“my bad side” opening…again

I’ve edited the opening to my bad side again, for the 30th time? I’ve lost count. I might have it now. It’s focused and clear, emotionally charged, paced, punctuated by effective dialogue; it has the right cadence. IMAG1946I watched my face in the window, fading in and out with the shadows, my eyes and mouth against the doorways, my neck and chest over the slumped scaffolding, the empty street and then Bowling Green, a rectangular line of light sliding down my arm, vanishing in a flash across my dress. The cab rattled heavily over a rutted grate and stopped in front of my building. 2012-10-11 00.26.33The driver watched me through his mirror. “$9.40.”

“It’s a $7 fare.”

“What do you want with me?”

I gave him $8.

He snapped around, his white collar tip jutting up like a tiny paper airplane. “I’m not a beggar.”

“And I’m not a tourist.” I didn’t have time to close the door before the car lurched ahead, its wheels catching in a sudden threatening jolt.

“Are you all right?” George wore his uniform perfectly, tie tight, shirt sleeves just out from his jacket.

“Oh, he charged me out of zone.”

“I’ve heard about that.” He walked me up the steps to the apartment doors. “Mr. Walter looked very official tonight. I thought we were being inspected.”


“He said he would give Apollo some company.”

“He’s here now?”

George frowned. “I hope that’s all right, Miss Sinclair.”

“How long ago?”

“It must have been around 2:00, maybe a little after.”

“Thank you.”_MG_3158My hand reflected ghostly in the silver elevator panel. Derek knew that I didn’t want him near me. I had told him exactly that. When would he go back to his sad drunken life and leave me alone? I rotated my heel back on the stiletto, my foot angling sharply up, and thrust myself through the door before they were half open, my key already out, and pushed the apartment door in too hard. IMAG1642

I’ll go over it one more time tomorrow. Just once. Maybe twice.

Bad Side Movie – The Shoot

The Bad Side film short was shot last night, everything in 5 hours. Mike Deminico (Director) and Adam Holz (DOP) – and Joe Schiffer (AD) at the start – worked through the shot list like machines – some 50 shots in all – an impressive feat indeed.

Adam and Mike shoot opening scene

Gardiner Comfort (Derek) and Megan Hill (Dee) worked through the scene again and again,delivered on all of the fighting and yelling, through every shot – mediums, close-ups, point of views – with a professional focus, getting closer and closer to that feeling of loss and anger. Biba struggled in her role as a badly wounded serval, wanting to either get up or go to sleep, whichever wasn’t needed. Micaela Martegani  graciously took on the role of the doorman (woman) at the last minute. She was precise in her delivery and the jacket was a perfect fit. (Thanks, David.) I helped too. I drove. It was a nice car, a Mercedes C250 RWD, but the traffic was terrible – due to the on-going blackout and cleanup efforts in downtown Manhattan – and I missed the final set of shots. It was an interesting experience for me in the end, allowing others to take over my ideas, seeing the characters brought out, the framing choices made. It was not exactly as I envisioned it, but there was a moment listening to a scene, Dee yelling, that it felt like something really had come to life. Post-production is next.

My Bad Side Movie: Rehearsal

We just had the first rehearsal for our short film, Dee, based on the novel, My Bad Side. The actors are excellent. Megan Hill is Dee with Gardiner Comfort is Derek, while David DiGregorio will play the doorman. Biba decided not to rehearse for her role of Apollo.

Ready for her close up

Megan and Gardiner work very well together; it is something to see actors give life to characters, not exactly what you anticipated and something more as well. Mike Deminico directs the production with Adam Holz on camera.  There will be a lot of handheld work and a lot of movement. It might be black and white; that hasn’t been decided. But there will be close ups of high heels on the pavement and a struggle for the knife.

Dee towers over Derek

The shoot is on Wednesday. It doesn’t seem real. I wonder if I should have left Dee alone on the page.

the beginning

My Bad Side is my novel. It begins in New York, present day:

I watched my face fade in and out against the shadows and buildings, my eyes and mouth, my neck and chest, my dress suddenly there and then gone into the scaffolding and lights, a police car, its blue and white lights swimming back and forth. The cab turned, and my face was in the window again, the flat stone of Battery Tunnel and then the gravel and bent-over plastic fences and the wide emptiness and the front of my building.


I gave him $8. “It’s a $7 fare.”

He turned sharply, his collar jutting out at the side. “I’m not a beggar.”

“I’m not a tourist.”

“The fare is $9.40.”

I was only half out, my foot just on the wet asphalt, when the car lurched ahead, and I had to pirouette, kick down and catch myself to a stop, as the wheels spun, jittering, and jolted away, the door still half open.

“Miss Sinclair?” Sully had his hand out for me; he wore his suit perfectly, tie tight, shirt sleeves just out from his jacket,

“Thank you.”

We watched the cab’s tail lights flash on and off, menacingly, and then turn to the park.

“I don’t know what’s wrong with people.” He walked me up the steps. “I really don’t.”

“It’s cold.”

“Yes.” He bowed as he opened the door. “It’s going to snow.”

“It’s supposed to be spring.”

He smiled. “We always have the late snow.”

“Night, Sully.”

“Good night, Miss Sinclair.”

The elevator doors closed. The hall was empty. My key went badly into the lock. Apollo was lying in the middle of the rug, curled away, his bottom leg sticking out, his paw over his head. I couldn’t understand why he was like that.

“Hey there.”

I stepped back and banged my elbow into the wall. “Jesus fuck, Derek.”

He was slouched at the edge of the couch, his uniform half off. “Sorry.”

“What are you doing here?”

He doubled up, coughing horribly.

I crouched over Apollo; there was a hole in his shoulder, a tiny nothing and then a watery line of red trailing into the rug.

“Dee.” Derek was suddenly too close, almost at my shoulder. He had something in his hand, dark and heavy, like a phone, but it wasn’t that. It was a gun. I swung out wildly, twisting away, falling forward, both of us full onto my side and arm, and kicked at him, punching the floor, the gun loose and in my hand. I pushed myself up, everything in me twisted tight, my heart erratic, a mess of veins squenched together, making me think that I was more real than I was, and I raised the gun at him. He wouldn’t stop coughing.

“Your fucking cat—“

It snapped up and hovered, a living thing, and there was a vibrating sound, the light hard and burning. He slumped back like he was pretending to be mad and then he was struggling to get up again.

I was going to shoot again. “Just stay.” He listened to that.

Apollo whipped his tail at me. I tried to lift him, but he swiped back and hissed, and I was just dragging him awfully. I got his cage and pulled him into that and knocked everything off my dresser into a bag, like I had been waiting for this and pulled him after me onto the elevator, getting my phone and was going to call the police but just held it stupidly, thinking they would come after me and decided I had to get away.

“Miss Sinclair?” Sully ran to us. “Are you all right?”

“Apollo’s hurt.”

“Apollo? Let me.” He took the cage out the glass doors. “What’s happened to your hand?”

I looked down, my left hand tight and bent against my chest. “I—I…It’s…I twisted it.”

“You should get it looked at.” He had the cab door open. “You’re sure you’re all right?”

“We’re fine.”

He slid Apollo’s cage in after me. “You’re sure?”

I smiled back. “Thank you, Sully.”

“You should go to the hospital.”

I closed the door. “Penn Station.”