1281 Dollar

In Aaron Sorkin’s Screenwriting Masterclass kreeg ik deze opdracht:

Write a scene where one character is asking another for money. The other character won’t give them the money. Determine each character’s intention and obstacle. Why does Character A need money from Character B? Why doesn’t Character B want to give money to Character A? Now come up with three different tactics the characters could use to overcome their obstacle. How do the different types of tactics define who that character is, how they speak, and how they behave?

Dit schreef ik:

EXT. PARK/LARGE GRASS FIELD – DAY

CARL (24) is crossing the field, carrying a large milkshake, sipping from the straw. He’s wearing yellow sneakers, sweatshorts and a blue sweater. Suddenly, out of nowhere, a woman of around 37, dressed like Agent Scully from The X Files, FBI badge and all, is running towards him, waving her hands. She’s yelling louder then needed from that distance.

FBI WOMAN

Hello! You there! Person! Hello!

Carl freezes in the middle of a sip from his milkshake and stares as the FBI woman walks up to him.

FBI WOMAN

Great. Thank you for stopping. Hi! I need your help.

CARL

Ok-- Sure. How can I help?

The FBI woman lets out a sigh of relief.

FBI WOMAN

Haaah. Great! I need 1281 dollars.

CARL

Ok. Ehmm... I’m not sure--

The FBI woman points at the milkshake.

FBI WOMAN

Where did you get that?

Carl looks at the milkshake. It has a huge MacDonalds logo on it.

CARL

Ehh, MacDonalds?--

FBI WOMAN

Great! You have money, yes?

CARL

Yeah, but--

FBI WOMAN

I need 1281 dollars.

CARL

I don’t have that on me. Even if, I’m not just gonna give you that much money.

FBI WOMAN

Oh. Why not?

CARL

Why not? Why should I?

Carl tries to walk away from the woman, but she blocks him. He tries again, she blocks him again. There’s an uncomprehending look on her face. Carl points at her badge.

CARL

Are you even FBI?

The FBI woman looks at his finger, then at the badge. She lifts it to examine it, wondering what it is, then not caring about it.

FBI WOMAN

(pleading)

Listen. I need 1281 dollars. One asked me to get it. We need it to survive.

CARL

(cynical)

Right, the FBI needs 1281 dollars from me to survive.

FBI WOMAN

Yes! The FBI! It needs 1281 dollars! You know. To survive!

CARL

To survive what?

FBI WOMAN

Well, what do you think? What does the FBI do?

CARL

Ehh, find bad guys?

FBI WOMAN

Exactly. And right now, it needs 1281 dollar, to find a bad guy. A bad, bad guy. Yes.

CARL

Yeah. This is getting weird.

Carl pulls his phone out of his shorts pocket and starts making photos of the FBI woman. She looks at him, perplexed.

FBI WOMAN

What is that, what are you doing?

CARL

I’m taking some photos to show the cops, who I will be calling if you don’t stop harassing me right now.

FBI WOMAN

(contemplating)

The cops. The cops are not good. Ok?

CARL

You’re damn right.

FBI WOMAN

(panicking)

Don’t call the cops. I need 1281 dollars.

The FBI woman is looking around, thinking hard. Carl is dialing a number on his phone. The FBI woman looks at the phone and swiflty grabs it from his hand.

FBI WOMAN

Don’t call the cops. The cops are not good.

She looks at him, then at the phone. Her face clears up as if she discovered something. She holds the phone out to Carl. He looks mad.

FBI WOMAN

You give me 1281 dollar. I give you this back. Ok?

Carl raises one eyebrow. She stretches the phone to Carl again.

FBI WOMAN

Ok?

Carl punches her squarely on the nose. As she slowly, slowly starts falling over, he grabs the phone from her streched arm, puts it in his pocket and walks away.

CARL

No.

He takes a sip from his milkshake.

CARL

Not ok.