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Act I, Scene III - The Arrival -- PatM (WC: 2956) F


http://pandemo.livejournal.com/645252.html


INT. COMMERCIAL PUDDLE JUMPER OVER THE CALIFORNIA COAST - DAYTIME


As the De Havilland Dash 7 begins its final descent, Obie, in a window seat, awakens, stretching limitedly, a smile on her face. Jeremiah sits beside her, the script for an upcoming Arizona desert shoot he's been memorizing in his hand.

        JEREMIAH
    Do you always awaken so sweetly?

        OBIE
    I don't know. With nobody around, I don't
    pay much attention, living alone and all.

        JEREMIAH
    Now that you're back among the living, /if you
    take a look out of the window, you can see...


CUT TO EXT. - BIRD'S EYE VIEW - SMALL AIR STRIP - /if


A picturesque cliff side airport appears. It boasts a glass topped control tower and a small terminal with several runways long enough for corporate jets in the foreground. The majestic Pacific Ocean provides a perfect backdrop.

Hundreds of colorful dots shimmer on the tarmac near the terminal.


INT. AIRCRAFT CABIN


        OBIE
    No thanks. I never tempt the tricky, impish
    tummy gods with such reckless behavior as
    window looking. They play too roughly.
        JEREMIAH
    Prone to motion sickness?
        OBIE
    Prone? No, not prone. Standing or seated, I
    get inundated by its incessant ravages. Prone
    is fairly safe, as positions go.

    How did I let you talk me into this? I know
    better.

        JEREMIAH
    It takes three days to drive?

        OBIE
    And all those frequent flier miles just "going
    to waste".

        JEREMIAH
    Just one question. It's really been bugging
    me. Why Bonamine, a seasickness remedy, to
    fly on?

        OBIE
    Dramamine = sleep the sleep of the dead for
    four hours, then wake up logy and vomit your
    breakfast all other your poor unsuspecting
    brother. Scarred him for life, to hear him tell
    it. He took to calling me "Old Puke Gut" for a
    while when Dad was running a flying club and
    all the family vacations were made via Cubs
    and Cessnas.

    With Bonamine, on the other hand, you’re
    awake when it wears off, so you have a prayer
    of getting another tablet in time, or at least
    guiding the final disposition of your deposit
    into an appropriate airsickness bag or recep-
    tacle.
        JEREMIAH
    You mean I'm on borrowed time, here?

Obie turns his arm so she can scrutinize his watch.


        OBIE
    Nope. Not unless this descent goes on for
    over an hour and a half. If that's the case, I
    think we're likely to have worse problems to
    worry about than a smelly little mess on the
    cabin floor.

CUT TO EXT. - BIRD'S EYE VIEW - SMALL AIR STRIP - CROWD ON TARMAC


The colorful dots are now separate and morph into individuals milling around on the airplane side of the terminal, normally off limits to non-airline personnel or passengers.

Despite Obie's comments about not being able to look out the window, in the end, she is unable to resist the lure of the ocean and is soon glued to her porthole.


INT. CABIN - CONTINUOUS


        OBIE
    Would you look at that?

EXT. AIRPORT - POV OBIE'S EYES - CONTINUOUS


As the plane approaches the runway, the control tower and terminal flash past.


        OBIE (V.O.)
    Casa Blanca style loading ramps!

    Where'd you ever come up with a place that
    still used those? Someone's PR department's
    been working overtime.

EXT. AIRPORT - CROWD ON TARMAC - CONTINUOUS


        OBIE (V.O.)
    I'll be! Take a gander at that crowd! Hey,
    even a TV camera. You really rate, don’t you?
    You didn’t seem like such a big deal in Iowa.


INT. AIRPLANE CABIN

        OBIE
    Must have heard of our way, way off Broad-
    way one night stand, huh?
        JEREMIAH
    I bet my studio arranged it. Probably some
    type of a welcome home bash my agent
    planned with them. If I go anywhere they
    know about, they're forever sending a likely
    starlet to accidentally bump into me.
        OBIE
    Great. Just the role I’ve always wanted to
    play: the elderly matron with the good-
    looking gigolo on her arm. Way to go, Jere-
    miah. NOT!
        JEREMIAH
    You certainly seem refreshed, all wide-eyed
    and bushy tailed.
        OBIE
      (slips into her acclaimed
      Groucho Marx impersona-
      tion voice)

    That's the only kind of tail you're likely to get
    here...


Jeremiah eyes her strangely, obviously not recognizing her adopted persona.

        OBIE
    Didn’t grow up watching Groucho Marx, obvi-
    ously...


Looking at him, Obie wears a wry expression as she quietly contemplates the cultural significance of a fifty-some year age gap.

EXT. CROWD - CONTINUOUS

        JEREMIAH (V.O.)
    Are the women down there good looking?


INT. AIRPLANE CABIN - CONTINUOUS


Obie gawks out the window again.


        OBIE
    Maybe, if you're into cradle robbing. They all
    seem to be female teenie boppers.


Jeremiah shrugs philosophically as the PLANE taxies to a stop.


        JEREMIAH
    They're a demographic. They all attend mov-
    ies regularly. To an actor, there's no such
    thing as "bad publicity".


Jeremiah stands as the door opens.


        OBIE
    Let's wait. There's no rush, is there?


The plane quickly empties.

One tall, dark haired man, CHAUFFEUR, enters and picks up Jeremiah's carry-on.


        CHAUFFEUR
      (to Jeremiah)
    Good to have you back, sir.

        JEREMIAH
      (to Obie)
    No.
      (to Chauffeur)
    Huston, this is the famous novelist, O. B.
    Horsefeathers.


The Chauffeur and Obie shake hands.


        JEREMIAH
    She'll be staying with us for a while.

        CHAUFFEUR
    Very good, sir. I'll phone ahead and notify
    your housekeeper.


The Chauffeur scoops up Obie's carry-on, as well.


        CHAUFFEUR
    I'll arrange to collect both sets of luggage.
    Anything else, sir?
        JEREMIAH
    Lela already knows, but you can let her know
    we've touched down.
        CHAUFFEUR
    Very well, sir.


The Chauffeur strides off.


INT. CABIN AISLE


Obie withholds her comment until the Chauffeur's safely out of hearing. She and Jeremiah move slowly toward the exit.


        OBIE
      (dryly)
    He certainly oozes efficiency.
      (sourly)
    So the Hollywood hype begins. Somehow, I
    expected it to come from outside sources.

        JEREMIAH
    We have a gig tomorrow on the Larry King Live Show to create some buzz for your books.

        OBIE
    Isn't anyone going to find it suspicious that I
    have nothing to hold up, nothing to sell, not
    even a "will hit the market by" date? I can't
    possibly finish Saga by tomorrow, even if I
    edit all night. I need to be rested to edit ef-
    fectively, although I do seem to be able to
    write in my sleep...

    Some of my fondest outlandish ideas occur as
    I'm either dropping off or waking.


EXT. TOP OF BOARDING RAMP


As Jeremiah and Obie reach the top of the ramp, Jeremiah puts his hand against the small of Obie's back and allows her to precede him.

        OBIE (V.O.)
    And here I was afraid he’d try to distance
    himself from me when he saw he’d be on TV.
    Maybe his inappropriate choices of women
    who don't fit his image is what leads his stu-
    dio to send starlets out for him.

The ROAR of the crowd of girls is incredible. It forms a constant background sound.

As they start down, several FEMALE FANS MAKE A SERIOUS ATTEMPT TO BREAK through the police lines. The TV CAMERA deftly TRACKS the action.

        OBIE
      (admiringly, with great excitement)
    Now, that's my idea of a cameraman! He's
    staying on those girls as avidly as a leopard
    waiting to pounce on its intended victim.
        JEREMIAH
    Yup. That's Billy Makowski. He's tops.
    Sometimes he does movies, sometimes the
    news -- everyone will gladly welcome his tal-
    ents for as long as he's willing to work for
    them.

    You note, he's the only one out here, putting
    his camera at risk? The studio probably
    hooked him with a claim that this shoot was
    too dangerous to risk him on, or something.

    He's the one who wants to spend three
    months with us joined at the hip. I haven't
    decided if I have the guts to take him up on it,
    or not.


EXT. TARMAC - CROWD - CONTINUOUS


A cordon of police officers restrains most of the fans, but a few finally break through.

        FEMALE FANS
      (shout enthusiastically)
    JD! JD! JD! Jeremiah, we love you! AYH!
      (ad lib yells)


As the human wave buffets her, Obie adopts a football linebacker stance and begins to move a few of the girls backward down the stairs, watching with some satisfaction as one goes all the way onto the tarmac.

Jeremiah appears in the doorway.

More girls break free, screaming incoherently, wild with excitement.

Several FEMALE FANS trample over Obie. When they reach Jeremiah, they pluck whatever they can grab, ripping Jeremiah's JACKET, his TIE, his SHIRT, even tearing out chunks of his HAIR.


        OBIE
      (shouts in a drill
      sergeant-like bellow)
    Here, here, now! He's something you profess
    to love and value, not something you want to
    pluck for dinner!

        JEREMIAH
      (shouts)
    Girls, girls, let's get autographs, not body
    parts, please.


Although Jeremiah GRINS as charismatically as ever for the camera, his body language indicates that he is a bit nonplussed by the ferociousness of the uproar.

Fighting her way back to his side, Obie deftly TIPS the foremost girl backward down the ramp, then goes after the next, until soon the way is clear for Jeremiah to descend.

The police slowly re-establish their cordon.

Obie spots a man with a cell phone who is the apparent ringleader of this demonstration.


        OBIE
    There's the man in charge! Have I got a few words
    to say to him!


Obie, throwing body blocks that rival those of an NFL lineman, moves relentlessly toward her goal.


        OBIE
    All right, you son of a gun, call off your blood-
    suckers before the poor man is starkers.

Jeremiah catches up to her, one SHOE gone, torn PANT LEGS past the knee on one side, and NAKED to the waist. Nevertheless, Jeremiah gallantly takes Obie's arm, escorting her with great dignity across the burning tarmac to the terminal.

The police have pushed the crowd back inside the terminal.

The noise level drops dramatically as the terminal door closes on the last of them.

        JEREMIAH
    Welcome to California.


Jeremiah slants Obie a wry grin.

        JEREMIAH
    Thanks for the timely rescue. When I hired
    you, I didn't realize you'd be more effective at
    crowd control than Huston, and, believe me,
    he's no slouch when it comes to breaking up
    brawls.

Obie shakes her head.

        OBIE
    Californians are crazy. Why did I let you talk
    me into this trip? Good weather is no com-
    pensation for being surrounded by packs of
    predatory females perfectly willing to dis-
    member you to prove their loyalty and affec-
    tion. They obviously mistook the tarmac for a
    nudist camp, and you for its first denizen
    deigning to disrobe.

      (sarcastically)
    I just can't tell you how high being escorted
    into the terminal by a nearly naked man rates
    on my "must-do events before I die" list.


Jeremiah sends her an engaging grin.

        JEREMIAH
    You DO realize you're within range of their
    high gain microphones, don't you? Colorful
    commentary like that ought to send you to
    the top of the press's index of desirable peo-
    ple to shadow when in need of a thirty
    second sound bite to top off the evening news.

Jeremiah and Obie near the terminal doors, through which more CROWDS, mostly female teenagers, and two more TV CAMERAS are visible.

        JEREMIAH
    How does my hair look?

        OBIE
    Aren't you the Prissy Priscilla? What an ab-
    surd question! Positively plucked in patches.
    Now I see why you go in for those ragged,
    wild looking cuts instead of something more
    organized.
Obie turns to face him, lodges her purse tightly between her feet, and runs both hands through his hair, smoothing, then fluffing, then tugging lightly, all the while making the most incredible faces in her intense concentration. While she's straightening, her tongue peeks out in a little tic Jeremiah finds erotic.

Jeremiah stares at her face in fascination, then as she goes to drop her arms, steps between them, embraces her, and gives her a warm, lingering kiss.

Afterward, Obie eyes the crowd pressed tightly against the glass terminal walls, watching every move she and Jeremiah make.

        OBIE
    That little maneuver ought to guarantee me
    the hatred of every woman here today, sure
    I've usurped her rightful place, and that she's
    more deserving than a dumpy old bag like me
    could possibly be. Thanks!
Jeremiah laughs delightedly.

        JEREMIAH
    I can hardly wait to see what the reporters
    make of your caustic view of our delightful
    state. I can just feel in my bones the press
    coverage being aired. I hope my agent has
    sent recent material to all the usual
    suspects.

    Onward.
Obie can't help giving him a disgusted look, even though she knows her paycheck depends upon his success at the box office.

        OBIE
    Genteel poverty is not such a horrid lifestyle compared to this.

Undaunted, Jeremiah squares his shoulders as if he were an early Christian martyr marching off to do battle against a den of hungry lions. He opens the door and takes her arm, leading her into the fray this time.

Once inside, Jeremiah begins to work the crowd, shaking hands two at a time, occasionally signing whatever unlikely items are thrust at him through the cordon of police, sometimes even people's skin.

        Giddy Fan
    Oh, I'll never wash that spot again!

Obie deliberately catches her eye.

        OBIE
    I'd reconsider, if I were you. The eventual
    stink could leave you friendless.

Those within hearing laugh.

        OBIE
      (o Jeremiah out the
      corner of her mouth)
    Is this normal?

Jeremiah nods assent absently.

        JEREMIAH
    Pretty much.

        OBIE
    What a pain. Bet the police cringe when they
    hear one of you Hollywood types are coming.

    And to think that I was embarrassed by the
    way the Corydon folk mobbed you at Lud-
    low's. By California standards, they were
    models of decorum... remarkably well be-
    haved.

        JEREMIAH
    Did you get those community reading videos
    collated?

Jeremiah pauses briefly to focus on Obie, then moves on, smiling indiscriminately at fan after fan. Even though he's not expecting her work to be worth much, he cannot resist the allure of seeing himself on video, no matter how amateurish.

        OBIE
    Talk about being vain! I seriously pity any
    woman who falls head over heels for you!

    I stuck the five-minute version on your laptop
    under "movies" under the title "Steak House
    Readathon." I've got ideas for a voice over
    we can append explaining the movie's con-
    cept.

Jeremiah wonderingly turns away from the waiting fans.

        JEREMIAH
    Show me, no matter how amateurish.

        OBIE
      (disgusted)
    Missourian in disguise. The way to most men's
    hearts is through their stomachs. I
    can tell with you, however, your significant
    others are going to have to be fluent video-
    graphers and film editors.


Obie opens the laptop, loads the file, and sotto voce, narrates.

Arm draped across Obie's shoulders, Jeremiah watches intently, laughing repeatedly. As they exit, he doesn't even see his driver open the car door for them, he's so involved.

INT. CAR - CONTINUOUS

        JEREMIAH
    That's excellent work. You've done this be-
    fore?

        OBIE
      (dryly)
    A few times.

        JEREMIAH
    False modesty? What can I use of yours to
    blow away a movie mogul?

        OBIE
    The few film classes I've got on my transcript
    will look like pabulum out here. My Millen-
    nium Party horse promo isn't likely to im-
    press, either.

        JEREMIAH
    Is it on here, too?

Obie wordlessly keys it up.

        JEREMIAH
    Why'd you run them down the road? Isn't
    that dangerous?

        OBIE
    You've got it backward. I was herding them
    home.

    One of my customers had a new DVD camera
    she was learning to operate. It reaches a
    quarter mile, audio and video, with enough
    acuity to identify the different animals as they
    ran home.

    Had her mother stuck my old VHS camera out
    the window as I crept through the running
    herd to get ahead of them to turn them, now
    THAT would have been some footage! But we
    were both too upset to even think of it until
    they'd turned.

    I kept chanting, "Please go home; please go
    home," like a mantra.

    The "off" switch froze up, so we ran footage of
    the lens cap cover as it lay beside me on the
    seat throughout the whole ordeal.

    The herd coated the highway in road apples.

    When I went back to school, the superinten-
    dent asked if I had a round up on New Year's.
    Nobody else out there has a large enough
    herd to leave that much residue, he ex-
    plained.

    Everything had a coating of ice. Gates were
    iced in position, either open or shut, for the dura-
    tion.

    Franz von Suppé's Light Cavalry Overture is
    just the perfect background music to the ac-
    tion. I had to go clear to Germany for the
    Deutsche grammophon recording.
    My place isn’t named PANDEMONIUM by acci-
    dent!

        JEREMIAH
    Amazing. You've blended natural sounds right
    into the sound track on what is essentially a
    home video.

        OBIE
    Final Cut Pro is NOT for amateurs! I also
    dropped out a bit of sound track in one spot
    and looped another to allow the horses to all
    run by. If you knew the piece, as classical
    music buffs will, the alterations would stick
    out like moving Mt. Everest to Nebraska.

Jeremiah eyes Obie speculatively.

        JEREMIAH
    Maybe you CAN do your own script. We'll talk
    to Harry about it.
        OBIE
    I'd like to make a trailer to show, if we have
    any access to equipment. Do you have a DVD
    camera that can withstand water?

        JEREMIAH
    As in a rainstorm?

        OBIE
    Think total immersion -- a shot along a beach
    with the camera mounted on the horse, or
    rider. A dive from the Sedona cliffs into the
    water with the camera taped on the diver's
    body.

        JEREMIAH
    I know the tech guy you'll hit it off with, --
    Billy, the guy who wants to video my life, real
    time, twenty-four, seven.

        OBIE
    That sounds a bit tough on a guy's love life,
    among other things.
Last updated 11/27/09 Dropped Aside Revised to (to Jeremiah out of the corner of her mouth);</font> Added As the plane approaches the runway; Changed parentheticals shouting to FEMALE FANS (shout enthusiastically), OBIE (shouts in a drill sergeant-like bellow), and JEREMIAH (shouts). 6/20/08, formatting corrections. 6/15/08; JH to JD; changed some more STRANGER to JEREMIAH, added Obie Grocho comment; Missourian/amateur comments, 6/22/07 - Format, change STRANGER to JEREMIAH, My place isn’t named PANDEMONIUM by accident! Final Cut Pro remark; removed Well, Oh, etc. throughout. 6/13/07, heavy revisions, new character. 6/12/07)

Word Count: 2956
Reading Level: 6.1
Tags: patm
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