AND THE UNFINISHED SCRIPT
BY TYLER TRAFFORD
Published by Frontenac House - available at www.owlsnestbooks.com (search twoblackeyes), any Lammle's location, any store on the Stampede Grounds (such as the store in the grandstand). Cover illustration by Mary Haasdyk (BFF scholarship recipient ACAD !!!!)
Inspired by the life of Brandon Flock and featuring Brandon's unfinished script - Buck Off.
My name is Nathan Munro and I wrote Buck Off during the last 14 months of my life. It is about family and friends, and showing people close to you that you love them ... instead of saying goodbye.
In the fall of 2003 I was on my way to the expected: a high school graduation, a university degree, and then a downtown executive lifestyle like my well-intentioned parents – the Commotion. I had attended an expensive private school, gone on international adventure vacations and connected with almost everybody my age in Elbow Park, our exclusive neighbourhood. I was an honour student and a professional model: the perfect candidate for success.
Success fell apart when I switched to a public school in Grade 12 and signed up for a Film Studies class. There were only four of us in the class: me, Kayden, Stevie and Willie. Our teacher, Miss Emily Arbutus, didn’t care much about the curriculum. She had her own ideas and let us watch and argue about films like Deep Throat and Good Will Hunting.
My new friends showed me realities that didn’t drift across the river into my Elbow Park life. Willie showed me the dodge and duck tactics of welfare loneliness; Stevie showed me the black and blue of family violence; and bull rider Kayden taught me that getting bucked off wasn’t as painful as not trying.
I ate some arena dirt and that helped me figure out that to get on a bull like TwoBlackEyes all you need is a willingness to try and friends who will visit you in the hospital. I discovered I had a lot of try and good friends I could count on, and that I wasn’t just the little boy my parents knew.
The smoky and mysterious Miss Emily Arbutus encouraged me to write my first film script, Buck Off, a murder and revenge story about an over-protected son like me who was determined to live up to the eulogy of his bull riding champion father.
I twisted my Buck Off story inside TwoBlackEyes because sometimes I couldn’t tell the difference between my own story and my hero’s losing battle with his mother, The Ice Cream Queen. Writing these complicated scenes was difficult until Emily helped me. Yes, we had a good time together after I graduated.
I didn’t want to disappoint The Commotion so I never told them I wasn’t living their dream for me.
Emily, Stevie, Willie, and Kayden helped me finish my script.
I don’t know what the Commotion will think of my TwoBlackEyes gift to them. Maybe they will see how much I loved them despite their plans for me.