So in Ecuador, buses work this way. There is a team of two who operates the bus. There is the driver, naturally. There is also who I name the Caller, who announces to all those on the street the route that the bus will be taking, hoping that more people join the ride. For, you see, you need not enter the bus at the terminal terrestre, or bus station, to travel by bus in this lovely land. Nay, simply waving one’s arm is generally sufficient to become a passenger. After boarding the bus, The Caller will travel down the aisle, collecting tickets from those who have come from the terminal and decided to purchase a ticket to the final destination. The vast majority of riders haven’t done this, however, and furthermore aren’t headed to the final destination, at least not to the terminal there. Rather, they have boarded somewhere along the way, and are likely to have a specific stop along the way. They pay cash depending on where they boarded and where they’re headed. The Caller is responsible for charging passengers, and accounting for each riders’ fare.
Generally there is some sort of dynamic between The Driver and The Caller. Sometimes, it’s fairly relaxed, without much interaction. On other occasions, it’s very friendly, with The Driver and The Caller switching roles for a matter of kilometers.
I find this relationship to be fascinating, as I generally do with groups of adults interacting. Specifically, adult men who have really close relationships is interesting. That juxtaposed with the idea of machismo and trying to act tough.
I would like to make a film with the above ideas and situations as the basis. There wouldn’t necessarily need to be a narrative, rather interactions between the two men as they travel across Ecuador and other spots in South America. In the meantime, we would see the various foods and beverages vendored by people young and old. These comestibles would naturally mirror the region in which the bus has paused for long enough for the vendors to board.
Passengers’ items would similarly tell the story of the area. If the film expanded its focus to all of Central and South America, imagine the variance in passengers, cargo, language, weather, and so on. Surf boards, chickens, herbs, briefcases, paintings, statuettes, fruits, etc. Additionally, think on the land and the sites that one would pass. The land and cities I’ve seen just here in Ecuador have been so amazing, so telling of the people who inhabit them. The bus would naturally become a character in the film. Attitude, style, condition, all these would help tell the story of the bus…its language.
Narrative unnecessary, though fairly easy given the elements of the situation. The bus and its tribulations, the relationship between two men, the terrestrial additions. Good stuff.