1/4 of the forthcoming
CHARLOTTE CALDWELL: THE STORY, VOL. 1
by Jack Levinson
*formatted for desktop only
SPENCER SAVARD, lead vocals, rhythm guitar, keyboards, strings
NICK CRANDALL, lead vocals, lead guitar
JACOB OVERMAN, bass, backup vocals
& introducing BILL BRIGHT, percussion
SHEILA ABBASI PROFESSOR JUDY MAXWELL
DONALD BRIGHT CASEY MYSERS
HOWARD DEAN ROOT CURE
EVAN DHATRI CYNTHIA TAYLOR
Square Circle ( ) formed in college in the fall of 2003. By 2005, they had acquired a devoted following. By 2007, they were the biggest name in indie rock. In 2012, following five albums, the band retired for good.
Along their journey the four friends encountered artists, critics, fans, friends, and lovers, all of whom affected their course through history. Here is their story -- all of their stories.
EXT. LAKE HOUSE. NIGHT.
A dark, clear, crickety night on a massive lakefront property in Sutcliffe, Connecticut. Bright stars hang overhead and the waves splash on the shore so gently that the water sounds far off even though it’s only a few yards from the house’s back door.
TITLE CARD: “AUGUST, 2004.”
The enormous residence itself is silhouetted save for one glowing window, a room on the basement level which sits in one corner of the house facing out into the woods. As we PULL toward this window, some of the house’s features come into relief: the lawn’s well-groomed grass, the unpainted wooden shingles that cover the facade. And now we’re close enough to see a figure through the window, in bed and reading a magazine: BILL BRIGHT, 18, a boy making his most aggressive bid yet toward manhood, white, tall, and somewhat lumbering, but with a particular grace to him. His movements are purposeful and precise. Beneath his large, watchful eyes, his mouth rests in a position of tight-lipped repose, comfortably withholding. Tonight we find him in a t-shirt and boxer shorts. We PULL THROUGH the window and into
INT. OFFICE - CONTINUOUS.
An immaculately clean office with windows on two walls and large, minimal prints in tranquil hues on the others. The lighting is buttery and dim. At the window is a glass desk; along the opposite wall lies the sofa-bed in which Bill reads his magazine, Twist-Off, whose cover shows a group of shaggy-haired young men in a lineup gazing coyly forward. He had hoped this reading would put him to sleep -- it’s now past 3:30, and the others staying at the house ascended to their rooms long ago -- but a minute ago something caught his eye that has given him a burst of adrenaline. He turns back to the Events section now to contemplate the blurb anew:
Here’s how you know the times are a-changin’: last month,
Williamsburg played host to not one but two political fund-
raisers at new venues in town. The first, 'Republicans Suck,'
was a dance party hosted by the electronic label MiddleFinger,
who seem to have a consistent approach to naming. But don’t
go thinking they’re that anti-establishment: they raised close
to $2000 for the DNC through cover and drink sales and are
reportedly planning round two in September. The second,
-- and here is where Bill’s attention has been piqued --
’Cool Kids for Kerry,’ was hosted by the six-month-old venue
The Monkey’s Paw and featured a roster of its left-leaning
bands-in-residency, among them the classically-trained Root
Cure and genre-hopping Square Circle.
Those words conjure references that are meaningful to Bill -- beyond meaningful, actually -- they refer to his world -- to him! He can call The Monkey’s Paw to mind in perfect detail, its blue door, its steep staircase to the basement, because he played in this fundraiser, because he is the drummer of one of the bands in question, the aforementioned genre-hoppers, Square Circle. He tries to make sense of how this all happened. Three years ago he bought his first copy of Twist-Off. This time last year he still hadn’t been to Brooklyn. This magazine, the world it conveyed, were supposed to always exist at a distance from Bill, only on the page, for his imagination alone. But now he has entered the world -- he has entered the page. He feels as though he’s floating in his disbelief.
A SUDDEN NOISE, a movement-noise, a thump -- was there a noise? No; there’s more silence for a while.
No, yes, ANOTHER NOISE, another thump -- a footstep. And then ANOTHER FOOTSTEP, and, sure enough, ANOTHER FOOTSTEP, THIS ONE CLOSER THAN THE LAST. And despite the irrationality of it, he flashes for a moment with panic, becoming extremely still.
The footsteps are now at the door, slowing to a stop. There is no sound. Bill barely breathes. A KNOCK bangs out, in fact quiet but so sudden and jarring as to sound incredibly loud. Bill jumps out of bed and rises to get the door as quickly as he can, before he has time to stop himself. His heart does not entirely stop sinking as he swings the door to reveal, pale and severe-looking in the doorway light, SPENCER SAVARD, 18. Bill backs up and silently allows Spencer into the room, allowing his features to come into greater relief. He’s stunningly beautiful, soft-skinned and fine-featured, with clear, uncompromising eyes and the sloppy, disinterested pout of a teenager. He’s all contradictions: childlike and obscene, blunt and evasive, luxuriously disheveled, perversely delicate. And right now he isn’t trying to be nice. As he closes the door behind him:
You brought it?
A beat. Bill would ask “What?” but he knows what he said -- he knew what Spencer was here for as soon as he appeared in the doorway. Finally, Bill nods. This knowledge causes Spencer to bristle for a moment, taking a quick glance around the room as though calculating something and now returning to meet Bill’s gaze.
Did you open it?
A beat. Bill simply stares at Spencer, his gentle face suddenly taking on a newly impenetrable quality.
Bill breaks his eye contact, looking instead at the cover of his magazine lying on his bed, and now turning in the opposite direction to look out the window, into the murky forest.
But Bill has already crossed the room and now kneels by the sofa bed, reaching into the space that the mattress folds out from, and from here he pulls a small tote bag, and from this he pulls a manila envelope, weatherbeaten but sealed firmly shut with its red thread, folded once vertically and once horizontally. Wordlessly he walks it over to Spencer and feels how quickly it slips from his hand at Spencer’s yank.
After a beat:
You’re not gonna tell me what you know?
What you think you know?
Bill shrugs. Spencer seethes.
Just know that you don’t know the whole
story. Whatever you might think, you
don’t. Just remember that.
And now, with the envelope under his arm, he pivots out of the room, shutting the door with a click behind him. Bill stands in his place with his head lowered, and as the footsteps wander out of earshot, he wonders anew how he possibly could have drifted into the matrix of situations in which he finds himself tonight.