THE STORY OF A BEAST
The story is told in 4 stages: FOAL, YEARLING, STALLION, and RETIREMENT. Three immersive rooms with projected film and tactile art that simulates the smells and feels of the environment along with the audio-visual experience. Light and sound dictating movement through sensory control and gated entries. The last room is dedicated to a VR imagining of the ghosts of former college athletes by transporting the viewer into different settings of the characters to see how the experience affected them.
STAGE 1 - FOAL STAGE - PROMISE
Emotions: Innocence, Hype, Promise
Design: A horse trailer inside of a coliseum-esq tunnel. The film is projected on the walls of the tunnel. The guest will see the projections through the windows of the trailer. The horse trailer is stable on wheels but rigged so there is light movement. Hay coats the ground.
EXT. FARM - ROAD - AFTERNOON
COLT, (17) A black teenager with broad shoulders and honest demeanor walks down a long dirt road leading up to a farm house. The sound of gravel under each footstep syncs with galloping horses hoofs to create a score in concert with the sound of a film projector. The camera swoops behind Colt and merges into his POV.
EXT. FARM - PASTURE - AFTERNOON
XCU: of horse hoofs lead into a wide open pasture where the key horse, BRONCO, is being taken around on a lap.
MS: A group of horses play in the pasture. The dust kicks up in the field and fills the screen.
EXT. PRACTICE FIELDS - AFTERNOON
WIDE: The dust settles. Wide of Pee-Wee Football Team (10) years old, play football in a dusty field.
POV: In the huddle: We are LITTLE COLT (10) the leader of the troops. We can see our reflection off another kids visor.
POV: Down. Set. Hit! We run through the line of scrimmage and tackle another kid to the ground. We stand up and look around. Kids cheer, tap us on the helmet.
POV: Kneeling down we sit in the back of the row of kids circled around COACH NORRIS (29) young and black with the voice of a reverend. Coach Norris leads them in a chant the kids repeat after each sentence.
Lord and strength. Of my life. Who shall I fear.
INSERTS: The kids hit their pads to bring up a new beat thud, thud, clap! The Pee Wees repeat every line.
COACH NORRIS (CONT’D)
Anybody try to harm us. They stumble and fall. I shall not fall. I will not fall. I’mma take it to em. I’m a do my thing.
This sound flows through to the next scene.
EXT. PRACTICE FIELDS - EVENING
WIDE: A row of car lights silhouette of the kids carrying water bottles in one hand and shoulder pads/helmet in the other meet their parents half way and walk towards the row of cars. Colt limps.
POV: We look up to see Colt’s Mom. Look towards the cars.
Colt, don’t let them see you limp, never show weakness.
The brightness of the headlights fill the frame. The sound of horse hoofs take over from the thuds and the cleats hitting the pavement. This sound leads into the next scene.
EXT. PASTURE - NIGHT
Spotlights glean light on the silhouettes of horses in the pasture. A horse clears the frame and sprints around the pen and sprints down all the way open. The horses breath signals the intensity.
EXT. MAIN STREET - NIGHT
Bronco Pride is abundant on the downtown road vacant of all activity. It looks like the homecoming parade just left town. “We’re closed” signs hang in the windows. A man closes up shop. Goes to his car and drive down the road.
The sound of the crowd filling into a stadium creeps in.
EXT. HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL STADIUM - NIGHT
POV: From the field we see the stadium is rocking! The mascot runs across with a flag. The stands do the wave.
Here we go Broncos, Here we go! Woo!!!
POV: A cheerleader waves and smiles. He got the juice!
KIDS IN THE STANDS
Yo, He’s a freaking beast man! He’s a freak of nature!
Highlight footage of Colt going off.
He’s a stud with a ton of potential if you just look at his build.
POV: Running sideline to sideline to catch a player. Tackle. Get up. Score board.
I got stopped by some moms at the grocery store last week.
People know me now, it’s a nice feeling.
To finally feel welcome for once. You know?
She puts her head down and just nods to acknowledge her truth. Her smile cracks. Her joy is so fragile.
XCU: Family and fans at the game.
Yep, ever since he was a lil’ jit. He was born to play. I knew he was gonna be the one.
The crowd roars after another score. Band goes off and plays the ESPN theme song. “Dun Nuh nuh, dun nuh nuh”
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
POV: COACH JOHNSON (55) wears a red sweater. He looks like a plantation owner. He is accompanied by a black ASSISTANT COACH (40) with beady eyes. They eat comfort food at the round dinning room table.
Look, Mrs., Mr. Wheeler, I’m in the business of building young men.
I’m going to take care of your kid like he’s my own. I promise.
Hell, I just signed a new contract so I’ll be here for a while.
ON SCREEN: 5 year $20 million.
COACH JOHNSON (CONT’D)
He just has to decide if he wants to come help us win a
championship and get an education in the process.
POV: Coach Johnson slides the paper to us.
EXT. FARM HOUSE - EVENING
WIDE: A horse is getting walked into a stall. The horse mild grunts.
The night breeze and crickets chirp to a calm. A wolf howls in the distance. Rooster crows! Feathers flap furiously.
INT. HORSE AUCTION - DAY
The auction room is sparsely populated with older men, mostly white. Coaches with clipboards. A few cheerleaders cheer. On a stage COLT sits with his parents and a host of classmates. A handful of reporters snapping pictures. COLT smiles in enthusiasm.
What’s going to be best for me and my family is for me to go and play football at THE UNIVERSITY OF...
Cut to POV:
... Going once going twice, sold to the man in the red sweater vest.
Coach Johnson smirks and high-fives his crew dressed in scarlet. Coach Milton is standing by proud. Coyotes howl in the distance. The coach from another team throws his clip board to the ground. Mom’s smile is riddled with concern.
The horse trailer shakes.
Bronco the horse get led into a trailer. The truck drives off.
TEXT SUPERIMPOSED: ONE YEAR RENEWABLE CONTRACT VOIDABLE BY ALMOST ANYTHING - sign here _________________
Sound of a signature
COACH CIANO (38) A raspy Macho Man type voice leads you into the next room.
COACH CIANO (V.O.)
Let’s go! Let’s go! Move it. No walking in my gym fellas!
STAGE 2 - LOCKER ROOM - ROUTINE
Emotion: Complex dichotomy that builds a rhythm to a life focused on sport. Expressing that the worth of these characters is in their bodies.
Design: An arched screen panorama. Smells like fresh shoes from a Nike store. There is a large locker/bench that you can sit in. On the walls you have autographs of former players etched in.
INT. LOCKER ROOM - DAY
WIDE: A wide open professional style locker room. A few cleats, towels, and backpacks lay around. Hear the space.
*** These scenes happen simultaneously on different portions of the screen. Sound and Picture dictate the attention.
SOUND: low pass = inactive | regular = real-time
PICTURE: Slow motion/dark = inactive | regular/bright = real time
1) In a locker on the far left side of the room. An older player with a thick New Orleans accent, ICKY, (22) motions toward us to sit down. CUT TO POV.
Say bruh... This ain’t high school. Pimp them cause
they pimpin’ you. Stay prayed up. It's a war out here.
2) CUT TO POV: A group of players join a freestyle cypher. Most of them aren’t the best, just funny. BRAD, MIKE, NICK and MALCOLM. Brad drops a line about “little boy, you’re clothes smaller than my child’s.” Ohhhh!!
3) Center screen plays (extreme slow motion) A group of players in different stages of dressing up join to royal rumble in the center of the room. OWEN, (21) mixed race kid, maybe Samoan dives in head first with reckless abandon.
4) JASON (20) Highlights lines in an Aeronautical Physics text book while listening to 2 Chainz.
5) SHANE (20) White linebacker from Ohio, unpacks his locker, he is sniffling, fighting tear he can barely speak, face red and red eyes. CUT TO POV.
They knew... They knew... I could have died. I’ve been playing football
since I was 5 and now I can’t play for the rest of my life... And it’s over.
Shane grabs his bag as he fights tears. They are silently streaming down his face.
In a flash Shane’s locker is cleared out. It’s like a ghost lives there now.
INT. LOCKER ROOM - DAY (LATER)
WIDE: The locker room is empty, just the scraps from ankle tape. Brad grabs his bag and walks out on the phone.
EXT. RACETRACK - DAY
WIDE: BRAD (20) South Georgia Warrior sits down on the steps below the chaos. People are lining up and fighting to bid on their horses. He talks to his mom and little daughter JORDYN (7), the cutest.
Ma, tell her if we go to a bowl game I’ll get some...
(Smacks her lips) Here, Somebody wanna talk to you.
Daddy, when am I gonna see you?
I don’t know right now. I got an away game this weekend. So I can’t make it this weekend but grandma is going to be there.
But, I want to see you! I miss you!
I know, I know. I’mma try to come home on the bye week if they let us off.
But it’s my birthday!
I know. I’m sorry. I’ll make it up to you.
We can tell she doesn’t believe her dad anymore.
EXT. TRACK - DAY
Brad is upside down. Blood leaks out of his chest.
INT. TRAINING ROOM - DAY / INT. ANIMAL DOCTOR OFFICE - DAY
A panoramic image similar to the locker room broken up into sections. The sound of the room is low-pass noise and machinery meshed with the sounds of a horse stable.
This is intercut on the sides with footage of a horse being bandaged and given shots.
1) People getting ice bags.
2) ICKY is in shorts doing rehabilitation exercises.
3) JASON is getting his wrists taped, flirting with the short cute trainer, BIANCA (18).
4) BRAD gets Cortisone shot in his swelled up knee.
5) In a separate room we look through a slit in the door. OWEN is having a concussion test being done. The sound of the fish tank filters. Trainer talks over Owen to Coach Johnson.
It’s not looking good. It’s the 3rd one. He’s having
aggression issues, nightmares, suicidal thoughts.
If he want’s to play. Let him play. He’s a tough kid.
Man, I’m good. I’m seeing straight. I’m focused! Slot to the bench.
Keys field side option, automatic check falcon - cover nine. K-Bo!... You want to win, right?
That’s the spirit.
Coach stares at Trainer. Trainer gives up. It’s all bad.
EXT. DORM QUAD - DUSK
WIDE: Players scramble to get into cars for weights. A younger player almost get’s left.
INT. WEIGHT ROOM - MORNING
WIDE - POV: All of the football players go to their weight racks and lift with intensity. Trill music plays.
Coach Ciano’s raspy voice motivates.
Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the
fastest lion every morning a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster
than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn't matter
whether you're the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up,
you'd better be running.” (Continues under)
MONTAGE: Intense shots of horses training. Muscles bulging. Weights slam on the ground. Grunts and groans. Sweat drips.
POV: Owen is a beast in the weight room. He spots and motivates us. The whole room is supporting us.
Come on!!! Beast mode!!! Argh!
Lift off. Struggle to hit the max. Boom! Clink! Rack weight!
EXT. FARM ROOM - MORNING
The weight bench is transported to the farm. The team surrounds us. Owen starts to cry with joy. He can’t handle his emotions. He starts slapping his head.
We’re in good hands.
INT. CAFETERIA - DAY
WIDE: Players scoop food out of a troth into bowls as the sit down and eat. Athletes from every sport (football players in sweats, baseball players with hats, swimmers with hair wet, volleyball players with headbands and tape on their shoulders) sit in their TRIBES.
POV: ESPN reports of agent scandals and lawsuits over likenesses over footage of a horse being put down.
We sit the table. The players eat in the morning’s silence.
The bottom line across the screen has news about an alleged rape case. A few players shake their heads.
INT. CLASSROOM - DAY
WIDE: Students file into the classroom well rested and ready to learn.
POV: We sit on the side of the class. The different Team Tribes group up around the class room, never in front. All tired from work outs. The general public socializes around these zombies. Mike struggles to stay awake and take notes. Malcolm whispers to Nick.
Bruh, how we gon eat on this test?
Mike been smashing the girl from ADPi, I think he got word.
Yo, where’s Owen?
I dunno, his girl said he snapped.
He on roids?
Nah, he just depressed or something. He cleared to play.
INT. HOTEL ROOM - NIGHT
POV: We lay in bed watching a movie. Brad goes through the playbook with dimmed lights. We text a CANDACE and JASMINE. “Good night boo! Love you”
Yo Brad, what would you do if you didn’t go to the league.
I don’t know, all I know is football. All I know is we gotta wake up and do this. And I pray that God blesses me with another day to do it.
Yea, but you not trying to do nothing with this degree?
Man, I’m just trying to stay eligible. What I’mma do
with a sociology degree in Wrightsville, Georgia?
Not all of us supposed to be here like you.
They don’t really want us here except on Saturdays.
A door cracks open.
Y’all better not have any girls in here. Huh Huh! Lights out!
INT. HORSE STABLE - DAY
WIDE: Panoramic view of the horse stable. The lights are dim. We dolly passed a stall at a time. The sound of helmets cracking.
I just can’t handle it. I don’t think I’m a good person anymore.
The rage just pumps. And I can’t control it.
It’s not me I swear. I didn’t mean to. It’s not me.
1) A horse sleeping standing up.
2) A horse sleeping standing up.
3) Mike is arguing with his girlfriend in the stall.
4) Shane is wearing a helmet holding his neck in extreme pain as he begs for help against the gate.
5) Owen is hanging from a noose. The dolly stops.
In the second to last stable Shane is wearing a helmet shaking his head. The last stable has a player who hung himself with a rope. It’s Owen. Helmet crack!
FADE TO BLACK.
Sorry I am an embarrassment. Mom, It’s not your fault.
I can’t stop the voices. I’m not a good person.
Lights turn out in the room.
Coach Ciano yells from the next room. The light turns on in that room.
Let’s go let’s go let’s go. Next room on the hop.
I’m not baby sitting. Get your asses in gear. Move move move!
STAGE 3 - COMPETITION - GLORY
Emotion: A release from being cooped up in a stall. This is what we came here for! Glory is imminent.
Design: A football field that is 20 yards long, 18 yards wide.
Screen 1) There is a 8 yard wide screen in the middle of the room.
Screen 2) The end wall is a 15 yard projection screen.
Screen 3) A screen on the ceiling above the end wall.
Screens 4 + 5) Two 20 yard long strips of projection on the side wall.
Turf is installed. A fence surrounds the walls. There are bags and sleds that are fashioned into an obstacle course.
SCREEN 1 (MIDDLE SCREEN):
EXT. PRACTICE FIELD - DAY
WIDE - POV: The whole team breaks it down in a huddle. Brad gives them inspirational strength to push through the grind.
This is a brotherhood fellas, that means everyone has to be
accountable for the team to be strong. Let’s go rookie, break us down.
POV: We walk to the center. Guys slap our helmet and shoulder pads with some grunts.
Hard work on three! Hard work on me. One two three.
WIDE: The team sprints out in each direction. The HORN signaling the end of a period. This repeats more frequently as time passes.
RUNNING BACK STATION
Players run through a series of five bags, break to the left. Hit a bag and sprint through 10 yards.
D LINE STATION
Linemen pass rush with a violent spin moves.
DEFENSIVE BACKS AND WIDE RECEIVER STATION
The DBs and WRs talk smack as they have hand to hand combat on pass drills.
Two offensive linemen and a running back face up against two defensive linemen and a linebacker. 3 Big Hits! All the players cheer.
Simultaneously on SCREEN 2, 4, 5 (THE BACK AND SIDES): The horse goes through similar training in slow motion.
EXT. RACETRACK - DAY
1) The horses prance around the show circle.
2) The horses warm up on the track.
3) The crowd fills in as the jockeys take the horses to their starting points.
4) The horses are loaded at the gate.
EXT. PRACTICE FIELD - DAY
SCREEN 2: The whole team crowds at the 10 yard line. Headed into the end zone.
OTS: We step out on to the field. Whistle blows.
INS: Starting gates open!
INS: The ball is snapped.
INS: The dust from the race track is under our feet.
INS: Horse hoofs hitting the track.
POV: We see the running back run to our right and then cut left. A pulling guard, Nick, comes down hill at us. Time slows to a halt.
Simultaneously SCREEN 4 and 5: The horses leave the gates and speed up as time on screen 1. The sound is very prevalent and the seemingly wrong times.
SCREEN 2: (Slow motion) Nick collapses on the left side of our vision. A loud crack on the right side of the room. A ripple through the room. We tilt over to the right and fly through the air. A vacuum sucks all the air from the room.
SCREEN 4 and 5: Famous race footage of Barbaro getting injured. Sound creeps in.
Barbaro! Barbaro is being pulled up.
The racetrack excitement hushes.
EXT. RACETRACK - DAY
SCREEN 2: We smash into the blazing hot track. THUD! We lay on our side on the race track. The whistle blows. Colt’s voice is an inaudible sonic murmur. More of an instrument.
POV: We see the players walk towards the huddle.
Oh my god, and that’s a tough spill for Barbaro.
Let’s hope he’s ok. Our hearts and prayers ware with his owner.
POV: Still sideways. Trainer jogs over into vision. Gravel is on the screen. Trainer attends to our leg! We roll facing up. The sun in our eyes.
SCREENS 4 and 5: Haunting. Footage of Barbaro squirming on the track struggling to stand up.
Activate SCREEN 3 (THE CEILING OF THE DOME):
POV: Coach Johnson steals away the light from the blue sky. He looks down at us. Trainer talks to coach over us.
It’s looking like an ACL, PCL, meniscus coach.
Agghh?!... Somebody take him out back and shoot him.
Activate SCREEN 1 (Middle of the field):
POV: Boom! We watch on a tilted screen. The whole team turns their back on us in unison. They are running plays on the gravel of the horse track. They move away in 10 yards increments. The camera dollies back. A few turn around occasionally and watch the scene of agony with casual glances.
COACH JOHNSON (V.O.)
I’m going to take care of your kid like he’s my own. I promise.
The sound from the scene fades and we hear wind blow the gravel over. An empty stadium. Horses cry in the distance. The whistle blows after every play.
The team chaplain, D’MOE (40) prays over us but we don’t hear it.
Close up of a watery horse’s eyes.
Sound of a GUNSHOT
CUT TO BLACK
We fight. Til we can’t fight no more, we gon lay down.
Bleed a while, we gon get up. And fight some more.
Fight some more
Fight some more
Fight some more