Clowns and Swords

A Clown Holding Swords

Not quite what I had in mind. From

In my last semester at the University of Tennessee, I took a course in screenwriting. It was one of the best classes I took, mainly because the professor pushed students to do an insane amount of work. You know, it was a constructively pressure-filled atmosphere, if that makes sense.

Part of the insane amount of work was the requirement of churning out a scene (read, about a page’s worth of material–any more than that and Dr. Larsen would go apeshit and scream, “No, no, no!”) three times a week and turning it in, so that he could go over it about six times with six different colored pens. Yes, I know, this makes him seem completely insane, but it was a great, great way to learn about writing screenplays. Nothing like abject terror and multiple colors of ink to push you to excel.

One of the assignments was to create a scene that used a montage. I have no idea how I came up with Clowns With Swords as a premise, but, hey, caffeine does amazing things to my brain.

And, as with everything tossed into the Scripts and Simontek Studios category, if I ever had the opportunity to film it (and direct it, since in the words of an agent at the place I’m interning at, “screenwriters get shit on”), I’d be all over it.


EXT. PARK -DAY                                                                                                                                                                                   (PRESENT)

A blacktop running track winds around the park, flanked by trees. A field, dotted with shrubs, trees, and the occasional fountain, makes up the majority of the park. Joggers and picnickers fill up the area.

RICHIE, 28, athletic, leans up against a tree next to the track. He wears running garb, has an mp3 player strapped to his upper arm.

He begins to stretch. In the middle of one of his trunk rotations, he stops and gasps, eyes wide as a cow’s.

JINGLES, 30, a clown made up like Pagliacci, stands in the middle of the track wielding a scimitar.

Jingles CACKLES.


I’m here for you, Richie. They sent in the clowns.

Richie BOLTS off in the opposite direction.


— Richie barrels through a family picnic. Jingles follows, twirling his scimitar.

— Richie sits behind a rock, GASPING for air. Jingles appears overhead and SMACKS the sword against the rock.

— Richie climbs across monkey bars in a playground. Jingles follows close behind.

— Richie stops in a sandbox, hurls sand in Jingles’s eyes.


Richie leans against a tree. Sweat pours out of his forehead as if a water main burst on his head.

The scimitar THWACKS into the trunk.

Richie, cow-eyed, stares at Jingles.


Got you.

Richie LAUGHS.


Man, that was great. Same time Wednesday?


You bet your ass.

Jingles pulls the scimitar, shakes Richie’s hand, and saunters off, leaving the other man grinning and panting next to the tree.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s