Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dabbling in Screenwriting....again....


HUNT CLUB - PILOT

“BEN COMES DOWN”

TEASER

FADE IN:

INT. CASINO TEXAS HOLD ‘EM TABLE – NIGHT

The hustle and bustle of the Casino floor is lost on BEN MATHER (early 30’s). He seems lifeless in posture leaning back, almost slumped in his chair after 12 hours of poker. He stares with an almost relaxed gaze at his opponent MARCUS (50’S) across the table from him.

Marcus looks at his cards for what seems to be the 20th time, lays them down, then pushes his whole stack chips into the pot.

MARCUS
(To BEN)
I really believe you are full of as much shit now as you were the first day your cunty mother brought you into this world. I’m all in.

He tosses his cards towards the flop. His hand with the table creates a Straight.

Ben leans forward and lays his hands on the table, gripping the ridge and shows a brief, half-smile on his tired face. He reaches down and throws his cards towards the flop. They make four 2’s.

MARCUS
(To Ben, angrily)
You…. Are a son of a bitch. No one should ever stay in on pocket twos.

The dealer pushes all the chips over to Ben, he begins to organize them. Marcus gets up and walks away.

BEN
(to the dealer)
Can I have a tray please? I’ve got a flight to catch.

FADE IN:

INT. AIRLINE WINDOW SEAT – DAY

As the sun rises in the east, the red-eye flight from Las Vegas lands in Chicago. Based on Ben’s disheveled appearance, he hasn’t gotten any sleep on the flight.

FLIGHT ATTENDANT
(over the intercom)
Thank you for choosing United. Whether you are just visiting or returning home, we hope your stay is a good one.

Ben scratches his unshaven face and mumbles to himself under his breath followed by a heavy sigh.

BEN
(to himself)
Back to the real world

INT. BEN’S CONDO LIVING ROOM – DAY

The front door opens. A golden terrier (JAKE) yips and wags its tail excitedly as Terrance opens the front door.

BEN
(to Jake)
Hey partner, it’s good to see you. Yeah I missed you too.

Ben crouches down to give Jake a big body hug. He gets up, throws his keys without looking onto the kitchen table and plops himself down on the couch. He picks up the remote and turns on ESPN. Jake jumps up on the couch and places his head in Ben’s lap.

No sooner did Ben sit down, Jake lifts his head and looks to the front door and begins whine. Terrance turns around and see his wife of six months (CLAUDIA, mid-20’s) open the door. She’s wearing a Meat is Murder t-shirt, ripped jeans and a heavy golden cross around her neck. Claudia’s hair is put up in a bun with chopsticks holding it together.

BEN
(to Claudia, tired buy pleasantly surprised..turning his head towards the door)
You made it home. How’s the tour going?

Claudia doesn’t move from the door, instead leans against the frame, folds her arms and looks to the ground.

CLAUDIA
(with a heavy sigh)
Ben, we have to talk.

FADE OUT

END OF TEASER




ACT ONE

“BEN LEARNS A LESSON”

FADE IN:

INT:  UNFINISHED WINDOWLESS CONCRETE & BRICK-WALLED BASEMENT – NIGHT

THERE’S A POKER TABLE STREWN WITH BEER AND MIXED BEVERAGES, ASHTRAYS AND PILES OF CHIPS IN FRONT OF THE SEVEN PLAYERS (ALL IN THEIR MID-TO-LATE 30’S) INCLUDING DEVON, EDDIE, ERIC, JIMMY, WALT, VICK & BEN.

ALL THE PLAYERS ARE ROARING IN LAUGHTER EXCEPT FOR BEN WHO IS LEANING BACK IN HIS CHAIR LOOKING AT HIS TWO CARDS.

Devon (Black, slightly overweight), sitting next to Ben, leans over, pats him on the back.

DEVON
(Still laughing, almost crying)
That is some bullshit. And this was last Thursday?

BEN
(With a wry smile, still looking at his cards)
Yeah.

Vick (balding with earrings and a Fu Manchu cut moustache) takes a drag on his cigarette and exhales towards the ceiling.
VICK
(Laughing also)
You mean we all flew out to Wine Country 3 months ago for this?

Jimmy (clean-cut brownish hair, medium built in great shape) stops laughing, wraps his knuckle on the poker table impatiently.

JIMMY
The bet’s fifty to you Ben.

Ben looks at the three turn cards at the center of the table, pauses, then picks two white chips and throws them into the pot.

Devon then throws his cards into the pile of chips.
DEVON
Out.

Vick, Jimmy, Walt (white, brown hair, skinny) & Eric (white, slightly long grayish hair with an unshaven face and round glasses) all throw their cards to the middle of the table.

VICK
Out.

JIMMY
Whatever.

ERIC
This hand blows.

Eddie (Asian, chunky) throws his cards into the pot. Ben reaches in and takes all the chips.

JIMMY
Dude, did she really fuck around on you already?

Everyone at the table moans over the comment.

EDDIE
(roaring in laughter)
What do you mean already? Jesus Jimmy, she just left him.

JIMMY
(surprised)
What? No! I didn’t mean it like that. I mean…I don’t know whatever. It’s your deal too Ben…shit….

Devon points a finger at Jimmy and winks.

DEVON
You always know how to set the mood Jimmy. That’s why we love you.

BEN
(a little defeated)
You know, I guess I knew something was up. I mean I knew when we came back from Cancun that she would be on tour again. But when she came back the last time she had changed. She (with a heavy sigh), just wouldn’t be in the mood anymore.

EDDIE
And this is surprising how? You’re married dude.

BEN
Well she was always into it. And I mean all the time -before breakfast, in the bar bathroom and once in an alley behind Starbucks.

VICK
Yeah I remember that, you texted me. Tam would NEVER do that.

JIMMY
I mean really, do you think she was cheating or what?

Ben continues to shuffle the cards.

BEN
I don’t know. I mean I don’t even know how to begin.

DEVON
We’re here for you. Now deal.

Ben offers the deck to Eric to cut. Eric declines so Ben begins to deal out two cards to each player. Eric stands up holding his empty glass and hold out his hand palm down.

ERIC
(To Ben)
I’m out this hand, got to make a drink and hit the can. Anyone?

VICTOR
(handing his empty glass to Eric)
Jack and Coke.

DEVON
I’m good.

The rest of table nods no or waves him off. Ben finishes dealing out the cards and lays 3 cards in the middle of the table.

Eric walks over and makes to drinks at the table in the far corner of the room. He mixes two Jack and cokes.

ERIC
(to himself)
That blows.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT: BABY’S ROOM - DAY

The blue-painted room is filled to the brim with all the trapping’s a newly arrived baby. A 5-month old boy sleeps in the crib soundly. With a sudden slam of a door outside the room, ALVIN is jarred awake. His eyes pop open, he takes in his surroundings and begins to wail.

HEATHER (white, early thirties with long brown hair) rushes into the room and picks up Alvin and cuddles him in her arms.

HEATHER
(Rocking Alvin in her arms)
Oh honey, I am so sorry. It’s okay…it’s okay.

Heathers sits in the rocking chair opposite the crib and begins to hmm quietly, looking lovingly into Alvin’s face, calming him down easily.

Eric walks to the doorway and leans against the frame, arms crossed with a cross look on face.

Heather looks up from Alvin to see Eric in the doorway. Her loving expression turns to spite and contempt.

HEATHER
(To Eric, whispering intently)
We will talk about this later. I will not argue in front of him.

ERIC
(whispering, angry and exasperated)
I don’t even know what we’re arguing about.

HEATHER
(still whispering but now angry)
Then that just sums us up, doesn’t it?

Eric raises his hands in defeat and walks away from the doorway.

Heather’s gaze returns to that of absolute love and adoration once it sets back on Alvin who is now snoring and asleep in her arms.
DISSOLVE TO:

INT. – PUBLIC BATHROOM – NIGHT

Eric is urinating in a stall. An unlit cigarette dangles from his mouth. He sighes with relief as he finishes up and zips up his pants.

He walks over to the sink, turns on the water, wets his hands, pushed the container for soap and lathers up. Noticeably, Eric won’t look in the mirror, he keeps his head down on his hands the whole time.

Once he’s done, Eric pulls out a paper towel, dries his hands then throws it in the corner trash bin.


DISSOVLE TO:

INT:  UNFINISHED WINDOWLESS CONCRETE & BRICK-WALLED BASEMENT – NIGHT

Back to the poker game, everyone sits quietly. Eddie is hunched over his chips, moving a few between his fingers.

EDDIE
(To Vick)
Raising me five, right?

VICK
(calmly, with a pause)
….yep….

EDDIE
..hmm….

Eric walks in from the rooms read door returning from the bathroom. He grabs the two drinks and brings them to the table placing one in from of Vick.

VICK
(to Eric)
Thanks bro.

ERIC
Yup

Eddie leans back in his chair, puts his hands behind his head and looks to the ceiling.

EDDIE
(to Vick)
You are so full of shit – but I just don’t know how much.

Eddie leans forward suddenly and slightly slams his hands on the table, never looking at Vick then flips in a $5 chip.

EDDIE
Here’s your damn money. Let’s see ‘em.

With a half-wry smile this whole time, never taking his eyes of Eddie, Vick flips over his 2 cards.

VICK
Straight to the Queen. Eat it.

Eddie, with his hands still in the same position with his eyes down, slowly looks and matches Vick’s stare. He reaches over, turns his two cards over tosses then to the center of the table.

EDDIE
Flush.

Eddie leans over and grabs Vick’s smokes and takes one.

DEVON
That’s cold.

JIMMY
I’m glad I got out.

WALT
(indifferent)
…eh..

Jimmy pushes the chips towards Eddie then picks up all the cards and begins to shuffle. Eddie begins to stack the winnings.

VICK
You’re…..a dick. I swore I had you.

EDDIE
Well I didn’t think you were straight – I mean HAD a straight…


Walt picks up his phone and sees the time.

WALT
It’s 12:30 already. Say one more round?

DEVON
One more round always works for me.

Devon’s phone vibrates on the table. He picks it up and let’s out a patented Devon grunt.

BEN
(To Devon)
Who is it?

DEVON
My wife. The girl is out late again. Looks like sooner rather than later.


Jimmy begins to deal out the cards again.

VICK
(To Ben)
Did she move out or what. Tam’ll want to know.

BEN
You know, she packed everything and said we’d talk. I dunno (with a pause and a sigh), I just didn’t see this happening….ever…

Eric throws in a white chip. Vick follows along with Walt & Devon.

BEN
(throwing his cards)
I fold…..but here’s the thing. I booked a trip to New Orleans to meet up with her. Fuck. Do I still go?

VICK
Why the hell not?

WALT
(immediately)
I’ll go. I can take the time off.

Eddie & finally Jimmy each throw in their white chip. Jimmy then deals the three-card flop.

BEN
(to Walt)
You sure?

WALT
Why not? Barb and I aren’t seeing each other anymore.

BEN
(surprised)
What? Since when?

WALT
(looking at this cards)
Dunno…since now?

The table begins to laugh, Walt doesn’t. He looks surprised by the attention.

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. – DIRT PATH IN THE WOODS – DAY

Walt is hiking alone along the path on a clear, sunny day. He’s wearing a white t-shirt, cut-off khakis, sunglasses and a small backpack. He’s got his headphones in and is nodding to the music as he continues down the path. Walt has a thin but well-defined built, he keeps his hair slightly disheveled and purposefully stays unshaven. Women are attracted to him and he knows it.

Along he path comes a group of five women on their dirt bikes. As they go buy they wave at Walt and he returns the favor.

WALT
(to himself)
Nice

After a few seconds of walking alone, one of the women rides back to Walt and stops in front of him. Walt stops and nods. BARB is a mid-twenties, shorter woman fair skin and striking deep, dark eyes. Wearing a bike helmet, it’s difficult for Walt to determine the length of her dark brown hair.

BARB
(to Walt)
Hey

WALT
Hey Yourself. You lost?

BARB
(coyly)
Nope. Are you?

WALT
Always

BARB
Well then, we’re staying at a cabin about half hour up the Madison Trail for a week….you staying around here?

WALT
Actually I am. Our cabin that way (pointing from in the opposite direction) about an hour.

Barb pulls out her phone from her back pocket, pulls it open and presses a few buttons.

BARB
We’re having a bonfire tonight - maybe you want to stop by?

WALT
(with a coy tone)
I just might

BARB
What’s your number? I’ll text you later. That is if you’re interested? I mean all of my friends have their boyfriends and husbands coming up. I’m going to get bored.

WALT
I’d love to help you out. My number is…

DISSOLVE TO:

INT:  UNFINISHED WINDOWLESS CONCRETE & BRICK-WALLED BASEMENT – NIGHT

The table is just laughing and rolling their eyes at Walt who still has his head down.

VICK
(to the whole table excitedly)
…then he disappears for three days and doesn’t tell us where the fuck he’s going!

WALT
Well…

DEVON
(To Walt)
…not cool…
JIMMY
(Still a little surprised that this had happened)
You still owe me for that.

Walt looks up with a half-joking cocky and proud smile and throws his cards into the pile and lifts his arms up in a faux surrender.

WALT
They didn’t ask for anyone else. What was I supposed to do?

BEN
(To Walt)
Even I was surprised by your slutiness. But you’re good for New Orleans?

WALT
I’m in. I’ll make sure with work tomorrow.

VICK
(with disgust)
I swear, this whole table has been hunted and mounted on the wall of emotional trophies.

ERIC
I fold....you have no idea how right you are…

EDDIE
(To Eric, quesitoningly)
…what does THAT mean?

ERIC
I realized that I’d never heard one guy ever say that having a baby was “magical.” It has always been the mothers and grandmothers. What the FUCK was I thinking?

Everyone else just looks at each other and starts laughing…

DEVON
(To Eric)
Your life is OVER as you know it. Accept it - move on.

EDDIE
(To Eric, a little snottingly)
Shut it. Kids are a pain in the ass now and Kate’s a bitch now with the whole postpartum. She’ll come back. Just wait.

Jimmy throws his cards into the pot, stands up and stretches.

JIMMY
Okay, I’m done. It’s 2 (beat) listen ladies, I like this game but can we stop about the chicks? Really…I get enough of this at work.

DEVON
(Throws in his cards, standing up)
I second that. My teenager’s boyfriends are enough bullshit for me to deal with.

BEN
Agreed.

Everyone starts to get up from the table and starts to count chips. Vick brings over the tray so everyone can put their chips away.

VICK
(Voiceover)
Friends are hard to find and even harder to keep the older you get. And these are my friends.

FADE OUT.

END OF SHOW




















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