I create context. I also write blog posts:

The Christmas Movie

Posted: December 9th, 2010 | Author: | Tags: , | 3 Comments »

I’ve been writing a lot of short scripts the past few days in preparation for Writers and Books’ Two Pages/Two Voices contest this year, so I’ve been away from the blog and away from the script I’m currently wrestling with. It’s been a process to get myself in the “two page” zone, but I’ve got a few under my belt and I’m zeroing in on one or two that really work for me.

Here’s one that I like, but that I don’t think I’m going to submit.


On the window-side of a desk piled high with unread movie scripts sits an AGENT, a cocky old bastard in his sixties. Across the desk is his timid, soft-spoken writer, with a look about him that you see in a kid visiting the principle’s office for the first time; it ain’t defiant.


Oh, for Christ sakes, Billy. You’re not gonna give me another one of these fucking sad Christmas stories this year, are you?


It’s not --


Cause I’m telling you right now, I can’t keep shopping this. Nobody wants to feel bad when they’re watching a Christmas movie. They want a cute little kid with no front teeth, they want a poor family that gets rich, and they want a happy fuckin’ ending!

He picks up the script.


Let me guess -- you’re giving this to me right now, I haven’t read it yet. I’m just guessing here: it starts in a hospital. Someone’s grandmother just had a heart attack, right? Cause last year it was a tumor and the year before that the dog died.

He opens the script.



Interior. Intensive Care Unit. University hospital. Three children stand around a hospital bed where their grandmother is recuperating from a heart attack. Snow flakes fall outside the window.

He puts the script down.


Jesus Christ. The “snow flakes outside the window” is a nice touch though.


Are you going to keep reading?


No! It’s awful. It’s shit. It’s a hundred and twenty pages of garbage that nobody wants to see. But at least there’s no cussing on the first page. Last thing you want is to start with the cussing early on. Your audience’ll think you’re some sorta cretin.


What would you like to see instead?


Right now I just want to know what in your childhood was so fucking bad that you come to me every year with this “babies are crying, everbody has cancer” bullshit? I can’t sell it. You gonna tell me you had a wife or something die on Christmas so you wanta bring everyone else down too? Cause I gotta say -- and I don’t mean to sound crass here -- but I gotta say, nobody fuckin’ cares about your wife who fuckin’ died on Christmas. So what is it about you?


I’ve never even had a wife.


Tough break.


I don’t know. I just think Christmas carols make for sad soundtracks.

And quietly Sinatra’s version “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas” rolls in as snow flakes begin to fall outside the window and the writer hangs his head and we


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3 Comments on “The Christmas Movie”

  1. 1 Nick Shein said at 10:18 am on December 10th, 2010:

    Very nice. I’m interested to read the one(s) that will make the cut.

  2. 2 R. Wincott said at 1:02 pm on December 10th, 2010:

    It’s not bad man- even if it doesn’t quite feel ‘real’ anyway (Haven’t read what the contest really calls for though)- like the swearing crack.

  3. 3 Pete said at 1:42 pm on December 10th, 2010:

    @Nick – Thanks! I think I’ve got another one coming that I’m not going to submit, so that might be up in the next few days. Saving the submissions, though!

    @Big Red – Thanks!

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