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Written by Christopher Scott Carpenter
Third Draft - January 5th, 2014
Director: Christopher Scott Caroenter Producer/Sound Designer: Jennifer Miguel Cinematographer/Editor: Sean Hollihan
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INT. TV STUDIO - DAY
The crowd APPLAUDS. We quickly focus on JERRY BRIDGEWATER (50s), the Kurt Vonnegut type - salt-and-pepper hair, glasses a little loose, formerly athletic. He sits across from a FEMALE TV SHOW HOST, ARIEL MORALES (30s). TV SHOW HOST Hello, and welcome to Another Afternoon. Today is October 29th. I’m your host, Ariel Morales. We begin our show today with a conversation with paranormal science fiction author Jerry Bridgewater. Critics are calling his latest novel, It Came from the Skies, bland and uninspired. Focus on Bridgewater. He’s taken aback by the blatant critique. TV SHOW HOST (CONT’D) And later, we’ll take a look at some Halloween recipes to add to your family’s list of traditionsSMASH TO: 2 EXT. CAMPGROUND (BRIDGEWATER CAMP) - DAY 2
The CAW of a crow. Bridgewater walks around a campsite, cigarette in hand. He can’t find a lighter. On a log nearby is an open box of copies of his novel. His PUBLISHER (50s) is on the phone. THE PUBLISHER (V.O.) Hey, at least they mentioned the book. JERRY BRIDGEWATER I can't do it anymore, Mike. You heard the woman. I'm grasping at straws here. THE PUBLISHER (V.O.) Everyone has slumps, pal. Not everything can be a Sergeant Pepper. I mean, hell, take Beethoven. For every Moonlight Sonata there was a...you know, whatever the hell there was. (MORE)
2. THE PUBLISHER (V.O.) (CONT'D) Of course, Beethoven probably never left halfway through a book signing. JERRY BRIDGEWATER I'm sorry about that. I have the copies with me. He grabs one, flipping through the pages. He comes across the author bio: a picture of him in a cardigan smiling with a golden retriever; him happy. THE PUBLISHER (V.O.) Look, will you just promise me that when you get back you'll be just like the old Jerry? That's the Jerry your publisher loves. Think of it in terms of the stuff you write. You're the Phoenix, pal. Jerry tosses the book into the fire pit. A beat. He then retrieves the whole box and starts packing more as kindling. 3 INT. BRIDGEWATER TENT - DUSK 3
Jerry unpacks a typewriter from its case and lays it on an apple box. He sets the ribbon, finds a blank sheet of paper, and brushes off the keys. In another corner of the tent he sets up a mobile speaker for his smart phone. He chooses a podcast from a CREATIVITY GURU (60s). CREATIVITY GURU (V.O.) It isn't so much that the creative mind must insert the incredible into everyday existence; rather, the creative mind must find the incredible in the mundane, and must twist and prod and finesse it so as to assault our conceptions of the world. In other words, the incredible must find the creative mind... Jerry sits at his typewriter, fingers primed. He holds a series of photographs, each of a paranormal creature: hazy pictures of ghosts, blurry photos of Bigfoot. Nothing comes. The Guru keeps TALKING. We focus closer, closer, as Jerry BREATHES deeply. A CAR HORN rips through the silence. Headlights splash against the walls. MUSIC blares from speakers.
3. 4 EXT. CAMPGROUND (BRIDGEWATER CAMP) - DUSK 4
Jerry rushes from the tent to find a pickup truck roll through the campground. The car is full of college kids (all 20s). As it swings past a beer is flung at Jerry. COLLEGE KID Trick or treat! It lands with a WET THUD near his feet. FEMALE LAUGHTER trails the vehicle. It stops at an adjacent site, and a half dozen teenagers exit, all dressed in Halloween costumes: a pirate couple, a soldier, a few aliens. They break out beers and set up some speakers and flood lamps. A beat. Bridgewater returns to his tent. 5 INT. BRIDGEWATER TENT - DUSK MUFFLED LAUGHTER AND MUSIC gnaw at Jerry. He glares at his typewriter. The Creativity Guru continues: CREATIVITY GURU (V.O.) ...and it is mainly through adversity and limitation that the creative mind finds its peak, for creativity is simply critical thinking at play... Bridgewater reaches for a cigarette, puts it in his mouth, then stops. He rolls the ribbon, tapes the cigarette to the page, then rolls it back down. 6 EXT. CAMPGROUND LANDSCAPE - NIGHT The sun finally dips completely below the horizon. The college kids' party has died down. 7 INT. BRIDGEWATER TENT - NIGHT 7 6 5
Jerry SNORES. We focus on the typewriter: several lines of random combinations of letters, and the remnants of the tape. A beat. Several shadowy figures move beyond the walls of the tent. They WHISPER faintly. A HIGH-PITCHED TONE radiates through the air. Jerry stirs, swats his nose. Suddenly, an engine ROARS, almost like a huge truck. Bright lights fill the tent; we see quick flashes of silhouettes in the form of aliens before they scurry away. Jerry is awoken immediately, shooting straight up and knocking several items over.
4. JERRY BRIDGEWATER Jesus Christ! He struggles to his feet. The engine ROARS louder. He emerges just in time for the lights to vanish completely. 8 EXT. BRIDGEWATER CAMP - NIGHT Jerry stands in the night, grasping for answers. He holds focus on his surroundings. He looks to the adjacent site. Nothing moves. His BREATHS come rapidly. JERRY BRIDGEWATER (To himself) Calm down, Jerry. They're harmless. All bark, no bite, like ghosts. He returns to his tent. He ZIPS the flap shut behind him. A beat. Through the translucent flap we see him blockade the door. 9 INT. BRIDGEWATER TENT - NIGHT Jerry attempts to lull himself to sleep. His breathing becomes more regular. He lies on the sleeping mat, looks upward to the sky full of stars. FADE TO BLACK. 10 EXT. BRIDGEWATER CAMP - VERY EARLY MORNING 10 9 8
Jerry wakes with a start in the early light of dawn. He's shivering. He slowly acknowledges his surroundings: he's been moved. He jerks upward, turns, and sees the tent 30 feet away. Manuscript pages have blown around the area. 11 EXT. COLLEGE STUDENT CAMPSITE - VERY EARLY MORNING 11
Jerry moves through the area, cautious. He approaches the site: a trio of tents circle a dying campfire made of embers. The pickup truck sits dormant, driver's door open. Beer cans lay strewn about. JERRY BRIDGEWATER Hello? I'm here because I want to speak with you. He approaches the first tent. A series of shoes lay before the door.
5. JERRY BRIDGEWATER (CONT’D) I don't appreciate the harassment. I didn't come here looking for trouble. He nears the flap swaying in the wind. Inside, on its side, is a camping light. It illuminates a mess. Jerry pulls the flap back, and is startled: bags have been gutted, clothes and items strewn everywhere. Amongst them are some of the Halloween costumes. Jerry picks up a skeleton mask, then a string of black leggings. The pieces of the costume lead him inward, to the corner of the tent. He pulls delicately at each. He finds a pair of black leggings that whenOutside, the lights and engine of the pickup truck ROAR, sending Bridgewater toppling forward. He hits his head on a suitcase with an uncomfortable SMACK, then flees the scene immediately. We linger in the tent for a beat. Unbeknownst to Jerry, the leggings are still connected to the mutilated remains of a human. We hold only for a second. 12 EXT. CAMPGROUND - CONTINUOUS Jerry rushes excitedly through the campsite. JERRY BRIDGEWATER Here we go, Jerry. We found it. Here we go. 13 INT. BRIDGEWATER TENT - VERY EARLY MORNING Jerry sits at the typewriter. JERRY BRIDGEWATER If I can't pull something from this, I'm not worth it anymore anyway. He lingers over the typewriter, his fingers primed. We push in. JERRY BRIDGEWATER (CONT’D) Anything, Jerry...anything... Nothing comes. He breaks. His eyes smash shut. His face contorts. Tears well up. He shoves the typewriter to the ground. It lands with a CRASH. 13 12
6. A beat. Jerry SOBS in the darkness. The HIGH-PITCHED TONE returns. His smart phone turns on. The Creativity Guru's voice fills the void. CREATIVITY GURU (V.O.) It isn't so much that the creative mind must insert the incredible into everyday existence; rather, the creative mind must find the incredible in the mundane, and must twist and prod and finesse it so as to assault our conceptions of the world. In other words, the incredible must find the creative mind... Papers start to waver and dance. A wind rises. Suddenly, from above him, the same intense beams of light engulf the tent. Papers swirl. Bridgewater's hair snaps back and forth. Particles dance in the air. The distinctive ROAR fills the tent. Bridgewater turns from his collapse and looks upward, to the sky, and, for the first time, he smiles. SMASH TO: 14 BLACK 14
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