Melpomene, or I See A Voice!

 

Overview:


Could the most famous of horror films  have evolved out of a budding motel romance between an aging, troubled, “blocked” writer and a ventriloquist housemaid with a Psychology degree from the University of Minnesota  ? 


Summary/synopsis: an indebted  writer is suffering from writer’s block and blurts an unconscious prayer which is answered through the appearance, or lack of it, of a charming housemaid through whom one of the nine Muses speaks.  


Short film by T. D. White shooting Winter of 2015


Genre: Romantic Comedy (think “Mr. Peabody and the Mermaid”)


Budget: $10,000


Shares/Units: $ 500 


Opening Scenes:


INT. - MOTEL ROOM - NIGHT


1950’s small town Wisconsin.  Un-made singe bed by a small table top desk that supports a lamp, phone, radio and an old and battered Royal manual typewriter.  A few carry-out coffee cups are littered about the room.  Growing out of one on the window sill is a cosmically colored mold.  Maybe a pack of Pall Malls and a glass ashtray.  A rumpled newspaper.


A MAN in boxer shorts and an old-style undershirt sits frustrated at the typewriter.  He rips a page out, crushes it into a ball, and heaves it across the room where it will roll to join its many predecessors lying all over the floor near a full wastebasket.  Reminiscent of William Holden in “Sunset Boulevard.”


Wee hours .. An alarm clock’s fingers indicate 3:56. PHONE RINGS. 


BOXER SHORTS hesitates; answers anyway.


MALE V.O.

I’m calling again to remind you that you are late ...


BOXER SHORTS

(hoping it would be someone else)

Shit!  ... Tomorrow.  Next day latest. I’m working on something now.


MALE V.O.

I may have to introduce you to Big George unless ...


BOXER SHORTS

(interrupting)

I sure hope Big George knows judo ...


BOXER SHORTS sits back down at the typewriter, runs his hands through his hair as any desperate man might.


BOXER SHORTS (CONT’D)

It’s never been this bad.


FEMALE VOICE

Hi.


BOXER SHORTS

Hi.

(pause)

Hi?  What am I crazy?


FEMALE VOICE

Hi again.


BOXER SHORTS

(paranoid)

Hi again.  Who’s there ... uh, here?


BOXER SHORTS rises, searches the ceiling for the voice, looks about the room.  He will continue to check about the room, feel about the walls, etc. for any possible physical source for the voice ... 


FEMALE VOICE

Hi again again.


BOXER SHORTS

Alright, where are you?

(picks up phone)

Say something.  Wanna play hide and seek, do ya?  ... Nyah nyah, nyah nyah nyah ....


FEMALE VOICE

What’s your name?


BOXER SHORTS puts down the phone, stands on the chair looking for a small speaker or bug or something like that; he knows not what.  He will check lamps and wire extensions for any kind of surveillance device as their chat evolves.


BOXER SHORTS

Uh ...

(picks up an empty coffee cup)

Uh ... Joe.  As in cuppa Joe.


BOXER SHORTS, now “JOE,” will get down on all fours and look under the bed, under the rug.


FEMALE VOICE

Really?


JOE

What reason would I have to lie to an unseen presence?


FEMALE VOICE

Fear?  Apprehension?  Anxiety?  I can think of a few reasons but let’s not belabor the point.  I don’t believe your name is actually “Joe,” Joe. 

(pause)

I can see you, you know.


JOE

Who, or what, or where, are you! ?


FEMALE VOICE

There are nine of me but later for that.