Frankie wakes up AS his Avatar, KILRANN COLDIRON, who basically shares his face, but is a much more mature, manly, handsome older brother of himself wearing a leather cloak, chain mail, and carrying some really scary WEAPONS, including a very large dagger and an extremely beautiful BEARDED AX (that bears a striking aesthetic resemblance to the iconic guitar carried by Angus Young, among others).

Frankie wakes up in the high branches of a TREE, where he dangles precariously for a moment before plummeting below into a wagon full of timber on its way toward LAVARIAN CASTLE, high on the hillside.  Frankie takes stock of his new…persona…and surroundings, as the wagon gives him a first hand tour of this world as he passes by peasants, soldiers, farms, and mythical creatures.

\\In the REAL WORLD Turner, Frankie’s primary IN GAME friend, will be notified that Frankie is in game, which surprises him, and he jumps in, further surprised that Frankie is both in the wrong server and headed toward the Castle of their most hated enemy, LORD SYNTAX LAVARIAN, who has been waging a broad campaign to have Frankie, and his clan, outright killed for over a year.  Frankie’s a warrior rogue, not a King or a Lord, so slinking into Lavarian’s castle is essentially suicide.

//IN GAME, Frankie is just getting his bearings as the castle nears.  A series of screwball comedy hijinx ensue that keep him in the wagon as it enters the castle,  which continues so that Frankie is unloading timber with the other peasants, now fascinated double whammy by how fucking REAL everything is AND that he’s smack in the middle of his arch-nemesis’ territory.  Further fascinating, Frankie discovers a large portion of Lavarian’s forces working frantically to battle against a STRANGE BLACK PESTILENCE that is rotting away a section of their wall, seemingly bubbling up from underground.

Frankie slinks around the castle, seeing the REAL versions of all these characters and defenses that he’s only seen in game from the outside, when TURNER, taking the form of a RAVEN, perches on a stone wall and accosts Frankie, what the hell is he doing?  Why didn’t he tell Turner about this?  Is he turning traitor on them?  WTF?!

Frankie tries to explain, but sounds totally insane.  That he’s actually IN the game, not just like…in the game.  Suddenly, Frankie is distracted by a girl that’s being escorted through the yard by Lavarian’s guards—she’s incredibly, almost supernaturally beautiful.  Her presence has an immediate, intoxicating effect on Frankie.  Turner as the Raven nags him–he’s got to go, to run…and just then, Lavarian’s guards nab Frankie, when he instinctively bounces into warrior action and an ALL OUT RAGER BATTLE commences in the interior of the castle walls, as all of Lavarian’s foot soldiers turn to defend in the opposite direction all their weapons are aimed against ONE MAN with incredible powers.

As ALL HELL BREAKS LOOSE, Turner rallies his online posse IRL\\ who, tune in, kind of a la THE TRUMAN SHOW, and mount up to drive toward Lavarian Castle in order to save Frankie/KILRANN COLDIRON from himself…or whatever.

As the battle rages inside the keep, Frankie is shocked by his abilities as KILRANN—leaping over his enemies, tossing six of them aside at once with his sword, ripping them in half with his ax—which is fucking terrifying because they’re a lot like real dudes in this world.

CUT TO:  Literally the other side of the world.  This flat world reveals Engines of Victory’s Dark side of the coin.  Just 30 feet through impenetrable earth, are the hard-scrabble, soot-skinned DARKSIDERS, a random handful of wild, unpredictable evil races, the vast minority of EOV players and AI, because life on the Darkside is unrelentingly harsh (and you never get to level), they live in permanent midnight, and the atmosphere corrodes all precious metals within days, so the vicious Darkside tribes use elaborate bone weapons carved out of the carcasses of the Giant Monsters that roam the marshes and ash deserts without obstacle.

FLINTLOCK, a diminutive, jacktoothed, saberclaw-wielding soot-goblin from the Stone-Nose Tribe, sniffs the bubbling black cauldron of the marsh in front of him, and identifies a strangeness occurring in the Lightside world.  Just as quickly, he growls and scuttles off to his superiors.

CUT BACK:  Turner and the rest of CLAN RAVENCLOUD ride on magic and flying creatures toward Lavarian Castle, where Frankie is finally enjoying this battle a little bit, just when he’s KNOCKED SENSELESS by an arrow from SMALL GREGORY, Lavarian’s head Man-at-Arms, and Lavarian’s men swarm him, and drag him into the throne room.

Wherein, Lord Lavarian, a grand and opulent medieval king, gives a brief monologue, but is clearly distracted by his advisors, and has KILRANN/Frankie tossed into the dungeon until they have a moment to dispose of him.  Frankie gets another glance of the Most Beautiful Girl in the World (Build in game logic about how you can’t just logout when you’re currently captured)

Clan Ravencloud descend around Castle Lavarian, which itself is insane/suicidal, and cause another dustup as some of them sneak toward the dungeon to rescue KILRANN, when, escaping the dungeon, he stumbles upon a CONSPIRATORY CONVERSATION between Small Gregory and ELDER WORMWOOD, Lavarian’s wizard advisor, that doesn’t sound particularly positive toward Lavarian.

Just then, Kilrann’s eavesdropping is interrupted by his “rescue” by the Ravencloud group, but just as they’re out of the dungeon, Frankie is AWAKENED by his MOTHER pounding on his bedroom door and killing his buzz.

\\IRL , Frankie tears out of his house on his scooter to go see Gordon, ranting about the episode—is he insane?  We become aware that while it seemed to take a whole day in the EOV world, Frankie was actually out of reality for about an hour IRL.

Frankie drags Gordon down to the video store which is closed in a comedic/mindwarping way (“closed due to war in alternate dimension”), as if it had been vacant for decades, etc., which only contributes to Frankie’s paranoia.

Frankie then heads to Turner’s Place, which is an incredibly nerdy gaming store where mega-dorks converge and waste as much time as possible.   Frankie doesn’t interact with his clan-mates in real life, and Turner can tell that this situation is serious, in at very least because Frankie might be insane.

The three of them head toward Frankie’s house to try and re-enact the scenario, but of course bump into Kathryn outside the mall (where Turner’s store is), and Frankie is forced to try and explain their hurried nerdiness, which is yet another epic failure.

Turner, Gordon and Frankie return to Frankie’s basement, and attempt to re-enact the circumstances by which he went into the game.   At first they fail, until Frankie gets stoned again, at which point he launches into EoV, to the fascination of Turner and Gordon, who are still there watching his comatose meat-body as his Avatar hustles about on screen.

Frankie again falls into EoV completely at random, into a totally gross marsh.  He’s immediately plunged into a few feet of black and green miasma, hacking, coughing, Frankie drags himself into the woods, where he happens upon a TEAM OF Lavarian’s underlings, led by Wormwood, as they investigate the EDGE OF THE WORLD, the very edge of the EoV landscape that just drops off into endless blue sky and clouds, inhabited by DRAGONS that nestle the way cats do in piles of clothes.

Frankie waits out the team that just seem to be looking around, and then suddenly march away…he trots over to the edge of the world, which is creeping and crawling with the blackening pestilence, literally eating the edge of the world alive.  Even more notable, the edge of the world is now festooned with gigantic rings.  They pierce the edge of the landscape like fifty-foot eyebrow rings of solid steel, gleaming in the sun.  In the middle of his fascination, Frankie spots the MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD, hiding in the brush.  He chases after her, but she flees, and he tries to follow her into a weird, magical cove, with a waterfall (that isn’t unlike the lake from EXCALIBUR, I would imagine).  He gets close enough to her to have a frozen encounter that feels more like trying to befriend a skittish cat, but she says something enigmatic, and escapes via magic.

Frankie attempts to chase after the girl, but gives up, meandering down the road where he again encounters Wormwood with a group of Lavarian’s soldiers, who is having a very heated argument with a scary, face-painted WITCH DOCTOR BABE, who carries what is clearly a fucking magic scepter, and is backed by a very frightening posse of frozen, gray soldiers.  After a brief, but intense exchange, Wormwood appears furious and orders his group back in a huff.

As they lope away, Frankie attempts a better look at the Witch Babe, when one of the stoney foot soldiers hears him, and plods over to the trees.  Frankie uses some of his Rogue powers to hide, but when the stone soldier is within inches from his face, he panics and runs his blade through his throat.  Unfortunately, this doesn’t have the intended effect.  The Stone soldier abruptly punches THROUGH the nearest tree trunk, then snaps the sword in half—still in his throat, and tosses it away, brandishing a terrible spear that he crashes here, there, and everywhere.   Arousing the curiosity of his stoney comrades and the Witch, they tromp into the woods, spears into everything in sight, which causes the terrifying effect not of splintering the trees and rocks, but infecting them with the gray pestilence that is rotting away the whole EoV world, and they disintegrate into piles of dust in seconds.

Still largely invisible, Frankie dodges a spear that nearly takes off his head, and retaliates by cleaving off a significant portion of the Stone Soldier’s head off with his ax.  After a few moments of examining his own partial headlessness, the soldier returns in an unaffected barrage of spear lunges.





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ACT 1 Full Outline.

Flyin’ high on rapture

Frankie’s friends find him, he’s kind of ridorkulous [plant cousin Enoch]

His friends drop him off in a terribly embarrassing situation on street/stoned w/ karaoke girl.

Frankie staggers down the street, escapes into a bizarre, mystical videostore—craggy cd drom dude.

Home, Friends give him a hard time, PAINKILLER demonstration [

Frankie gets stoned in his room, plays EOV, Mom hassles him

Frankie finds Karaoke girl online, and all of a sudden she’s “in a relationship” with aggro dude

[||> End of Act 1, Frank is IN engines of victory.  Holy shit.




Scary sounding narration as we open on Frankie using a hand crossbow to play “crossbow hostage sniper” with a bunch of old GI Joes.  (the scene should mirror the end of act 2 hostage scenario with the girl)

Frankie’s FRIENDS roll up to the industrial park in their VAN, and pick him up to go play METAL MANIA (A “Rock Band” style collaborative music video game).   Turns out, however, that they need to swing by TODD’S cousin ENOCH’S house to get more weed.

TODD and STAMM go into the trailer to get the weed while FRANKIE waits with GORDON in the van, bantering about Engines of Victory, as Gordon reads board posts about weird business going on within the game universe.  ROCKET, a straggler weirdo friend of ENOCH’S, wakes from his slumber in the yard, and scares the heck out of them before Todd and Stamm return with the weed, and they start driving back home.

On the return drive, with Gordon as DD, they spot KATHRYN, the Karaoke Girl that Frankie has a super big, super secret crush on, loading stuff into the PUB where she works with agro bouncer DAX.  Frankie, now stoned, gets shoved out of the van by Todd and Stamm, who want to force him into a social situation, but it goes miserably.  Frankie is awkward and way too stoney, fails to properly introduces himself, and is paranoid and crushed.

He escapes by literally running away, and ducks into an ARCANE OLD VIDEO STORE, specializing in outmoded media and technologies.  Therein, the CRAGGY OLD VIDEOSTORE OWNER cantankerously tries to evade Frankie’s curiosity about the “expansion” for Engines of Victory that he’s playing, but Frankie ganks a copy of from the store on his way out.

Frankie gets back home, where his friends are already partying, and give him a hard time about messing up with the Karaoke Girl.  They badger him into playing METAL MANIA with them, and performing the singing part to Judas Priests’ PAINKILLER, because he’s the only one that can sing.   It’s an epic metal first act set piece, all music video style.

After the song, Gordon points out that Kathryn’s Facebook status has changed to “In A Relationship” on Facebook, which sends Frankie to his room with some of the Enoch weed, his Mom yelling after him to get a job.   Checking his email, he all sorts of notifications from his Engines of Victory friends about crazy shit going on in the online world.

Frustrated and stoned, he remembers the “expansion” disc in his pocket, and tries to install it.  It gives him a fit, appearing to install an ancient ms-dos style 8-bit game, when all of a sudden Frankie’s word starts spinning and he wakes up AS HIS AVATAR—KILRANN COLDIRON, a rogue warrior of great power and renown in the game.  But now it’s REAL, like really really real.  He’s wandering around in a totally real medieval world with soldiers and peasants and castles and horses and swords.

End with a shot of Frankie discovering the blight that’s destroying Engines of Victory.  It’s a hot, black, disgusting digital plague, that’s devouring the edges of the online world.

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scribblin’, scribing, and describin’.

You thought I had given up by I’m BACK my racial slurs!!!  So, I had some things forestally my ability to blog regularly including terrible illness that put me out for a week, traveling to Savannah for my friend Kevin’s awesome bachelor ceremonies, all of which has flipped me back around to being even MORE METAL than before.  So, expect to get your ass blogged off, indefinitely.

To catch up, here’s the typed up version of the handwritten outline that I threw up two posts ago:


““Frankie Teardrop rides a moped    OUTLINE      it was Mom?            Freewheel burnin’

Flyin’ high on rapture

Frankie’s friends find him, he’s kind of ridorkulous [plant cousin Enoch]

His friends drop him off in a terribly embarrassing situation on street/stoned w/ karaoke girl.

Frankie stagers down the street, escapes into a bizarre, mystical videostore—craggy cd drom dude.

Home, Friends give him a hard time, PAINKILLER demonstration [

Frankie gets stoned in his room, plays EOV, Mom hassles him

Frankie finds Karaoke girl online, and all of a sudden she’s “in a relationship” with aggro dude

[||> End of Act 1, Frank is IN engines of victory.  Holy shit.

EOV is pretty fucking sweet but nobody cares that Frankie is “in the game”.  [[AI girl encounter]]

The EOV universe is being infected with a strange “virus” that is chewing @ all borders. [[darksiders]]

Frankie is discovering some seriously wicked/dangerous villain business, when he is “awakened” by Mom

Frankie runs to Gordon’s on his moped, telling him about his “episode [Time issues]

Frankie heads down to the video store (never open store?) to find it humorously closed.

Frankie heads to Turner’s place, another real gamer, who expresses deep concern.  Karaoke catches them.

Turner helps Frankie re-enact the situation, now EOV is SERIOUSLY ERODING. [dragons, clouds, rings]

Villains ATTACK!!!  Frankie escapes an elaborate, terrifying battle against the “blank tribe”.

And is irl now totally freaking out.  He calls a video chat meeting of his guild, when an evil announcement in video feed from EOV by Queenie of the blank tribe that seriously freaks everyone out.  Meet irl?  Absolutely not.  That’s crazy.

Frankie goes online to find AI girl, has a freaky encounter where he realizes she’s pure AI

They’re captured and brought to the Blank Side camp, where Frankie undergoes torture that is real, until his friends wake him up, Gordon beginning to realize he’s actually right

Another visit to the video-store changes the old dude, gets frustrating answer, marches over to the karaoke bar where he has an awkward/awesome interaction w/ KGirl.

AI girl texts him and F. runs home to save her.  But led into a TRAP! Brought before Blanksiders

Frankie’s Guild is all captured, his real friends scramble to help him, get Karaoke Girl.  Gordon?

|||> Frankie is bound || AI Girl has gone evil/he’s stoned @ home karaoke girl is ashamed of him

Gordon jacks his friends into EOV, where they go to the Dark Siders to look for help.

Everything is about to go to heck, they’re about to Dark Crystal Frankie, when KGirl starts to play a badass metal song, which brings Frankie’s strength back, and his SWORD, which he uses to cleave various villains in twain.  You, you, and YOU.  [Thunderstruck]

Frankie chases Queenie through the Castle to the Dungeon, where they square off, hostage scenario, where Queenie guards the hole the DarkSiders/metal dudes are digging through to their side,

But Frankie mans up and vanquishes AI Girl, which turns out to be a farce anyway, F. realizing just in time (?).

The Dark Siders bust through the ground and Queenie climbs to the top of the castle where she epic duels Frankie (on dragons).

Revealing, that Queenie works for a group of frustrated parents/spouses/teachers to get rid of EOV, and get their relations back.

àdigging is easyß


@What is Frankie’s magical, musical weapon?                           “Forged out of awesome”

–Frankie @ first thnks the AI and Karaoke girl are the same (!)(?)(!)                             Holy Grail

show character creation                                                –does Frankie have a magical steed?—

What if Frankie’s magical AX is named “Angus”?  Is that just too badass?

–Gordon could have actually invented a device, that would “articulate online awesomeness into faux-tangible, physical-in-game objects, the first of which was ‘Angus’ the ax forged out of awesome.

By cutting it directly from the collaborative Rock Video game into EoV, Karaoke Girl and Frankie’s crewcan inject the power of awesome directly back into Frankie’s avatar,

Kilrann F Coldiron

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Mad Men, sex irrelevant


It’s been a long held personal edict of mine, nearly a slogan, that “Peggy is the best Mad Man”.  I think…I think that’s one of my favorite sentences.  It both conjures and contains.  The inevitable questions…But what about DON?!  John Slattery!  The gay one that isn’t in the show anymore!


Peggy is the rarest of all animals of the post post modern world:  the tv character who changes.

Don Draper isn’t the star of Mad Men.  Don Draper is Mad Men.  Don is the pure blankness of the mirror that reflects all of the true, faulted characters around him.  Betty’s vanity and paranoia, Campbell’s ambition, Allison’s struggle toward personhood, Joan’s campaign to accept the realities of the mundane…they are ALL attempting to swim faster than the ship of history can drag them by their throats into the (un)certain future.  In the acknowledgement of this, the furthest thing from the furniture, the lucid dreamer in the underwater puzzle is Peggy.  Roger Sterling is the silver-age dinosaur.  The world is moving beyond the post-war hegemony, and Roger has to die with its supremacy.  Peggy, with her anti-capitalist, beatnik associations, androgynous personality, and most important, her proclivity for getting high, is the only star of Mad Men.

Peggy isn’t the future, Peggy is the present.  Peggy isn’t now, she’s in anticipation of now.  She’s expecting something that can’t be defined, but doesn’t have to be because it has…potential.  We may not be doing it consciously while we’re watching Mad Men, but nevertheless we’re flipping forward in the shoebox of instant photos our grandparents and parents took that hid themselves in the dark recesses of the Mad Men’s closets.  The flash fiction documentary of these people now all old if not dead, is faded and collecting scratches; our grandparents’ sins in slow-motion rewind.  Who cannot be blamed… for the gin, for the neglect, the rigidity?

On film you get to be as good as your worst best qualities, in opposition to your best worse qualities, married to the eyeballs of history, and broken down into brackets.

It’s not important that Peggy gets high because it’s subversive or hilarious, or any of the other diminutive and asinine qualities we’ve assigned to drugs.  It’s important because Peggy is straddling the problem of time in itself, by escaping the Peggies of the past, and only becoming kissing cousins with the Peggy’s of the future, the Peggy of 1965 is the true, changing quality:  the mercury in the tincture.  Peggy is the variable in a vessel full of controls.

Peggy is the only Mad Man, that when you see where she’s going, you still can’t tell where she’ll end up.

Peggy is the best Mad Man.

Peggy Oslon: Portrait of the 20th Century



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Marginalia–handwritten notes

this is how my handwriting looked that day. this is my notebook.

So, to read this better, click on the image and it should throw it up as a larger/solo pic.

Ok, so this is my first time doing this.  PDF and Tiff both gave me hassles, but this jpg seems to have been friendly with WordPress.  This is my aforementioned outline page.

My handwriting frequently looks like this.

The pieces in [brackets] off to the right were thoughts I had later on about beats/ingredients to stick into that line/scene.

Each line represents a sequence, or collection of scenes that go together, until the end where I just started writing shit out.

I started with the two lines, the first at the end of ACT 1, with this like block arrow symbol, then the end of act two with the little triangle thing.  I put these in first, as a best guess for how long the outline will be, then write in the other scenes around them.

The section at the bottom became where I tossed all my thoughts that i didn’t have an immediately have an answer for, or things I wanted to remember/prioritize.

I don’t imagine all of this will make sense to someone that doesn’t live in my freaky 98mph brain.

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My Last Attack

Ok, so this blog is theoretically going to be brief, and kind of a potpourri of what’s going on with my thinking on the script.

So the past few hours I did the very real act of writing.  Sat down in the cafe, with a pen and my trusty grid notebook, and plotted out the first two acts of the movie, listening to PAINKILLER over and over again, which was the only song that would really do the trick.

I want to put that outline online, but I want to scan and throw up my actual handwritten notes, because this is my best example so far on this script of good, solid, handwritten scribbling, and I think dissecting it a little bit would be illustrative to anyone who actually gives a flip.

So instead I want throw out some thoughts/ideas I’ve had and other matters that haven’t gotten in quite yet.

1) I’m debating whether Frankie should have some kind of magical steed, a la Falcor or Shadowfax.  I’m thinking maybe a take on the “nightmare” which is a punful demonic horse that breathes fire.  This thing could be humorously paralleled by his scooter/moped irl.

2) I had a dream a couple weeks ago, and about all I remembered was at the end this crazy like tattooed, pagan vampire chick dressed like the people in that re-dux version of King Arthur was getting dragged by some cars, and screaming about how useless and unappreciative human beings are for their lives.  Her rant and her demeanor has put her into my script.  Currently I’m calling her “Queenie”, but I’m not married to that yet.  I’m not sure why the really compelling characters in my dreams are always female.  There are no wise old folks in my dreams.  Implications abound.

3)  While I was writing the second/third act I thought of this great way to get the cavalry-like-guys into the big castle where everything is going down, while making it so Frankie’s IRL friends can assist online, which is that, as previously established, the EoV world is flat like a coin.  Well, since at this point, the Baddies have plagued nearly the whole realm, they’ve weakened its structure, and the Darksiders and metal dudes will literally dig through from the Dark side into the light, in the dungeon of the castle, which creates an amazing set of visuals.

4)  I came up with some some character names.  Gordon for the extra-nerdy guy in the metal group that helps organize everything at the end.  Turner for a gamer-friend of Frankie’s who consults with him about EoV.   I think I also want to use Coldiron as part of Frankie’s in-game name, rather than the karaoke girl, who somehow became named Wendy in my head today.  Must have been the Murdoch trials, I guess.

Ok, so other things

5) I’d like everyone to re-post me.  This is my thirteeeeenth post, I think, and while I need to go back and de-typo and proofread, and add comment addendums, I’m comfortable that this project is interesting and compelling, and something that’s heating up, for me at least.  With my outline today, suddenly my fingers were hot to get to the pages.  If I’m smart though, I’ll find a big board and beat that outline out even further with a friend or two and hammer the edges down.

So, repost on your FBook, your own damn blog, your Mom’s fridgerator, whatever.  I’m going to put in some effort to get onto some legit blogs/aggregators in the coming weeks, so I’d like to ramp up toward that.

6)  If anybody has any suggestions of the best way I might put Final Draft pages up on WordPress, please hit me up.  So far I’m thinking I may have to take screen grabs of pages as .jpg, and then post a bunch of those in succession as photos into the blog, which could be awkward/nonfunctioning.

7)  Also, since this post seems particularly un-metal, I want to mention I’ve been listening to badass, current metalers who are very 80s retro, but totally awesome.  I saw them open for Blind Guardian months back, and they totally ripped Hollywood up.  They’re called HOLY GRAIL, and they’re hilarious, young LA Native dudes.  Also, they’re latino, seems like about all of them, which for some reason really works for me in the way that they play.  There’s something Bad Brains about it, I almost want to say.   Anyway…Shred:

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online dating…with swords

I didn’t post this weekend because Saturday night I did a shoot for one of my other projects, and it destroyed all my plans for getting my various reading/writing done.  This is the lesson for you…never try to do anything good.

Hence, I’m posting on a Wednesday night.  Also hence why I’m drinking a full throttle energy drink at 8:45 pm.  I’m ok with full throttle, but I prefer one of the low/no calorie versions of rock star, because that shit will light you on fucking fire.  The first time I had a zero calorie rockstar I was living in Savannah and I had driven to the laundry mat.  I had thrown in all my laundry when I realized my detergent was still in the car, so I sprang to go outside and BOUNCED off the plate glass window of the place like sweaty blond Wiley Coyote.  I washed the SHIT out of that laundry.

Anyway, energy drinks are awful for you.  I don’t do coke, I don’t shoot heroin between my toes.  I’m going die of a heart attack anyway, so why not at least give my heart some foreshadowing as to what that’s going to be like?

It might actually be a good thing I didn’t post this weekend, because Monday, while riding home on the 720 bus, I had one of those top shelf epiphanies about my script that makes your hair stand on end, and put the mark into your book (or close your kindle, in my case).

So I’ve vaguely touched on the lady romantic interest character, the karaoke girl.  I haven’t been avoiding the subject because I don’t find female romantic interests significant, in fact, it’s exactly the opposite:  I’m so antagonistic to the possibility of having a token female character that I don’t want to even tackle the subject until my brain finds an answer for what to do with her.

I’m really uptight about the ladies in my scripts.  If you were to ask me,

“How do you write interesting characters?” I would say,

“Be an interesting person, and make interesting friends.”

If you are an interesting person, you will be a magnet for that affinity, and therefore, your voice will come to contain, to whatever degree, the voices of those characters that populate your inner monologue.  Everyone has friends, relatives, past and present that populate their conscious, it’s just awkward for us to admit it.  We allude to you.  We start big smiling phrases with “I think of you every time I…”  and hopefully the latter half of that sentence is something agreeable to everyone.

Similar to how I described the VIP room of the script’s theme, people have their own VIP rooms for their consciousness.  You might populate it with lots of weird characters…Virgin Mary, a guidance counselor, Mom, Ronald McDonald.  “What Would Jesus Do?” is the bumper sticker version of this phenomenon that we all use every day without giving much thought to it.

So hopefully, if you’re a cool enough person to have genuinely interesting individuals of the opposite sex in your life, you shouldn’t have to stretch yourself into crazy shapes to write in their voices.  However, some of my favorite filmmakers have been essentially worthless at writing women.  I don’t think John Carpenter could write a real woman to save his life.  Hitchcock was an undeniable genius, but I think his only good female characters were totally written by other people, and even then, he’d just put them into a labyrinth and make them run away from shit.  Run from this bomb!  Run from this queer psychopath!  Run from these fucking birds you blonde bitch!  You can almost hear Hitch, can’t you?

So my brain has been rattling around the stone of somehow getting a love interest counterpart into the Engines of Victory world, the gaming world, but I am completely loathe to going the obvious route and either–

A) giving her some hot chick avatar in game, and making them have parallel courtships, unbeknownst to each other…hilarity ensues, OR

B) making her a secret villain in the game, in order to lead to the shocking twist.

both of these have just felt like too PG-13 for me.  This is a movie about juvenile shit, but it’s not a juvenile movie.  It’s really important to make that distinction.  Never tie your hands by starting off judging your own subject matter or your characters.  The example that comes to my mind is FORGETTING SARAH MARSHALL.  That movie is awesome.  It is straight up, just a great damn movie.  It has all the hilarity of the other Apatow films, while retaining all the believability of Freaks and Geeks and not jumping any of the sharks that GET HIM TO THE GREEK or SUPERBAD did.

Holy Charming Accents, Paul Rudd!

Like, how much do you like Jason Segel by the end of Sarah Marshall?  And Russell Brand even?  You want to marry them both.  Amiright ladies?  It’s just a great romantic comedy, and hits all of its notes.  It’s a totally serious movie about ridiculous things.  It’s intentional.

So, with no obvious prodding, my brain asked me…”What if the online version of the girl was artificial?  What if the online chick was total AI, and then Frankie could be forced into a situation where the villain is using her as a hostage?”  She’s a REAL hostage because since she’s pure digital life, she only exists online, there’s no player in the real world puppeteering her.

screencap from Everquest

This then allows the dichotomy between the online girl and the real life romance to fit perfectly with the theme of virtual vs. “irl”.  My goal has never been to proselytize either for or against the online life.  I don’t have a dogma on this topic.  I definitely don’t think that spending a great deal of your life in an online world is inherently negative.  We’re populating ourselves online all the time.  You and I are populating them exactly right now through this blog.  Just because we’re not pounding mountain dew and screaming about magic spells doesn’t make us particularly better than the gamers or christian dating site trolls or craigslist prostitutes.  Ok, maybe it does.  The point is, online life vs. not is totally an open and relevant question.  How does this parallel life enhance me?  Is it separate from me?  How so?  Is it elevated above, or is it less than my i-r-l, and what does that mean?  What about people who see their online personas as their real selves?  Does the meat body, or the meat brain, become the “soul” of the avatar?  The more real the online life becomes, the deeper the implications.

So, Frankie’s choice can therefore become–

“Join us, the baddies, and save your penultimate lady friend.  Luke, I am your father…no.”


Eff that Ess, let the bitch die, or better, kill her yourself, in the uber display of Trainspottian life-choosing.  I don’t want this to be a preachy, “Real life is better, kids” moral though, so I think we’re going to have to rig the dice here in some way.   Funny how my first fear wasn’t the implications of murdering the female persona of your perfect theoretical lover.  I think part of my brain pulls the rug out from under that anxiety on the at least two levels at which this babe is “artificial”.   In order for this thought experiment to work, Frankie would have to already be aware, by some part of Act II, that she’s an AI girl, or else the hostage scenario doesn’t work.  Therefore, in order for her worth to bankrupt, she has to lose some other qualifier of real-ness, even if it’s his own mental state.

I no longer see you as real, therefore you are not.  It’s actually not vastly different from traditional filmic realizations about romantic interests that aren’t worth your time.  They’re one dimensional, they only want “Z”, they can never give you “Bla”.  The romantic interest doesn’t change, the hero does.

This also steps a weathered leather boot squarely into the analogy of online life as mistress, which is worth exploiting.

Hmmmmm.  This is leading me to another thought.

About Clark Kent…

Hello Lois

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