May 03, 2012
Here's my first idea for how to open. The Tomsky character narrates the story of the Queen of Spades: the dark and seductive goddess of luck who cursed St. Germain with her secret to evading life's unpredictability. A gambling secret he must pass down to those who he deems in need of it or chooses to. So in this scene we'd be following St Germain as he receives this secret. As Tomsky finishes the story we cut to the title.
Then we're in New York City, present day, at an underground card game. Tomsky is drunk, they've been playing all through the night. The Naroumov character (a gambler and soldier) is hosting and thinks the story is bullshit. Tomsky swears it's true, and swears it's how his family acquired their wealth. Herman (the Herman character), their friend, thinks it might be true, but when Naroumov propositions him to bet on it, Herman says he's watched enough games to know that anything is possible, however he doesn't risk what he needs to win what he wants. He's still intrigued by the story and wants to meet Tomsky's grandmother and see for himself.
Then we would go to an incredibly wealthy, decadent, imaginative residence in New York City. I'm thinking something with a big, ominous, ancient feeling--like you believe it could exist in New York City, but it has a class from an older time you wouldn't expect. Almost like a place out of time. This is the Countess character's estate.
I've got some more brewing, but now I'm switching gears back to character--there is too much undefined. Who is this modern version of Herman? I thought he could be obsessed with all sorts of games: watching sports, playing chess, poker. He could know Naroumov through the army, where he's an engineer for training simulations. Who is Lisa, what is her relationship with everyone else like? What about the Tomsky character?
I like the idea that as we learn more about the Countess and her family, we get little clues that make us wonder whether the story is true. I also like the idea that the game in the opening is poker, but the game the secret actually applies to is faro like in the original. So in the end, the Herman character has a faro showdown.
PS Yesterday I procrastinated shamefully hard, I only wrote for like 30 min. Today I did 4 hours. It's been a challenge to stick to the battle rhythm, but I'm doing better each week and next month is going to be even stronger. Tonight I'm going to see Avengers in IMAX at midnight. Suckas!