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Thread: Help with writing a 30 minute radio script

  1. #1
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Help with writing a 30 minute radio script

    Thanks for all the previous suggestions concerning my earlier request for radio show ideas. A story based on Greek mythology is nearing completion.

    I got a call from the executive producer last night advising that one of the writers we were depending on for next season has bailed on us. Now I need to come up with a pirate story [sigh].

    Any broad brush ideas for a pirate story script? I figure a good script should feature at least one sea battle and a sword fight, but I wonder if buried treasure is too hackneyed/clichéd. I just the need the skeleton of a story idea and can flesh out the rest.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  2. #2
    Open with a violent storm and ship and crew in peril. Undermanned, they barely manage to keep the Molly Malone afloat but, lo and behold, the storm blew them off course and they are perilously close to half the Royal Navy in the Caribbean. Just then there's some commotion between the two factions of the crew, adding another problem our swashbuckling pirate captain must overcome.
    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
    Abraham Lincoln

  3. #3
    Cyburbian Plus dvdneal's avatar
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    You can always retell the end of Blackbeard, but that's been done. I always liked some of the stories of the female pirates. In a man's world they were just bad ass. Anne Bonny was known for leaving her lame, boring husband and running off with Calico Jack. There's also an English lady who was a privateer. She took out every ship for revenge over her husband's murder (I think it was the French she hated). She only worked the English Channel area. If not you can always make up a story along the lyrics of one of the shanties. 15 men is a good story, so is Barnacle Bill. You can even incorporate the odd fact that shanties are used to set a rhythm for hauling lines.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Repeat ?

    Articles:
    Sure, there were pirates in the Caribbean, but the Great Lakes had them too
    http://michiganradio.org/post/sure-t...s-had-them-too

    Three Michigan Marauders Who Ruled the Great Lakes
    http://www.michigan.org/blog/events/...e-great-lakes/

    Theater Play
    Pirates of the Great Lakes
    https://www.playscripts.com/play/796
    Last edited by JNA; 15 Sep 2016 at 2:43 PM.

  5. #5
    Cyburbian MD Planner's avatar
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    Don't forget the Oyster Pirates of the Chesapeake Bay! Some fascinating stories there.
    He's a planner, he's a dreamer, he's a sordid little schemer,
    Seems to think that money grows on trees . . .

  6. #6
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    Open with a violent storm and ship and crew in peril. Undermanned, they barely manage to keep the Molly Malone afloat but, lo and behold, the storm blew them off course and they are perilously close to half the Royal Navy in the Caribbean. Just then there's some commotion between the two factions of the crew, adding another problem our swashbuckling pirate captain must overcome.
    This is good. A classic 'James Bond' opening - it starts with action. I like the opening scene so far, but there needs to be a central theme. The working title of the story (I'm kinda committed to) is "The Silver Cutlass." I'd toyed with the idea of maybe telling a story about pirates searching for this particular treasure/weapon - maybe it has special meaning/value to the captain. Or maybe "the Silver Cutlass" is the name of the ship or nickname of the pirate. Or maybe it's a story about a pirate hunter and that's his nickname.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Plus
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    Indiana Jones style treasure hunt / stealing / taking back "the Silver Cutlass" that once belong to ____ that gave him/her certain mythical powers.

  8. #8
    Cyburbian Plus dvdneal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    This is good. A classic 'James Bond' opening - it starts with action. I like the opening scene so far, but there needs to be a central theme. The working title of the story (I'm kinda committed to) is "The Silver Cutlass." I'd toyed with the idea of maybe telling a story about pirates searching for this particular treasure/weapon - maybe it has special meaning/value to the captain. Or maybe "the Silver Cutlass" is the name of the ship or nickname of the pirate. Or maybe it's a story about a pirate hunter and that's his nickname.
    The governor of (insert some place that mined silver) was appointed by the King (or Duke or whatever) of Spain (the Spanish are always the evil ones) and so to show his respect had the finest (of course) craftsman make a silver cutlass which is part of the kings family crest (or some such nonsense that makes it personal to the king). Our hero was once wronged by the king and finds out about the cutlass and decides to take revenge by stealing it (or at least decides to show off). He steals the cutlass and discovers the king's (or someones) beautiful daughter who steals his heart. Que the romantic book cover and a happy ending (innuendo intended)
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

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    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dvdneal View post
    The governor of (insert some place that mined silver) was appointed by the King (or Duke or whatever) of Spain (the Spanish are always the evil ones) and so to show his respect had the finest (of course) craftsman make a silver cutlass which is part of the kings family crest (or some such nonsense that makes it personal to the king). Our hero was once wronged by the king and finds out about the cutlass and decides to take revenge by stealing it (or at least decides to show off). He steals the cutlass and discovers the king's (or someones) beautiful daughter who steals his heart.
    Sounds like a workable tale to me. Your royalty check is in the mail! Thanks.
    Que the romantic book cover and a happy ending (innuendo intended)
    normally we just have keyboard players for our musicians. Guess I'll have to make special arrangements to ensure we've got a slap bass player available for the closing credits.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  10. #10
    Cyburbian ursus's avatar
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    Can I suggest watching the very undervalued and fun movie "Nate and Hayes" (with a very young Tommy Lee Jones in it) for some fun ideas? Pirates, but in the Pacific nearing the end of the age of tall ships. Blackbirders (Slavers) and exotic polynesian scenery abound. Intrigue with Germans in steam engine boats (preparing for World War I) ....it's a different kind of pirate. A Caribbean pirate story will just be white noise at this point. I also like the "Pirate squaring off with Pirate" motif in the movie. You want a hero pirate and a villain pirate - that's what Disney got right later on, but Nate and Hayes did it first........
    "...I would never try to tick Hink off. He kinda intimidates me. He's quite butch, you know." - Maister

  11. #11
    Cyburbian dandy_warhol's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by dvdneal View post
    You can always retell the end of Blackbeard, but that's been done. I always liked some of the stories of the female pirates. In a man's world they were just bad ass. Anne Bonny was known for leaving her lame, boring husband and running off with Calico Jack. There's also an English lady who was a privateer. She took out every ship for revenge over her husband's murder (I think it was the French she hated). She only worked the English Channel area. If not you can always make up a story along the lyrics of one of the shanties. 15 men is a good story, so is Barnacle Bill. You can even incorporate the odd fact that shanties are used to set a rhythm for hauling lines.
    I was going to suggest a female pirate! Let's empower some little girls who love radio shows!
    In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. -Martin Luther King Jr.

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    Quote Originally posted by dandy_warhol View post
    I was going to suggest a female pirate! Let's empower some little girls who love radio shows!
    One of the problems we've found over the years with doing shows from the golden age of radio is that the roles found from scripts of that era were positively dominated by men. Female roles were few and far between. I/we make a concerted effort to create female roles as much as we can for our original scripts. This pirate script will be no different in that respect. Even if we don't feature a female pirate captain we'll for sure find a number of roles at the inn, governor's mansion, and on board ships.
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

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  14. #14
    Chairman of the bored Maister's avatar
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    Folks, here's additional incentive to add your script suggestions.......today be Talk Like a Pirate Day! Aaargh!
    People will miss that it once meant something to be Southern or Midwestern. It doesn't mean much now, except for the climate. The question, “Where are you from?” doesn't lead to anything odd or interesting. They live somewhere near a Gap store, and what else do you need to know? - Garrison Keillor

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Plus dvdneal's avatar
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    Quote Originally posted by Maister View post
    Even if we don't feature a female pirate captain we'll for sure find a number of roles at the inn, governor's mansion, and on board ships.
    It's bad luck to have a girl on board ship unless she's topless. Here are some other fun superstitions for life at sea:

    http://www.boaterexam.com/blog/2011/...rstitions.aspx

    Since it's talk like a pirate day, here's a fun thing. type "google pirate" on google and hit I'm feeling lucky.
    I don't pretend to understand Brannigan's Law. I merely enforce it.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Planit's avatar
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    Watch the beginning sequence of the new movie "Alice Through the Looking Glass"
    "Whatever beer I'm drinking, is better than the one I'm not." DMLW
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  17. #17
    Quote Originally posted by Gedunker View post
    Open with a violent storm and ship and crew in peril. Undermanned, they barely manage to keep the Molly Malone afloat but, lo and behold, the storm blew them off course and they are perilously close to half the Royal Navy in the Caribbean. Just then there's some commotion between the two factions of the crew, adding another problem our swashbuckling pirate captain must overcome.
    Our hero spots a fog bank nearby and makes a run for it, successfully bringing Molly Malone about just before a Royal Navy brig spots her.

    The crew are a different story - one faction is angry they abducted a woman - Lisette Perot - and everybody knows ladies on ships are a bad combination. The other faction is angry that she's a redhead. Our hero shields her from the crew, stowing her away in his cabin, because she knows the whereabouts of The Silver Cutlass. Our hero can't change the fact that she's a ginger, but he's going to do his best to make Lisette good luck for the Molly Malone.

    Lisette Perot is no pushover, however, even for our handsome hero. He's got his work cut out for him with this witty redhead. But he must find the Silver Cutlass before her beau, Royal Navy LT Humfreys does.

    Just then, a shot across the bow of Molly Malone ...
    Labor is prior to, and independent of, capital. Capital is only the fruit of labor, and could never have existed if labor had not first existed. Labor is the superior of capital, and deserves much the higher consideration.
    Abraham Lincoln

  18. #18
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    instead of a brig it should be a frigate.

    the shot across the bow was from a Ship of the Line 1st rate 3 decker with 74 guns.

  19. #19
    Cyburbian Wannaplan?'s avatar
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    Do a pirate show a la Groundhog Day in which a lone pirate seeks buried treasure, suffers daily indignities, the same ones each day, yet he doesn't realize each day is exactly the same?

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally posted by JNA View post
    Indiana Jones style treasure hunt / stealing / taking back "the Silver Cutlass" that once belong to ____ that gave him/her certain mythical powers.
    Use ^this^ in a Lake Michigan setting & you have your Surprise Ending:

    ***SPOILER ALERT***
    They find The Silver Cutlass!!!!!!
    It's a 1999 Oldsmobile.

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