THE TRIAL OF FILM 2

Comedy

THE TRIAL OF FILM 2

Film Director SPUTNIK enjoys great success on the festival circuit with his multi-award winning 'Short Film'. His reputation is cemented and the offers start pouring in. But investors make demands and Sputnik suddenly finds his art being dictated to by producers, investors and power brokers in the industry. Who are they to tell Sputnik how to make a film?


Transcripts / Production notes / Scripts

2nd draft, and shooting script for THE TRIAL OF FILM 2 by Ben Warner, November 2006.

FADE IN:

A Universal Counter Leader emblazoned with the title: “THE TRIAL OF FILM PART TWO” flashes on the screen, disappearing once the countdown has completed. A trademark cigarette burn follows followed by -

BLACK.

The voice of SPUTNIK echoes out of the darkness.

SPUTNIK
Who are you again?


1. INT. INTERVIEW ROOM. 1.

SPUTNIK sits motionless in the interview chair.

Sputnik’s hair is all pushed upward to the centre of his head, held together by industrial-strength hair gel. He is dressed entirely in black, sporting a black scarf and sunglasses.

SUBTITLE: “Sputnik, Director, ‘SHORT FILM’”.

Sputnik focuses his attention to the off-camera interviewer.

INTERVIEWER
I interviewed you last year... remember, for ‘Short Film’?

SPUTNIK
Ah yes, you may do so again.

INTERVIEWER
Thank you Mr. Sputnik.

SPUTNIK
That’s ‘Sputnik’. Not ‘Mr Sputnik’.

INTERVIEWER
I’m sorry Sputnik.

SPUTNIK
For fuck’s sake, what kind of interviewer are you? Can’t even get the name of the talent right... fucker!
INTERVIEWER
I was hoping to ask you about your experiences after ‘Short Film’ premiered, especially on the festival circuit. I understand ‘Short Film’ got in to the Summersong Film Festival.

SPUTNIK
Ah yes...

INTERVIEWER
What was the reaction after that first screening?

SPUTNIK
Absolutely incredible. Moving you could say. I can’t tell you how touching it is when an audience truly connects with your vision. My vision. I was approached after the screening by the Festival Director. She was very impressed.


2. INT. FESTIVAL OFFICE. DAY. 2.

SPUTNIK sits in a chair in front of ALICE METERFORD, the FESTIVAL DIRECTOR. Alice is mid-thirties, blonde, arty and a bit mad. She is dressed in multi-coloured garments. She is leaning against her desk, smiling.

ALICE
Sputnik darling. You’re a genius.

SPUTNIK
Thank you.

ALICE
No really! I’ve never seen so much passion injected in to a film before.

SPUTNIK
Passion and film are as one.

ALICE
I’ve been doing this for ten years and the amount of trite, shithouse art films that have come through here... and the amount of bullshit I’ve had to spin to sell these films to the audience because the distributor’s breathing down my neck... Do you know how many times I’ve said that the latest film to open the festival “revolutionises the meaning of cinema for a new generation”? Do you know how many times I’ve said the opening film has gotten a fifteen minute standing oviation when the only one clapping was the limp 25-year old upstart director? What bullshit! That’s what being a public servant gets you! But you, Sputnik! You’re a breath of fresh air my darling!

SPUTNIK
You should have told me earlier... I would have given you films you would always be proud to mount on your cinema screens.

ALICE
I’d love to mount your films forever.

SPUTNIK
Come now darling. You state the obvious.

ALICE
The unbridled arrogance. I love it. I want your child.

SPUTNIK
One step at a time darling. I’ve got films to make. No time for fucking family bullshit.

ALICE
(laughs)
You’re right. I’ve got someone I want you to talk to. He’s always looking for filmmakers like you.

SPUTNIK
Great. Get him to give me a call.

ALICE
You’re going on to big things honey...
(whispers in Sputnik’s ear)
BIG things.

Sputnik looks into Alice’s eyes, looks her up and down slowly and lustily, and smiles.

SPUTNIK
Of course honey.


3. INT. FESTIVAL OFFICE. DAY. 3.

Alice sits in the interview chair, swinging slightly from side to side.

SUBTITLE: “Alice Meterford, Festival Director, Summersong Film Festival”.

ALICE
Sputnik is a filmmaker with a lot of passion. A lot of passion. It was natural for him to go and start talking to the big players in town. Filmmakers like him need to be nurtured, and cuddled, and fondled, and mounted...


4. INT. DICK SHIELD’S OFFICE. DAY. 4.

Sputnik walks through the office door with Alice following behind. Alice steps in front of Sputnik. DICK SHIELD sits on the opposite side of the room, smoking a cigar.

DICK
Oh honey! So nice to see you again!

ALICE
It’s been too long.

DICK
And this must be the future of cinema. Sputnik, good to see ya kid.

SPUTNIK
Good to finally meet you.
DICK
Stop puckering up man. Chill, relax. I’ve been looking forward to this since Alice called me. And I gather you two got along very well, hey?

SPUTNIK
You could say that.

Sputnik, Alice and Dick all start laughing.

DICK
Don’t be shy kid. She goes about as good as any other festival director on the circuit! Ha! Ha!

Sputnik gives a half-hearted laugh but hesitates, unsure how to react. Alice becomes self-conscious and quiet.

DICK (CONT.)
I understand you’ve got something for me kid.

SPUTNIK
Yes, a horror film.

DICK
Horror! Fan-fucking-tastic. It’s all the rage. I’ll have another ‘Dog Bite’ on my hands.

SPUTNIK
You’ve been bitten by a dog? You poor bastard...

DICK
Where’ve you been kid? It’s the latest Australian horror smash hit film: “Dog Bite”. Produced by my good friend Douglas Heavyhand. Man, I tell ya, that Dog really fucking bites... Great kid. What’s it all about?

SPUTNIK
Well, it’s about...

DICK
Wait. I know it’ll be great. Send me the script! In the mean time, get on to that genius actor from your film, Jimbo the third. He’s gotta be in it. He’ll be fucking great for it!

SPUTNIK
Of course love!

DICK
I also need you to put Gweneth Laurelle in the film too. I’ve got her on contract and since she punched out her assistant and it made the papers, I haven’t been able to get her work. But I smell a comeback, don’t you?

SPUTNIK
Oh yeah... I love her. She’s so sensual.

DICK
And you gotta get Doug to produce it!

SPUTNIK
Excuse me? Why can’t I fucking produce it? I know what the fuck I’m doing for fuck’s sake! Look at ‘Short Film’!

DICK
Look kid. I know you know you’re stuff. But when there’s money on the line, I need a seasoned hand on site.

SPUTNIK
And I’m not a fucking seasoned hand?

DICK
It’s more for the money men. They don’t understand the business. We have to keep them happy. Besides, you won’t see them any way. Just do it as a personal favour to me.

SPUTNIK
I suppose.

DICK
Great kid! Doug produced ‘Dog Bite’ and made fucking millions! Go see him. He’s a great guy! You’ll love him.

SPUTNIK
I’m sure I will.

DICK
But go see Gweneth first. I’m sure you’ll be able to charm her in to doing it!


5. INT. DICK SHIELD’S OFFICE. DAY. 5.

DICK SHIELD sits in his chair, appearing relaxed but not. He takes a puff of his cigar.

SUBTITLE: “Dick Shield, Senior Vice-President Sales, Distribution and Financing, ‘Inventive Chain Citigroup Investment and Film Equities’”.

DICK
Film financing is a tough gig man. I mean, I’ve been in it for twenty years and each project is just really fucking hard to get off the ground. Finding the right trend to cash in on is just... it’s like trying to guess a fucking roulette number. And I love original shit like the next fucking cinephile, but if you take a risk on that shit you just won’t make any fucking money. That’s why, Sputnik is the man. Establishing a relationship with a director is king! And my oh my, is he one fucking director!


6. INT. BAR. EVENING. 6.

JAMES WALKER III sits at the bar, talking to the locals and drinking beer. Sputnik approaches him. James rushes over to Sputnik and hugs him.

JAMES
Hey, hey! Sputnik my man!

SPUTNIK
Good to see you love. But keep your pants on okay.

JAMES
Only for you!


7. INT. INTERVIEW ROOM. 7.

James sits in his chair but is shifting around, excited.

SUBTITLE: “James Walker III, Lead Actor, ‘Short Film’”.

JAMES
This is so exciting man. I can’t wait to work with Sputnik again! And with a big budget! I’m the man. Just wait to see you my acting chops in this film. It’ll take the bite out of any dog!


8. INT. BAR. DAY. 8.

James lets go of Sputnik.

SPUTNIK
You’re going to be starring along side Gweneth Laurelle.

JAMES
Oh my God! You’re shitting me. I’ve wanted to work with her since I was born man! You’re so fucking great!

SPUTNIK
I do what I can for my stars.

JAMES
I get to fuck her in the film don’t I?

Sputnik nods and smiles smugly. James jumps and down in excitement.




9. INT. INTERVIEW ROOM. 9.

GWENETH LAURELLE sits in the interview chair, perfectly still. She is mid-thirties, very controlled and poised to the point of being icy.

SUBTITLE: “Gweneth Laurelle, Oscar-winning Actress”.

GWENETH
This Sputnik character. He sounds okay. If Dick said so. He better be a darling. I would not want to punch his face in if it’s not necessary. My hands are delicate. They are film hands you know.

INTERVIEWER
What was the story with your last assistant?

GWENETH
Oh, I don’t know? What was her name? Lily something? Never trust a bitch named after a flower.


10. INT. GWENETH’S HOTEL ROOM. DAY. 10.

Gweneth stands by the balcony window. She hears a knock at the door.

GWENETH
Come in.

Sputnik enters. He sees Gweneth staring out of the balcony window.

GWENETH (CONT.)
I was thinking this pose would work brilliantly in your film. Staring out across the balcony while experiencing a tidal wave of emotion.

SPUTNIK
You’re so good. This is the first time someone else besides me has had a good idea. It’s true what they say, the more you climb, the further you leave the shit behind.
GWENETH
Don’t I know it?
(turns around to Sputnik)
You’ve got to be fucking kidding. What are you some glorified fucking film student?

SPUTNIK
Excuse me? Do you know who you’re fucking talking to?

GWENETH
Do you? I am Gweneth Laurelle! I won an oscar! You should be begging me to be in your cheap horror film!

SPUTNIK
No! You should be on your fucking knees kissing my arse that I’m taking a chance on you. After you punched that girl out, and that second rate performance you got an oscar for because those rank amateurs at the Academy wouldn’t know a good film if it hit them square in the face!

GWENETH
(shocked)
The unbridled arrogance. I love it. I want your child.

SPUTNIK
What is it with you fucking actresses wanting to get laid by the fucking director? I’ve been there and done that! I just want to make my masterpiece!

GWENETH
Oh you will. I’ll do your film. You’ll have the best fucking film in history!

SPUTNIK
See? Now that’s what I’m talking about.



11. INT. INTERVIEW ROOM. DAY. 11.

Sputnik sits in his seat, smug.

SPUTNIK
She was fiery. But they all are. Actually, they’re all fucking mad. But I tell you, she’s gonna be great. The crane shot up to the balcony will be a thing of beauty...


12. INT. DOUGLAS HEAVYHAND’S OFFICE. DAY 12.

Sputnik walks in to the office. DOUGLAS HEAVYHAND stands up from behind the desk, walks over to Sputnik and extends his hand to shake Sputnik’s hand.

DOUGLAS
Great to meet you Sputnik. I’m Douglas Heavyhand, ‘Pro-ducer’... ‘Dog Bite’. You come highly recommended. I can’t wait to hear what you’ve got.

SPUTNIK
I’m not sure what I’m doing here apart from being told to come here.

DOUGLAS
I know what you’re thinking.

SPUTNIK
Do you?


13. INT. INTERVIEW ROOM. 13.

Douglas sits quite comfortably, looking up at the ceiling feeling proud of himself.

SUBTITLE: “Douglas Heavyhand, Producer, ‘Dog Bite’”.

DOUGLAS
You know, I admire guys like Sputnik. He reminds me of myself, especially when Dick told me all about him.

INTERVIEWER
How did you get in to the business?

DOUGLAS
I just fell in to it really. I did it as a favour for a friend who was working at a major funding agency. It amazes me you know, there are some people out there who work there arses off to realise their dream to get financed and never get any where, and I just fell in to it and succeeded overnight. Funny huh?


14. INT. DOUGLAS HEAVYHAND’S OFFICE. 14.

Douglas walks over to Sputnik and puts his arm around him.

DOUGLAS
You want to know if you can trust me. Rest assured. I got an 8 million dollar deal with ‘Dog Bite’. I can do the same for you. And the production values... I can do that for you too but at a fifth of the cost. Thanks to digital. With the latest digital cameras and equipment, we’ll make a fucking amazing film.

SPUTNIK
(becoming agitated)
I’m sorry... did you just say, digital?

DOUGLAS
Yes! Digital. It’s the breakthrough that makes big budget filmmaking affordable.

SPUTNIK
Fucking digital? I’m not making my fucking film on digital! Why is everyone fucking obsessed with fucking digital bullshit? Doesn’t any one make FILMS any more?


15. INT. INTERVIEW ROOM. 15.

Sputnik smiles uncomfortably at the Interviewer.

SPUTNIK
Needless to say, it didn’t work out...

INTERVIEWER
That’s a shame.

SPUTNIK
Not really.


16. EXT. HOTEL. OUTDOOR BAR. DAY. 16.

Sputnik sits still in his chair in the outdoor bar. James sits next to Sputnik, anxiously, constantly shifting around and running his fingers through his hair.

JAMES
I just know it’s gonna happen this time. We’ve worked so hard for so long. It’s gonna happen. It’s gonna happen.

SPUTNIK
Of course it will fucking happen.

JAMES
What was the meeting time again?

SPUTNIK
Dick didn’t give one. He’s busy lining up a deal for shampoo commercial tie-ins for ‘Dog Bite’. That fucker Heavyhand must want all the fucking digital shampoo rights as well... Fucker... Anyway, Dick was going to call me after four to let me know when he was free.

JAMES
Shampoo Commercials? I would have thought dog biscuits would have been far more appropriate. ‘Look, your dog can bite just like ours once he’s had our biscuits!’.

James leans forward to Sputnik.

JAMES (CONT.)
Man that ‘Dog Bite’ was so fucking scary though. I mean, that part when the dog bites! Oh my fucking god. It was so scary.

Sputnik’s mobile rings.

SPUTNIK
Yeah fine, the dog was fucking scary... so was that fucker Heavyhand. It’s Dick. Shut the fuck up!

JAMES
It’s gonna happen.

SPUTNIK
Hey Dick...

James sits forward in his chair, hanging off all of Sputnik’s words.

SPUTNIK
Flat out still huh? What’s that? You’ve got a towel around you? Right... Tomorrow morning? I guess so. All right, see you at 8.30am. Bye Dick.

JAMES
Tomorrow morning? What the fuck is this shit?

SPUTNIK
He’s out tonight. Previous engagement. He said he’d meet us tomorrow.

JAMES
He kept us waiting for three hours and he didn’t bother to mention that he had a previous fucking engagement? What a fucker... This isn’t gonna happen.



SPUTNIK
Calm the fuck down love. This shit happens all the time. It’s the film business. Everything is still on track. Which reminds me, I’ll take you over to meet Gweneth tomorrow night.

JAMES
Oh baby...


17. INT. DICK SHIELD’s OFFICE. MORNING. 17.

Sputnik sits opposite Dick who is shaking his head. Dick is puffing on his cigar.

DICK
Kid, I need an action film.

SPUTNIK
Action? I pitched you a horror film. Like we agreed.

DICK
I know kid, but horror’s out. I need an action hero.

SPUTNIK
But you wanted horror. I’ve been working my fucking brains out to deliver a masterpiece script of horror. And now you want fucking action? What the fuck is this fucking bullshit?

DICK
Don’t get feisty kid. I read your script. I got the general impression from the story that it was going somewhere... but then it didn’t. It got lost along the way. Just like the horror genre. And besides, horror’s out. Come on, you gotta have something in the action genre. A hero I can exploit, that runs around bare foot in a tank top that all the guys wanna be and the girls wanna fuck!

Sputnik stares at Dick, almost ready to kill him.

CUT TO -

18. INT. INTERVIEW ROOM. DAY. 18.
Sputnik sits uncomfortably in his chair.

SPUTNIK
The nerve of that fucking imbecile! ‘Horror is out’. You see, this is the shit you have to put up with. Fucking funding arse-wipes who can’t make up their minds and one-hit producers wanting to shoot fucking digital. And any of you little shits out there wanting to get in to making films, don’t fucking bother. Instead of getting money to make a proven masterpiece, you get dangled a carrot that you can’t eat! FUCK! For fuck’s sake, that’s the trial of film!

FADE OUT.

THE END.

Details

Language: English

Year of Production: 2007

Length: 18m:11s

Country: Australia

Directors:

  • Ben Warner

Producers:

  • Ben Warner

Actors:

  • Colin MacPherson Willow J. Conway Christopher Bunworth Lee Mason Alexis Beebe Glen Hancox Adam Pritchard