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Hello everyone! I wanted to try something new today so I posted my screenplay for the Francis Ford Coppola Shorts, which will begin filming in a few weeks, below. A few months ago my good friend River Demson called me asking me if I would want to participate in a larger scale film project this summer and if so…he asked if I could write the script for it. I immediately, unreservedly said yes and then it sunk in. The unnerving fact that this is my first REAL production. Then as if I hadn’t been trigger happy to begin with; I made an even bigger split second decision and decided that not only would I be writing the script, but I would be directing it too. 

This means that I am in charge of organizing the people, equipment, film aesthetics, and general direction of the film in terms of tone, color, and content. (That was an incredibly exhausting sentence). All of which is exciting of course, but, for as exciting as it is, it is equal parts terrifying. I don’t know what I’m doing.  At this point I’m just throwing out words, phrases, and ideas that have the tendency to sound like I know what I’m doing. In other words for the last few months I have been faking-it-till-I-be-making-it on an epic scale and I am still far from the finish line. 

So, please enjoy the script. In an age of spoilers, I feel a though it doesn’t really matter too much if any of you know the story before seeing it on a screen. Also it is more about the journey than the destination, or whatever. All that I know is that…writing for short films is really hard and that I am proud of this version of the story. 

 

 

 

Int. JENNIFER’s Residence/ Day

ANDREW HARRIS knocks on the door of a residence. He stands out for a moment, case file in hand. JENNIFER BABBIT opens the door wide and welcoming.

JENNIFER

“Hey, how’s it going?”

ANDREW perks up.

ANDREW

“It’s going.”

JENNIFER steps back to let ANDREW in with a smile.

JENNIFER

“Come in, welcome. You haven’t been here before have you?”

ANDREW enters the house with a cramped expression. He has been a shut in for nearly two months.

ANDREW

“I have not. I haven’t been many places of late.”

JENNIFER laughs generously in response. She leads him through the house and out to the back yard to the pool. There is a table there with a pack of cigarettes and a drink melting in the heat of the day.

JENNIFER

“I hope that you don’t mind sitting out here. I know it’s hot, but my A/C is busted anyway.”

ANDREW nods in understanding.

ANDREW

“No, it’s fine. That is, as long as I one of those.”

JENNIFER looks to ANDREW with acknowledgment.

JENNIFER

“Of course!”

ANDREW sits down in one of the chairs.

JENNIFER

“I’ll be back.”

Ext. Residence/ Patio (Moments Later)

JENNIFER returns with a drink filled with ice. ANDREW takes it gratefully as she hands it to him. JENNIFER sits in the open seat and crosses her legs. Lounging back the two of them enjoy a brief silence. Summer rolls over the both of them in beads of sweat.

JENNIFER

“Mm.”

ANDREW looks to JENNIFER.

JENNIFER

“How are you?”

ANDREW

“Who’s asking? Altman or Babbit?”

JENNIFER

“Me. I’m asking.”

ANDREW grins, takes a drink, and then looks forward again.

ANDREW

“I’m good. Honestly, I am still getting use to being out. Outside. Clean air, bright light, and heat. It’s a trip. Really. What about you?”

JENNIFER

“Altman definitely wants this thing closed and honestly the more that I look at it…the more I want to it closed too. I can’t imagine what it would be like having to sort it all out for…well…a long time. Outside of that I’m great. I got a new car.”

ANDREW smiles.

ANDREW

“Nice!”

JENNIFER

“Oh, yes, it is.”

JENNIFER and ANDREW sit in silence once more. They watch the pool swirl in the summer breeze.

ANDREW

“Can I tell you a story? I’m going to tell you a story.”

JENNIFER looks to ANDREW and nods.

ANDREW

“Our suspect is a twenty one year old male headlong into the last year of his higher education. He has decent GPA, he is generally liked by everyone who meets him, and has no priors. Nothing, his record is so clean you could eat off of it.”

JENNIFER

“Aiden?”

ANDREW nods.

ANDREW

“Four years earlier this very kid manages to separate himself from his small town family. He escapes from the bottomless angst, the religious persecution, and the abrasive mental degradation that he had been subjected to from birth. He pursues a passion in liberal arts. And anyone with half a mind would tell you that he’s good at what he does.”

JENNIFER

“Yeah, he studied…um…literature. Right?”

ANDREW

“Creative writing. He’s a poet.”

JENNIFER glances at ANDREW.

ANDREW

“Being a newfound intellectual, our man is beside himself when a family friend tells him that his own family had taken him out of his great grandmother’s will. Now he knew when he left for college that he was and always would be held at arms length by them. They didn’t approve, but this…was more than vindictive. His grandmother was one of the oldest living people in the United States and arguably one of the oldest living people in the world. Her history was beyond important to him. He is an intellectual now after all.”

JENNIFER moves restlessly. ANDREW sees this.

ANDREW

“He talks, to his family. He tries to any way. However, his dear great grandmother essentially poisons him. She places traps on her property and weaponized our suspects allergies against him, so that he couldn’t approach the property much less put a foot on it. Did you know that?”

JENNIFER’s expression turns to one that suggests horror.

JENNIFER

“No. That wasn’t in the file when we took it to court.”

ANDREW looks to JENNIFER, smug.

ANDREW

“Oh, I know it wasn’t. There also isn’t a word about how he turned to his parents afterward with the hopes to resolve the issue peacefully. Or how he was literally thrown out of the house when he did.”

JENNIFER

“By his parents?”

ANDREW

“It is unclear really. There are too many conflicting reports to get a straight answer. Everyone has got their own true version of the story. But he sees this as undeniable proof that he is not going to be let back into the will and he certainly does not want to be. So, he goes and purchases the services two career criminals. Eden and Copper Faer. He tells them that he wants this one thing from his grandmother’s house. It is so invaluable that he thinks it unlikely to be noticed when his grandmother died.”

JENNIFER shakes her head.

JENNIFER

“Is that when they were attacked? The Faer’s?”

ANDREW nods.

ANDREW

“Right. Now these two worked a strip mall along one of the busiest roads in Tucson Arizona. A lot of their traffic was based in the university. “Hide it, move it, sell it.” Their record was clean. No violence, no unpaid bills; hell even the TPD knew about them, but they were so harmless that they just looked the other way.”

JENNIFER laughs.

JENNIFER

“That’s called a bribe, Andrew.”

ANDREW looks to JENNIFER.

ANDREW

“No, no bribes. That’s how under the radar they were. So, this guy Hans Kim finds them. We don’t know how. And he brutalizes them. See it turns out that the heist went well, but it could have gone better. With all of the traps laid on the property they ran into a few altercations. It was inevitable really.”

JENNIFER thinks out loud.

JENNIFER

“Kkangpae. It came out pretty early that he had ties with some pretty scary gangs in South Korea.”

ANDREW

“His parents did. A German family adopted Hans before he immigrated to the U.S. as a young kid.”

JENNIFER

“Really?”

ANDREW

“Yep. Not long after entering the country he came into contact with the suspects family and the rest is history.”

JENNIFER takes a drink.

ANDREW

“Anyway. Hans shakes these two down and tells them, ‘return what you have stolen or else.’ The Faer’s, being gentle creatures, abide. They track Aiden down and the next thing any of them remember…they wake up three days later on the lawn of the grandmother’s house. Seven people are dead. Two minors are in the back room unconscious from having been violated beyond reasoning. And that’s it.”

JENNIFER and ANDREW sit in silence.

JENNIFER

“It was a coin wasn’t it? What Aiden stole?”

ANDREW

“Yeah, but it was junk. It’s parts gold, but the majority of the coin’s composite is copper-tin, and copper-zinc brass. Nothing special. Not even a pawnshop would take that thing for a noteworthy price.”

JENNIFER snaps her gaze back to ANDREW, mouth agape.

JENNIFER

“That doesn’t make any sense. If it was so useless then why are they all dead or in prison?”

ANDREW takes a drink.

ANDREW

“Well, it looks like the suspect’s family and Hans Kim’s adopted family are one in the same. So, I looked into it and…it’s true. They are all related.”

JENNIFER scoffs in disbelief.

JENNIFER

“No. No, because if that were true then that information would have been presented in court.”

ANDREW

“Jen, that’s my job. I dredge up crazy shit; I take inventory of all possible loose ends, and making a narrative work. And this narrative is real. You know I can’t just bring a cult to court without sufficient evidence.”

JENNIFER

“A what?”

ANDREW

“A cult. You see, the coin was attached to this plaque. The testimonies of Copper and Eden Faer claim that the plaque, which is now missing, had the word Orichalcum printed in white letters. I decided I would Google it…I mean what could possibly go wrong?”

JENNIFER groans.

ANDREW

“You sound like how I’ve felt for the past two months looking through this case. I know how it sounds, Jen. I also know that this coin isn’t valuable by worldly standards.”

JENNIFER

“Worldly standards?”

ANDREW

“Orichalcum is a mythical metal. Historically there are no true examples of it being cultivated in the world, as we know it. However, in the work of the ancient Greeks, Orichalcum was mined in Atlantis before it vanished from the face of the earth.”

JENNIFER

“So what? They collect strange items for the hell of it? That’s not cult behavior.”

ANDREW shrugs with resignation.

ANDREW

“No, you’re right. Except…his family has ties by the generation to a small organization called the Brother’s Orichalcum. And these people are weird as fuck. I dove deep for this one. I mean they go the-whole-nine-yards. Like any cult they have branches, or fingers more like and they check pretty much every box. They believe in magic (spell casting, wards, uh fucking um demons), they have holy gatherings (On both the summer and winter solstice, and the equinox), and sometimes they even organize holy sacrifice.”

JENNIFER mouths the last word quietly.

JENNIFER

“Sacrifice.”

JENNIFER sighs again, this time overwhelmed. They it there for a moment, the sunlight dimming, in silence.

JENNIFER

“Jesus Christ.”

They are quiet for a long moment.

ANDREW

“She had cancer. His great grandmother. The day the heist took place she was away getting her treatment. Aiden did a bad thing, but he wasn’t careless about it. He cared a lot. No one ever looked at him like that. You know?”

Silence.

JENNIFER

“You want me to take this?”

ANDREW

“Yes.”

JENNIFER

“All right.”

JENNIFER pulls out a tape recorder.

JENNIFER

“This is on record. State your name, the date, and only the things you learned about the case that serve as addendum to the original. Ready?”

ANDREW nods and JENNIFER starts recording.

ANDREW

“My name is Andrew Harris. The date today is June 11th 2015 and I am here with my regulator Jennifer Babbit presenting new information concerning the case Borough v. the state of Arizona.”

End. (Cut to Credits)

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