Sunday, November 16, 2008

My Open scene

Congratulations to Mike! Red Right Hand won one of two awards given out to TV episodes at the Expo. He got a plaque and some money so we made him buy us pizza. Not really. We split the pizza.

Anyway, here is my Open script that didn't win. For those of you who've never been to the Expo or done the Open, it works like this. You go into a big room and some people give you a prompt and you write a scene in 90 minutes. And then the top 10% come back and do it again. And then the top 10, or in the case of this year, 13, come back Sunday to write a third scene. The top three of those get performed by a group of actors on stage. The audience votes and the winner gets the prize.

So here is the prompt I got:

Your PROTAGONIST is someone not well-regarded by the community. In fact, the protagonist's past is dark indeed, although he (or she) has turned over a new leaf. Write a scene in which an ANGRY MOB confronts him at the worst possible time.

And here is what I wrote:


CRAIG, 23, stands in the middle of the kitchen with a piece of brown birthday cake dribbling out of his mouth. He is dressed entirely in Abercrombie and holds a half-consumed beer in one hand while he shoves cake into his cake hole with the other.

Until he sees GENEVIEVE, also 23, as she walks into the kitchen and stops suddenly.

Someone in the other room begins to blast "Highway to Hell" and several off-key voices sing along with enthusiasm.

But Gen ignores them as a seething rage boils up into her face.

Craig stops eating the cake. He spits the last piece out and it falls to the floor.



I am going to kill you, you fucking tard nut!


He quickly swallows whatever cake is left in his mouth as he grabs the closest weapon, the plastic fork he has been using to break off bits of cake. He aims it at Gen.

It was an accident!

Gen looks at the cake, or what's left of it. On top of the smeared brown icing remains only this in yellow letters:


Gen starts moving toward him, her blue eyes looking like tiny little light saber beams.

It was too good! I couldn't stop myself!

Gen continues to advance, paying no heed to the plastic fork. She stops and reaches into a drawer beside her and slides out a long, shiny knife.

You see this, you big douchenozzle? This is what I was going to use to cut Dominic's cake. Now I will use it to cut off your-

But I've changed! Gen, I'm a new man!

He doesn't let go of the fork.

Remember that time I ate Dom's cake? That was old Craig! New Craig would never do that!

You're saying you've changed?


From who you were three minutes ago?

That guy was a dick. This guy is all sunshine and rainbows, baby.

She pulls the knife up to his face.

Craig throws the fork at her and backs away as it clatters to the floor. Then he thinks, then tosses the whole beer. It hits her in the neck then plashes her face.

Craig uses the distraction to whip around and flee from the kitchen.


Craig runs into the party, chocolate icing still on his chin, and slows to a casual stroll.

Hey, guys!

The music is still loud and people casually acknowledge him, There are about 15 early-twenties guests, mostly preoccupied with watching Dominic the body-builder attempt a keg stand on a pony keg.

Gen appears in the room, still holding the knife.

Get him! HE ate Dom's cake!

But that was the old me! Learn to forgive! Turn the other cheek, right?

But nobody can hear over the noise. Gen marches toward Craig, knife still in hand.


He pushes people out of the way to get to the door. Just as he's almost there the song ends.

Craig ate Dom's cake!

The entire party turns to face Craig. Dominic coughs up beer.

Is this true?

Technically, but I said I was sorry and all and I really learned from it and-


The entire party rushes Craig, who screams again and tries to escape.

Gen appears in front of him, still wielding her knife and barring him from the door.

There is no escape for you, cake eater!

The crowd shouts in agreement.

Cake eater! Cake eater!

As the crowd closes in, Gen stands back and pulls a piece of cake out of her pocket. She chews apathetically on it while Craig disappears into the chanting mob.

And here was the coverage:

The best part of the scene is the disproportionate outrage and false sincerity of Craig's actions. A little more indication of social standing or backstory could clarify the "not well regarded by the community" aspect. The scene could do more to expand the conflict between Craig and the mob (especially from Dominic, whose genuine pain could get more mileage). Otherwise, it's a fun, lively scene with strong mechanics and good presentation. Keep up the good work.


  1. That is great! You have an eye for the comic detail: the PLASTIC fork, the "Bir', it's a pony keg. You rock! Next Saturday, please throw a medicine ball at my head.

    oh, and my scene's up at you-know where...

  2. I know *I* want to kill people who eat my precious cake without asking.

    Funny scene.

  3. that was really funny. I can see it being done in a dead-pan way, like the UK version of "THE OFFICE" or like "It's always sunny in Philadelphia" (I think that's what the TV show is called?).

    I enjoyed reading that.


Please leave a name, even if it's a fake name. And try not to be an asshole.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.