Monday, September 21, 2009

Open script: People on a raft


At first I spent like all Friday night and all day Saturday and then all Sunday morning trying to figure out what to write. Since we decided to put an offer on a house we saw Saturday, Beefcake and I decided to delay our trip to Montana by a day and that gave me Sunday to work. I sat down and spent like an hour writing and rewriting the idea I'd spent two days working on.

And not only was it 9 pages, but I hated it.

So I sat down and watched the first ten minutes of Jedi and didn't really think of anything, then suddenly I thought "People on a raft! Of course!"

Somehow Jaba made me think of people on a raft. I dunno. Then I said to myself, "Take advantage of this location." What can happen on a raft? 1 - you can fall off. 2 - it can have a hole in it. 3 - you can be stranded.

And for the really vigilant readers, yes I did use a phrase here that I used in the latest John August contest. It got laughs all around so fuck if I'm not going to use it as often as I can until it no longer works.

So here's what I turned in for round one. I thought it up in one minute, wrote it in about five, and edited it for about five. It ended up naturally coming in at 5 pages, which is always a good sign. And I feel ever so much better about it. Even if it doesn't get me a good enough score, I enjoyed writing it. My only regret is that I forgot to change their ages because I made them too old for their dialogue. Anyway, here's my "people on a raft" story:

[scrippet]
FADE IN:

EXT. LIFE RAFT - DAY

She has a gun to her temple.

She is PENNY, 23, tiny and birdlike and sunburned in her bikini, which could be why she shakes. It could also be the gun.

The finger hovering over the trigger belongs to MILES, 25, scruffy and unshaven and a little sunken in. He also looks more than a little pissed.

They bounce with the waves that roll under their day-glo orange life raft. Land is nowhere in sight.

Leaning out of the raft next to them is GAVIN, 30, hairy and portly. Gavin uses some sort of odd device constructed from his belt and a T-shirt to try to catch fish.

In the raft with them are a neoprene thermos, a beat-up towel with a picture of a bear on it, a broken paddle and a water-logged digital camera.

PENNY
I didn't do it, baby! He's full of shit!

MILES
Then where are they?

GAVIN
Shoot her, Miles. If you shoot her we can eat her.

PENNY
Oh come on. Even you aren't a cannibal.

GAVIN
Out here in the wilderness you never know what will turn you mad. I ate a grasshopper once. Hey maybe if we throw her overboard the fish will eat her and then get fat and slow and then we can catch them and eat them. More omega threes.

PENNY
For fuck's sake, Gavin, I didn't eat the granola bars!

MILES
Then how do you explain this?

Miles lifts up an empty granola bar wrapper.

PENNY
Gavin did it. I mean, he's the one deflecting all the blame to me. He looks fat.

GAVIN
I do not!

Gavin sucks in his stomach.

MILES
Penny. Listen, just tell me the truth because I love you and this gun is really heavy. Did you take the granola bars? I won't be mad. As much. Only a little.

PENNY
You have a gun to my head, Miles.

Miles looks at the gun.

MILES
Yes I do.

PENNY
Why did you even bring the gun?

MILES
I thought we could shoot stuff.

PENNY
Okay, look. Do I even look like I ate anything? Come on. I have a very high metabolism so I'm starving over here.

MILES
That's why I gave you my pesto chicken sandwich.

PENNY
I appreciate that sacrifice, baby. I would have died. That's why I haven't eaten anything else since. That's why I'm hungry now and if we get fish I need some fish.

GAVIN
Oh what a load of shit! You were lying then and you're lying now!

PENNY
Shut it, fatso!

Gavin shouts.

GAVIN
Oh my god you guys! Hold up! I got something!

He pulls up a teeny tiny little nothing of a fish, trapped in his bizarre t-shirt web.

Gavin throws the shirt with the fish inside into the raft.

GAVIN
Look what I did!

PENNY
He's so little.

GAVIN
No need to go there.

MILES
At least he's contributing.

PENNY
I didn't take the granola bars. Can I have some fish? I'm HUNGRY!

MILES AND GAVIN
No.

PENNY
Fuck you guys. I haven't eaten anything the whole time we've been here!

MILES
You ate my sandwich.

PENNY
Oh yeah. Thanks. It saved my life.

Gavin tries to cut the fish with a plastic knife but it's no good as it hops and flops all over the raft. Miles shrugs, grabs it and bites its head off.

PENNY
Oh gross!

GAVIN
That's balls out, dude.

They watch him for a second as he chews. And chews.

GAVIN
Well how is it?

MILES
Scaly.

GAVIN
Can you taste the omega threes?

PENNY
Nobody can taste omega threes.

GAVIN
Shut up, granola thief.

She lunges for him and grabs the plastic knife. She tries to use it as a projectile, which doesn't work because of physics.

Gavin pushes her and she pushes back. Gavin grabs her hair. She screams and grips his goatee.

MILES
Stop it!

PENNY
I didn't eat the granola!

MILES
Stop it! I have a gun!

GAVIN
Fuck you Penny! I wanted the oatmeal raisin!

PENNY
It tasted like shit anyway.

GAVIN
You DID eat it! I knew it!

They pound at each other again and almost rock Miles off the boat with their grappling.

MILES
Seriously, stop it guys!

PENNY
Yes! I ate the oatmeal raisin! I was hungry!

MILES
Penny!

Gavin slaps Penny in the face.

MILES
Gavin!

GAVIN
It had fruit and fiber in it you bitch! I need fruit and fiber!

PENNY
You can't have all the fruit and fiber and omega threes, you greedy dickbag!

She kicks him, knocking him fully out of the raft.

He splashes around frantically.

GAVIN
Help! Shit! Fuck, there's sharks!

He grabs at the raft and attempts to yank himself back in.

Penny kicks him again.

MILES
Penny!

GAVIN
Cut it out, bitch!

Penny leans back and crosses her arms and Gavin climbs back in and immediately lunges for her. They roll around on the raft some more, grabbing at each other's throats.

A SHOT.

Gavin and Penny sit up and stare at Miles, a smoky gun in his hands.

PENNY
Miles, honey, you shot a hole in the raft.

Indeed he did.

GAVIN
Fuck, dude.

MILES
Shitballs.

He pulls his shirt off and shoves it into the hole. He shoves the still wriggling fish body in the hole.

Gavin grabs the towel and starts to bail. As the end of the towel flips up in a graceful dance with the sky, two granola bars fly through the air and land in the water beyond.

GAVIN
Well shit.

FADE OUT.
[/scrippet]

10 comments:

  1. really like it... I laughed out loud. Good work.

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  2. Thanks!

    Good luck with your entry, too!

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  3. Only a thunderstorm and some sharks were missing.

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  4. I thought the scene was really funny, nice job with the reveal and then gunshot.

    Just curious, but do you generally trend more towards the longer dialogue, or is it an artifact of writing the piece so quickly?

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  5. I'm not sure what you mean by "longer dialogue"

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  6. Cool. I posted mine, too.

    http://potentialisamuscle.blogspot.com/2009/09/drama.html

    Yeah, there's two. I paid twice. I love this shit. If I get an illiterate judge again, though, someone's getting a reading lesson---in their ass.
    -Jeff

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  7. http://scrippets.org/blogger.html

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  8. I have ti in Scrippets already. Is it not reading that way on your computer? Are you in Firefox?

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  9. Thank you Emily!

    Not very many have the courage to show their work to the world.

    Had you considered this opening:

    EXT. LIFE RAFT - DAY

    PENNY, 23, tiny and birdlike and sunburned in her bikini, which could be why she shakes.

    It could also be the gun to her temple.

    ReplyDelete
  10. That's pretty good, but I intentionally chose to open with the image of the gun.

    ReplyDelete

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