Thursday, January 21, 2010

Trust

Well, it's been a big month so far. Tennant's regenerated, I was offered the job to be a model, my audio play is being produced and Big Finish will - if nothing else - be disturbed at how quick I was able to respond to their open submissions. As long as no one bar Jared, Miles, Cameron or some GB allumni beats me, I'll be fine.

But this all reminds me of a strange story from my youth when a similar opportunity was made by Brian Brown's Twisted. For those who don't know, Twisted was an anthology TV series of 'tales-of-the-unexpected' with a suitably Aussie bent. Now, I only ever saw one Twisted tale, and THAT was because it was filmed in my local offlicense - though the script was of such a high calibre, Mr. Brown appeared in it. So, with my only clue a rather witty script about a con man who tries to convince an armed junkie that a black-and-decker cordless drill is, in fact, a loaded gun, I attempted to pen a script.

Based on my post-high-school depressions and some of the bleaker aspects of Youth of Australia, I put a lot of work into the "twist". In fact, between the twist and typing the thing out in the right format, I probably put less work into the actual script per se. Obviously, it was never produced, but I can at least pretend it was lost in the mail and Mr. Brown never saw my genius.

So, reprinted here - absolutely exclusively - is my TV script...


THE ESTATE AGENT OF DECAY!!!

(Rob Shearman gave me some help with the title, but the rest is all me.)


EXT. OUTSIDE REAL ESTATE AGENTS. DAY 1

We see a photo of the house that will play a central role in this story. Pull out. Our hero, DAVE JOHNSON, stands before the window of a street corner estate agent, looking at the photo through the glass. Dave is a young man in casual clothing, looking rather tired and depressed. He wears a satchel containing an A-to-Z, some water and a mobile phone. Held in his arms is a heavy cardboard box.

He turns, sighs, and puts down the box. The estate agent is across the road from the railway station, so people must pass him to either get to or leave.

Dave tugs the masking tape from the cardboard box. Inside are tight bundles of bright red pamphlets, held together with rubber bands. Dave takes a bundle, which we see is as thick as a house brick and probably only slightly less heavy. There are now two bundles left, and three below them.

Dave takes the rubber band from the bundle, fans them out and offers them to passers-by. The first two take one and nod their thanks. The rest don’t even acknowledge them. Dave is annoyed.


DAVE: Only twelve hundred in the box. ‘Start you off easy,’ they said. Only twelve hundred and six hours to do them. That’s only two hundred an hour. Easy. Easy-peasy. Whoever I’m kidding, it isn’t me.

The door to estate agents opens and CARLA SMITH emerges, a glamorous woman in a black business suit and sunglasses. She is speaking on a mobile phone.

CARLA: Yes. Yes, Mr. Tando, I’ll see you directly at the property. You’ve got the address? All right. Goodbye. Goodbye.

She switches off the phone, instantly losing her friendly voice.

CARLA {CONT’D} Arrogant little creep.

She notices Dave, who offers out a pamphlet hopefully. She doesn’t take one, but stares at him.

CARLA: Do you get paid for this?

DAVE: They say I will.

CARLA: Yeah, they said that to me too. How much?

DAVE: Fifteen bucks an hour.

She turns and walks off.

DAVE: Uh, aren’t you going to take one?

CARLA: Why? What is it?

DAVE: Uh, art convention in the city. Lots of new artists, up-and-coming sculptors, installations, observations and oscillations. Pain, terror, anger and a finger buffet.

CARLA: You’ve got the gift of the gab, as they say.

DAVE: I try. Generally it’s easier to stick to words of one syllable. Saves all the tedious explanations.

CARLA: OK, I’ll take one. But unless you’re using that spiel on everyone who passes by, I’m not hoping much for your success.

DAVE: No?

CARLA: No. Be exuberant, kid.

DAVE: ‘Dave’.

CARLA: ‘Dave’, then. After all...

She lowers her sunglasses slightly. Her eyes gleam red for a moment. Dave’s eyes widen in surprise.

CARLA {CONT’D} You only live once. Ta-ta.

She turns and strides off. Dave stares after her, shocked, and doesn’t immediately realize a fresh batch of passers-by is heading towards him. When he does he is completely disoriented.

DAVE: Uh, hi. Excuse me, would you mind... Hello?

The crowd moves by, none acknowledging him.

DAVE: Fine. You want hardball, you’ve got it.

Dissolve into:


2. EXT. OUTSIDE REAL ESTATE AGENTS. DAY 2

Dave has arranged a small collection of pamphlets on a railing behind him, and holds a fresh bundle in his hand. The box is still all-but full, and Dave looks quite tense and irritated. The passers-by completely ignore him.

DAVE: Right!!!!

A few people jump, but most keep moving.

DAVE: Damn it! Give me one good reason you don’t want one of these!!

Silence.

DAVE: Go on! ONE reason! They weigh nothing! They’re environmentally friendly, biodegradable and morally suspect! It takes more effort for you lot to avoid my gaze and pretend I’m not here than actually take the damn things! You don’t have to read them – throw them into the first litter bin you come across. I – DON’T – CARE!! Just take these off me!!!

Passers-by are not paying him attention. But no takers. Dave sighs.

DAVE: (whispers to himself) Plan B.

He delves into his satchel and pulls out a street directory. He places before him on the box and deals out pamphlets like cards. He sounds pretty hysterical.

DAVE: I have a street directory! Be lost no more! I can direct you to any point in the Sydney area! The price? No price, gentle kinsman! Simply take one of these off my hands and we’ll call it quits! Need to know the way to the RSL Club or just to the nearest McDonalds? Roll up! Roll up!!

The passers-by exchange looks.

DAVE: The rains are coming, people! I’ve got an umbrella, I’m a lucky one – can you say the same? Don’t risk pneumonia and a risk of countless other secondary infections – here! Two pamphlets, infinitely bigger on the inside, combine together to make the perfect hat! Take as many as you want! Two for a hat, fourteen for an umbrella and seven hundred for a reasonably sized Japanese whaling vessel! Don’t believe me? Only one way to prove it! Take one! Take a hundred! Take the whole bloody box!

Every second passer by is now pausing. Every fifth actually takes one.

DAVE: These pamphlets have a hundred and one household uses – umbrellas, hats, curtains, loft insulation, building material, kitty litter! Don’t you feel any kinship with Earth? It’s too late for this tree, but don’t let it die in vain! All I need is just another.... five hundred and fifty-seven people to take one – JUST ONE – and I can go home! Take more than one I might even shut up, that’s how serious I am at the moment...

The pick up rate improves slightly.

DAVE: (TO TAKER) Thank you so much. (TO CROWD) You see! Milk of human kindness droppest like dew from heaven, but I’m not getting wet tonight. Only five hundred and fifty-six left to go! You can do this! Come on! You don’t seriously expect me to believe you lot have better things to do!

The SHOPKEEPER of the grocery store next to the estate agents steps outside, looking annoyed.

SHOPKEEPER: Do you mind? I’m trying to talk here?

DAVE: You wanna talk? Go ahead! Take fifteen pamphlets each and I might just let you continue your conversation in peace!

SHOPKEEPER: Get real!

DAVE: Well, we’ll just have to live with mutual disappointment.

The crowd have all but dispersed.

DAVE: Free magic tricks! Magic tricks! Absolutely free! No price needed whatsoever! All I need is one enterprising member of the general public! Just one!

An OLD DRUNKEN LADY wanders over, mumbling incoherently.

DAVE: Now, madam, you can confirm we’ve never met before?

The lady mumbles. Dave holds out a fan of pamphlets.

DAVE: Now, pick a pamphlet. Any pamphlet. Look at it closely, show it to the audience and return it to the pack, any place. Make sure I can’t see it...

The lady does so.

DAVE: Thank you very much, madam. Now...

Dave reaches into the box and pulls out another pamphlet.

DAVE {CONT’D} Was this your pamphlet?

The lady shrugs, but takes it. The shopkeeper boggles.

SHOP-KEEPER: That is, without doubt, the most pathetic magic trick I have seen in my entire life!

DAVE: I said it was free, I never said it was good. But, you’re right, I must make amends. Here, have this. And this. And this. And this, and this, and this, and that, and this as well.

He stuffs as many pamphlets into the shopkeeper’s pockets, hands, and even mouth, before turning to face the others.

DAVE: There’s nothing on TV tonight, ladies and gentlemen! There’s nothing worth watching and its going to be raining anyway! There’s only one solution – a paper-plane competition! Now, I have here, absolutely free, more paper material than a printers' strike...

Carla wanders into view, amused.

CARLA: OK, OK, I’ll take the whole damn box. Just relax before you give yourself a hernia.

DAVE: Oh. Oh, thanks. But, uh, can I keep the box? My employers want it back. You know, recycling and all that.

CARLA: Sure, whatever. Come on, the sun’s way past the yardarm.

DAVE: What yardarm?

CARLA: (slowly) It’s lunchtime. Take a break already.

DAVE: Only if...

CARLA: Yes?

DAVE: ...you come with me?

Carla smiles, slightly flattered.

CARLA: Fair enough. Anything to let the public see what houses are for sale. You’re blocking the view!

DAVE: Sorry. Is there any place that does good food around here?

CARLA: No. But there’s the next best thing.


3. INT. MILK BAR. DAY 3

A gloomy milk bar. Carla and Dave sit at a table while a CHEF makes burgers behind the counter.

DAVE: So the food here is decent, then?

CARLA: Better than the lesbians down the road, but not as good as the Christians on the corner. But it’s cheap enough.

An awkward pause.

DAVE: So... You’re an albino, then?

CARLA: Uh, no. What gave you that impression?

DAVE: Oh, the usual. I can smell your sun block from here. Albinos burn easily. And you’ve got pink eyes, don’t you?

Carla begins to laugh, extremely amused. Dave smiles, but doesn’t see the joke.

DAVE: What? What is it?

CARLA: No, no, no, Dave. I’m not an albino.

DAVE: You’re not?

CARLA: No! (sobers) I’m a vampire.

Dave’s face falls. He swallows, nervously.

DAVE: You’re... a vampire...

CARLA: (dryly) Yes. Now, judging from the tension in your shoulders you’ve got issues about women, vampires, estate agents, some combination of the three or all of them. Which is it?

DAVE: (in a small voice) Think it’s the ‘vampire’ bit.

CARLA: Oh, grow up. If I were going to eat you, why on Earth would I take you to a public place and order two hamburgers, huh?

DAVE: I wouldn’t bet my life on it.

CARLA: And what would you bet your life on? Hey, I’m a person just like you.

DAVE: Prove it!

CARLA: Disprove it!

DAVE: OK... Do you like gardening in the rain?

CARLA: No. No I do not.

DAVE: Oh. Well, that’s all right, I suppose. Um, what’s your favorite song?

CARLA: I doubt you’ve heard of it.

DAVE: Don’t be evasive...

CARLA: OK, it’s ‘Golden Brown’, by the Stranglers.

DAVE: The Stranglers? That one-hit wonder?

CARLA: Oh, but what a hit. So, you’re into the history pop music, then?

DAVE: Sort of.

CARLA: Go on then, what’s your favorite song.

DAVE: Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth’.

Carla looks blank.

CARLA: (repeats skeptically)Not If You Were The Last Junkie On Earth’?

DAVE: Uh, the Dandy Warhols?

CARLA: And why is that your favorite song, Dave?

DAVE: Well, because... er, it’s... (HE SIGHS) OK. I just think the tamborinist’s hot. I admit it.

CARLA: Hey, it’s OK, you’re human.

DAVE: Unlike you?

CARLA: If you want to be perfectly legalistic about it, then... No, I’m not human. But I used to be, a long time ago.

DAVE: So, it’s true about vampires, then?

CARLA: Kind of. Not the sort of stuff Bram Stoker and Sarah Michelle Gellar made their livelihood out of, but more or less. Vampirism is a transmittable blood disease.

DAVE: Like AIDS?

CARLA: If you like. Causes a nasty change in the metabolism, makes the skin and eyes sensitive to high-intensity life, pulls the gums back over the teeth...

DAVE: And immortality?

CARLA: What about it?

DAVE: You know. Are you going to live forever?

CARLA: Not sure about that. Ask me again in five hundred years.

DAVE: Be serious. How old are you?

CARLA: I was born in 1917. Does that answer your question, Dave?

DAVE: Yeah, I guess so. Do you still have a reflection?

Carla rolls her eyes.

CARLA: What a stupid freaking question. Of course I’ve got a reflection! Just because I’m an immortal doesn’t automatically give me permission to screw with the laws of physics, you know.

DAVE: So it’s just a myth then?

Carla nods.

DAVE {CONT’D} And all the stuff about burning up in the sunlight?

CARLA: Media exaggeration and inaccurate negative stereotyping. We burn only slightly more than a natural redhead.

DAVE: I don’t get it. Why are you telling me this?

CARLA: I trust you.

DAVE: I could blab it out to anyone.

CARLA: Dave, you couldn’t convince more than ten people out of a hundred to take a pamphlet for an art exhibition – why do I think you screaming “The local estate agent is a blood-sucking fiend” won’t get much credence?

DAVE: That doesn’t explain why you’re telling me this, though.

Carla smiles enigmatically. The chef hands them their burgers. Carla pays for it and they begin eating.

DAVE: (meekly) You eat food, then.

CARLA: That IS what food is for.

DAVE: But not blood. I mean, you don’t actually drink blood. (less certain) Do you?

CARLA: I could. If I wanted to.

DAVE: But you don’t.

CARLA: No. But with the cardiovascular and muscle systems strengthened, the altered body needs a lot of extra protein – hence the blood drinking. But I’ve found you can actually get the same effect by gnawing a good hunk of Cheddar cheese. Anyway, enough about me. What about you? How did you get this high-flying position you now occupy.

DAVE: (sarcastically) Oh, haha. The usual. Promising youngster, easily distracted, exam results not what they could be, wracked with guilt, takes the first job that comes by.

CARLA: You’re smart enough. You could get a better job if you wanted one.

DAVE: Not sure what job I want. In the meantime, this pays the bills.

CARLA: Fifteen an hour? Your bills must be on the Atkins’ Diet.

A pause.

CARLA: You willing to work for twenty an hour?

DAVE: Doing what?

CARLA: General duties, as I dictate. Good hours, better money and I promise there will be no stealing of your precious bodily fluids. You can lift and carry, right?

DAVE: Right. All right. I’ll do it. But you have to keep the pamphlets.

CARLA: Sounds fair. Now, finish your burger. Tando should be arriving soon.


4. EXT. OUTSIDE CARLA’S HOUSE. DAY 4

The house we first for up for sale in the real estate window. A FOR SALE sign has been placed in the front yard. It has been there for some time. Carla is smoothing her clothes down while Dave looks around, confused.

DAVE: Has this place been on the market for long?

CARLA: As long as I’ve been working.

DAVE: I don’t get it. You’re a vampire – and you decide to be an estate agent. And I thought *I* was wasting my potential.

CARLA: I’m like you. Just trying to make a – for want of a better word – living until the good stuff starts. Now keep quiet and don’t interfere.

An expensive looking car pulls up. TANDO emerges: a tough-looking man not quite fitting into a business suit. He isn’t quite as well groomed as he could be.

TANDO: (grunts) Ah, Miss Smith?

CARLA: Mr. Tando. How nice it is to see you again. Have you made your mind up about the property yet?

TANDO: Yes. It’s a useless shack. I’m having it torn down at the earliest opportunity.

CARLA: (trying to stay pleasant) That is a genuine Federation cottage, Mr. Tando. Very few of these are on the market nowadays.

TANDO: And there will be fewer once I’m done here. This is prime property, Smith, I won’t deny. I’m just going to rearrange the architecture.

CARLA: Urban vandalism?

TANDO: I don’t know much about vandalism...

CARLA: (under her breath) ...you surprise me...

TANDO {CONT’D} ...but I know what I like. Are you going to argue with me?

CARLA: (defensive) Of course not, sir!

She steps forward, effortlessly pulling out a bowie knife from her jacket pocket. Before Tando can speak said knife is thrust into his chest.

CARLA: I just wanted to have the last word.

She twists the knife and rips it free.

TANDO: (dying) Was it something I said?

He collapses to the ground, dead. Carla licks some blood off her knife, then pockets it. Dave steps back, eyes wide. He is beginning to shake.

CARLA: Not bad. O Positive. It DOES beat Cheddar - I have to admit.

DAVE: (in shock) Y-you killed him!

CARLA: I did. That’s me. Woman by day, vampire by night, estate agent by day... hired assassin by night.

DAVE: (now angry) You killed him!

Carla frowns and turns to look at him.

CARLA: Don’t you find human morality ever so slightly suspect?

DAVE: Morality?

CARLA: Yes. Now, look at me for example. What if that was the first time I’ve ever killed someone, ever committed a crime. I would generally be considered a good person, right?

DAVE: Uh, yeah, yeah, suppose so.

CARLA: A whole life devoted to being good and virtuous... And all it takes is four seconds of madness and suddenly I’m damned for all eternity. A murderer. A callous, sadistic vampire. That’s what you’re thinking, isn’t it, Dave?

DAVE: (extremely unconvincing) Might not be.

CARLA: But it is. Now, surely, if four seconds of “evil” can damn me some serial rapist and/or killer can be redeemed for helping a little old lady across the road. If one act makes a good person evil, logically one act must make an evil person good.

DAVE: Profound philosophical questions... Not really my bag, baby.

CARLA: No. You’d be amazed how often I get that reaction.

DAVE: What? Mortal terror?

CARLA: No, not mortal terror! Confusion! Ignorance! Human beings impinge their moral standards on everything, even if it doesn’t make sense. Even if they haven’t even thought it through! They’ll rally against the injustices perpetrated against the Amazon Rainforest and then go and buy the latest Harry Potter hardback.

She turns, waving the knife to emphasize her worlds. Dave backs away, horrified at the thought of being accidentally – or even deliberately – stabbed.

CARLA: It’s the hypocrisy that annoys me. You think slaughterhouses are wrong, Dave? Of course you do! Little sheep and cows and pigs, frolicking in the fields one minute and then brutally ripped to pieces the next! How could that POSSIBLY be condoned in a sane and just world?

She advances on Dave.

CARLA {CONT’D} But you still ate that hamburger at the milk bar, didn’t you?

Dave nods, terrified.

DAVE: Yes. Yes, I did but, but... It seemed a bit wasteful. I, I, I mean, if some animal has got to die, it might as well be so that I can live. I mean, if I’d asked for a hamburger without meat then, well, that animal would die for nothing, wouldn’t it? That really would be a waste, wouldn’t it?

Carla lowers the knife and smiles broadly.

CARLA: True. You know, I like you, Dave. And don’t feel bad about Tando. It’s not as if he didn’t have a good innings. And he was the owner of a drug-peddling company that controls half the country. Drugs, prostitution, white slave trading, a little light arms dealing... And he drank his soup from the FRONT of the spoon. You’ve got to be firm with those people. Come on; help me get him inside.

She bends to pick up the corpse. Dave squirms, but helps. They carry the body up the steps and through the front door.


5. INT. CARLA’S HOUSE. DAY 5

A perfectly ordinary, if rather spartan living room. Carla and Dave enter carrying Tando’s body. They cross to the kitchen counter and dump the body there. Shivering, Dave turns and runs to the kitchen sink to compulsively wash his hands. Carla smirks, effortlessly lifting the corpse up and chucking it into an empty fridge large enough to contain it.

DAVE: W-what now?

CARLA: Probably get a couple of steaks out of him, I reckon. And the bones will no doubt make good soup...

DAVE: (disgusted) You’re going to EAT him?!

CARLA: (defensive) Not raw! Cooked!

DAVE: But...

CARLA: I need to dispose of the evidence, don’t I? Why waste his body? Better I get some free food for the next week or so then covering him in concrete and dumping him in the canal, surely?

DAVE: Suppose so.

CARLA: Don’t worry, you don’t have to eat him if you don’t want to. Heck, this is a mercy. If his enemies had got him before I had... Let’s just say it would be nasty.

DAVE: How nasty?

CARLA: Razor blades under the fingernails, needles in the eyeballs, every last square inch of epidermis scraped away from his flesh. Need I go on? At least he didn’t suffer this way. Well, much. For long.

Dave takes a deep breath, bracing himself.

DAVE: (softly) Carla?

CARLA: Yeah?

DAVE: Make me like you.

CARLA: (taken aback) Wh... what?

DAVE: You must know some way of doing it!

CARLA: What?! We’ve only known each other a day. It’s a bit of a rash decision, isn’t it?

DAVE: What do you mean? Rash decisions are what made me what I am today!

CARLA: (after a beat) OK, we definitely need to reconsider. I didn’t volunteer for this, you know. And, if I could, I’d go straight back to being human. This isn’t fun, Dave. I make the most of what life’s given me.

DAVE: (annoyed) So? I’ve thought about it! I don’t want to be human. I’ve got a choice and I’m making it. At the moment I’m stuck in some grubby studio flat with the only two people on Earth MORE pathetic than I am – and I’ve had enough. I’m sick of doing crap jobs I hate because there are no better jobs I want. I’m sick of it all... I was seriously considering suicide before I met you, Carla.

CARLA: (firmly) This IS suicide. The most painful, drawn-out version there is! OK, you can still walk, and talk and think, but you won’t believe what you miss. Being unable to hear a friend talking because you’re transfixed by their jugular. You can’t go for a walk in the countryside without fifteen bottles of sun block and an emergency bucket of water. And churches? Well, you can go in there, but believe you me; you won’t half feel awkward. And sex? Out of the question, unless you want the undead population of Australia to be on the rise! Look, things can change for you. Maybe inspiration will strike and you’ll work out what you want to do with the rest of your life. Then again, maybe it won’t – I just don’t know.

She puts her hands on Dave’s shoulders.

CARLA: Whatever you do, don’t throw it all away on a split-second decision.

DAVE: Carla... I like you. I mean, REALLY like you. I don’t want to be like this any more. And if you can’t change it, then I might as well throw myself off a bridge.

CARLA: Dave, no... Please... And if you feel different in the morning?

DAVE: Then it won’t matter. What matters is how I feel here and now. I want to be like you, be WITH you... I mean, two vampire heads are better than one, right?

CARLA: You might want to be a vampire, but do you want to be an assassin. Killing people isn’t right, Dave. Not even I think it’s OK, and I’ve done it more times than you’ve thought through this desire to become the undead!

DAVE: Morality? Fairness? Give me a break. Come on...

He steps closer and smirks.

DAVE: (flirting) Think about what YOU get out of it.

CARLA: (controlling herself) Well, er, it has been a while.

DAVE: Nothing to be ashamed of. Not if the other parties are... willing.

CARLA: Which you are?

DAVE: You betcha.

CARLA: (seductive) Then I better prepare your initiation ceremony. Welcome to the club, David.

Carla smiles and opens her shirt. She is wearing a bulletproof vest underneath. With a rip of Velcro she pulls it free.

DAVE: A bulletproof vest?

CARLA: And stake-proof.

DAVE: What was that for?

CARLA: It pays to be careful in my line of business. But I remember my mother said, ‘If you trust someone, you can never be betrayed, just mistaken.’

She turns and places the vest on the counter.

DAVE: Yeah, well, it’s difficult to tell who you can trust these days.

CARLA: What do you think of the house, anyway?

Dave turns and looks around.

DAVE: It’s nice.

His voice hardens. He turns to face Carla, who is still standing with her back to him.

DAVE {CONT’D} I think I’ll take it.

He pulls out a complex silver pistol and casually fires it. Carla convulses, spins and drops to the ground – not dead, but dying in incredible agony. Dave pockets the pistol.

DAVE: I must have forgotten to mention what other crap jobs I do part time.

He takes out a mobile phone, flips it open and presses a button.

DAVE: It’s done, Mrs. Tando. He’s dead and so is she. Yes. No doubt. Insurance is like that. No, it won’t matter. In a few minutes there’ll be nothing for the forensic pathologists to find.

Dave looks down at Carla. She is still twitching, now looking old and grey, wasted and skeletal. Dave’s expression does not change as he watches her expire.

DAVE: That’s the problem with morality, isn’t it? It applies to your own kind, but rarely to others – vampire. And let me assure you that I say thing from several years’ experience as an assassin, but you let yourself get way to close to people.

CARLA: (in agony) Please... Dave...

DAVE: (confused) Dave? Who’s Dave, then? Give my regards to the grim reaper. Oh, and what your mum said about trust? It was a pile of crap. If you’ll excuse me, I’m off to collect my fee.

He turns and strides out of the house, mumbling the words to ‘Golden Brown’. We watch him as he steps outside and shuts the door. We pan across to where Carla was lying. There is just a heap of dust. It blows away in the wind.

The End

9 comments:

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Really liked it man. The one thing was that it felt just a little bit under-written, you know? If it had a couple of edits and a couple of small extra scenes it would be great. Main things are a little of foreshadowing over the twist (which would probably be mostly director and actor work) and some extra stuff to establish the build up of the relationship between Dave and Carla - currently she does an awful lot of expositing and he gets freaked out a lot. I guess the various gaps in the timeline is meant to suggest a fair bit is said off-screen.

Gonna email the link to my friend - I think he'll really dig it.

Youth of Australia said...

Really liked it man.
Well, more than the TV company did...

The one thing was that it felt just a little bit under-written, you know?
Not surprised. It had to be a fifteen-to-twenty-minute "character piece". I think it's fair to say I was straight-jacketed by it (course, I wrote it in 2000, years before I encountered your inspiring influence).

If it had a couple of edits and a couple of small extra scenes it would be great.
I wish I could brag I edited out the good stuff... but no. That all happened in the imagination stage, and I was more focussed on trying to get something beyond "a vampire estate agent" for a plot.

Main things are a little of foreshadowing over the twist (which would probably be mostly director and actor work) and some extra stuff to establish the build up of the relationship between Dave and Carla - currently she does an awful lot of expositing and he gets freaked out a lot.
Yes. I did want Dave's come on to be out of the blue, but I guess it looks like I cut the relevent lines rather than it being a surprise.

I guess the various gaps in the timeline is meant to suggest a fair bit is said off-screen.
...nope, not really.

(It's rather hard to defend this, but it IS coming up to ten years old. It's like me trying to justify stories I came up with the playground where UNIT hires the Ninja Turtles to fight a Sontaran invasion - it seemed good enough at the time.)

Gonna email the link to my friend - I think he'll really dig it.
Hope so.

I suppose it says a lot I find the end very disturbing, since it suggests Dave is an evil Kaston Iago like psychopath when no one is looking. I went back and changed his last name, but it still feels unsettling for some reason...

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

It had to be a fifteen-to-twenty-minute "character piece".

Ah, right, THAT was the running time. I remember with the last 'Twisted' pitch a couple of years ago I didn't even send anything because I couldn't come up with an idea for such a restricted format. I guess that's why there aren't the extra scenes I was talking about..

I did want Dave's come on to be out of the blue, but I guess it looks like I cut the relevent lines rather than it being a surprise.

In my head I was imagining small things, like, say being in the car with Carla, flicking through ALL of her files and pulling out Tandos then casually asking her about it.

I also misremembered the story as opening in Dave's house where he's alone, and thought that was a clue when he later says he lives with two other guys.

..what can I say, it's hot here at the moment..

It's rather hard to defend this, but it IS coming up to ten years old.

Yeah, I realise that - being such an old script I assumed that there would be a few shortcomings so I was just impressed at.. well, the idea and the format and a good deal of the dialogue. Holds up better than anything I wrote in highschool I'm sure.

I went back and changed his last name, but it still feels unsettling for some reason...

Huh. I assumed the whole idea was for it to feel unsettling.

Youth of Australia said...

Ah, right, THAT was the running time.
Yeah, 'two' twists per episode.

I remember with the last 'Twisted' pitch a couple of years ago I didn't even send anything because I couldn't come up with an idea for such a restricted format.
And now we're worrying about an even more restrictive pitch...

I guess that's why there aren't the extra scenes I was talking about..
Oh yeah. I could have done a lot more with Tando alone.

Actually, looking back there were WAY more Blake's 7 injokes than I would now consider appropriate.

In my head I was imagining small things, like, say being in the car with Carla, flicking through ALL of her files and pulling out Tandos then casually asking her about it.
Genius. Pity in the script the house is about a street away from the agents.

I also misremembered the story as opening in Dave's house where he's alone, and thought that was a clue when he later says he lives with two other guys.
Damn. Much better. But no.

..what can I say, it's hot here at the moment..
So hot my fingers got scalded. Typing sure is painful.

Yeah, I realise that - being such an old script I assumed that there would be a few shortcomings so I was just impressed at.. well, the idea and the format and a good deal of the dialogue. Holds up better than anything I wrote in highschool I'm sure.
Like most of the stuff I write, it seems to decompose the moment its finished to become a verbose, pretentious cliche-fest of no redeeming features whatsoever.

The number of times I have to check with Miles that CB isn't total shit the moment I took my eyes off it, Weeping Angel style...

I have little self-confidence.

This I am aware of.

Huh. I assumed the whole idea was for it to feel unsettling.
But the thing is, the "twist" was entirely last minute. I literally decided as I was typing it out "Hang on, what if HE turned out to be the evil one all along?!" I suppose the original would just have ended with Dave and Carla teaming up to eat prospective buyers.

Still, what do you expect, trying to extrapolate 20 minutes of TV from a 100 word short story I wrote earlier that year?

(It was for a writing competition, so there was a story about 'the house on the corner always up for sale', a very shitty sword-and-sworcery parody about black magic, and a nifty Hollowmen-do-ID4 style piece where an alien invasion of Earth is discussed via office emails, ie, "So, letting humanity live would be a nice PR gesture, but is it COST EFFECTIVE?" which my parents preferred but was unlikely to do well on Twisted...)

matt311 said...

Interesting story, though I'm afraid it'd be one in a sea of vampire stories in this day and age...

Also, how come you haven't responded to some of my earlier comments on the blog? :-(

Youth of Australia said...

Interesting story, though I'm afraid it'd be one in a sea of vampire stories in this day and age...
Presumably why I wrote it ten years before the Twilight craze.

Heh, I love how the big bad of the latest Buffy saga is called Twilight. It's probably coincidence, but it still makes me laugh.

Also, how come you haven't responded to some of my earlier comments on the blog? :-(
I mustn't have had anything to say.

matt311 said...

Well, I had a question I'd've liked your opinion on...

Youth of Australia said...

Then email me.
ewen32@iprimus.com.au

Chatting via blog comments is rather difficult as there's a character limit.

matt311 said...

Sure thing, then... :-)