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mainly ETC.
The Story
and
Character Backgrounds
The Premise
     mainly ETC. is a rock-and-roll road movie about a group of college friends who reunite on the same day that Kurt Cobain kills himself.

     It's 1994 and they have been out of school four years with no new graduation in sight. Each are currently pursuing different artistic ambitions and must make a personal or professional decision by the end of the weekend. A road trip to Seattle ensues, where music, fame, friendship, fandom, inspiration, suicide and other ambitious disorders are explored.

     A film about the inevitable change and creative differences that occurs in small groups of friendships and how music affects the way we think and feel. Eight friends will discover there is no reliving the past and the future holds different paths for each of them.

 CHARACTER BACKGROUNDS:

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Daniel  Jared  Susan  Stewart  Kay  Tom  Holly  Mark  Driver



mainly ETC.








Background History:  DANIEL
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     DANIEL grew up in a privileged and wealthy household. His father was a successful doctor who graduated from Yale and always expected his son to do the same thing. Daniel always got straight A's, but it was music that stole his heart and soul. He's Known ever since he got the LP of Kiss' Dressed to Kill that THIS was the job for him.
     He met Stewart in drama class, where both met Jared, who had to take their picture for the yearbook. That same night, all three went to go see The Terminator, and had plenty to talk about afterwards. When they found out their music collections had several crossover titles, the bonds grew.

     Daniel and Stewart formed INVADER in 1984 with a bass player named Steve, who later went on to found the Steve Street Players. On drums was Todd, who could also sing. So Stewart and Daniel took up the dual guitars, with Daniel making an occasional visit to the piano for a change of pace. But Invader was a heavy-metal band, and they never let their audience forget it. Of course, Daniel's parents HATED Invader, and always hoped that Daniel would just grow out of it and accept his responsibilities when he graduated from High School. This was not to be.

     Even though Harvard, Yale, Oxford and others courted him to attend their school, Daniel chose to defy his father's wishes, and enrolled at the University of Texas in Austin, following Stewart and Jared. This got him officially "cut off" from his family's fortune, but Daniel has been able to make ends meet on the various grants and scholarships thrown at his feet. He's also a helluva great card counter, as his successful trips to Las Vegas prove.

     In Austin, Daniel and Stewart met MARK, who became the new bass player and JOE, who took over on drums. The new band was TANGIBLE VANDALISM or T.V. for fans. This art-rock progressive outfit even whipped out all of "Close to the Edge" during one of its shows. Jared met SUSAN in one of his classes and invited her to a show, where she immediately fell for both Stewart and Daniel. Lot's of friendship mileage followed. Their following in Austin was cultish, but once word got around that they used lasers in their live shows, more and more people started showing up.

     When graduation arrived again, Stewart was convinced that the Austin scene had run dry for them, that San Francisco was THE PLACE to go. This was easy for Daniel, because both Berkeley and Stanford were calling. Daniel eventually chose Stanford, pissing off Berkeley, to stay near Stewart and Mark, who also decided to move out to San Francisco.

Background History:  JARED
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     Always a favorite with his English teachers, Jared was quickly recruited by his High School newspaper and yearbook staffs. It's here where his interest in journalism writing began to sway and his interest in photography began to grow. Although he still covered the music reviews for the paper, when the staff needed a new photographer, Jared took up the job. He used to carry around his camera everywhere, covering music concerts, sports, drama, band, social groups, etc. But his interest in writing did not die, it was just converted to more creative affairs.

     It was in his English Class that Jared met STEWART and the two soon became the "smile on the face" for their teacher Mrs. Vardeman. His parents are not divorced and his older sister JULIET lives in New York, where she struggles as a singer. His family life was normal, and probably a little boring. But the freedom of the camera lens opened up his world to all kinds of truths, the very same truths he noticed were watered down in newspaper print every day.

     His passion for music began at an early age, as his sister Juliet handed down her Led Zeppelin, The Beatles and The Who records to him. His discovery of Pink Floyd was also a revelation. The 80's music scene never really took hold, but when his sister gave him the "Boy" album by U2 for his birthday, the band became a passion for him. In fact, whenever he hears "Shadows and Tall Trees" it gives him chills.

     It was in his senior year of high school, when a "mock trial" was held and Jared was chosen to be the defending attorney. Having some experience in writing and drama, Jared was able to prepare an explosive opening speech that left the room stunned. His subsequent cross-examination of the star witness, tore her story to shambles and reduced her testimony to nothing. He won the case and thought he found a new calling.

     Arriving in Austin with Stewart and Daniel, Jared explored the different aspects of the law, later deciding NOT to become a lawyer (first journalism, then the law) But his skills served him well, and he picked up a clerking job at a law firm, then later became a research investigator/speech writer for them. This got him through his college years. After graduation, Jared watched Daniel, Stewart, Mark and Susan bolt for California. But he stayed behind. This may have more to do with the fact that his Grandmother, who he was always close to, was getting ill and would live only a few more years. Then he got a good job in Houston and just decided to wait to see what would happen. Four years race by and nothing is what he thought it was.

Background History:  SUSAN
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     Music crept into her soul from such a young age, she cannot remember a time in her life without it. While her parents were mostly conservative, her dad was a big Elvis supporter, but he was not a fan of The Beatles. But Susan was, and when she discovered Led Zeppelin and David Bowie, it was all over. A fan girl was born.

     She took up the cello in sixth grade and played all the way through high school. She even played "Going to California" for one of her music finals. In fact, she was the only one in her class who actually dared to play "the big beast". Brave she always was. But she found herself within the strings and the sounds they made. Yes, it was heavy to carry, but she often increased her will and strength while lugging it around. By the time she was seventeen, the concept of trading the cello for a guitar was taking hold.

     After years of learning music, she had been wanting to explore music of her own. But this was not to be. Her parents, now noticing this new side-effect hobby, came to the rescue with plenty of ideas and distractions for Susan. One of them was a suggestion to attend the University of Texas in Austin, a decision that would alter her life forever. It was here where she would meet JARED in a music appreciation class and he would invite her to a TANGIBLE VANDALISM gig, where she would meet STEWART, DANIEL and MARK. With her primary support coming from her parents, she gave up music and concentrated on a practical career as a teacher. But this seemed to make sense to Susan, who's high school music instructor made a large impact on her. This was a way to transfer those feeling and inspiration into tomorrow's youth. Perhaps a compromise, but one that gave her some sense of balance.

     Her relationship with STEWART was first, but soon both agreed that they would always be better as friends. But with DANIEL, she found a unique and bold partner. Their affair was on-and-off for the next four years (although they both saw other people). College was a time of experimentation, and Susan did not disappoint herself. She always made good grades and graduated with her Master's degree. When the band was talking about moving to California, it was SUSAN who actually had a friend living in the Bay Area. She went to visit her and fell in love with the area. Getting her teacher's certificate was easy, and since DANIEL, STEWART and MARK were also going to be her neighbors, she decided to make California her new home. Her new adventure.

     This was also to play an important part of her musical building. Because if the music scene in Austin woke her heart, the scene in San Francisco put jumper cables to it. The diversity of talented women performers just drove home the fact she should have never given up her own music. Then four years go by...

Background History:  STEWART
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     It was in high school when Stewart watched some junior high kids playing in a band and figured it wasn't too late for him to learn the guitar. Maybe it was the Les Paul, but it didn't take him long to figure out that music would play a lead role in his future. His musical tastes swung all over the map as Van Halen and the era of guitar gods would take its toll. But Stewart was always a harmony man, evidenced by his complete Queen, Beatles and Yes collections.

     It was 1981 when his parents divorced and his mother moved to Virginia, where she embarked on a solo career of her own raising Arabian horses. It was music that became Stewart's surrogate mother and horses became his mother's surrogate son. (See "Absolutely Equestrian" for more details about Stewart's mother SARAH) It was the chance meeting of DANIEL in 1984 that altered his musical course forever. Here was someone almost like a brother or a twin. Similar musical collections, although Stewart wasn't too familiar with Robert Johnson, Al Green or John Coltrane. But this would soon change. Stewart got Daniel into Yes and Pink Floyd and together they set out to reinvent what in the 80's was now called heavy-metal.

     It was their first band INVADER that both first felt the sweet taste of musical sensation and success. This little four piece was the hit of every party they played and soon found itself landing local Houston gigs. Although Daniel's parents hated INVADER and only showed up to one gig, Stewart's mother flew in for a few shows and always lent support, plus a new amp, guitar strings and other necessary equipment. It was Stewart's English teacher Mr. Brown who endlessly debated him on various musical "virtuosos", finally giving Stewart a Jimi Hendrix album for graduation. Things would never be the same again.

     When graduation came, Stewart and Daniel knew that their musical partnership was only beginning. Together they trekked off to Austin and became serious musicians. The discovery of Bob Dylan (after years of avoiding him) opened up new doors and ideas. No more of this power balled metal stuff. It was on to the art-rock progressive "important" music phase. For Stewart, there was no looking back.

Background History:  KAY
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     Since she grew up with four older brothers, KAY has always had strength in reserve. She's tough, and if you cross her, she won't let you forget it. From a young age, she always though she would have a career in sports. Volleyball team. Basketball team. Softball team. She was always a clutch player. But it was when she was a sophomore in high school that a friend talked her into trying out for the school play. It was then that KAY discovered something more fulfilling than sports. She got the lead role (her friend didn't even get cast) and a whole new world opened up for her.

     Once she had Juliet under her belt, it was on to almost every other juicy part that came up. It was here where she learned to juggle her life with the utmost skill. But she knew that after graduation, the sports would be left behind. She's lived in California all her life and hasn't really explored America outside her home turf. She's a Bay Area girl and loves her hometown atmosphere. Plus, its the only place where she can live and see the kind of LIVE music she likes most, which ranges from Aerosmith to Zappa, and often changes from week to week. But she's a carry-over heavy-metal girl, even if she doesn't wear the leather jacket and multiple accessories as she did when she was younger. It was her painter friend HELEN who first introduced her to SUSAN. (Helen and Susan grew up together in Texas before Helen moved to San Francisco when she was 10). SUSAN later took KAY to a gig to see STEWART, DANIEL and MARK play music. And once she locked her eyes on Stewart, there was no turning back. They've been together for the last four years.

     In that time, she's explored the acting opportunities in local and college theater, while also auditioning for almost every commercial or movie that comes to town. She's determined and doesn't know the meaning of quit. But that wall is slowly crumbling as reality continues to bang louder and with more force.

Background History:  HOLLY
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     Born a year before Star Wars, Holly missed out living in the decade where so much of her favorite music came from. Lucky for her, her older brother TOM had exceptional taste, and when he converted to CD's, Holly quickly snatched all his vinyl records, including the Floyd, Zeppelin, The Doors, Beatles and Rush stuff.

     She still remembers the day when she was twelve and saw "Harold and Maude" for the first time (there would be MANY more viewings) and the impact it had on her. She was having a day of confusion and frustration, with inner family fighting as icing on the cake. But that film really made her smile. Made her laugh. Made her cry. It open up the doors of cinema and all the possibilities it contains.

     A quick trip to the record store soon had her looking for "If You Want to Sing out, Sing Out", only to discover that a soundtrack to "Harold and Maude" was never released. So she picked up "Footsteps in the Dark" (which had that song on it) plus "Tea For the Tillerman" and "Mona Bone Jakon". Hence the beginning of her Catman phase.

     Since Tom was quick to leave home at 18, Holly spent most of her teenage years alone in a house of silence. Her parents stopped arguing and now just say nothing. Both are just waiting for Holly to graduate so they can finalize their divorce. But Holly already has one foot out the door and ready to go. When she was a sophomore, her class took the "occupation test" that is supposed to help you decide what kind of career you are best suited for. When "Film/TV Director/Producer" came back on her form, she thought about pursing little else. So her devotion to filmmakers mirrored the same she had for bands.

     She started memorizing who wrote the script, who photographed it, who edited and who directed. When she discovered that Stanley Kubrick did all those and more, she had found the type of filmmaker that most reflected her own inner demons and desires. When she argued in class that "A Clockwork Orange" was really a satire and not a horror movie, she did not find her view widely accepted, even by the teacher. But alas, she always seemed confident in her choices and decisions. While digging through her father's old junk, she found a Super-8 camera and set out to record her ideas and vision on film. Even using scissors and splice tape for editing. Her films were mostly experimental, but the one she did for a school project dealing with date rape called "Last Call" made several waves in her classroom. It was not shown again at school, but that little spot was the first sign of her independence and refusal to dumb down her material for acceptance and popularity. Her own path would be the one less chosen, but by taking it, she makes it her own.

Background History:  TOM
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     Ever since he landed the lead role in his 5th grade class production, little Tommy always knew that performing would be in his life. After mastering imitations of childhood idols Clint Eastwood, Charles Bronson and Marlon Brando, even his parents began to see that he may indeed have some talent. In junior high, he joined the drama/mime department, where his interest in the "silent" physical performance reached its peak.

     Once in High School, it was on to more serious fare. In his drama dept., Tom was quickly the one to watch, landing roles in every school production, even some local theatre work. But strangely enough, it was his little sister HOLLY who first convinced him that film acting was his forte. When she found their father's Super-8 camera, together they made some funny and serious little "home movies", using cinema to explore domestic problems at home.

     Always a California resident, Tom graduated from high school and took to the road for over a year. Traveling. Absorbing. Trying to figure out exactly what makes America tick. This adventure eventually landed him back to his home state where he took up an apartment next door to Stewart and Kay. These neighbors became fast mates and drinking buddies, each supporting the other in their personal artistic endeavors. A veteran of local colleges like Foothill, Tom was able to discover more possibilities in acting with authors like David Mamet and Sam Shepard, both who also dabbled in film from time to time.

     Although he knows that L.A. must be in his future, he is in no hurry to be the small fish in the big pond. He likes the fact that he can find work and keep his agent busy. But the grind has been slowly wearing thin. Commercial after commercial after industrial video has zapped the creative energies from his soul. He desperately wants to break out, maybe perhaps write something of his own. Just something different from the junk he sees out there. This is something that both brother and sister have in common.

Background History:  MARK
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     Born and raised in Austin Texas, where his parents moved to from San Francisco when he was two. The atmosphere around Austin was his playground and music quickly began part of his everyday activity. His parents encouraged his interests at a young age, with his father pushing him to learn to read music at a young age. Although he loves drums, piano and guitar, it was the mystery of the bass that got his undivided attention. Maybe it was a Geddy Lee thing, but after he first heard 2112, he KNEW that the bass was the instrument for him.

     Once his craft was down, finding bands to jam and join in Austin was never difficult, and Mark would find himself in several type of rock-and-roll outfits. It was a chance meeting at an open mike where Mark met Stewart and the two decided to get together. When Daniel joined the mix, they KNEW that the sounds they created were not the same ones that every other band was pounding out. Mark knew a guy named Joe and together the foursome became "Tangible Vandalism", a sort of progressive-art-rock experience. And yes, they even managed to pull off "Close to the Edge" with Daniel on piano and Stewart switching guitars between electric and acoustic. All three have a wonderful singing harmony together, often trading vocal duties. The bonds created through music grew over the next four years.

     When Stewart made it clear that San Francisco would be THE PLACE for them to be, for Mark, it was almost like going home to a place he never knew. Once there, he took up any jobs that could keep his evenings free to pursue his music. And because of the creative inferno that is the Daniel and Stewart marriage, Mark often finds himself in the "Derek Smalls" role of mediator. But his keen observation and good taste has always served the band well.

     In the end, he must make some final decisions that cannot be handled in any other way. He's passionate about music, but not all music. Mark is pretty critical of the type of clone-rock that clogs the airwaves in both television and radio. But deep down inside, he got that fire instinct that tells him the stuff that he's working on with Stewart and Daniel is the best music he has been associated with in any band, and often equals the vibe of his most favorite records in his collection. He's always been positive, but the days and years keep ticking and his band still can't put out a demo they are all happy with. Mark knows this must change, even if he's the one who must initiate the action.

Background History:  DRIVER
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     His mother was a famous singer. His father a saxophone playing songwriter. They met on D-Day, with him making a play for her heart wearing his vagabond shoes and a Hawaiian shirt. Together they joining a big band revue and hit the road, with his father eventually taking over the conductor duties. Then she got pregnant. Then she got famous. This and more grew like a virus in his father and the two professionals who were in love eventually found themselves on opposite ends of a rope.

     The boy grew up with a major influence in music and learned to play several instruments. He was just the right age for The Beatles and the acid-rock explosion of the 60's. Finding bands to play with was easy, plus he never really had to have a job, a wealthy inheritance fixed that. It was with a group of four other guys that he cut a record in the summer of '71. A blues progressive explosion that would have any Zeppelin/Yes fan in happy spirits. They cut the record in ten days and two days before it hit the store shelves, the lead singer dies of an overdose. The band never recovered and DRIVER never really found the spotlight he thought was always waiting for him.

     But other aspects of life would eventually take center stage and a child of his own would carry the musical legacy handed down from generation to generation.
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