PDA

View Full Version : No title yet, it's a buddy road adventure with a twist.



Sooperjesus
August 2nd, 2005, 07:18 AM
Paul, a depressed teenager, deals with a dysfunctional homelife, bullies at school, and friends who threaten to drag him down into the inky abyss of mediocrity. Then, the sudden suicide of his friend, Rich, turns his world upside down.
Shortly after his friend's death, Paul receives a visit from the ghost of Rich, who will spend eternity in limbo unless his body is buried next to his father's grave in California. So, with a dead body in the trunk and a ghost as his co-pilot, Paul sets out for an adventure that starts in the plains of Ohio and ends at the sunny shores of California.

This is roughly the first 10 pages or so. I thought of the idea yesterday and I have about 20-something pages written so far. Please, let me know what you think so far.


INT. PAUL'S BEDROOM -MORNING

The room is a wreck. Clothes lay strewn across the floor.
Dishes are piled up all over the place.
The ALARM BLARES. BEEP. BEEP. BEEP. It's a terrible,
screeching noise.
Slowly, PAUL COOK (Age 17) rouses from his slumber.

PAUL (V.O.)
I woke up today and it was just
another day. The sun was shining
and the birds were chirping, and I
felt that I should I been moved.
But I wasn't moved. I'm unmovable.

Paul turns the alarm off and stands. He looks defeated.

PAUL (V.O.)
It doesn't matter the color of the
sky or the color of the curtains
that frame my windows.

INT. BATHROOM -MOMENTS LATER

The bathroom is filled with steam.
Through the shower curtains, Paul's silhouette is seen
showering.

PAUL (V.O.)
It's all just different shades of
gray.
I don't wake up happy or sad. I
don't wake up with the urge to
realize the power of my dreams. All
that trash is for the preachers and
the motivational speakers, chucking
their crap like a monkeys flinging
feces at the frowning faces of
America and pretending like its the
gospel of Jesus-Goddamned-Hari
Krishna, or whatever.

INT. KITCHEN -MOMENTS LATER

Paul is hunched over a bowl of cereal, shoveling spoon-fulls
into his mouth. Milk dribbles down his chin.

PAUL (V.O.)
They don't know life. I know life.
I know the frivolity of trying to
be happy. Or trying to be normal.
That's why people kill themselves,
because they expect a gold brick
road and all they get is a
backwoods jaunt through Shitcan,
Disappointmentville.

INT. PAUL'S CAR

Paul is driving his red Tempo. The radio is blaring.

PAUL (V.O.)
Me? I wake up and face the fact
that today is another day, just
with a different number.

Paul hits the brakes. Rich (age 17) runs frantically to the
passenger-side window. He is thin and looks intelligent, and
a bit eccentric.

RICH
Dude! You're late every goddamn
day!

PAUL
Just take the bus then.

Rich enters the car.

RICH
It already left. Just go. I'll get
detention if I'm late again.

PAUL
Listen, you know that I'm late.
It's who I am. Deal with it or just
take the damned bus.
The car pulls off.

RICH
Where's Bill?

PAUL
I waited outside his house. He
didn't come out. I don't know; I
should just stop trying to pick him
up.

RICH
I bet he's stoned. He's always
holding out on us.

PAUL
That's Bill.

RICH
Is that all you're gonna say?

PAUL
Well, what else can I say? Should I
go over to his house and spank him
because he skips school and doesn't
smoke weed with us?

RICH
I'm not just... whatever.
Hey, listen to this.

Rich puts a tape in the player. The tape is a home recording
of him playing guitar.

PAUL
That's you?

RICH
Yeah, what do you think?

PAUL
It's good. I like it, really. When
did you do it?

RICH
Last night. My mom says I use up
all the electricity doing this
****, that's why the electric bill
is so high. Bull-****. She gets
drunk and passes out with the
fridge door open and all the lights
on. That's why we can't afford to
pay it. But, whatever.

PAUL
Dude, moms are all crazy.

RICH
Yeah, whatever. I wish I had yours.

INT. MILLARD FILLMORE HIGH SCHOOL -A SHORT WHILE LATER

Paul and Rich walks through the doors of the school.
The BELL RINGS.

RICH
Jesus Christ, dude. Late again.
Thanks!

PAUL
Sorry. Have fun in detention.

INT. CLASSROOM -A FEW MINUTES LATER

Mr. Manny (Age 55) gives lecture.

MR. MANNY
Another Greek philosopher was
Gorgias. He theorized that nothing
existed. I guess you could call him
the first nihilist. Now-

The DOOR CREAKS as Paul opens it. He steps sheepishly inside
the classroom.

MR. MANNY
Mr. Cook, late again I see.

STUDENTS snicker. They make offhand remarks: Freak, loser,
dork, etc.

PAUL
Uh, sorry, I-

MR. MANNY
I don't much feel like hearing your
excuses. Why don't you sit out in
the hallway for the remainder of
the period?

Paul turns to leave.

MR. MANNY
Grab a desk, Mr. Cook. And I expect
you to be reading your textbook.
I'm not sending you outside to
diddle with yourself.

The classroom busts out into a chorus of laughter.

MR. MANNY
Go!

Paul grabs a desk from the front row and carries it outside.

INT. HALLWAY -LATER THAT PERIOD

Paul rests his chin on one hand and doodles in his book with
the other hand.
The bell rings.
Students pile out of the classrooms and laugh at Paul.

BRANDON (Age 17), the school jock, throws a wadded up piece
of paper at Paul, hitting him in the head.
The hallway fills up with students. Many make snide remarks
about Paul.
Paul ignores everything.
Mr. Manny leans out of the doorway.

MR. MANNY
You can bring the desk in now, Mr.
Cook.

Paul stands and grabs the desk. He carries it through the
door.

INT. CLASSROOM -MOMENTS LATER

Paul sets the desk in it's original spot and turns to leave.

MR. MANNY
Where are you going in life? Do you
ever think about that?

PAUL
I don't- I don't know.

MR. MANNY
I don't think you're stupid, Mr.
Cook. I just think you don't care.
And that's what disgusts me, when
someone doesn't even bother to try.
I'd give you today's assignment,
but I know you wouldn't do it.
Now, get out of my classroom.

Paul leaves as students slowly trickle into the classroom.

INT. CAFETERIA LINE -LATER THAT DAY

Paul stands in the cafeteria line.

LUNCHLADY (age 56, or so), a homely lady with a giant, hairy
mole on her cheek, is dishing out the days meals.

PAUL
Salisbury steak, please.

LUNCHLADY
Fries?

PAUL
Uh, yeah, thanks.

The Lunchlady slops the steak and fries on a plate and hands
it to Paul.
Paul puts the food on his tray and slides it towards the
register.

INT. CAFETERIA -MOMENTS LATER

The tables in the cafeteria are filled with students, each
segregated into their own clique. The BLACK KIDS sit with the
black kids, JOCKS sit with the jocks, etc.
Paul makes his way through the cafeteria to the table where
Rich and the other rejects sit.
Randal throws a fry at Paul.

RANDAL
Hey! Paul! Come over here.

Paul ignores him and continues walking.

RANDAL
C'mon, dude, get over here real
quick.

Paul sighs and walks toward Randal's table.

PAUL
What's up?

RANDAL
Dude, Sarah here thinks you're
cute.

SARAH (Age 17) sits across from Randal. She's a very pretty
girl, and obviously very popular.

SARAH
Ew! That's gross! What are you
talking about?

Sarah slaps Randal in the arm. Randal laughs.

RANDAL
No, really, she said she likes you.
Do you wanna go out with her? Give
him your number, Sarah.

SARAH
God! You're such an *******.

RANDAL
What?! I'm just trying to hook you
up with your dream-boy!
You wanna go out with her or not,
dude?

PAUL
No, I don't really think so.

RANDAL
What? Are you a gay faggot? Why
don't you wanna go out with her?

SARAH
(Laughing)
Stop it, Randy, you're mean.

Paul walks away towards his friends.
Randal throws another fry at Paul and hits him in the head.

RANDAL
Go suck some cock, gay faggot!

Randal's table laughs.
A LUNCHROOM MONITOR walks up to the table to quell the
uprising.
Everyone in the lunchroom is staring at Paul and quietly
making snide remarks about him.
Paul sits down at his table.
Rich, BRAD (age 16), Rich (age 17), and DUCKY (age 15) sit
around him.
Rambo wears his trademark fatigue jacket. His hair is
unwashed and plastered to his head as if it's wet.
Brad refuses to brush his teeth, with terrible effect. He
wears a flannel shirt and torn jeans.
Ducky is a very homely girl.

DUCKY
You guys don't know role-playing! I
know role-playing! Once I was
playing D&D and my character died.
I had a stroke or something and I
was clinically dead for-

Ducky notices Paul sitting and clamps up.

RAMBO
Hey, Paul.

BRAD
Hey, man.

PAUL
Hey.

RICH
Dude, don't worry. That guys an
*******. **** those jocks.
PAUL
Who said I was worried about it?

RICH
I didn't- I mean, forget it.

DUCKY
Hey! Paul! Guess what?

PAUL
What, Ducky?

DUCKY
Rich is a vegetarian now! He gave
up on the beef.

Rich is munching on fish sticks.

PAUL
Dude, you're eating fish sticks.

RICH
Fish isn't a meat!

PAUL
Yeah it is. Fish are living
creatures aren't they?

RICH
Dude, it's starch. Not meat!

PAUL
What- I don't care! It's a living
creature.
Isn't fish a meat, Rambo?

RAMBO
Yeah, I think it is, Rich.

BRAD
Who cares? Just eat it if it makes
you happy.

DUCKY
You're really smart, Paul. You know
that?

PAUL
Uh-huh, thanks.
What are you guys doing after
school?

DUCKY
Oh! Oh! My parents are gonna be
gone for the week. We should have a
party at my house or something.

RAMBO
Shut up, Ducky. No one cares.

BRAD
Where are your parents going? To
the fat farm? Huh, fatty?

RAMBO
They're gonna milk her mom. Now
I'll always think of her when I eat
my cereal in the morning.

BRAD
Why do you even sit with us, Ducky?

PAUL
Dude, leave her alone.

RAMBO
Don't defend your girlfriend, Paul.

PAUL
**** you, she's not my girlfriend.

RAMBO
Whatever! I bet you guys do it!

BRAD
Yeah, they do it every night.

PAUL
What are you talking about? No we
don't. Quit being an *******.

BRAD
You guys are gonna play Dungeons
and Dragons sex games, I bet.
Oooooh! I'm a level 20 elf magic
user but I'm hung like an ogre!

RAMBO
Let me sheath my sword in your
vagina, fair maiden.

BRAD
Oh no! You've pleasured me with
your staff of sperm bolts plus 7!

Ducky is in tears. She stands up at the table.

DUCKY
**** you, *******s!

Ducky storms out of the lunchroom.
Rambo and Brad laugh as the entire lunchroom once again turns
their attention to Paul's table.

RAMBO
Dude, she's such a dog.

BRAD
I bet her cooch smells like
Marlboroughs.

RAMBO
Ew, that's so gross. She probably
uses it as an ashtray.

BRAD
And then Paul licks the butts out.

RAMBO
Ew! Paul's a butt licker.

PAUL
You guys are idiots. Just let it
go.

BRAD
Or what, butt licker?

RAMBO
Yeah, what are you gonna do? You
gonna lick our butts too?

PAUL
Yeah, maybe I will. You'd like
that, wouldn't you?

BRAD
(feigning a gay voice)
Oh! You're such a sexy man!

RAMBO
(feigning a gay voice)
Yeah, you know I'd like it, big
boy!

The bell rings. Everyone stands up to leave the cafeteria.
Brad takes one last bite of his sandwich. His face contorts
in pain.

BRAD
Ow! Ow! Cavity!

EXT. SMOKER'S COURT -LATER THAT AFTERNOON

Smoker's Court is a tennis court across the street from the
school where students go to smoke between classes.
Rich, Paul, and Ducky huddle in a group. Paul is the only one
not smoking.

DUCKY
Those guys are such *******s. Why
do you even hang out with them,
Paul?

PAUL
They're not so bad.

DUCKY
Bull ****. They're losers. I mean,
Jesus, Brad never even brushes his
teeth. That's so gross.

PAUL
Yeah, they're probably gonna fall
out by the time he's 20. Oh well.
What can ya do?
Rich, why you so quiet?

DUCKY
Richard. Are you ok?

Rich stares at the ground for a moment, trying to hold back
tears. Suddenly he breaks down and cries.

PAUL
Whoa! Dude, not again! What's
wrong? Why you crying?
Ducky hugs Rich and pats him on the back.

DUCKY
Hey man! It's ok, really. Here, you
wanna talk about it?

Paul is growing embarrassed. The scene is drawing attention
from the students around him.

PAUL
Dude, just, not here, ok? Look,
I'll take you home.

DUCKY
I'll go with you!

PAUL
No, you stay here Ducky. I'll see
you tomorrow, ok?

DUCKY
I really wanna go with you.

PAUL
Just stay here, ok?

Ducky sighs.

DUCKY
Ok.

Paul leads Rich towards the parking lot.
Ducky's eyes tear up as she watches Paul leave.

DUCKY
(To herself)
Bye, Paul.

Ducky stubs her cigarette on the ground and walks towards the
school.

mammamaia
August 2nd, 2005, 03:58 PM
as i said in my email, soop, i'd be happy to help you with this... need to do it by email, though, as there's too much to it, for a post... that said, here's my first impression:

first off, starting out with VOs is such an amateur thing to do [and doesn't work, 99.999% of the time], that i'd strongly urge you to give it up and open with a scene that'll grab the reader/audience from the first slugline, and not let 'em go... some kid waking up and talking to himself won't do that...

next, you need to learn proper screenwriting style for your action element... what i see here is too wordy and novelish, needs paring down and clarifying...

i think your premise is a great one, and could even qualify for that elusive 'high concept' label... there are some problems with it, such as how he's gonna keep a body from decomposing and how he got it in the first place, but nothing that can't be ironed out with a bit of thought...

imo, for any but seasoned professional screenwriters, it's a mistake to just start writing scenes without having done up some sort of outline or synopsis, so if you haven't done so yet, i'd advise you to put the script pages aside till you do...

let me know if you want any help on this, ok?... it's got definite potential... a 'bernie hits the road' kinda thing...

love and hugs, maia

Sooperjesus
August 2nd, 2005, 04:41 PM
Well, the decomposing body is one of the obsticles that the pair have to face. I don't want to make this distasteful, though.

You're right, though, I need to outline the story before I do anything. I tend to jump right into things with little thought beforehand.

I wasn't sure about the narrative beginning either. I'll cut it. I have other ideas for it as well.

Once again, thank you. Once I finish a few pages this week I'll email them to you. I'll try to keep it as tasteful as possible, but these are teenagers we're talking about.

Sooperjesus
August 2nd, 2005, 08:01 PM
I copied and pasted the post from another forum, which doesn't allow curse words, since I didn't feel like having to re-format it.

Gay-faggot was something I heard quite often in school, and into my years in the military. Of course it's clumsy and redundant, but so are the people who say it.

I wasn't aware that Ducky was from Pretty in Pink, since I never watched it. That sucks, though, cuz I really liked the name.

Thanks for the tips. So, you're saying you didn't like it then?


My impressions, mostly negative:

Unlike Mamma, I think the voice-over is fine.

The idea that nothing exists (except the observer) is solipsism, not nihilism. Your story is both.

What's with the ***** for curse words? We've heard them before, so don't be shy.

Gay faggot sounds clumsy and unrealistic. Use one or the other.

Ducky is a nickname from the film "Pretty in Pink." Come up with something original.

Sooperjesus
August 3rd, 2005, 02:00 AM
Actually, 90% of the first 20 pages had nothing to do with the advancement of the plot. I enjoyed writing them and I learned quite a bit by doing so, but I also realize they're going to end up in the scrapheap.

Thank you for your honest opinion, though. I can't be objective enough to see if what I wrote works or not, and I can't rely on family or friends to give me an honest opinion.

This is only the second script, and I have lots of learning ahead of me before I write something worthwhile.

Thanks for taking the time to read it, by the way.

mammamaia
August 3rd, 2005, 01:52 PM
you're smart enough to know that if your first 20 pages don't advance [or set up] the plot, they should be scrapped... that puts you ahead of most beginners!... i'm looking forward to helping you with this...

as for dorky dialog and other boring teen stuff, keep in mind that if you write for a teen-only audience, it won't be that attractive to producers who want to make money...

to have the best chance of selling, make it 'real' in re the kids who're the lead characters, but still funny to those who've escaped the teen years and want something more than nonstop inanity for their ten bucks...

hugs, m

Kelhanion
August 3rd, 2005, 02:29 PM
I have positive and negative things to say, I'll start with the positive.

Your idea is interesting. I've always liked supernatural elements in otherwise normal stories. So after reading the synopsis I would watch that movie.

I think that using the voice-over in the beginning is a good idea, I use it sometimes too. The problem I see is that the stuff that you tell with VO is somehow too clishée. At the very beginning you start pouring in some heavy philosofical stuff. Some of that could be ok, but it seems that you've stuffed in more than enough of it. It felt a bit forced, like Paul really wanted to let some steam out. It gave me an uncomfortable feeling, I felt like slapping Paul and yelling "Get on with it and cheer up!" You should move some of the VO-material to later parts of the story (and naturally adjust them to fit the situation).

In most parts your dialogue is ok. It seems quite natural and funny and is nice to read. At times (as with most of the text ever written) it felt as the situations were staged (how is that possible in films? :) ) By that I mean that while the life of the characters has lasted almost twenty years, they choose the exact moment of the story happening to say all those deep, need-to-be-said-things. Like Mr. Manny's speech. This wasn't a big problem with your text and all the writers do it all the time (myself included).

Overall I liked it. Dialogue flowed well and even though you trash most of this while editing this seems promising :)