Archives For Art

The Checkerboard Wars

February 28, 2015 — Leave a comment

T H E    C H E C K E R B O A R D    W A R S

Screenplay by Marcus Allen Steele

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Kids’ VOICES, LAUGHING and JOKING. Drawers and cupboards OPENING and CLOSING, the CLINK of a knife in peanut butter and jelly jars. Bread EMANCIPATED from cellophane, PLOPPED in a toaster. Plates and glasses SET on the table. A refrigerator door exuberantly SLAMMED shut.

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FADE IN:

INT. PACER HOUSE – KITCHEN – SAN LUIS OBISPO – 1990 – DAY

A whirlwind of movement. Three children prepare their lunch. SARAH and SAM PACER, 13 and 12, are sister and brother who actually get a kick out of one another. They’re white. KATE, 13, the last of the fearsome threesome, is Sarah’s best friend. She’s black. They all sit down.

SARAH

Sammy, let Kate grab the first one.

Sam is reaching, but stops short.

SAM

I’m starving.

KATE
(to Sam)

You must have worms.

(pause)

It’s okay Sarah, you go first.

SARAH

Awright already. Where’s the juice?

SAM
(enthusiastically)

I got it.

Sam heads for the refrigerator…

FATHER (O.S. – off screen)

Sam! Get your butt in here.

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The End of Man

April 6, 2014 — Leave a comment

T H E  E N D  O F  M A N

Screenplay by Marcus Allen Steele

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When I decided to post my screenplay The End of Man for this blog, I was asked if I had any experience writing screenplays.

For a short time I lived in Hollywood living the life of a starving artist. During that period, I wrote my first screenplay. Ultimately, that effort landed me representation by the head literary agent at one of the top agencies in the world. And in time, we had an Academy-award winning producer attached to make my movie. But it never got made–typical–and I needed to get back to work. Therein the tale of many who try to make a go in a brutal business.

But I have to admit I miss those creative moments of linking scenes to ultimately tell a story.

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So what is The End of Man about? Within the context of a murder mystery, I touch upon important issues of our time–geopolitical intrigue, fanaticism, space exploration, war,  and Middle Eastern oil dependency among others.

But most importantly, this is one man’s journey. Our hero, who’s spiritually bankrupt in the beginning, develops a spiritual awareness as the plot progresses. As events unfold and he encounters the genius of God, he ultimately becomes a man of faith.

How long does it take to read a screenplay? It’s actually equivalent to watching the movie itself–less than two hours.

A few administrative notes. A screenplay is a succession of scenes. The scenes are either exterior (EXT.) or interior (INT.) and they identify a location. Every now and then you’ll see an abbreviation in the scene, when first presented I’ll define it. Within the scene there’s narrative and dialogue. The narrative has its own concise way of furthering the story but the character dialogue is the driver.

So stick with me on this experiment–this movie wrapped in a blog–you might be surprised.

I hope you enjoy THE END OF MAN

FADE IN:

EXT. SOMEWHERE IN ANTARCTICA – DAY

A rock formation rises up two hundred feet from the barren white ice. An accumulation of snow over the ages has nestled against one side creating a gentle slope. At the top of the slope are two men. One is carefully pointing a sled downhill.

The other man isn’t helping. He’s sitting on a snowmobile adjusting the hood on his jacket. Although it’s sunny, he’s cold, the temperature a minus 10 degrees F.

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