Buc-kid-Neers LOGLINE: When Irish orphans are rescued from a sinking ship, they find themselves surrounded by pirates, privateers and the British navy. They resort to the only avocation available to them, piracy.
Pecan Street Press
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Buc-kid-Neers is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Buc-kid-Neers Amazon edition
Copyright © 2021 Alan Nafzger
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ALT TITLE: Sea Pups or Redlegs
WRITER: Alan Nafzger (email@example.com)
GENRE: Children’s animation and/or adventure feature film
FILM REFERENCE: Pirates of the Craibean (1971) meets Hugo (2011).
LITERARY TRADITION: The Count of Monte Cristo (1844), revenge.
SETTING: 1710s in the Caribbean, Jamaica and Montserrat
Origin of the Story
In 1990, while in Dublin (at UCD), I was, of course young, and in the middle of PhD studies in the Soviet political system. My brain was in history and political science, but my imagination was in Cape Hatteras; growing up I’d spent several summers there. I learned about the Irish nearly always fighting opposite the British. I learned their were Irish pirates who allied themselves with the French in the Caribbean.
Based on the world of the Caribbean in the late 1700s, Buckidneers dives into the delicate balance between the English, utopian city of Port Royal and the seedy, oppressed underground of Ocho Rio. Known across the Caribbean as the “city of Irish progress,” many of the most daring pirates called Oho Rio home.
Dynamite wasn’t invented for a while but this is fiction and I needed. But I needed something the Irish pirates had for the story to develop. The robbery of the British scientist in Kingston is an event that allows the Irish a way to control their destinies. At that time, water was a source of power and wealth. Dynamite could be used to safely create rivers/streams. So dynamite threatens the control the British had over the natives and over the Irish.
The story follows four Irish children, who witness and then participate in the struggle for control in the Caribbean. Buck-Kid-Neers would be is aimed at a “10+” audience and will deal with almost no adult subject matter. The most risqué scene is a pirate song about a drowned sailor who takes his lady to a bed of seaweed.
The series will be most appealing to those who are already familiar with the mythology of piracy and want to further explore its details.
I told a reporter from Hollywire: “Originally, Buck-Kid-Neers started off with a bunch of shipwrecked kids and the French sailor who rescues them. They are thrown into the pirate culture really quickly. Over time, children become teens. I believe the audience can become attached to the characters as they form a modern family – a French father, four Irish and two Spanish teens. The family of orphans begin on the island of Jamaica and move to Monsurat. Any producer will find it easy to build more of a universe around them, the Caribbean has hundreds of islands and this can be a long-running series.”
Ocho Rios Bay – Jamaica
Ocho Rios was originally settled by a tribe of Taíno. In November 1493, Christopher Columbus passed the bay and after being told that the island was unoccupied due to raids by the natives.
Christopher Columbus landed in 1494 and claimed the island for Spain. The Taínos were ultimately obliterated by disease, slavery, and war. Some also committed suicide, presumably to escape their conditions as slaves. Spain brought the first enslaved Africans to Jamaica in 1517, to work on plantations throughout Jamaica, including Ocho Rios.
In May 1655, British forces seized the island from the Spanish. The English misunderstood, misinterpreted, and mispronounced the Spanish name Chorreras and called the town Ocho Rios. Historically, Ocho Rios did not have any prominent importance to either the English or the Spanish. It was, however, utilised by Irish pirates who regarded it as their base of operations.
A number of Irishmen settled in Montserrat. Most came from Jamaica and Saint Kitts at the instigation of the island’s governors, with more Irish settlers arriving later from Virginia. The preponderance of Irish in the first wave of European settlers led a leading legal scholar to remark that a “nice question” is whether the original settlers took with them the law of the Kingdom of Ireland insofar as it differed from the law of the Kingdom of England. It’s a somewhat silly question because most of the settlers of Montserrat were pirates and didn’t necessarily respect either set of laws.
The Irish verses The British
The Irish are historical allies of the French, and especially dislike the English. They invited the French to claim Montserrat island in 1666, although no troops were sent by France to maintain control. However the French did attack and briefly occupy the island in the late 1660s; it was captured shortly afterwards by the English and English control of the island was confirmed under the Treaty of Breda the following year. Despite the seizing by force of the island by the English, the island’s legal status is that of a “colony acquired by settlement”.
A neo-feudal colony developed amongst the so-called “redlegs”. However, the British began to transport Sub-Saharan African slaves for labour. Rather than employ the Irish they reverted to African slavery and this further antagonized the conflict.
The British built an economy based on the production of sugar, rum, arrowroot and sea island cotton, cultivated on large plantations manned by slave labour. By the late 18th century, numerous plantations had been developed on all the British islands and the Irish were left out of the wealth.
Written by Alan Nafzger
Alan Nafzger (firstname.lastname@example.org)
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EXT. FRENCH FRIGATE – DAY
ZOOM in on the name of ship stern, Vengeur du Peuple. We PULL BACK and the French flag is burning. PULL BACK farther and the ship is sinking. One last PULL BACK and we see the reason for the disaster – a British man-of-war cannon’s smoking from the engagement.
Onboard the burning French ship there is a British BOARDING PARTY, a combination of Royal Navy (blue) and Royal Marines (red).
Sailors are on the bilge pumps and have buckets fighting the fire. Others are pillaging the ship for valuables. The marines are going about the ship bayonetting any Frenchmen who move.
EXT: DECK OF BRITISH MAN-OF-WAR
Two pompous ROYAL NAVY OFFICERS stand, surveying the action. The bell behind them says, London. They receive a hand flag signal from the French ship.
LIEUTENANT watches the details through a telescope. He sees the last FRENCH SAILOR (wounded) rise and then he’s bayonetted by a MARINE before he can harm the British SIGNALMAN.
It was a touch too much it seems, Captain.
Oh, Damn. Very well. Abandon ship.
(to The London’s signalman)
Signal: Abandon ship.
I wanted that for a prize.
The wife, sir?
She’s incredibly expensive tastes. She wants an estate in the country. She says London is too hectic for her. Last year, she couldn’t wait to get there to the city.
Too bad really. A perfectly good ship, destroyed by our cannoneers. Too zealous I suppose.
Accuracy is no vice, lieutenant. Give the men my congratulations.
I will and my apologies to your wife.
It’s quite alright.
I guess I should write a letter informing her of the bad news.
The captain takes a step toward his cabin and turns.
See that the men get back and make for Port Royal.
EXT. MATE’S CABIN – DECK OF FRENCH FRIGATE
FOUR YOUTH are hiding in the mate’s cabin under the quarter-deck; they peer out, watching their ship slowly sink. Three of them look to ASHLING (10) to leadership. Ashling is taking it all in and remains motionless.
On deck, ANDRÉ (a French sailor) has a 4-inch splinter of wood in his leg. He has been playing dead; he opens his eyes in fright. He watches the beginning of the exit of the British.
The BOARDING PARTY begins to abandon ship; they stop with the fire buckets and bilge pumps. Others pillaging the ship are frustrated by the order.
The ship is listing badly. A small cannonball (12 pounds) rolls across the deck and stops at André’s badly wounded and bleeding leg; he winces in pain but if he moves he will be bayonetted.
In the shadows, CALLUM (9), SEAMUS (7) and SHANNON (5) lean toward Ashling, nearly demanding instructions or action. Ashling looks down a ladder and there is water up to the berth deck. On the spar deck, she notices that the battle has shattered both of the French lifeboats.
Ash, what are we gonna do?
She hesitates until the LAST TWO OF THE BOARDING PARTY are about to leave. Ashling jumps from her hiding place.
You speak English?
What are you doing on a French frigate?
Were you captured?
Ashling hesitates; things are moving too fast. She finally makes up her mind and she speaks.
We were on our way from Virginia to Monserrate.
The sailor whispers to the marine.
Ashling nods in the affirmative.
The Brits scoff and climb down the ladder into a skiff. They have abandoned the ship with four Irish children on board.
Ashling notices the cannon ball laying beside André and she picks it up. Her wrist is grabbed by André, and they look at each other for a second.
Ashling shakes her wrist loose and takes the cannonball to the ladder. She looks down and the skiff is about to push off. She hoists the ball over the side and it narrowly misses the skiff. The ball, however small, would have sunk the skiff.
A marine calmly rises from his seat in the skiff and fires at an obstinate Ashling. The flintlock ignites, but before the bullet arrives, André has crawled over to her and pulls her hand and body out of harm’s way.
Only now her hot Irish temper has ended and we see she’s now in shock. Below the railing and safe… all the participants look at each other. They are doomed.
Ashling is pouting. Shannon is sobbing alone. Callum is looking over André’s leg wound. SEAMUS is frozen watching Callum.
I should have told him we were English.
It wouldn’t have mattered.
André gives Callum the signal and he pulls the wood out of André’s leg. Blood… tight bandages.
Originally posted 2022-01-12 09:34:49.