Tuesday, September 01, 2020

And now... the exciting conclusion!









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. We're in the Golden Age of TV Drama -- why shouldn't I be a huge part of it? 

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

Of my action adventure writing career.

15 comments :

Troy McClure said...

That was hilarious. And more plausible than the last five Fast and Furious films. Actually, make that all the Fast and Furious films.

The only thing missing was the 23 year old goth who's a tech genius and can hack into any secure network in the world within 5 seconds while making pop culture wisecracks.

Can we get a part 3?

Tammy said...

"The End... of my action-adventure writing career" - I hope not, loved both parts :)

Neil D said...

Ha! When I read the "lack of trust/never lose that" exchange, I went right to the old "I told you not to trust anybody" trope in my head. It's been done so many times - any time someone in a movie says "don't trust anybody", in my head I immediately start yelling "Shoot him! Shoot him now!".

Michael Hagerty said...

Please, please, PLEASE get this made, Ken.

marka said...

Zoom table read!!! Please!

Unknown said...

too many words.

BluePedal said...

It needs a crime boss who is after the same thing Libby and Rodney are after. He should kill a buttload of innocents but in the end they need his help.

Herbert should be the voice that says "Previously on Guns & Emo"

Get out of my office.

I'm going to Santa Anita.

Mike Bloodworth said...

This actually made me laugh. Good job, Ken.

Another string of clichés that are way overused are:
A man (or woman,) formerly special forces or "black-ops" befalls some sort of personal tragedy. e.g. Family member kidnapped or killed, frame up, extortion, etc. Reluctantly, he must come out of retirement to exact justice. He still has one connected friend who is able to acquire intel on the opponent's operations. Initially he tries to settle the situation through negotiation, but when that fails he must bring out "the big guns."
He manages to "put the band back together." Each member of the team has a skill or access to weapons and/or technology essential to the success of the mission. They all get to work trying to infiltrate the villain's lair. One of the group has questionable loyalties. He or she disappears halfway through The operation. Were they killed? Captured? Are they a betrayer?
During the final siege the good guys kill dozens of bad guys with ease. While the villain's henchmen can't hit the side of a barn. Success is almost within reach except it hinges on one missing element; the vanished team member. Just as it appears that the tide is turning in favor of the villain the missing person shows up to save the day.
As the group says its good byes hints are dropped about a possible sequel. One of the team says, "You know, the 'agency' coould really use you." But, Our hero says, "No thanks. I'm retired." He (or she) isn't fooling anyone.
Our hero gets his justice and he doesn't even have to buy pizza for the group.

This may not be applicable to a TV series, but if "Guns & Emo" becomes a movie franchise...

M.B.

Troy McClure said...

Ken, like most people I was heartbroken by the news of Chadwick Boseman's passing. Looking through his filmography, I was curious if you'd reviewed his baseball movie 42. A quick Google later and I saw you had. And you'd given it and his performance a glowing review.

For anyone who's interested:
http://kenlevine.blogspot.com/2013/04/my-review-of-42.html?m=1

Rest in peace to a great actor and human being.

Unknown said...

Cooter to his friends.... absolutely love it Ken this should get picked up!

Charles Bryan said...

When I saw "Guns and Emo" ( did anyone catch that pun?) I immediately thought of the new MacGyver. And then the new Magnum PI. And then the new FBI. And then half of CBS' primetime schedule.

B Smith said...

"The End... of my action-adventure writing career"

On the contrary...I was going to ask what happens in the "clips" episode, but I see Mr Bloodworth answered that one further up.

Anonymous said...

The Seattle baseball team seems to alternate its announcers between TV and radio. One night it's Dave Sims on TV, the next somebody else. Why do they do that? Is that a common practice? Does any other team do it?

-30-

Stef said...


Oh, Ken!

Artie in Sin City said...

Simply STELLAR!