Update: The Big Break - Draft Script - First Rewrite - 03-31-13
I have provided the following excerpt for your review:
"The Big Break" - By J.P. Lewis
INT. STARK TIMES NEWPAPER OFFICE - DAY
PATRICK ROLLINS (M35), an aspiring screenwriter in the
Midwest has just picked up his assignments from The Stark
Times offices, where he works part time as an entertainment
reporter. It’s 11:59 AM as he waves to the receptionist on
his way out the door.
EXT. STARK TIMES OFFICE BUILDING - DAY
Patrick walks out of the office building and turns the
corner onto a quiet side street where it’s just a short
walk to his duplex apartment. He heads up the walkway to
his front door and after taking some letters from his
mailbox, pulls his keys from his pocket to unlock the door.
INT. PATRICK’S APT. - DAY
Patrick enters the two story apartment and rifles through
the letters as he heads to the kitchen. Not seeing anything
important, he tosses the parcels on the counter and opens
the refrigerator. He takes out a bottled water and after
a long drink, notices the light flashing on his answering
machine. He dashes to the phone and presses the message
button to listen.
VOICE ON ANSWERING MACHINE
(BEEP) Patrick, it’s Andrew. Where
are you? Listen, I’ve got some
great news. The producers for
Breaking Hearts loved your scripts
and want you to join their writing
Patrick pumps his fist in the air, but tries to control his
excitement as he continues to listen.
VOICE ON ANSWERING MACHINE
But, you need to call and confirm
with me by 5:00 PM today (EST).
We’ll line up your flight and
lodging once I hear from you, so
call me... now!
Patrick is ecstatic at hearing the news he’s been waiting
for and begins dancing around his apartment and howling.
Whooo! Yes! Yes, yes, yes.
He pauses briefly and begins reciting an imaginary
acceptance speech holding his water bottle in the air.
I’d like to thank the academy for
this esteemed honor and their
recognition of my amazing talents
and... (beat) Whoooooooo!
Just then ALEX JOHNS (M38), his burley, bearded roommate
bursts into the room wearing only a towel around his waist
and holding a baseball bat in a defensive stance, until
realizing that it’s Patrick making all the noise.
Dude, what’s your problem! I was
getting ready to crush your skull.
Alex, I got the job!
ALEX stares at him, obviously confused.
The screenwriter’s job for
Oh! Well that’s just great.
Congratufrickinlations. Now I’ve
got to find another roommate. Have
fun in L.A buddy. But right now
I’m going to celebrate by washing
the soap out of my eyes and finish
getting ready for work.
Alex walks off screen to return to his shower as Patrick,
laughs to himself and shakes his head.
Suddenly, the doorbell RINGS. Patrick walks to the front
door, looks through the peephole and steps back looking
He opens the door to reveal PENNY BRADLEY (F33), a petite
woman, who looks aged by a hard life. Standing next to her
is her eight year old daughter BROOKE (F8), a little girl
with long blonde hair, big blue eyes and wide smile.
(to Patrick) Do you remember me?
Patrick eyes her, as he tries to make a connection.
You used to work at Caesar’s Bar
& Grille about nine years ago,
Well yes, but...
You always used to sit at the
end of the bar, writing stuff in
your little book and you had an
apartment above the bar.
Okay, yes. But who are you and
what do you want?
Brooke steps forward and points up at Patrick.
You’re my Dad and you’re getting
Patrick staggers backwards a few steps, visibly stunned.
Before he realizes what is going on, Brooke and Penny walk
right in and stand in the living room.
Thank you all for your interest, feedback and suggestions on my pitch ideas.
I have selected "The Big Break" (working title) as my project per your suggestions and interest, as well as my personal attachment to his story, as it is based on a true life experience. Of course the names have been changed and certain situations have been altered to adapt to a short film format.
Treatment: The Big Break
PATRICK ROLLINS (M39). an aspiring screenwriter, works part time as an entertainment writer for the local newspaper, while pursuing his dream job. PATRICK shares a duplex apartment in Akron, Ohio with ALEX JOHNS, (M38) a burley, bearded bartender. PATRICK'S agent in Los Angeles, ANDREW TATUM (M55), has been trying for months to book him a writing job for television or film, but to no avail.
It's 11:30 AM and PATRICK has just left work. Upon arriving home he finds that ANDREW has left a message on his answering machine letting him know that he has finally succeeded in landing a staff writer's job on the television show, "Breaking Hearts". All he needs to do now is to call to accept the postion before 5:00 PM (EST).
In the midst of his celebration, the doorbell rings and PATRICK opens the door to find PENNY BRADLEY (F34), a chronic alcoholic who appears weathered from years of hard living. She is accompanied by her eight year old daughter BROOKE (F8), a very direct speakling little girl, who seems extremely mature for her young age. After a brief introduction, BROOKE points to PATRICK and exclaims, "You're my Dad and you're getting tested"!
PENNY begins telling PATRICK how they had shared a drunken intimate encounter while celebrating their birthdays together nine year prior. Not remembering the encounter, he demands getting DNA testing done and offers PENNY $20 to go buy sandwiches and soda, so they can discuss their next steps over lunch. PENNY leaves to buy lunch with PATRICK give the inquisitive and curious BROOKE a tour of the TV and music studios.
An hour later, PENNY has still not returned and BROOKE is crying, "Mom's drunk again and she not coming back". PATRICK tries to console her and considers contacting Child Services, until BROOKE tells him of her bad experiences in the system and that she does not want to go back. Concerned that she may very well be his daughter, he attempts to find a solution to this dilemma as the deadline to accept his big job offer approaches.
I look forward to your feedback and suggestions. Thanks.