Saturday, May 16, 2015

My action-adventure pilot










I know it’s a guilty pleasure but I watch all those action-adventure shows on USA and TNT. And like most people who watch TV, I thought: “Hey, I could do that.” So I decided to knock out a pilot for my own action-adventure series. After studying the genre carefully, I think I’ve artfully woven in all the standard conventions. So what do you think?

GUNS & EMO

By Ken Levine

FADE IN:

EXT. BOGOTA, COLOMBIA – DAY

(Actually New York Street, Paramount but some trucks and a well-placed burro accurately create the desired effect.) Crowded (within reason).

There’s a commotion. Someone is being chased. It’s beautiful, athletic, resourceful, tough-but-vulnerable LIBBY LANGER, dressed in clingy summer dress, toting a pistol, hauling ass.

Running alongside is RODNEY her young, good-looking, charming, self-deprecating, slightly-ethnic-but-we-don’t-know-from-where partner who is always available for a quick quip or another gun clip.

They’re being hotly pursued by THREE ANGRY GUNMEN with M-16’s. Thousands of rounds are fired at our heroes, just missing them.

While running, Libby turns back for a split-second. She fires one round and kills one of the gunmen.

CLOSE UP – Libby’s feet, running. Her high heels are a blur.

BACK TO SCENE

LIBBY
(into her ear bud)
Talk to me!

CUT TO:

INT. G.I.A. (GLOBAL INTELLIGENCE AGENCY) COMMAND CENTER – SAME

Hundreds of monitors line the walls of this high-tech monitoring station. Fortunately there are video cameras on every corner in Bogota.

HERBERT, nerdy-but-handsome, skinny-but-athletic surveys the monitors.

HERBERT
Okay, Libby. In about 100 feet you’re going to come to dilapidated shack and then a Seattle’s Finest Coffee. Make a left.

INTERCUT THROUGHOUT:

LIBBY
See it. Thanks.

HERBERT
I’ll have a half-caff with cream.

LIBBY
(smiling and shooting)
Oh, Herbert.

Libby and Rodney turn the corner, still dodging a relentless barrage of bullets.

HERBERT
Remember Libby. You and Rodney have to get that thumb drive of the secret formula of the undetectable nerve gas to your contact within the next 90 seconds otherwise the additional chip that’s been planted in it will detonate a dirty bomb releasing the gas that will kill everyone within a thousand miles.

LIBBY
Then they better make your half-caff quick.

HERBERT
(breaking into a smile)
Oh, Libby.

RODNEY
(pointing)
I see the contact!

A MAN with a laptop strapped to his back hangs precariously from a fourth story building.

HERBERT
I’m pulling up the blueprint now.

LIBBY
Not necessary.
(to Rodney)
Cover me!

RODNEY
I’d say that dress does that sufficiently.

LIBBY
(breaks into a smile)
Oh, Rodney.

Libby leaps up on a café table, hurtles onto the café awning, which serves as a trampoline springing her high into the air where she grabs hold of a clothes line and uses it to swing up to the exact spot where the man is holding on for dear life.

LIBBY
The winter morn is cold.

MAN
But the spring night is warm.

LIBBY
Warm?

MAN
(correcting himself)
Warm-ish.

LIBBY
Okay. Just had to make sure.

MAN
You can’t be too careful. Not in this business.

LIBBY
Know what you mean. Guns and bullets I can handle. But this lack of trust… I dunno.

MAN
Never lose that.

Libby bounds into the window, turns and offers her hand.

LIBBY
Here. Grab it.

He reaches up and even though he’s 250 pounds and she’s 100 she manages to hoist him inside easily. They tumble into the room.

INT. ROOM -- SAME

LIBBY
Good thing they make those laptop lighter.

MAN
(breaks into a smile)
Oh…
(realizing)
I don’t know your name.

HERBERT
Ten seconds. Libby, if you don’t disarm that thumb drive it will set off a gas that will…

LIBBY
Yeah, yeah. Got it.

She hands the thumb drive to the man who inserts it into the USB port. Libby holds her breath, bracing for the worst. But nothing happens.

MAN
Done. It’s disarmed.

Libby collapses in relief.

HERBERT
Good job, Libby.

The door bursts open and Rodney enters.

RODNEY
(re gunmen)
Okay, they’re all dead.

LIBBY
Rodney, meet…
(realizing)
I don’t know your name either.

MAN
It’s better that way.

HEBERT
Oh hell, his name is Skip.

HERBERT
Your job now is to escort him back to headquarters. If he’s abducted by the wrong people they could use his expertise to recreate another formula he was working on that would cause half the population of the planet to fall asleep and the other half to tuck them in.

LIBBY
Right.
(checking her watch)
Oh. Rodney. Could you do this? There’s someplace I’ve got to be.

RODNEY
This really is a two-person job.

She gives him a quick peck on the cheek. He swoons.

RODNEY
Yeah… okay.

LIBBY
I owe ya.

She climbs out the window, grabs the clothesline, and swings out of view.

SMASH CUT:

EXT. NEW YORK STREET (PARMAMOUNT) -- NIGHT

Dressed to look like a New York street.

INT. KITCHEN – SAME

CRAIG, boring-but-handsome, is emptying the dishwasher as Libby bursts in.

LIBBY
Hi, Craig. Sorry I missed dinner.

She kisses him.

CRAIG
They make you work too many hours at the Nordstrom Rack.

LIBBY
I know.

CRAIG
Why are you covered in dirt and smell like manure?

LIBBY
Uh… we’re decorating the loading dock.

CRAIG
(buying it completely)
Okay.

HERBERT
(in her ear)
Good one.

LIBBY
Shut up!

CRAIG
What?

LIBBY
Nothing. Thanks for doing the dishes.

CRAIG
No, problem. Hey, you free for lunch tomorrow?

LIBBY
Tomorrow? Hmmm. Not sure. Let’s talk in the morning.

SMASH CUT

EXT. ASHTIYAN, IRAN – NEXT DAY

(New York Street on Paramount lot. Sand and some bazaar tents should do the trick. Same extras re-dressed.) Libby sits at the Seattle’s Finest outdoor patio. She’s on her cellphone.

LIBBY
Hey, Craig. Something came up. Afraid I won’t be able to make it for lunch.

ANOTHER SHOT – LIBBY THROUGH THE VIEWFINDER OF A SNIPER’S RIFLE.

SUPER: TO BE CONTINUED

CUT TO BLACK.

Tomorrow: Part two. Are you at the edge of your seat?

18 comments:

Richard Y said...

Bring it on......

emily said...

I'm pretty sure I've seen this show before...e

Oat Willie said...

Reminds me of "Archer", H Jon Benjamin's finest piece since Laura Silverman.o

Klee said...

They've llamas on the streets instead of burros.

The Mutt said...

Ken, could we change Libby's name to something a little more tomboyish like Sam or Max or Terry? Also, Rodney sounds a little gay. Maybe thing more "street" like Cash? Thnx.

VP81955 said...

This is why I'm sticking to writing romantic comedies, thank you.

Mike Botula said...

Note to self: Ken's new action-adventure pilot is on ION-TV tonight between Criminal Minds and Ghost Whisperer. Set your I-phone and re-sked "Cheers."

Douglas Trapasso said...

A little sad, after noticing the title, that there isn't a part here for comedian Emo Phillips.

blinky said...

The funniest part is that this could be on the schedule this Fall. Seriously...

Brian Drake said...

How much for the script? Seriously, my crew and me can film this in San Francicso and become a YouTube sensation!

Brian Drake said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
John Hammes said...

Some more random explosions should do fine. Doesn't matter when or where.

Also, needs the occasional laugh track (think late '80s series "Sledge Hammer !"). Also doesn't matter when or where.

Needs more cowbell, too...

All of the above, and you're in business.

H Johnson said...

Absolutely perfect. I'm already yawning and my wife won't let me change the channel. Well done. should be huge.

Aloha

DBenson said...

Neato.

Takes me back to nights of sitting up for "Silk Stalkings", about two sexy cops who specialize in cases where anybody -- killer, victim, drug dealer, jewel thief, videotaper of MLB games -- looks good in a teddie. No Fat Perps.

Blair Ivey said...

Bollywood will have this out next week.

Amy said...

Friday Questions: What is your take, if any, on the Good Wife controversy? If there was a feud do you think it had an adverse effect on the show recently (or even as far back as the season 4 Kalinda's husband arc)? It seems like they were trying to give them separate story lines for quite some time.

cadavra said...

Hey, I think Piper Perabo is available.

Johnny Walker said...

Finally got around to reading this. Loved it!