story ROSHAMBO - An idea for a limited 5 episode series

Greetings everyone

I have had this idea for a multi episode series for a few weeks now and think its time to share it with like minded folks in hopes I can interest a few of you to contribute to it collaboratively.

The plan is to present it first as a multi-episode motion comic series on YouTube, very much like THE WATCHMEN MOTION COMIC series however not as long and not involving super hero characters. My story is more of a drama, crime, thriller type of thing. The hope is that enough interest will be garnered by the project that it can be put to film through Kick Starter or some other means of financing (again as a limited series of episodes).

THE WATCHMEN motion comic is available on YouTube as a 12 part series but I want to limit my story to around 5. The premise of the story is based on the game ROCK PAPER SCISSORS and the story is heavily character and plot driven. Just as in the game, the same rules will apply where ROCK conquers SCISSORS, SCISSORS conquers PAPER and PAPER conquers ROCK in a complex circle of exploitation and betrayal. The three characters try in desperation to face their own individual plights and try to achieve their own goals at the expense of the other characters. In the end, as the following quote by Shakespeare reveals, it won't go as each had planned ...

Though those that are betray'd do feel the treason sharply, yet the traitor stands in worse case of woe
  • The first episode chronicles SCISSORS, a war vet and long haul truck driver who has been imprisoned 5 years for involuntary manslaughter for killing his wife and her lover. He is released but finding it hard to adjust to his new life.
  • The second episode chronicles the PAPER character, a trucking company owner in the face of an economic downturn who turns to using his business as a front for human smuggling and prostitution with the help of one of his drivers who pitches the whole idea to him
  • The third episode chronicles the ROCK character, a poor Mexican woman trying to escape her difficult situation at home in Mexico and looks to human smugglers to get her north into Texas and a new life
  • The fourth episode details their intertwined relationships leading to conflict as the three characters look to solve there problems by using one another
  • The fifth and final episode culminates into the story's tragic conclusion where the acts of betrayal turns on each character, leading to the demise of all three characters as the story comes full circle to satisfy the story's theme of Rock, Paper Scissor
 
EPISODE THREE - ROCK

ROCK (LORA) is a poor Mexican mother embroiled in an off and on relationship with her estranged husband EMILIO. After a fight with EMILIO, ROCK leaves him, as she has done several times before, taking her two small children with her. ROCK stays with the only family she has left, her grandmother LORELEI who lives in a nearby village in Mexico. ROCK's name, LORA is taken from her grandmother.

LORELEI, who is of German descent, hopes ROCK will come to her senses and leave EMILIO for good, tells her about a neighbor's daughter living abroad as an illegal migrant. For the past year, her neighbor's daughter has been sending money to support her family back home. ROCK, who still has strong feelings for EMILIO does not entertain the idea. She also feels being apart from her children for a long time would be too difficult to bear.

EMILIO, making the trip to LORELEI's home, begs ROCK to come back home, promising to change his ways. She does without too much persuasion, despite LORELEI's harsh objections. After a few months, ROCK finds herself in yet another confrontation with EMILIO following a heavy night of drinking and womanizing. In tears, ROCK has enough, leaving again for her grandmother's home with her kids.

ROCK makes the difficult decision to be smuggled into the US. She meets with LORELEI's neighbor who is taking care of her daughter SILVIA's little girl. SILVIA is able to send money back home and even helps them pay for basic phone service so she can keep in touch with her family, especially her young daughter MATILDA. ROCK notices how well taken care of the neighbor and her granddaughter are and asks what work SILVIA does. Rocks learns she works as a domestic worker somewhere in south Texas. We will learn in another episode that in fact, SILVA is a sex worker who keeps the truth from her family as to not upset them. The reasons why will become evident and lead ROCK to follow a similar path. These two women will cross paths later in the story (series).

Neither ROCK or LORELEI can afford such luxuries, demonstrating just how poor they are, but the neighbor admits she would be in the same boat without the continued support of her daughter. The neighbor connects ROCK with an individual who can help initiate the human smuggling process.

The contact tells her that without money, she would be required to pay through debt bondage and as a domestic worker, this would take several years. The contact offers her an alternative option to pay of her debt in just over a year -- By working as a sex worker. In addition, the man in the US who funds and controls the operation, provides the girls fraudulent identification papers after they have served their time, so they can start a new life without fear of deportation.

ROCK agrees, hoping to endure the hardships and shame of sex work to escape poverty for her and her children much sooner than would otherwise be possible. The contact tells her he will make arrangements and be in touch within the coming weeks.

ROCK endures weeks of EMILIO's desperate pleas for ROCK to return. She feels a strong urge to return to him but her grandmother warns her if she does, she is no longer welcome back. Torn apart, she knows she must distance herself from EMILIO's hold on her. Around this time, the contact tells ROCK everything is in place to get her smuggled abroad.

In an emotional goodbye, ROCK kisses her two children. Before she leaves, LORELEI gives ROCK a small compact music box, something she has kept since she was a little girl living in war torn Germany. She escaped with her family to South America and remembers she found comfort in the music, hoping it will help ROCK as she tries to escape the difficulties of her own situation

- TO BE CONTINUED IN EPISODE FOUR
 

indietalk

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I like the idea of this mini-series. Also I think it's a cool title. But if these are actual character names... Rock, Paper, Scissors, it's a bit too literal and/or comic book. What I would do is tie them in via industry and let the audience figure it out by the title of the series. So for example, someone works in a paper plant (or maybe the trucking company hauls paper), someone works at a rock quarry (or jewelry store), someone deals with scissors, or a scissor lift, etc.
 
The names are symbolic at this point, these will change ... In fact the names have been carefully planned out ... ROCK for example is LORA, short form for LORELEI ... As a famous German fable, it fits in well with the story ... Incidentally, here is the telling of the fable along with the tune played by he music box although in 18 note form Lorelei German Fable and Music Box
 
Here is the synopsis of the first episode in the mini series ...

EPISODE ONE - SCISSORS

SCISSORS, a long haul truck driver in Texas has returned from a long drive and returns home late at night. His wife, pretending to be sleeping, does not react to her husband softly calling her name after opening the bedroom door. After a few seconds, he leaves the bedroom, closing the door behind him. She opens her eyes without any sign of emotion, as SCISSORS gets back in his rig parked outside, driving off.

At a nearby bar that truckers frequent, SCISSORS is having a drink when another truck driver he works with, CLIVE, enters and sits at the bar with SCISSORS. SCISSORS thanks CLIVE for coming. SCISSORS asks if CLIVE can get him someone for tonight through his connections. CLIVE mildly protests, telling him to go back home to VANESSA. SCISSORS tells him she has been distant towards him of late and he needs to get his mind off things. CLIVE appeals to him to just talk with her, to work things out. SCISSORS erupts in explosive anger, slapping his palm so hard on the bar, it spills his drink.

SCISSORS, trying to compose himself, apologizes to CLIVE for the outburst, explaining to him that he has tried. He again asks CLIVE if he will help him or not. Reluctantly, CLIVE tells SCISSORS to park his rig at the truck stop out front in 30 minutes, she will knock on his cab when she arrives.

CLIVE pauses, he then tells SCISSORS this will only make things worse between him and VANESSA. He questions why he is putting himself through all this. SCISSORS flings ten dollars on the bar, gets up and leaves CLIVE sitting alone.

In the morning, SCISSORS comes into the kitchen where VANESSA is having a smoke and coffee. He reaches over to kiss her lips, she turns her head and he manages one on her cheek. VANESSA tells him she can smell perfume on him. SCISSORS unsure how to respond, tells her she's wrong. She agrees that she was wrong, that their marriage is wrong. Afraid of what she will say next, SCISSORS places his hands on her shoulders, promising things will get better and not to give up on him.

She again tries to reason with him, that she wants out of their marriage but before she can get beyond saying his name, SCISSORS interrupts her, again, afraid of what she will say. He tells her he is late as he has an early delivery. They can talk about it when he returns in three days. He abruptly leaves the house. A few seconds later, she is calling someone on the phone. She says "It's me, I need to see you tonight" after a few moments of silence, she says "OK, I love you" and hangs up the phone.

SCISSORS has been driving his rig for a couple of hours when the engine begins to seize up. He gets out of the rig, now idle on the side of the road, and notices smoke bellow out. He radio's out for help to tow his rig, and then calls PAPER, the trucking company owner to send another driver to complete the delivery, as he will be busy fixing his rig and head home for the night.

SCISSORS is told his rig won't be fixed till the morning and so asks for a lift home. Now night time, he is driven along his street, and notices a pickup truck parked outside his house. SCISSORS tells the driver to drop him off a few houses further.

Slowly approaching the house, SCISSORS opens the door and sees a pair of men's cowboy boots. His wife VANESSA, hearing someone come in, darts out of the bedroom, putting on her night gown as fast as she can. Panicked, she asks SCISSORS what he is doing home. SCISSORS, approaches the bedroom with an increased pace in his step. With growing urgency she tells SCISSORS to stop. She then tells SCISSORS to leave "him" alone.
Reaching into his belt, SCISSORS takes out a concealed blade.

Hysterical she turns back into the bedroom and tries to close the door but SCISSORS easily over powers her slamming it open. The two men fight but SCISSORS, showing military training easily out maneuvers the man wearing nothing but a pair of sweat pants and undershirt. In the back, VANESSA continues to scream for her husband to stop, begging him not to hurt her lover. Suddenly VANESSA's lover gasps as SCISSORS stabs him in the mid section. His lifeless body collapses as VANESSA screams NO, pleading for him to please get up, but it is too late.

SCISSORS, in a daze, drops his knife and backs out into the hallway, walking slowly towards the front door. His wife, now sobbing uncontrollably, says "you killed him" "you bastard, you killed him" she suddenly picks up the blade and charges SCISSORS, who is still stunned by everything. As he slowly turns, his wife, blade in hand and over her head, viciously thrusts downward badly slashing his face. SCISSORS instinctively reacts by taking hold of her hand, aiming the knife away from him but also back at her.

Their combined momentum (SCISSORS falling backwards and VANESSA on top of him as he is grabbed on to her arm and hand) causes the blade to accidentally puncture VANESSA's chest. SCISSORS watches his wife's face as her life is slowly extinguished. SCISSORS screams NOOooo as his wife's body lies still on top of his.

The scene cuts into a prison cell, five years later, as SCISSORS is ready to be released. He returns back to his home, windows boarded up and the property showing obvious signs of neglect with plant overgrowth everywhere. Opening the front door, dark stains are still visible on the hallway floor. Sitting on his porch steps, hands holding his face, he begins to breakdown and sob

TO BE CONTINUED ...
 
Have considered the name Caesar for the SCISSORS character which sounds a lot like SCISSORS but aside from that, the name doesn't have much more in terms of symbolic significance (Except perhaps that Julius Caesar was knifed to death) :cool:
 
Greetings everyone

I have had this idea for a multi episode series for a few weeks now and think its time to share it with like minded folks in hopes I can interest a few of you to contribute to it collaboratively.
I find the whole idea brilliant and very well thought. It has a big arch (the circle) and each episode has its own arch. I can only congratulate! The names were already mentioned, so won't repeat here. I also like the characters - each of them is alive, has a clear goal and incentives, and then we'll probably see the inevitable endgame as these characters each move along their trajectory and then their paths cross in Episode 5. This is great! Hope you'll make into a real series and release it as a season.

My only wish is for some happy end for Rock ala Camilla Roca :)
 

indietalk

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Have considered the name Caesar for the SCISSORS character which sounds a lot like SCISSORS
So like a thick Mexican accent? Rock paper Cee-Sores?

I think you are trying too hard with the names. Also I think you will try so hard either no one will get it, or it will look corny. The Caesar one is definitely corny imo.

I also agree with @StoneJack. It's a cool idea!
 
So like a thick Mexican accent? Rock paper Cee-Sores?

I think you are trying too hard with the names. Also I think you will try so hard either no one will get it, or it will look corny. The Caesar one is definitely corny imo.

I also agree with @StoneJack. It's a cool idea!
Yeah I agree, CAESAR definitely "sounds" corny and is inconsistent with the approach given for ROCK's character name of LORA ... I want to base the names on something "deeper" without losing the audience. At the same time, I don't want to insult their intelligence.

I really got lucky finding that German folk tale, fits nicely with ROCK's character arc..

As for the others, this is why I wont commit the names at this early stage of story development and just refer to them as PAPER and SCISSORS ... Trying to anthropomorphize these objects using suitable names is important but something I would like the community to help me with.

Any suggestions for the other two names would be welcome!
 
Yeah I agree, CAESAR definitely "sounds" corny and is inconsistent with the approach given for ROCK's character name of LORA ... I want to base the names on something "deeper" without losing the audience. At the same time, I don't want to insult their intelligence.

I really got lucky finding that German folk tale, fits nicely with ROCK's character arc..

As for the others, this is why I wont commit the names at this early stage of story development and just refer to them as PAPER and SCISSORS ... Trying to anthropomorphize these objects using suitable names is important but something I would like the community to help me with.

Any suggestions for the other two names would be welcome!
Names are a strange thing and very important. Once u give the names, characters become alive and do things on their own. For a female lead, how about Maria Roca? Maria comes from Magdalena

driver killer Sam Cuttner [scissors). Hehe good luck!
 
I find the whole idea brilliant and very well thought. It has a big arch (the circle) and each episode has its own arch. I can only congratulate! The names were already mentioned, so won't repeat here. I also like the characters - each of them is alive, has a clear goal and incentives, and then we'll probably see the inevitable endgame as these characters each move along their trajectory and then their paths cross in Episode 5. This is great! Hope you'll make into a real series and release it as a season.

My only wish is for some happy end for Rock ala Camilla Roca :)
Thank you so much for your kind words...I too liked the idea but always second guessed the characters that would play their respective roles... I am afraid this story has no happy ending and, as such, I had to make sure there was at least a strong moral message to why the tragedy that befalls them is justified. I tried capturing this right from the get go in the Shakespeare quote (I am thinking of adding that quote right at the beginning of the opening scene)

By the way, who is Camilla Roca ?
 
Well, for the scissors character, again I think I need something that can refer to an image of someone who is "falling on his own sword" type of symbolism. Oddly enough it was the preferred method of suicide by ROMANS, so maybe Caesar is back on the table hehe

The ROCK character i think I will keep as LORA symbolizing the LORELEI "ROCK" ... It also plays into the final scene involving the music box given to LORA by her grandmother which plays the tune of "LORELEI"
 
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indietalk

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Here's an interesting one. Greek mythology.

Atropos (/ˈætrəpɒs/, Greek Ἄτροπος, [átropos], "inexorable" or "inevitable", literally "unturning", sometimes called Aisa) was the cutter of the thread of life. She chose the manner of each person's death; and when their time was come, she cut their life-thread with "her abhorred shears" (scissors).

She is also part of the 3 sisters of The Fates. (Like your story, of 3 people).

The Fates – or Moirai – are a group of three weaving goddesses who assign individual destinies to mortals at birth. Their names are Clotho (the Spinner), Lachesis (the Alloter) and Atropos (the Inflexible). In the older myths, they were the daughters of Nyx, but later, they are more often portrayed as the offspring of Zeus and Themis. In Orphic cosmogony, their mother is said to have been Ananke or Necessity. Either way, they had enormous power and even Zeus was unable to recall their decisions.

The Fates: A Quick Profile
Their Name and their Names
The Fates were originally called Moirai in Ancient Greece. The word moira means “share” or “portion” of something, whether meal, land, or victory spoils (compare this with the English word “merit” from the Latin meritum, “a reward”). By extension, Moirai means “The Apportioners,” i.e., the ones who give to each his own (portion of life). The Moirai’s Roman counterpart were the Parcae, probably because the Romans confused the origin of their name, thinking it stems from pars which is the Latin translation of moira; it’s actually derived from parere, “to bring forth,” which explains why the Parcae were initially birth spirits, and also why the Romans weren’t so far off when they merged them with the Moirai.

There were three Fates. Their names were: Clotho (meaning “The Spinner”), Lachesis (or “The Alloter”) and Atropos (literally “The Unturning” or, more freely, “The Inflexible”).
 
Thank you so much for your kind words...I too liked the idea but always second guessed the characters that would play their respective roles... I am afraid this story has no happy ending and, as such, I had to make sure there was at least a strong moral message to why the tragedy that befalls them is justified.

By the way, who is Camilla Roca ?
Roca is just Spanish for Rock (what you chose :)). I think, however, she doesn't maybe deserve bad end :( Too much dark series can really stress viewers, so why not at least keep one ray of light at the end of tunnel.
 
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Roca is just Spanish for Rock (what you chose :)). I think, however, she doesn't maybe deserve bad end :( Too much dark series can really stress viewers, so why not at least keep one ray of light at the end of tunnel.
To keep with the premise that in the game of ROCK PAPER SCISSORS, there's no winner ... But you're right, it does end up as a bit of a downer in the end, which is why I have tried to make ROCK not so innocent as you may think she is :)
 

indietalk

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But there are winners in rock paper scissors in the right combination. I'm sure that will play into it. Paper covers rock, scissors cut paper, rock smashes scissors, etc. When the characters interact it will have to follow that.
 
But there are winners in rock paper scissors in the right combination. I'm sure that will play into it. Paper covers rock, scissors cut paper, rock smashes scissors, etc. When the characters interact it will have to follow that.
The story does follow that logic, however I have tried to create a somewhat balanced moral equivalency as to not give one character an edge over another -- or have the audience sympathize or empathize with one character over another ... In the end, the PAPER character does indeed come off as the bad guy more than the other two but that's because its a flaw in the way I have told my story .... The IDEAL is to come up with 3 characters that different people can argue about who among them is the bad guy vs the good guy.... Trust me, I have tried ... it is so difficult...Which is why i second guess my characters choices ... I thought it would be easy to do but wow, its not
 
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