I create context. I also write blog posts:

You Are Hereby Cordially Invited…

Posted: December 13th, 2010 | Author: | Tags: , , | 3 Comments »

Here’s another two pager that didn’t make the cut, but it’s one I really like. In fact, I think it’s going to make it into something bigger later on, when I find it. But I think it stands on its own well enough, too. So here goes:

INT. KITCHEN

A GUY and a GIRL stand at the counter. There’s a stack of envelopes and a stack of cards in front of them. GIRL picks one up.

GIRL

(reading)

You are hereby cordially invited-- No. We’re not doing this.

BOY

What?

GIRL

You can’t “cordially invite” people to a funeral.

BOY

Why not?

GIRL

Well, for starters, I don’t think people send invitations to funerals.

BOY

We’re about to.

GIRL

We’re really not. And if we did, we wouldn’t “cordially invite” people. It’s a funeral, there’s grieving and peace to be made. We’re not inviting people over for cocktails.

BOY

There won’t be cocktails, either? You’re taking the fun out of this.

GIRL

Fun? Dad died.

BOY

Right. And while he was dying, he went out of his way -- which is hard for someone who’s dying to do -- to make sure it was still fun and not at all gloomy, the way most dying people are.

GIRL

You don’t think he’ll mind that we’re making a mockery out of this?

BOY

Who says we’re making a mockery? And no, I don’t think he’d mind.

GIRL

Wouldn’t you mind?

BOY

No. I’d be dead.

GIRL

When I die, I hope you’ll--

BOY

He’s dead! And he spent the last thirty years in jail because he murdered someone. If we can actually care about things after we die, he’s got a lot more on his plate than some fucking funeral invitations!

He takes a breath. She tries not to cry.

BOY (CONT’D)

So I say we throw a party and we all tell stories about the fun times we had and we’ll leave the gloomy shit to the newspapers.

Now she does start crying.

GIRL

I guess you’re right.

BOY

There’s no reason this can’t be fun. He might not have showed it very well, but he cared about us and this is the way he wanted it.

GIRL

All right. I’ll call mom and tell her the invitations are ready to go out then.

BOY

Good. I’m going to buy stamps. You can cry for now, but this weekend’s about having fun.

CURTAIN.


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.

INT. OFFICE

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.

AGENT

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

WRITER

It’s not --

AGENT

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.

AGENT

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.

AGENT

(reading)

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.

AGENT

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

WRITER

Are you going to keep reading?

AGENT

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.

WRITER

What would you like to see instead?

AGENT

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?

WRITER

I’ve never even had a wife.

AGENT

Tough break.

WRITER

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

FADE TO BLACK.


To Live For

Posted: August 8th, 2010 | Author: | Tags: , | No Comments »


What if your life goal was something absolutely outrageous, something so ludicrous it literally could never be done?

But you’d stick to your guns and just not die until you accomplished it?

 

“I’m going to live to be 137 years old,” he said.

“That’s sad,” she said.

“Why?”

“Because I won’t be around to celebrate it with you.”

 


It's Really Coming Down Out There

Posted: April 1st, 2010 | Author: | Tags: , , | 2 Comments »


I write a lot of quick, little plays. Conversations, really, without setting or context, most of the time. And though they’re not usually part of anything larger, they’re still fun for me, and hopefully you too. This one’s called “It’s Really Coming Down Out There”.

CHARACTER A

It’s really coming down out there.

CHARACTER B

You can’t stop it.

CHARACTER A

Where does it all go?

CHARACTER B

Where does anything go?

CHARACTER A

I mean, when it’s too much. That can’t all sink in.

CHARACTER B

Nope. It just piles up.

CHARACTER A

I wish it’d go somewhere.

CHARACTER B

That’s the point: it doesn’t.

CHARACTER A

It has to sometime.

CHARACTER B

Not for a long time.

CHARACTER A

But it can’t just stay there.

CHARACTER B

Where else would it go?

CHARACTER A

It could drain.

CHARACTER B

It’s too much for the drain.

CHARACTER A

Build a bigger drain!

CHARACTER B

I don’t think it works that way.

CHARACTER A

Well, it should!

CHARACTER B

It just comes down, more and more, out of nowhere.

CHARACTER A

Actually, the guy in the newspaper said we were supposed to get it this afternoon, so it’s late.

CHARACTER B

Well, she’s wrong. She’s always wrong... Wait, what are you talking about?

CHARACTER A

I’m talking about the rain.

CHARACTER B

Oh. I was talking about... Oh. Nevermind.

CHARACTER A

It’s really coming down out there.

 

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