The High School Blues – James Purdie

The High School Blues (A True Story)

“What happens when James faces off with one of his old teachers, who berated him at his high school?

Tension and comedy, that’s what!! The story joins “Old Man Teacher” who knocks on James’ door. After the two face off, will there be forgiveness in the end? This is a little song I whipped up some time ago reflecting my high school turmoil, thwarted passions and teacher, principal-conflicts, etc. I shot, acted and edited this myself, playing both characters: Wounded Student-Artist & Old Man Teacher. The excellent story/script was created by my brilliant, high school buddy and film-maker, Curtis Good.

The lack of soul vision is the primary cause of public school problems.

The High School Blues – James Purdie

Went to school to be degraded
My love life was too frustrated
Teacher said “boy you’re never gonna make it.”
But I know now the man was faking.

Get out that place. Make new friends.
Write a little song. Shouldn’t take long.
Went to school to be deflated.
My name is the staff room was so damn hated.
Teacher tried his best to make an example
By declaring me a dirty rotten apple

Get out that place. Make new friends.
Write a little song. Shouldn’t take long.

Went to school to be berated
My love for life had all evaporated.
Teacher said “boy you’re nothing but a zero”.
So I tore up my plans for being a hero.

Get out that place. Make new friends.
Write a little song. Shouldn’t take long.

Here’s the actual Script we did for it:

 

 

HIGH SCHOOL BLUES

A working script by Curtis Good

“HIGH SCHOOL BLUES” (song by James Purdie)

(capitalized words are suggested changes by curt)

 

Verse 1
Went to school to be degraded
My love life was too frustrated
Teacher said “boy you’re never gonna make it”
But I know now the man was faking

Chorus 1

Get out of THIS place
Make new friends
Write a little song
Shouldn’t take long..

Verse 2

Went to school to be deflated
My name in the staff room was so damn hated
Teacher tried his best to make an example
By declaring me a dirty rotten apple

Chorus 2

GOT out of that place
MAKING new friends
WRITING a little song
Shouldn’t take long..

Verse 3

Went to school to be berated
My love for life HAS all evaporated
Teacher said “boy you’re nothing but a zero!”
So I tore up my plans for being a hero.

Chorus 3

I GOT OUT OF THAT PLACE

MADE A NEW FRIEND
WROTE THIS SONG
DIDN’T TAKE LONG…

SYNOPSIS: What happens when James faces off with one of his old teachers, who berated him at his high school? Tension and comedy, that’s what!! The story joins Old Man Teacher who knocks on James’ door. James opens the door to find one of his old teachers from the past, and he wants nothing to do with it. He literally kicks Old Man Teacher off the steps then proceeds to sing to him about this “High school Blues.” After the two face off, will there be forgiveness in the end?

SCRIPT NOTES:

-Filming Style: Love the increase in the frames to your current video. Good visual, this will help bunch this story into the time limit of the song. Use this as needed/sparingly. There is a good opportunity to establish this visual way of story telling in first scene when Old Man Teacher walks up to James’ door at his house.

-Note: The video cuts back and forth between James and Old Man Teacher. We obviously do not see them in the same frame as there is one actor for both parts. James, and Old Man Teacher REACT to each others actions. Can you say CATHARTICJ

CHARACTERS:

1) James: James is the singer songwriter in the story, who STRUGGLES. In the end he experiences TRIUMPH through forgiveness (we see this as James invites Old Man Teacher into his house).

2) Old Man Teacher: Starts out caring walking up to steps, becomes angry in middle, and in end is sad and repents (drops bottle looks up at James all sad).

FADE IN:

High school blues

EXT. Door – day

OLD MAN TEACHER sports a nice WHITE DRESS SHIRT, as he walks up to the front door of JAMES’ house and BANGS on the door. He grips a BOOK in his hand.

James opens the door playing his guitar. His mouth hangs open in shock of who he see’s.

The Old Man Teacher backs away

James kicks his foot toward Old Man Teacher.

Old Man Teacher falls back off the front steps as the BOOK FLIES OUT OF HIS HAND OUT OF FRAME. He stands on the walkway in silent confusion.

James continues to play guitar, as he sits down on his front steps and begins to sing:

(Verse 1)

James

Went to school to be degraded…

James hands Old Man Teacher a BOTTLE OF PURPLE ELIXER.

(CHORUS 1 BEGINS)

JAMES (CONT’D)

Get out of this place…

Old man Teacher chugs back on the bottle, as purple liquid spirals down his chin spiraling onto his white shirt.

Shot of James playing guitar and singing as he REACTS to the thirsty Old Man Teacher.

Old man teacher

(mouths the word)

Shouldn’t take long…

James stands up momentarily on the steps and kicks a giant PURPLE BALL toward Old Man Teacher who catches the ball with cat like reflexes.

James sits back down and continues singing:

(Verse 2)

JAMES

Went to school to be deflated…

Old Man Teacher pulls out a NEEDLE from his pocket and holds the needle to the PURPLE BALL, as if holding a gun to head of a hostage. (This is a comic light moment as the Ball represents James thematically, and the Needle represents the teacher and school that has deflated James).

James continues singing.

JAMES (CONT’D)

Teacher tried to make an example…

Old Man Teacher smiles wickedly as he holds up a DEFLATED BALL

James (CONT’D)

By declaring me a dirty rotten apple.

Old Man Teacher throws the deflated ball toward James.

James catches a SHINY RED APPLE.

(CHORUS 2 BEGINS)

JamES (CONT’D)

I got out of that place….

Cuts between James who sings on the steps while Old man teacher points his finger, as he berates james (yells).

(VERSE 3 BEGINS)

JAMES (CONT’D)

Went to school to be berated…

Old Man Teacher points angrily and mouths “berated” along with the song.

James hands a FULL BOTTLE of Elexir toward Old Man Teacher.

Old Man Teacher looks down at an EMPTY Elexir bottle in his hands, then up at James who sings:

JAMES (CONT’D)

My love for life has all evaporated…

OLD MAN TEACHER

(mouths the word along with song)

Evaporated…

James continues singing on the steps.

JAMES

Teacher said “boy you’re nothing but a zero!!”

The empty Elexir bottle slips out of Old Man Teacher’s hands, as it smashes on the cement.

Old Man Teacher looks sadly down at the smashed bottle. He looks slowly up at James who smiles reassuringly (note this is the point of forgiveness on James’ part. It is important to get this visual in his face and following sequence):

James STANDS and begins singing:

(Chorus 3)

JAMES (CONT’D)

I got out of that place…

James motions for Old Man Teacher to follow him inside the house.

JAMES (CONT’D)

I made a new friend, wrote this song, didn’t take long…

James smiles, turns and walks into the house.

Old Man Teacher follows James up the steps, stops and picks up the BOOK, enters James’ house, and closes the door.

FADE OUT.

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