Monday, August 3, 2009

Short Exercise Screenplay - Admit One


ERIK, a fifteen year old boy, enters his bedroom in a hurry, not bothering to close the door. He is wet with rain, but doesn't care. He hurls his bookbag and jumps to his computer.

The computer CHUGS and SCREECHES its startup and Erik is impatient, but we see that what he feels most is anticipation. His befreckled face lights up with blue. He smiles and begins to type and move his mouse. Soon, he looks satisfied. The printer begins to print.

Erik's room is the size expected for someone his age, but the content is not. The walls are covered with Harry Potter posters and the shelves are lined with HP collectibles and at least two versions of each book - one a worn-out paperback, and the other a pristine hardback. He gets up and starts rummaging through his closet. He pulls out a white shirt, a burgundy vest, and an orange striped tie.

Erik, now buttoning his shirt, pulls open one of his desk drawers and removes a small glasses case. He slips on the glasses inside and adjusts them in the mirror while simultaneously applying his tie. He grooms himself to match the Harry Potter poster, reflected in the mirror.

Erik opens another drawer, only for one thing: a folded robe.

Erik, now fully clad, goes over to check the printer. It prints grudgingly slow and has been going at a low WHURR this whole time. He taps the desk impatiently, but nothing can bring down his excitement.

Erik then takes a shoebox from the closet. He looks around, as if someone might be in the room with him, and then slowly opens for the final piece: his wand. He practices. A jab here. A crossover there. He suddenly remembers that he is actually missing one more thing and grabs a wizard's hat from under his bed.

Erik sits on his bed, watching his printer go so slow. There is nothing else to do but wait. He glances at the time. Growing more impatient, he waves his wand towards the printer. Lightning cracks, but no thunder. Erik pauses...and then...smiles. The printer is finally finished.

Erik grabs the printout. He looks at it--just to make sure. It says "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Friday @ 5pm, Admit One." He puts on his hat and leaves.


Erik, no longer wearing his hat, enters the room and inches the door closed, careful not to make a sound. The room is dark - he is hard to make out.

As he steps into the soft ray of moonlight entering through the window, Erik trips over his trashcan. He catches himself from falling, but the tumbling trash is like a firecracker in the dead of the night. He pauses for a long time.

There is nothing but the soft HUM of the computer.

Erik SIGHS relief and backsteps to find the light switch. Lights on.

Erik's cape is wet and caked with mud. The left shoulder is ripped and hanging. His hair is matted, face dirty, lip busted and bloody. But he looks more fearful of alerting his parents than of what he just went through.

Erik pulls something from under his robe. It is his wizard's hat, but it looks like a filthy dog has gotten hold of it. Erik is suddenly angry and, in two swift movements, throws the hat into the corner and rips the nearest poster off the door--one of Harry about to catch the 'snitch.' He quickly calms and begins to looks more sad than anything. He takes off his robe in defeat and lays it by the mangled hat.

Erik checks himself in the mirror. He grimaces at the cut on his lip and a bruise on his forehead. He tries to squish the bruise on his head to form a lightning bolt, but no luck. Then he suddenly remembers. He looks horrified as he rushes to his robe to fish out...his broken wand. He groans. He tries to use it. The broken half, hanging on by a string, just swings lazily. This is the straw that breaks the camel's back. He retires it to his desktop counter.

Erik changes to pajamas and lays on the bed. And thinks. He looks over to his shelf full of books. He seems to consider. Finally, he rolls out of bed. He picks the first hardcover: "Harry Potter and Sorcerer's Stone."

We see Erik reading through at different stages. At some point he glances up at the wand. He imitates spells with just his hand. He closes the book, hesitates, and then goes to take out some tape from his desk drawer to fix his wand. He looks doubtful and gives it a few uninspired flicks. Nothing. He pulls out his movie ticket--still intact--and then has a spark of determination. He stands strong and gives the wand a serious wave. Silent lightning, though the moon still shines. Erik smiles.

As Erik sleeps that night, we see his robe hanging to, the hat beside it. On the counter, where a sliver of moonlight stretches across, is a newly printed ticket. "Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Saturday @ 5pm, Admit One."

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