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THE FACTORY

Write Off 8/1/13

FADE IN: EXT. APPLE FACTORY - NIGHT FOOTSTEPS on pavement. Running. A mans legs, with a tattered pair of shoes and ragged pajama pants, come into view. The smoggy outskirts of Beijing are quiet, the factory having shut down production for the night. Of course, "night" is relative, but four hours of sleep has been deemed enough for the employees. Wide shot, and a WORKER is revealed. He turns a corner and the factory seems to rise up before him. In one room, the lights are still on. The worker stares up at the illuminated windows. CUT TO: BLACKOUT BENSON Tell them that unless theyre going to be honest with me Im leaving. INT. APPLE FACTORY - BOARD ROOM - NIGHT In the one lit room throughout the entire factory, a group of tired looking BUSINESSMEN sit around a conference table. Most of them are dressed in the same UNIFORM, save for one JACK BENSON (35), head of public relations for Apple. He is dressed in a suit, no tie, with the top button of his shirt undone. His blonde hair is messy, and his eyes bloodshot. All speak English with pronounced Chinese accents, except Benson. BENSON (CONT) Youve been telling me the same lies for three hours now. Your suicide rate here is unbelievably high. Not only is it bad press for the company, its a bad way to treat human beings. The Chinese businessmen look at each other. One speaks up. He is slender and sickeningly polite.

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XIAO Everyone is very happy here. We get only good feedback from our employees. BENSON Id imagine the ones who have anything else to say arent going to feel too comfortable speaking up. CHOU (45), butts in. He is more heavyset than Xiao, and far redder in the face. CHOU We have posted profit margins for the past two and a half years that your company once would only have dreamed of! We will do our job, Mr. Benson, and you will do yours. BENSON My job, Mr. Chou, is to explain to the public why we have nets on the side of this building in order to stop people from killing themselves. CUT TO: EXT. APPLE FACTORY - CONTINUOUS The worker now stands by an industrial metal door on the side of the factory building. He pulls on it; miraculously, it opens. He slips inside. BACK TO: INT. APPLE FACTORY - BOARD ROOM - CONTINUOUS CHOU There are some sides of business that are less attractive, Mr. Benson. You would do well to learn that. XIAO We improve our facilities every year. They are always up to code.

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BENSON Just out of curiosity. Does this actually mean something or have some of the few remaining bits of your brain just evaporated? CHOU (angrily) Excuse me? BENSON I mean, this. He motions around the room at the assembled men. BENSON (CONT) All of this. This bullshit spewing from your thin little mouths. Would any of you come work here? If you didnt absolutely need to? Benson rises from the table and begins to pace the room dramatically. The men watch him, warily. BENSON (CONT) Ill tell you all what. I have the capacity to take away all the business from the Pegatron Corporation. And then where would you all be? Starving. Just like your employees. INT. APPLE FACTORY - STAIRWELL - CONTINUOUS The man now runs up the stairway. He is breathing more heavily, gasping for air. He ascends, flight after flight. BACK TO: INT. APPLE FACTORY - BOARD ROOM - CONTINUOUS Jack Benson now stands at the head of the table, with the businessmen looking up at him. BENSON In six months, I will be back here. And if you dont change this hellhole into something that doesnt constantly shame my company, youll all be working on the rice paddies by next year. (CONTINUED)

CONTINUED: He looks at Chou and grimaces. BENSON (CONT) And Im not sure youll all be too well suited to that task.

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There is a KNOCK on the door. Two GUARDS open it from the outside, dragging the worker in by his armpits. He is panting and coughing. Chou rises and goes to them. There is a BRIEF EXCHANGE in Chinese. The guards make to take the man away, but as they turn the man opens his fist and something falls out. It is a poor factory workers facsimile of a shank. The guards pick it up and haul the man out, but not before Benson sees. Chou follows his gaze, knowing he knows. The door SLAMS, and Chou turns back to Benson. CHOU Admittedly, not everyone is pleased with the way we run things. BENSON (collecting his coat and briefcase) Call downstairs. I want my driver ready to go back to Beijing Capital International. Tonight. One of the men scrambles up and complies. BENSON (CONT) Six months, gentlemen. Brazils been courting us recently. Wouldnt be hard to pack up and move out. He opens the door and walks out into the hallway, as the businessmen sit stunned. Some try to stand up to show respect before he leaves, but too late. INT. APPLE FACTORY - HALLWAY - CONTINUOUS Benson walks down the hallway to the elevator. When he is almost there, a man comes up behind him. Chou. CHOU You should know better than that, Mr. Benson. You should know who holds the power. Benson steps into the elevator, and turns to face Chou.

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BENSON Ill be back. CHOU No. You wont. He and Benson make eye contact. CHOU (CONT) This is my territory, Mr. Benson. And youre a bad bluffer. The doors close between the two. Chou turns around and makes his way back to the board room. Beneath his feet, on the floor of the hallway, are smears of blood where a man was dragged away. FADE OUT. THE END