Drop #58: Scripted Layers

.

INT.  MR. BUONAVISTA’S OFFICE – DAY.

 

           LIONEL

 You always put three ice cubes in your drinks?

 

           MR. BUONAVISTA

 Yes. Always three.

 

           LIONEL

 Try two, or four, next time.

 

           MR. BUONAVISTA

 Why the hell would I do that?

 

           LIONEL

 Just to mix it up.

 

           MR. BUONAVISTA

 I do three cause it tastes best that way.

 

           LIONEL

 Maybe a change would be good, is all I’m saying.

 

           MR. BUONAVISTA

 What are you doing, coming into my office and telling me how many

 ice cubes to put in my drink?

 

           LIONEL

 Just try something else, is all I’m saying.

 

           MR. BUONAVISTA

 What are you talking about after all these years? Everyone knows a man

 takes his drink a specific way. Don’t make me angry here.

 

           LIONEL

 Sorry.

 

           MR. BUONAVISTA

 Let’s just get to it, alright?

           

 LIONEL

 Okay, so, picture it.

 .

Lionel gets up and gestures with his hands to emphasize the picture he is about to

paint.

           .

LIONEL (CONT’D.)

There’s garbage blowing all through the street – an urban whirlwind of

gray dirt. There’s no music yet. We only hear the sound of the wind.

Hayden comes out the subway, silhouetted in a wide shot, and

starts walking, hands in pockets and collar raised. He comes up on a

couple by the intersection, in the middle of the circling dust and candy

wrappers, kissing. They separate, the guy smiling, the girl smiling too,

but a little less enthusiastically. She’s a small thin girl with a long pale

 face. He’s taller, athletic, but kind of square.

.

Mr. Buonavista listens, stone faced.

.

          LIONEL (CONT’D.)

Hayden and the guy walk almost alongside each other crossing the street.

We see the girl going off in the other direction. Suddenly, the guy turns

to tell her something he had forgotten. The noise of the wind is loud and

he holds his right hand up to the side of his face to wall the words.

“Chocolate,” he says. We widen the shot to see Hayden keep walking

and the girl turn around, palms up to show she doesn’t hear him. The guy

repeats it in French to clarify: “Chocolat.” At this point, we mute the sound

of the storm, and cut to a close up of his mouth, so that we see and hear

only his lips mouthing this word. Then the storm sound returns, louder and wilder.

She smiles in that same reserved way and turns to walk away again.

.

Lionel pauses to catch Mr. Buonavista’s reaction.

REVERSE ANGLE shows there isn’t any.

.   

LIONEL (CONT’D.)

We have been distracted from Hayden, and when we widen and pan out again over

a broad stretch of street, he is nowhere to be seen, but we just get to see a manhole

cover being replaced. We zoom in on it as it clamps back down, then go through

it, into the darkness below: black screen; total silence, lasting a couple of seconds.

Then a lamp comes on, and we see Hayden perched on the manhole ladder, just

below the lid, holding a 300 carat diamond. ‘Got you sucker,’ he says, before

tossing it a couple of inches into the air, catching it again, and putting it back in his

pocket. Then he slides down the entire ladder real fast without stepping on any

rungs. We see the lamp, which is actually his souped up watch, by the way, descending

into the bottomless depths like those mini submarines that go to the bottom of the

ocean, as the music starts: Kashmir by Led Zeppelin, and the title comes up:

THE ANDROID FIX.  Bam! Opening credits roll as we follow Hayden to his

underground lair though a series of tunnels and pipes.

          .

MR. BUONAVISTA

It’s a little avant-garde isn’t it?

.

LIONEL

I don’t think so.

 .

          MR. BUONAVISTA

You don’t think we need more action for the opening sequence?

           

LIONEL

I’m not sure you’re seeing the storm like I’m seeing it, and juxtaposition

of the Chocolat scene.

           

          MR. BUONAVISTA

No, I don’t think I am. But this is an action movie, isn’t it?

          

LIONEL

No, it’s philosophical sci-fi meets noir thriller.

         

MR. BUONAVISTA

And you’re set on Colin Farrell?

          

LIONEL

For Hayden? Absolutely

.

MR. BUONAVISTA

Why?

           

LIONEL

What do you mean, why? He’s perfect for this part.

.

MR. BUONAVISTA

Perhaps.

.

The Phone rings. Mr. Buonavista answers. Lionel is visibly upset.

          .

MR. BUONAVISTA

Excuse me, Lionel, it’s the wife.

         

LIONEL

Sure, sure.

           

MR. BUONAVISTA

She’s got the triplets at home – public holiday. Can you picture that!

.

DISSOLVE TO:

.

INT. MESSY SHACK – DAY                                                                        137

JOLENE, BY DOLLY PARTON PLAYING.

.

A TRACKING SHOT through the messy house, past piled up boxes and crowded,

dusty, counters comws to a stop on an elderly woman in a floral orange apron

scrubbing blackened pans in the kitchen. Dishes are piled up.

The door bell rings. She wipes her hands, slowly walks over to the old record

player and lifts the needle. The music stops as she opens the door to reveal an

enormous man in a suit holding a brown paper bag.

.

OLD WOMAN

Been expecting you.

.

The man enters without speaking. He sits at the table, barely fitting is legs under

it. We hear crickets and other nature sounds now.

.

HUGE MAN

I smell bacon.

.

OLD WOMAN

Did you bring it?

.

HUGE MAN

Of course. But first, I want some bacon.

.

There is not a hint of sarcasm in his tone. She stops washing up and stares at

him as the SHOT WIDENS to reveal a gigantic birdcage covered by a white

sheet behind the table, against the back wall. Something moves within it.

.

***

Too sleepy to continue, Jacob puts down the script: the third one Guy has passed on this month, and by the looks of it, not a very good one. He glances at the title page again, having forgotten what the thing is called. ANOTHER LAYER, by Benoit Complicat. Perhaps it would have read better in French.

By E.M. Vireo

.

For full effect, here are the songs:

Kashmir, by Led Zeppelin

and

Jolene, by Dolly Parton

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About EM Vireo
flooding the world with fiction

2 Responses to Drop #58: Scripted Layers

  1. I was really glued to the first one, only to be stopped by Mr. Buonavista’s lack of vision. How many kicks-in-the-gut can a screenwriter take. Hope I got your intent. Is this a section of a book? I see what appears to be a page number – 137.

  2. EM Vireo says:

    Yeah, I hope I got my intent too! This one was a wild ride. Experimental, as I said. And quite tricky to format. The 137 is a page number of the script Jacob is reading in which Mr. B and Lionel discuss another script (or it could be a scene number in a shooting script), though I guess, in both cases, there would be more than one example visible in the section of the script covered in this story. It was just an added element.

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