(repost from my other blog.)
originally posted 9/21/06
The ultimate goal would be to do this entirely musically. No dialogue, no sound effeccts (although that has been an argument topic), just a musical track, a la Walt Disney’s early Silly Symphonies.
Since there is a guitar in the animation, guitar parts to the song would move fluently in and out according to when the guitar is played on screen. Making you slightly unsure if its a sound effect or just part of the song that seems to match. It would start with just the guitar and more and more instruments would build in until there is a strong enough orchestra happening that it won’t lose momentum if the guitar drops out when he stops playing.
Major credits showing
Audio of an acoustic guitar being tuned.
Cut from black to a guitar neck and hand in front of a brick wall. (sad song)
We stay on this for a chord change or two before cutting to a wide shot.
Turns out this person is sitting on a sidewalk in front of a storefront. its a dreary overcast day.
His body language says depressed. Heâ€™s wearing a black hoodie with the hood up. Itâ€™s ratty and dirty. His head is hanging, but lightly moving with the music.
a crappy cardboard guitar case sits on the street in front of him, laid open in hopes of spare change.
Cut to mid shot of him.
His head still down, hood blocking his face. people walking briskly in front of him. Something dark drops down from one of the bodies and passes in front of the camera. He barely starts to look up before we cut to his POV of the case (still never seeing his face)
his POV: in his dilapidated guitar case is a folded newspaper, open to the headline “WANT ADS” or â€œJOB LISTINGSâ€. Cut back to him. Now we see his face. heâ€™s pretty old, and looks like heâ€™s been on the street for a while – and not exactly “hiring” material. He looks at the paper with a mixture of longing and disappointment.
Someone now drops crumpled fast food wrappers in his case, and the store owner opens the door and angrily gestures for him to get lost. He starts his struggle to get up.
Night in an alleyway.
He his doubled over on the edge of a dumpster, his upper half buried within it. We see his feet kicking and trying to get footing on the outside ridges of the dumpster.
Day. Another store front.
He starts playing and we start to pan up, the camera continues moving upwards and we see through the store window the owner angrily walking to the door. He gets to the door and leans out; furiously gesturing as the camera continues moving up, passing him out of frame.
Legs outstretched from a large cardboard box.
A nice day. Another store front with a brick wall and large windows.
He sits down and sets up his case, taking care and making sure itâ€™s positioned just right, and starts playing as we pan up as before. As we pan up to the window, we see someone hunched over behind the counter in the store, behind glass cases full of meat and bread. (This is our segue, our connection enabling us to cut to the next shot)
Cut to the store interior, at the top of the counter. Muffled guitar playing can be faintly heard. A head pops up into frame from behind the counter with a rag and spray bottle, puzzled, and listening for the music…
He is a chubby, but strong-looking guy with a very large chin and a bald head. (And possibly a deli cap) Upon listening closer for the music, he looks further puzzled and curious.
He stands up, and walks around the counter and towards the door.
He opens the door to lean out and take a look, but there is a bell attached to the door, which starts to ring as he opens the door.
The man with the guitar flinches and stops playing.
Very quickly the Deli Man reaches up with his hand to grab the bell and silence it, while closing the door again, pretending like he never opened the door.
The man with the guitar very slowly turns his head towards the door with the face of a dog about to be disciplined, but only to see the door is closed. He is puzzled and thinks for a second and then takes a deep breath and starts playing again.
Once the guitar playing starts again, the man from the deli slowly and quietly cracks open the door, peeking out to seeâ€¦ watches for a second…then quietly and slowly closes the door again, and pauses, thinking.
He then walks back around to behind the counter and punches a button on the register. The drawer opens to show only a few pennies and a nickel. Itâ€™s pretty bare and has no real cash. He frowns and ponders some more. Then raises his eyebrows in a “eureka” moment.
Back to the guitar player still playing. We can see the case at the bottom of the frame.
That bell rings as the door opens and he flinches again and stops playing. A hand reaches into frame with a plate containing a large sub sandwich, which then disappears into the case. The man with the guitar looks in shock into his case, as the bell rings again off-screen when the deli man goes back inside. He leans forward grabbing for the sandwich, and cut…
…to inside the deli, the man smiles and ducks back behind the counter, scrubbing and cleaning. Now we hear muffled guitar again. Only this time not in a minor key, itâ€™s an upbeat, happy, major-key song. We cut back outside to see the plate and just crumbs left on it. And with this new song, a dollar bills drops down into the case.
Back inside the deli man starts tapping his feet and hands and gets more and more into it. Back outside more change and dollars fall.
Cut back inside – wide shot of deli. Static camera thru many cuts of him dancing all around the shop. -with a broom – then on the counter top – then more and more cuts of him dancing around everywhere. More money falls into the case.
Deli door sign is being switched to “closedâ€
Outside the man has put away his guitar and is holding a stack of cash. He starts to walk away but pauses. He is clearly struggling with something internally.
Inside, the deli man ducks behind the case with meats and breads and cant be seen anymore.
Outside, the man cracks a small smile, and flips through the bills until his finger is just about half way down the stack. He pulls his hands apart dividing the stack in half as we cut
…to inside the deli looking at the top of the case again, the deli man canâ€™t be seen. The bell rings, and he sticks up a hand above the counter with his index finger up – a “just-a-second….” gesture. The bell rings again.
The deli man pops his head up quickly, wondering why they left so quickly. And looks confused. His POV shows that no one is in the shop.
Cut to the counter top with a stack of cash on it. Push focus within the shot to see the deli man in the background (cash becomes blurry, man in background becomes focused). He is speechless. His eyes dart from the cash to the door to the cash. Cut to another shot of him (from the middle of the deli), and we start slowly pulling back – as if we, the camera, are leaving the store….. He turns toward the door taking a breath and opening his mouth, as if to say something, but nothing comes out.
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