It’s a music film about a teenager (Mia) who is a singer/musician from a small town – white trash type trailer-park kind of background living with a single mom who is abusive, addicted and promiscuous…
The story (still in the evolution process) would go something like this:
We introduce her in fragments of several scenes, dialogue, song…
She is loner, misfit, hyper-sensitive, gutsy, mocked at school…
She locks herself in her room and drowns out her pain and the sounds of her mom outside, as she writes out a poem, which become lyrics
and a song…
…she finds a broken guitar in a dumpster… gets some strings from a pawnshop… puts it together…trains herself…
…cuts school, sits in a junkyard and plays for the rats…
…then she finds out about the garage band app and starts creating on her phone..
Composes songs in bedroom or in a rusted old car on the edge of a junkyard – her favorite spot
Finally things get out of hand at home…
Fights with mom (she could be addict or prostitute)- perhaps too clishe?
Guy at gas station tells her about her dad (“Tom”) – used to know him – mom does not talk about him ever –
Gives her a clue – he lives somewhere at “Paradise Apartments” in Silver Lake In Los Angeles
She runs away… jumps a freight train… sings a song for the drifters and immigrant workers riding along…
Chased by guards?
Arrives in LA.
She only has an address – but it leads to a series of dead-ends and obscure clues – the apartment building has been turned into condos – seedy bars where he worked, places he was kicked out of – and left a trail of people he owes money to, etc…
A group of homeless kids invite her to abandoned boarded up building. Writes a song as homeless kids huddle around a fire…
Another night she sleeps under freeway, it rains
Sings a song to the homeless hobos
The guy at liquor store nearby the condos used to know him … He used to buy beer … owes him money – cashed his paycheck which bounced
She has no money for food
Sings a song on the subway – collects cash for McDonald’s hamburger – even looks for leftovers behind restaurant
…and it takes her days to finally track him down… in the meanwhile she is homeless, surviving on the street paying music on subway stops Hollywood Boulevard, Venice Beach
It turns out her dad is a burn out rock n roll musician with faded dreams, an alcoholic, playing around town in various dives, working odd jobs… living here and there on people’s couches… and is not so eager at all to accept his daughter… he tells her to get lost…
…but eventually he accepts her…
He is a first without place – lives out of car – even in a tent at campground
Task rabbit odd jobs
…they get an apartment, he enrols her in school and he tries to be a decent dad, but with a lot of resistance from his girlfriend Kate who is also a singer in the band, and struggling with her own demons.
She falls asleep backstage as he drinks after show
Dad does not get the kid’s music – he does not understand it – the
electronic pop sounds – and heartbreak lyrics – the EDM/rap influences – he is more into rock/grunge
… and she is not into his music either… at first, they are competitive-dismissive with each other.
But he finds himself reluctantly helping her, and she, in turn, inspires and rejuvenates him – they need each other… even find themselves singing each other’s songs.
She is protective of him – sabotages his date with Kate
When a skateboarder – rapper shows interest in Mia – Dad becomes protector – breaks it up in case things get too
There are happy times like when they go to the Santa Monica pier and clown around singing and kidding with each other – in a battle of songs.
Asks daddy to read – song her a song before she goes to sleep – lullaby – he tucks her in
Dad cannot get a big audience but she post a song on youtube and gets a million hits immediately – dad just does not get it… but he knows she has fire and talent — like he has… but he never got the chance to break through…
However hard she tries not to show it he loves his daughter.
Dad has some old contacts at the Austin SXSW Music fest and manages to book her a showcase. As they prepare/rehearse dad goes on a self-hating drinking binge and has a heart attack.
She finds herself all alone again, kicked out, and all is lost, but she remembers the song her kept on singing “never give up”… in the last moment she runs, hitchhikes, jumps busses and trucks and motorbikes and …makes is to Austin, just in time to sing her song…. for dad.
The movie would be ultra low budget – sort of indie Sundance type film – and half of it would be told through music videos. I hope to get a talented musician to play dad – people like Father John Misty, Devendra Banhart, or (Alex Ebert) Edward Sharpe & Magnetic Zeros come into mind if I can get to them… I am hoping to discover an
actress-musician who can write and perform her own songs.