Friday, August 18, 2006
What's with me and this movie bug lately? Anyway, tonight is the opening of a movie I have been looking forward to for awhile now. Not because I think it's going to be some new cinematic classic, but because, quite frankly, the title, SNAKES ON A PLANE, or SOAP for short, intrigues me. I have been seeing the billboards, and watching the trailers, and thinking to myself;~~ what a dumb title for a movie~~~ But the more I thought about it, the more I started wanting to see the stupid flick. And if the Internet buzz and all the pub is any indicator, there are alot of people out there thinking just like the field-negro on this one. So from all indications, at least for the first weekend, Samuel L. and New Line cinema is going to have a hit on their hands. Good for them, not to mention smart of them, to come up with such a seamingly dumb but obviously catchy title.
Which got me to thinking; I wonder if I could take this SNAKES ON A PLANE thing to a whole different level? I wonder if I could write an urban based novel or movie based on my daily inspirations, and give it a catchy title like New Line did. And wouldn't you know it, yesterday, as if someone from up above was listening to my musings, quite by accident, I got my inspiration.
I usually drive into Center City Philadelphia to go to work, but yesterday, I had to get my car inspected, and so I left it with my mechanic. As a result, I took the regional rail into town. (Or as it is affectionatly known in Philly, "the white line") Of course on the "white line", there is no inspiration for my scary movie, because the people on the white line are all happy, and looking forward to going to their fifty, sixty, and seventy thousand dollar a year jobs. Every one is smiling, and just happy to be alive. But after work, I had to run to South Philly to do some business, and rather than catch a cab, I decided to take the subway, (or as folks in Philly affectionately call it, "the black line"). The subway is the black line because it is much cheaper, it runs mostly through portions of North Philly which is a 100% black part of town, and it carries mostly...you gussed it; black riders. Of course it runs through parts of South Philly too, but most white folks would rather ride a unicycle, or let their feet do the walking than catch the "black line". The few brave ones that catch it, do so out of extreme necessity and trust me, the apprehension and fear shows when they are on it. The people on the "black line" aren't as happy as the people on the white line, because with all due respect to Forrest Gump, "life aint like a box of chocolates" in their world. Heck just a couple of weeks ago a man stabbed another one to death over a pack of cigarettes, not to mention a shooting in broad day light at one subway ticket area that left one man dead.
So anyway, I am riding the black line and its right after rush hour. Every one has what I call their "hood face"on. This face says don't f#@% with me, I am not in the mood, and I will f#@$ you up if you even look at me funny. As I ride, I am looking at all these very sad very black faces. These unhappy campers, trapped in an urban environment they clearly want to leave but can't. Having to work twice as hard, to bring home much less, having to cope with crime, failing schools, blight in their neighborhoods, and who knows what else. And that's when the inspiration for my movie hits me. That's when, like a vision from the skies, the title for my not yet released movie appears to me: BLACKS ON A TRAIN, or BOAT. Think about it, if you think a bunch of snakes on a plane is scary, try putting yourself in the position of one of the few white folks that brave the "black line" in Philly, and suffers through having to ride with the blacks on the train. Surely they are terrified to be riding with all these blacks. Just like Samuel L. Jackson and his fellow passengers are terrified of that plane full of snakes. Of course, these blacks don't bite, but I bet those poor white folks on the "black line" think that they do. I can see it in their faces, there is a look of pure terror in those eyes. And I can do so much for my movie with that terror and that fear. It is, after all, what makes a scary movie gripping; the fear and apprehension of that terror, always lurking just around the corner.
Of course, I will have to add some drama to spice up my movie a bit. I could have the white passenger accidentally step on some young thugs foot, and compounding the problem by not apologizing or acknowleding what he did. That would cause some scare for your ass. Or, I could have the lone terrified white guy miss his stop and have to go all the way through the heart of North Philly, and then have to unboard to switch sides to head in the opposite direction. Think of all the drama with that one. Throw in the sound effects, some scary camera work, and you would have a full scale thriller on your hands. Every black approaching could be a potential threat, every stare could cause a possible confrontation, every move could be the poor guys last.
Yeah I think we can do this movie. I wonder what it would be rated? It will probably get an R rating for the language alone. Oh yeah, people on the "black line" will curse; sh#@, you would too, if you had to get up at 5:00 AM every morning, take three different modes of public transportation to get to a $7 an hour job way out in the suburbs cleaning bathrooms at the mall.
Or, if you had to take care of two minor children in a section 8 house, all by your lonesome, while their father is doing 10 to 20 upstate for whooping your ass within an inch of your life. All these people are on the train with you, and none of them are happy. Of course not all of them are victims. Some are predators, who are out to make a quick buck or hustle, by pouncing on the first mark or sign of weakness that they see. There are career criminals all around, people who have never made an honest dollar in their lives, and who think pulling a trigger is easier and less risky than cracking a book, or pushing a broom. Yep they are on the train too, and when you throw them into the mix with all the other cast of characters on the train, the possibilities are endless.
I think I can do this, and I think BLACKS ON A TRAIN can be a hit. Of course, I would have to get a major studio to back it. I need some major studio money behind my project. Kind of like New Line put into SOAP. Yeah, maybe a black studio will take on my project, cause I don't think the white studios will touch it. Mmmmm let's see now, .....damn it, doesn't look like there are any major black studios out there. Oh well, I think I will hold on to this one until I can come up with an idea for some.....wait a minute.
Yes operator? Chicago, Chicago Illinois please. Yes that's Oprah, Oprah Winfrey. It's spelled O-P-R-A-H.
Posted by field negro at 7:10 PM