Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Roy Stryker Shooting Script #3

255 - mango
Sarah Van Name

7. Cloverleaf passes

I want the feel of a full tank of gas and a couple just out of college. These photos should show the fifteen-year-old driving too slowly under his father’s tutelage and the same boy two years later getting pulled over by a state trooper. These are the smaller details, and as you should know by now, necessary: the couple’s hands intertwined, their fingers reminiscent of the loops of the highway that spirals over and around them, the shakiness of the boy’s movements as he pulls away.

But we also need the bigger picture. Get the aerial shots, the ones showing the beautiful ballet of the cars weaving in their lanes under and through. In the daytime, in the orange dusk, and at night with the red and the yellow.

8. “Fit for the likes of us”

A certain understanding of what’s suitable and what crosses lines. A blonde girl grows up in a suburb. Her mother works part-time as an office manager, her father makes business trips. For lunch she eats peanut butter and jelly or ham and cheese on Wonder bread, with an apple and a bag of low-fat chips. She drinks skim milk at dinner and is asleep by midnight.

One day when she’s fifteen, her mother puts a mango in her lunch instead of an apple. When she bites into it, soft orange juice drips down her chin. This is the kind of thing that leads to the learning of curse words, and music with drums, and unprotected sex.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Roy Stryker Shooting Script #2

328 - chocolate
Sarah Van Name

4. We need more pictures to get the feeling of “Weather” – rain, mist and fog, snow, wind,

This is of the utmost importance. You have to understand that weather is the mother’s morning television before she wakes up the children. It’s the first breath of the day when one opens the door, the feeling of one’s skin as each hour passes, bus stop and dinner table conversation. The final arbiter of bicyclists and lifeguards. Without this, what can we have?

We need more pictures of both the dramatic and the standard – school cancellations, constellations of ice on the windshields of vehicles, and the powdered sugar dustings of snow that leave kids disappointed on cold-window mornings. In sifting through the File I have found also that pictures of girls with their hair whipped back by the wind (in the drivers’ seats of convertibles, silhouetted against the ocean) are absent. Fix this. Above all it is necessary to for us to see, and really see, the pools of sun that coalesce upon the shoulders of these girls.

5. Watering the lawn

The sprinkler system; the garden hose snaking endlessly from the bowels of the house; the splash of water on the sidewalk, yes. But also the anxiousness of the man who wants to keep his lawn greener than his neighbor. The warnings of water shortages. The green of the lawn, then the brown.

6. Soda counter – high school kids

Two boys sit at the left end. Two girls sit at the right. One of them is prettier than the other, her hair dark and smooth. She’s sipping a chocolate milkshake with the slow precision of someone who has a distracted mother and no afternoon curfew. Her friend gazes out the window into the April heat and watches a window-painter on the other side of the street, the muscles in his arms moving back and forth in repetitive motion. She bites her nails. The boys don’t look at either of them.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Roy Stryker Shooting Script #1

Fragrance – 186

Sarah Van Name

1. Paper in park after concert

By this I mean the ways the papers fray, rip, scatter in the wind like so many kites. The color of the grass it lands on. The soggy silk of it as it floats on the pond, disturbing the serenity of ducks.

2. Fishing

Here I want poles, hooks, live and dead bait, not to mention the moment in which you take off your shirt and the sting and texture of the sunburn the next day. The chill of your feet in the water, the slipperiness of rocks, how the fish feels as it dies in your hands: the powerful contractions of its muscles. The thrill – the fear.

3. Baker’s bread

I am speaking here of the fragrance that fills the house when it bakes and when it is set on the counter, fresh from the oven, yes. But also the anticipation of that fragrance and the way the kitchen door sticks when you slide it open; the tear in the screen. The scratch of chalk on pavement. The taste and substance of the honeysuckle tucked behind your sister’s ear.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


Darkroom - 90 words
Sarah Van Name

Darkroom colors were the ones that kept you, slight and shadowed in the chemical glow. Afternoons and evenings evaporated or were absorbed into you like sugar on your tongue. The play of light, the measure of time, the rich shades of gray in your subjects – they began to replace real sunshine afternoons and river beds. I was afraid that you would transpose yourself into the pictures you made and I would see you again only in negative strips, transparent and dark. Amber, and your fool self caught like a wasp.