Saturday, August 10, 2013

Blackthorne: Opening Scene

painting by marcia baldwin


Cinemagenic One


“I had the best buffalo horse that ever made a track.”
--William F. Cody

Fade In
1(medium wide shot) midday, vast open prairie.
2(sound cue) violin, sweet pioneer strains.
3(camera POV shifts to helicopter, opens up to wider shot) prairie stillness.
4(sound cue) soft wind in tall grass.
5(close up) wildflowers midst undulating grass, butterflies, bees.
6(sound cues) first a distant sound of hooves, then a lonesome train whistle.
7(dolly shot sliding left) revealing a railroad track, empty to the horizon.
8(medium close up) single track rail, with the sun glinting off the metal.
9(sound cue) acoustic guitar making the rolling train melody.
10(extreme close up) track rail, rust spots, grease, & dust on the side,
rubbed shiny-smooth on the top.
11(sound cue) buffalo approaching, rolling up like distant thunder,
ringing through the metal track Indian-style, the steel quivering. 
12(cut to arroyo, medium wide shot, most of it lit brightly, but dark shadow
on the right quarter of the frame)
13(sound cue) french horns bleating low.
14(sound cue) hooves getting progressively louder.
15(hold medium wide shot for a 3-count)
16jackrabbit scurries into the frame, zig-zagging, kicking up dust, followed
closely by a coyote--they exit frame quickly. 
17(sound cue) hooves reach a crescendo.
18(sound cue) french horns & coronets announce royalty.
19a great white bull albino buffalo bursts out of the shadows
and gallops into the bright sun.
20(Loman-crane traveling shot tracking the white buffalo) this bull bison is 
as big as you can find. The buffalo runs without tiring, its tail straight up
like a charging lion.
21(sound cue) jazz riff, all horns; clarinets, saxophones, trumpets.
22(cut to wide shot) frame filled with stampeding buffalo herd, a sea
of shaggy heads held low, dust filling their nostrils, hanging over them
like ocean mist.
23(cut to a medium shot, a still of the previous frame, with camera 
zooming into close ups & extreme close ups of buffalo heads, eyes,
horns, shoulders, hooves; each shot backwashed into different primary
colors--all except red.)
24(cut to medium wide shot) a speeding train traveling fast toward the
camera, black smoke billowing out of its stack like a prairie storm.
25(sound cue) the iron horse applying panic brakes.
25(medium close up) fat sparks spraying into a shower of fire as
the tall iron wheels lock down.
26(cut to wide shot) the train in the near distance, skidding, blasting
its horn, billowing black & white exhalations.
27the stampeding buffalo herd enters the right side of the frame, spilling
across the shot quickly, crossing the tracks, filling the frame, moving in
waves of muscle & horns.
28(cut to medium two-shot) train engineer and brakeman, panic on their
sooty faces
29(close-up) engineer’s angry face.
30(extreme close-up) engineer’ eyes.
31(sound cue) Voice-over: engineer-”fucking buff!”
32(cut to very wide shot from helicopter) above and behind the train 
as it barrels down on the buffalo herd.
33(traveling shot from caboose over the top of the passenger cars,
over the coal car, and over the locomotive, deep into the black smoke;
bursting immediately out of the smoke and down into the herd)
34(medium close up) the locomotive’s cow catcher plowing into the herd,
buffalo being lifted into the air, several bison thudding to the ground.
35(sound cues) buffalo bleat-screaming, train brakes screeching, train
horn blaring, thousands of hooves clattering, base drum pounding.
36(medium wide shot) train stopped, belching smoke like a dragon,
steam throbs punctuating the air, dozens of buffalo dead or dying,
as the great herd continues to surge across the frame.
37(hold previous shot for a four-count)
38(sound cue) harmonica huffing, cello bowing.
39(cut to medium wide shot) the white buffalo on a high knoll,
overlooking the mayhem.
40(medium close-up) the white bison monarch shaking its shaggy
head, its thick ivory horns humming, its bleating a challenge, a plea,
and ultimatum. 
49(close up) it’s reddish-pink albino eye.

Glenn Buttkus

August 2013

Posted over on dVerse Poets Poetics

Would you like to hear the author read this Cinemagenic poem to you?


Claudia said...

oh heck...what a vivid capture glenn...dang, you def. pulled me right into the scene with all the action and sounds...and the close gave me goose bumps..

Mary said...

What a sad thing. I visualized it clearly, and it made me a bit ill.

Brian Miller said...

dude you dont realize how stoked i am you are doing another one of these...ha...i love them!!!!!!!!! lots of cool elements...the hooves, the train whistle....the white bison...there is an indian legend in that you cool!!!!

Björn said...

What a story.. with music and images and all... great one (like your unique style)..

Laurie Kolp said...

An albino buffalo... wow. Love the train in the background of this intense piece.

Maggie Grace said...

Screenwriting...awesome to see especially in this venue. I have a CD...Native American music...called White Buffalo. Legends go with the albino buffalo. Eyes not up to researching though. Wonderful write! Such talent.

howanxious said...

ingenious writing.. with quite a vivid imagery and sounds. it is quite grotesque bur still something you can't stop reading.

Heaven said...

What a scene, like out of the movie ~

Sharp Little Pencil said...

Hell, Glenn, this was an imaginative take on the prompt. You must have done some screenwriting before, becuase you set a compelling scene. The bison was so real... Brill! Amy

Mystic_Mom said...

Wow...Glenn this is totally cool. What a great piece. You have me wanting more! More! More!

Susan said...

An impressive build with orchestration and all ... let's get out there and build the film!

Poet Laundry said...

Awesome! Love the way the scene unfolds and unfolds. Great craftmanship.

Margaret said...

Absolutely COOL! Great creative style. (I think your audience wants more...)

kaykuala said...

Very amazingly taken! What a take! Right out for the movie with all details intact! Brilliant,Glenn!

Hank said...

Very vivid, and I liked how you closed the piece with the albino.