatable.
3) Cleansing Eden is about Hollywood. Writers have writer porn. Hollywood has Hollywood porn. OK, maybe that's a bad analogy, given all the actual porn shot in LA. But you get my drift.
I thought I'd share the first adapted scene. It's pretty cool to see this come together. You can read the chapter it's based on here.
A screenplay by Bob Yates
Adapted from the novel by Benjamin Sobieck
EXT. NEVADA CEMETERY - NIGHT
OLDER MAN, 60’s, bald, southern drawl, and YOUNGER MAN, 20’s, scruffy stoner, dig with shovels -- disturb an existing grave to bury a bloody CORPSE that lies nearby.
Statue of the Virgin Mary oversees this unholy exercise.
(falls back, exhausted)
I need a break.
(to Younger Man’s look)
You keep digging.
(tired, drops his shovel)
Can’t ... can’t ...
(kicks at the corpse)
You did this, didn’t you?
(to Younger Man’s sad nod)
Look, son, if it makes you feel any better, the guy was good as dead when we got to him. We just sped up
what cocaine would’ve done in a few years. And you know what? The world is better for it. This is a cause
bigger than ourselves.
Younger Man looks anxiously to their car, parked in b.g.
Don’t even think about makin’ a run for it. You’ll get your dope soon enough ... for a job well done.
I am so damn proud of you. You already finished the killin’ part. But we can’t just leave this celebrity piece of shit lyin’ here. There’s no going back now.
Younger Man rises, sighs, gathers himself, resumes digging. His shovel clangs against something. He looks up, puzzled.
That would be the coffin. Time for our bold-face name to join the sixfoot club.
They drag the corpse to the grave, rudely shove it into it, toss dirt on top of it.
Funny, ain’t it? People all over the world knew this guy from the movies he made. More Americans can name him than the president. Now he’s the perfect picture of nobodyness. We took a famous guy and took away his name. Made him anonymous.
Older Man stops shoveling, lets Younger Man finish the work.
It’s only fitting. He made that name as a Hollywood hack who made a fortune stealing other people’s identities. His fans replaced their identities with his. Puttin’ his face on their walls. Wearin’ the clothes he wore. Becomin’ him in as many ways possible. You follow me?
(to Younger Man’s grunt)
People with no true sense of themselves, definin’ themselves by Hollywood bullshit. So whattaya get? Identity drain. A society of mediocrity.
It’s so incredibly simple, I can’t believe I have to be the one to say it.
Younger Man slumps, sighs, weary. Grave is covered, shovels collected. Follow their trudge to the car.
You’re okay, kiddo. I think I’ll
keep you around.
Can I have my dope now? My Bluegrass?
Oh hell yes. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
They get into the car. Older Man hands over a baggie of drugs. Younger Man fires up a joint as they drive away.