Falling


Well, The Hundred Videos is almost over and its time to find a job so I thought I’d like to be a Hollywood scriptwriter and so I thought I’d start locally and write for TV. And so I wrote a script for Anne of Avonlea and I sent it off to Kevin Sullivan and I waited almost ten weeks and I didn’t hear anything so I went to his house in Rosedale and surprisingly enough he answered. And he looked very well-groomed, all clean and powdery and I thought, Oh my god, I should have shaved. Then I introduced myself and asked about the fate of my script and he said that he’d seen it and I chose to believe him. But he said that they weren’t very interested in it. And he looked kind of nervous, so I adopted my least aggressive body posture, turning my palms outward and letting my jaw fall slack. But still he just said goodbye and shut the door.

I’ve noticed watching Anne of Green Gables and later Anne of Avonlea that the characters fall over a lot — into water or mud, off or through roofs — and the scripts, the very strange scripts were based on the idea — not really of retribution-but of something more like comeuppance. And a character got their comeuppance by falling, usually witnessed by another character. And this gleeful humiliation drove the group dynamic of Avonlea, a town of happy bruises and justly soiled clothing.

And so in my script I chose dispense with all the humiliations and petty moralizing and so I just had all the characters fall down a lot. The characters would be doing something, something mundane, they’d be peeling potatoes and then they’d suddenly fall over — boom. But it wouldn’t be like comeuppance because all the other characters would fall over too. And then they’d all get up, one at a time. And then a little while later, maybe in the middle of some dialogue or something, maybe just walking down the street, they’d just fall over again.

But now I see that my script was just too conceptual. I took a simple, a simple but rich, idea and I let it play itself out. So I thought, well Steve, for your next Anne of Avonlea script, you’ve got to do something less conceptual and more narrative. So write now I’m writing a script and in the script there is a big county picnic or fair or something and all the characters, they all eat this potato salad with mayonnaise, mayonnaise that’s been left out in the sun, and they all get really sick. And they need to find a toilet really fast before they soil themselves. But there are many more characters than toilets and so its sort of like musical chairs, all the characters just have to run around and fight over the toilets for the whole episode.

 

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