A question, and a plea for an opinion of a screenplay.

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  • A question, and a plea for an opinion of a screenplay.

    Hey there. First post here, hope I don't screw up anything with the rules. ;-)

    First off, I'm not a film student - I am a student, but I'm studying human-computer interaction. My programme just happens to have a film course, though, and I'm supposed to hand in part of a spec to get my credit. So as much as all the film stuff really does sound fascinating to me, I'm not really very 'in' the subject.

    Now that that's said, I've got two things I hope you guys can help me with.

    First - if I have a scene in which two people are talking, say, about a third person, and I want said third person to be shown on screen for a moment during this conversation, with the talking still going off-screen, how would I go about writing that down in the spec?

    And second - the spec-part I'm supposed to hand in, I have it sort of written down, but I'd love to know what somebody thinks of it. Keep in mind, please, that I'm by no means a professional - but at the same time, I'm pretty ambitious and hate to hand things in that aren't the best I can do.

    The general idea would be sort of... hmm. Birds of Prey meets Charlie's Angels, sort of, a team of three women specialising in retrieving any object, person or information, from anywhere, in record time and with record low losses. Except they're nuts. Deemed completely insane by the outer world. And they get a shrink assigned to them before their next mission.

    I realise it's not quite original, but hey, least in this one, the heroines aren't quite sane. I'd think they're more believable because of that, since, well, 'normal' people don't usually act the way we see spies or superheroes in movies act. You gotta be nuts, or desperate, or running from something, to behave like that, but when you're on a mission, you have to reign it all in and behave like nothing's wrong in your world. Which is something I don't think I've seen in any superhero movie or series but for Batman and Birds of Prey. (I'm not actually a huge fan of Batman, but, well, yeah)

    So, basically - here's a trio of professional thieves, the good girls, hired for all the toughest missions there are, and there's only one problem. They're too good to be sane.

    Now that I've babbled on and on, I'll post the part I have so far.

    ------------

    THE COBALT SQUAD

    FADE IN:

    EXT. TRAINING AREA - AFTERNOON (13.40) - ESTABLISHING

    It's the middle of summer, and the training area is full of Blue Ops operatives going
    through their daily exercises.

    Nearby, set against a calm forest and lake, is a large, one-story BUILDING COMPLEX.

    CUT TO:

    INT. COBALT OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

    The Cobalt Squad's joint office, suitably decorated in blues, grays and dark, opaque
    glass, has three windows looking out on the lake.

    There's an armchair, couch and coffee table to one side. The rest of the room is
    dominated by a large, triangular desk, a flat TV screen on the nearby wall. The desk is
    divided into three equal sections, each with its own laptop, drawer cabinet and chair.

    AMANDA CORLEONE, 26, is an attractive Italian-born girl, tall, tanned and very much in
    shape. She enters the room and sits in the comfortable armchair, waiting for another
    woman to finish up a conversation on the videophone at her desk.

    NATALIE HARGROVE, 29, has a girl-next-door look about her. Dark-haired, tall and fit,
    she doesn't quite look the part of a geek. She doesn't seem too happy about the way the
    call is going.

    HARGROVE
    You wouldn't happen to know if...

    Interrupted, Hargrove listens a moment, then sighs.

    HARGROVE
    Of course, sir. I'll see to it, then. Yes, sir.

    Corleone raises an eyebrow - this isn't one of Hargrove's 'geek-calls' after all.

    HARGROVE
    Thank you, sir. Hope you have a nice weekend. We'll see you
    come Monday, then? That's fine. Bye.

    Hargrove ends the call and leans back in her chair, contemplating her desk - and pretty
    much ignoring Corleone's presence.

    CORLEONE
    Well?

    HARGROVE
    Well what?

    CORLEONE
    Who was that?

    HARGROVE
    Commander Jennings.

    Corleone waits for an explanation, but when none is forthcoming, she finally gives in.

    CORLEONE
    And?

    HARGROVE
    (absently)
    And what?

    CORLEONE
    (getting annoyed)
    And, I very much doubt he was calling to ask how we were
    doing. What's up?

    Hargrove sighs, pushes away from her desk and finally looks at her friend. There's no
    easy way to break the news.

    HARGROVE
    He's assigned a psychologist to us.

    Corleone's surprised, to say the least - she hadn't been expecting this at all.

    CORLEONE
    A psychologist?

    HARGROVE
    One of the best in the field, apparently.

    CORLEONE
    (beat)
    I guess we should be flattered...

    HARGROVE
    They're worried we'll turn on them. Jennings did all he
    could, but...
    (beat)
    Between you, me and Kiela, we're quite the team. We could
    certainly shake things up a bit, and they know it.

    CORLEONE
    Ruffle a few feathers?

    HARGROVE
    Get a hold of some top-secret documents.

    CORLEONE
    Mess up a peace treaty or two.

    HARGROVE
    Find a few items we weren't supposed to know about...

    CORLEONE
    Sounds like a plan.

    The two women laugh like they're sharing a good joke.

    HARGROVE
    I'm not surprised they want to make sure we don't screw up.
    I'd actually been expecting it for some time now.

    Corleone stops just short of snorting at the idea.

    CORLEONE
    Yes, because our mental health is just -so- unstable...

    HARGROVE
    We're not exactly picture perfect, Amanda. Far from it,
    actually.

    CORLEONE
    (feigning surprise)
    What? We aren't?

    Corleone jumps up from the armchair to look at the full length mirror, taking a moment
    to inspect herself. Her good humour wins over her modesty as she comments-

    CORLEONE
    I look good.

    Corleone then looks over, assessing Hargrove, and shrugs.

    CORLEONE
    And you don't look too bad yourself...
    (winks)
    ...at least for someone your age.

    Hargrove laughs, but doesn't respond to the jibes.

    The door opens to admit KIELA PAERNS, 17. At least she looks that age - in reality
    she's 25. She's shorter than her two friends and very slim. She's cute, in a teenager
    way, and her blond hair has aqua streaks in it. Despite the slightly rebel look, she's
    a quiet individual.

    Paerns nods to the other two and crosses over to the sofa. Corleone is on a roll now.

    CORLEONE
    You know, even Kiela here isn't that bad - especially if
    you're into the whole looks like a teenager thing.

    Hargrove laughs, while Paerns looks on, lost, trusting the others to bring her up to
    speed.

    CORLEONE
    Jennings called.

    Paerns looks between the two.

    PAERNS
    I take it it wasn't a social call?

    CORLEONE
    Not quite... Seems like they're worried we might lose our
    minds one of these days.

    HARGROVE
    Amanda was trying to prove we were picture perfect, and that
    we didn't need any help.

    CORLEONE
    'Far from mentally unstable' is what I was going for.

    Hargrove is used to such comments from Corleone. Amused, she tolerates them in much the
    same way a mother tolerates what her young child says.

    HARGROVE
    My mistake.

    PAERNS
    (steering the conversation back to the topic)
    So... they want us to meet someone. A psychologist.

    HARGROVE
    To make sure we're still sane, yes.

    CORLEONE
    Oh, it gets better. It's not a one-time fling or anything.
    They're assigning her to the three of us.

    PAERNS
    (very sarcastically)
    Cool.

    CORLEONE
    Yeah.

    Hargrove remains silent, though.

    PAERNS
    (carefully)
    Why do I feel like I'm waiting for the other shoe to drop?

    CORLEONE
    Good question. It -is- a she, isn't it?

    The fact that Hargrove shrinks ever slightly against her chair is a dead giveaway.

    HARGROVE
    Ah... not quite.

    PAERNS
    (hopefully)
    So it's an it?

    HARGROVE
    No, uhm... It's a he. His name is Faeren Rhodri.

    Silence descends on the office, as the women consider the implications. Then-

    CORLEONE
    I beat up a counselor once.

    Hargrove groans; this was to be expected, but she'd been hoping it wouldn't come to it.

    CORLEONE
    He was called... Perry. Perry Payton. Think this Faeren guy
    knows him?

    PAERNS
    (dryly)
    If he does, I'm sure he'll know to watch out around you.
    (to Hargrove)
    When do we meet him?

    HARGROVE
    He's supposed to come in on the afternoon bus, at sixteen
    hundred hours...

    Corleone glances at the clock - it's nearly 1400 as it is.

    CORLEONE
    Being warned ahead of schedule is so nice, isn't it.

    PAERNS
    Guess it all comes with the job.

    The three women fall silent again, thinking. Soon enough, though, Corleone looks up,
    apparently all happy again.

    CORLEONE
    So - anyone hungry?

    FADE TO:

    EXT. AIRPORT - MOMENTS LATER - ESTABLISHING

    A plane ROARS into life, then slowly rolls across the airstrip to pick up its passengers
    at a medium-sized airport.

    CUT TO:

    INT. AIRPORT, WAITING AREA -- CONTINUOUS

    Amongst the throng of people waiting for their flight is FAEREN RHODRI, 32, sitting in
    the quietest corner, talking on his cellphone.

    INT. NONDESCRIPT OFFICE -- CONTINUOUS

    CAPTAIN CAMRON BAILEY is sitting at a desk, hanging on the phone and absently looking
    through a stack of papers.

    BAILEY
    You're sure you're going to be alright, son? Those women
    aren't known for their impeccable manners, you know. Not to
    mention their other... charming... traits.

    INTERCUT BETWEEN RHODRI AND BAILEY

    RHODRI
    Oh, the Deranged Trio, the Loonie Threesome... I've heard
    quite a few of the names they've been called, sir.

    BAILEY
    And you're fine with that?

    RHODRI
    (laughing)
    As fine as anyone could be when walking into a cage full of
    lions. Frankly, it's hard for me to imagine a trio like the
    one painted in all those reports. They sound too good to be
    true.

    BAILEY
    They're too good to be sane, Rhodri.

    RHODRI
    Right. Well, if they're even a third of what they appear to
    be on paper, it'll be an interesting experience. I may be
    worried about meeting them, but I'm sure it's still
    reasonably safe.

    BAILEY
    Not quite how I see it, but if you're absolutely sure about
    this...

    RHODRI
    I'm sure I won't get bored, sir.

    BAILEY
    Oh, I'm sure you won't, son, I'm sure you won't.
    (sighing heavily)
    Well, for what it's worth, son, good luck.

    RHODRI
    Thank you, sir. I'll send in progress reports every week, as
    agreed.

    BAILEY
    Very well. We'll be waiting for them.

    RHODRI
    Goodbye, Captain.

    BAILEY
    Goodbye, Lieutenant.
    (beat)
    And, son? You're a brave man.

    Rhodri ends the call, then speed-dials 'Unc'. But before he can press the call button-

    ANNOUNCER
    Passengers of flight B-35 are asked to gate A.

    With a weary sigh, Rhodri pockets his cellphone, stands up and heads to the gate.

    ------------

    Please let me know what you think, and what I should fix? Thanks!
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