far too much writing, far too many photos

runswithscissors


From BURBANK SHRUGGED, a screenplay

© 1993, 2009 by Two Jerks From Cambridge
[Continued from Part 1]



CUT TO:

EXT. STREET ON STUDIO LOT -- LATE MORNING

The studo head, DIZ GUBOLA (40, with a full head of dark hair, tall, in good condition, wearing an Armani suit with the coat off and his shirt sleeves rolled up), is walking with SHIRLEY, giving her a tour of the lot.

SHIRLEY:
This is very kind of you.

DIZ:
Oh, it's a pleasure. It gives me an excuse to spend more than a few minutes with you.

SHIRLEY:
Why, Diz.

SHIRLEY looks around.

SHIRLEY (cont'd):
There don't seem to be many people around.

DIZ:
Things have slowed up a bit here, and we've just had some staffing cutbacks. So it's a little quieter than normal.

SHIRLEY:
Lean times?

DIZ:
Well, leaner than I'd like. But we still have three or four films shooting right now and a couple of television shows. Anything in particular you'd like to see?

SHIRLEY:
Surprise me.

DIZ:
All right, I will.

SHIRLEY:
By the way, thank you for letting us have that billboard out on the avenue. It's perfect.

DIZ:
Things are going well for the Way, aren't they?

SHIRLEY:
Yes. It's a good time to think about moving on.

DIZ (startled):
Moving on?

SHIRLEY:
Mm-hm. I've been thinking about it.

DIZ:
Well, I hope I'll be able to help a little, whatever you do. Why don't we head down this way.


CUT TO:

INT. SOUNDSTAGE -- LATE MORNING

JULIE and TOM approach the set. TOM is still trying to shake the paper off his hand.

JULIE:
Here, let me see that.

JULIE peels the paper off TOM's right hand. He carefully takes it with his left hand. It is now stuck to his left hand. CARD appears.

CARD:
Julie, where the hell have you been? Get out there. It's Scene 34.

JULIE:
Oh dear.

JULIE touches TOM's arm.

JULIE (cont'd):
See you.

JULIE runs out onto the set where ENRICO embraces her. CARD stared at TOM for a second, then follows JULIE.

TOM hesitantly moves to the edge of the set by some mutants and undead who are talking among themselves. They are truly horrifying, their bodies mangled, covered with blood and various secretions.

MUTANT 1:
How can you compare "The Sea Gull" with "Barton Fink"? The symbolism is entirely different.

MUTANT 2:
But they're both redolent of melancholia, frustration and repressed sexuality.

TOM:
Excuse me.

The MUTANTS look at TOM, their mouths hanging open, drolling and dripping gore.

TOM (cont'd):
Is there room for another body somewhere around here?

MUTANT 2:
I don't know.

MUTANT 2 looks at MUTANT 1:

MUTANT 2 (cont'd):
What do you think?

MUTANT 1:
Better check with continuity.

MUTANT 1 points past TOM.

MUTANT 1 (cont'd):
Over there.

TOM:
Okay, thanks.

MUTANT 1:
Sure thing.

The MUTANTS resume their discussion.

MUTANT 1:
Well, of course the symbolism concerns some of the same emotional textures, but the context is entirely different.

TOM moves away from the MUTANTS and stands looking around, with no idea what to do.

ENRICO passes, in passionate, broken-English discussion with PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS and TECHNICIANS. They stop a couple of steps from TOM.

ENRICO:
The blood, it tell de story. It central to meaning of film. It vital, it de essence. So it must have vital and gush. Am I making myself unnderstand? It must leap offa screen and ina you lap. It must grab viewers by shirt and say to them, "Dis is Life! Dis is Death! Dis is Great Box Office!"

PROD. ASST. 1:
Of course, Enrivo.

PROD. ASST. 2:
Absolutely.

PROD. ASST. 3:
Exactly right.

ENRICO:
What was film we did in Malta? Ehhhh, "Testicle" something.

TOM:
Tentacle.

ENRICO:
Tentacle?

PROD. ASST. 3:
"Tentacle of Death."

TOM:
"Tentacle of Fury."

A couple of the PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS glare at TOM.

PROD. ASST. 2:
Shhh!

ENRICO:
"Tentacle of Fury"! Dat brilliant blood. But dis here, we want blood dat speak more like, blood morelike, ehhh....

TOM:
"Crucified Carpenters On Crack"!

PROD. ASST. 2:
Please! Be quiet!

ENRICO:
Yes, de crucified carpenters! And dis blood must have sheen, ehh, de shine of blood in chainsaw picture....

TOM:
"Chainsaw Lust Apostles"!

ENRICO:
Yes! De lust apostles!

ENRICO pushes through the PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS to see TOM as the PRODUCTION ASSISTANTS glare at TOM.

ENRICO (cont'd):
Who dis young man who know my films?
PROD. ASST. 1:
He must be an extra.

ENRICO:
An extra? An' you know my work?

TOM:
Oh yes, sir. I've seen all your films.

ENRICO:
You see dis? He young and fresh. He bring new blood to de work.

ENRICO studies TOM in his costume.

ENRICO (cont'd): But dis, he need something more dan dis, dis hanging out of organs here. He need a fountain of red dat say, "Look at me!"

Without thought, ENRICO dips his hand into the tomato sauce his COOK is making, takes a handful and smears it on TOM's chest.

TOM:
Ow!

ENRICO pulls TOM's cheeks and pats them, leaving tomato sauce on TOM's face.

ENRICO:
Yes, dere is pain in art.

ENRICO takes another handful and smears it on TOM'S FACE. Intently, he works it around, mixing it. He takes more and works it around on TOM's shirt.

ENRICO (cont'd):
You see? Dis young blood, it bring de new blood. De blood of birth, de blood of creation.

ENRICO is becoming ferociously inspired. He takes a cutlet and smears it on TOM. As he works, he almost mauls TOM, pulling at him in ways that distort his features, making ridiculous faces.

TOM has no idea what to do but remain passive.

ENRICO (cont'd):
Yes! Dis symbolic! Dis emotion! Dis de new blood! Dis de future of my work!

ENRICO grabs a can from the cart.

ENRICO (cont'd):
What dis is? Ah! Get me two thousand cases of Sicilian tomato puree with basil and oregano, an' just a hint of garlic.

PROD. ASST. 1:
Right away, Enrico!

PROD. ASSTS. 1 AND 2 rush off to do ENRICO's bidding, 2 yelling:

PROD. ASST. 2:
Cancel the blood order!

ENRICO:
You, my boy, you help me. Who are you?

TOM:
Tom Vincent.

ENRICO:
And where you from?

TOM: Manhattan.

The COOK puts a bib on ENRICO. ENRICO picks up a for, speaking to the remaining PROD. ASSTS.

ENRICO:
Ah, you see? From Manhattan!

ENRICO spears part of a cutlet with his fork and smears it with some of the sauce on TOM's shirt, speaking to TOM.

ENRICO (cont'd):
So you unnerstan' about slaughter. Dat what picture need: more people from Manhattan.

He eats the cutlet.

ENRICO (cont'd):
Magnifico. Bellissimo.

Between the cutlet and the inspiration of the blood, ENRICO is swept with emotion. He spears more cutlet and goes at TOM's shirt with it, smearing it with sauce, eating it, and finally sucking sauce off the shirt itself in an unnerving display of artistic passion.

As ENRICO talks, some of what he says is addressed to PROD. ASSTS. 3 AND 4, who are also swept up in the ferbor.

ENRICO (cont'd):
De blood of de new...

PROD. ASSTS. 3 AND 4:
Yes, Mr. Zefferberg!

ENRICO:
...de blood of de young...

PROD. ASSTS. 3 AND 4:
Oh yes, yes! The young, the blood!

ENRICO:
...de blood of art! It our future!

ENRICO and the PROD. ASSTS. are savagely sucking and slurping at TOM's shirt.

ENRICO:
We must join with de blood!

PROD. ASSTS. 3 AND 4:
We must eat the blood!

INT. CLOSE-UP OF TOM'S FACE

TOM is paralyzed with confusion. He has never been in a situation remotely resembling this one.

INT. SOUNDSTAGE -- LATE MORNING

CARD appears and pulls ENRICO up by the hair. PROD. ASSTS 3 AND 4 look up at them, tomato sauce dripping from their faces. PROD. ASSTS. 1 AND 2 arrive behind CARD and stand speechless.

ENRICO:
Dis de new blood.

CARD:
Shall I order more?

ENRICO:
Yes, please.

CARD:
Okay. (Brief pause.) Don't you guys believe in napkins?

DIZ and SHIRLEY appear, watching the scene. PROD. ASSTS 1 AND 2 speak in unison.

PROD. ASSTS. 1 AND 2:
Hello, Mr. Gubola.

Horror around the set. DIZ holds a hand up.

DIZ:
Please. I see we're interrupting a rehearsal. I was just showing Shirley here around the studio and I thought I'd give her a quick look at our most colorful project. Shirley, this is Enrico, one of our most successful artists.

SHIRLEY:
Enrico Zefferberg?

ENRICO bows slightly.

ENRICO:
Si.

SHIRLEY steps forward to shake hands. She speaks in subtitled Italian.

SHIRLEY:
I've heard a gerat deal about you.

ENRICO is delighted and responds in subtitled Italian.

ENRICO:
I am enchanted. How refreshing it is, how wonderful, to have the opportunity to meet you.

SHIRLEY:
You are kind.

DIZ gently herds SHIRLEY away.

DIZ:
Well, we'll let you get on with what you're doing. Keep up the good work, everyone.

They exit as motion picks up around the set. As they walk away, SHIRLEY puts one of her fingers in her mouth.

SHIRLEY:
Mmm. Just a hint of garlic.

There is noise and voices yelling from above ENRICO, off-camera.

TECHNICIAN 1 (off-camera):
Look out!

TECHNICIAN 2 (off-camera):
Watch it!

TOM looks up and pushes ENRICO and CARD out of the way as the end of a lighting bar comes crashing down where they had been, knocking PROD. ASST. 3 unconscious.

The POLICE OFFICER, INSURANCE ADJUSTOR and NURSE immediately appear around PROD. ASST. 3. The NURSE examines him as the INSURANCE ADJUSTOR fills out forms. All three fire questions at PROD. ASST. 3.

At the same time, ENRICO gushes at TOM. [The overlapping conversations are denoted as #1 and #2.]

POLICE OFFICER: (#1)
Are you all right, sir?

ENRICO: (#2)
You save me!

ADJUSTOR: (#1)
What's your name, sir?

CARD: (#2)
What the hell is going on here?

THE ADJUSTOR addresses PROD. ASST. 3 more loudly.

ADJUSTOR: (#1)
Sir, what's your name?

ENRICO: (#2)
You save us!

The NURSE opens of PROD. ASST. 3's eyes and shines a penlight into it. ENRICO hugs TOM, then kisses him on both cheeks.

OFFICER: (#1)
Sir, can you hear us?

CARD: (#2)
Jesus, Enrico, it was just a lighting bar.

PROD. ASST. 3 mumbles.

NURSE: (#1)
Sir, does this hurt?

ENRICO: (#2)
Dis young man save us! He save film and he save our lives! Give him someting to do.

The NURSE repeatedly slaps PROD. ASST. 3.

NURSE: (#1)
Sir?

CARD: (#2)
He has something to do -- he's an extra.

The NURSE slaps PROD. ASST. 3 harder.

OFFICER: (#1)
Want me to try?

ENRICO: (#2)
Someting important. Not just stan' aroun'.

ADJUSTOR: (#1)
This could be trouble.

CARD: (#2)
You want him to do something important? Fine.

A light falls and flattens the INSURANCE ADJUSTOR.

The POLICE OFFICER and NURSE drop PROD. ASST. 3 and go to the INSURANCE ADJUSTOR.

NURSE: (#1)
Sir! Are you all right?

The POLICE OFFICER takes the INSURANCE ADJUSTOR's pad and begins filling out a form as the NURSE slaps the ADJUSTOR.

NURSE (cont'd): (#1)
Can you hear me, sir?

POLICE OFFICER: (#1)
How does he spell his name?

CARD leaves, dragging TOM along. TOM tries to look back at the accident scene as they leave.

TOM:
Do a lot of people get hurt making films?

CARD snorts.

CARD:
They do when Enrico's on the job. And speaking of Enrico, you may not know it but you are one lucky runt. There are people who would sleep with pigs for an opportunity like that.

TOM:
Like what?

CARD:
To make the kind of impression you just made with Enrico.

CARD stops and grabs TOM by the shirt.

CARD (cont'd):
And by the way, don't you ever push me like that again.

TOM:
I'm sorry, I just....

CARD grabs TOM's left arm and looks at his hand.

CARD:
What the hell is this?

TOM:
Oh, that's an insurance form....

CARD rips it off TOM's hand, crumples it up and tosses it away. He drags TOM into his little office, sits him down and tosses him a towel.

TOM begins to wipe the sauce off his face and hands as CARD grabs a clean t-shirt and drops it on the table in front of TOM.

CARD:
Put that on. What's your name?

TOM:
Tom.

CARD:
So what am I going to do with you, Tom?

TOM:
What do you mean?

CARD:
You don't work here, right? I don't recall seeing your face before today.

TOM:
Um....

CARD:
What happened? Did you sneak in when the light was off?

TOM:
Uh-huh. You want me to go?

CARD:
Well, I don't know. I'm supposed to take care of you now. Enrico wants you to do something important. Where are you from?

TOM:
Manhattan.

CARD:
Yeah? Ever been in a studio before?

TOM:
No.

CARD:
Well, Tom, maybe we can work something out here. In fact, I think I may have just the job for a sharp kid like you. You ever done any telemarketing?

TOM:
You're a finalist! That's right, Mr. Johnson, you are among the select group of finalists eligible for this beautiful luxury automobile! And that's not all!

CARD grabs a Death Tour brochure and shoves it at TOM.

CARD:
Fine, perfect. So read this brochure and all you have to do is take credit card orders. You think you can do that?

TOM:
Sure.

The phone rings, CARD grabs it and hands it to TOM, instructing him in a soft voice.

CARD:
Just keep this quiet, okay? This isn't what you would call Official Studio Business.

TOM (hesitant):
Okay.

TOM hesitates, CARD silently says, "LET'S GO, LET'S GO!" TOM answers, reading the tour name from the brochure.

TOM (cont'd):
Hollywood Death Tour, may I...? Oh, um, just a moment, please.

TOM addresses CARD.

TOM (cont'd):
It's a Lisa, for you.

CARD responds with wild gestures.

CARD (loud whisper):
I'm not here! Take a message!

TOM:
Um, I'm sorry, Mr. DuBois is not here right now. Would you like to....

CARD activates the phone speaker as LISA cuts TOM off so that she is heard out loud in the room.

LISA:
Where is he?

TOM: He's, um....

CARD mouths the words "OUT OF TOWN. DOING A TOUR. WORKING."

TOM (cont'd):
He's working. Out of town.

LISA:
He's what? He isn't out of town. He's there, isn't he? You listen to me, you little shit! You tell that career-collapse-waiting-to-happen that I've had it! It's over, he's used me for the last time! You tell his sorry ass that I am a doctor! I have a career and I have a life and I don't need him! And what's your name?

TOM:
Tom?

LISA:
Well, Tom, you better hope you never have any reason to set foot in this emergency room because if you do I will SPILL YOUR BLOOD!

LISA hangs up loudly. TOM looks at the phone, CARD takes it from him and slams it down.

TOM:
Wow.

CARD glowers intensely at TOM.


CUT TO:

EXT. SOUNDSTAGE DOOR -- LATE MORNING

TOM is shoved outside and the soundstage door shuts behind him.


CUT TO:

INT. SOUNDSTAGE, CARD'S "OFFICE" -- LATE MORNING

CARD is on the phone.

CARD (into the phone):
Yeah, with maybe just a hint of garlic. Uh-huh.

ENRICO sweeps into the room with a great smile on his face. He stops and looks around.

CARD (into the phone):
Two thousand cases to start with.

ENRICO:
Where he is?

ENRICO starts looking under coats and behind boxes. CARD covers the phone mouthpiece with this hand.

CARD:
What?

ENRICO:
Where my young man?

CARD:
He's gone.

ENRICO:
Gone?

CARD:
Yeah. He had to leave.

ENRICO:
You let him leave? What happen to job for him?

CARD:
Hey, he said he had to go, okay? What was I supposed to do?

ENRICO:
I want him. He bring good luck.

CARD:
What's so special about him? So he was in the right place at the right time. He's an extra, Enrico. There's 200 others just like him out there.

ENRICO:
Where he live?

CARD:
I don't know.

ENRICO:
You know phone number?

CARD:
No. I never saw the kid before. He showed up out of the blue and then he left.

ENRICO (stricken):
What I do now?

He looks around, on the verge of some great emotion.

CARD (quickly):
I'll look for hyim, I'll look for him, okay?

ENRICO starts to hug and kiss CARD.

ENRICO:
Oh, my friend.

CARD stops ENRICO from kissing him.

CARD:
Please, Enrico, no kissing.

ENRICO takes CARD's cheek between a thumb and forefinger.

ENRICO:
Ah, mio caro. You find him. Soon, eh? Soon.

ENRICO sweeps out of the room. CARD watches, unhappy.


CUT TO:

EXT. SPERMINATOR SOUNDSTAGE -- LATE MORNING

CARD exits from the soundstage and goes to a golf cart. He is about to get into it when he sees an attractive woman down the street walking away, her back to him.

CARD:
Hey, Heather! Heather!

HEATHER turns slightly as she walks, sees it's CARD calling her, and begins sprinting away from him. CARD watches for a second, then gets into the golf cart.

CARD (cont'd):
Bitch.

CARD turns the golf cart and takes off in the opposite direction.


CUT TO:

EXT. STREET ON STUDIO LOT -- LATE MORNING

TOM is speaking with DIZ GUBOLA and SHIRLEY.

TOM:
So the film not only cost next to nothing to make, no one was expecting it to perform in any real way and it went on to become the number four box office champ of 1970 and saved the director's career.

DIZ:
Is that true about the explosion?

TOM:
Uh-huh. I heard the ceiling in the commissary is still cracked.

DIZ:
How did you find out about this?

TOM:
Psychotronic Magazine.

SHIRLEY:
Psychotronic?

DIZ:
The B-Movie bible.

EXT. GOLF CARD ON STUDIO STREET -- MORNING

CARD sees TOM standing by a corner and goes toward him at high speed. DIZ and SHIRLEY are around the corner and not visible to CARD.

CARD:
Hey! Hey, you!

He is very near when he sees DIZ and SHIRLEY. He hits the brakes, screeching to a halt.

CARD (cont'd):
Hello, Mr. Gubola. Hello, ma'am. Sorry to interrupt. Would you mind if I borrowed him? It's very important.

DIZ:
Oh, not at all. Don't let us keep you from anything.

CARD:
Thanks.

CARD starts to grab TOM by the collar. SHIRLEY addresses TOM, CARD wipes an imaginary bug off TOM's shirt.

SHIRLEY:
What was your name?

TOM:
Tom.

SHIRLEY:
Thank you for talking with us, Tom.

TOM:
Oh, any time.

DIZ addresses CARD.

DIZ:
By the way, you're DuBois, aren't you?

CARD (careful, wary):
Yes, Card DuBois.

DIZ:
I understand you've done some second unit work for Enrico.

CARD:
Yes, sir, I have.

DIZ:
I've got some great news for you.

CARD:
Yeah?

SHIRLEY:
We're putting together a series of PSA's for the Way with Karl Malden. Would you have any interest in perhaps directing a couple of them?

CARD:
Hey, sure. Absolutely.

DIZ:
Good. Be here early tomorrow. We'll put you to work. And bring your friend here.

CARD:
Wow, great! You bet, crack of dawn! Thanks, see you then.

DIZ and SHIRLEY walk away talking.

TOM:
Hey, he said I could help y....

CARD (interrupting):
Get in here.

TOM starts to get into the golf cart, CARD yanks him in and takes off before TOM is seated, heading toward the exit.

CARD(cont'd):
That bastard. That snotty, asswipe son of a bitch. Get here early? Who the hell does he think he's ordering around?

CARD turns to TOM.

CARD (cont'd):
And I thought I toldyou to beat it.

TOM:
I was just talking to them.

They stop in front of the studio gate, halting so suddenly that TOM nearly catapults out of the cart.

CARD:
Meet me here tomorrow morning, 8 o'clock.

TOM climbs out of the golf cart.

TOM:
8 o'clock?

CARD:
Be there. On time.

CARD takes off with screeching tires. TOM watches him, then looks around smiling. He sees the SECURITY GUARD (big Chicano male, mid-30's) staring at him, then leaves the studio lot.


CUT TO:

INT. LAX -- INTERNATIONAL ARRIVALS -- LATE MORNING

Two elderly, peasant-stock Sicilians, BENITO and ANGELA, (short, squat, 70, him in a tired-looking black suit with white shirt and necktie, her in a black dress) emerge from a plane into the arrival area. People rush past them greeting loved ones.

BENITO and ANGELA, disoriented and tired, confer in Italian, then slowly make their way out of the arrival area toward the exits. He carries a small, well-worn suitcse, she carries a net bag filled with personal articles and food.

EXT. LAX -- TERMINAL EXIT -- LATE MORNING

BENITO and ANGELA emerge from the terminal into bright sunlight, looking around, blinking. BENITO pulls a worn newspaper clipping from his pocket and approaches a VALET (black male, mid-20's) with it.

BENITO:
You know him?

The article has a one-word headline: "MORTE!" There are two photographs side by side, one of a prostrate body that's been impaled by a very large crescent wrench, the other a close-up of ENRICO's grinning face. Printed under ENRICO's photo is his last name.

VALET:
Which one? This dude?

BENITO grunts.

VALET (cont'd):
No, man. Never seen him before.

BENITO puts the clipping back in his pocket and returns to ANGELA. He speaks in subtitled Italian.

BENITO:
We'll find him.

They look around.

EXT. STREET BY STUDIO GATE -- MORNING

CARD sits in the driver's seat of a beat-uP van in the street by the studio.

CARD:
Hey, Half-Pint! Let's go!

TOM crosses the street to the van, almost getting hit by a car.

TOM:
Hi.

CARD:
Let's go, get in.

INT. VAN -- MORNING

TOM gets in the van and closes the door.

CARD:
Where you been? I've been waiting.

TOM looks at his Rolex as CARD pulls into traffic.

TOM:
It's 8 o'clock. I'm on time.

CARD:
Always come early. Don't forget that. Someone tells you 8, you come at 7:45.

TOM:
Okay.

TOM puts on his seat belt.

TOM (cont'd):
I still can't believe I'm in Hollywood.

CARD:
You're not.

TOM:
Why not?

CARD:
This is Burbank, Einstein. Tourists go to Hollywood. Films get made in Burbank.

TOM looks around into the rear of the van.

TOM:
What's all this?

CARD:
This is why Diz wanted me to get here early, a lot of used shit the studio is donating to the Way.

TOM:
Oh. That's pretty nice.

CARD:
Hey, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm -- it's business. Things are tight, the studio can get a tax write-off.

TOM:
Oh.

TOM is looking in the back of the van as CARD nearly hits someone, then yells out the window at them.

CARD:
Schmuck!


CUT TO:

EXT. THE WAY HEADQUARTERS -- MORNING

The large building we saw earlier on the newscast about Shirley, palm trees waving, flags flying, people and vehicles going in andout.

INT. VAN -- MORNING

CARD and TOM approach the Way in the van, turning in the drive and heading for one end of the building where the loading bay is. The loading bay is in a long garage where many vehicles go in, unload or pick up goods, and leave.

As some styrofoam peanuts float by, CARD pulls in front of the garage and yells in to a very muscular man (a dead ringer for ARNOLD but dressed in work clothes) standing on the loading dock holding a clipboard.

CARD:
Where should I park?

EXT. THE WAY LOADING DOCK -- MORNING

The man, ARNOLD II, points to a spot right near him.

ARNOLD II:
Back it in right over here!

CARD backs the van in badly as TOM looks at all the activity around them. All sorts of goods and materials are being unloaded and picked up by a fantastic variety of vehicles and people.

Two men in pastel-colored summer dresses are unloading sculpture and goldfish from a truck in the space next to CARD's van.

CARD and TOM get out and join ARNOLD on the loading dock. There are two long handcarts on the dock.

CARD:
We've got a bunch of stuff from San Andreas studios.

ARNOLD II:
Hey, that's great. We're all ready for you. Why don't you load it onto those two handcarts.

CARD speaks to TOM.

CARD:
Load it onto those two handcarts.

TOM:
Okay.

ARNOLD II:
Good. Hang on while I make a quick phone call.

ARNOLD II makes a call while CARD looks around at the activity. TOM goes back and forth from the van to the handcart with different items.

ARNOLD II: Hello, Arnold? This is Arnold. The material from the studio is here....

In the background, large cartons of styrofoam peanuts are being emptied into the back of a truck.

Further down the dock, two men are shoveling styrofoam peanuts from a truck down a chute. Smoke issues from the chute, and the men are bare-chested, blackened with soot.

CARD watches the men in the summer dresses, who, apart from the dresses, could be construction workers. When ARNOLD II joins him, CARD gestures subtly toward the men and asks in a low voice:

CARD:
Hey, what's the deal with these guys?

ARNOLD II:
Oh, them? They're letting go of their machismo.

CARD:
What?

ARNOLD II:
Oh yeah. Very deep spiritual work.

CARD:
If you say so. You know, you look familiar. Have I seen you somewhere before?

TOM stops, returning to the truck after carrying a refrigerator to the handcart.

TOM:
Excuse me, Mr. Van Schwarzenwillis? I loved you in "Brazilian Bazooka Beach Party." I thought it was your best work.

ARNOLD II:
Thank you.

CARD:
That's right. You did a bunch of action pictures.

TOM goes by with a large sofa. All that can be seen is the sofa bobbing by.

ARNOLD II:
I'm afraid so. I was a different person then in a lot of ways.

CARD:
Arnold, right?

ARNOLD II:
Right.

They shake hands as a very large globe of the Earth goes by, TOM not visible. We see the letters "SAL," the last three letters of a word facing away from us.

CARD:
Card.

ARNOLD II:
Nice to meet you.

CARD:
I saw a couple of your films. You were good.

Two large letters go by, a "U" and an "A", joined together side by side and carried by TOM.

ARNOLD II:
You know, it's funny. The only one I look back on with any fondness is the one your friend mentioned.

CARD:
How come?

ARNOLD II:
It was a satire on the shoot-'em-up thing. It was the only actual comedy I ever did.

A large "20th" which has some searchlights attached to its base goes by, carried by TOM. Drums and a trumpet fanfare are heard briefly as it passes.

CARD:
You dropped out of view pretty suddenly.

ARNOLD II:
Yeah, I got fed up. I was tired of the violence thing, but when we softened the pictures up a little nobody wanted to see them.

CARD:
Yeah, I remember that.

ARNOLD II:
So I said screw it. Then I went to a talk Shirley gave and everything changed direction.

TOM stops by with a large white, live winged horse.

TOM:
Excuse me, what should I do with this?

ARNOLD II:
Oh, look at that. Isn't that beautiful.

ARNOLD, in the same suit as in his earlier scene, enters the loading dock area and joins ARNOLD II, CARD and TOM.

ARNOLD II (cont'd):
Hey, there he is. Fellas, this is Arnold.

CARD:
You're both named Arnold?

ARNOLD:
That's right. And you are...?

ARNOLD shakes hands with CARD and TOM.

CARD:
Card.

TOM:
Tom.

ARNOLD:
A pleasure. Okay, follow me.

They start to push the handcarts off the dock. TOM addresses ARNOLD II as they leave.

TOM:
We'll be back.

INT. THE NEW HALLWAY -- MORNING

They're moving down a hallway. There are people passing and signs of activity. TOM has the horse tied to the rear of his handcart and it walks behind them.

CARD:
This is a going concern, huh?

ARNOLD:
Oh yeah, getting bigger all the time.

They pass through a busy lobby area. A large television monitor plays "the Wellness Network," the Way's non-sectarian cable network. The logo for the channel appears.

ANNOUNCER:
You're watching the Wellness Network. We're glad you're with us. Let go of your remove control and stay tuned for the Dharma Buns, a program of Buddhist baking.

The program begins as they continue through the lobby. They see large sculpture-like plastic bubbles filled with items. One is filled with wallets, credit cards, watches, jewelry; another with cigarettes, drugs and drug paraphernalia, bottle of booze.

TOM:
What's all this?

ARNOLD:
Well,some people have very powerful experiences here. Sometimes they spontaneously give up self-destructive habits like all this you see here, or they free themselves of some of their most important material things, like this stuff over here.

CARD:
Couldn't anyone reach in and take some of that stuff?

ARNOLD:
Everyone's free to take what they want.

They pass a series of photographic panels. TOM looks at the panels, open-mouthed, as they walk by while CARD and ARNOLD talk. The first panel reads, "The Seven Steps of The Way."

CARD (o.c.):
Oh, come on.

The next panel shows Step One, "Resistance," and shows someone clutching a valuable possession.

ARNOLD (o.c.):
I know how it sounds, but once you let go of the idea that this stuff is valuable, it's not such a big deal.

The next panel -- Step Two, "Liberation" -- shows someone dancing naked in the rain.

CARD (o.c.): Has it ever occurred to you that you guys might be wrong about all this?

The next panel -- Step Three, "Depression" -- shows someone sitting, head in their hands, in an empty apartment, crying.

INT. MEDIUM CLOSE-UP OF TOM -- MORNING

TOM walks, open-mouthed, looking at the panels.

ARNOLD (o.c.):
Well, what's wrong for you might be just right for someone else.

INT. THE WAY HALLWAY -- MORNING

The next panel -- Step Four, "Reacquisition" -- shows someone loading boxes of goods into a car after a shopping spree.

CARD (o.c.):
Oh, don't give me that hippy-dippy, open-minded bullshit. You know what I'm talking about.

The next panel -- Step Five, "Enlightenment" -- shows someone bathed in soft white light, letting go of valuable material things, looking ahead in dawning comprehension.

CARD (cont'd, o.c.):
What if you're misleading a lot of people, convincing them to do something they'd be better off not doing?

TOM (shocked, amazed):
CARD!

CARD (angry):
Hey, shut it, okay? Just butt out and let us talk.

ARNOLD:
Listen, I hear you and I think there's a point in what you're saying.

CARD smirks at TOM, TOM turns back to the panels. The next panel is Step Six, "Serenity," and shows someone working on the Way loading dock.

ARNOLD (o.c.):
The Way is not everyone, and there are people who find out they made a mistake.

The final panel is Step Steven, "Repeat as desired -- all of the above," and shows the whole cycle blended together.

ARNOLD (cont'd, o.c.):
We support them in any way they need during that process, and of course they can take anything they want to get themselves going again from our depots.

TOM:
I've seen those.

CARD turns to TOM.

CARD:
Hey, I just told you to butt....

ARNOLD puts an arm around CARD's shoulders.

ARNOLD:
You know what I think?

CARD:
Um, what?

ARNOLD:
I think you're okay. You're just a little tight.

CARD:
What?

ARNOLD:
Just a little tight, that's all.

ARNOLD applies a little friendly pressure to CARD's neck.

ARNOLD (cont'd):
You need to maybe lighten up a little bit. You don't seem to have much fun.

CARD:
Hey, I have fun, all right?

ARNOLD keeps a friendly arm around CARD's shoulders.

ARNOLD:
That's good.

They come to a freight elevator. ARNOLD lets CARD go in first, then winks at TOM as they enter behind CARD. ARNOLD shuts the door.

INT. FREIGHT ELEVATOR -- MORNING

ARNOLD starts the elevator. As they pass the second floor, through the elevator grate they see several middle-aged men sitting in a circle around a Native American man who burns sage in a small bowl he holds. He uses a feather to brush smoke over one of the men (JEFFREY) saying:

NATIVE AMERICAN:
You are Dangerously Well-Hung.

JEFFREY:
I am Dangerously Well-Hung.

As the elevator continues up, the scene disappears and CARD addresses ARNOLD.

CARD:
What the hell was that?

ARNOLD:
Oh, that was a naming ceremony. Interesting, huh?

At the third floor, an indoor beach can be seen, with people laying on towels near the water. At the fourth floor, ARNOLD stops the elevator and opens the door.

ARNOLD (cont'd):
Here we are, fellas.

INT. TELEVISION STUDIO -- MORNING

ARNOLD, CARD and TOM enter with the hand carts and put the carts and the horse out of the way to one side.

SHIRLEY and KARL MALDEN stand on a set, conferring with TWO MEN IN SUITS. Behind them, on the rear wall of the set, are the words "The Wellness Network."

TOM waves to SHIRLEY, who smiles in recognition and continues to confer with KARL MALDEN and the TWO MEN IN SUITS. ARNOLD speaks with a STUDIO TECHNICIAN. CARD talks to TOM.

CARD:
Great, they want me to direct PSA's for this bunch of nutbags.

ARNOLD returns.

ARNOLD:
Hey, thanks a lot for bringing this stuff, guys. We appreciate it.

CARD:
Oh, you bet. No problem.

SHIRLEY arrives with KARL MALDEN, speaking Italian with the TWO MEN IN SUITS. She kisses them on both cheeks and they leave.

ARNOLD:
Negotiations for the Italian Wellness Network moving along?

SHIRLEY:
I think it's just about a wrap. Karl, these nice people are from San Andreas. This is... Tom?

TOM:
Yes, ma'am.

KARL (shaking hands):
Nice to meet you, Tom.

SHIRLEY:
And this is Card DuBois. He'll be handling a couple of your PSA's.

KARL (shaking hards):
Great. Good to have you on board.

CARD: Hey, the pleasure is mine. Totally mine. It's an honor. Wow, yeah.

SHIRLEY goes to the horse and begins stroking its neck.

SHIRLEY:
Look at you -- you're beautiful. Yes, you are.

The horse steps on CARD's foot.

CARD:
Ow! Ow! Jeez!

SHIRLEY:
You all right?

CARD is hopping about on his other foot, clearly in pain.

CARD:
Uh-huh, fine. No problem.

ARNOLD picks up CARD, cradling him so CARD's legs dangle and his arms are around ARNOLD's neck.

ARNOLD:
Don't worry -- I'll carry you.

TOM:
Wow!


[Continued in Part 3]





MORE FOCUSED BLATHERINGS


Travels:
London '01
Pamplona
Italy '03
U.K. '03
Sevilla
Casablanca
Stoke-on-Trent
Barcelona
Québec/Ottawa
Boston/Lisbon/Madrid
Italy '04
Montréal
La Sierra

Events:
Madrid -- arrival
9/11
Emergency Room I
Holidays 2001
Holidays 2002
Holidays 2003
Holidays 2004
Holidays 2005
A neighbor's passing
Madrid -- March 11 bombings
  and aftermath
Emergency Room II
Israeli friend/Madrid Marathon
Madrid -- Royal Wedding
The DELE exam

GONE, a novel:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4
Chapter 5
Chapter 6
Chapter 7
Chapter 8
Chapter 9
Chapter 10

THE BASTARD CHILDREN OF
JOE ROCCO, a novella:
-- Part 1
-- Part 2
-- Part 3

BURBANK SHRUGGED,
a screenplay:
-- Part 1
-- Part 2
-- Part 3
-- Part 4

Short stories:
Murphy's Wife
Another Autumn
La Queja de Una
  Hermanastra Muy Conocida

Autobiography
-- Personal History
-- Hormones On Parade
-- Accidents, Random Mishaps,
    Personal Problems

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OTHER SOURCES OF WHOLESOME ENTERTAINMENT

People/Weblogs:
dooce
foxvox
fudge it
fear not
rebekka
bookslut
802online
idle words
madhaiku
wockerjabby
grow-a-brain
rebel market
letting me be
out and about
kung fu grippe
fanatical apathy
baghdad burning
wfuv's music blog
kexp's music blog
mimi smartypants
between the miles
just a hippie gypsy
the impossible cool
tomato can brushes
vermont homestead
sugar mountain farm

Good Clean Fun:
gizmodo
futurismic
postsecret
dave barry
human clock
mcsweeney's
spaceweather
book-a-minute
internet archive
self-portrait day
my cat hates you
out of context quotes
surrealist compliment
  generator
strindberg and helium

Makin' Musical Whoopee:
last fm
stereo8
pandora
soma fm

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ABOUT RWS/CONTACT





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