Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Poor Yorick scenes (comic relief) and Screenwriting

All we read about in these blogs is romance, romance, romance. But what about screen writing eh?
I have always wanted to be a screen writer. Imagine my naivery when I met a CBC producer in the sleeping car of a VIA train between Belcarres and Regina.
He said he could help me, but his back was itchy - was mine? - and to avoid public embarrassment, we should discuss this in the washroom.
However, both washrooms were busy as passengers were refraining from flushing toilets on the train, while sitting in the station. (I guess you have to know the song)
Instead, he led me to a narrow compartment he said was where the engineer kept his maps.
While standing back to back, (he was naive too I was told later), he offered me a job writing the foreign affairs news for The National for the following week.
To seal the deal, I... well... I um... I scratched his back a little lower. So There! Just under the second rib from the bottom, if you MUST know...I'm a virgin - really. And then I returned to my seat to block out next week's news on the back of an envelope.
Hey, it worked for Lincoln.

([STAGE DIRECTIONS IN THIS KIND OF CAP[]])

[Horatio Manthebridge opens the international segments of The National wearing fake fur parka from ninth trip to the Arctic - at the new news desk Standing? Sitting?]

**for our American bloggerists, CBC has just introduced a NEW LOOK for the national news. Previously the anchors sat. Now they must stand at the tasteless new desk. Anchor Peter Mansbridge wears the parka to remind us that he often (far too often) goes 'up north' to document scientific studies of ice in the Arctic ice fields or sea. I guess. Personally, I turn to another channel. **

[begin]
[Reporter Lisa Flambeau, in Red Square, tying scarf in new way]
"We now hear from Lisa Flambeaux in Moscow."
"Are you there Lisa?"
"Of course I am! Where else would I be? I didn't take the bus from Prague for nothing."
"Oh."
"What are people there saying about the new policy that will make it snow in Moscow only on weekends?"
"Frankly Horatio, they don't give a sh.. [noise blocks transmission]
"Lisa, are you there?"
"Yes Horatio. Geeze - I told you about the bus ride for pete's sake! Remember? Anyway, the people of Moscow have said unanimously: 'So?'".
"Thank you Lisa."
"Thank you Horatio."

[switch now. right now. enough of the painted onions]
"We have been waiting forever for the presidential airbus to land in the backyard of the White House."
[pan to State building, Lincoln's Tomb, Jefferson City and White House]
"Ken, are you there?"
"Of course. Didn't Lisa tell you I was on the same bus?."
[sotto voice, just like whispering]
"President George Shrub is finally approaching the stadium um, podium"
"America (pause) I am (pause) pleased (pause) to welcome (pause)....
"Horatio. It looks like he just wandered off leaving an unidentified woman just standing at the hohumdidum scratching under her crown.]
[podium! podium!]
"Horatio! Shrub seems to have forgotten to introduce her!"
"Who?"
"Her."
[reporter listens to secret service man whispering in ear]
"Horatio, they can't tell us he has just gone to the washroom. It's a secret"
"Wait... Horatio... Yes! It has just been confirmed the Royal Corgis have fleas and so has She."
"Maybe now She will let Phillip out of the doghouse and into Her Bed
"Thank you Lesley Mesley. Oh - Ken Mesley."
"Geeze."

[News Flash. neon lights flash, Horatio looks grim, cameras switch to stock photo of CN tower.]
"This is a live news flash, direct from: CNN expert on Canada - Larry King."
"Horatio, Sir Paul McCartney has just held a news conference. Yes, McCartney has just remembered he was in PEI and not Newfindland when his gold digger wife was, regrettably, not bitten by a baby seal. Does this mean anything at all to - do you call yourselves Canadians or are you called colonists now?"
"No".

"Thank you to our Canadian co-respondent at CNN."

[News Flash! blink studio lights. Manthebridge looks stunned. says gravely]
"It has just been announced. There was a bank robbery in Tinkertown, Saskatchewan. We switch you now to CNN for a full, six day coverage of this failed bank robbery."

[switch to One on One with Horatio Manthebridge, who is now definitely sitting]

[grimaces at mismatched socks while waiting]
"And now we are going to bring you a documentary about a Halfabasket University research project."
[Totally stultifying professor Harry Botty introduced and seated in another chair]
"You may have seen this documentary already. We used it as a filler in February, July and October of last year, but we feel its impact is timeless."
"Well Professor. Why did you choose Saskatchewan for your project?"
"Oh, not just Saskatchewan. We also researched in Mazatlan, Honolulu and DuBai for comparison's sake you know. Oh. And also in Tuhranna."
[put up ribbon just out of sight and be sure to spell Tronto correctly]
"And what did you conclude professor?"
"After much research and consultation with geography teachers, we were able to conclude that Saskatchewan has more miles of ditches than any other province in Canada!"
"Thank you for that truly moving news professor."
[professor pauses, suddenly looks alert and says]
"Thank you Horatio."

[Horatio at new news desk. Standing? Sitting?]
"And now, the weather forecast with Clahh Mahtin. Clahh what's coming up tomorrow for the East coast?"
"Nothing much Peetah. The Maritimes can expect 22 inches of rain and Newfoundland can expect it half an hour later."
"Thank you Clahh. Clahh speaks to us from the CBC weather bureau on the West coast."

[Back to Horatio Standing? Sitting? at the new news desk]
"Well, that's it for today Tuesday, December 6th, 2009."
"And now, its time for Geeoorrrggge Stopanoctopus and The Whore... er The Hour."

I didn't get the job. Not even a request to help rewrite Hamlet to lighten it up a bit.

8 comments:

Karyn Good said...

Screenwriting with a CBC twist. I might have to start watching The National just to get glimpses of Horatio Manthebridge and Lisa Flambeau.

The map room, huh?

Too funny, Connie!

Helena said...

Maybe you should have submitted to 22 Minutes??

This is hilarious. You must have had a lot of fun writing it.

You didn't ask, but I'll tell you anyway that screenwriting is one of those secret desires I have on my 'bucket list.'

Janet said...

Well done, Connie! It's been a long time since I've watched The National - it may be a lot longer now :)

Prairie Chicks Write Romance said...

Karen
Or maybe I'm not going stir crazy
connie

Prairie Chicks Write Romance said...

Helena
Yes, it was fun. Sometimes it's burst out or burn out.
Yes, screen writing might be fun.
I wish I could find again an article about Horatio on the bridge and the resulting disaster for his military career. It was really hilarious
connie

Prairie Chicks Write Romance said...

Janet
thanks for the giggle
connie

Prairie Chicks Write Romance said...

Hazel et al
I found the funny article about Horatio try Horatio at the Bridge - then open "Horatio at the Bridge - A medal for Horatio - The True Story
connie

Anita Mae Draper said...

Connie, I can't believe you never got the job! They were blind, I say, blind!

So that's screenwriting at its finest, eh?

What a fun post!