I sometimes can’t believe I’ve been putting all my ideas and stories into a coherent form (screenplays, comic book scripts and short stories) for eleven years. Time really flies when your having fun.
Even though I’ve been focused on writing the Black Wave Event: Redux, scriptwriting was my first true medium of choice. In the span of three years, I wrote my first seven scripts, ranging from comedy to horror/thriller, to action, to sci-fi and super fiction. Although the BWE Redux has sidelined my scriptwriting, I still have two scripts to finish and at least ten more ideas that are ready be written.
Once the BWE Redux first draft is done, I’ll be churning out new scripts like crazy! Well, that’s the plan anyways.
So I thought I’d revisit some of my first scripts via their tag lines, log lines, pitches and some personal notes I made about each. I only posted for the first three for now. If you want to read more about my other scripts, including info on my first Infinatum script, the Regulators, check them out on my Sarcasticus Rex MySpace page.
“In one day, they will go from small-town nobodies to big-city nobodies.”
“They went for coffee and found adventure… and coffee.”
Logline: Two small town Canuckleheads travel to Toronto to search for the creator of the world’s greatest coffee, made by a man named Pedro.
Pitch: Pedro’s Coffee is a Canadian-based comedy about two small town Canuckleheads, Raph and Murray, who save up $10,000 to go to California. But when Murray’s Mom loses it all at bingo, they retreat to their second home, the local coffee shop. Here, they hear the secret of the legendary Pedro and the incredible coffee he makes. They decide to venture to Toronto, where Pedro supposedly lives, to seek him out and his great coffee. But it’s not that easy as our caffeine-craving heroes come across specialty coffee shops, faux Chinese Mafia and the cult-like mentality of a globe-spanning department store.
Personal Note: Pedro’s Coffee took longer to write than any of my other completed scripts. But when I finished it, I had a great sense of accomplishment. It is the only comedy script I’ve written, but I have plans for others, including one set in a big box store a la Costco. Many of the main characters and pieces in the script were inspired by friends and things that happened to them, though greatly exaggerated. I was told that it reminded the reader of Porky’s, which I took as a compliment (as I’m sure that was the intention, lol). I saw it as a Canadian version of “Road Trip” or a lighter version of “Goin’ Down the Road”. There’s a solid idea for a sequel, featuring Raph and Murray going to L.A., but that’s a while off yet.
Pedro’s Coffee Copyrighted © 2000 Mark James MacKinnon
“For redemption or for honor. Either choice will be his last.”
“The killer who ruined her life might be her only salvation.”
“Their parallel lives will cross in a hail of bullets.”
Logline: An infamous hitman is called out of his twenty-year “retirement” by an old friend to repay a debt by killing a young woman, who was the reason for the hitman’s exile.
Pitch: Unsound is an action-packed drama that tells the story of two very different people, brought together by violence and death. William the Black, a retired assassin hiding from his past, and Jenn, a young woman drifting through her own life, still dealing with her past. Thanks to their chance encounter twenty years before, both have become solitary, lonely people. Now, with a contract out on Jenn and William brought back for one last kill, each has a chance to change their lives, to finally reach out for someone, even if it’s the person they’d least expect.
Personal Note: Unsound was inspired by some of my favorite actions movies. Leon (The Professional) and Hard-Boiled were probably the biggest. I read somewhere that most actions are written as “They fight.” I thought that was pretty lame. But having John Woo’s stylized action stuck in my head, I probably went overboard on the detail. But at it’s core, I think it has a great dramatic conflict, cool lead characters, and some cool action scenes. I also planned to include a character from another script as a cameo, to show these two stories had a connection, but I cut the character when I made him too interesting. It threw the readers. They wondered if this character was coming back. I still have that character in mind. He still might see the light of day somewhere down the road.
Unsound Copyrighted © 2001 Mark James MacKinnon.
Through the Never
Tagline 1: “Fear the Future.”
Tagline 2: “They never feared the future. Now, they do.”
Tagline 3: “He never thought he’d have revenge. Now he does.”
Logline: In the high security wing of a medical campus, a seemingly close-knit group of six students are hunted by a mysterious killer who seems to know more about them and their future then they do.
Pitch: Through the Never is a moralistic sci-fi thiller that looks at the classic concept of what is good and evil. As six bright and affable, medical students are on the eve of revealing a possible medical break-though, they are stalked through the corridors of their high-tech, high security campus by a seemingly unstoppable killer. In the course of night, truths are revealed about the “friends” and their motivation, as is the purpose of the killer. In the end, it’s how one perceives good or evil that will decide which side is right or wrong.
Personal Note: With Through the Never, I wanted to do my version of the Terminator. This seemingly unstoppable force going after unknowing victims. But that’s where the similarities end. I also wanted to question the notions of good and evil and what is perceived as such. Both sides are painted with defined colors at first. But as the story progresses, those colors bleed and become grey. In these times, the line between good and evil, or on a global/politicial scale, freedom fighter or terrorist all depends on who you are and where you came from. I think that is the basic theme of this script.
Through the Never Copyrighted © 2001 Mark James MacKinnon