NEW SCRIPT! “Based on an Idea By…”

First draft 🙂 but hey! I’m writing again. It’s been a cluster of a summer, with Lyme Disease being the real kick in the ass. So I haven’t been productive at all. But! Some good news lately, which I’ll talk about when I can, which I don’t think I can now, since it might turn out to be even better news, so I won’t 🙂 But trust me, it was some amazing personal/creative validation, and I’m feeling a hell of a lot better about, IDK, everything.

This summer… Mom had afib, I almost had a F/T technical writer job I didn’t really want and that would have put me in my grave but I was ready to do it because bills and then I got ramped up for that and poof gone, then there was Lyme disease, and the gnawing terror that it would end up being chronic, on top of the insane headaches, you know, every fucking minute for weeks, and this, that, the other…

And for the first time in my life, none of the things in a string of disasters was my fault 🙂 Just a bunch of shitty shit that happened, one after the other.

But! The clouds are lifting, and I feel more myself again. And I even pumped out a new short script. First draft, fresh off the typewriter this a.m., so keep that in mind!

BASED ON AN IDEA BY…

By Brad Vance

EXT. BEN’S FRONT PORCH – NIGHT

BEN (20s, stoner type) and ANDY (20s, dressed for success Hollywood style) sit on Ben’s front porch, sharing a joint.

ANDY
It’s good to be back home, man. LA’s great but shit. I haven’t made any real friends, you know? People I can talk to like I can talk to you.

BEN
Yeah, I get that. I miss you too. LA’s not the only place it’s hard to make friends.

ANDY
True. It’s funny, I go to all these studio meetings, I drink the bottle of water they always give you, but it’s like speed dating, man.  Everyone’s nice and then, poof. Never hear from ’em again.

BEN
Yeah, the Hollywood Fuck You.

ANDY
What do you mean?

BEN
Nobody’s ever gonna say fuck you, piss off, because they don’t know which mailboy’s gonna be their boss next week, right? So they say, great meeting you, great idea, thanks for coming in. Even if they hate you and every one of your ideas.

ANDY
Dude that is it, exactly. I gotta write that down.

BEN
Yeah. Write it down. You gonna hog that?

ANDY
Oh, shit, sorry.
(hands the joint over)
Hey, remember how we used to get super stoned, and you’d spin out all these wild ideas? I miss that, man.

BEN
Huh.

ANDY
We should do that again. I bet you got some crazy shit going on in your head right now.

BEN
You think so?

ANDY
Yeah, man, wasn’t it fun?

BEN
Yeah it was. Operational word being was.

ANDY
What do you mean?

BEN
You say you remember all those nights we used to get stoned and I’d talk crazy shit? And I don’t remember most of it to be honest. Except that one night? I was all riffing on a Hunger Games thing, what if the right wing takes over the country and all these black kids and gay kids and Muslim kids and shit all have to get strapped up and go to war?

ANDY
Yeah. I mean, yeah of course, that’s the script I wrote. Remember? I said I should write it down, and you said go for it.

BEN
And you did. Obviously.

ANDY
Are you mad at me? Because I wrote the screenplay based off that?

BEN
What do you think?

ANDY
You said go for it and…

BEN
(over)
I saw you on the Independent Spirit Awards. Best original screenplay. Never had a chance to congratulate you on that.

ANDY
Umm… thanks?

BEN
You’re welcome.

ANDY
What’s going on, man? Are you gonna sue me or something? Is this about the money?

BEN
You’re unreal. You think it’s about the money. You know, that’s the funny thing. For you it was always about the money. I’d throw something out there and you’d say, “You could never sell that.” That was your litmus test on everything. You were so desperate to make it.

ANDY
Yeah, you’re goddamn right I was. You think I wanted to stay here and work at fucking Best Buy forever?

BEN
Like me.

ANDY
If that’s good enough for you. Which I guess it is, as long as they don’t drug test you.

Beat.

ANDY (CONT’D)
Fuck, I’m sorry, Ben. I didn’t mean that. Not like that.

BEN
You know what? When I saw you win? I was glad for you. I really was. Even though you and I know it was my idea.

ANDY
Yeah, it was. But I’m the one who wrote that shit down. I’m the one who executed, who made something of it. Anyone can have a good idea. It’s all about the execution.

BEN
You could have executed it with me.

ANDY
Oh yeah? You think? You know what the difference is between you and me? I’m the ant and you’re the grasshopper. I fucking work at this shit. You? You’re a castles in the air guy. I’ve seen you pull a hundred brilliant high concept pitches out of your ass.

BEN
Thanks. Glad I have such a productive ass.

ANDY
But that’s it. You come up with it, and you’re… done. And this, it was so good. I couldn’t just leave it there.
(beat)
Because I hate that about you. How fucking brilliant you are, and how lazy. People sit at keyboards for years waiting for… for what comes to you like breathing.

BEN
You’re right. I’m the grasshopper. I’ll never write a screenplay. I’ll never put in that work. I’m not that ambitious.

ANDY
Then what did you want me to do? Just forget it? You told me it was okay to write it…

BEN
(over)
Thank you.

ANDY
What?

BEN
You could have just said that. You got up on that podium, and on TV, you thanked your agent. You thanked your mom. You thanked God. But not me.

ANDY
I wanted to. I did! But my manager said that could leave me open to…

BEN
(over)
To what you’re afraid I’m going to do anyway. I’m not going to sue you, Andy. All you dreamed about was winning, money, success. You did the dreaming and you let me do the imagining. And that was okay.
(gets up and tosses the roach away)
Until now.

ANDY
What are you going to do? Are you gonna get revenge, is that it?

BEN
I’m going to watch you go back to LA, and think about you at a keyboard, trying to come up with your own original idea. I’m going to watch you turn in some boring piece of shit, and that’ll be the end of your brilliant career. I’m going to watch everyone figure it out, that you were a one hit wonder.

Ben starts to exit, turns back.

BEN (CONT’D)
That’s my revenge, Andy. That’s all the revenge I need.

Ben exits.

FADE OUT.

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