Limits of Disturbance - opening sequence By Alan Abrams
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Rated "PG" by the Author.
Following some insightful criticism from Jonathan Eig (leading a screen writing workshop at the Bethesda Writers Center) I have inserted the following opening scene into script.
You can read other excerpts from this work in progress among My Stories.
Takoma Parker's will recognize the setting ;^)
EXT. GILBERT AVENUE – MORNING
Open close on a utility pole, bristling with hundreds of staples, and xeroxed notices for a five family yard sale, a room for rent, a lost cat. One offers therapeutic massage, with a phone number on tearoff tabs at the bottom.
Focus on an image of a wolf in the cross hairs of a telescopic sight. A caption reads, "SAVE THE WOLVES." Panning down, a dog walker in a bathrobe bends to pick up turds from a tree box, with her hand in a plastic bag.
Widening, as credits roll--scenes of a vintage commercial strip in a small town. Commuters with briefcases pass by. Coming the other way, a mom in spandex jogs along, pushing a baby in a three wheeled buggy.
Zoom in on a shop front with movie posters in the window. A sign over the door: "Video Cosmopolitaine"
INT. THE VIDEO STORE - MORNING
Sunlight rakes through the storefront. POPPA, a sagging, middle aged man is sitting on a stool behind the counter reading the local tabloid newspaper. He dunks a croissant into a paper cup of coffee, and dribbles over the paper, his shirt, his chin. His daughter DONNA, a tastefully tatooed and pierced twenty-something, tidies up on the other side.
Poppa, you're slobbering all over yourself.
Poppa nonchalantly dabs with a paper napkin, and continues reading. Donna goes to the front to collect CD's from the drop off slot. The camera enjoys her bodypaint jeans and slinky walk.
(face in newspaper)
Donna looks back at Poppa.
Terrence Wolfe. Why do I know that name?
Oh, you must mean Terry.
Her curiosity aroused, Donna walks back to the counter. Poppa sets the paper down and looks up at Donna.
(tilting and scrunching his face)
(describing with her hands)
You've seen him in here. About six feet, scruffy red beard, wild curly hair. Rents a lot of Eastwood.
Oh... yeah... yeah, that's him... I just found him that new one on Johnny Mercer... you really know this guy?
Well, yeah-ah, like from grade school... he had a horrible crush on me... still does, poor guy.
Huh! Well, check this out. (reads from the paper) "Takoma Park resident Terrence Wolfe, 24, was arrested last Friday night..."
Get out! Terry Wolfe? What for?
Donna walks back behind Poppa. She puts her arm around him and her chin on his shoulder, and reads along with him. They finish the short article and look up at each other, goggle eyed. Smiles break out, then stifled giggles--and then, hoots and shrieks of laughter.
Donna collects herself, steps away, and with both hands pulls her hair back.