Someday, I'm going to make a big-budget film of Desert Bus Ride #1: A Romance Story and for Ladies. It's an amazing story of patience, loyalty, conflict, love, and jealousy. It's unusual to find a story so lacking in the typical Hollywood BS, and so true to life. Nobody in the business will finance such a daring, creative, and unorthodox story, so I'll finance it myself, once I get rich. The film will take some liberties with the original story, but will stay true to its spirit and its ideas. I'm guessing the MPAA will rate it "R" for "violence, language, sexuality, and scares children."
The unhappy but generous life of a middle-aged man named Kyle Roberts Oakland will inspire people. His official job is Bus Driver. He's the only man patient enough to drive a bus from Tuscan, Arizona, to Las Vegas--8 hours both ways--every day. It's a hard job, but someone's got to do it. Mr. Oakland isn't alone, though. He's helped by Bob Orlando, his bus assistant and best friend. Mr. Oakland dreams that someday it might be more than that, but alas, Bob Orlando is heterosexual.
Mr. Oakland isn't just a bus driver--that's only his cover. He is secretly working for the FBI, spying on his fellow FBI members for Internal Affairs. As he works out of Tuscan, his job as a bus driver allows him a good excuse to go to Las Vegas for short periods and do his work for the FBI there.
The film covers the story of his trip to spy on a man named Jim. Jim has always been a good friend. Yet he is suspected of unlawful methods in his fight against terrorists in Las Vegas. Jim believes that sometimes, drastic steps have to be taken to stop terrorists. It's not an endorsement of the Bush administration, though--every point of view comes up, and many questions are raised that point out fallacies on all sides of the debate.
This is not a political movie, however. It is a story of patience, conflict, and bravery. Mr. Oakland has always trusted his friend. He does not want to spy on him. He wonders what will happen when he arrives, during the whole 8-hour journey there. Is Jim breaking the law? What will Mr. Oakland do if he is? And if that weren't enough, the terrorists know Jim is onto them, and his life is in grave danger.
It will be a twisting, unpredictable story that expands on tantilizing questions from Peter Chimaera's provocative original. What IS with that mother's earmuffs, anyway? They "keep her cool while they bus drive," she says. In times of great stress, such as this dreadful 8-hour bus drive, paranoia can take hold of anyone. Mr. Oakland has Bob Orlando keep tabs on the woman--she might be getting orders from terrorists, spying on Mr. Oakland! Bob disregards Mr. Oakland's claims, and pays them no mind. Then several shocking twists in a row! After falling down, Bob gets involved with a sympathetic woman named Margaret, much to Mr. Oakland's jealousy! But it may come to nothing, as Margaret has a boyfriend already. But wait! Her boyfriend is in the FBI--it is Jim!
The film will emphasize character dynamics, which shift multiple times over the course of the story. Mr. Oakland loves Bob, and therefore dislikes Margaret--but wants to keep her with her boyfriend Jim, to keep her away from Bob. That means he's got to keep Jim out of jail, or Margaret could sink her claws into his beloved Bob Orlando! Bob, meanwhile, may just want to get Jim out of the way, so he can get with Margaret and win her triumphantly to like him and maybe get a very could cup of coffee! Thus begins an unspoken duel between the two men, each with a very different motive, and with Jim at the center of it all. But don't forget Mr. Oakland's undying loyalty to the FBI. What will he do?
One man on the bus is from India, and speaks of his home very patriotically. A perfect suspect for a terrorist--but he is not one. The film never hints that he is one, either. It begins with an idea in the mind of the viewer, and exposes their own hidden racist tendencies.
The desert is an immense place, with no civilization visible for miles around. The bus is a product of civilization, and its driver, Kyle Roberts Oakland, dares to tread into that forbidden land which no man has since the powerful warlock who discovered it incredibly. Yet the desert is nothing compared with what awaits Mr. Oakland when they reach their final destination.
Suspense will be used immensely. The film will be 10 hours long. Thirty minutes will establish Mr. Oakland's home life (he lives alone) and after the bus ride, there will be the overwhelming payoff--an hour and a half of action and drama that will have their full effect as a result of 8 hours of suspense and tension building up in real time over the 8 hour bus ride.
The cinematography will emphasize the claustrophobia of the bus ride, and highten the tension between Mr. Oakland, Bob Orlando, Margaret, and the mother with earmuffs, who we'll name Claudia. It will be a subversion of what you'd expect in the open desert--during the bus ride sequence, not a single shot will be set outside the bus. This isn't Lawrence of Arabia; it's better. We'll emphasize the endless desert outside, from the inside, and make the viewer long to escape the bus but be unable to abandon the characters whose tragedies they will sympathize with.
No drinks will be served to viewers looking to watch Desert Bus Ride. There is no water in the desert, and the audience will become as thirsty as the characters. Also, the audience won't be allowed to leave. This movie will take the artistry of audience participation to a new level!
We'll probably do a sort of film noir style, in color though. Mr. Oakland will give a dramatic voiceover at the beginning, telling us how he's the man who does what no one else is willing to do, yadda yadda. Make us feel for him, and admire him. Then, subvert audience expectations by keeping him quiet for most of the bus ride. His face alone will let us see into his tortured soul.
Okay, what do you think? Any suggestions? I'm not sure how to end it. We need a big payoff between Mr. Oakland, Bob Orlando, Margaret, and (spoilers!) Jim, who gets shot and reveals he's Mr. Oakland's cousin, and (more spoilers!) Claudia, who turns out to be spying on Mr. Oakland and Margaret for the terrorists. Mr. Oakland cries for the whole 8 hours back to Tuscan, but I think we'll show this in about 10 minutes. 8 more hours would be anticlimactic--but maybe that's a good idea. We could show how life goes on, and remains tedious for Mr. Oakland. 8 more hours after the climax might just be another daring, artistic decision.
I leave it to the genius Peter Chimaera to veto any idea of mine he deems unfit.