Frozen Tears – An Alaskan Western

aa Frozen Tears - Title Box

“The bigger towns like Sitka and Scagway gave up their sinners easily enough; their bones, their flesh, staggering, guns drawn in the moonlit streets. But as the years moved on more people came. People from further south and east; city folk and their families; better people; too good for me to live alongside.

So I clawed my way further north and eventually found that damned town you say you’re bound for, drawn by the infernal rumour of it, by the overpowering stench of sin that lingered there. Back then it was a flame lit Hell of man’s own making, full to the brim of native and Russian whores, pimps, gamblers, cut-throats and worse…

Some things out there aren’t meant to traffic with us mortal kin, and no matter how hard you kill them they just plain refuse to die.

That’s what you saw… or what they let you see. The elder folk hereabouts know their games of old, god’s games that can outlast a man’s lifetime so I’m told, and those things you saw, well… they’re probably shifting and chasing each other still… You can’t kill those folk, but I guess you can make ‘em look away a while.

Now get some rest…

If your minds set on going to Frozen Tears you’re gonna need it.”

– Hesse the Trapper

FROZEN TEARS is s supernatural/horror western set in Alaska during the first real push to settle the new territory after the Russians sold it to the Americans.

Based on an original concept by Gareth R. Sleightholme and Andrew Segal.

Storyboards and production art by G. Sleightholme.

Frozen Tears™. Copyright © 2009 Gareth Sleightholme & Andrew Segal. All prominently featured characters and designs are copyright of Gareth Sleightholme.
No portion of this book/story may be reproduced or transmitted, in any form or by any means, without the express written permission of G. Sleightholme or Northman Illustration. Names, characters, places and events featured in this publication are either the product of the authors imaginations or are used fictitiously (that’s not to say there isn’t any truth in it, but…y’know). Any resemblance to any actual persons (living, dead or states beyond and inbetween) , events, institutions, or locals, without satiric intent, is coincidental or just goes to show.

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Published in: on March 31, 2010 at 11:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Commentary 001

Okay, so what you are looking at is another work in progress…

WIP_The_New_Russia_by_hesir

This time a movie script with storyboards and production art, character and costume designs etc…

Angels 3 - face designs

I’ll try for the most part to clearly delineate between post categories, i.e. “Script & Storyboards 001” will be just that… each one numbered so as to follow a sequence if read together, and say, “Production Design 003”, which again is fairly self explanatory…

WIP_western_town_3D_test_by_hesir

Posts headed like this one “Commentary”, will again be just that… me rambling on about what I’m working on to do with the project, what I’m finding difficult and whatever. I might put other related asides in here too, sketchbook doodles etc…

Frozen Tears - Sketchbook 001

I thought if I began channeling all the work I’ve done so far through an online resource like a blog I might also be more inclined to produce more work and get it finished.

I grew up watching westerns with my dad, so have always been a fan. Films like Silverado, Quick And The Dead and even the Young Guns franchise kept whetting my appetite for more… The recent well recieved western comics by Brian Azzerello, “Loveless” and “El Diablo” ( http://www.comicvine.com/loveless/49-18343/ ) and the up and coming Jonah Hex movie ( http://www.jonahhexmovie.com/ ) only prove that the genre is far from dead and buried…

I guess the project started out as one of many script ideas thrown around by Andrew Segal and myself.

I’m not sure who came up with what, but the inclusion of the Russian side of things would no doubt have been inspired by Andrew’s personal mythologies… and the horror stuff was probably my input… after that it all gets smooshed together… I do know the first scene that was written (or at least conceived) was the one of the last scenes in the script (a classic shootout with a eerie – hopefuly – twist), and that was pulled out of my head…

Since then I’ve been tinkering with the story, pulling together storyboards and even an animatic…

I’ve also been adding way too much into the mix for one movie, but that will all get worked out later I guess… and as you can hear even playing about with the idea of working on the music myself… albeit under my nom-de-plectrum of Trudy’s Ruby Monkey…

So… more script and storyboards shortly, with any luck…

Please feel free to comment, suggest and lambaste as you see fit…

g.

Published in: on March 31, 2010 at 1:47 pm  Leave a Comment  

Script & Storyboards 001

“Frozen Tears”

A Western/Supernatural Horror

by

Gareth R.Sleightholme

From an original idea by

Andrew Segal & Gareth Sleightholme

REDUX March 2010

PROLOGUE:

FROM WHITE:

SCENE 0: PHOTOS OF OLD WEST: SIMPLE PHOTO MONTAGE.
Images of a mid-western town, school children, a school house…

(V.O. MALE)

Momma was a schoolteacher… My Pa was what they

call a lay preacher

Image of a meeting house, people gathered in prayer, a kindly face…

(V.O.)

They taught my brother and

me our letters and numbers…

Images of a small house, stove glowing… schoolbooks, a bible, illustrated with images of Noah’s ark, fire raining down on Sodom and Gomorrah. angels faces, Blake-ian in style.

(V.O.)
…and read to us from the
Good Book on cold nights and got us to read it
back to them, I remember one Christmas they
explained to me and my brother how the angels in
them old stories were more than just great men with wings. That they were in actual fact God’s love personified, the
word of God made flesh…

Images of Christmas candlelight…

(V.O.)
Whole phrases and
ideas given wings and shown to man to let us know
the will of the divine in a form we could
recognise and so understand…

More traditional angels, mixed with really curious, almost demonic versions…

(V.O.)
Our parents, like most parents I guess, were good people,
kind people… but they often got things wrong.

Images of traditional looking western parents, typical posed photo, blurred faces… zoom into the man and wife…

(V.O.)
And when it comes to angels they were about as
wrong as you could get…

Over their shoulder a traditional angel in stained galss or carved on a door post maybe…

(V.O.)
‘Cause I can tell you this… As far as Angels go,
they have to be some of the meanest, most vicious,
blood hungry vermin to have ever stalked this
pain filled earth…

Continue to zoom in on image…

FADE TO WHITE:

(V.O.)
Trust me… I’ve walked beside them…

FADE IN:

Frozen Tears 000a

Slowly focus as an Arctic Owl sails toward the camera… straight into it…

Frozen Tears 000b

Bam!

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…Suddenly we are in its head… seeing through its eyes as it flies through the snowstorm, white on white on white… just subtle variations…

Frozen Tears 001i

SOUND FX: The screech of an Owl.

EARLY ACTOR/PRODUCER TITLES/CREDITS OVER:
(handwritten with Russian influence on the typography)

The sounds of beating wings and what sounds like almost human/birds screech hybrid cries. In the white we sense movement but are unable to tell quite what it is… maybe what sounds like rifle shots too…

SCENE 1  – EXT. AN ICE FLOW NORTHERN ALASKA, NIGHT. OCCASIONAL EERIE AURORA BOREALIS LIGHT

Aerial shot – Still in that Pseudo Owl’s Eye-View…

Frozen Tears 001j

Through the blustering snow of a blizzard we can make out the shape of objects in the snow… travelling packs, straps, cooking pots, bedrolls etc…

Frozen Tears 001k

Suddenly there is blood on the snow…

Frozen Tears 001l

Frozen Tears 001la

We hear an angry shout followed by a cry of pain or fear, then a gunshot up ahead… the camera continues to roll forward we pass an upturned sled, it’s contents strewn in a line in the direction it was heading… the gun lays in the snow still smoking, melting the snow around it…

The CAMERA drops slowly through the falling snow bringing the sled into close up.

Frozen Tears 001lb

Frozen Tears 001lc

We see a boot… drag marks…

Frozen Tears 001m

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Dead dogs, blood all around… more dogs…their bodies still steaming… the tracks run on through the snow…

Frozen Tears 001q

Between the debris we can see the slowly disappearing footprints of a single person and blood smeared furrows as if someone has been dragged.

We hear an angry shout followed by a cry of pain or fear, then a gunshot up ahead… the camera continues to roll forward we pass an upturned sled, it’s contents strewn in a line in the direction it was heading… the gun lays in the snow still smoking, melting the snow around it…

The CAMERA continues to track, now following the furrows. Suddenly a booted foot is revealed, then a second, then heavily fur covered legs…

The CAMERA drops slowly through the falling snow bringing the sled into close up.

The body of a man on his side, his dead eyes wide from his final fear.

Frozen Tears 001s

The CAMERA continues to follow the furrows in the snow while looking back at the corpse. Quicker now, as the CAMERA begins to speed along it also begins to turn until it is racing along the furrow facing forwards… a figure begins to appear ahead of us… it is a tall figure dragging another behind it.

Frozen Tears 001r

EARLY ACTOR/PRODUCER TITLES/CREDITS OVER: (cont’)

Mid Frame super – “North Alaska, 1889”

The CAMERA continues to track, now following the furrows.  Suddenly a booted foot is revealed, then a second, then heavily fur covered legs…

Frozen Tears 001u

Frozen Tears 001t

The CAMERA rushes toward the figures we are pursuing… suddenly we are upon them.

Frozen Tears 001v

Frozen Tears 001w

A tall man in a long black duster jacket drags his still living victim to where his companion has killed two others…

Frozen Tears 001x

He is also a tall man in a long black duster jacket. Two coat-less bodies lay by his feet.

Frozen Tears 001y

The CAMERA’s chase grinds to a halt in classic Sam Raimi style, and we move around them to reveal their faces.

These are two very grim men indeed, almost feral looking their faces vaguely animal-like, Francis Bacon portraits come to life in flickering shadow.

They talk amongst themselves in a distorted whisper, a foreign language (Aramaic?) their conversation subtitled.

SECOND DUSTER JACKET (subtitle)
They do not have it.

The victim at their feet chokes and groans… his nose trickles with blood,     as if the resonance of their (the duster jacket wearing men) voice is too     much for his body to take…

FIRST DUSTER JACKET (subtitle)
Then it is has reached the settlement.

SECOND DUSTER JACKET‘s head whips around, he sniffs the air.

SECOND DUSTER JACKET (subtitle)
More human meat!

He steps down the far side of the slope onto the edge of the ice flow.

The figure dragging the man follows him, dropping the still living man onto the slope.

Frozen Tears 001z

The victim grunts as he hits the ground… blood still trickles from his nose… when he hits the ground he begins to slide down the slope onto the flow…
The CAMERA pulls back slightly to reveal that the DUSTER JACKET’s have found themselves surrounded by fur/skin-clad natives, The FIRST DUSTER JACKET steps toward an old man who is looking down chanting to himself.

As he steps forward and reaches out as if to grab the old man he says something in a language that cannot be translated.

Several tribes-people wince and gasp as their noses\ears and tear ducts begin to bleed.

The old man at the same time thrusts his hand towards his attacker in it is the crushed and bleeding wing of a white-bird, feathers tuft from between his bloody fingers.

OLD MAN(subtitled)
Hold you herald… Hold you, messenger bird.

The FIRST DUSTER JACKET stops abruptly as if shot, his jacket bursting open at the shoulder blade reveals a stick of bone and flesh. He roars in pain like an animal.

OLD MAN(subtitled)
(grinning, blood trickles from one nostril)
Hold you…

The FIRST DUSTER JACKET drops to one knee and hisses. The figure they had been dragging rolls over, moving with difficulty and opens its eyes groggily, turning to where the SECOND DUSTER JACKET suddenly steps back into blizzard and shadow, his coat falling open almost as if is being discarded, his silhouette swiftly changing shape becoming impossibly larger. The man’s eyes grow wider and he tries to pull himself away.

Then a roar and as if falling back into light a huge upright Polar Bear takes a step forward and then dropping to all fours swipes at some of the gathered natives. His great clawed-pad opening body cavities and spraying the snow and central characters with bright red blood.

A young girl steps forward she holds a string of teeth out to her left, her eyes closed. We hear a roar and see flecks of blood appear on her face she quickly chants a name. A strange sound echoes in the blizzard. FIRST DUSTER JACKET and his still-groggy victim turn and see the snow flurry suddenly reveal that they are in fact on the edge of an ice sheet and that there is water there. The rest of the tribe step back away from the girl and the bear.

Beneath them there is ice. We can see it’s transparency.

The Polar bear shakes a corpse from its mouth and bloody faced raises itself to its full height ready to strike again, the girl not moving repeats the incantation.

Water and lumps of ice spray across the scene and in a blur of black and white and the sound of ice cracking bodies disappear. FIRST DUSTER JACKET’s eyes grow wide, we catch a glimpse of an Orca sinking beneath the surface with a polar bear in its jaws. FIRST DUSTER JACKET’s face grows less animate, his eyes dim and he leans to one side and seems to die… we hear the sound of wings and his jackets billows and collapses onto the ice empty…

Close up on the girl’s face.

She holds the tooth necklace tightly she is shaken but her features and her eyes show no fear… the old man steps up behind her and places a hand on her shoulder.

We see the scene from above… cracked ice, victim on the ground… a hole where the orca crashed through the ice, a bloody smear where the polar bear had been, and across the ice a bloody, snow angel…

SCENE 003

TITLES/CREDITS OVER: MID FRAME SUPER: “FROZEN TEARS” (In Russian at first then fading and changing to English.)

The man on the ground stares up disbelieving what he is seeing, seemingly unable to move…

The old man of the Ghost-tribe points at one of his tribe and then at the man…

He is roughly examined… like a slave at auction…

They make him get to his feet… telling him “Up!” –subtitled- (gently kicking him, all the tribe members in turn… as they parade past him,  laughing while they do it, not malicious… just amused by the silly greenhorn).

Montage as he wanders through the wild snow and blizzard…

Stopping to drink ice water…

Always trailed by the ghost-tribe people…

He begins to hallucinate…

Sometimes when he turns to look at the tribe following him there are just wolves there instead…

He reaches a ridge over looking a cabin in the middle of nowhere… a blizzard is now raging… he is frozen.

He turns to the tribe… they point at it…

He staggers and stumbles down the slope, frost bitten and at the point of death… He reaches the cabin and bangs against the door, then passes out…

The door opens and a huge bearded man, very much the typical Canadian Fur Trapper looks out… he looks around at the body then looks around… He shouts…

THE TRAPPER
What the Hell is this?
Don’t you try to hide from me…
You know I could smell you coming
half an hour ago goddamnit…

He looks down…

THE TRAPPER
Well I suppose we ought to get you
inside before you die on my goddamn
doorstep…

We cut to the tree line and see wolves eyes bobbing and skulking in he darkness there… along with the face of the girl…

Cut back to the the trapper who drags the passed out figure in through the door roughly but effortlessly, and slams it behind him, snow sliding off the roof.

We pull back and back, and up, to see the cabin is indeed in the middle of nowhere…

FADE TO BLACK:

Published in: on March 31, 2010 at 12:52 pm  Leave a Comment