The Movie Pitch for ‘Horse in Motion’ (1878), by Collin Gossel
Oh wow, Mr. Muybridge, what a coincidence running into you here! I don’t want to interrupt your dinner, but listen, I’ve got this great idea. Okay, right, great, picture this: We open on a grassy field in Palo Alto, right? Sun’s shining. Early June. There’s a horse. She’s running! Legs go up. They go down. End of movie.
What’s a movie, right? It’s kind of like A Tale of Two Cities meets you watching a real person. The images will move and tell a story. In this case, a gritty re-imagining of two seconds from a horse-race that happened 15 years ago.
Anyways, Eadward—mind if I call you Eady?—so, Eady, our main character is the Horse. This horse is a real go-getter. Think of a real Robert E. Lee’s Horse type. She’s the hottest horse around, but she doesn’t know it. Here’s her dream: to break into a full gallop and lift all four legs off the ground at once. Crazy! “Can she do it?” audiences will wonder. “Can she really bring all four of her hooves off the ground at the same time?” This is powerful stuff!
What’s her arc? When the story starts this horse is a nobody. Just another super attractive horse standing in the middle of a field. Her dad wants her to go into the family grazing business, even though she’s the most talented galloper in Palo Alto. Nobody believes in Horse except Jockey, an incredibly handsome platonic friend who rides her back and whispers supportive words into her ear. She thinks she’s gonna be a normal horse, just standing in the grass when BAM! Eady, you wouldn’t believe it, her back leg lifts up! She’s the chosen one! The chosen horse who can finally break into a full gallop and lift all four legs off the ground at the same time.
But being the chosen one is no walk in the park! Jockey has always supported her, but as Horse lifts her second leg off the ground, she realizes he’s actually pretty heavy. Internal conflict! She’ll have to choose between her dream of breaking into a full gallop and her life-long friendship with Jockey, who at that very moment admits he’s in love with her. The Horse has run about a yard now, but it feels like 20 miles.
Have I got your attention? Well, this is where we meet our villain! As if the whole world wasn’t against her already, a hitman, hired by the big-gambling industry, begins shooting at Horse so she can’t change the world of horse racing forever. He’ll be firing the gun from off-screen. Since movies have no sound, we’ll understand what’s happening through Horse’s reactions.
And jeez, it’s all just too much for Horse! When she started her hero’s journey, Horse had no idea how hard the past quarter second would be. She decides to stop running and go back to standing still. This is our Second Act Break, Death of the Soul. Just when all seems lost, however, Jockey leans forward just a bit and tells Horse what she’s needed to hear the whole time: that he believes in her! Horse quickly whispers back that this is all thanks to Jockey, and she never would have been emotionally stable enough to go after her own goals without a man’s support. This is the emotional crux of the film.
Empowered and independent, except for Jockey, Horse finally summons up all her courage and attempts to raise both her front legs into the air at the same time! Just imagine the audience going wild, cheering on Horse, desperately hoping she achieves her goal! The hit-man offscreen is shooting bullet after bullet at her, but she’s so fast he can’t connect! Jockey is still just as heavy as he was, but they’re in love now, so she can’t even feel it! Far above their heads, an inter-dimensional portal of glowing energy is pulsing, and can’t be closed unless our hero manages to lift all four of her legs up! With one final giant heave, Horse manages to pull off the ground, and for one glorious moment, she FLIES!
Of course, everything’s different after that. From the way Horse brings her legs back down, we can tell horse racing will never be the same, and that she and Jockey will go on to lead a happy life, eating sugar cubes and running across grass for the rest of their days.
Cool, right, well let me know what you think! Ideally, the story should be about a second long and viewed in a continuous loop. It’s called The Unforgettable Ride: A Horse’s Tale…what’s that? Absolutely, Horse in Motion is just as good. We’ve got Dennison Xavier attached as cinematographer. He’s coming off of an amazing year; his film Tree in Wind was a huge hit, so we’re getting him while he’s hot!
Yes, I think there are some definite merchandising possibilities.