Original photo by Dino Reichmuth Creative Commons License
Would it surprise anyone if next summer some Southern “patriots” burn an African American suburb or town to the ground?
It’s an idea that came to me in a moment, while playing with the RED levels on a photograph and this short video is my attempt to convey the horror of that idea if it were a movie trailer. I’m not American – but the NEWS that filters through to us via TV and Social Media is horrific. It’s not just an isolated cases, like George Zimmerman being acquitted for Trayvon Martin‘s murder – it’s the systemic, cruel racism that would see Supply & Demand boost the auction price of the gun used to kill Martin to $250,000.
There are deep racial divides in American society that I cannot even begin to fathom but I truly hope that this video will get some people talking. It’s a trailer for a movie that I hope will never be made.
Red Night Video
Red Night: Movie Trailer Script
TEXT: Tomorrow could become today
In Donald Trump’s new America
And this idea for a movie
Might become the new reality
VOICE: A woman is driving on a dark, country highway. We’re hearing some modern, slinky, Hip-Hop and from her occasionally harmonizing, we work out that she’s definitely African American. It’s pitch black outside – but there’s an unmistakable glow in the distance. Her hometown is on fire.
As she get closer, the red becomes redder – embers float through the air.
She stops the car and winds down the window, listening. She hears a woman’s shriek – then a scream, then the dull pop-pop-pop of semi-automatic rifle-fire.
She takes her handgun from her bag, gets out of the car and and standing still, looks around, listening again.
There’s a noise – she turns and in one movement, raises her gun and slides into the combat pose – must be ex-cop or military. A plus-size body stumbles into the red light, falling painfully – it crumbles to the ground, then crawls slowly towards her, whimpering. When it reaches her, it grabs onto her legs, sobbing.
Red Night, coming to a theater near you, this summer.
Red Night & The Creative Process
If you click through to Dino Reichmuth’s original photograph (the link is at the top of this page), you’ll notice that the atmosphere that he captured is very different to mine. His is almost optimistic, whereas my improvisation is dark and dangerous. To be honest, I stumbled upon the look, just goofing around with the levels in my vision editor but I can state, quite honestly that the title and the concept for the trailer was formulated in less than a second – far less – it was almost instantaneous. Time slowed and I could see the way my plodding mind worked.
As a fan of language, particularly colorful, passion vernacular, I have perused the comments websites and Youtube, in particular, for years. And as a Pop Music fan, I have read, so often in shock, the crude and angry comments that predominantly Americans make, when correcting a minor gaffe or sloppily-thought out opinion that a fellow-commentator might have made (see also: Everybody Loves The Beatles). Generally, the angry commentators tend to be “white” and male.
My other big interest is Politics and in that area, those same demographics hold. I’ve been appalled at the virulence behind such supposed slurs as Libtards, Social Justice Warriors & The Regressive Left plus any number of racial humiliations, often casually alluding to slavery and lynching. It’s childish name-calling, it’s counter-productive – in that from the outset, obviously no common ground exists – but most of all, it demonstrates how angry* many white, male Republicans are. Donald Trump didn’t create the anger & Racism in the Republican party – it was already there.
So, when I clicked the button to play with the vision levels on Dino’s photograph and the concept of Red Night was born, I watched as years of terrifying (predominantly) Republican, white male anger rushed through me, in its torrent of shameless malevolence. I watched how the trailer’s story wrote itself spontaneously – in a fraction of a second – using my “skills” as a story writer, transforming my resistance to that anger into something that I could use. Fully formed, Red Night lodged in my mind as a vivid idea and I then had to spend an hour or so, dragging the words out, painting the picture that I saw.
And in my fantasy world, if Red Night was made into a movie – how humbling would it be for everyone involved, spending thousands of highly-skilled work hours on its production – to know that its origin was a moment that lasted considerably less than the blink of an eye.
*Incidentally, my analysis is that the ratio for rudeness stands at about about 80% Republicans to 20% Democrat but interestingly, I find that that Democrats generally don’t start with bad words – they tend to respond after being attacked. If I was to report on an initial rudeness, the ratio would probably be about 95% Republicans to 5% Democrat.