Pages fifty-nine, sixty, sixty-one & sixty-two.

Sixty-two pages in and there’s no redeeming quality to my protagonist. Not good. That will be my number one fix during the re-write. I think for this film to work, the audience needs to feel sympathy for him. That’s what makes ninety percent of movies work. I’m not getting that yet. And yes, I pulled that stat right out of the air.

(pages 59-62)
INT. BAR – NIGHT

Sam is sitting at the bar barely able to keep himself upright. He’s
drunk. His cellphone starts ringing. He answers it.

SAM
Hello?

JIMMY (O.S.)
Look, Sam, Martin just got finished with Dino and he doesn’t think he stole your money.

SAM
Bullshit! That’s fucking bullshit and you know it!

JIMMY (O.S.)
I really don’t know what the fuck to tell you. I really don’t care where my money comes from, I just want my money. Now it’s on you.

SAM
Fuck you, Jimmy! I don’t know what kind of scam you’re pulling on me, but you’re not getting another fucking nickel from me.

There’s a several second pause. Jimmy has hung up.

SAM
Jimmy? Jimmy? God damn it!

Sam smashes his phone on the ground. It startles everyone in the bar.

JOEY
Whoa, whoa, Sam calm down.

SAM
I’m calm. I’m fine. Give me another drink.

JOEY
Sorry, Sam, it’s not going to happen. Let me call you a cab.

SAM
I don’t want a cab. I want another drink.

JOEY
Sam.

Joey stares at Sam for a couple of seconds until Sam gets the meaning.

SAM
Fine. Fuck it. I’ll go somewhere else.

Sam stumbles out the door.

INT. PERRY’S CAR – NIGHT

Perry is driving a nice black sedan. He’s driving in an upscale suburban area with large houses. He looks at the houses as he passes them. He glances on a piece of paper with an address on it.

Perry sees the house and pulls his car into the driveway.

EXT. SUBURBAN HOME – NIGHT

Perry exits the car and walks to the front door. He rings the doorbell.

A middle-aged attractive WOMAN, 47, opens the door. She’s holding a TODDLER, 2, in her arms.

WOMAN
Can I help you?

PERRY
Hello, I’m looking for Jerry. Is he home.

WOMAN
Yeah. Hey, Jerry!

JERRY (O.S.)
Yeah?

WOMAN
There’s someone here to see you.

PERRY
Is that your baby?

WOMAN
No. It’s my grand-daughter.

PERRY
Oh, really? You don’t look old enough to be a grandmother.

WOMAN
Thank you.

JERRY, 46, a very normal looking white man with glasses, walks into the foyer from the hallway.

JERRY
Can I help you?

PERRY
Jerry Miller?

JERRY
Yeah, that’s me.

PERRY
Do you mind if we talk outside in private?

Jerry looks at his wife and shrugs his shoulder.

JERRY
Sure.

Jerry exits the house and shuts the door behind him.

INT. SUBURBAN HOME – CONTINUOUS

Woman peeks behind a curtain to watch the conversation.

EXT. SUBURBAN HOME – CONTINUOUS

JERRY
What’s this about?

PERRY
You’re going to take a ride with me, Jerry.

JERRY
I’m sorry?

PERRY
There’s a young woman in the hospital that you’re going to apologize to.

JERRY
I’m sorry, but I think you’ve got the wrong guy.

PERRY
I never get the wrong man, but we can let the girl decide that. You just need to get in the car.

JERRY
Are you the police?

PERRY
No.

JERRY
Then I don’t have to go anywhere with you.

PERRY
Jerry, I think you’d be better off dealing with me than the police on this one. Don’t you think?

JERRY
I think you better get the fuck off of my property is what I think.

Perry punches Jerry right in the face and Jerry drops to the ground.

Perry punches him again and Jerry lays still on the ground.
Woman comes running out of the house with toddler in arms.

WOMAN
Hey! What are you doing!? Leave him alone!

PERRY
Ma’am, I think it’s best you stay in the house. Tell her, Jerry.

Perry flashes his gun to Jerry.

JERRY
Get in the house, Elizabeth.

ELIZABETH
What’s going on?

Jerry turns to look at her.

JERRY
Just get in the house. It’ll be okay.

Elizabeth backs into the house and shuts the door.

Perry grabs Jerry by the arm to lift him up.

PERRY
Let’s go.

CUT TO:

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2 Comments

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  1. Hello,

    I just stumbled onto your screen play (Have only read this post but I enjoyed it.) I noticed you said your protagonist needs a redeeming quality, something to help the audience sympathies with him. I can agree with you there, as I could be watching the most interesting plot but if I don’t care about the main guy, then what’s the point of wasting two hours of my life? I hope you can re-work it so you feel he does have redeemable qualities. Like I said, I haven’t read the whole thing, but maybe insert some personal things about them? what made them who they are? (don’t hate, but Elizabeth Bennett in “Pride and Prejudice” was only interesting because she was different than her other million sisters who only wanted marriage).

    Peace,
    Bill

    • Thank you, Bill. I appreciate you taking the time to read it. I have watched movies and TV shows in which I don’t like the protagonist (Douchebag, Eastbound and Down and The Office come to mind) but have enjoyed the shows. I don’t want to try that here though. I’ll wait until I know what I’m doing before I try that.

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