Dontcha Know, screenplay by me! =D

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Dontcha Know, screenplay by me! =D

Post by isoptimus »

So a while ago a couple of friends and I were assigned a project in which we had to write a screenplay based on the windshield pitting epidemic of 1954 (that's no joke, look it up for a funny read). None of us had ever written a screenplay before, and to be honest we didn't put a lot of research or time into it. Still, it was fun to make, so hopefully it will be fun to read. We added small newspaper articles to flesh out the story a bit, but those were mostly graphical, so I can't really add them hear. Just so you know, it was supposed to be fairly short.

Act One, Scene One

A small, homey coffee shop in East Vancouver. Four friends, Gerard, Philip, Catherine, and William sit down to coffee. They are interrupted from their conversation by a sudden increase in the volume of the radio, inciting the patrons of the coffee house to chatter amongst themselves. Intrigued, the four friends turn their attention to the voice emitting from the radio.
Gerard: What’s this about, eh?

Philip: Haven’t you heard? There’s been quite a fuss south of the border about some “windshield pitting” nonsense.

Gerard: (dubiously) Windshield pitting?

Philip: Yeah, cracks in windshields, dontcha know, they seem to have some silly notion that windshield snipers are the cause, or some other baloney.

Catherine: (laughing) They seem like a bunch of paranoid fools to me.

Philip: Well they are Americans, dontcha know.

Gerard: (with a grin) well said, friend.

William: (slightly peeved) I wouldn’t be so quick to toss aside those theories. Not all of us are stupid.

Gerard: You know my Uncle Gordon wouldn’t buy into this baloney. Don’t you work under him, William?

William: (with tension) That doesn’t mean we must agree completely, Gerard.

Catherine: Now, now, gentlemen, let’s not get flustered. (turning to William) What is your opinion, brother?

William: (protectively) It is my opinion that the recent hydrogen bomb testing is to blame.

Gerard: (annoyed, raising his voice) You can’t be serious, William. That’s just foolish.

William: (with building aggression) That’s funny, Gerard, (sneering) I didn’t know you were a scientist. There is in fact a great deal of evidence in favour of this theory.

They are both rigid, glaring at each other tensely.

Philip: Alright fellas! (stepping between them) let’s not get so antsy, we’re in a public place, dontcha know. And everyone’s got an opinion, no need to get so bothered ‘bout it.

Gerard: (calming) you’re right, Philip. (to William) My apologies.

The three begin to ease into their chairs.

Philip: (turning to William) Now, William, if you’d like to have a chat about this hydrogen bomb theory...

Catherine: (Cutting in) Philip, now isn’t the time.

Philip: Maybe later, then.

Gerard: Honestly, Philip?

Philip: (grinning at Gerard) The readers find this sorta thing real swell, dontcha know.

Act Two, Scene One

Gerard and Gordon are walking along the seawall, enjoying a light conversation. It is a bitterly cold day. As they walk, they encounter a newspaper kiosk. The kiosk is drawing quite a crowd, and Gerard and Gordon, intrigued, investigate.

Gerard: How’ve you been keeping, Uncle?

Gordon: Oh, I’ve been fine... nothing to complain about, ya know?

Gerard: (chuckling) I know what you mean. How’s work been going?

Gordon: Work’s been... good enough. (pondering) William’s been acting oddly.

Gerard: Oddly? How’s that?

Continuing on, they approach the kiosk.

Gordon: He seems almost paranoid all of a sudden, since this windshield pitting debacle started up.

Gerard: (thoughtfully) I wonder if I should talk to him.

Gordon: (frowning) Hmmm, might be a bad idea. Don’t know what he’s up to, see?

Gerard: (noticing the kiosk) I suppose you’re right – now what’s all this?

Gordon: (addressing a woman in front of them) excuse me, ma’am.

Gerard: (pushing through the crowd) Pardon me, ‘scuse me sir, if you don’t mind.

Reaching the shelf, they manage to snag a copy of the news, and after paying, read the front page headline. PITTING EPIDEMIC REACHES VANCOUVER.

Gordon: (turning to Gerard) Oh no, Gerard, look at this.

Gerard: I see...
Gordon: (laughing sarcastically) “‘This is a serious issue, and must be addressed as such,’ says Vancouver Mayor Frederick Hume.”

Gerard: (slightly startled) This is going too far, Uncle.

Gordon: Hmm... Ah, well, I’ve got to get back to work.

Gordon takes off towards his car, leaving Gerard at the kiosk.

Act Two, Scene Two

Gordon and William are at work. They are in a small, new-age modern research lab. It’s a dark room, with phials and papers scattered about on every surface. At first minding their own tasks, they soon begin to discuss the pitting epidemic.

William: (tapping Gordon’s arm) Have a look at this.

Gordon: (leaning over and looking an equation) Interesting.

William: I’ll keep this on hand; we can muck about with it later... (hesitantly) You think this windshield pitting thing is a load of baloney, dontcha?

Gordon: ... I don’t see any real reason to believe it.

William: (aggravated) No reason? And how about the irrefutable evidence of radioactivity from hydrogen bomb testing? Radioactive dust particles drift over cities, and settle, causing the windshield pits. (bitterly) No reason.

Gordon: William, you’re getting passionate. You can’t think rationally in this state. Calm down, and think about the situation from an outside perspective.

William: Gordon, if these theories are correct, we don’t have time to just wait it out, see? We need to act, or the radiation could start affecting us directly.

Gordon: I’m sorry Will, I just don’t believe it.

William: (fuming, looks at the clock) My shift is over; I’ll be going now.

William walks out, and heads outside to his car parked in the lot.

Act Two, Scene Three

Gerard, alone at home, pours over schematics. His career in architecture demands much of this. He is interrupted from his quiet evening by the phone’s ring and rises to answer it.

Gerard: Hello? This is Gerard.

Gordon: Gerard, it’s Gordon. I was phoning about William... see, I think he might be causing trouble. Today at work he stormed out after we had something of a scrap over the windshield pitting. This has to stop, Gerry. Even the smart ones like Will are falling for the hysteria. It’s madness.

Gerard: (worried) What do you suppose we should do?

Gordon: I don’t know... perhaps we should confront him, but not yet. We’ll see if it escalates.

Gerard: Alright, I’ll phone Philip. He’s closer to William, maybe he could shed a little light on the situation, eh?

Gordon: Agreed, but I must be getting back to work now. I’ll talk to you later, Gerard.

Gordon and Gerard hang up. After a moment of thought, Gerard picks up the phone again, and dials Philip’s number. The phone is answered by Philip’s wife, Catherine.

Catherine: Hello?

Gerard: Hi, Catherine? It’s Gerard. Listen, is Philip around?

Act Two, Scene Four

Philip is at home with his wife and a guest. He hears Catherine call, and goes to answer the phone.

Philip: Hiya stranger, (grinning) its been too long, dontcha know?

Gerard: It really has, Philip. We should get the group together again, hey? But I’m actually phoning to talk to you about something a little more serious. See, Uncle Gordon and I are worried about William. We think he might do something foolish, see?

Philip pauses for a moment.

Philip: Is that right? Well, I haven’t heard anything from him, fella. I’ve been here with the wife all day. It is Valentine’s Day, dontcha know – speaking of which, I should be getting back to Catherine. You caught us right in the middle of a nice dinner. So, if you’ll excuse me...

Gerard: Of course, sorry for interrupting, Philip. have a good night.

Philip hangs up without saying another word. He walks into the hospitality room, and meets with Catherine, and his guest, William.

William: (with suspicion) Is he catching on?

Philip: (cheerfully) Hold your horses, it’s fine. He isn’t any the wiser. So, let’s talk about this story.

Catherine: (annoyed) Since you were so quick to tell it to Gerard, do you think you could take me out to dinner now?

Philip: In a while, Puddin’-cup, We’re talking business, see.

William: Yes, about that. I was thinking that you could advertise the club in this article of yours, you know, spread the word.

Catherine: (sighs) Well, could I get you fellas a drink?

William: Ah, thank you Mrs. Wenting, just a water would be fine.

Philip: A shot of whiskey would be swell, hun.

Catherine: (stepping out) Back in a jiffy.

As Catherine leaves, William takes on a more serious tone.

William: Now, Philip, don’t fret, but I got this... for protection.

He draws a pistol from an inside pocket of his overcoat.

Philip: (very nervously) Will! Now, why don’t you just get rid of that thing; there’s no need for weapons in my house, dontcha know.

Catherine re-enters. William quickly stuffs the gun back into his inner pocket, shiftily glancing at Philip’s wife.

Catherine: Here are your drinks, boys.

Philip: (tensely) Thanks, hun.

William: (standing) Well, Philip, Catherine, thank you for the hospitality, but I must be going now, plenty to attend to. Philip, See you next Monday.

Philip: Sure thing, Will.

Act Three, Scene One

Gerard, unsure of Philip, has decided to investigate for himself. He is on his way to William’s house to confront him, and hopefully put an end to whatever trouble he may be causing. As he steps up to the door, he hears a number of voices inside. He knocks on the door.

Gerard: (With a cautious tone) William? Are you there?

The conversation inside ceases. Gerard begins to worry about what may be happening. He decides, after a while with no response, to open the door and step inside.

William: (Madly) Stay back, alien!

William fires the gun he is holding, aiming directly at Gerard. The bullet misses, but gives Gerard a scare.

Gerard: (running back down the steps) William, have you lost your mind! Put the gun down! It’s Gerard!

Gerard runs to a phone booth down the street, and after calling the police, re-enters William’s house.

Philip: Is it really you, fella?

Gerard: Of course it’s really me!

Philip: (to William) I think he’s telling the truth, dontcha know.

William: How can I trust you?! You might be one of them!

Gerard: (furiously) William, this is insane! You’ve nearly shot me, because of a bunch of crazy hysteria! Now for God’s sake, put down the gun so we can talk this out.

Sirens are heard approaching. Others in the house start to get worried.

William: (considering this) ... (looking up at Gerard, and laying down the pistol) Fine.

Gerard: (sighing with relief) Thank you. Now, we don’t have long until the police arrive, see? What’s going on here?

William is silent, but Philip speaks up.

Philip: It’s a club that William arranged. It’s supposed to organize a defence strategy in case aliens really do attack, dontcha know.

Gerard: And you wanted to be part of this?

Philip: Ya know, at first, yeah, I think I did. But after that, I think I was just in it for the story, ya see. (he winks at Gerard)

William: (glaring at Philip, frantic) You *beep*! You betrayed my trust!

Philip: Well no offence, fella, but it was a little nuts, dontcha know.

The police can be seen marching up the steps and into the house, past Gerard. He rests against the doorframe, with a sense of accomplishment and finality. The police handcuff William and the three others who are there and confiscate the pistol.

Gerard: Philip, do you feel like a cuppa coffee down at the coffee house?

Philip nods, smiling, and they walk away, down to the coffee house with the February sun on their backs.

Act Three, Scene Two

Gerard sits in his study, putting the finishing touches on his letter to the editor. There’s a knock at his door, and Philip enters.

Philip: Hey, Gerard. How’s the letter coming along?

Gerard: (while typing) Just a moment... and... done.

He picks the sheet put from the top of the typewriter, and hands it to Philip.

Philip: That’s swell, Gerry. (grinning) Hopefully this will help to get the message out, so that more dummies like me don’t fall for it.

He turns, and heads for the door.

Gerard: (chuckling) I’m sure it will, Philip. I’ll see you at the coffee house tomorrow.

Philip: I’ll be there. It’s about time we had a normal relaxing day, dontcha know.

With that he walked out, closing the door behind him.

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