From the time he was a small child, Ali, a troubled yet imaginative boy, has had one dream in life: to become a screenwriter. Abused at home by his stepfather Sherman, a washed-up base guitarist; targeted in his neighborhood by Steel, a 20-year-old gang member; he longs for a safe space to simply write screenplays and explore the world of his imagination. As Ali sits in the park writing, Steel and two other gang members confront him. Steel knocks Ali’s script out his hand and steps on it. Angered by the disrespect, Ali throws the first two punches – striking Steel and one of the other men. They immediately attack him, viciously beating him to the ground.
When Ali arrives home, he laments to his mom Khadijah, a practicing Muslim, that he needs a quiet place to write his screenplays and to be transferred to a safer high school. Disinterested in Ali’s problems, she brushes him off and tells him that if he wants quiet, he should go into the basement; Ali declines. The basement is where Sherman often goes to play his guitar. Khadijah informs him, however, that Sherman has taken a job in Los Angeles. Reluctantly, Ali goes to the rancid and dark basement. It is here that he discovers a secret portal that takes him into a magical cave.
Ali wanders around the cave. He is awestruck by its beauty. Everything in the cave radiates a deep yet vibrant blue color. He sits by a pool of water and begins to write. He discovers that, in the cave, his stories come to life. This inspires him to write and draw prolifically. The next morning, Ali awakens to the sound of Sherman’s base guitar. He rushes to the basement and finds that Sherman has returned. Even worse, he has trashed his scripts and storyboards.
Ali storms out of the house and sits on the front steps. He begins to create a new storyboard. As he draws a red demonic figure, a black car pulls up. Inside of the car are Steel and the two other gang members from the park. Steel aims a gun at Ali and fires. Ali runs away; he takes cover on his front porch. Moments later, the car burns rubber as they drive away. Fed up with the violence, Ali decides that it is time to take a stand and fight for his dream - by any means!