Friday, August 3, 2012

80`s Retrospective Series: Street Trash Writer Roy Frumkes

Writer Roy Frumkes Shares His Street Trash Memories!

Part 1 

Inspiration for Street Trash

My inspiration for writing the screenplay was the earlier version, shot in 16mm, which was written by Jimmy Muro and Mike Lackey.  I tried to keep as much of that version in my screenplay as possible - but added a number of characters such as Fred's younger brother, Wendy and Schnizer, Bronson and his Winette girlfriend, and Bill the cop, which was a part I wrote for a good friend of mine - Bill Chepil - who actually was a former cop whose beat was Times Square back when it was the most dangerous beat in the country.

I put in a lot of personal material as well, which I think is normal for screenwriters.  When Kevin tells Wendy that his brother set him up for getting humped by a dog, that was something my brother actually did to me when I was maybe four or five years old.  When Wendy tells Kevin she was in the bumper cars and got hit so hard from behind that she swallowed all her snots, that happened to my girlfriend at the time (who was Asian like Jane Arakawa).  So I had the pleasure of insinuating bits of my life into the film, and always enjoy revisiting those scenes.

In terms of structure, since it was not a normal 3-act narrative with clear main characters, I had in mind a Kurosawa film called Dodes Ka Den, which was an ensemble piece set in a hobo camp at the end of a subway line, and I also used Huckleberry Finn.  Some of the power of those sub structures were lost in the editing (it's discussed a bit in THE MELTDOWN MEMOIRS), but some survived.

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