Red Right Hand: SCREENWRITING EXPO 6 PART THREE - "WHEN MOONDOGGIES ATTACK"
*He is not a secret agent. Not at all.

 

SCREENWRITING EXPO 6 PART THREE - "WHEN MOONDOGGIES ATTACK"

Previously on Red Right Hand...

Stuff happened.


Sunday morning, I slept in a bit. I knew I could because I didn't receive a phone call from CS Open mastermind Jim Cirile informing me I had to drag my ass back down to the hotel at 9AM because I progressed to the third round. Thusly, either way I felt like a winner. Though the other way, I'd have felt more like a winner.

I picked up my scored scene from the second round, and despite not moving on, I was pleased. I scored much better that I had expected. As the prompt was read out the previous night I just kind of sank. I knew right away I was going to have trouble clicking with this one. It was much more detailed and just the specific situation, in the broadest sense, wasn't really clicking with me.

It was at this point, though, I realized that I had a strategy for these things, whether I knew it or not. Each time, I started with setting and then developed characters and plot to go in that setting. And the setting was to be as unpredictable as possible. Each one, a little weirder than the one before it.

I finished it after sixty of ninety minutes. I didn't review it in any way, I was getting pretty damned tired (I'd been awake for some 27 hours at this point for reasons passing uninteresting). And even if I came up with some wild blink of an idea, I wasn't really going to have time to go through and redo the whole thing. I had resigned myself, for good or bad. I got to the end, turned in my scene and went home.

Here is that scene.

  • INT. CORRIDOR - THE ALAN BEAN COMPLEX - OCEANUS PROCELLARUM - THE MOON
  • Look on the bend of an "L" shaped corridor, we see BRAXTON (late 30's) come around the corner, making the sharp turn by bouncing off the wall.
  • BRAXTON
  • Where? Where is it?
  • Following behind him is JENNY (about 10). She's small enough to make the turn without a ricochet.
  • JENNY
  • Up there. The one that says airlock.
  • Braxton grabs Jenny by the arm and runs, pulling her behind him. Suddenly, he's jerked back.
  • JENNY
  • Owwee!
  • Braxton looks back to see SLICK, a black-furred werewolf, has grabbed her other arm.
  • JENNY
  • Let go!
  • Braxton keeps pulling her, like a tug of war, dragging her into...
  • INT. AIRLOCK - CONTINUOUS
  • Braxton has her almost all the way in. He makes eye contact with Slick and hits a big red button. A huge bulkhead slams shut. Slick releases Jenny's arm as it closes. Braxton's momentum snaps them back, clear of losing a limb in the door. Slick claws at a window in the door. Other werewolves arrive.
  • JENNY
  • You totally suck.
  • BRAXTON
  • I just saved your ungrateful little ass.
  • JENNY
  • I'm the one saving you, dummy. They sent you to get me? You don't even know how to get around in here. And now we're stuck in an airlock.
  • BRAXTON
  • Number one, shorty, they didn't send me to save you. They tricked me. They said "go pick up the girl before the Moondoggies take over the base." Nothing about them already being here and having had the security team for crunchy, meaty treats. And number two...that's what comes after one, I dunno if they covered that in your kindergarten class--
  • JENNY
  • I'm not in kinder--
  • BRAXTON
  • Don't care! Number two is I'm not a soldier.
  • JENNY
  • Duh!
  • BRAXTON
  • I'm the nitrogen maintenance dude, which means I know that there is an automated swap-shuttle that's gonna come to this airlock in twenty minutes.
  • JENNY
  • The Moondoggies can open the airlock. They're not stupid. They used to be real guys.
  • BRAXTON
  • Then we put on E.V.A. suits, open the door and let the Moondoggies suffocate.
  • JENNY
  • That's kinda mean.
  • BRAXTON
  • As mean as playing fetch-the-bone with Larry McKaskey's femur?
  • JENNY
  • Huh?
  • BRAXTON
  • Look, just put on one of these E.V.A. suits.
  • Braxton opens a locker built into the airlock wall. There is one suit and helmet and one empty hook.
  • JENNY
  • Eenie-meenie-miney-mo-I pick the suit that is still here.
  • BRAXTON
  • Ah, Sweet Viking Jesus!
  • JENNY
  • Looks like your not going to make it.
  • BRAXTON
  • Me?
  • JENNY
  • I'm just a kid. A kid that's supposed to be rescued. You're just the nitro dude.
  • BRAXTON
  • Yeah, well I figured if I could pull this one out, maybe I could get a step up from nitro dude.
  • JENNY
  • How about if we wait for the full moon to...uh
  • BRAXTON
  • Yeah, finish that sentence. We're on the moon. It's always full.
  • Braxton and Jenny each slump into a corner to try and think of something.
  • JENNY
  • Can we let the air out of everywhere but the airlock?
  • BRAXTON
  • We can. There's a control that does that?
  • JENNY
  • Where?
  • BRAXTON
  • In the hall with the loopy, bloodthirsty werewolves.
  • JENNY
  • Where?
  • BRAXTON
  • Right out there. Big blue button in the glass thing.
  • Jenny nods, jumps to her feet and opens the door. She runs out into the hall, using her small stature to dodge the wolves, break the glass and hit the button. Airlock door automatically recloses, beheading one werewolf lunging for Braxton.
  • BRAXTON
  • Oh, crap!
  • Hurriedly gets the E.V.A. helmet and airpack on, glancing out to see Jenny pass out and the werewolves struggle for air. He gets the suit on as the last wolf, Slick, falls down. Opens the airlock, dissipating the remaining air with a HISS. He dashes out to Jenny.
  • INT. CORRIDOR - CONTINUOUS
  • Arrives at the still-only-unconscious Jenny.
  • BRAXTON
  • C'mon! Don't be brain dead yet.
  • Pulls off the helmet and airpack and straps it on to Jenny. He passes out just as she coughs back to consciousness.
  • JENNY
  • Daddy always says nitro guys are dumb.
CS OPEN 2007 SCORE SHEET

Structure - 23
Dialogue - 21
Style - 22
Originality - 23
Total - 89
Comments: Good action, great tension. Liked Jenny a lot - thought Braxton felt a little one-dimensional. Some funny dialogue int he midst of tense situation - nice work!

So not bad.

I then went forth to what would now serve as the highlight of the Expo, Tim Minear's Breaking The Story session. Participants of the session act as the writing staff to Tim's showrunner and break an episode of Angel, Wonderfalls or Firely (or maybe even Drive). Or rather we would have. I turned the corner, and there in blue marker was the same word I'd scene on a great many other session signs that day. CANCELED.

Maybe they just shouldn't schedule things on Sunday.

I just hope the reason he missed it is because he was working on something and trying to beat the strike deadline. Minear for the masses is a good thing. If he was just lazing by the pool, then I gots a problem. I'll give him the benefit of the doubt and go with the former.

Since I got my ass down here, I was going to do something before I left and had one task to complete (telling Emily how she affected the Rossio & Elliott talk the day before).

On Saturday, I sat in on Terry Rossio & Ted Elliott and Bill Lawrence as they had their talks (and while Lawrence said his wife, Christa Miller was not there, I was transfixed by a young lady who was her spitting image and was there). So I did more of that and saw Scott Frank.

Also, while Bill was talking about the next wave of comedy writers coming from YouTube, I finally hit on exactly what kind of short film series I can make with an extremely limited number of actors and even more limited equipment. More on that after I write the damn things.

After that, Emily and I attended the well-packed William Goldman talk. She then forced me (Emily: You should stay. Me: Yeah, OK.) into sticking around for drinks with the likes of a good chunk of the Scribosphere (Fun Joel, Emily herself, Shawna Benson, Bill Martell, Julie of Rouge Wave, and more. I think I waved to Elisabeth Fies as she was leaving. It looked like her (Was that you?). She waved to me. For some reason.

There was a laptop at the table. So there was though of starting a scribomeme that would spread though all the blogs in, literally, a couple of minutes. I thought maybe if we all had camera phones we could all take pictures of each other taking pictures of each other and all post it at once.

Nonetheless, good things came out of that hanging around, so thanks E.B.

Oh, and Boston CRUSHED Colorado, leaving no doubt as to their baseball superiority. Hiram wanted to celebrate with chowder, but alas...t'was not to be. Hiram's quite the character.
©2016 Michael Patrick Sullivan