Wednesday, November 10, 2010


Okay. Here's a challenge for you. I'll give a rough outline of what is rather a typical script for a western-genre movie/tv show. See if you can translate all that action onto a beach along the great western coast of Mexico--a kind of Tortilla Western. See if you can combine both the world of surfers and of local Mexicans, and the flavor of the wild wild west. Email me your script and we can go from there!

So! Along the lines of, say, both Bonanza and Gunsmoke -- borrowing aspects from both, here goes:

A stranger blows into town. Hangs back to get a sense of the power structure, the social structure, the weak spots. He aims to make the place his. Ah! the most popular bar in town is run by the most popular/well-known Miss Kitty, a single woman. Great start.

He makes his moves on her, successfully, and thus he moves into the scene at that bar, and sets himself up as the Little Emperor. He picks out the locals among the clientele and systematically alienates them. He figures that they take up room, they are in his way. Get rid of them! Meanwhile he works on courting the passing-through travelers from the stagecoach run. They are the ones with money, of course. And he can charm them out of it! and then they're gone.

On the side, he starts -- oh I don't know -- continuing the alienation of the locals, maybe with the aim of controlling them or getting them to move on... Say, he does this by making a horse lame here and there, rustling a few cattle -- while doing his best not to be seen doing it!

His fatal flaw is his rage. Flies off the handle and seeks violent revenge if and when one of the locals challenges him. Beats up a few in surprise attacks when they are alone (but not always successfully...). He even threatens other business people -- especially other bar-owners -- claiming they are stealing his business.

A feud springs up between this loner and one of the longtime locals --some kind of power struggle-- and the Loner goes after him one night, but his would-be victim hears of it and is thus prepared. There is a stand-off. It seems to blow over, but of course it's just brewing....

This could go on ad nauseum, of course, but in the end --it just HAS to end in the classic western visual... You see, make that longtime local mentioned above to be one of a set of brothers, in a really tight family (Cartwright/Bonanza style). Threaten one, you've threatened them all. Hell, you could even throw in a little twist of lime and say that Miss Kitty is their sister. You could add that it was out of deference to her that they allowed this to go on so long.

One night, after this most recent and potentially violent confrontation, the brothers ALL come over to pay the Loner a little visit, together. Usually they do not brandish arms, but maybe there is one pistol showing. Use your imagination here -- the setting sun behind them as they walk up to the Loner's digs --big silhouettes, individually distinct. What would be the dialogue?

Whatever was said, these brothers oversee the Loner as he packs a suitcase, and they escort him to the edge of town with a clear understanding that he will NEVER return.

I guess you could tie it up with a scene of people happy and at ease once again, going about their errands and play...

End of story, yeah?

So! To switch it to the surfer/Mexico flavor /Tortilla Western -- this loner could blow onto a surf-beach scene, make the same assessments of where the power lies, and take the same actions including making the moves on a beach restaurant woman; maybe he could damage surfboards instead of horses of people who piss him off (specifically the gringo surfers who have made this beach their special regular beach). Maybe he could engage in a concerted and blatant act of stealing every wave in a set: get ahead of the first guy in line, take the wave and then abandon it just a short bit later, too late for anyone else to catch it -- and swing back to the NEXT wave and get ahead of THAT guy and steal/abandon it...onandon.

I could suggest a few other ideas, too, if you'd like... Court cases, testimonies, just more Interest.

Oh! Make the Cartwright-style brothers all local fishermen! In Mexico, ocean fishermen are strong, brawny, no-nonsense, direct men. Keep them as truly blood brothers -- family! That's a Big Deal here. You could have that setting sun scene be over the ocean when they walk up from their boats to finally END the Rule of the Would-be Emperor. I know the visual well, as I am often at the beach at sunset when these boats come in. It is truly a beautiful sight of strength and energy and beauty... A number of the fishermen are friends from our village, as well as..... well, it just so happens that there IS a set of brothers on this beach, and it just so happens that their sister DOES run a cantina on the beach, and... and...

No comments: