Thursday, April 28, 2011

That Guy

This is the final draft of my screenplay for the creative fiction writing class I'm talking this semester.  It's supposed to be a very short film.  My first attempt at the medium - be kind...



1. EXT. EMPTY PARKING LOT – MORNING

A bright summer morning.  A long, two-story building sits in the background, a large sign on one side reading “Ricos Auto Repair”.  The pavement is heavily cracked and the yellow lines are faintly visible. 

A white sedan with rust spots pulls up, parking near a small booth in the lot with large windows on three of its walls about fifty feet away from the larger building.  The sign on top reads “Ricos Key Shop”

JACQUES (V.O.)
You know all the terrible shit that happens to someone just when things seem to be going right in life?

A man in his thirties steps out of the car, slightly overweight, wearing a blue polo, dark slacks and black leather dress shoes, carrying a small black gym bag.  He walks slowly towards the booth, JINGLING keys in his hand as he approaches the locked door.

CUT TO:

2. INT. DARKENED LIVING ROOM – EARLY MORNING

A pregnant woman (JEANETTE) is sitting partway up a wooden staircase, her hair disheveled, with hands hanging down between her knees.

                   JACQUES (V.O.)
Everything’s going great with your girl, you’re happy and all of that, then Boom!  Disaster strikes, problems arise.

She watches the man in the blue polo standing near the front door, pulling on his shoes, her expression filled with distaste. 


3. INT. BOOTH

We can see that the one windowless wall of the booth is covered with key blanks, there are thousands of them, old-looking machines sit beneath the wall of keys.  A glass showcase filled with deadbolt locks and key chains separate the tiny work area from the even tinier customer area.  The man, GREG, locks the door behind him.


JACQUES (V.O.)
I’m talking like Karma or Fate or something like that, but with more of a sinister edge.   

A SEQUENCE OF SHOTS

showing Greg preparing to open up for business. 

- From his bag he pulls out his lunch: a sandwich in a plastic baggy and a metal thermos

- He FLIPS the power switches on the breaker box.

- Pulls a thick, raggedy-looking paperback novel from his bag.

- Turns on the register.

- He pulls a large magnum revolver from his bag.

- Turns on the lights, which HUM loudly.

- He places the revolver casually beneath the register on a shelf.

- He unlocks the door again.

JACQUES (V.O.)
Like, if there's a god turning the cogs of the universe, then there’s someone else who exists just to throw a wrench into the machinery at just the right time to fuck our shit up.

Greg stands with hands on the showcase facing the parking lot beyond through the window. 


4. EXT. PARKING LOT – WIDE SHOT

from up high, exposing his smallness against the vast emptiness of the sparsely populated parking lot.
CUT TO:


5. INT. LIVING ROOM – EARLY MORNING

The man in the blue polo, Greg, looks to the pregnant woman on the stairs, who appears to be avoiding eye contact with him.  Her chin is resting in her palms as he walks towards her, moving his face down close to hers.

JACQUES (V.O.)
That Guy. He’s the one man, the one behind all of it, the one that will take a bad day and turn it about eighty-seven hundred times worse.


CLOSE SHOT – JEANETTE

She turns away from Greg as tries to kiss her on the lips, forcing him to peck her quickly on the cheek before he leaves the shot. Cool morning light shines on her face briefly as the front door opens and closes with her expression remaining stoic and empty.


6. INT. RICOS WATCH REPAIR DEPARTMENT

JACQUES, a younger, slimmer man than Greg, dressed in a similar blue polo, is on the corded department phone. He is sitting on a swivel chair in a narrow, closet-like room with counters on both sides covered in small, dismembered mechanical parts, tools in hands while he fiddles with the insides of watch. The cord from the phone's receiver stretches across the room from where he stands to somewhere off-screen.

JACQUES
Don’t laugh man, this is deadly serious.


7. INT. KEY BOOTH - DAY

Greg, on his own shop phone, is smiling as a CUSTOMER walks out the door. 

GREG
How you stay so full of shit so consistently is beyond me.

ANGLE ON GREG

His expression turns sour.

REVERSE ANGLE

A large SUV pulls up close to the building in a spot marked with a handicap parking sign.

GREG

And just as I say that, it looks as if your guy has brought me a little something to make my day sweeter. 

8. INT. WATCH REPAIR

Jacques chuckles.

JACQUES
I’ll make a believer outta you yet. Just try not to stay so grumpy. Peace.

He drops the receiver and lets it hand off the crux of his arm by the cord as he continues his work.

REVERSE ANGLE

We look out at a brightly lit department store past the doorway of the small room. Beyond a counter, upon which sits a register, a swiveling watch display, a small service desk bell and the phone base, we can see a narrow view of clothes racks and floor displays as well as a few SHOPPERS walking past.


9. INT. RICOS DEPARTMENT STORE

A middle-aged woman in a tight fitting, white button-up shirt and a walkie-talkie strapped to her waist was purposefully down an aisle flanked by shelves and racks of merchandise.

CLOSE SHOT – ID BADGE

Underneath her smiling photo reads: CAROLINE – STORE MANAGER

ANGLE ON CAROLINE

She walks up to the Watch Repair counter and RINGS the bell.

POV – CAROLINE

Jacques lazily turns his attention away from his work briefly, turning back, then quickly stands up, dropping the phone receiver in the process.  He brings it back to its base as he approaches the counter.

ANGLE ON CAROLINE & JACQUES

CAROLINE
Your boy is having problems.

JACQUES
My boy?

CAROLINE
The key guy.  Got another complaint, opened up half an hour late today.

JACQUES
How’s that my problem?

CAROLINE
Oh, it’s not.  Not at all.  But I know you boys are tight, I see you two eating lunch together, braiding each other’s hair and having your little giggling gossip fests on your breaks. So I thought you’d like to know.

JACQUES
To know what?

CAROLINE
That he’s hanging by a thread.

She smiles.

CAROLINE
Let this be a warning.

JACQUES
Warn him your damn self.

ANGLE ON CAROLINE

She seems to think about it for a beat.

CAROLINE
Nah, I don’t really like talking to the guy, creeps me out a little. 

She laughs and bangs on the counter two times with the palm of her hand as she walks away, waving.

ANGLE ON JACQUES


JACQUES
Son of a bitch…

He pounds his fist on the counter, walks back into the closet-like workspace, closes the door behind him as he comes back out, presses a sign consisting of a piece of paper and tape with words written in black marker onto the door and it locks up. Jacques walks out from behind the counter, into the store and out of the shot.

CLOSE SHOT – SIGN

It reads simply, in scribbled black marker letters: BACK WHENEVER


10. INT. BOOTH - DAY

Greg is standing behind the glass showcase opposite a short, young WOMAN with a bad fake tan and two very young CHILDREN playing loudly around her feet in the cramped space on the customer side of the booth. She looks highly aggravated.

ANGLE ON GREG

GREG
Well, since you lost it, I could try and conjure the right key for your lock out of thin air... 

He closes his eyes tightly for a moment, then opens them.

GREG
...but it appears that my powers as a key maker are not that great yet. 

ANGLE ON TAN WOMAN & GREG

TAN WOMAN
You're a real asshole, you know that?  You see me and my kids are in trouble here and all you do is make jokes.

Greg politely places a card on the counter top.

GREG
Here’s the number of a locksmith. Probably cost you about a hundred bucks for re-entry and a new set of keys.


TAN WOMAN
A hundred bucks?  For a stupid key? 

GREG
Of course, you could've had a spare made here for oh, say, about a buck fifty and saved yourself time, frustration and cash but...

He holds his hands up, palms forward, as if to display his innocence.

GREG'S POV

The woman appears ready to smack him but then instead quickly extends a middle finger toward him.

TAN WOMAN
Yeah, well you can go to hell.

She snatches up the card and turns to storm out.

TAN WOMAN
And don’t think you heard the last of me, asshole.

The woman roughly pushes the door open, causing the hanging bell above it to JINGLE, yelling at and practically dragging her kids with her outside and into the SUV. 

REVERSE ANGLE

GREG
Have a nice day.


11. EXT. PARKING LOT - DAY

Jacques walks towards the key booth as the SUV SCREECHES away.  He stops for a moment, shaking his head as he watches the vehicle, before continuing quickly toward the booth.


12. INT. BOOTH

Jacques enters nearly as rough as the woman had left, again causing the bell to JINGLE loudly.

JACQUES
Shit, was that a customer?

GREG
Not anymore.

JACQUES
Man, look, you gotta stop with this all of that.

GREG
What got up your butt.

ANGLE ON JACQUES

JACQUES
You gotta stop with this whole thing you do, with the pissing off of customers and the showing up late and the taking hour-long naps while on the clock-

GREG
Hey, I only did that like once, or twice, or, well-

JACQUES
Whatever, it’s gotta stop.  There’s been talk, talk of you getting your ass fired.

GREG
Ha!  Let ‘em try. 

ANGLE ON JACQUES & GREG

Jacques comes around the showcase and puts his hands on Greg’s shoulders, facing him.

JACQUES
I’m serious man.  Think about Jeanette.  About that baby coming.

GREG
You don’t think I am? 

Greg puts his hands on Jacques shoulders as well and they share the awkward embrace in silence for a beat.

GREG
She might be a crazy bitch sometimes, but you know, Jeanette does have a point. This job is pretty shit. Maybe it is time for me to start being a grown-up, move on up to something better.

JACQUES
Look, your head’s not straight today. You got a lot going on up there. 

Jacques takes his hands off of Greg as he does the same and slowly and starts backing up towards the door.

ANGLE ON JACQUES

JACQUES
You know what I’m gonna do? I’m gonna go get us some early lunch at Giovanni’s.

GREG
I got a lunch.

JACQUES
Yeah well, I wouldn’t be eating anything my girl made for me if we got into it the way you two did last night.

Jacques laughs as he leaves the store, the bell JINGLING, and we follow him outside to:


13. EXT. PARKING LOT – DAY

We get a long shot of the lot. It’s still near empty, only slightly more populated than it had been earlier in the day.

MOVING SHOT – JACQUES

He’s muttering and chuckling to himself as he walks through the lot out to the busy city street beyond.

JACQUES
That boy’d be lost without me.


14. EXT. BUSY CITY STREET – DAY

Continuous shot from last, still following Jacques as he turns a corner onto the sidewalk of the large, loud street.

ANGLE ON STREET

Change focus to a fast-moving car, an older model Toyota or a Mazda, racing down the street in the opposite direction, turning wildly into the department store parking lot.


15. INT. BOOTH - GREG

mindlessly hangs key blanks up on the wall of keys.

ANGLE ON WINDOW

We are looking over his shoulder now as he works, focusing on the large window behind him.  We hear the ENGINE of the car from the previous scene as it recklessly enters into view, stopping just short of hitting the booth.

Greg continues his work, unaware of the action behind him as a tall MAN with buzzed, blonde hair jumps out of the car and hurriedly walks around the building to the door.

POV - GREG

The man swings open the door to the booth, bell JINGLES, his eyes wide and jaw set and clenched, lips almost snarl-like.



ANGRY MAN
(yelling)
You the one that talked to my woman like that?  You disrespect her?

REVERSE ANGLE

Greg looks at the man with dull eyes, turning back to his task as he speaks.

GREG
Er, possibly. We might have had some words.

ANGLE ON ANGRY MAN

Without another word, the man then reaches behind and pulls out a large serrated hunting knife that had been strapped to his back leg.  He begins to climb the counter, brandishing the weapon.

ANGLE ON GREG - BEHIND THE COUNTER

Greg turns and stumbles backwards in surprise, eyes wide. He quickly scrambles forward as he hits the ground though to reach underneath the register for his revolver just as the man has pulled himself over the counter.


16. EXT. PARKING LOT - DAY

Jacques is walking across the lot, carrying a plastic bag from Giovanni’s in one hand and sipping from a large plastic cup with a straw in the other hand. 

ANGLE ON JACQUES

He stops suddenly, his expression quickly dropping. 

MOVING SHOT

Jacques begins to run, food and drink still firmly in his grasp. 

POV JACQUES  

We move quickly with him toward the small booth to see the angry man half hanging out of one of the large windows, which is now mostly shattered.

REVERSE ANGLE

A small crowd of scared yet curious shoppers gather from a far, several of them on cell phones calling 911.

CLOSE SHOT - MAN

The man is looking up blankly to the sky, two large, gaping bloody holes in his body, one on the shoulder, another in his chest, dead center.

WIDE SHOT – LOOKING INTO BOOTH

Greg stands with hands at his sides, still behind the also shattered display case.  He seems to be in shock at first but a small smile is forming on his face as he looks at Jacques.

ANGLE ON JACQUES

JACQUES
Shit.  Not again.


END.