08 November 2004

Dog Fight (short film)

This is a very rough treatment of a film our production group are making. The brief was "Do a three minute character study" so that's what I've done. The character in question, a man in his 70s who I have named George, is based on someone I used to see when I walked my dogs up by a park near the football stadium. The film is based on an anecdote of mine which is will now tell you:

I have to walk the dogs every night. It's my chore. Personally, I reckon I got screwed when it came to chores being handed out, and my social life has suffered for it, but there you go. I have two dogs, an old decrepid albino mongrel we rescued from the pound called Barney and a crazy staffordshire bull-terrior cross who makes even the most braindead of scallies look smart called Pebbles.

Sometimes, when I used to walk the dogs, I would see this old man walking his golden retriever. Now, Barney was abused as a puppy, hence being rescued and ending up in the pound, and as such is pretty anti-social and nervous. He attacked other dogs, and occasionnaly people. I don't mean he ravages them, I mean he just barks alot and if the opportunity arises he'll take a bite. It's not his fault. Still, I try and keep him away from other dogs. Unfortunately, sometimes this is not possible and on at least one occassion barney and this golden retriever have gone at it. Now, I've learnt that the best thing to do when two dogs are going at each other is to just leave them for a little bit and then try to seperate them. George obviously did not know this and was rather upset that his dog was being attacked. George kicked my dog. I was not happy. I cursed him out. Then I went home. Things like this happened a couple of times.

So me and George have a history. One night I go to walk my dogs only to find that George is already there walking his. "Fine," I think, ever the diplomat, "I will wait outside the park for him to finish." I sit down on the floor and smoke a cigarette.

Upon finishing George leaves the park but stops to give me a dirty look. He then proceeds to cross over the road to his house, stopping every 30 seconds to look at me, and then carrying on. Once the reaches the sanctity of his front garden he looks over at me and gives me the fingers, the ol' V.

The cheeky bastard!

"Fine!" I say "you fucking asshole! Next time I'll let my dog rips yours to shreads!"

He didn't like this. He starts walking back over to me.

"Did you call me a wanker? DID YOU CALL ME A WANKER?!?"

"Uh, no, I called you an arsehole. Pay attension!"

George gets right up in my face.

George is drunk and old.

George punches me in the face.

What the fuck?!? I've just been punched in the face by a drunk old man! What the fuck am I supposed to do?

George punches me again.

I mean, I can't hit him back, can I?

Then george punches me again.

Now, I should point out, that these punches really didn't hurt. Like I said, he was drunk and old, but that third one smarted a little, and I was getting kinda pissed off.

So I hit him back. In the Head. He goes flying backwards and falls onto the wrought iron fence, which he grabs hold of. He then pulls himself up and starts walking towards me. There is a cut above his eye and blood is dripping down his face.

George gets right up in my face and punches me again.

At this point I turn around and go home. I don't need this shit. I got better things to do. Plus, I needed a spliff, what with being somewhat shaken up after being attacked by someone old enough to be my mum's dad.

The film is set several hours before this event and is seen from George's perspective. I have done my best to breathe life into his character, as this was the assignment, which I think I've done pretty well. I've kinda gone for a slightly humourous edge, which I think will be aparent (You will never, ever, hear a 70 year old white man say "Bust a cap in his arse." - I pretty much gurantee it). The treatment needs alot of fleshing out, and it isn't properly formated, but the basic structure is there. A spliff to whoever spots the line of 'borrowed' dialogue and tells me which film it is from.


Dog Fight
by Adam Cheshire

A typical semi-detached house lines an A road. The front garden is well kept, with arrangements of flowers and bushes pushing their way up from the soil. Inside the front room it is dark, the curtains drawn. Videos are strewn all over the floor. Titles such as “menace2society”, “training day”, “Gangster No.1” and “Lock, Stock and Two smoking barrels”. An old man (60ish) sits at a table. On the table is a half empty bottle of whisky, a shot glass, and a semi-automatic pistol. The old man, one GEORGE SMITH, pours himself a shot which he proceeds to down. From his body language we know that he has been drinking all day. In the background we hear a dog growling and scratching. GEORGE stares into space in a determined fashion. He pours himself another shot. We hear the front door open and a elderly woman’s voice say


This is MARY SMITH, GEORGE SMITH’S long suffering but good humoured wife. She has been out shopping with her friends. She walks in to find GEORGE blind drunk…

MARY - “George… George, your drunk!”

GEORGE pays no attention to this comment and pours himself another shot.

GEORGE – “I’m gonna have him…”

MARY – “Have who?”

At this point GEORGE drunkenly swings himself onto his feet, bottle in hand, and begins to move around in drunken pantomime movements.

GEORGE - “That kid…”

MARY – “What kid? George you not making any sens..”

GEORGE – “That kid! That fucking kid! The one with the dogs. The one who walks his dogs in my park… my park!”

MARY – “George, it’s not your…”

GEORGE – “That fucking kid… I’ve been living in this house for 20 years…”

MARY – “Yeah, I know. I’ve been living here with you, remember?”

GEORGE – “Mary, don’t interrupt me..”

MARY gives GEORGE a look of friendly contempt.

GEORGE – “we’ve been walking Scruff in that park as long as we’ve had him! Every night at 10! And we’ve nev’r ‘ad any trouble…”

MARY – “Except that time you set him on those boys who were smoking wacky tobacco…”

GEORGE – “No morality! No respect!”

MARY – “And they didn’t take too kindly to it.”

GEORGE – “20 years!”

MARY – “and then they smashed up my greenhouse.”

GEORGE – “fucking kids…”

MARY – “George! Language!”

GEORGE – “ssorry dear”

MARY (looking about) - “Where is scruff?”

GEORGE sits down agan and pours himself another drink. MARY notices the gun.

MARY – “GEORGE! What are you planning to do with that?”

GEORGE looks at the gun.

GEORGE – “I’m gonna have him…”

MARY – “Where did you get it?”

GEORGE downs the shot, picks up the gun and gets to his feet.

GEORGE – “You know what he did! His fucking mongrel attacked Scruff! The nerve! I mean…”

MARY – “George, where did you get that gun?”

GEORGE – “Huh? Oh, some lad down the rummer lent it to me…”

MARY – “George! What have I told you…”

GEORGE – “After all we’ve suffered! The war! The recession! Old age! And now this…”

MARY – “The rummer is full of thieves and yobs…”

GEORGE – “It’s bad enough that society ignores us… with their hippity hop and their dance music… and the clothes! In my day…”

MARY wanders out into the kitchen to see what is wrong with Scruff only to discover, after looking through the backdoor, that the barking isn’t coming from scruff but a very nasty looking pitbull. MARY is taken aback, stepping suddenly backwards in fear.

MARY – “GEORGE! Who’s dog is this?”

GEORGE – “That lad down the pub lent him to me. He’s gonna help me teach that little bastard a lesson! It’s okay, Scruff is with Mrs johnson”

MARY is awestruck.

GEORGE walks up to MARY.

George – “We’ll see how cocky that snot nosed bastard is after Cane here rips his mongrel dogs to shreads and then, when he leasts expects it… BAM! BAM! I’m gonna bust a cap in his arse…”

MARY – “You’ll bust a what?”

GEORGE staggers over to his arm chair and collapses in it.

GEORGE – “No morality! No respect!”

GEORGE dozes off, his arm hanging down with the gun in his hand. Over the snoring it drops to the floor. The window is framed in the background and through it we see the Kid GEORGE has been going on about walk past with his dogs.