Wednesday, September 22, 2010

My adventure-pilot part two









I know what you’re thinking – what a cliffhanger!! To refresh, I’m writing an action-drama pilot utilizing all the great writing conventions they employ on these shows. Part one was yesterday. And part two is right now. Drama is welcome and we know characters.

GUNS & EMO

By Ken Levine

FADE IN:

ANNOUNCER
Previously on “Guns & Emo”…

SUPER QUICK CUTS TO PAST EPISODES.

LIBBY
This wasn’t in the brochure.

RODNEY
I haven’t eaten all day.

HERBERT
Let me pull up the blueprints.

LIBBY
I speak Turkish. Why?

RUSSIAN SNIPER
This room is fine. Does the window open?

CRAIG
I need some new shirts. Do you think you could get me an employee discount?

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. ASHTIYAN, IRAN – DAY

FINAL SHOT OF PART ONE: LIBBY AT A CAFÉ THROUGH THE VIEWFINDER OF A SNIPER’S RIFLE.

The sniper is just about to squeeze the trigger….

When the WAITER approaches with Libby’s coffee. The viewfinder shifts to the waiter and a shot is fired.

BACK TO SCENE

The waiter drops to the ground like a sack of potatoes.

LIBBY
What the….?

Libby ducks under the table for cover. Rodney is already there, crouched.

RODNEY
Didn’t I tell you? This is why you always get a table inside.

LIBBY
Hey, gimme a break. I skipped GIA training because they needed someone with my body type to double for a double agent in Dublin. That’s always the risk the G.I.A. has sending me into the field on these dangerous assignments but it never seems to stop them from assigning me anyway.

THEIR POV -- HOTEL ACROSS THE WAY

There must be twenty identical windows.

RODNEY (V.O.)
Over there! That window.

BACK TO SCENE

LIBBY
This is a bad angle.

Awkwardly, Libby fires one shot.

THEIR POV – HOTEL

The sniper falls out of the window and crashes to the ground below.

LIBBY
Well, there goes his Hilton Honor points.

RODNEY
(breaking into smile)
Oh, Libby.

They race to the scene. Fortunately, no one else is interested and people just cross by the body paying it no mind.

Libby and Rodney crouch down and check him out.

LIBBY
Herbert? Who is he?

INTERCUT WITH:

INT. G.I.A. COMMAND CENTER – SAME

Monitors show every street from every angle. This town too must have 10,000 cameras in place.

HERBERT’S COMPUTER SCREEN – A satellite view of the planet earth. It zooms right in to the dead sniper’s face. One second later this word appear on the screen: MATCH.

BACK TO SCENE

HERBERT
His name was Abdolreza Ghazanfari – “Cooter” to his friends. Professional sniper. His services have been used by Al Queda, the Russian Mob, and the California Highway Patrol. The number 34th most wanted terrorist in the world. Up from 57.

LIBBY
So why has no one ever take him out?

HERBERT
We think he also works for us.

Rodney begins patting him down.

RODNEY
No incriminating or classified documents here.

LIBBY
Let’s check his room. Maybe we can find out who hired him and who his target was.

RODNEY
Wouldn’t it be funny if it was the waiter?

LIBBY
(breaking into a smile)
Oh, Rodney.

Libby begins climbing a hedge to begin scaling the wall in her heels. Rodney fishes around the guy’s pocket and pulls out his room key.

INT. HOTEL ROOM – MOMENTS LATER

Libby and Rodney are going through the sniper’s things. There are photos of his targets, including Libby. There are also files and folders strewn about with the words TOP SECRET on them.

LIBBY
What a break that he has Al Queda’s plans for the next five years.

RODNEY
(showing her a document)
Look at this. His boss, the mysterious head of this entire operation, the man we’ve been unsuccessfully tracking for over three years is planning to meet him here in his room tonight at 10.

LIBBY
Then won’t he be surprised when he finds us instead of him?

RODNEY
Yeah. I’d love to see his face.
(realizing)
Oh wait, I will see his face.

LIBBY
(breaking into a smile)
Oh, Rodney.
(dialing her cellphone)
Hi Craig. Listen, honey, I won’t be able to pick the kids up from school today. I’m sorry. Surprise inventory. They do that from time to time… Okay, twice a week. Don’t wait up. I’ll be in late. Tell Ally I rescued her favorite dress. I sewed on a new sleeve. Love you.

She hangs up and sighs.

RODNEY
It’s tough when you’ve got a family.

LIBBY
How do you manage this?

RODNEY
That’s right. We have seven hours. A good chance for us to sit back for a few minutes and reveal personal information about ourselves.

HERBERT
Then I’m going on a break.

LIBBY
Okay. I’ll start I guess. I was abused by my uncle at a family party when I was seven. Whoa! I’ve never told anyone that before.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. HOTEL ROOM – SEVEN HOURS LATER

LIBBY
…So when I hold this gun in my hand, it’s like…this is what my husband’s penis was supposed to be. Not some little pathetic ladies’ derringer. Know what I mean?

RODNEY
Yeah, well, it’s almost ten.

LIBBY
Gee, we didn’t get around to talking about you.

RODNEY
Next week in Zurich.

There’s a knock at the door. They both aim their weapons. A long beat, then:

HERBERT
Uh, one of you should answer it.

LIBBY
Right.

Libby opens the door. It’s SKIP, the man with the laptop in Bogotá is standing there. Libby and Rodney are surprised.

LIBBY
You?

SKIP
Where’s Cooter?

LIBBY
Have you ever seen Cooter before?

SKIP
No.

Libby invites him in and points to Rodney.

LIBBY
This is Cooter.

SKIP
No, it’s not. It’s Rodney. He escorted me back to the U.S. yesterday.

LIBBY
Right. Oops.

RODNEY
You’d know this if you didn’t just split right in the middle of a mission.

HERBERT
That is bad form.

SKIP
Yeah, where were you?

LIBBY
Do you all mind?!

SKIP
You can put the gun down.

LIBBY
Right.
(lowers it, then points it again)
Wait a minute. If you’re here to see the sniper who was supposed to kill me then you’re a bad guy.

RODNEY
But the sniper could be one of ours, which means he’s on our side.

LIBBY
Right.
(lowers gun, then points it again at Skip)
Hey. But if he was going to kill me and you’re on his side then everyone is against me.

HERBERT
Or any one of them could be double-agents.

SKIP
Remember what I said? You can’t trust anybody.

LIBBY
You never said that.

HERBERT
You said you were frustrated by the lack of trust in this business and he said “Never lose that”. It’s the same thing.

LIBBY
No, it’s not.

RODNEY
Yes, it is.

LIBBY
Hey, you’re supposed to back me. You’re my partner.

RODNEY
(points his gun at her)
Yeah, well… about that.

LIBBY
What?! You?! You’re with them?

SKIP
Which still could be us.

Libby is completely confused. Rodney is just about to shoot her when…

A flurry of bullets enter from the window and kills Skip and Rodney instantly. Libby is unharmed.

The gunfire ends. Libby goes to the window.

LIBBY’S POV – the manager from Seattle’s Finest stands at the café holding an M-16, waving up at her.

MANAGER
No one messes with my help!

LIBBY
(breaks into a smile)
Oh… Seattle’s Finest Manager.

FADE OUT.

THE END

I’m represented by ICM. They’re now accepting bids. Who says writers can’t change genres?

21 comments:

Neal said...

Oh, Ken.

Bob "Melon" Melonosky said...

Hey Networks!

The only TV I watch is The Simpsons, Family Guy and sports but I would so watch Guns & Elmo.

Oh, and I have a ton of disposable income.

Hey Ken, when does Elmo get shot?

Anonymous said...

Kinda disappointing that that Seattle's Finest Manager missed Libby.

-Smirk

Anonymous said...

just please, for the love of all that is holy, don't cast Jennifer Aniston as Libby.

Janet T said...

Maybe they could all be in high heels??- Libby, Skip, Herbert, the waiter- just to even the playing field a bit

Anonymous said...

I'm pretty sure the only show allowed to say the word 'penis' is Two and a Half Men.

the same chris said...

Wow! That's some complicated stuff: Double double agents from Dublin? You might have to dumb this down a bit! Oh, and dont kill off Rodney too soon. He tested so well with the midwest.

By the way. Where is that musical number, where all the iranian terrorists sing "Dont go away mad (just go away)" by the Mötley Crüe?

Atlanta said...

(breaking into smile) Oh, Neal, you were first, with the only response.

Ken, OMG you came full circle to Seattle's Finest Coffee! Such complex and sublime plotting! And the rape, such a fresh angle! AND, since the uncle was her father's brother, we're talking daddy issues for the entire series run! I smell an Emmy!! (Or something.)

l.a.guy said...

Are you sure this isn't the pilot for Knight and Day?

My favorite line... "His name was Abdolreza Ghazanfari – “Cooter” to his friends."

StudioExec said...

A beautiful and moving story. Nicely done. I think we're almost there. Just a few thoughts for you to play with on the next draft:

- Maybe Libby could have recurring headaches and flashback to her brutal brainwashing training. Loved that stuff in the Bourne movies.

- Think about using that time slowdown thing they used in the Sherlock Holmes movie. You know, the one where Holmes plans each move he'll use in a fight. And then it's shown being executed in real time. Sooooo cool! I'd use it for that phone call with her husband.

- Libby isn't a sympathetic name. It's not cool or trendy either. How about Emmy? Sophie? Madison? Abby?

- Shouldn't Libby have some kind of embarrassing nickname? Something that makes her feel self-concsious?

- The merchandising deal with Seattle's Best fell through. Let's go with Tullys. (That could change later, of course. LOL)

- Needs to be some more variety in the dialogue. Instead of saying, "Oh Libby" maybe some characters could say, "Ah" or "Uh." Just to change things up a bit.

- Need some double-entendre jokes. Like have Libby doing some needle-point while they're waiting. She could be about her husband and say that she loves a good prick. Get it? See, she'd be referring to her sewing, not her husband. Seriously, just thinking about it made me laugh so hard my sides hurt. Add one of those in every page and we've got gold!

- Maybe Libby should be a man. That would make the show on the razor edge of NOW! Gay marriage. Cross-dressing. Work/family balance. This would give the show an emotional heart to go with the great action and comedy you've already laid out.

Charles H. Bryan said...

Can you cast Manny Ramirez as the waiter at the opening of this part?

Anonymous said...

Have you considered writing a pilot called NCIS: LAS VEGAS, combining all of America's favorite elements in a show about solving murders on Lake Mead?
How about WEST HOLLYWOOD 6-9?

I think you've been wasting your time with that joke stuff.

Max Clarke said...

You're represented by ICM? I photographed the Oregon plate ICM on Monday in Oakland.

Had to stop reading for a bit after the line, "The waiter drops to the ground like a sack of potatoes." Never thought I'd laugh at a mistaken assassination, but hilarious.

To sort of quote Milton, They also serve who only stand and wait...and drop like a sack of potatoes.

Jeffrey Leonard said...

Ken...I think Herbert should be Danny Devito. It would be more difficult to shoot him, and you would get some extra episodes out of this. What da ya think??

escalante blogger said...

I like adventure too.

Anonymous said...

hi ken,
when are you going to do your own 'Modern Family'.

Chris and Steve did it, so can you.

Lou H. said...

(phone rings)

Hey Ken, it's Kevin from Fox. We'd like to pick up your series.

No, this is not a prank call.

What got cancelled? Lots. Quit laughing.

Listen, we blew so much money on the new shows that there are some budget problems so I thought I'd let you know the restrictions.

First, let me assure you that you have complete creative control. But we can't afford location shoots after the pilot so it's gonna be retitled GUNS AND ROSES and be set in Pasadena. I have an uncle lives there who said we can use his house for nothing.

Also, the episodes are only going to be a quarter hour. What's that? 15 minutes isn't enough? Well actually it's 9 minutes with commercials. You use Twitter, we know you can compress.

Which night? Actually, we're going to show it during rain delays in the league championship games. Can you get Joe Torre to do an arc as the GIA manager? We hear he's available.

What? Yes, you have complete creative control. Just a couple more things. Since Bones is going to set in the third world for a month, we need you to pick up the Toyota product placement. Just no brake jokes.
Also in the pilot we think there should be a fruit stand in the chase scene and it gets.... No no, not with the Toyota!

Tony said...

Brilliant. And a complete surprise at the end. I expected the last mystery gunman to be Craig, who was actually a British SIS sleeper agent all along...

chuckcd said...

It rained all night
The day I left
The weather it was dry
The sun so hot,
I froze to death
Susanna, don't you cry

Randy said...

"His name was Abdolreza Ghazanfari – “Cooter” to his friends.... The number 34th most wanted terrorist in the world. Up from 57."

*** Number 34 WITH A BULLET

David K. M. Klaus said...

Of course the real-time audio/video link with the computer whiz at headquarters and the instant database i.d. of ally and enemy agents was done by Leslie Stevens with Hugh O'Brian and Burgess Meredith on Search in 1973 -- but now the computers are powerful enough to actually do that, instead of being science fiction as they were then.

I never watched 24 -- did they do that instant i.d. stuff for Jack Bauer, too?