I usually try to make this just a blog about my life or my thoughts, or my thoughts about my life, but I've been writing more in other formats lately and would like to begin posting it. I wrote a script for a silent short today and that is today's posting. Sure it needs work, and it's never a great idea to show a first draft of something, but what the hell? I can always edit it. It's all about VOLUME!!!
A Silent Short by Connor Gaudet
May 11, 2009
ROGER, a young man, mid-20’s, scruffy, unshaven, unkempt, sits on his sofa, staring blankly into space.
CU of a hand knocking on a door.
Roger gets up from the sofa and opens his front door. A hand holding a piece of paper is thrust into his face. LANDLORD, a chubby balding man with a large mustache is shouting at Roger, holding the paper.
CU on paper. Text reads: Rent $850, 2 weeks past due!!!
Roger takes the paper and closes the door.
CU Roger opening his wallet. It is empty.
CU Roger looking at the balance section of his checkbook.
TEXT: Balance = -$37.50
Roger’s expression is dejected.
EXT.USED BOOK STORE.DAY.
Roger enters the store.
INT.USED BOOK STORE.DAY.
Roger approaches the financial section. He runs his finger along some ancient looking titles. He stops on one entitled simply, Making Money.
Shot from other side of books. Roger blows dust off the book, into the camera. He removes the book from the shelf and approaches the register. He speaks to the CASHIER behind the counter.
INTERTITLE: Hey, how much does this—whoa! What is that behind you?
The cashier whips his head around and looks at the wall, shelves, books, etc. behind him.
INTERTITLE: What! Where? What are you talking about? I don’t see anything.
Same shot as before except Roger is no longer there.
Roger opens his purloined book to page one. It reveals a subtitle he had not seen.
TEXT ON PAGE: Making Money: The History of the US Mint. Published 1855
He slams his fist on the table. The pages of the book turn and a crisp but very old looking dollar bill falls out. It is a $3 bill and has a picture of Franklin Pierce on it, winking and pointing out from his portrait.
Roger puts the dollar bill into his wallet. Suddenly Roger looks a bit uncomfortable. He looks down rubs his stomach.
Roger opens his cupboard. It is empty. He opens his fridge. There is a cat licking up spilled milk on the top shelf and a turned over jar of mayo on the bottom.
He closes the fridge, takes his wallet out of his pocket and looks at the $3 bill.
CU on bill in wallet.
Roger gets a “why the hell not?” expression on his face.
Roger enters the store. A handwritten sign in the window advertises a combo deal.
SIGN: Sandwich, soda, and chips- $3!
Roger steps up to the deli counter and points to the Combo sign, which is also inside.
CUT TO: Roger with soda, chips, and sandwich at cashier. $3 is rung into the register.
Roger produces the bill and hands it to the cashier. The cashier looks at it skeptically, turns it over in his hands and speaks.
INTERTITLE: Sorry mack! We only take real money here!
The cashier takes back the sandwich, chips, and soda, and throws them into the garbage. He gives Roger his $3 bill back. Roger is dejected and turns to leave.
There is a man in line behind Roger. WILFRED HERBANGER, is dressed in a nice suit and looks quite fancy. He notices the bill in Roger’s hand and taps him on the shoulder.
Wilfred produces a business card and hands it to Roger.
CU on Card:
Coins, Stamps, Antiquities
He puts his arm around Roger and leads him out of the bodega.
Roger sits across from Wilfred, holding the $3 bill. Wilfred looks at his computer screen, which is hidden from Roger’s sight. There is a sandwich on the desk. Roger looks at it hungrily.
CU computer Screen: A picture of the $3 bill is accompanied by TEXT:
1855- FAILED FRANKLIN PIERCE $3 BILL. MINTED ONE WEEK THEN DESTROYED BY FIRE. ONE KNOWN IN EXISTENCE. SMITHSONIAN INSTITUTE.
Wilfred’s eyes are wide with greed.
INTERTITLE: Will you give me $850 for it?
Wilfred is wide-eyed staring at Roger and mouths the words “eight hundred and fifty dollars?”
Roger speaks again.
INTERTITLE: Yeah, and that sandwich!
They both stand smiling and shake hands, heartily.
Roger sits at his table eating the sandwich, smiling madly, with a napkin tucked into his shirt like a bib. He rocks up and down happily.
Landlord stands by his front door, smiling, clutching a cigar stub in his mouth, counting out hundred dollar bills. There appear to be eight of them and a fifty.
Wilfred is in a large claw-foot tub, taking a bubble bath. He’s wearing a top hat. He pops open a bottle of champagne, laughing.
INT.USED BOOK STORE.DAY.
The cashier is asleep in his chair, feet up on shelf, mouth open snoring.
Roger approaches the newsstand and purchases a newspaper. He looks at the front page.
CITY NEWS- Late Edition.
HEADLINE: RARE $3 BILL SOLD AT AUCTION FOR 2.8 MILLION.
BYLINE: I Just Got It From Some Dumb Kid!
There is a picture of the $3 bill and one of Wilfred smiling.
Roger’s eyes go wide with horror. His mouth opens like he is screaming.
Roger’s legs are in the foreground of the shot, dangling in the air. He has hanged himself.