An All Girl Band meets the Russian Security Forces
Russian television pilot written by Alan Nafzger
READ THE SCRIPT —> Moscow Rocks
A television series for music hungry Russia.
Seven musically talented Moscow girls form an all girl band. They share a great deal in common. Each girl was a child musical prodigy. Each has a creative and rebellious spirit. Each girl was expelled from music schools at various times. Each girl would be a great composer and artist in her own right except for interruptions. Each band member is held back by something. All the girls are bored by the music available in Moscow. Elevator music, radio stations, dance halls and nightclubs play the same music over and over again and are lame.
However, each girl comes from a different type of Russian music (punk, rural folk music, classical, pop, traditional, ethnic, Russian romance, Dumka). Each girl has a different look (hair color, weight and body type) and clothing style to match their ethnicity and favored music. The magic of the band that is formed is they produce a conglomeration of music.
Each night the all girl band breaks into a different Moscow establishment (elementary school classrooms, factories, automotive repair shops, nuclear power stations) and they sample sounds. The record small “samples” to incorporate into their music. So the city of Moscow is magically tied into the music.
After taking the sampling home to a magically protected warehouse, the band practices and produces a song. The warehouse is protected by rather large dogs that are attracted by the music produced and gather from the neighborhood. The girls are left alone to produce music uninterrupted. The musically produced guard dogs make sure they are left along.
Finally near the end of each episode, there is a masked guerrilla performance at or near the location of the sampling. The idea is that they are entertained primarily be the sounds that they take for granted each day. For example, in the pilot the band breaks into an elementary school room and samples the chalkboard, the pencil sharpener, the teacher’s squeaky chair, the fish aquarium, etc. Then the following Monday they play the music for the students who love it. But the teacher of course isn’t amused at the classroom invasion.
At the very end of each episode there is a chase scene where the girls must escape without their identities being discovered.
EACH EPISODE HAS FOUR PARTS…
1. Flashbacks from band members memories and boredom with music in Moscow
2. Sampling, writing
3. Guerilla performance
4. Chase and escape
WHY AN ALL GIRL BAND?
One area that this TV series can capture realistically is the resentment a band would face from its male counterparts. Men object to women playing rock and roll because it’s threatening to see women in so overtly sexual a position. Woman are okay in pop music because it sort of presents itself as, “Here I am and you can do what you want with me.” However, Rock and roll with an edge says, “This is what I’m gonna do with you,” and I think a lot of times men find that with women threatening. A lot of times people will look at the girl’s performances and laugh and go, “Oh, that’s cute.” When they realize the girls are serious, they’ll get nasty.
THE BAND MEMBERS
Character, job, style of music, background, source of interruption.
1. Fausta – the band’s leader is 28. After a time, she grows to love the FSB agent assigned to disrupt and arrest the band. She is from a small village and loves Russian folk music. She works as a clerk in a talent and booking agency. She is plagued by chronic headaches caused by the telephone ringing constantly at her work. Her boss sits in his office doing nothing and she is burdened by the work. She hasn’t been about to write music because of exhaustion.
2. Bella – the band’s princes is 23. She is from an elite and aristocratic family. She went all the best schools and had all the classical music opportunities presented to to her on a silver platter. She is employed by the Bolshoi orchestra. She has the best and more prestigious job of the band members. She is dressed fashionably or elegantly. However he career has been held back by her attention deficit disorder. When she sits to write she is distracted by things she isn’t really interested in — trees blowing in the wind, kittens and even futball games on television.
3. Puna – punk rocker is 20. She has an irreverent attitude but a great deal of energy. She frequently beats the stuffing out of punching bags. She is trained in kickboxing by a former Thai champion fighter who has retired to Moscow. She could be leader of a serious punk band but she has a small child. Unmarried, every time she has a musical inspiration she is interrupted by the baby. She plays drums in a very bad punk rock band… she is very talented but the other members are losers. She only plays with them for the money to support her and her baby.
4. Epikhariia – the ethnic character is 22. It isn’t necessary to name the specific ethnicity but this character will bring the various music traditions of the Russian East (Sakha Sakhalin Tatarstan Tuva Udmurtia). Her dress is different and she might even alternate wearing clothes from the various regions. This character will be a success if there is an even and heated debate on the Internet as to what region she represents. The correct answer is she is a different ethnicity each week. She is limited by racial stereotyping. Not a “Russian”, she is labeled as untalented. She makes a living singing Russian gypsy songs on the sidewalks of Moscow.
5. Svetlana – pop star is 19. This character wants to be a radio and MTV pop star. She makes recordings and sends them to producers but she never hears back from them. She can’t work as an artist because of an abusive and controlling boyfriend. Eventually we learn he has been sabotaging her career by not sending or ruining her submissions to music producers. She is resigned to work in a fashionable clothing store. In the end of the series he will sell her identity for 20 pieces of silver.
6. Biana – traditional rock-n-roller is 19. Her parents were involved in the Leningrad Rock Club scene in the 1980s. She is a rebellious teenager who also dreams of western rock stardom. She looks astoundingly beautiful and serene. She’s a very real person, she’s really authentic. She is heavily influenced by American and British bands from her parents generation. She struggles trying to measure up to her parent’s level of fame. She has a slight eating disorder. And she has the politics, haircut and disposition of a western European or an American. She is not thrilled to be a Russian.
7. Tekha – techno girl is 16. She can’t be a true artist because she is still in school and her parents are demanding that she complete high school and with grades to get into a fine music school. She is less interested in this goal but she complies with her parents wishes anyway. She is burdened with homework and her parent’s disapproval of techno music. She wears headphones at home but her parents claim that it is too loud and that they can hear it. She is limited by her parents expectations .
8. Yuli – the band’s sound man is 18. He is a techno-geek, music software genius and Internet hero. He is stuck in a low wage computer sales job. He is unattractive but a hard worker and very loyal to the band. He is only hampered by his plain looks and young age. He records everything and does the bands publicity. He has a heart of gold and is very sensitive. The only mystery about this character is which of the girls will fall in love with him?
THE FIRST SEVEN EPISODES
The first seven episodes focus on one of the lives of the band members, we learn about their motivations, strengths and weaknesses. We learn what shaped them as musicians.
THE OTHER SIX YEARS OF EPISODES
Each episode, after the first seven, is the basic plot of boredom, sampling, writing, and performing is intertwined with the day-to-day problems of Russian women who are artists.
Stanislav Tchaikovsky — The villain character of the film is the chief of the FSB, who was also kicked out of music school not because he was too creative but because he was a terrible music student. He is angry and mean and seeks revenge against all artists. He has labeled the band’s performances as terrorism and uses the FSB to harass and try to arrest the band members.
The chief of the FSB is the great-great-grandson of a famous Russian composer. However he has an older brother and was told at a very young age that his brother inherited all the talent. The FSB director is very jealous of brother who is the Bolshoi conductor and the most respected conductor / composer in Russia. He has seen his brother get the nicest girl friends, the best wine and food and all of the parent’s love. He is a very warped man. He frequently orders raids on the homes of know musicians. He stops traffic looking for contraband musical instruments.
MAN IN THE MIDDLE
Vitaly Mironov — Torn by the conflict is the FSB anti-terrorism chief who instantly falls in love with the band’s leader. He learns her identity but manages to not arrest her or the other band members. He pretends to investigate but occasionally must show his boss some progress. He is a want to be musician, he desires to play but has a wonderful appreciation for music. He can talk eloquently about the music that has been made illegal.
THE DOGS AND THE WAREHOUSE
§ The girls think the dogs are drawn to the warehouse by the music, but actually techno-geek uses his sparse pay from his computer sales job to feed them.
§ Whatever, it works. The dogs keep the interruptions none existent. A dog that is allowed inside the warehouse keeps the baby from crying.
§ As people follow the girls to the warehouse… jealous boyfriends, overzealous police, worried fathers, conmen, stalkers… the dogs keep them at bay.
§ The warehouse is the escape the girls need to be creative. They can’t exist as true artists without this space and quite time.
AFTER SEVEN YEARS ON RUSSIAN TV…
In the very last episode the identities of the girls are revealed. Even with the protection of the FSB anti-terrorism investigator the band must leave Moscow.
§ Alternate ending #1 — This episode ends in prison… the band making cell made music that resonates though the pipes for the other inmates.
§ Alternate ending #2 — The band moves to Paris and the films ends with them sampling the Eiffel Tower.
§ The producers will need to hire musician actresses.
§ The most important employ will be the musical director.
TRADITIONAL ROCK BAND
§ Three guitars
§ One keyboard
§ Two drummers
HIGH TECH MUSIC
§ Sampling and music technologies.
ETHNIC RUSSIAN MUSIC
§ Kolyosnaya lira
§ Semistrunnaya gitara
§ Vladimirsky rozhok
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