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TWO TIGERS - An Interview with Enrico J. Green

Please start by telling us how you became interested in screenwriting and how you learned how to do it.

I took an “Intro to Cinema” class at USC taught by Dr. Drew Casper and went to the cinema library to do research for a paper and I was hooked. The first screenplay I bought was copy of “Pulp Fiction.”  Dr. Casper’s class was one of my favorites. Then a classmate gave me the syllabuses for Dr. Todd Boyd’s class and I crashed his class when he had movie or lecture I didn’t want to miss. I was a horrible student, for a variety of reasons such as being homeless in high school, but discovering the cinema library was one of the reasons.  Binge watching “Hill Street Blues” before streaming was a thing was amazing and addictive. I also had a very odd unconventional upbringing, my mother was a religous fanatic and a hoarder, while my father was beyond ambivalent. Which I think lends itself to being imaginative. You have to have a very active imagination to see your way out of a dismal situation as a child.

How many screenplays have you written before TWO TIGERS?

This is my first one. I had final draft on my computer for years and never did anything but made outlines and general story sketches.

How did you come up with the main idea for TWO TIGERS and how did you nurture it? Tell us a little about your writing process, and your vision as a screenwriter.

I came across a girl laying in the snow driving to Camp Pendleton. It was as remote mountain area and I was the first one to stop and try to help, and the only one for a while. She had been thrown out the sun roof of an SUV.  I took that image and built a science fiction story around it.  From the plot of the story you can tell that I am a huge Watchman fan and a fan of graphic novels and comic books overall.

I then imagined a world with no Vietnam and no Korean War, so instead of a Cold War with Russia and an ancillary “fren-enemy” situation ship with China the U.S. gets in a direct hot war with China. Gen. Douglas MacArthur, no slouch when it comes to military strategy, advocated for the use of nuclear weapons as the only way to defeat China on the battlefield.  He was adamant about it he defied the President and took his case for directly attacking China to the American public and lost his career, at the time he was the only five star general on active duty.  We look at Korea and Vietnam as unnecessary, but I disagree. I think  Communism and Democracy not faced off in those small, proxy wars, you’d have a cataclysm. This is also a warning like “Watchmen” was… if the rhetoric between China and America ratchets up we would lose a direct confrontation. There is numerical superiority and their culture is built upon sacrifice and collectivism, which is a tendency in the west. Subverting your individuality is ingrained into their society. My first real job after dropping out of USC was at Army weapon testing agency and we incorporated war games and simulations into the testing and evaluation process.  If you’re war gaming America vs. China in an actual declared war, America loses a lot of the time. I think America loses all of the time if you’re war gaming a conflict without nukes.

I am asking this question based on the dialogues between ALABASTER and David in your screenplay: How do you generally write dialogues and how do you edit them? Do you share it with your collaborators to achieve more natural forms after writing the screenplay?

I wrote this screenplay by myself so I can’t speak to collaboration.  I use a method from Spike Lee’s Masterclass. I think of various lines and phrases and either make mental, digital and/or handwritten notes. For Alabaster Jones, I thought was him as an cross between Shaft and Indiana Jones. Indiana Jones knows everything about archeology, Alabaster Jones knows everything about killing people. Which, is a very Marine Corps thing.  I was mostly in Marine logistics units, but we hade a company commander who had a sign behind his desk that said “Carpenters hammer nails, Plumbers fix pipes, Marines kill people.” Even as P.O.W.’s Marines were found to be the most resistant to brainwashing. McCain’s autobiography talks about what hell raisers downed Marine pilots were in the Hanoi Hilton. He tells the story of a CIA pilot that was former Marine, and when tortured he made an American flag with his bed sheets and his blood and sung the Star Spangled Banner until the North Vietnamese beat him to death. The conventional wisdom is that if captured, almost everyone eventually breaks under torture, you just hold out as long as you can and be evasive as possible. So I  know some Marine infantry even keep   “suicide rounds” in case if they are wounded, or low on ammunition and surrounded they will shoot themselves rather be than be taken captive and dishonoring the Corps and country.   It’s a culture that, if America was invaded, some fanatical Marine would be leading the charge utile  the very end. Our nickname is “Uncle Sam’s Misguided Children.”   The training geared is to create people for forced entry operations to opposed beaches, when the enemy knows you’re coming.  Like swimming under machine gun fire and the landing on a fortified beach for a living is a really insane proposition.  Also, the other origin of Marines is providing security that’s scary enough to keep a bunch of sailors on ship in line.

What do you think is the most important point of strength in a short screenplay? Memorable characters or a shocking ending?

The characters. It’s always the characters because it enables the Actors. Right? You ever see a film with thin plot but great acting? It can be amazing. But even the best plot with bad acting…. The movie or T.V. show is less enjoyable.

Are you interested in working in the feature film industry as well?

Yes. I had a setback with a stolen laptop, but I am engaged in the process of reconstructing the screenplay for my first feature. It’s called NORA’S NOOSE.  And I am writing a screenplay for the rapper SNOW THE PRODUCT. Shout out to her assistant LISA for her hard work in getting my story idea in SNOW’s hands.

Have you ever thought about directing your own scripts?

Yes. When I get the funding. That’s the hard part.

Please tell us a little about your next screenplay.

I made this short, TWO TIGERS, into a pilot. I just finished another pilot called “THE VISTA.” The police department in Chula Vista, California was nice enough to let me shadow one of their officers for the day and showed me around to get a feel for the city.


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