Catch A Shooting Star: A City Pages Screenplay

The assistant director is missing. The dominatrices are talking about enemas. DIY filmmaker John Ervin is turning another dream into a movie.

Ervin sits on a wooden box in a dark, narrow hallway, thwacking himself periodically in the thigh with a riding crop as Burleigh-Bentz rehearses a line of dialogue.

BURLEIGH-BENTZ: "Since I sobered up, since I got over that week-long enema, I realized I wasn't punishing my submissive; I was punishing myself.

NARRATOR: Ervin appears pleased with the shoot's progress, although he still has no idea if or where the finished film will appear. Nevertheless, he's already dreaming of his next project, a musical based on the work of cult filmmaker and Hollywood Babylon author Kenneth Anger.

ERVIN: It wouldn't really be based on the films themselves--because they're pretty much just people wandering around doing satanic stuff--but more on the themes. I like musicals, but more in the vein of Hedwig than Chicago. Maybe by the time I finish writing it, the economy will have improved. What I really need to find is an eccentric millionaire who will finance me. Either that, or another set of parents.




NARRATOR: Ervin is preparing to shoot his coup de théâtre, in which a gang of angry dominatrices pummels the good doctor. The scene involves lots of foul language, as well as generously apportioned cleavage--meaning, Ervin's financiers would probably not approve.

ERVIN:I guess when I started this, my parents probably thought I'd eventually become a banker or something like that. When they saw I was going to continue with it, I think they sort of resigned themselves. They still get annoyed with the financial problems I get into. But they're getting old now, so they don't care as much anymore.

In the background, a woman in knee-high leather boots and a black bustier practices banging the doctor's head against a steel railing.

ERVIN: Occasionally I think it would be easier if I just had a record collection as my creative outlet. But it's like what they say about the eunuch at the orgy--you're observing but not participating. I can't stand that. I've tried other hobbies, but they just never stick. As long as I can make a movie every three years or so, I'm happy. My worst nightmare is to give up.

With that, Ervin bustles off to help choreograph his dominatrix melee.

NARRATOR: We close on this thought--that there are a million good reasons not to make a film, write a book, or start a band; that to do anything in this world requires a selective blindness to the limit of one's aptitude and resources; that incurable enthusiasm always trumps inborn genius; that John Ervin is a salutary example of this truth.



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