Central Park Song: an Unexpected New York Romance that Changes Everything. by Zack Love - Read Online
Central Park Song
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Summary

Can love really conquer all? What if you met someone from an entirely different world who could change everything in your world -- and in ways you never imagined? 

Central Park Song explores that scenario and is an urban love story reminiscent of Good Will Hunting, Pretty Woman, and Six Degrees of Separation

Rodney is a passionate black man with brilliant talents but a mental illness that leaves him homeless. Melinda is a white Manhattan law partner with an artistic soul, trapped by the pressures of corporate law, her wealthy father, and her three-year boyfriend. A charming, chance encounter leads to a magical courtship and life-changing choices that make an unlikely New York romance possible. 

NOTE: 
1) this is a PG-rated love story and suitable for teens and adults 
2) this romance is a SCREENPLAY (so it’s formatted differently, and written entirely in the present tense with an emphasis on actions and dialogue rather than inner thoughts). 

Published: Zack Love on
ISBN: 9781519932242
List price: $1.73
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Love

An Introduction to Reading Screenplays

A screenplay is the blueprint used to create a movie and the very first creative element needed for the production of a film. Before any director is selected or any actor is cast, there must first be a script. The director and actors of a film together interpret the screenplay and thereby add a unique vision and feeling to both the story and the characters initially developed in the screenplay.

Screenplays used to be read only by film industry professionals (producers, directors, actors, agents, etc.). But thanks to the e-book revolution, you, the reader, can now sit in the director’s chair, with this script in your hand, and create a film in your mind, casting it with your preferred actors and filling in all other cinematic details with your own artistic vision.

If you normally read fiction and this is your first screenplay, just remember that movie scripts are created with a very different style. Screenplays are written in the present tense and focus on what is seen and heard on the screen. They generally omit inner thoughts and use only short descriptions of characters, settings, and scenes, so that the details are left to the cinematic ideas of the director (in this case, you) and actors (which, in this case, will also be cast, imagined, and directed by you).

Movie scripts are also formatted differently: the first time a character’s name is used, it will appear in all caps, as will all scene headings. The traditional font used is courier 12 point but I opted for Times New Roman for this ebook.

To make your read easier and more enjoyable, here are some explanations on screenplay structure and terms:

--A screenplay is made up of scenes, and each scene begins with a slug line (a brief description of the setting in all caps) beginning with INT. or .EXT.

--INT. is short for interior and indicates that the scene is set INSIDE the location described.

--EXT. is short for exterior and indicates that the scene is set OUTSIDE the location described.

--(CONT’D) stands for continued and indicates that the same character with the last line of dialogue continues with additional dialogue.

--A beat on refers to a pause by the camera, so that it lingers for a moment on whatever is being described.

--CLOSE ON refers to a close up camera shot that brings the audience much closer to whatever is being described.

--MONTAGE is a collection of quick scenes or images grouped together to convey a feeling, a series of related events, and/or the passage of time.

--DISSOLVE TO: a visual transition between two scenes, where the image at the end of one scene dissolves into the starting image of the next scene.

--TITLE indicates text that appears on the screen to help orient the audience (usually about the time/place of the story).

INT. MELINDA’S APARTMENT – 7 A.M.

Beyond a large bay window in the living room of a posh, fifteenth-floor, Upper West Side apartment, autumn leaves spiral towards the grass of Central Park.

TITLE FADES IN: New York City – Fall, 2000

Pulling back from the window, more of Melinda’s apartment moves into view, revealing impressionistic paintings that adorn the nearby walls.

MELINDA CURRIER, 28, sits in silk pajamas, staring at a largely unfinished painting of the park view beyond.

She sighs in frustration at the easel before her. Even in her worst morning look, she is stunning.

MELINDA

(resigned)

Some things are too good to be painted.

INT. MELINDA’S APARTMENT – 8 A.M.

Melinda, now groomed and in stylish business attire, grabs her keys and legal briefcase.

She stops to nudge her handsome boyfriend, DON, 32, who’s still asleep.

Don rubs his eyes.

MELINDA (cont’d)

(leaving)

I’d wait for you but I have a 9 a.m. call.

DON

(groggy)

I’ll swing by when I get in.

EXT. CENTRAL PARK WEST – MORNING

Melinda walks briskly down Central Park West among joggers, dog-walkers, suit-clad commuters, tourists, and an occasional homeless man shaking a cup.

EXT. CENTRAL PARK WEST AND COLUMBUS CIRCLE – MORNING

Melinda’s pace slows as she hears a capella music emanate from a crowd gathered near the Maine Monument, at the southwest corner of Central Park.

She draws closer and sees a group of four African-American street performers, surrounded by an audience that enthusiastically claps to the beat.

Melinda stops to admire the magic.

RODNEY SUAREZ, 22, tall and handsome, shakes a cup of coins to the rhythm of the group’s music.

ERIC JOHNSON, 30, always has his left eye half shut, and his mouth somewhat open.

GREG ANDERSON, 35, has a large afro and an arm tattoo. As he sings, he walks around the crowd, clapping his hand against an empty paint can used to collect audience appreciation.

TYRONE JEFFRY, 28, is the tallest and most muscular of the four, and smiles widely as he sings.

Rodney breaks into a passionate solo performance.

Melinda and the crowd are moved into a rapturous applause.

Rodney’s eyes briefly cross Melinda’s.

The four men sing in unison again.

Melinda starts reaching for some money when the music abruptly stops under the shrill of a policeman’s whistle.

Two white cops, O’REILLY, 35, and LUCIANO, 40, step to the front of the crowd. Various spectators hiss and boo.

O’REILLY

Time for the Jackson four to call it a day.

GREG

We ain’t doin’ no harm officer. Just singin’ a little song for the folks here.

LUCIANO

You’re obstructing traffic.

TYRONE

What traffic? I don’t see no vehicles tryin’ to drive through the park.

O’REILLY

You’re obstructing sidewalk traffic.

RODNEY

Next you’ll claim that we’re obstructing air traffic too.

LUCIANO

(menacing)

Listen, wiseass. Find another place to sing, or stop singing.

Melinda steps up to the police officers.

MELINDA

Officer...

(looking for his badge)

Luciano. I’m an attorney at Hamilton Wardwell and, as a witness to this incident, I’m wondering how you would articulate the exact offense you’re trying to prevent here.

LUCIANO

(surprised)

Well, uh. Like I said, they’re obstructing sidewalk traffic.

MELINDA

Officer Luciano, I think it’s pretty clear that the musicians are well within their constitutional rights to play in this public space. It’s not their fault if people want to listen.

O’REILLY

Yes M’am. But they can’t obstruct sidewalk traffic.

MELINDA

The problem, Officer...

(looking for his badge)

O’Reilly, is that they are not obstructing sidewalk traffic. Their audience is. So the proper remedy lies with the audience.

O’REILLY

The audience?

MELINDA

Yes. And you could be unconstitutionally infringing on the rights of these gentlemen instead of just asking the audience to stand in the open square rather than on the sidewalk.

We hear an amen and you tell’em girl as the audience applauds. Adding to the policemen’s mortification, the large crowd efficiently moves from the sidewalk to the open square.

MELINDA (cont’d)

(somewhat flirtatiously)

I know you officers have more important cases to work on. And I know I do.

As Melinda turns to continue her walk to work, her eyes cross Rodney’s again. Melinda walks southward, towards the crosswalk. Rodney watches her walk away.

RODNEY

(raising his cup of coins as if in a toast)

I do love that constitution!

The other three singers start to sing an a cappella rendition of the Star Spangled Banner.

The crowd laughs and sings along enthusiastically.

Rodney chimes in as he observes Melinda entering the tall office building across the street.

INT. MELINDA’S LAW OFFICE – DAY

Melinda sits behind her desk with a 30th floor view of Manhattan behind her.

Diplomas, legal awards, and articles about her court victories decorate the walls of her office.

Don, now the perfect image of yuppie success, leans on Melinda’s desk next to JEN