Tale of a City

Every city in the world has a history, puzzles, mysteries, challenges and growth.

Sometimes these back stories are bizarre, sometimes fantastic, some even world- changing.

Tale of a City is an animated and computer generated program that, as a series, will tell the story of cities around the planet. At one city per episode, the bed of this series will be created by morphing all of each city's own maps. From the earliest primitive cartography to the latest satellite imagery we will watch a city grow from its earliest settlement to its maturity.

Tale of a City Main Titlecard

Through the years a cities grow. Maps are created reflecting those changes. Registered for scale these many maps will morph from one to the next in chronological order forming the bed of the program. These maps of different hue and detail will illustrate accurately the city's evolution, history and growth. We travel through history with these maps triggering an historically accurate but entertaining narrative.

Let's start with Boston- America's first city.

We see a satellite shot of modern America- at night. The bright carpet of America's millions of lights gradually extinguish, smoothly flowing from west to east. The darkness grows, funneling down into the location of Boston. Soon there is only the silhouette of America in the dark.

Then a campfire flames up on the East Coast.

The camera flies down to the campfire as the sun comes up.

Tale of a City Main Titlecard

We see animation of the first settlers camping next to Plymouth Rock. The Mayflower rocks at anchor. They are on the empty beach next to the harbor that would become Boston.

Our story begins as the screen fills with the first map of Boston, created in1604.

A Map of early Boston

Computer animation and the script will illustrate and speak to specific events in Boston's history. Illustrated events would include well known aspects of the city as well as the more arcane.

The script will be historically accurate as we see the program as educational. However, the program has the capacity to be enormously entertaining as well.

The narrative style will be listenable, entertaining, and rich with anecdote.

NOTE: The 1960's successful animated programs "Rocky & Bullwinkle", "Peabody's Improbable History" and "Fractured Fairy Tales", were known for quality writing and wry humor. This narrative style will be emulated in "Tale of a City's" scripts. Mixing puns, cultural and topical satire, and self-referential humor the goal is to appeal to adults as well as children.

NOTE: This program does allow for the creation of perhaps two animated characters. These two explore the past and through their banter, tell the story of each city.

NOTE: Highlights and some lesser known facts about Boston for scripting and animation.

A Map of early Boston

Founded on September 17, 1630, the city is named after Boston, England, a town from which several prominent colonists originated.

A rough start.

Boston would eventually become the "Cradle of Democracy." But in 1660 Mary Dyer was hanged there because she was a Quaker, a banned faith. Mary is considered the last religious martyr in North America.

A little later.

The first American mail route was opened in 1672 between the two cities of Boston and New York.

A Map of early Boston

Most already know. Boston played a key role in the American Revolutionary War. The Boston Massacre, the Boston Tea Party and several of the early battles of the Revolutionary War (such as the Battle of Lexington and Concord and the Siege of Boston) occurred near the city.

But. Paul Revere in making his famous ride never said, "The British are coming!" He actually was yelling, "The regulars are coming out!"

A Map of early Boston

Later still.

1838, Boston, Massachusetts was the first city in America to establish its own police department. The first traffic ticket was issued to.oh, never mind.

The Great Fire of 1872

Then. The fire started on Lincoln Street on November 9 and in two days destroyed about 65 acres of the city. 776 buildings were destroyed causing $60 million in damage.

Molasses flood of 1919

And then. Yes. We wouldn't make this up. This strange mishap occurred On January 15, 1919. A huge molasses storage tank at the top of a hill exploded. Twenty-one people were killed and 150 injured as hot molasses crushed, asphyxiated, and cooked many of the victims to death. It took over six months to remove the molasses from the cobblestone streets, theaters, businesses, automobiles, and homes. Boston Harbor ran brown until summer.

A Map of early Boston

Sadly. Between June 14, 1962 and January 4, 1964 thirteen single women between the ages of 19 and 85 were murdered in Boston by the infamous "Boston Strangler".

Famously. The largest art theft in US history occurred in Boston on March 18, 1990 when 12 paintings, collectively worth $100 million, were stolen from the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum by two thieves posing as Boston police officers.

Boston Strong

And today. in a scenario seemingly created by M. C. Escher, the University Bridge is the only place in the world where- a boat- can sail under a train- passing under a car- driving under an airplane.

This treatment is WGAw registered (Writers Guild of America) and copy righted.

Producer's Note:

A modern city is not usually created as a symphony by a trained and brilliant composer. Most of the world's great cities started as merely a tune, often only whistled at first, by an unknown man. Then perhaps, someone else hummed the tune, added a chorus and again another added words. Rarely do we see our planet's cities from their inception, rigidly planned and orchestrated.

There are few exceptions of course like Salt Lake City, Utah. Neighborhoods were designed and avenues laid out like spokes on a wheel by the earliest city leaders. Even when a city is laid out, the vision of its ultimate growth is often lost on the original planners.

Seattle for example, was carefully laid out by two opposing engineers starting from different reference points. Their legacy snarls traffic in that town to this day with streets intersecting down town at fifteen-degree angles.

So who whistled the first tune? Why did that first fur trader stop in what is now Des Moines? Why did others not only stop...but stay? Was Albuquerque really started because a Conestoga wagon picked that spot to break down? The family the wagon held then converted the timber into a shack to live through the winter? If so, what turned it later into a settlement? Then a town? Then a city?

At the confluence of two mighty rivers as in the case of Saint Louis, it is easy to see for reasons of commerce and travel, why the city started there. London, Budapest and Paris were all established on rivers because of early commerce. But why did they grow the way they did? What determined the direction of growth geographically, spiritually, or legally? What factors affected and influenced their growth?

Why did cities grow or not grow in any given direction?

What did Fort Worth look like when it was only a fort?

The visual portrayal of "Tale of a City" will include computer graphics and animation illustrating each city's growth as well as interesting points along the way. Using a seamless orchestration of everything from original settlement renderings and maps, to today's high-resolution satellite photos, to archival stills and footage, the visual style is a captivating, visual treat.

The visuals, Maps, CGI and animation will convey with astounding clarity, the juxtaposition of the world's earliest one-home settlements with today's modern mega-cities.

The stories are diverse and fascinating. The program will be entertaining and educational.

And, as a series, "Tale of a City" will have a nearly inexhaustible supply of subject matter.

Bagdad, Brussels, Peking, Pittsburg, Tehran, Philadelphia, Fort Lauderdale, Moscow, Mexico City, Sydney, Tokyo, Mumbai, Sao Paulo, Cairo, New York.

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