A Choice Future? (A Screenplay)

Characters

Tomas – A freelance lifestyle photographer.

Helena – A single fashionista

Clara – A Skype contact

Street Dweller – Begging to live.

Waitress – Young and carefree

Scene 1

Shot: Blackness.

Focus: out from Blackness to a lively fire inside a pub, introducing Tomas from the legs to reveal him sitting relaxed enjoying a drink and working at a laptop with a camera adjacent to it.  He is at a lonely pub table.  There is a plate and cup on the table.

Tomas: ‘Oka – ay’, he hits the return key with a gesture of relief and finality.

Montage – 10-20secs/brief: Photo’s: (the upload on the laptop, his finished assignment); A woman reading in a park; A man running for leisure; kids washing a car in a nice neighbourhood; a trendy mum in a trendy grocers shop; a girl looking at dresses; a fashionable couple smiling and laughing.

Voice over; to montage: Tomas: ’I don’t know, every client says they are on their way to vogue, I hope my snaps bring you success’.

Focus: the pub with Tomas sitting and a waitress leaving passing him, she is dressed up to go out for the evening.  She flattens her top and flicks her hair self-consciously, Tomas looks up, reaches for the camera, and smiles.

Tomas: ’Hey, hold it there! He clicks the camera, ‘you look like you have bagged a prince for the night’.

Focus: She smiles at him with noticeable joy, before rushing out.  Tomas takes a last sip from his cup and packs his equipment.  He maintains his smile from the flirtation, nods to the bar, and exits. Fade to dark as he leaves through the door.

Scene 2

Focus: Darkness in exiting a pub corridor, with sudden radiance as Tomas/the shot/camera walks into daylight.  There is the sound of a car door closing, keys and high heels on pavement.

Focus: Helena’s feet then legs then full person.  She is smiling actively, fashionably dressed, in pastels and poised.  She is very happy with herself.  She straightens herself and looks directly into the camera/at Tomas.

Helena: ‘Hi, are you going to take my picture?’ She laughs coquettishly, then openly. ‘Okay, let’s pose!’ She raises her ankle behind her to knee height, and flicks her hair back with the opposite hand, then she laugh’s heartily and puts her hand up to the camera.

Shot: Blackness. Sound of a clicking shutter.

Voiceover: Tomas: ‘Yeah, now I have your picture I think, so can I also have a drink?’

Focus back to a contemplating Helena, who is visibly coming to a decision very quickly. ‘I’m not sure…’

Tomas replies fast: ’you can watch me submit it to the style mag I’m on assignment for’ his voice gently rises at the end in soft bidding.

Helena has barely paused before returning, and her face lifts in a smile: ‘Oh, come on then.  My name’s Helena, what’s yours?’ With her final laugh the shot goes dark.

Scene 3

Montage: silent video:

Tomas and Helena at the bar ordering drinks – wide view from behind them.

Tomas and Helena sitting at a table, a cup and a cocktail glass on the table, Tomas gets out his laptop, they are smiling politely, and talking casually.

She asks a question, Tomas is visibly answering; seriously with a gesture to the camera and laptop.

Tomas asks a question, he is being cute.  Helena answers, firstly she laughs and wiggle’s as if she’s dancing then remembering, and taking a more serious demeanour, she retrieves a college prospectus from her bag, and points to it.

Shot: Three rapid shots of Helena in club dresses, dancing or mirror selfies.

Shot: A fashion/design course outline from an existing prospectus.

Montage: Tomas is listening, head cocked as Helena talks at length with the prospectus waving in her hands.  She suddenly pulls out her car keys whilst turning vibrantly happy, Tomas face brightens and she clutches them to her chest like a loved possession.

They are at the bar, Tomas leaning on an elbow, Helena leaning into him. They are relaxed chatting and soft smiling.

They stand opposite each other, outside in sunshine, and adjacent to a sports car.  Helena is clutching the keys.  They peck kisses to both cheeks, before hesitating a peck on the lips.

Helena walks towards the car door, Tomas walks backwards a step as they say final goodbye’s.  Helena says: ‘So if it must be a restaurant its lunch in town at Feng Shui’s – Saturday 2.30 – don’t be late!’ She wags a finger and laughs as the scene fades.

Shot: The pub sign: ‘The Bird’s Nest’.

Darkness – the sound of screeching tyres as a car races off.

Scene 4

Focus: Tomas is aimlessly strolling along a pavement in Chinatown, London.  He sees the restaurant facia ‘Feng Shui’ (Shot: The Feng Shui Restaurant); and heads towards it.

Focus: He passes a beggar sitting on the floor against a wall, and stops to hand him some change.

Street Dweller: ‘Oi, your lucky coin squire, where are you heading to today?’

Tomas: ’I’m just off to book a table for the weekend mate, how are you then?’

Street Dweller: ‘Better, thanks. Woah, there’s the law, I’d best be moving’.

He scurries off.

Focus: Tomas/camera view hones onto a poster that was behind the standing StreetDweller.  It is black print on white:

‘YOUR.ANSWERS.ORG

ART CHALLENGE.

TITLE: CHOICE FUTURES?

FOR DETAILS AND CONTACT INFO’

PLEASE SKYPE

(+44)3141592653

Tomas scribbles on some paper then turns and cut to him walking into the restaurant door.

Scene 5

Focus: Tomas’ room, a decent PC, the camera and laptop on the bed.  Trendy room.  He is reading from a scrap of paper, and typing numbers onto the keyboard.  He stops, without connecting.  He picks up his camera.

Montage: two picture’s repeated from earlier montage, then a blank blacked out one.  Then Helena’s car.

Tomas: ‘Tch, I didn’t catch her, just her stupidly fast car, ahh well, let me call this competition’.

Focus: Tomas turns and reaches to hit the enter key, the PC screen is showing the Skype application, and the noise of the call going through can be heard, it connects quickly and the screen changes to an overly contrasted view of a females head and shoulders with what could be seen to be a veil over her hair. A brief silent pause before the figure speaks.

Clara: ‘Good afternoon I am Clara, and thank you for calling Your Answer’s.  Are you going to take part in the competition?’

Tomas: ‘Yes I would give it a go, I am up for most things that don’t hurt me,’ he laughs an embarrassed laugh, ‘I’m Tomas by the way’.

Clara, with familiarity and softness: ‘Tomas, to enter you must go to the nearest convenience store to you at 12pm tomorrow, precisely. Inside purchase a scratch card of your choice.

Tomas, slightly bemused: ‘Oka-ay, er’.

Clara, continuing with importance: ‘Then leave the shop and for the next thirty minutes you must photograph every example of people trying to solve the problems of their lives.  Once you have selected the best images to enter, call this number again.  Goodbye Tom.’ Her voice softens near to the end of her instructions.

Shot: The image vanishes to leave a blackness.

Scene 6

Shot: A wristwatch at a minute to midday.

Focus: Tomas walking through Chinatown, He is looking around him then suddenly stops.

Shot: A convenience store.

Focus: Tomas walks into the store and purchases a scratch card, turns and raises eyebrows as he uses it to fan himself as he exits.

Focus: Tomas on the pavement, placing the lottery card in his pocket and placing his camera to his eye he turns slowly through 180 degree’s.  The sound of multiple shutters clicking.

Montage: Photo’s: A man offering his lover flowers. Kids being excited near a sweet/toy shop/stall with a happy parent in tow.  A tramp drinking. A crack head. A man getting in/out of a luxury car.

Shot: The wristwatch shows 12.29pm.

Focus: Tomas rushes along a street, and into the restaurant.  He greets Clara who is looking at her watch, with her I phone in her hand.  They kiss and hug, and sit down to read the menu.

Montage: video; ordering food.  Delivering food.  Eating and talking.  Clara picking up her phone to look at it.

Shot: Clara’s facebook page, she is a diva, there are pictures of other diva’s and lifestyle imagery, lots of ‘lols’ and ‘OMG’s’.  A ringing telephone sounds.

Focus: Clara speaking seriously into her phone. Tomas looks forgotten.  She gets up and pecks his cheek, smiles, before slowly walking away.  Tomas gesture’s and calls out something inaudible.  Clara turns back, Tomas takes out a pen and pulls out a card and hand them across the table to her, she writes hurriedly on the card.  Tomas shrugs again, focus on Helena as she gesture’s her arms like a bird flying, and then cups her hands like a bowl before entwining her fingers together, she shouts: ‘Claro?’

Tomas laughs relieved: ‘Claro!’  He picks up the pen and scratch card from the table, leaves a twenty pound note and exits.

Scene 7

Focus: Tomas walking along the street in China town.  He looks concerned and fumbles with the scratch card lost in thought.  He smiles suddenly.

Focus: the Street Dweller is sitting down against a wall, Tomas approaches and they chat inaudibly, the Street Dweller looks sad.  Tomas attempts to cheer him up, he shrugs and shows an empty pocket to him, he glances up suddenly.

Shot: a poster in a Chinese Herbalists: LIFE BRINGS MANY CHOICES A HEALTHY CHI FINDS ANSWER (Yin / Yang symbol)

The Street Dweller asks something, Tomas then remembers visibly, and hands him the scratch card (shot: the front of the scratch card, winning streak etc.).  They laugh and Tomas exits.

Scene 8

Focus Tomas’ room, he at the desk the PC on with a Skype screen showing.  The sound of a Skype call ringing and being answered.

Shot:  Clara flickers in high contrast again.

Clara: ‘I am glad to see you again Tom. I missed you dearly, so kind and caring.  Don’t upload the images yet.  You will be able to send them to your next assignment, they will be well publicised.  The client will call you in a few days I am sure’.

Focus: a very surprised and hesitant Tomas, speechless.

Clara: ‘Well, the answer I truly need to know is; what were the numbers on the scratch card you bought?  Are you a winner, did you choose to scratch it?’

Tomas: ‘Ah, I didn’t realise it was that important I gave it to one of the tramps I photographed. Oh no! Helena’s number!’ Focus on Tomas clapping his brow.

Clara: ‘Healthy choices make the wise, now quickly before I go would you take one last picture with your camera of me, now. Quickly I must go!’

Focus: Tomas takes his camera and clicks, then again after setting the flash.  The sound of the call disconnecting and the screen returns to the Skype application.

He carefully connects the SD card to the PC, a black image appears on screen, he scrolls to the next shot, and sits up straight looking stunned.

Shot: a full colour image of Clara, looking like an older Helena, wearing a mourning veil which covers one side of her scarred face. The sound of skidding wheels before a car crash.

Sadly, I overshot my brief by many minutes:

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Jonoboyle All rights reserved reproduction with specific reference, Copyright 2014

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