Red Right Hand: SCREENWRITING EXPO 6 PART TWO - "SPARKS FLY"
*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.

 

SCREENWRITING EXPO 6 PART TWO - "SPARKS FLY"

Previously on Red Right Hand...
I got to the Expo Saturday morning, went to the CS Open and competed in a round. Now, I'm killing time until my entry is scored.


So I'm wandering though the con floor and come upon a previously unmet friend of the Hand, Emily of White Board Markers. We get to chatting and she mentions that she wants to try a round of the CS Open.

Not only do I need to return to that room (in a different hotel) and get my score, I decide if I'm going back there I might as well give it another go, so first, a brief spot of processed meatstuffs at Le King du Burger [tangent] There, it is determined that the Chicken Tenders are a sort of Rorschach test. Are they shaped like crowns or chicken feet. Surely they are crowns, but that I saw chicken feet didn't stop me from eating them, despite the anthropomorphication factor. [/tangent] Then on to round two.

I got the first one's score. Details of which are here. Then inside, we get the spiel (90 minutes, handwritten, hitting the beats of the prompt, etc), grab pencils, sit down and begin on our scenes. Here is mine.

THE PROMPT:
Your PROTAGONIST, who has been a humble failure all his or her life, meets up with a uber-successful HIGH SCHOOL SWEETHEART. Sparks fly; the attraction is still there. But both are involved and live in different worlds. Write the scene in which the Sweetheart decides to try to help the Protagonist -- who is not all that sure he wants to be helped. How you handle the scene, the era, setting and style -- dramatic or comedy -- is entirely up to you.
  • INT. FIRST BANK OF BLACKROCK CREEK - DAY - 1872
  • Rustic TOWNSFOLK go about their business, TELLERS behind steel-barred counters. Door fly open. IN bursts BAXTER (mid 30's, wild hair, blast goggles, wearing a duster and carrying a vaguely gun-like apparatus bursting with coils, tubes and wires.
  • BAXTER
  • Everyone remain quite still and yield to the will of Professor Phineas Baxter! Teller folk, go yon forth-like and bring me whatever is in your vaults. Just the valuable stuff.
  • TELLER #1
  • Only the bank manager can open the--
  • BAXTER
  • I'll have none of that!
  • TELLER #1
  • But Mister Baxter--
  • Baxter, enraged, furiously turns a crank on his weapon until lightning spews forth from it, sparking along the steel bars. The tellers all jump back.
  • BAXTER
  • I did not spend three-years at the East Brunswick Institute for Questionable Technology to be called Mister!
  • CORA (O.S.)
  • East Brunswick is a two-year program.
  • CORA (also mid 30's), gorgeous even in her covers-everything Victorian frock, steps in from the back office. Baxter is briefly stunned.
  • CORA
  • Is this how you put your mind to use? Criminality? A common robber?
  • BAXTER
  • Common robbers don't use a Baxter Gyrocoil Electro-Depulminator. Patent pending. Cora.
  • CORA
  • You build such a thing and all you can do with it is come into my husband's bank--
  • BAXTER
  • Husband?
  • CORA
  • You couldn't use your science to--
  • BAXTER
  • It's mad science, Cora!
  • Cora pulls at her collar. Her frock falls away, revealing a full-body-suit of copper coils, gears, glass tubes and glowing bits. Clearly much cooler than his crank gun. From her fingers, she blasts a small fireball into the floor in front of Baxter.
  • CORA
  • It doesn't have to be.
  • BAXTER
  • So...married, huh?
  • CORA
  • Eight years.
  • BAXTER
  • Yeah? Me too. Well, six and a half.
  • CORA
  • Just walk on out of here, Baxter. I don't want to think of this when I think of you.
  • BAXTER
  • Think of me, do ya?
  • Cora turns a little red, she knows she's been busted.
  • CORA
  • Yeah. Sometimes. I know you think of me.
  • BAXTER
  • How's that?
  • CORA
  • With your temper, you would have cranked up and fired off that infernal device by now if I were anyone else. Even that tramp, Constance Q. Merriwether. I'll not call her doctor.
  • BAXTER
  • Still a little jealous.
  • CORA
  • I heard she was eaten by a half-man/half-bison of her own devise.
  • BAXTER
  • All feelings aside, I can't walk outta here without twelve hundred dollars.
  • CORA
  • That's a specific figure.
  • BAXTER
  • Boy's got the cough. got to get him to the specialist in Denver. I'll take more though.
  • CORA
  • If you need a loan--
  • Baxter lets an electro-bolt loose at a nearby window, shattering it.
  • BAXTER
  • I can take care of my own.
  • CORA
  • This is the transtator matrix all over again.
  • BAXTER
  • If you had a little faith in me, we might...you know.
  • CORA
  • I always had faith in you. I still do. That's why I'm offering you--
  • Baxter cranks up his gun. It begins buzzing loudly, ominously.
  • CORA
  • (to Teller #1)
  • Give him the money. Just...give him it.
  • BAXTER
  • Just like that? No fireballs versus electro--
  • CORA
  • It takes twenty minutes for the the kerosene intake valves to cool. I only had the one fireball. I was hoping to scare you off.
  • Teller #1 puts bundles of cash in a bag and hands it to Baxter. Baxter backs out and tips his goggles to Cora.
  • BAXTER
  • It was nice seeing you again.
  • CORA
  • Hope your boy gets better.
  • Baxter EXITS.
  • TELLER #1
  • I thought that ice-making backpack thing--
  • CORA
  • Shut up.
CS OPEN 2007 SCORE SHEET

Structure - 23
Dialogue - 23
Style - 25
Originality - 25
Total - 96
Comments: Very entertaining scene. two interesting characters with intriguing pasts and a good sense of tension between them. Solid jokes, including the non sequitur half-bison remark. Good pacing, visuals and setting. With action like this you may want to emphasize clarity and imagery more. Overall, engaging and quick. Good work!

And nary a remark about all those exclamation points.

So, with the cut off score at 90, I got into the coveted second round along with the other top ten percent-ers. A round set to begin just minutes after retrieving my score on this round.

Next time: I go back to the moon, more adventures with Emily, a somewhat more complex prompt, my not-at-all doppleganger, a sports bar during the World Series, and a mention of Tim Minear (both favorable and (shock, horror) unfavorable (but not really)).
©2016 Michael Patrick Sullivan