Free Read

Before I began my career in romance writing, I was studying for a career in filmmaking and screenwriting. I’m a huge lover of music of all kinds, and I adore music videos. (Like, real music videos with storylines, not a bunch of clips of a band playing on stage). I was considering a career in that industry, and I wrote dozens of music video treatments for my favorite artists to build a portfolio. I stumbled across them in a dark forgotten corner of my laptop and thought I’d share a few of them. Enjoy!

 

NICK LACHEY—All In My Head
Written May 7, 2009
(listen to the song here)

Outside a church, it is sunny and bright.  Wedding guests are arriving, smiling and laughing as they make their way into the church.  The entire scene is shot in slow motion, all bright and warm.

Nick is in a side room of the church, getting ready in front of a full length mirror.  He looks a little nervous but mostly excited.  His best man is there, helping him into his tux, tying his bowtie, taming his hair.  This scene is intercut with shots of Nick singing on the steps of the church in the rain.

Nick walks down the aisle and up to the altar amid a church of filled with his friends and family.  He stands there, waiting.  The room is crowded and still his bride is nowhere in sight.  The scene is intercut with shots of Nick singing in his honeymoon suite, wedding gifts piled near him.

Nick is alone on the stage of his wedding reception, performing for an empty unused room.  This scene is intercut with shots of Nick still standing in front of his friends and family, anxiously looking around.  He checks his watch often, but his bride is still nowhere to be seen.

The crowd is talking to each other, aware that something is wrong.  Nick looks nervous and turns to the pastor for reassurance.  The pastor shrugs sympathetically.  This scene is intercut with shots of Nick singing on the church stairs and in his hotel room.

Nick sings on the stage of his wedding reception hall.  This scene is intercut with shots of Nick’s bride walking in, all smiles as she makes her way down the aisle.  She looks absolutely beautiful.  Nick smiles, obviously relieved.

Nick and his bride gaze at each other as the pastor reads the sermon.  This scene is intercut with shots of Nick singing on the church stairs and in his honeymoon suite, opening the wedding gifts and tossing them uselessly aside.

Nick says I do.  His bride says nothing.  Both Nick and the pastor turn to her, and everyone in the church is holding their breath, waiting for her answer.  She shakes her head, no.  Nick is frozen in shock.  This scene is intercut with shots of Nick singing in the reception hall, church stairs, and honeymoon suite.

Eventually, he stumbles out a side door.  Outside the church is a convertible with a “Just Married” sign and streamers and cans attached to the back.  He rips off the cans and some of the streamers, hops in, and drives off.  This scene is also intercut with shots of him singing in the reception hall, church stairs, and honeymoon suite.

Nick drives his “Just Married” car into the distance, repeating “All in my head” over and over again.

THE END.

 

*~*~*

KRIS ALLEN—I Need To Know
July 12, 2010
(listen to the song here)

The video opens with an overview of the Afghani country, a military base just outside town.  Everything is in slow motion, like dying, like drowning, slow and numb.

Kris sits in his tent, running his hands over his shaven hands, wearing camo pants, a wifebeater, dog tags, desperately getting his thoughts down in what could be his final letter home.  Other soldiers, his brothers, hurry:  some writing their letters, others grabbing a picture or luck charm, packing a few things, heading out.

Outside, Kris grabs his things, wearing full combat gear, being swept along with the mad bustle.  A brother grabs his hand, pulling him into the back of an open truck.  The other soldiers look serious, worried—clearly they’re on a dangerous mission, and for many, it will be their last.

He sings the chorus as they drive off, heading in.

The fight is already underway when they arrive, men shooting, being shot at.  The truck stops, but before more than a few men can jump out, it is hit with a missile.  It blows up, metal and men flying everywhere.

Kris wanders, helmet gone, blood and dirt on his face, one hand clutching his bleeding stomach.  He drops his gun, momentarily grasping the hand of a fallen brother before stumbling on.  He pulls out a picture, clutching to it desperately.

He sings the chorus, desperate, desolate.  Dying alone in the middle of some wartorn country 7000 miles away from home.

He collapses, lying on his back, gasping, staring unseeing at the blinding sky.  Worn and crumpled in his hand is a picture of Kris, his parents, and his brother.

The memories come then, memories of before he got here.  He’d been young and bitten by the patriotic bug—willing and eager to lay his life on the line for his country.  The flashes rush by.  Shaving his head for deployment.  His mother crying when she saw.  Kris yelling, fighting with his father who just didn’t understand.  Saying goodbye to his brother, who felt abandoned.  Leaving his family behind as he let with his military brothers.

Fade to grey and then black as Kris’s eyes close, maybe forever.

But he lives, saved by someone because he certainly didn’t save himself.  Standing in the airport, watching as soldiers joyfully, emotionally, are reunited with girlfriends, wives, children, families.  And Kris stands alone.  Alive, but not really living.  Until he sees them.  His parents, his brother standing to one side of the crowd, waiting.  Everyone’s unsure because of how they left things.  How do they go on?  Can they?

Kris needs to know.

But he doesn’t care about the questions, runs to his family with tears on his face.  Grabs his brother, hugs him tight, lets him know he wasn’t abandoned.  Kisses his mother, holding her as she clings to him, crying.  Then turns to his father, both unmoving, both unsure if they are forgiven.  Then they move as one, embracing tightly, never to go through this again.

They’re all crying together, like they lost someone.  But they didn’t.  They found their family, and they won’t let it go again.

And now he knows.

THE END.

*~*~*

CASSIDY HALEY—Fly
October 23, 2010
(listen to the song here)

Children play in the street, jumping rope, playing tag.  They are dressed oddly, giving them a very timeless feel.  One girl whispers to another and points to an open window above.  The camera rises, going through the rustling curtains, and enters Cassidy’s room.  The room is impeccably neat and barren:  bare floor, tidy bed, simple wooden table and chair.  The lighting gives the room a sickly look, almost old and abandoned.

Cassidy, looking pale with dark haunting eyes, sits on the floor, leaning against the wall.  He sings to himself, almost as if he’s talking to himself because he has no one else.

He gets up slowly and goes to the window.  He leans against the wall beside it so he is almost entirely hidden from the view of passerby.  He watches the children playing, longing to be one of them.  The little girl sees him, and he stares back at her.  When she waves, he quickly ducks away.

He goes to his door, opens it, checks to make sure no one is around, then reaches under his bed and pulls out an old box.  He handles it gently, reverently, and carefully removes the lid.  He looks over his treasures:  a fall leaf from a nearby tree, a ball that was accidentally thrown throw his window, a few sketches he has of himself playing with the children.  The drawings show him at varying ages, suggesting he has watched them for years.

He carries his box to the window and looks down at the children.  They’re playing ball now, and for a second, he touches the ball in his box.  Then he quickly shuts the lid, clutching the box to his chest and turning away from the window.  He squeezes his eyes shut, and the memories come quickly.

They show a horrible story, Cassidy’s beautiful young mother dying in childbirth and his horrible father locking him away from the world.  He is beaten and terrorized, not only as a child but also as a young man and even at his present age.  Many images are of him cowering in fear.

He sets the box on the bed and goes to the window, not hiding in the shadows but standing directly in the sunlight.  The little girl motions and points, and as he climbs onto the window ledge, all the children are watching anxiously.

Cassidy jumps, falling slowly.  When he finally lands, the children are all crowding around him and cheering.  He feels something touch him, and when he looks down he is surprised to see the little girl holding his left hand.  On his other side, a young boy presses a ball into his other hand.  He looks up at his window for just a moment and realizes that he is free.  For the first time, he smiles, but most importantly, it’s the first time there has been real and lasting hope in his eyes.

THE END.

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