Thursday, May 25, 2006

Here's the Beginning of this Other Screenplay

HI. A friend of mine is trying to put together his own reel of stuff he can shoot and asked me if I'd write him a screenplay that incorporated some very basic ideas he had. It was supposed to be under ten pages but instead I wrote this goddamned forty-four page biopic.

It's all done now but I don't want to post the whole thing so here's just the beginning. This may not be how it inevitably ends up depending on what my friend thinks, but this is the how it is at present.

Action lines are in italics!!!

There's a lot of pubescent swearing, because that's pretty much all they do.

Also, I actually did have a teacher named Miss Stickle (and I believe it was "Miss" not "Ms.").


INT. BIOLOGY CLASS - DAY

A classroom full of kids. The teacher, MS. STICKLE, 40s, overweight, stands in front of the class, teaching.

JACKY, male, 13 years old, small but cute in a boyish sort of way, is sitting at his desk with his head on his hand. He looks half-asleep.


MS. STICKLE
All living things are organized into six classes:

Ms. Stickle writes on the board with chalk.

MS. STICKLE (CONT'D)
Kingdom, phylum, class, order, family, genus, species...

EXT. SCHOOL - DAY

A school. There’s a lawn in front and a small ALLEYWAY to the left side of the building. A sign above the school entrance reads “GLENVALE MIDDLE SCHOOL.”

The bell RINGS. The front door opens and KIDS flood out of it. Jacky exits with his backpack slung over one shoulder. He walks off down the block.


EXT. JACKY’S HOUSE - NIGHT

A modest, two-level house in a middle-class suburb, with houses not unlike it to either side.

Ms. Preston’s CAR pulls into the driveway.


INT. JACKY’S HOUSE - LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

A small, carpeted room with a couch, a coffee table, and a TV. On the floor in front of the TV sits a Playstation. Behind the couch is a staircase and, just beyond that, a small dining room with another entrance to its right, which leads to the kitchen and the back door.

Jacky sits on the floor between the coffee table and the Playstation, watching Britney Spears’ “Toxic” VIDEO. He is borderline entranced. The remote control rests loosely in his hand.

The back door SHUTS softly. Jacky does not react.


MS. PRESTON (O.S.)
Hello!

Jacky snaps out of his stupor and fumbles with the remote, switching to a paused VIDEO GAME.

Jacky grabs the Playstation controller and unpauses the game.
MS. PRESTON, 30s, wearing business attire and carrying a purse, enters from the dining room and spots Jacky.


MS. PRESTON (CONT'D)
Oh, there you are.

Jacky continues playing his game.

Ms. Preston puts her purse down on the dining room table and enters the living room.


MS. PRESTON (CONT'D)
Jacky, honey, did you do your homework?

JACKY
I’ll do it.

Ms. Preston SIGHS and starts taking off her coat.

MS. PRESTON
Jacky...

Jacky turns around.

JACKY
Don’t call me that! I asked you not to call me that!

MS. PRESTON
But I’ve always--

JACKY
I’m not a little kid! Everybody calls me Jack now. Jacky’s a girl’s name.

MS. PRESTON
It’s not a girl’s name.

JACKY
It is a girl’s name. There’s a girl in my math class named Jackie.

MS. PRESTON
All right, all right, I’m sorry.

Jacky turns back to his game.

Ms. Preston heads towards the stairs, puts her hand on the handrail, then stops at looks at Jacky.


MS. PRESTON (CONT'D)
Just ten more minutes and then homework time, okay?
(beat)
Jacky.

JACKY
Fine, whatever.

Ms. Preston ascends the staircase.

EXT. SCHOOL - MORNING

The front lawn of the school is swarming with CHATTERING KIDS.

MR. SANDERSON, a man in a suit, stands on the school steps, keeping an eye on all the kids.

Jacky, TODD (13, short), and LLOYD (13, short, with a little pudge) stand off to the left. Todd is looking around interestedly off to one side.


TODD
You know Julia Lombardi? She’s over there.

Lloyd looks, searching. Jacky also looks, less obviously.

LLOYD
Oh yeah, with the brown hair?

TODD
Right.

LLOYD
Yeah, she’s fuckin’ hot.

TODD
I sit behind her in Algebra!

LLOYD
You always get classes with hot girls in ‘em.

Todd grins.

TODD
Every time she drops her pencil and goes to pick it up I can see her underwear.

LLOYD
Awesome. I bet you bump into her desk all the time.

TODD
Oh come now, those desks are naturally unstable.

Todd and Lloyd LAUGH.

JACKY
She’s stupid.

TODD
What?

JACKY
Julia Lombardi is really dumb. Last year in English she kept saying “Holden Cowfield.”

LLOYD
So?

JACKY
Cow-field.

TODD
Maybe she was trying to be funny.

JACKY
No, Miss Reynolds corrected her like a hundred times.

TODD
Maybe her sense of humor is just so far beyond yours and Miss Reynolds...

Lloyd looks up and stares across the street.

JACKY
Right, right, sure.

TODD
Anyway, who cares? Point is, she’s hot.

LLOYD
Jack just likes his women a little more mature. Kinda like that, right Jack?

Lloyd nods in the direction he’s been staring. Todd and Jack look.

On the opposite side of the street JAMIE, CHLOE, and SARAH are walking, TALKING, and LAUGHING. They are all about the same age, 17, and are taller than the three boys.

They are all attractive girls but Jamie is clearly the most beautiful one, and yet the least refined in appearance, with medium-length, somewhat wild, auburn-colored hair, blue eyes, and wearing jeans with a tear in one knee. The other girls look done up but Jamie’s beauty is seemingly effortless.

Jamie and Chloe smoke cigarettes.


TODD
Jesus...

LLOYD
And in a year we’ll be going to school with them.

JACKY
I know her.

TODD
What? Which one? No you don’t.

LLOYD
Yeah, I’ve never seen you talk to a girl in our grade.

JACKY
She was my sister’s friend. She used to come over to my house all the time.

TODD
Wait, which one?!

JACKY
With the shorter hair. Her name’s Jamie Sawyer.

LLOYD
Seriously?! Dude, she’s fucking incredible!

JACKY
She used to call me cute all the time and mess with my hair and stuff.

TODD
God! I wish I was you.

LLOYD
Hell yeah, you had her and your sister around?

TODD
And your mom...

JACKY
Shut up.

Todd and Lloyd SNICKER.

TODD
Look at how they all smoke.

LLOYD
Yeah...

JACKY
I bet it’s cool.

The bell RINGS.

The boys and the rest of the students turn to go inside.


EXT. JACKY’S HOUSE - NIGHT

Establishing shot of Jacky’s house. Ms. Preston’s car is in the driveway.

INT. JACKY’S HOUSE - DINING ROOM - NIGHT

A modest dining room consisting of little more than a table with two chairs on each side, a hanging lamp, and a clock on one wall. The kitchen can be seen through a doorway to one side of the table. Windows are on the opposite side.

Jacky sits in a chair on the window side picking at a plate of spaghetti.

Ms. Preston sits opposite of Jacky with her own plate of spaghetti, eating.


MS. PRESTON
Ms. Stickle called today. She says you’re failing biology.

Jacky looks down, lazily stirring his spaghetti.

JACKY
Sorry.

MS. PRESTON
I don’t need an apology, Jacky, I need you to do better.

JACKY
Okay, I will.

MS. PRESTON
Well I’m sorry, honey, that’s just not good enough. She says you’re getting bad test grades, you hardly ever do the homework-

JACKY
I’ll start doing the homework.

MS. PRESTON
No, sweetie, that’s not...I can’t trust you when you tell me these things anymore. I’m getting you...I got you a tutor.
Jacky puts down his fork.

JACKY
What?!

MS. PRESTON
Just till you do better. You’re supposed to be graduating this year, you don’t want to stay in junior high, do you?

JACKY
I don’t need a tutor!

MS. PRESTON
Well, I think you do.

JACKY
No! I don’t want a tutor.

MS. PRESTON
I don’t wanna argue about it, Jacky, you need the help and I’ve been working later anyway, it’ll be good for someone to be here with you.

JACKY
What, so you think I need a baby-sitter now?!

MS. PRESTON
No, but you obviously need someone around to make sure you do your homework.
(in a more subdued voice)
I don’t know, your sister never had this problem.

JACKY
Well, maybe me and Melissa are two different people, mom!

MS. PRESTON
Melissa and I...

JACKY
God, whatever. Anyway, I don’t need some old lady telling me to-

MS. PRESTON
It’s not gonna be an old lady, you know her.

JACKY
What? I do?

MS. PRESTON
Yes, remember Jamie Sawyer? Your sister’s friend?

JACKY
I...yeah.

MS. PRESTON
You know Mrs. Friedrich’s son, Steve? Jamie tutored him with Algebra, Mrs. Friedrich said it really helped him out.

JACKY
Oh.

MS. PRESTON
You always got along with her all right, didn’t you?

JACKY
Yeah.

MS. PRESTON
I knew you wouldn’t like it, but I just want you to do well, okay?

JACKY
Okay.

MS. PRESTON
You’re not gonna fight me about this then?

JACKY
No.

Ms. Preston looks into Jacky’s eyes, as though trying to discern whether he’s being sincere.

MS. PRESTON
Okay.

She picks up her fork and twirls some spaghetti.

MS. PRESTON (CONT'D)
It won’t be that bad.

Jacky sits still, thinking.

Dun dun DUNNNNNNN!!! Okay, that's all.

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