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Peter Rogers's Blog
Artist-in-Residence at Chez Firth

Tuesday (11/11/08) 12:18pm - ... wherein Peter posts a possible podcast episode.


This is one of those rare times when I post a piece of writing that, IMHO, doesn't quite work.  But I figured this might be of interest -- it's my first stab at writing a podcast episode of that recording-studio show I was kicking around.

I had a devil of a time writing this.  Why was it so tough?  I'm guessing there are several reasons:  I don't know jack about how studios work; it's been some time since I actually screenwrote *anything at all*; and it's a first attempt, so I'm still fumbling for the characters.

But I'll bet the *main* reason is that I've hamstrung myself with this "found footage" conceit.  I decided to write a series of podcast episodes that were ostensibly outtakes from recording sessions at this studio.  That doesn't *sound* like it should be difficult.  But I've already made it AFAICT-impossible to include a narrator, and it also forces me to do everything in real time -- there's no easy way to cut to another scene, or to cut to later in the same scene.  And it's all pure talk-talk-talk, which makes me twitchy.

Also:  somehow, I've completely avoided writing anything that's actually funny to me.  And it gets just gacky with its on-the-nose-ness.  Grr.

Still, writing a second episode ought to be easier than writing the first, so I may give that the old quixotic try.  I note that No Shame Theater has resumed, so if I get a bunch of eps written, maybe I'll 'run' them there.

Anyway, here's that first attempt:



                                   Desperation Studios



               SCENE ONE:  LARS VS. THE SYNTH

               SOUND:  A "START RECORDING" BEEP.

               LARS sounds Nordic, grim, and determined.

                                   LARS
                         Lars Runnsen.  March 15th, 1981. 
                         Prophet 5 synth.  Test number
                         twelve.

               SOUND:  A MISERABLE, STATIC-Y SQUELCH.

                                   LARS
                         Why must it do that?

               SOUND:  LARS YANKS OUT A CORD, PLUGS A CORD IN.

               SOUND:  ANOTHER MISERABLE, STATIC-Y SQUELCH.

                                   LARS
                         Hmm.

               CYNTHIA has a southern accent.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         Ooh.  More farting noises.

                                   LARS
                         Hello, Cynthia.

               SOUND:  SQUELCH.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         Lars, we're running real late --

                                   LARS
                         Tell the band I almost have it.

               SOUND:  SQUELCH, SQUELCH.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         Right.  Homer wants that
                         synthesizer to sound like...

                                   LARS
                         ... a harp.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         Right.

               SOUND:  SQUELCH.

                                   LARS
                         It's almost there.

               SOUND:  SQUELCH.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         To me it sounds a little like us
                         losing a client -- another client.

               SOUND:  NOW IT'S BUZZING.

                                   LARS
                         See?  Better.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         Ooh, now it's a magical, heavenly
                         choir.

               SOUND:  BUZZ.  SQUELCH.

                                   LARS
                         I may need another hour.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         I'm gonna throw out my crazy idea
                         again.

                                   LARS
                         No.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         I've rewired half the board --

                                   LARS
                         No.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         I know how a synth works --

                                   LARS
                         I refuse your help.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         Right.
                             (imitating Lars)
                         "A woman can't possibly fix --"

                                   LARS
                         I do not think that.

                                   CYNTHIA
                             (imitating Lars)
                         "I have to have all the instruments
                         set up just so --"

                                   LARS
                         No.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         Then what the hell *is* it?

                                   LARS
                         Nothing!

                                   CYNTHIA
                         Are you just torturing the band for
                         no reason?

                                   LARS
                         I am scared!

                                   CYNTHIA
                         What?!

                                   LARS
                         I did not mean to tell you that.

               SOUND:  SQUELCH.

                                   LARS
                         This is new.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         What's new?  "Crazy musicians"
                         ain't new.  "Lars admitting
                         embarrassing stuff" ain't new.

                                   LARS
                         I mean the synth is new.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         You want an older synth?

               SOUND:  SQUELCH SQUELCH.

                                   LARS
                         I mean synths.  In general.  I
                         understand mics.  I do not get
                         synths.  And if I cannot keep up
                         with the new things, how can I keep
                         doing my job?

                                   CYNTHIA
                         Oh.

                                   LARS
                         I am not good at other jobs.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         Dennis ain't gonna fire you.

                                   LARS
                         Dennis is crazy as batshit.  And he
                         is mad at me.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         Hey, if you go, I go.  Leave him
                         with no engineer *and* no mixer.

                                   LARS
                         You are being dramatic.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         Yeah.  I ain't lying.

                                   LARS
                         Dennis would try to do both the
                         jobs himself.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         He'd likely electrocute himself
                         inside of an hour.

               SOUND:  SQUELCH.

                                   LARS
                         Why can't I figure out this stupid
                         machine?

                                   CYNTHIA
                         You don't have time to figure out
                         the stupid machine.  Jesus, will
                         you let somebody help you out for
                         once?

                                   LARS
                         I can't let you come in and --

                                   CYNTHIA
                         Do you trust me or don't you?

                                   LARS
                         Yes.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         Good.  Make some room.

                                   LARS
                         Oof!

               SOUND:  WIRES PLUGGED AND UNPLUGGED, A VARIETY OF SYNTH
               NOISES.  THE LAST ONE SOUNDS SLIGHTLY HARP-LIKE.

                                   LARS
                         I do not know how you did that.

               SOUND:  A FEW MORE HARP SOUNDS.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         I'll show you later.

               SOUND:  A HARP ARPEGGIO.

                                   LARS
                         Thanks.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         Uh-huh.

                                   LARS
                         I will get the band.  And I will
                         tell them you fixed it.

                                   CYNTHIA
                         Thanks.  I'll set up the board.

                                   LARS
                         Oh -- one moment.

               SOUND:  A CLICK.

               SOUND:  A BEEP.

                                   LARS
                         "Test twelve complete."

               SOUND:  ANOTHER CLICK AS THE RECORDING STOPS.

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Mood: [mood icon] ambivalent · Music: none
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