So I’m going to shoot a short film on the 11th with a few friends. Here’s the draft script.

Cascade: Early thirties but looks older; he’s spiritually exhausted from his day job, which is cheap small-town murder for hire. He’s killed hundreds over the last ten years, but he’s starting to have bad dreams and is overmedicating with dangerous new designed drugs. He’s a man of few words, descending into his own abyss.

Simone: Mid-thirties, attractive and conscious of it, a sharp strategic thinker with no moral compass whatsoever. She recruited Cascade when he was a warehouse worker at the fireplace store she inherited from her dad, along with the central valley’s #1 cut-rate down-and-dirty wholesale hitman business. She easily charms Cascade; they’ve never slept together, but he’s never been able to resist her until his recent decline began.

Dart: The new Young Gun, brought in by Simone because Cascade’s balking at a full family execution and seems to be breaking down. His drug choices keep him clear-headed and disconnected, and his girlfriend rules his soul. He’s read everything. A nerd, a gamer, a psychopath, an excellent killer. Happy.

Lacey: Sweet, smart, crazy and very cruel childhood-abuse victim who loves to watch Dart make human margaritas. She doesn’t kill, but she thrills to the show. Her mind is a million places at once, but it always comes together the same way: bloodily. She lives in her own graphic novel, and sticks to the dangerous edge of modern pharmacology.

Murder. Each pulse brings a new color and a half-seen image of P.O.V. ultraviolence — people running, people being shot, people being stabbed and beaten, people pleading — Cascade’s gloved hand holding a gun or knife entering the frame occasionally, along with quick shots of Cascade’s face in the bathroom mirror — businessmen, secretaries, clerks, bartenders. Cascade kills small people.
The images speed to a blur –

Two black cats, DEIRDRE and LELAND, watch as —

CASCADE wakes up and opens his eyes to look into the smiling eyes of LACEY lying in bed next to him on her side.
LACEY: He’s having a terrible nightmare.
She smiles at Cascade, ever so sweetly.
LACEY: Hullo.
CASCADE: Who are you?
She doesn’t answer for a beat.
LACEY: I’m Laaaaaaa-ceeeeeeeey.
CASCADE: I don’t know you.
LACEY: Caaaasss-caaaaaaaadian.

Off-camera — DART speaks

DART (O.S.): Such a cool name.

Cascade rolls over to see the source of the new voice. Dart is sitting in a chair next to the bed, smiling at him.
CASCADE: I don’t know you either.
DART: And yet our atoms came from the same protostar. Not to mention the original Event. You and me and everything, we were the size of a baseball. That’s just so, hehh?
Cascade sits up, rubs his eyes. Lacey sits up as well and leans against the wall.
LACEY: That’s my Dart. Simone told us to come on in. She’s parking.
CASCADE: Oh. Okay.
LACEY: Do you want to do a really scary new ride? Super oopie doopie?
Cascade looks at her strangely.
CASCADE: I guess. Yeah, sure.
Lacey is thrilled to hear this answer. She stands up on the bed and steps over Cascade, hops down. She grabs a pack she has left leaning against Dart’s chair, rifles through and emerges with a small white cylinder.
LACEY: I love your black kitties. I’m going to steal your sweet little black kitties. They’re mine.
CASCADE: Deirdre might go, but Leland won’t. And he’s a bastard.
LACEY: We’ll see about that. Here.
She hands him the cylinder.
LACEY: Yeah. Gooooooooooood.
Cascades shrugs and snorts at the cylinder.
His eyes open wide.

BOOM. Everything is wild-assed magenta blooey. He can barely make out Lacey and Dart. It’s a Serious Trip.
LACEY: Seeeeeeeeeeee?
CASCADE: That’s. Not. Kansas.
Lacey loves this comment, claps her hands together and squeals.
DART: Man, you got the orgs. I can’t get near that strobey jetthrust she bombs. Makes me all queirdo.
LACEY: (clapping) Peace! Peace! Peace! Peace! Woooooooooo!
Cascade just looks at them. It’s too much. He leans back against the wall and tries to hold on.
Dart and Lacey turn as SIMONE opens the door and enters. She strolls over and smiles at Cascade. When he doesn’t respond she looks a little frustrated.
SIMONE: Aahh, he’s Altered States. Why’d you have to go smash him? Now he can’t drive.
CASCADE: I can drive.
LACEY: He can drive.
SIMONE: Really? How many colors am I holding up right now?
Cascade looks at her.

Everything is blorpy blue green and sick weird.
DART: I only see four, yer multiversing, man. Radishin’. He spicy.
Lacey giggles insanely.
CASCADE: I can drive.
LACEY: Six is enough, right?
Simone looks doubtful.
SIMONE: Give him some beespanker if he’s driving.
Lacey frowns. She’s disappointed. She was having fun.
LACEY: Okaaaaaaayyyyyy.
She searches in her purse, pulls out a littl odd device, reaches over and uses it to spray something on Cascade’s wrist.

The four of them are bouncing around as Cascade drives wildly, crazily through matted suburban neighborhoods.
LACEY: I’m freeeeeeeeeeeee!
SIMONE: Turn left.
Cascade turns left.
DART: So good. The best.
SIMONE: You have to try the Porkpackveefacrackstickypan Penny Wafers. Crunchy. So crunchy.
DART: I’m so hungry right now.
LACEY: (looks salaciously at Dart) I’m hungry.
He smiles wickedly.
SIMONE: You have drug-filled lips.
LACEY: Which one of you bastards gave my daughter the dope?
They all laugh except Cascade, who is driving like the Killer Klown in a video game.
LACEY (CONT’D): Casky needs morrrrrre.
SIMONE: Don’t feed the bears.
DART: Cascade’s not a bear, he’s a killin’ machine.
LACEY: Sheeeeeeen!
SIMONE: Casky’s growing a religion or something. Doesn’t want to do the little ones anymore. ‘It’s wrong’.
DART: It’s in the chip, man. Just comes out. No one makes it to a thousand on their ownsome. Yow, gotta be grateful we get that even.
LACEY: Yay I get the kitties!
CASCADE: I can drive.
The other three look at him, perhaps a little judgmentally? — or carnivorously.

The four of them are sharing beers and cigarettes. Lacey keeps passing her drugstick to Cascade — he’s clearly getting voshed.
SIMONE: The way it was with my dad, people would come in the store and order the full Laap brick rebuild with a triple damper and leave a name and address on a piece of paper. Check clears the bank, 24 hours later the bench clears the name. (she shrugs) Now it’s all internetty. Nobody knows anybody but the bench gets everybody. Credit cards. Seamless digital ends. No stories, no romance. Factory.
She shakes her head and smiles at Cascade, who’s looking at her both oddly and blearily.
SIMONE (CONT’D): When I found Cascade, he was a Gary. In the warehouse.
DART: Wow! A Gary.
LACEY: What’d he — how did — you know —
SIMONE: I gave him his name.
DART: Cascadian Subduction Zone.
LACEY: That’s gonna kill a million people! And he didn’t make it to a thousand. You aimed high, though, gotta aim high.
DART: Cascadian. Subduction. Zone.
Dart makes a nuclear mushroom cloud with his hands, and a soft explosion sound.
SIMONE: He was so cute. Threw up the first couple of times. He wanted out.
LACEY: Awwww! He wanted out. No little uns, just grups. It’s sweet.
DART: I almost threw up the first time.
LACEY: That was so badasss.
DART: You know then I used it to go over the top, you know, just shine my light all over that house. It became — art.
LACEY: You’re a beautiful monster, baby.
DART: Thank you, Lacey.
He looks at Cascade, who appears lost in a morose haze.
DART (CONT’D): Gotta catch up to the Zone. Build my factory. Stars in the sky, right? Thousand means — we’ve only just begun.
LACEY: (sings) To liiiive — white lace and promises —
DART: I’m taking you to heaven hell, baby. All the way up down.
LACEY: Oh god, Dart, I just so want to blow you right now.
SIMONE: (to Dart, ignoring Lacey) Mmmm. Well, you can count tonight.
The three of them glance at Cascade, who looks out of it.
DART: Cascade! You drive?
CASCADE: I can drive.
SIMONE: He’s not driving.
LACEY: He’s fine, he can drive. I’ll spank him again.
DART: You want to take a drive out to the mountains, Mr. Zone? Drive up to the woods?
SIMONE: He loves the woods. That’s good.
Cascade looks at her. Is he high and sad, or sad and high?
CASCADE: I can drive.

Cascade is totally focused on Klown-driving up a shaky mountain road. Everyone else is getting high and laughing maniacally. The stereo is blasting out something new and weird.

Everyone has gotten out of the car. Cascade is standing off the road away from the car and staring up awestuck into the sky. Behind him, Simone gives Dart a little nod. Lacey gives a little silent burst of joy, almost-clapping her hands.
Dart pulls a pistol out from inside his jacket, walks up smoothly behind Cascade, and puts the silencer right behind Cascade’s head.
Ready to fire —

Cascade is tamping down a pile of fresh dirt next to the trees on the side of the road with a shovel. Behind him, the car’s trunk is open. He leans on the shovel and looks down at the dirt.
CASCADE: Can’t take a man’s kitties. Don’t even know their food or meds.
He looks up into the sky and takes a deep breath.
CASCADE (CONT’D): I’m freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.

Cascade is looking at Leland the black cat oddly.
CASCADE: Nobody’s going to take you.
He listens as if the cat is saying something.
CASCADE (CONT’D): I know. But she’s very pretty and not so bright. That’s why you have to look out for her.
He listens again. He smiles.
CASCADE (CONT’D): Yes, and me. And yes, I know it was you.

Cascade is dressed in painter’s clothes as he walks up to an old truck and tosses a bucket in the back.
His cellphone rings, and he answers.
CASCADE: Yah? Okay, I’ll pick it up and meet you at the job.
Before he gets in the truck, he looks up into the sky one last time and nods.
CASCADE (CONT’D): Someday we’ll all be together in the little hot baseball again, right? All the Garys and Lelands and Deirdres.
He’s happy.
CASCADE (CONT’D): I can drive.


1 thought on “Cascade.”

  1. We shot this yesterday. Ten hours of major focus and labor. I’m utterly exhausted.

    Incredible footage. Great acting. Ninety percent of this film is in the can.

    Amazing experience.

Leave a Reply