Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Candlelighter screenplay



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The Candlelighter.pdf


The Candlelighter
Copyright (c) 2014 This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author


FADE IN:
EXT. GREAT SMOKY MOUNTAINS - 2001 - DAY
A raven's lonely glide over yellow birch and scarlet oak.
An untainted horizon ahead, but as it reverses, an opposing
flow of darkness floods the sky.
Suddenly, the raven left behind and pulled toward a sprawling
thunderhead. Miles of small debris fills the air along with
waves of booming and crackling. Without warning, an encounter
with a squall, the final push inward.
INT. SC LIFE FLIGHT ONE - DAY
The storm's hostage, an emergency helicopter forced to slice
through Mother Nature's electrostatic fury.
A scarce amount of light within the cockpit. The PILOT and
FLIGHT PARAMEDIC search for an opening.
PILOT
They're saying it's worse up ahead.
FLIGHT PARAMEDIC
We have to get through it.
PILOT
Not this one. This is a bigger one
than they ran into.
Pulsating light invades the cockpit. The head of the lone
patient secured and motionless.
A sudden downdraft jolts the crew members. Warning messages.
The Flight Paramedic recovers and checks the patient. The
Pilot turns back.
PILOT (CONT'D)
They're ready for us if you can spot
it!
The clouds below separate. Able to duck out.
PILOT (CONT'D)
This is SC one. We're settin' down
now. Over.
EXT. SPARTANBURG - SOUTH CAROLINA - AERIAL - DAY
Ahead, the blurred lights of a hospital roof, as though the
earth spins out of control.
EXT. HOSPITAL - DAY
Atop the roof, the crackling intensifies while the wind pushes
an inch of rain across the helipad.
2.
Undaunted by the conditions, the Pilot sets the Life Flight
down with precision.
Hospital personnel rush out under the spinning rotor. The
Life Flight One crew open the doors, but the storm slams
them shut.
INT. ER SUITE ONE - DAY
A look down at the rescued backseat passenger and the swollen
eyes of eight-year-old HOGAN BUHL. Rain soaked gauze covers
his left temple.
A swarm of medical personnel buzz around him.
Last to enter the suite, thirty-seven years old, DR. LUKE
MERKISH. His bloodied gloves keep him from handling Hogan's
electronic chart. An RN assists while a TECH monitors.
DR. MERKISH
How long? Nevermind. Possible
internal, what else?
TECH
Heart rate tachycardic. BP falling,
79... 42.
From a horizontal perspective, one of Hogan's hands hangs
bloodied and lifeless as Dr. Merkish moves to his side.
DR. MERKISH
What's going on with you? Get ready
to move him and get that new guy in
here!
Dr. Merkish turns his back to Hogan. He waits for a new set
of gloves, but spins around again. Hogan's fists now together
over his chest.
DR. MERKISH (CONT'D)
What's this? Did he just move?
Anybody?
TECH
(perplexed)
Nothing yet.
An X-ray image appears on a monitor. Dr. Merkish points to
the image.
DR. MERKISH
Send that to Greenville.
Hogan attempts to open his eyes.
DR. MERKISH (CONT'D)
Now what? Readings?
3.
TECH
Heart rate normal at 70. BP 120,
80. Respirations 18 and regular.
Dr. Merkish checks Hogan's pupils.
DR. MERKISH
This guy is all over. What's goin'
on guy? Can your hear me Hogan?
Hogan blinks, his conscious state confirmed.
DR. MERKISH (CONT'D)
I don't think so. Not falling for
it.
(pointing)
He looks stable, but take him to SG
for another look. Get everything
you can on his head.
Dr. Merkish puts his hand on Hogan's rain soaked t-shirt and
lights a fire under the staff.
DR. MERKISH (CONT'D)
And get him into something dry.
INT. ER WAITING ROOM - DAY
More youthful than forty, HALEY BUHL hunches over. Her worst
nightmare as a nurse slows everything but her tears. Still
in uniform, she receives hugs from her co-workers.
Dr. Merkish, in a new set of scrubs, emerges from the ER.
Haley musters the strength to listen.
DR. MERKISH
Haley... Hogan's improving. Alright?
He's stable. We're going to test
him further and watch him closely.
We'll do everything... I'm so sorry.
With her arms folded, Haley shivers. Dr. Merkish puts a
gentle hand on her shoulder.
DR. MERKISH (CONT'D)
Hey. Your little guy is something.
HALEY
I know. Luke... Can I see him?
DR. MERKISH
Sure, he'll be out of his scan in
just a bit.
INT. ROOM 205 - DAY
The sun does its best to awaken Haley. Bouquets of flowers
crowd the room.
4.
Hogan fights to stay awake. No longer in a battle with pain,
but disoriented by medication. A large bandage remains on
his left temple.
A knock on the door. Dr. Merkish enters -- reticent in every
way.
DR. MERKISH
Hello. I just wanted to come by and
check on you guys. Still asleep?
HALEY
Yeah. He's moved a couple times,
though.
Both draw their attention to Hogan as he moves his head.
Dr. Merkish slides between the flowers and Haley to get a
closer look at Hogan.
DR. MERKISH
Can't wait to talk to you guy.
Hogan's eyes flicker.
HALEY (O.S.)
I think he's tired.
DR. MERKISH
I think your Mom knows best. Time
to sleep.
(whispering)
I've never seen any kid as tough as
you guy. Never.
An eye on Haley.
DR. MERKISH (CONT'D)
I'll be around if you need anything,
or if I'm not here just page me.
HALEY
Thank you Luke.
Dr. Merkish exits.
INT. ROOM 205 - NIGHT
A candle burns down to its base in the corner near Haley.
Hogan eyes are closed, but his hand passes over the bandage.
FLASHBACK: EXT. AIRPORT HANGER - DAY
Next to a lone Cessna, Hogan tugs on his father's waist.
HOGAN
Please Dad. Please. Just to the
treeline. Please!
5.
INT. CESSNA 172 - DAY
Hogan's eyes shut. Nothing to grab on to. A sudden flash
and drop.
INT. CESSNA 172 - DAY (LATER)
Dazed in the backseat, Hogan opens his eyes. On the ground
and tipped to his right side.
The oncoming siren of a sheriff's car and the arrival of a
helicopter above cannot distract his attention from the empty
pilot seat. He resists the urge to collapse as he leans to
his right further to get a better view of the pilot seat.
There is no one.
PRESENT: INT. ROOM 205 - DAY
Hogan awakens with his head turned away from Haley. On the
phone, her voice fails.
HALEY (O.S.)
He hasn't spoken... They don't know,
we just have to wait...
Haley turns the phone away to cry.
HALEY (CONT'D)
I just wanna come home... Ok...Ok...
Good night.
Haley hangs up the phone and blows out the candle. She sobs
in the darkness.
EXT. BUHL HOUSE - (SHENANDOAH, IOWA) - DAY
A modest home on the outskirts of town. Relatively treeless,
unlike Spartanburg. A new beginning.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
Hogan pleads to Haley while she slices a loaf of bread. A
scar now on his left temple.
HALEY
Hogan, please. It's too far away.
HOGAN
I won't get hurt.
HALEY
Sweetie, I know, but we're about to
eat and you know what the doctor
said about protecting your head.
Why don't we unpack one of your
games while the lasagna bakes?
6.
HOGAN
I'm not hungry.
Hogan sinks his head into his arms, which draws Haley to
him.
HALEY
Hogan. I'm sorry I've been so tough
lately. I just don't want you to
get hurt. Do you understand?
Haley embraces Hogan.
HOGAN
Mom... I didn't tell you something.
HALEY
What?
HOGAN
When I was in the plane waiting for
help. I didn't see Dad.
HALEY
Sweetie, I know. You said that at
the hospital. I wish he was...
Hogan runs out of the room before Haley can finish.
INT. HOGAN'S ROOM - DAY
Face down on his bed, Hogan turns to look out his window as
the sun fades behind a dying crop of corn.
The photo of him and his father begs his attention. He
picks it up -- their arms around each other, atop the Waimea
Canyon.
Two tears run down the picture. He puts it down and tiptoes
out of his room on his way to the garage.
EXT. GARAGE - DAY
Hogan fixates on his bicycle and then makes his escape.
EXT. FIELD - DAY
As he pedals away from his new home, Hogan looks back once
before he reaches a dirt trail adjacent to a new housing
development.
EXT. THE BUCKET - DAY
The site, a daredevil jump left after the removal of a giant
cottonwood. Bicyclists of different ages pedal by the jump
when one of the riders stops to address Hogan.
7.
LAST RIDER
Hey, Hogan. I thought your Mom said
you couldn't.
HOGAN
Yeah, she changed her mind. Why are
you guys leaving?
LAST RIDER
We're going over to Devin's house.
He's got the new glow game. Plus,
it's gettin' dark. You're not going
to try now are ya?
HOGAN
No, maybe tomorrow.
The Last Rider leaves to catch up with the other riders, but
Hogan pedals toward the jump, a white lie in store. But as
he pedals and kicks up dirt, he stares at the ground.
FLASHBACK: WAIMEA CANYON - DAY
A red dirt trail. Hogan ascends at a snails pace, beaten
down by the Hawaiian humidity.
JAMES BUHL (O.S.)
Do you know what keeps people from
getting to the top Hogan... fear!
PRESENT: EXT. THE BUCKET - DAY
Hogan launches down the path leading to the jump. His speed
increases.
EXT. SHENANDOAH - 2011 - TRAVELING - DAY
Soothed by sunlight, Hogan in his self-modified Jeep speeds
along a rural road. He approaches a stoplight. It's red,
but Hogan refuses to let off the accelerator.
A pickup truck, pistons firing, shoots down the intersecting
road.
The light turns green for Hogan just as he enters the
intersection. The pickup driver slams on his brakes.
EXT. SHENANDOAH HIGH SCHOOL/PARKING LOT - DAY
Hogan jumps out of his Jeep. Now a man. Bronze from head
to toe. Every piece of his clothing affected by last summer's
painting job.
His long-time NEIGHBOR catches up with him.
NEIGHBOR
Hey Hoagie.
(MORE)
8.
NEIGHBOR (CONT'D)
My Mom wanted to know if you could
mow our lawn this weekend.
HOGAN
Sure.
NEIGHBOR
So, can you believe we only gotta a
few days left of this crap?
Nothing from Hogan.
NEIGHBOR (CONT'D)
Me either. I gotta start working
for my Dad next week. You're outta
here, aren't ya?
HOGAN
Yeah. After two more months of
painting.
NEIGHBOR
Told your Mom yet?
They enter through the single door of the school.
INT. CLASSROOM B7 - DAY
Algebraic equations scattered across a chalkboard. Hogan
drifts as the equations become a lullaby.
INT. CAFETERIA - DAY
At a crowded table, Hogan wolfs down a slice of pizza. His
attention, though, turns to a student who sits alone just a
table away -- the new kid from Guadalajara. Hogan waves at
him.
JAY, a DJ by night and Hogan's locker mate, interrupts his
wave.
JAY
Hey... I hate Mr. Bernard.
HOGAN
What now?
JAY
He didn't understand my paper at
all.
(two voices)
Well, Jay, ya gotta explain yourself
better. Well, Mr. Bernard, ya gotta
call it quits when you're a hundred
and five.
Hogan laughs.
9.
JAY (CONT'D)
Hey, what about tonight? What are
we doing?
HOGAN
I don't know. I might just stay in.
JAY
What? C'mon dude. We're going to
that 80's club. Friday nights are
18 and under. I'll drive the caddie.
We'll get Amber to invite her cousin.
HOGAN
Cool. I'll talk to my Mom... or
just call me tonight, ok?
Jay nods in agreement.
INT. CLASSROOM C3 - DAY
Hogan gazes out a window at a cloudless sky. The rest of
his classmates at full attention. MR MADDOX, early forties,
circles the classroom.
MR. MADDOX (O.S.)
And as we have learned all semester,
when you incorporate attention
getters...
Hogan straightens as his teacher walks by his desk.
MR. MADDOX (CONT'D)
And use the other techniques we have
talked about, people will listen.
Mr. Maddox leans on a desk in the front corner of the class.
He cues the projector. On the white board, a photo appears --
the masses in 1963 surrounding the Lincoln Memorial.
MR. MADDOX (CONT'D)
And remember this day? Anytime you
feel nervous just remember this day,
it'll make it easier...
Mr. Maddox picks up a second remote to que a CD player.
MR. MADDOX (CONT'D)
Let's end today's class by listening
one more time. Only this time, don't
just listen to the way words are
brought together, but listen to the
conviction in his voice and the
imagery he creates...
Hogan tunes in for the first time and leans forward while
staring intently at the photograph. Mr. Maddox places a
firm grip on his arm.
10.
MR. MADDOX (CONT'D)
He gave his life for these words.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
Haley mixes a batch of cookies.
HALEY
Another slice of meatloaf?
HOGAN
No, thanks.
HALEY
I didn't tell you that your aunt and
uncle will be here for your
graduation. That's something, isn't
it?... all the way from Hawaii, that's
saying something about how big of a
day it will be.
Haley wipes off her hands and sits next to Hogan.
HALEY (CONT'D)
Are you ok sweetie?
HOGAN
Yeah. I was just thinking... why
you never talk about Dad.
HALEY
What do you mean?
HOGAN
I don't mean the accident. I just
mean, why don't ever tell me anything
about him? Why do I always have to
ask?
HALEY
Hogan, I've tried sweetie.
HOGAN
I know.
HALEY
It's tough for Mom. I still have a
lot of pain.
Hogan brings his dinner plate to the sink.
HOGAN
What about the club tonight? Can I
go?
HALEY
Hogan, that's a long ways to drive.
Maybe tomorrow night. Let's talk.
11.
HOGAN
What? They're only open tonight.
Hogan grabs his car keys and slides past Haley on his way to
the garage. He slams the door.
INT. GARAGE - DAY
Hogan jumps into his Jeep and looks straight ahead. A box
labeled "James" catches his eye. Drawn to it, he gets out
and reaches inside it. One of the titles, Poverty, 1995.
Moving it underneath a light in his Jeep, Hogan sifts through
it and discovers a newspaper clipping.
INT. GARAGE - NIGHT
Haley cracks open the door to the garage and checks on Hogan,
his eyes closed. Closer, able to see her husband's books
scattered on the seat next to Hogan. Concern blankets her
face.
INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY
Still in his church attire, Hogan reclines on the living
room couch while he turns the pages of a runner's magazine.
Haley sips on an iced tea in her chair with her book.
HALEY
Say, you haven't said much today. I
hope you're not upset about last
night?
HOGAN
Just tired.
HALEY
Then why won't you look at me?
HOGAN
I'm just reading.
HALEY
Do you want to take a drive and go
look at some running shoes?
HOGAN
No, thanks.
HALEY
There's got to be something you wanna
do today. Huh?
HOGAN
Not really.
12.
HALEY
(uptight)
How about --
HOGAN
There's nothing here to do Mom.
There's never anything to do here.
HALEY
Gosh, there's plenty of things to
do. You could go over to Jay's house.
HOGAN
Done it.
HALEY
Or... you could help me clean the
garage.
HOGAN
Mom, I've done everything there is
to do here. We have to drive a
hundred miles to do anything fun.
HALEY
Then read a book.
Haley raises her book before setting it down to retreat to
the kitchen. Hogan follows.
HOGAN
No, Mom!
Hogan stumbles on one of Haley's high heels and kicks it
across the living room.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
Damn it!
A phone rings in the kitchen.
HALEY (O.S.)
Hello.
HOGAN
(discreetly)
I don't run from my problems.
EXT. BACKYARD - DAY
Haley hangs the final decorations. A small group of Hogan's
relatives and family friends gather around a punch bowl and
others near a maple tree. A cake reads, "The Graduate
Congratulations Hogan."
Hogan's UNCLE MITCH, a golf pro, comforts his sister-in-law.
13.
UNCLE MITCH
Hard day?
HALEY
Yeah. I just can't believe my little
sweetie is done. I can't believe he
made it through school.
UNCLE MITCH
What do you mean?
HALEY
He still has a lot of pain, and it's
gotten harder to talk to him. He
gets lost at times, or he doesn't
want to be involved... or he just
gets plain mad at me.
UNCLE MITCH
That's a teenager, isn't it?
In his graduation garb, Hogan arrives and receives a cheer.
He waves to everyone. A handshake with his Uncle Mitch before
an embrace with Haley.
HOGAN
Hi Mom.
HALEY
Hi Sweetie... I couldn't be
prouder... really.
Hogan nods and fashions a smile that Haley has not seen
before. He takes both of her hands and squeezes before
letting go to greet others.
His AUNT JILL, who people confuse with Haley, gives him a
one armed hug with a drink in her other hand.
AUNT JILL
Hi Hogan.
HOGAN
Hi. I can't believe you guys made
it.
AUNT JILL
What? Your uncle and I wouldn't
miss this. I wish your cousins could
have come, but they both had baseball
tournaments this weekend. You should
see Alex, he's huge.
HOGAN
I know. I saw a picture of him.
Both Aunt Jill and Hogan stare at the ground for a moment
and in the silence they connect.
14.
AUNT JILL
You know when you smile...
HOGAN
(nodding)
Yeah, that's what they say. I'll be
right back, I'm kinda thirsty.
Behind Hogan, Haley and Mr. Maddox.
HALEY
You're going to have to tell me
someday how you got him to talk.
MR. MADDOX
He's a little on the quiet side.
HALEY
Yeah. He's always been that way,
I've been trying --
Hogan returns from the punch bowl.
HOGAN
Hey, Mr. Maddox.
MR. MADDOX
Hey, Hogan. I was just going to ask
your Mom here if you had made up
your mind on a college?
HOGAN
I'm going to Renwar.
Within an earshot, Aunt Jill nearly chokes on her drink.
MR. MADDOX
Renwar. Really? That's quite a
long ways from here... down there in
the south?
Haley smiles with hesitation.
EXT. RENWAR UNIVERSITY - DAY
The sun sets on the rooftops of the prestigious Renwar
University.
A LOCAL TV REPORTER speaks to her cameraman.
LOCAL TV REPORTER
Just one practice... A wave of shock
and intrigue has spread all over the
Renwar campus today... blah, blah,
blah. Ready?
15.
INT. ANDY'S HOUSE - DAY
An outdated living room. From behind the couch, a man watches
the Local TV Reporter.
ON TELEVISION
An over the shoulder shot.
LOCAL TV REPORTER
Earlier today while repairing this
building's rooftop, two construction
workers discovered an assault rifle,
which was found hanging on a hook
within a storm drain.
Wider, the third story window and storm drain, then back to
the Reporter.
LOCAL TV REPORTER (CONT'D)
It is believed that it may have been
the very weapon that was used more
than a decade ago when a Renwar
professor was shot at during a war
protest. And I just spoke with an
investigator on scene just a few
minutes ago and she felt this was
the clue they needed. That this
might lead them to the shooter,
finally, after all these years.
INT. ANDY'S HOUSE - DAY - TRACKING
The owner of the house, his face visible, ANDY VERSANDO,
early thirties, hygiene the last of his priorities. His
ball cap worn low on his brim. A fist underneath his chin
reveals an ornate raven on his left hand.
He turns off the television, grunts, and pushes himself from
his lazy chair. He moves to a couch and slides his hand
between cushions to retrieve a pistol. In less than a second
to the front door. He peeks out the small window.
Past the kitchen and into his room. He grabs a camouflaged
duffel bag and begins feverishly packing.
He stops.
EXT. BUHL HOUSE - DAY
MR. MADDOX
So have you checked the area out
yet?
Hogan glances back at his Mom.
HOGAN
Yeah, it's where we used to live.
16.
Aunt Jill exchanges a concerned look with Haley.
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
A gentle jazz rhythm plays in the living room where Hogan
reclines.
HALEY (O.S.)
So, did you have a good time today?
HOGAN
Yeah!
Haley enters from the kitchen. She brings a bowl of whip
cream.
HALEY
Good... I'm going to miss nights
like this.
Hogan sits up.
HOGAN
Thanks for everything today Mom.
HALEY
You're welcome.
HOGAN
Mom, what's wrong?
HALEY
I don't know. I guess I'm just a
little stunned. I'll be all alone
in not too long. Your mom will be
fine, I'll just miss you.
Hogan scoops a finger into the whip cream bowl and licks it.
HALEY (CONT'D)
I just hope you know we can only
afford one year. The rest is up to
you.
HOGAN
I know, I know.
HALEY
(poking him)
It's a bigger city now.
HOGAN
Mom --
HALEY
Not to mention, it's a tough school.
17.
HOGAN
Mom! Here we go again. You know I
have to do this.
HALEY
Yes, sweetie. You do. I just don't
want you to be disappointed.
EXT. BUHL HOUSE - DAY
Crickets converse, but nothing moves. Through the kitchen
window, Haley at the sink, obsessed with cleaning.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
Hogan enters the kitchen, a summer of painting over. His
skin glistens as sweat runs down his temples.
HALEY
After you shower, I'll have dinner
ready and then dessert! I bet you're
tired.
HOGAN
Nope...
(smiling)
Just hungry.
INT. KITCHEN - NIGHT
Haley slices two pieces of chocolate pie with whip cream
topping and brings them to the table where Hogan sits.
HALEY
I figured you might like this. You
may not get this for awhile.
HOGAN
Delicious... Did I tell you how I
found my roommate?
HALEY
No.
HOGAN
(fast)
Renwar has a roommate finder on their
web page which matches your interests.
And this kid's name came up. Anyway,
I emailed him and he sent me a funny
picture, so I think he's pretty cool.
His name is Shaw and he's got a place
lined up. And we're both applying
for scholarships.
HALEY
Wow. Just remember.
18.
HOGAN
I know. The rent is as cheap as you
can get.
HALEY
No, I mean be careful, you can't
trust everyone... What time do you
think you'll be leaving? I want to
be sure I'm up.
HOGAN
I'll wake you up if you're not up
yet.
Haley can only offer a worried smile.
EXT. GARAGE - DAY
The first minute of sunlight as Hogan backs out of the
driveway. Haley's wave and face reveal that a solitary life
begins for her.
EXT. MIDWESTERN UNITED STATES - DAY - TRAVELING
Headed east in his Jeep, Hogan takes in the fresh air -- his
father's books spread across the passenger seat and
floorboard.
EXT. US HIGHWAY 40 - DAY - TRAVELING
Along the edges of the Great Smoky Mountains, Hogan speeds
amidst the trees and hillsides.
EXT. US HIGHWAY 26 - DAY - TRAVELING
Hogan dials his new roommate by simply saying his name and
holding a button on his Jeep's sun visor.
HOGAN
Hey Shaw, this is Hogan. I'm about
a half hour out. If you get this,
maybe we could order a pizza tonight.
Late.
Hogan spots the exit sign, "Renwar College Exit"
EXT. SPARTANBURG - DAY - TRAVELING
Past Renwar to the south side of the city. Along the streets
of downtown.
EXT. HOGAN'S APARTMENT - DAY (DUSK)
Hogan stops at an old apartment building. If it were a hotel,
a two star at best. He reaches into his pocket to grab a
note to verify the address.
19.
He gets out. Grabs a giant duffel bag from the backseat. A
slow meander and deep inhale as heads toward his new home.
He climbs an outdoor stairway to the 3rd floor. The busy
downtown view catches his eye.
Just a few feet away from him, SHAW MACKEY, his anime-inspired
shirt almost fits with his preppy lower half attire. In one
hand, two pizza boxes.
SHAW (O.S.)
Hey, Hogan?
HOGAN
Yeah. Shaw?
A handshake. Shaw notes Hogan's rural fashions.
SHAW
Good to see ya! Check you out, the
pride of Iowa.
HOGAN
Yeah. I forgot how warm it is down
here.
SHAW
Hey, I got your message and so I
just picked these up.
HOGAN
Cool, cause I haven't eaten since
Tennessee.
INT. HOGAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
A living room and kitchen all-in-one. Empty pizza boxes and
root beer bottles divide Hogan and Shaw as they lean back on
the couch. The glimmer from the television.
HOGAN
This isn't a bad place, but it's a
long ways from campus isn't it?
SHAW
Yeah, it's a little far off, but
it's cheap. Plus, the pizza place
is just around the corner. Just
watch it at night.
Shaw heads to the kitchen. Hogan moves to the window to
take in the city lights.
SHAW (O.S.) (CONT'D)
What do you want to drink man?
HOGAN
Same as you.
20.
Shaw brings him a bottle and joins Hogan's gazing.
SHAW
Sorry, root beer is all I had...
Yeah, we don't have a campus view,
but we got girls. See down there.
HOGAN
What are you studying anyway?
SHAW
I'll show you.
INT/EXT. HOGAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT - TRACKING
Shaw connects a thin cable from the television to a routerlike
device that sits next to his neon-colored laptop. A
virtual black widow appears on the television. Bass violin
rhythm accompanies the image of the spider as it spins an
intricate web.
SHAW
See the tv?
HOGAN
What do you do? Is it a game?
SHAW
No, I'm working on that too. This
is just something to spoof people.
Grab your cell.
Hogan pulls one of the latest cell phones out of his pocket.
HOGAN
Yeah.
SHAW
Watch your screen, nothing right?
HOGAN
Right.
SHAW
Now go outside.
Hogan's curiosity pushes him out the door.
In the relative darkness, Hogan keeps his eyes on his screen.
Suddenly, the spider appears.
Through his cell, audio as well.
SHAW'S VOICE
You seeing it?
Hogan looks in disbelief as the spider spins a web in the
shape of the Eiffel Tower.
21.
HOGAN
Yeah!
SHAW
Now you see me?
Hogan can see Shaw inside their apartment.
HOGAN
Whoa! No way! No way!
Back inside.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
How did you do that?
Shaw points to his laptop.
SHAW
Yeah, this is what I'm studying.
HOGAN
What? Magic?
A shared laugh.
SHAW
No man, wireless comm. Anyone who
walks by will get that on their cell.
It's illegal, but I came up with a
way to keep it from being blocked.
I'll show you.
HOGAN
Is there anything you don't know how
to do?
SHAW
(serious)
I don't know how to drive a car man.
That's why I take the bus.
HOGAN
Are you serious?
SHAW
Nah man.
Hogan pushes Shaw off an arm of the couch.
INT. HOGAN'S APARTMENT - DAY
Shirtless, Shaw bolts into the kitchen and bumps into Hogan.
SHAW
Whoa. Sorry. I can't figure out my
alarm clock.
22.
HOGAN
Yeah, I was wondering if you were
still on Pacific time.
SHAW
Good one. Have you seen that orange
shirt I was wearing last night?
Hogan answers with an empty look.
SHAW (CONT'D)
Shoot.
Shaw disappears back to his room.
SHAW (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Ah hah!
A quick change. Hogan stands with his backpack over his
shoulder.
SHAW (CONT'D)
You ready?
HOGAN
Am I ready?
SHAW
Whoa, don't forget your phone.
HOGAN
What for?
SHAW
Hey, what's with the backpack?
EXT. BUS STOP - DAY
A congested intersection. Hogan and Shaw devour breakfast
burritos.
HOGAN
How long do we have to wait here?
SHAW
You're that anxious to get to class?
HOGAN
I just don't wanna be late -- How
did you get the control booth job
anyway?
SHAW
It's an internship. It's cool back
there, I can see everyone, but no
one can see me. You'll see when we
get there.
23.
EXT. RENWAR SQUARE - DAY
A sea of students, very few wearing backpacks. Hogan and
Shaw slowed by the heat of the day.
They arrive in a grassy rectangle-shaped area, buildings on
each side - the Library, Auditorium, Humanities and Farrell.
It is an area known as the Square. They make their way toward
the tallest one, the Auditorium.
INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY
The look of yesteryear, a huge classroom sparingly filled
with students. Inadequate lighting and seating that provides
little comfort. A single 25 feet high x 20 feet long
projection screen at front.
SHAW
I'll catch you later man.
Shaw heads another direction while Hogan finds a seat. He
brings his attention to a blank projector screen.
A distinguished professor and butterfly enthusiast, late
fifties, PROFESSOR JAMES. He surveys his new class.
PROFESSOR JAMES
Good Morning.
A failed response bounces back to him.
PROFESSOR JAMES (CONT'D)
Yes, I know you can hardly wait to
get going. Your syllabus should be
in front you and I'm sorry, but I'm
afraid we'll have to revert to the
dark ages and take an old style roll
call for the first few days of class.
(louder)
Video students can sign on at this
time. So, without further adieu.
Blake Abernathy? That's a good name.
BLAKE ABERNATHY (O.S.)
Here.
INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY (LATER)
A window steals Hogan's attention.
PROFESSOR JAMES
Your grade will be comprised of two
presentations and a final written
test. Both of your presentations
will be conducted via ETV with our
shared learning locations. Those
locations are...
24.
A world map appears on screen with two locations highlighted.
PROFESSOR JAMES (CONT'D)
Durban, South Africa. And... my
hometown of Birmingham, England.
Hogan awakens.
PROFESSOR JAMES (CONT'D)
Please remember to read your online
primers. And make sure you acquaint
yourself with each of the two distant
locations as they will be your
audience and they will be grading
you just as I will. Good day all.
EXT. FARRELL - DAY
Hogan sidesteps across a busy sidewalk and looks at another
student who uses his phone screen to locate his class.
Impressed, he follows the student into the building.
INT. FARRELL/106 - DAY
A quick survey of a much smaller classroom. Hogan takes his
seat. Nineteen students sit in a U shaped arrangement.
PROFESSOR BARBER (O.S.)
Welcome to introduction to Philosophy,
I'm Professor Barber. We'll have a
large class today, but after today
you will break out into smaller
groups.
Hogan's eyebrows raise.
PROFESSOR BARBER (CONT'D)
Audio of this class by the way will
be available for those of you with
access.
The class responds with a small cheer to the dismay of
Professor Barber.
PROFESSOR BARBER (CONT'D)
But there will be in class quizzes.
A subsequent groan by the class.
EXT. CAMPUS SQUARE - DAY
Hogan crosses the Square. He passes two students who
collaborate on their guitars.
Atop a brick bench to his right, a POLI SCI STUDENT stands
and indulges in rhetoric.
25.
POLI SCI STUDENT
Aristotle even said it, the best
government is not the rich governing,
for they are not the majority!
To his right, a student approaches with his sniffing
labradors.
SHAW (O.S.)
Hogan!
A look of angst crosses Hogan's face. He spins around.
HOGAN
Don't sneak up on me.
SHAW
You're lost aren't ya? Didn't you
get a print out of your classes?
You can log on at the Village and
it'll tell you where your next class
is or you can GPS it like a noobster.
HOGAN
Where's the Village?
SHAW
Yeah, where the food court is at.
Dude, don't tell me you bought your
books.
Shaw looks at Hogan's sagging backpack.
SHAW (CONT'D)
Dude, no one buys those. You can
download it. Save the trees.
HOGAN
I thought I would save a little.
Isn't the soft more expensive?
SHAW
What? Hey, a girl in our building
is coming over tonight. You should
see her. So just knock before you
come in. Cool?
HOGAN
Tonight? Already? Sure. I'll just
hang out at the library. I've got
some studying to do anyway.
SHAW
Are you serious? How can you have
homework already?
HOGAN
It's not really homework.
26.
SHAW
Cool man. Whatever.
Hogan watches as a sorority girl puts her arm around Shaw.
INT. ELLEN'S - NIGHT
Haley relaxes at a small Shenandoah diner with JENNIFER
DUVALL, an old classmate who has just divorced her husband.
A WAITER shows his pearly whites while taking their order.
WAITER
What can I get you ladies?
HALEY
You first.
JENNIFER
Ok. I'll have the Fiesta Salad and
can I have another glass of wine
please?
WAITER
You bet. And for you Haley?
HALEY
I'll have the Turkey dinner.
WAITER
Great. Be back with your drink.
HALEY
This is my treat by the way.
JENNIFER
No, I asked you out.
HALEY
Yeah, but you drove up here. Besides,
it's a night to celebrate. It was
my boy's first day of college and
your first day of freedom.
The waiter brings Jennifer another glass of wine.
JENNIFER
I'd like to drink to that. I'd like
to drink a lot to that.
Haley makes a toast, then downs her drink after a pill.
JENNIFER (CONT'D)
So how's the realty business?
HALEY
It's still more of a hobby than a
job. No one wants to move here.
27.
JENNIFER
What's bothering you?
HALEY
What do you mean?
JENNIFER
I mean the other night on the phone.
I can tell.
HALEY
It's nothing. It's just an adjustment
not having any action or sound.
JENNIFER
Of all the schools to pick...
HALEY
I didn't tell him.
JENNIFER
What?
HALEY
I couldn't. He's got enough to think
about. Plus, he won't attract any
attention. He's not like Jim.
Haley flags down the Waiter.
HALEY (CONT'D)
Excuse me, sir. May I get a glass
of that also?
WAITER
Sure.
HALEY
Jen, should I have told him?
EXT. SMALL LAKE - DAY
Not far from the Square, an impressive four story in the
distance. A small body of water and walking bridge separate
the two. Hogan and Shaw embark on another day of class.
HOGAN
What's that over there?
SHAW
Ah, that's the rich kids palace.
Doesn't look like a dorm does it? I
gotta drop a form off at admin. I'll
see ya.
Shaw heads in another direction, Hogan diverts toward the
bridge.
28.
He reaches the edge of the bridge and looks out at the
surrounding water which mirrors everything. A climbing group
of yellow flowers grow next to him. He leans to take them
in, a breeze helps move them closer.
And as if the scenery weren't enough, fellow freshmen ELLA
MCNAIR approaches. Not a native, but able to comfort in
every way.
ELLA
Jessamine.
HOGAN
(proudly)
Hogan.
Ella's dark curls brush her face.
ELLA
No, the flowers. Yellow jessamine...
I didn't know either.
Ella continues walking.
INT. AUDITORIUM - DAY
PROFESSOR JAMES
I have assigned each of you to a
four member group. Your group members
are posted on the kiosks which you
may go ahead and check as you leave.
And remember we'll meet in our new
classroom on Monday. Good Day.
Hogan gets up and follows a herd to the kiosks. He finds an
available computer to verify his group. After he presses a
few keys, his group displays. Next to his picture, three
others. One of them, Ella.
HOGAN
(to himself)
Oh my God.
Ella startles him.
ELLA
Hey. I'm in your group.
HOGAN
I didn't know you were behind me.
ELLA
I'm Ella, obviously. And I remember,
you're Hogan. I know the other two
in our group too. Hey, by the way,
that was cool what you said to
Professor James today.
29.
HOGAN
Thanks. I don't know, it just
bothered me.
ELLA
Me too. Hey, I'll give you my number
and we'll all get together. Here it
is.
Ella holds up her phone and with the click of a button,
transmits her number to Hogan's.
ELLA (CONT'D)
Alright. See ya.
Hogan turns to look down the hallway at a stairway which
leads to the basement.
INT. PROFESSOR JAMES' OFFICE - DAY
Outside the doorway, Hogan stalls.
He steps into the office, two small windows barely shed enough
light. A perfect arrangement of glass-encased butterflies
hangs on the wall.
HOGAN
Hello, Professor James.
With his back to the door.
PROFESSOR JAMES
Yes.
HOGAN
I'm in your 8 o'clock. And I just
wanted to see if you had a minute.
PROFESSOR JAMES
Sure. Have a seat.
HOGAN
I wanted to apologize.
PROFESSOR JAMES
(turning around)
There's no need for that young man.
HOGAN
I didn't mean to embarrass you.
PROFESSOR JAMES
No, you were quite right. And you
should always stand for what you
believe in. Like your father.
30.
HOGAN
(breathless)
My father?
PROFESSOR JAMES
Yes. Someone told me that you would
be in my class.
A break in conversation.
PROFESSOR JAMES (CONT'D)
I didn't really know him. In fact,
it was only a short time. I had
just started here... just a minute.
Professor James pulls on a chain to turn on his desk light,
but nothing happens. He digs through a desk drawer and pulls
out a light bulb to replace the dead one.
PROFESSOR JAMES (CONT'D)
I prefer natural light, but it's so
dark down here.
He pulls again on the chain for the lamp which now
illuminates.
PROFESSOR JAMES (CONT'D)
I think you should start at the
library rather than me tell you
anything... and then come see me.
HOGAN
How did you know that's --
PROFESSOR JAMES
Right. You might also try to the
Humanities Building where he worked.
HOGAN
(still stunned)
Thanks. I'll let you get back to
your work... Thanks again.
EXT. CAMPUS SQUARE - DAY
Hogan hustles toward the Humanities Building as shadows creep
across the campus.
Almost a sprint, he climbs the steps to the front doors and
reaching them, he pulls back. They are locked.
INT. ANDY'S HOUSE - DAY
Andy reclines in his chair as he bites into a sub sandwich.
His eyes fixate on the television.
ON TELEVISION
31.
A still image of his father, MARCUS VERSANDO, a Marine Master
Gunnery Sergeant dressed in desert uniform. A tent for a
backdrop.
Andy picks up the remote to play the video.
ON TELEVISION
MARCUS VERSANDO
I've got two months left of this so
hopefully this is my last message
before I come home. It's hotter
than hell here. The food stinks as
you can probably tell I lost a little
around the middle. Other than that,
life is grand. How's school going?
Better be going well. I got ways of
checking even from here. I'll see
ya.
Andy pauses the video. The last image of his father --
squinting into the sun.
EXT. HOGAN'S APARTMENT - DAY
In the street, Hogan takes a drink out of a water bottle and
tosses it over his shoulder to Shaw who struts in his all
maroon warmups. They both adjust their earpieces.
HOGAN
You ready?
In their unlike colored sweats, it's clearly Iowa versus
southern California. They take off. A jog at first, but at
times, a race.
HOGAN'S P.O.V. - DOWNTOWN STREET
Abandoned buildings and those individuals who awaken on the
side streets.
His headphones on. Shaw trails behind. Two homeless
teenagers search a dumpster behind a fast food restaurant.
BACK TO SCENE
Hogan has his cell and takes a picture of the teenagers.
EXT. ALLEY - DAY
A burly MOVER accepts a $10 bill from a man in silk clothes.
Hogan and Shaw spot the Mover who struggles to lift a couch
up a truck ramp. They divert to help out.
32.
INT. ANDY'S HOUSE - DAY
Andy pauses the video and stares into the screen as he plays
with the gold necklace around his neck. He reaches for the
beer bottle next to him and downs it.
ANDY
Happy Birthday Dad.
EXT. ALLEY - DAY
Hogan and Shaw are at opposite ends of the couch as the Mover
barks from the top of the ramp.
MOVER
Got it boys?
SHAW
It's not that heavy.
Not to be outdone.
HOGAN
Yeah, pretty easy.
INT. MOVING TRUCK - DAY
Hogan and the Mover find some shade in the truck. The Mover
hands Hogan a $10 bill. Hogan ignores the gesture.
HOGAN
How in the world do you do this by
yourself?
MOVER
I don't. My buddy's out sick today.
Gotta pay the bills though...
Tobacco tucked in his cheek, the Mover spits while he extends
the bill and offers it again.
MOVER (CONT'D)
Hey, thanks kid.
HOGAN
No, don't worry about it.
ER
C'mon. Take it. Buy somethin'.
HOGAN
Thanks. Gotta catch up with my buddy.
Hogan tucks the bill in his warm ups and looks for Shaw who
has found a female companion a few feet away.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
Let's go!
33.
Shaw feigns deafness. Hogan takes the hint.
As he nears an overpass, Hogan looks up at a billboard.
Underneath it, an elderly woman plays solitaire. Her rainbow
tent protects her. Next to her, a coffee can labeled
"change."
On his way by, Hogan drops his $10 bill into the coffee can.
The elderly woman stands up, a beautiful hand woven scarf
around her neck and old jewelry on her wrist, late sixties,
Alicia Littles has seen better days.
ALICIA LITTLES
Boy. Get back here.
Hogan looks back.
ALICIA LITTLES (CONT'D)
Yes, you. Come here.
He does a 180.
ALICIA LITTLES (CONT'D)
What's this money for?
HOGAN
I thought it was for change.
ALICIA LITTLES
It is, but why did you leave it here?
Alicia won't allow him to answer, but offers a smile.
ALICIA LITTLES (CONT'D)
Because you care. Let me tell you
something young man. You're a good
listener aren't ya?
Hogan nods as the woman motions him toward her.
ALICIA LITTLES (CONT'D)
I can tell. That's why I'll tell
you this.
Shaw catches up and they both sit down to listen.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
Presentation students enter the doors of Brecklin Hall, a
brightly lit, newly completed 250-seat performance center
adjacent to the Square. Beyond the lobby and atop their
classroom for the first time, several students slow at the
sight of the 130 high by 150 foot long, giant projection
screen and stage below. Fifteen-inch Personal Displays (PD)
are at all of the 250 seats. A control booth between the
two entrances.
34.
One of the first to arrive, Hogan takes his seat. Seconds
later, Ella along with her friends. BALICE, her fast-talking
roommate and CHAVIS, the animated and overconfident jokester.
ELLA
Hogan, these are our group members.
My roommate Balice. And this is
Chavis.
HOGAN
Hey guys.
Chavis and Balice slide past Hogan.
CHAVIS
What's up big dog?
BALICE
Hi.
INT. CONTROL BOOTH - DAY
Shaw acquaints a teaching assistant with the new controls.
SHAW
This panel is all voice activated.
Watch. Cue lights three
(looking at the screens)
...I'm just kiddin', you still have
to press buttons.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
Behind a modern lectern, Professor James acknowledges the
new digs.
PROFESSOR JAMES
This is more like it, isn't it? I
must say, you are all spoiled.
He puts his pencil down and motions to his own PD.
PROFESSOR JAMES (CONT'D)
You will all notice that you may
load your presentations directly
from your own displays. I'll use
the term, PD's, or personal displays
when I want you to access them. All
of your presentations will be archived
here.
Looking at the screen.
PROFESSOR JAMES (CONT'D)
You will also find this giant screen
which I don't know anything about,
but our booth tech does.
(MORE)
35.
PROFESSOR JAMES (CONT'D)
And let's talk about Birmingham who
will appear on this screen next week.
EXT. STREET PHARMACY - NIGHT
A PHARMACIST motions to Andy.
PHARMACIST
Sorry Andy. You're out of refills
on this one. You'll need to get
with your doctor.
ANDY
Great, another fifty bucks and two
hour wait so he can pad his pocket!
Thanks!
Andy crumples a prescription paper and moves on. On his way
out the door, he strides past a CASHIER.
CASHIER
Andy. Dude, you remember me? Renwar,
the dorms.
ANDY
I sort of remember. You just started
here?
CASHIER
Yeah. Where did you go to man? I
mean, you all of sudden dropped out
and know one knew where you went and
my sister kept asking about you.
ANDY
I'm not feeling too good. Another
time.
CASHIER
Alright. I'll catch you next time.
Take care.
Andy exits.
From the back of the pharmacy a voice sounds off.
PHARMACIST (O.S.)
That's the guy! Don't even talk to
him!
INT. HOGAN'S APARTMENT - DAY
HOGAN
Hey, I was thinking something.
SHAW
Sup?
36.
HOGAN
What you do with computers and what
you do in the booth. Why can't we
do something amazing. Like you say,
why just go through the motions in
life?
SHAW
Yeah, you're right. What did you
have in mind?
HOGAN
Can we broadcast from inside the new
building?
SHAW
Sure. There are amplifiers all over,
I just tap into the nearest one.
They just threw up their network,
there’s no security on it, so it's
easy.
HOGAN
I want to be able to do it by Monday's
class. I've got some pictures of
our run.
Shaw loses interest.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
And I want to throw up some of your
stuff on screen. It'll be like your
art gallery on display... and I'll
sweeten the pot.
SHAW
With what?
HOGAN
I'll make the pizza run tonight.
SHAW
Let's do it.
HOGAN
Cool. Hey, have you ever seen an
80's music video?
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
Hogan, Balice and Ella listen as they watch the giant screen
power on and a distant location appear.
PROFESSOR JAMES
As you know, we will be connecting
with Birmingham today. And again, I
will remind you to keep your far
site audience in mind when speaking.
37.
Off mute.
PROFESSOR JAMES (CONT'D)
Whoops, looks like we have them online
already. Are you there Professor
Gildon?
INT. UNIVERSITY OF BIRMINGHAM/EDGBASTON CAMPUS - DAY
Several domed buildings across an impressive red-brick campus.
INT. LEARNING CENTRE - DAY
Similar to Brecklin Hall, only slightly smaller. The same
technology in place. On the wide screen, Professor James
and the rest of the Renwar class appears.
PROFESSOR GILDON, a grey-haired magistrate, speaks into a
microphone.
PROFESSOR GILDON
Yes, Professor James. Although it's
afternoon here, good morning to you.
We are ready.
PROFESSOR JAMES (O.S.)
Very good. We'll go ahead and start
with presentation #1 on our side.
Their location muted, Professor Gildon takes his seat and
whispers to his Assistant.
PROFESSOR GILDON
This should be interesting. It can't
be worse than last time can it?
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
RENWAR SPEAKER #1 looks down at her notes.
A yellow PowerPoint slide with the first bullet point:
"Intro." Smaller text below can't be read. A clashing image
of American astronauts accompanies the text.
RENWAR SPEAKER #1
Today, I will speak about the recent
advances in US space exploration and
the leading role we have taken. I
will talk about the Space Shuttle,
Space Stations and the future of
space expiration...
(correcting)
exploration. So, let's get ready to
take off.
A text only slide on screen.
38.
INT. LEARNING CENTRE - DAY
The speaker displays in a small picture-in-picture, while
the slide fills the rest of the screen. A student in the
front row sees the dull image and prepares for a nap.
Another whisper in his Assistant's ear.
PROFESSOR GILDON
Perhaps.
INT. LEARNING CENTRE - DAY (LATER)
A BIRMINGHAM PRESENTER concludes her speech next to a blank
screen.
BIRMINGHAM PRESENTER
The cataclysmic effects of our
dependence on non-renewable resources
is a problem we cannot afford to
ignore any longer. Thank you.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
PROFESSOR JAMES
Thank you again Birmingham. This is
our final presentation. Ready number
four?
Hogan chews his nails and Ella catches him.
ELLA
Good luck.
Hogan nods and not long after finds his place behind the
lectern.
A second later, a burning candle appears on several student's
PD's. The room now lit sporadically with virtual candles.
Balice's PD, one of them.
On screen, a video slowly brightens. Anime-like images in
purple and lime green depict the busy movement of downtown
Spartanburg at night. The video freezes on a billboard which
depicts a young couple by a swimming pool. Underneath the
billboard sits a homeless woman in a folding chair. The
anime dissolves into daylight and a real life shot.
Chavis blows on Balice's candle. Balice laughs.
Something bolder in Hogan's voice.
HOGAN
I took this picture right after I
spoke to the woman who lives under
the sign on 83rd. You know her don't
you?
39.
ELLA
(to Chavis and Balice)
You guys be quiet.
HOGAN
Her name is Alicia Littles and you
know what she told me about the sign?
She said poor people can imagine
what it's like to be rich, but rich
people can't imagine what it's like
to be poor.
(his inner voice)
I thought, this lady is bitter, but
she told me something amazing.
Hogan increases his volume.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
She told me about a time in Puget
Sound... when the boat she was on
ran into another boat.
A video of a small child on a sinking boat. The child reaches
for a hand in an ice storm.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
Everyone was quickly rescued except
her and a small child whose only
parent died the moment the boats
collided.
Suddenly underwater, the girl reaches toward the surface. A
group of adults watch from the safety of another boat. The
child struggles. The video freezes.
CHAVIS
(whispering to Balice)
We can use video?
Balice answers with a bitter nod.
CHAVIS (CONT'D)
Now you tell me. Great.
ELLA
You guys.
HOGAN
She said that she had to make a
choice. She could either swim to
safety or she could risk her own
life and try to save the child. She
said it is the test of life... to
see beyond yourself.
Hogan pauses while a photo of a business man dropping a dollar
into Alicia's bucket appears on screen.
40.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
And ever since that moment, Alicia
has been trying to save others.
About $4.00 a day gets dropped in
her bucket, usually by the people
whose pockets are least filled.
INT. LEARNING CENTRE - DAY
Students are glued to Hogan.
HOGAN'S VOICE
And the people who don't give, usually
think one of two things. Either,
what good will come from a dollar,
or why can't she earn a living like
everybody else? But sometimes it's
hard to see the truth when you only
use your eyes.
A picture of a makeshift grocery store housed in between a
laundry mat and a liquor store appears on screen. Next, a
picture of Alicia who pays a grocery store clerk.
HOGAN
Alicia goes to this grocery store
with her four dollars so that she
can feed a homeless family. And
there are those that look at Alicia
and still look down at her.
CHAVIS
I know that grocery store.
BALICE
No you don't.
Photos along Hogan's run appear -- darkened neighborhoods.
They fade, then a young teenager with clothes that don't
fit. A couple going to prom passes her. The last image,
the teenagers looking for food in a dumpster.
HOGAN (O.S.)
And I've been thinking about her on
that sinking boat and whether or not
I'm only thinking of myself. And
I've been asking, what's keeping me
from helping others? Because, right
now, I'm living in one of the poorest
parts of our nation. When will I
help?
Professor James observes the class at attention.
41.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
(inhaling)
And I'm in my slavery class,
thinking, is today much different?
We just accept poverty like they did
slavery.
On screen, a ghostly William Lloyd Garrison works on the
Liberator. He stands and walks toward us. The video pauses.
HOGAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
If we had a William Lloyd Garrison.
Ella switches her PD screenshot of William Lloyd Garrison to
the close up view of Hogan. Balice and Chavis notice.
HOGAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
He just kept putting it in their
faces, trying to end slavery. He
was 26 when he started his newspaper
that turned the tides... maybe I
could do something.
The video continues as the elongated sideburns of Wendell
Phillips come into focus. He joins William Lloyd Garrison.
HOGAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
I just need a few friends. He had
this friend who was a Harvard Law
School grad whose words were like
weapons.
EXT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
A BICYCLIST takes a break. Something odd on his jungleprinted
cell phone.
Video appears and audio transmits, but the sunlight blinds
the image. He moves underneath an overhang to get a better
view.
BICYCLIST
What the --
Struck by the BICYCLIST's self-talk, an ART MAJOR interjects.
ART MAJOR
What is it?
BICYCLIST
Hey, check this out.
ART MAJOR
What? That's inside Brecklin.
BICYCLIST
I know. Someone's streamin' it. I
was watching a video and then boom.
42.
He hands her an earpiece as they both listen.
ART MAJOR
Is this live? It's illegal.
BICYCLIST
Yeah. And I'm recording it.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
HOGAN
He said, our enemy is not the
slaveowner only. It's also the person
of good will who simply doesn't want
to talk about slavery... and they
needed this man.
The screen splits in half and another video plays. A young
sailor's uniform as a disguise, young Frederick Douglass
makes his escape while he boards a train. A superimposed
picture of the sign intended for his capture appears next to
him. The video pauses.
HOGAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Someone who knew slavery and had the
marks on his back to show it. He
was beaten anytime he was spotted
trying to learn how to read, but he
was willing to sacrifice his blood.
EXT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
A group forms behind the Bicyclist, some watch on their own
phones.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
HOGAN
Frederick Douglass knew that they
had to make slavery a public issue,
to break the silence and the
complacency... that's why I compare
it to poverty.
Both videos resume. The train moves forward under a full
moon. The lone light on the train belongs to Frederick
Douglass.
Garrison and Phillips deliver their words underneath a street
lantern as it snows.
INT. CONTROL BOOTH - DAY
Shaw adjusts a volume setting on the control panel. Next to
him, a set of cables run from his laptop to a television
monitor.
43.
INT. LEARNING CENTRE - DAY
On screen, a photo of an Englishman who lives on his last
coin. Students are called to attention.
HOGAN'S VOICE
And I know those of you in the UK
know what I mean when poverty is the
issue. It's hard not to when one in
every four people there live in
poverty.
An image of homeless children who huddle in the rain.
Classroom chatter begins.
HOGAN'S VOICE (CONT'D)
Where one in every three children
live in poverty. Where the canyon
between those with rooftops and those
without also widens. A half century
and it just gets worse.
A BIRMINGHAM STUDENT whispers to a classmate.
BIRMINGHAM STUDENT
Some nerve.
HOGAN'S VOICE
There is, though, a movement in
England to make a positive change.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
HOGAN
It began at the University of
Birmingham. Some students started a
program to feed and clothe children
around the school.
PROFESSOR JAMES
(to himself)
Very good Hogan.
INT. LEARNING CENTRE - DAY
Suddenly riled, two students sit up, their faces beam with
pride.
HOGAN (O.S.)
And the good will is starting to
spread across Britain.
On screen, a picture of two Birmingham students who serve
food to a group of children.
44.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
Hogan speaks with fire and pounds a fist on the lectern.
The candles burn out.
HOGAN
And now it's our turn. Because as
Alicia said to me, poverty is not an
inevitable condition of capitalism.
It is an epidemic fostered by
defeatism.
On the screen, a black and white photo. Along a Los Angeles
back street, a teenager uses a broken mirror to apply her
make up.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
And because many of this country's
one million children living in poverty
don't want us to see their struggles,
we have to use more than just our
eyes in order to help them. We have
to stand like they have at Birmingham
University.
INT. LEARNING CENTRE - DAY
A tap on his Assistant's shoulder.
PROFESSOR GILDON
What was his name?
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
HOGAN
So can you walk with me? All forty
of us. To show Alicia Littles that
us rich Renwar kids can imagine what
it's like to be poor.
Hogan comes to a crawl.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
If it's in you, can you stretch out
your hand?
An echoing cry swirls around classmates.
EXT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
The Bicyclist and Art Major continue to watch as the echoing
cry reaches their earpieces.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
The screen shows the child all alone on the boat as before,
but the video continues. A woman floats on the wreckage and
reaches to save the child. The woman is Alicia Littles.
45.
INT. LEARNING CENTRE - DAY
A long silence and blank stares between classmates. Professor
Gildon looks at his class in dismay.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
Professor James looks up at the screen which now shows
Professor Gildon and his class.
PROFESSOR JAMES
Thank you number four. And thank
you again Birmingham. Well done
today. Renwar is signing off.
The screen goes blank. Ella and the group wait for Hogan.
PROFESSOR JAMES (O.S.) (CONT'D)
Excellent job today class... 6, 17,
and 31, you are on the docket for
our next class.
Hogan returns to his seat. Chavis reaches forward to shake
Hogan's hand.
CHAVIS
Hey. That was cool. How did you do
all that techno stuff?
HOGAN
Thanks. I had some help.
ELLA
You better help me.
EXT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY (LATER)
Hogan and Ella step outside and shield their eyes from the
sunlight. Balice and Chavis, right behind him.
The Bicyclist and Art Major intersect with Hogan. Their
smiles expand.
BICYCLIST
Hey, we just listened to your speech.
Hogan shields his eyes again, as though he cannot see the
Bicyclist.
BALICE
You what?
BICYCLIST
Yeah. We got the signal somehow.
And saw Birmingham.
Balice and Chavis all look at Hogan. Ella turns in another
direction and spots a food vendor.
46.
HOGAN
Really? That's amazing.
ELLA
You like nachos?
Ella puts her arm around Hogan.
ELLA (CONT'D)
C'mon.
Balice runs to catch up with Hogan and Ella.
Chavis and the Bicyclist converse.
CHAVIS
Hey, you saw me, right? I gave the
speech on the defending Super Bowl
champions.
BICYCLIST
No, I just saw your friend. What's
his name?
Up a hill, Hogan shares a bowl of nachos.
ELLA
Hey, you want to meet up tonight and
plan this thing?
HOGAN
Really?
ELLA
Yeah. I've got a place I think you'll
like.
INT. TOTALLY RESTAURANT - NIGHT
A packed restaurant. The decor a tribute to the musicians
of the 80's.
Ella keeps her jacket on.
ELLA
So are there clubs in Iowa?
HOGAN
Very funny.
ELLA
But you can dance?
HOGAN
Depending on the music...
ELLA
Good, that's why I brought you here.
47.
TONY, a chiseled friend of Ella's brushes by their table.
ELLA (CONT'D)
Tony!
Tony takes a seat next to Ella.
TONY
Hey it's my favorite girl.
ELLA
I thought you weren't playing tonight?
I thought you were studying.
TONY
(to Hogan)
Hey, what's up?
A fist bump.
ELLA
Hogan this is Tony. Tony, Hogan's
in my presentation class.
TONY
I've heard about you.
ELLA
No you haven't.
TONY
Yeah. I downloaded his presentation
off the Net.
ELLA
What? Tony, get outta here.
TONY
Yeah, I gotta go. Nice meeting you
man.
HOGAN
You too... He seems like a pretty
cool guy.
Ella returns a confused look.
ELLA
C'mon. Let's go upstairs?
HOGAN
(choking)
Upstairs?
ELLA
Yeah, they have a cool bar up there
and some other things. You might
like it.
48.
Ella swipes a card at the table to pay for the food. Hogan
too late to stop her.
ELLA (CONT'D)
I got it this time.
The two make their way up a flight of stairs lined with
lights. Atop the stairs, Ella takes off her jacket and
reveals a tight black skirt.
HOGAN
What are we doing?
ELLA
You said you know how to dance.
Ella smiles and pulls Hogan into the club.
INT. CLUB - NIGHT
Mixed 80's music blasts as an asteroid shower burns across a
rounded ceiling. To Hogan's right, a crowded bar with a
virtual beach background. Ella pulls him again.
HOGAN
Wait. I don't really dance. I
just like music...
ELLA
Neither can I. That's why I go to
the middle.
They reach the middle and are soon pushed together from all
sides. The music changes and so do the overhead images. A
bombardment of red pyrotechnics in slow motion.
Their hands join.
EXT. NEAR RENWAR - NIGHT
Hogan and Ella sneak across the backyards of a pricey
residential neighborhood. The moon spotlights their actions.
ELLA
I had a good time with you tonight.
Hogan misses her comment.
ELLA (CONT'D)
Hey, do you always travel this way...
running through peoples backyards?
HOGAN
It's just three yards we have to
cross. Then, we'll be near your
dorm. Plus, look at these backyards.
(MORE)
49.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
(pointing)
See that pool. I used to swim there.
They never cared. And this next
yard with all the bird feeders, I
used to take care of her dog.
Hogan opens a chain link gate for Ella.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
She won't care if we sneak through.
ELLA
I thought you were just in a hurry.
Guess I was wrong.
Hogan spots a woman who watches them through a sliding glass
door. He waves at her.
HOGAN
She knows me. Oops, probably doesn't
recognize me in the dark. Let's
hurry.
They move past the last of the three houses and set foot on
campus.
EXT. SMALL LAKE - NIGHT
HOGAN
So you said you've lived everywhere.
Where is that?
ELLA
Georgia, Virginia, Maryland,...
Missouri and now here. But I like
this place the most.
HOGAN
Are you're parents here?
ELLA
They're in Charlotte. My Dad is
serving right now... He's a
neurosurgeon for the Army. He's
actually been in the news a lot. He
saved a soldier's life with this new
procedure... it's hard to explain.
Anyway, he gets back in a couple of
months.
Ella jumps on the edge of the bridge to her dorm.
ELLA (CONT'D)
I keep expecting him to surprise me.
I thought I saw him yesterday...
50.
HOGAN
I know what that's like.
ELLA (CONT'D)
So, you know everything about me,
what about you?
HOGAN
Like what?
ELLA
Like, what your major is? Where you
live on campus... or if you have a
girlfriend?
HOGAN
Philosophy...
ELLA
Man, it's like gettin' you to dance.
HOGAN
I was trying to think of something
philosophical to say.
ELLA
You don't need to impress me. I
just like it when you talk. Like
what you said to Professor James.
Like when I told you about my parents,
I want to know about yours.
HOGAN
Right.
ELLA
Right.
Hogan and Ella arrive at Ella's dorm.
ELLA (CONT'D)
At least you like music...
Ella flips her hair. Hogan at a loss for words.
ELLA (CONT'D)
So, I'll see ya tomorrow night?...
Hogan shakes his head. Ella retreats in a backward dance
and quotes the Danish philosopher, Soren Kierkegaard.
ELLA (CONT'D)
Life can only be understood
backwards... But it must be lived
forwards. Right?
Hogan's eyebrows raise. Ella laughs and spins around.
51.
INT. PROFESSOR JAMES' OFFICE - DAY
PROFESSOR JAMES
Hogan, please have a seat.
His long sigh reaches Hogan.
PROFESSOR JAMES (CONT'D)
We have a very serious matter to
discuss here on campus.
HOGAN
What's that?
PROFESSOR JAMES
It looks as if one of your speeches
ended up on the Internet. Were you
aware of that?
HOGAN
I --
PROFESSOR JAMES
I don't know who did it, but the
University is looking into it and
I'm very sorry if it's caused you
any embarrassment.
HOGAN
No, I'm fine.
PROFESSOR JAMES
Good. We'll do everything we can to
make sure it doesn't happen again.
EXT. DORM PARKING LOT - DAY (DUSK)
Hogan runs his hands through his hair as he parks his Jeep.
He hesitates, then clears the front seat and throws his
father's books into the backseat. Ella climbs into the front
seat.
ELLA
Hey boyfriend.
EXT. 5TH STREET - NIGHT
Twenty students gather under a full moon. Something odd
about the way they are dressed. They appear larger.
In the middle of the huddled group, Ella, Balice and Chavis
hand out flashlights - each emitting a different color.
Ella hands one to Hogan and a glow outlines his face. This
time, Ella cannot find words.
HOGAN
Hey. Where did you get these?
52.
ELLA
I just...
HOGAN
They're amazing.
ELLA
Thanks.
HOGAN
We'll just walk down this street
back to my Jeep and the Center.
Hogan turns to Tony who arrives with his own friends.
TONY
I brought some of my football buddies.
Figured we need some blockers.
HOGAN
Hey, Tony. Thanks. Hey, I think
we've got everybody... you know the
song better than I do... can you get
us going?
Hogan holds his flashlight high and Tony unleashes.
TONY
Hail to the eagle, loyal and true,
hail to Renwar, the black and blue!
Chavis does his best barking.
TONY (CONT'D)
We're not dogs man. We're eagles.
CHAVIS
Right, right. I just like to add a
little flavor.
The group repeats the chant which filters down the street as
locals notice their movement.
EXT. 3RD STREET - NIGHT
The breeze carries a shouting match between a YOUNG ARCHITECT
and his NEW BRIDE from their second story apartment.
YOUNG WIFE (O.S.)
I put it on the table, I know I did!
INT. YOUNG COUPLE'S LOFT - NIGHT
Architectural drawings scattered about.
YOUNG ARCHITECT
You lost it, great!
53.
NEW BRIDE
How about helping me look for it,
jerk!
The chanting draws near.
YOUNG ARCHITECT
Why don't --
Moving to the balcony, The Young Architect taken back by
Hogan's group and the flashlight colors that dance in the
street.
NEW BRIDE (O.S.)
What? What did you say?
The New Bride joins her husband on the balcony to witness.
INT. CONVENIENCE STORE - NIGHT
Below the couple, a first floor store.
At the store counter, a sharply dressed MABRY ADAMS, midthirties,
and having a late dinner. Noticing the street
movement, she tosses her sandwich in the trash and hurries
to catch up with the group.
EXT. STREETS - NIGHT
Hand and hand, hip to hip, Hogan and Ella walk in the middle
of the group.
HOGAN
Another beautiful night, huh?
ELLA
That's for sure.
Behind them, Tony and Balice notice their intimacy.
TONY
Guys got it goin'. How did he get
to her?
BALICE
Nah, they're just friends.
At an intersection, Mabry finally catches up with the group.
MABRY
Excuse me. Hello.
HOGAN
Hi.
MABRY
My name is Mabry Adams.
(MORE)
54.
MABRY (CONT'D)
I'm with the Messenger. I was just
wondering what you all are up to?
HOGAN
We're just... actually, just follow
us and you'll see.
ELLA
(flashlight in hand)
Take mine...
Hogan witnesses Ella's subtle kindness.
EXT. MILLS GIVING CENTER - NIGHT
The group arrives an old and former church. Hogan turns
around to brief them.
HOGAN
Ok, this is it. Just drop your
clothes in the boxes at the right as
you come in.
A laugh from the group.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
I mean, the clothes you plan to
donate.
One by one, the walkers notice the bright light over the
entrance.
INT. MILLS GIVING CENTER - NIGHT
Rows of tables, chairs and a buffet line. Hogan spots a
familiar face.
HOGAN
Ms. Littles. Hello.
ALICIA LITTLES
Right on time young man.
Hogan points behind him as the group sheds their clothes and
drops them into a giant box.
HOGAN
Hope this is enough people.
ALICIA LITTLES
Of course.
INT. MILLS KITCHEN - NIGHT
A line of kitchen helpers serve a home style dinner for those
without. Tony mans the mashed potatoes. Chavis delivers
the meals and stops to serve an elderly woman.
55.
CHAVIS
It's a broasted chicken in a very
light cream sauce. No trans fat,
don't worry.
Ella stands next to an EXPECTANT MOTHER and turns back to
see Mabry who chats with Hogan in the corner of the room.
ELLA
Ma'am, do you want me to hold your
little guy while you get your food?
EXPECTANT MOTHER
Are you sure? You wouldn't mind?
ELLA
Not at all.
EXPECTANT MOTHER
He's a handful.
ELLA
No problem. Bring me that little
guy.
Ella carries the infant over to Hogan and Mabry. Hogan wipes
off a table.
MABRY
How cute.
ELLA
Isn't he? Hey bus boy.
HOGAN
Hey, who's this?
ELLA
His name is Michael.
HOGAN
Hey guy.
(to Ella)
Hey, do you see that table over there?
ELLA
Yeah.
HOGAN
That's the family. After we're done
with this, I want to just see what
we can do. Even if it's just talking
to them. Wait just a sec, I gotta
check on the guys.
Hogan catches up with Tony and Chavis.
56.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
Guys, thanks. You really helped and
I know Alicia appreciated you being
here.
Tony wipes the sweat off his brow.
TONY
No problem.
HOGAN
You guys get out of here man, we'll
clean the rest.
TONY
Alright.
Tony and Chavis discard their server hats and gloves on their
way to the exit.
Hogan makes his way toward Ella.
HOGAN
Ready?
ELLA
Yeah.
The two arrive at the table where the family eats their meal.
HOGAN
Ms. Thompson?
MS. THOMPSON, late thirties, snaps her fingers at her
children. Her eyes look past Hogan's.
MS. THOMPSON
Yes.
HOGAN
I'm Hogan and this is Ella. We're
friends of Alicia and she told me
about your situation and we thought
maybe we could help.
Ella's smile eases the awkwardness.
ELLA
My father is a doctor here in town
and I can set up a visit for you and
your family. A free visit. He'll
see all of you. What do you think?
MS. THOMPSON
I can't drive anymore.
57.
HOGAN
We'll take care of that. And we
really want you to get that job Alicia
told us about, but we know you're
having trouble seeing. So, we looked
into your eye condition and found a
possible solution. It's a new
procedure and...
Suddenly, Chavis rushes back inside.
CHAVIS
Hogan, your ride man!
HOGAN
What's up?
TONY
It's on fire! No joke.
Hogan and Chavis bolt outside. Ella turns to Ms. Thompson.
ELLA
We'll be right back.
EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT
In the backseat of Hogan's Jeep, flames creep over the edge.
TONY
Hey! Someone get some water!
Hogan reaches over the flames. Tony brushes him back.
TONY (CONT'D)
Stay back man. Wait till the water
gets here. C'mon dude! Wait!
HOGAN
No! My books!
Two of Tony's friends bring a trash can filled with water.
Tony helps them hoist the bucket over the fire. Within
seconds, the flames are reduced.
Hogan's father's books are blackened.
ELLA
What happened?
HOGAN
I don't know! I don't get it.
Hogan moves closer to the Jeep to get a look. His attention,
the backseat and books on the floorboard. He opens one,
damage to the cover only, much to his relief. He regains
his composure and in the corner of the backseat -- a bag of
trash and wine bottle.
58.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
A drunk?
TONY
I don't think so man.
ELLA
I'm sorry Hogan. You should call
the police.
HOGAN
It's no big deal. Just weird. Let's
go back inside.
INT. MD OFFICE - DAY
HALEY’s MD hands Haley a prescription.
HALEY’S MD
This will probably take six weeks
like the rest of them. I don’t want
this to be your only treatment though.
You need something else.
HALEY
I need a vacation.
HALEY’S MD
Maybe. Or sometimes, something just
to make yourself feel younger helps...
EXT. LZ COFFEE SHOP – DAY
Bagels in their mouths, Hogan and Shaw hustle to the bus
stop. Sidewalk traffic impedes them.
SHAW
Hold up.
Shaw stops to leave a video message as he holds up the phone
in front of his face. People dart around him to avoid the
camera.
SHAW (CONT'D)
Hey baby, call me when you get this.
The phone back into his pocket.
SHAW (CONT'D)
What’s up?
HOGAN
I’m thinking about last night. The
walk.
SHAW
Don’t worry about it. Drunk people
are everywhere downtown.
59.
HOGAN
That’s not it. Professor James...
Everyone knows what we’re doing.
SHAW
They can’t trace it. I just turn my
stuff off if they come into the
control booth. It’s not illegal if
it's only you. I checked.
INT. FARRELL/ROOM 106 - DAY
A FARRELL STUDENT logs in to check out his grade. On his
screen, a large yellow "C" stands out against a black
background with the number, "75", in white.
FARRELL STUDENT
I knew it.
Hogan checks out his classmate’s grade as he sits down next
to him. Logged in, Hogan screen shows a "C-, 72"
Able to see Hogan's screen.
FARRELL STUDENT (CONT'D)
Sucks doesn't it?
HOGAN
Yeah.
FARRELL STUDENT
Hey, I saw your video.
HOGAN
Say again.
FARRELL STUDENT
Your speech on the Net. Someone put
music to it.
INT. THE VILLAGE - DAY
Hogan finishes off a turkey sandwich. Across from him, Mabry,
who hands him a napkin.
HOGAN
Thanks. I can kiss the scholarship
idea goodbye.
MABRY
How come?
HOGAN
Professor Barber hates me. That and
I'm stupid.
Mabry digs into her purse and pulls out a diaper, followed
by a tape recorder.
60.
MABRY
No, you're not. Besides, you're
already famous.
HOGAN
You saw the video?
MABRY
What video?
HOGAN
Nevermind. Thanks for the lunch by
the way.
Mabry wipes a bit of salad dressing off her face before she
finds her notes.
MABRY
No problem. Are you ready?
A nod.
MABRY (CONT'D)
Ok. Just some basics first and I
hope you don't mind if I record this.
Hogan's back stiffens.
MABRY (CONT'D)
You’re from Shenandoah, I know that
much. You are majoring in...?
HOGAN
Philosophy. Might change that
tomorrow.
MABRY
I might have guessed... Alright,
this might embarrass you, but I hear
you're quite a presenter.
HOGAN
Where did you hear that?
MABRY
One of your classmates... during the
walk.
HOGAN
Let me guess, Chavis?
MABRY
Yeah. Speaking of, he and I were
talking about what your next
presentation might be about... You
won't tell me will you?
61.
HOGAN
Did you know that in the UK the
Speaker of the House isn't allowed
to speak or vote? Chavis told me
that.
MABRY
(laughing)
Fine. Just a few more questions.
After graduation, where do you see
yourself say, in five years?
HOGAN
I don't know. I was hoping to be a
writer for a small town newspaper.
MABRY
(more laughter)
I get it... About the walk the other
night... I think I've got all the
details... Except, what inspired
it?
HOGAN
Is this going to be in the article?
MABRY
Yes.
HOGAN
A woman on 83rd street.
MABRY
Really. Last question. My boss
asked me to ask you if you are in
any way related to James Buhl? He
was a professor here.
Hogan shifts his focus from far away to deep into Mabry's
eyes.
HOGAN
Yeah. I'm his son.
A glance at his watch.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
I've got to run to my next class,
but thanks again for lunch.
Mabry left with more questions.
INT. MESSENGER OFFICE - DAY
Across a long desk, Mabry searches for a document among a
mountain of papers.
62.
MABRY
(to herself)
Where is it? Here? Yes.
Mabry’s EDITOR enter, fifty-two years ripe, a subtle likeness
to a sheepdog in baggy clothing.
EDITOR
Mabry, I just read your piece on the
Buhl kid.
MABRY
And?
EDITOR
It was a little bland. We've got a
bunch of unsalted in this edition.
Can you give it something?
MABRY
I could. I didn't mention a few
things. He is related. He's his
son. And that's not the worst part.
I got curious and found out his father
died right after they left here.
EDITOR
Amazing.
MABRY
What?
EDITOR
I mean, the timing. The gun and now
his kid’s here. And this kid sounds
just like his father you know.
MABRY
What do you mean?
EDITOR
Always trying to start a fire. Them
flamin' liberal types. That’s why
someone tried to take him out.
MABRY
How do you know that it --
EDITOR
Because I was here when it happened.
And my buddy’s on the case and told
me everything... He said it was like
this...
His hands begin to draw an unseen picture.
63.
EDITOR (CONT'D)
It's raining, the clouds are moving
in and so it's dark. Kids are on
winter break, most of them.
EXT. CAMPUS SQUARE - DAY
Fog sets in across an emptied, rain soaked campus.
EDITOR (V.O.)
It's hard to see five feet in front
of you, let alone 250 yards. The
shooter was on top of Farrell, right?
Out a cracked window from the top level of Farrell, the barrel
of Andy's gun protrudes. Andy can be seen through the glass
as he reverses his baseball cap and takes aim.
EDITOR (V.O.) (CONT'D)
And this guy had this high powered
gun with a night scope.
EXT. FARRELL - SCOPE MATTE
Through the view of an infra-red scope, James Buhl comes
into focus. A group of students surround him.
EDITOR (V.O.)
And he's got all kinds of trees
blocking his view, right? But he
has the Professor in his sights and
takes the shot and misses by less
than an inch. The bullet shatters a
window and everyone runs...
Shards of glass ricochet off of the Professor's head.
Andy leans out the window to stuff the gun down the storm
drain.
INT. MESSENGER OFFICE – DAY
His hands finish the story.
EDITOR
But they didn’t even know a bullet
had just whisked by their heads.
The police didn’t even find the
bullet...
Mabry’s Editor turns to the window, hands in his pockets.
EDITOR (CONT'D)
We'll run the article, but I guess
we might not want to talk about his
father. Someone else may do that,
but not us.
64.
INT. LZ COFFEE HOUSE - DAY
A long line of coffee addicts. Newspapers everywhere.
CASHIER
Double mocha. Next!
Andy with his everyday look. Yankees cap, navy t-shirt,
desert boots, and camouflaged backpack.
CASHIER (CONT'D)
Hey Andy. You're like clock work.
Dude, you ever take a vacation?
ANDY
Is this a double?
CASHIER
Yeah, think I'd cheat you?
Without a reply, Andy finds an empty corner. On his way, he
grabs Saturday's Messenger.
He drops his pack and scans the front page. The student
pictured and the name "Hogan Buhl" jump out. He speed reads
the story.
Suddenly disturbed, he shoves the newspaper into his pack
and retrieves a pill box and mini-whiskey bottle.
Andy looks behind him and then pours the whiskey into his
coffee. The pills go down with a shot of coffee. He lowers
the brim of his baseball hat.
INT. MESSENGER OFFICE - NIGHT
Mabry and her boss are the last to leave. The Saturday
edition on the Editor's desk.
MABRY
Are you going to be here all night?
EDITOR
No... just gettin' ready to leave.
MABRY
Thanks again for the raise. I didn't
deserve it.
EDITOR
Sure you did.
Her finger on Hogan's picture.
MABRY
Hey, I forgot to ask you about that
Buhl story.
(MORE)
65.
MABRY (CONT'D)
Why would someone intentionally leave
a gun at the scene of the crime? I
mean, how stupid is that?
EDITOR
Stupid? Not really.
MABRY
What do you mean?
EDITOR
He hid it on purpose. Because you
can't just go running across campus
with it. So he rigged a way to hide
it. But I am surprised he didn't
come back to get it. He wanted it
back I'm sure.
MABRY
Of course.
EDITOR
No, I mean. I think he wanted it
back because it's personal to him.
It wasn't just any gun. It was
modified. It had a special scope.
The kind Special Forces use. It had
all these markings on it.
MABRY
What else?
EDITOR
(scoffing)
He missed hitting that professor by
less than an inch. From across the
Square, through the trees and in the
rain. Are you kidding? And no one
heard it? That's someone who's had
some training. This wasn't about
some student who didn't like his
grade.
MABRY
Where are you getting this?
EDITOR
Online. There are a bunch of those
unsolved pages all talking about
this one because the police can't
figure it out...
The Editor spins around on his chair and awakens his computer
screen. Mabry takes a closer look at image of the gun. A
line below the image reads, "the modified Winchester 270."
66.
EDITOR (CONT'D)
Where's my glasses...? Screw it,
sit down.
Mabry's Editor gets up so that she may take his seat.
EDITOR (CONT'D)
They don't even have a suspect...
But I do. Click on the window on
the bottom.
A click later, a college photo of Andy appears.
EDITOR (CONT'D)
His Dad was killed by a roadside
bomb on December 14th. The war
protest was on the 15th. The day
the guy probably got the news.
MABRY
Makes sense.
EDITOR
The police have grilled this guy,
though, but the gun's the clue they
needed. Course, since no one got
shot, they don't care. Who knows?
He's probably gone. For the sake of
that kid, I'd let him know just in
case. He might be quieter then.
MABRY
Yeah.
INT. DERMATOLOGY CLINIC - DAY
An ADMIN ASSISTANT plugs in data.
HALEY
Thanks again for getting me in so
soon.
ADMIN ASSISTANT
Sure. Ok, just sign these two forms.
A patient walks by holding their swollen face. Haley signs
the forms.
ADMIN ASSISTANT (CONT'D)
Hey, did you know my girl was in a
grade lower than your son?
HALEY
Is that right?
ADMIN ASSISTANT
Yeah, she had a crush him too... How
is your son?
67.
HALEY
He's doing fine. He keeps real busy.
ADMIN ASSISTANT
Mine won't stop bugging me. She
texts me what she's having for
lunch... ok, you're all set. You
won't believe how much younger you'll
look. See ya next week!
INT/EXT. HOGAN'S APARTMENT - DAY - TRACKING
Hogan in his running gear. Shaw reclines on the couch, a
wet washcloth over his eyes and forehead.
HOGAN
You're not running today are ya?
SHAW
Nah man. I was out late. Sorry.
HOGAN
Cool. I'll be back in about an hour.
On his way out, Mabry, in similar casual attire, startles
him.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
Sorry. Mabry.
MABRY
Hogan. I should have called you,
I'm sorry.
Hogan closes the door behind him.
HOGAN
No, I was just going running.
MABRY
I have something I didn't want to
tell you over the phone.
HOGAN
I already know.
MABRY
What?
HOGAN
I wanted to tell you. I just didn't
want it publicized. I think I can
talk to him.
MABRY
Hogan, if he's still around, he's
not someone you want talk to.
(MORE)
68.
MABRY (CONT'D)
He's not right. And your speeches,
you might want to think about --
HOGAN
No. My parents ran because of that
guy. And we moved because of him.
MABRY
Hogan, the police --
HOGAN
The police aren't doing anything.
They haven't spoken to my Mom in
years.
MABRY
But you can't defend yourself against
someone like this.
Mabry opens a leather folder and hands Hogan a print out.
MABRY (CONT'D)
You haven't seen this guy have you?
Hogan studies the photo.
INT. TOTALLY RESTAURANT - NIGHT
Ella, Balice, and Chavis take up a booth.
ELLA
You know what I love...? I love
that he's not afraid of anything.
CHAVIS
(eyes on the menu)
You know what I love...? The word
gorgonzola. Just sounds good.
BALICE
(to Chavis)
Did you color your hair or did you
just forget to wash it?
Ella looks toward the door for Hogan.
BALICE (CONT'D)
I thought you said he would be here
on time. Where is he? And like
we're gonna get any studying done
here.
ELLA
Did you guys read the article about
him in the Messenger?
69.
BALICE
No.
ELLA
Do you guys read anything? Seriously.
BALICE
You know what Ella? And I can't
believe he didn't tell you. He's
the son of that professor.
ELLA
What professor?
BALICE
The one that got shot at... because
he brought that liberal, anti-war
crap here. My friend's sister had
him as a professor. She said Hogan's
the same way.
ELLA
Balice, you haven't liked him since
the moment you saw him.
BALICE
You're right. So?
Chavis reaches for the last of complimentary chips and gets
slapped by Balice.
CHAVIS
Dang! What's wrong with you girls?
Ooooh, I know what it is.
ELLA
It doesn't make sense. He doesn't
like attention, but he's creating
it.
Ella grabs a newspaper from another table.
ELLA (CONT'D)
Why would he do that?
CHAVIS
Extra credit?
BALICE
I just told you why.
ELLA
What? No. There's something going
on with him.
Chavis sets a potato chip on Balice.
70.
CHAVIS
You have a chip on your shoulder.
BALICE
Pig.
Balice elbows Chavis. Ella stirs her drink.
ELLA
I wonder where he is?
EXT. CROC'S - NIGHT
A stained glass ceiling cascades a multitude of light over
the patrons of a cramped bar. Shaw and his NEWEST GIRLFRIEND
shout to one another over drinks.
SHAW
I feel like a sardine.
NEWEST GIRLFRIEND
Yeah. It's great.
SHAW
Where's your roommate?
NEWEST FLAME
I think she went home. She sounded
sick.
SHAW
She's always sick.
NEWEST FLAME
Yeah, but at least she gets out.
What about your roommate? He never
comes out. Where's he at?
SHAW
He's funny isn't he? He's to himself
a lot. He's in love with homework.
Shaw finishes his beer.
SHAW (CONT'D)
He does need to loosen up some.
NEWEST FLAME
What about that girl? Is she just a
friend of his or what?
SHAW
I know he likes her, but he's gun
shy. He's a hush. He said he might
go hang with her tonight. Who knows?
An inebriated female patron interjects.
71.
BAR PATRON
Would either of you people have the
time?
Shaw looks down to look at his watch. "9:15."
INT. MILLS GIVING CENTER - NIGHT
On the counter, all that's left from the Center's Friday
night dinner -- a pumpkin pie.
ALICIA
Hey, it's time to get home. And
take this pie with you.
HOGAN
No, I can't.
ALICIA
Please.
HOGAN
Thanks Alicia. How's the Thompson
family doing?
ALICIA
Didn't you know? Your friend Ella
got Ms. Thompson a doctor's visit
and she wrote them a very nice card
too.
HOGAN
I didn't know she did that.
ALICIA
You should. She's as pure as you.
Hogan takes off his serving apron and heads for the door.
HOGAN
I'd offer you a ride, but I ran here
tonight.
ALICE
That's ok. Marv is on his way over.
Hogan tightens the laces on his running shoes.
HOGAN
I'll see ya next Friday.
EXT. HOGAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
Hogan jogs down a hill and takes the back way to the front
door. He blows on his hands to warm them.
In front of his apartment, a parked car. The engine idles,
but the headlights off.
72.
After a brief moment, the car speeds away. Hogan watches it
disappear around the corner.
EXT. HOGAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT (LATER)
Hogan's silhouette can be seen from the street as he keeps a
look out. His light goes off.
INT. CITY BUS - DAY
The last stop. One passenger boards - a YOUNG STUDENT, maybe
eleven, the same hair color as Hogan. His cell phone in one
ear. He finds a seat next to Hogan who moves his backpack
over to accommodate.
HOGAN
Hi.
The Young Student pulls a copy of The Catcher in the Rye out
of his backpack and makes it seen.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
You're reading that in school?
YOUNG STUDENT
No. I'm just reading it cause...
HOGAN
That's great. What do you think of
it so far?
YOUNG STUDENT
It keeps my attention. I like that.
It's about the phoniness in the world.
HOGAN
Wow. Where do you go to school?
YOUNG STUDENT
Stadler.
HOGAN
Stadler? That's where I went... You
just got out of school? Don't you
take a school bus home?
YOUNG STUDENT
I used too, but I don't like those
kids.
Still confused, Hogan's eyes ask for more explanation.
YOUNG STUDENT (CONT'D)
I mean, how would you feel if you
were the only white person on this
bus?
73.
HOGAN
I see.
YOUNG STUDENT
They don't say anything, which makes
it worse. And I see it in their
eyes. And when I sit next to them...
I'm from a crappy part of town, so
they think I'm dirty and dumb.
HOGAN
They'll learn, someday.
The bus stops in the heart of downtown.
Near the bus, the loud colors of a bagel and pretzel store
scream for attention.
The boy raises to get off.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
This is your stop?
YOUNG STUDENT
No, but I think I want a pretzel.
See ya.
A wave goodbye as the boy exits the bus. Hogan's eyes remain
on the boy as he enters the store and the owner scoops him
into his arms.
Both Hogan and the elderly man ahead of him admire the scene
of father and son.
INT. THE VILLAGE - NIGHT
A mountain of books each as Hogan and Ella cram for a midterm.
ELLA
I'm sorry about last night. I thought
you got my message.
HOGAN
I always forget to check it. It's
my fault.
ELLA
Where were you?
HOGAN
I was with another woman... Alicia.
ELLA
Hey...
Putting her hand on Hogan's.
74.
ELLA (CONT'D)
(softly)
I know why you didn't want to talk
about your parents the other night.
I can understand, but it's something
we can talk about.
HOGAN
Ella, what are you saying? What's
there to talk about?
ELLA
I know Hogan. I know about your
father.
HOGAN
So, what about him? Are you going
to tell me he deserved it?
A student at another table takes notice.
ELLA
I wasn't going to say that.
HOGAN
It doesn't matter. I have to go.
Hogan tosses his books into his pack and bolts for the exit,
but turns back.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
You don't know what I'm fighting.
EXT. MEADOW - DAY
Hat reversed aboard his motocross and ripping down a red
dirt path, it's difficult to keep up with Andy. His rifle
bag and camouflaged backpack over his left shoulder. A dust
cloud behind him.
A climb up a ridge and in between a line of cottonwoods,
Andy finds his spot.
Off his motocross, he carries the rifle bag to a space where
the grass has been cleared. He stretches.
Out of his bag, Andy pulls a black M24 sniper rifle -- a
prideful possession. He flips off the safety switch and
through the scope, a look down the ridge.
We retreat below, some 150 yards beneath Andy. Nearby, a
fox squirrel tenses. Suddenly, four rounds break the valley's
silence.
A fast zoom into the barrel of Andy's rifle and then back
out. He fires his last round.
75.
Andy's target, a pre-positioned watermelon on a nearby tree
stump. The bullet strikes -- fruit explodes in all
directions.
INT. HOGAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
HOGAN
I'll owe you a pizza for this.
SHAW
No you won't. Get this. I got a
job offer today from some company in
New Jersey. They saw our video. I
told them to watch for the next one,
it will be even better.
Shaw connects his laptop to the tv. His anime desktop
appears.
SHAW (CONT'D)
What are you speaking about, anyway?
HOGAN
Something that happened on the bus
the other day, but I need something
new to keep people awake.
SHAW
Like the neighbor's baby.
A sarcastic tone changes to a serious one.
HOGAN
Yeah. Yeah.... yeah a baby.
SHAW
You’re gonna bring a baby?
EXT. DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA - DAY
SERIES OF SHOTS
A) Over the city and its endless coastline
B) In front of City Hall, the statue of Mahatama Gandhi
C) The University of Kwazulu-Natal's Howard College campus
INT. HOWARD COLLEGE - DAY
A high tech classroom, similar to Brecklin Hall. Less than
twenty students. On the large projection screen, Professor
James settles behind his lectern.
PROFESSOR STOCKTON-ABRILIA begins the interaction. She looks
ahead at the camera, which sends her image to the Renwar
class.
76.
On screen, Professor James settles behind his lectern.
PROFESSOR STOCKTON-ABRILIA
We will connect with Renwar College
today in the US. Presenter three,
please ready yourself.
On mic.
PROFESSOR STOCKTON-ABRILIA (CONT'D)
Hello, Renwar, this is Professor
Stockton-Abrilia, how do you receive
us?
Professor James' image pops up on screen.
PROFESSOR JAMES
Good, thank you. And we are ready
and listening. Muting our microphones
now.
INT. HOWARD COLLEGE - DAY
PROFESSOR STOCKTON-ABRILIA
Thank you. Go ahead number one.
On the lower left of the giant screen, the words "Far Site
Muted." Professor James' image disappears.
A picture of a cart full of chimpanzee carcasses takes his
place.
Behind the lectern, a HOWARD STUDENT looks for confirmation
to begin and receives a smile and nod from his professor.
HOWARD STUDENT
This is an everyday scene in our
part of the world. But it doesn't
have to be. Student led protection
of our wild animals is critical to
maintaining our own quality of life.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
Hogan studies the carcasses on his own PD. Ella whispers
into his ear.
ELLA
Sounds like they've been listening
to you. So when are you up?
HOGAN
I'm two after Balice.
ELLA
You mean, big mouth?
A shared laugh. Ella's eyes catch Hogan again.
77.
HOGAN
I'm sorry.
ELLA
I know.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY (LATER)
On screen, Mt. Rushmore -- a crack down George Washington's
face.
Balice glances at her notes.
BALICE
Today, I will talk about terrorism
and our noble efforts to fight it
across the globe and here at home.
EXT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
The Bicyclist and a friend hold their players up to receive
the signal from inside Brecklin.
BICYCLIST
They just started, but I'm not gettin'
it yet... probably just a few minutes.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY (LATER)
Hogan and Ella absorb another presentation.
An image of a wedding couple flanks RENWAR SPEAKER #2 who
sorts through his notes.
RENWAR SPEAKER #2
Ok. Ok. Um... sorry. Divorce has a
profound impact on children and we
should not overlook this, um... for
our children are our future. Thanks.
PROFESSOR JAMES
(behind lectern)
Thank you number three. We have one
final presentation today on our end.
Number four, please begin when you
are ready.
INT. CONTROL BOOTH - DAY
Shaw connects a cable from his laptop to the equipment rack.
He looks behind him at the door before making a connection.
The image on his laptop changes as the classroom appears.
Another look behind him.
78.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
Professor James and the class turn there attention to the
lectern. The number four presenter fails to take his place.
PROFESSOR JAMES
#4, are you ready?
Suddenly, a faint heartbeat grows throughout the Hall as the
lights dim. On the screen, a giant network of veins begins
to form and the pulse sends rippling waves from the center
of the network.
Throughout the Hall, tiny veins of light appear on separate
PD's. From the back, the lit PD's create an invisible line
down the middle of the class. As though an electrical short,
the PD's flash in unison with the heartbeats.
INT. HOWARD COLLEGE - DAY
The same light effect. No one stands behind the student
lectern shown on screen. The students are not permitted to
speak, but their curiosity creates a low stir.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
HOGAN
You don't have to see me, just hear
me...
(switching voices)
It's been awhile hasn't it?
His classmates are fooled by his location.
Hogan emerges from behind Professor James and unclips a lapel
microphone. He moves toward the student lectern.
EXT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
A dozen friends surround the Bicyclist as he waits for the
signal to come across. Next to him, the BICYCLIST's FRIEND
and a few other hunchbacks.
BICYCLIST
I got it. I got it. You got it?
Cool huh?
BICYCLIST FRIEND
Yeah. Yeah! Rockin!
BICYCYLIST
There's a little delay in the video,
but just wait for the images.
A look down, the Bicyclist looks for space between the wheatcolored
boots of another onlooker.
79.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
HOGAN
Wait. You don't remember me, I'm
sure. I was assigned to you. I
used to take it for granted too.
Seconds later, a hazy image of a fetus comes into focus on
screen.
INT. HOWARD COLLEGE - DAY
The heartbeats fade while the PD's brighten, their energy
now a constant.
Professor Stockton-Abrilia turns to the screen for a closer
look of Hogan while the fetus displays on the larger portion
of the screen.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
HOGAN
But you remember the day, right?
The most amazing day of your life.
Day twenty-three. C'mon?
Through a darkened tunnel, cells and the fabric of a giant
depiction of the human heart begin to form on screen.
A distorted heartbeat starts again and fills the Hall as the
heart appears as two intertwined tubes.
EXT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
An even larger circle forms.
BICYCLIST FRIEND
I can't believe you get 500 hundred
bucks for putting this online.
The Bicyclist pulls an earpiece from his player to listen.
BICYCLIST
I know. Hey, it's easier to listen
and watch... like this.
The booted man moves closer. From the back, Andy's ball cap
becomes recognizable.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
All eyes focus on the fetal heart as the chambers form with
separate neon coloring.
INT. HOWARD COLLEGE - DAY
Whirlwinds of light cascade on the front row as the heart
images continue to change color.
80.
HOGAN'S VOICE
Day twenty-three. I was there when
your heart formed. I still have no
idea what brought those walls
together, but when they formed and
that first beat sounded, if you could
have heard it.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
HOGAN
It was like a thunderstorm had started
inside of you.
The heartbeats accelerate.
The class continues to monitor the screen, but Ella's eyes
fixate on Hogan.
HOGAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
It started beating religiously,
something like a 100,000 times a
day. And I don't know what started
it, I only know that anyone seeing
you taking shape would have fallen
to their knees... amazed... amazed.
On screen, a pale skinned newborn yawns as a physician listens
to her heartbeat. The view pulls back and the newborn's
skin color changes to a darker tone.
INT. BUSINESS OFFICE (MANHATTAN, NEW YORK) - DAY
An ATTORNEY sits next to an associate and watches Hogan on a
laptop. He plugs in his headphones.
ATTORNEY
This is the kid. They'll make an
example of him I bet.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
The heartbeats fade again.
The screens show two newborns of different skin shades, side
by side.
HOGAN (O.S.)
And the child next to you which you
couldn't see... she was just like
you... When you were both able to
see clearly, you were amazed by all
the different colors.
A new image. From a newborn's POV, a twirling mobile
overhead.
81.
HOGAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
This is when you saw your favorite
color. Even today when you look at
this color, I see what it does in
your brain. It sort of lights up.
Lots of things on earth have this
affect on you.
Photos. The first, one of nature's swimming pools as two
swimmers celebrate the aqua serenity of Cenote Ik Kil.
The finest scenery under heaven. A rare glimpse of the China
sun as it burns over the terraced rice fields and workers of
Longji.
HOGAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
And still, so much you'll never see.
The screen goes blank, the Hall only lit by the PD's.
CHAVIS
(to Ella)
Popcorn?
ELLA
Chavis.
CHAVIS
Sorry.
HOGAN (O.S.)
Your eyes... they tell you of a
flickering light in front of you,
but your eyes are only letting the
light in. It's your brain that makes
sense of what you see.
INT. HOWARD COLLEGE - DAY
The screen awakens. A graphic depiction of the eyes and
their connection to the brain.
HOGAN
I'm looking in your brain.
The brain's neocortex, magnified to demonstrate its sublime
circuitry.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
You see this part of your brain...
It's where you developed higher
reasoning. Without this reasoning...
you would have been left in the dark,
like some, unable to overcome basic
fears or the ability to understand...
82.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
One by one, the light of the PD's vanish. Balice, one of
the first, then Chavis.
A pause, as more PD's fade out.
HOGAN (O.S.)
...that there is more than just sight.
From day twenty-three... to your
last day on the planet... when you
breathe your final breath...
A still. More than a dozen pairs of shoes spread evenly
across an emptied dance floor.
HOGAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
...listen to the music of your last
dance.
After the image dissolves, the views that looks down from
the top of a 30-story building and busy intersection below.
HOGAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
When you rise higher...
A shot of two teenagers of unlike color as basketball players.
Their arms around each other.
EXT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
Andy leans forward to see Hogan. The Bicyclist's player
provides the audio.
HOGAN'S VOICE
You realize the differences you see,
are indeed only skin deep. It is
your brain that will allow you to
see this.
INT. CONTROL BOOTH - DAY
Shaw looks out at the giant screen and his creation.
A live image of the classroom on screen. Seconds later, an
X-ray view of the same scene.
The class erupts.
PROFESSOR JAMES
Quiet... quiet!
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
Hogan loses his conversational tone and pauses. From
somewhere else in the Hall.
83.
HOGAN
You don't have to see me, just hear
me... we are the same.
Ella searches for Hogan, but cannot locate him.
Caught between the on screen image and Hogan's disappearing
act, Professor James hurries to ready himself for the camera.
On screen, the full view of Howard College appears.
PROFESSOR JAMES
Thank you number five, I mean four.
And Howard College, thank you.
INT. HOWARD COLLEGE - DAY
Professor Stockton-Abrilia opens the mic and a wave of
applause and chatter comes through.
PROFESSOR STOCKTON-ABRILIA
Quiet please. Thank you Professor
James. See you again soon. Out
here.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
The applause heard.
CHAVIS
I guess we can clap... Alright Hogan!
Where'd he go?
Chavis claps and others follow. Soon, the Renwar class
matches the noise from Howard.
Finally, the screen that shows the Howard class goes blank.
All the lights turn on. The noise dissipates.
PROFESSOR JAMES
We will continue with presentations
on Wednesday. Five through nine are
on the docket and should be loaded
before class. Have a good day.
Hogan re-emerges near the professor and overhears a classmate
to another.
BRECKLIN CLASSMATE
That guy's on something.
Behind his lectern, his face barely visible, Professor James
motions to Hogan to come to the front. Hogan complies.
PROFESSOR JAMES
I wanted to ask you if you had any
luck with what we talked about.
84.
HOGAN
I found a bunch of articles. Most
of them good, but -- you know why we
moved don't you?
Professor James nods.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
Do you think it was one of his
students?
PROFESSOR JAMES
I don't know... I don't know Hogan.
INT. BUHL HOUSE/LIVING ROOM - DAY
A Sunday ritual -- next to the fireplace and at ease thanks
to a romance novel. Haley puts the book down to look out
the window.
INT. STUDY - NIGHT
Inside a desk drawer, Haley retrieves a bundle of business
cards that have been rubber-banded together. She pulls the
one that reads, "Luke Merkish, MD".
INT. OFFICE OF DR. MERKISH - DAY
Besieged by paperwork and a little less hair on top, Dr.
Merkish now a veteran with all the amenities.
An interruption by an INTERN.
INTERN
I know you're busy, but you have two
calls you may want to take. One is
Dr. Camby, the other is a Haley Buhl.
DR. MERKISH
Really. I'll talk to Camby tomorrow,
and I'll take the second one now.
He pushes a button to activate line two.
DR. MERKISH (CONT'D)
This is Luke... Haley! Yes, I do!
I just knew the voice.
INT. THE VILLAGE - DAY
Ella and Balice exit the bookstore, each with a bag.
BALICE
That reminds me. We should get our
nails done too. I'll make the
appointment.
85.
Balice touches in an appointment on her phone calendar, but
a voice and image overtake her action.
BALICE (CONT'D)
What the... sick!
ELLA
What?
BALICE
Someone is piping inside a bathroom.
Look.
Balice looks around.
ELLA
Gross.
BALICE
That’s what your boy started you
know. I told you.
Another woman reacts to the image and drops her phone.
INT. RENWAR LIBRARY/2ND FLOOR - NIGHT
Chavis, Ella and Balice bury their heads in their studies.
Ella slurps the last of a mocha.
BALICE
Are you trying to be annoying?
ELLA
Anything to put you in a good mood
darlin'.
Flustered, she turns to Chavis.
BALICE
Chavis, don't act like you're reading.
CHAVIS
I'm reading about MLK. Hogan said
it helps.
BALICE
He's late again.
ELLA
He'll be here. This is our last
meeting before the final. He better
be here.
INT. MEDIA CENTER - NIGHT
A sea of computers. Hogan at his, a casual observer to the
girl next to him. Her headphones a bit oversized. She doubleclicks
on the file, "candlelighter rmx."
86.
Hogan moves closer to verify -- the beginning of his last
presentation. The heart forms, but in supersonic speed.
A brief smile, then a look at his watch. The girl turns
around, but misses Hogan.
INT. 2ND FLOOR - NIGHT
CHAVIS
What did Hogan speak about in his
first presentation?
BALICE
That bag lady downtown.
ELLA
Poverty.
CHAVIS
Right. And what did he speak about
yesterday?
BALICE
Anatomy 101.
Ella pushes Balice to stifle her sarcasm.
CHAVIS
It was about racism.
Chavis' unusual serious tone draws them closer.
ELLA
And.... So?
Chavis displays a book to the girls.
CHAVIS
Poverty, racism and war. The three
evils by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
This is amazing. He's going to speak
about war I bet.
BALICE
You mean, if he speaks.
ELLA
(inhaling)
What do you mean?
BALICE
Y'all read anything? Remember, he's
pipin' his speeches. All the people
outside, remember that guy? His
speeches are on the Net. The FCC,
the FBI, the CIA, they'll all be
here. He's going to jail Ella.
87.
ELLA
He's not the one doing it.
BALICE
Right.
ELLA
I'll ask him.
HOGAN
(out of breath)
Hey guys. Sorry, I'm late.
EXT. US HIGHWAY 276 - DAY - TRAVELING
Hogan and Ella, northbound in his Jeep. The sign, "Ceasar's
Head State Park."
EXT. CAESAR'S HEAD STATE PARK - DAY
Backpack on, Hogan checks out his competition.
HOGAN
Are you ready?
ELLA
Am I ready? I bet I'll beat you to
the top.
EXT. NATURALAND TRUST TRAIL - DAY
A vigorous pace up a path of wooden steps amid a mix of
rhondendron and mountain laurel.
ELLA
This is beautiful. How did you find
this place?
HOGAN
I used to come here when I was a
kid. I would race my parents up
this hill.
Ella climbs one of the ladders on the trail. Hogan opts for
a quicker route. They reach a ridge together out of breath.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
I'll call it a tie. We're just about
there... just around that corner.
Next, a wood plank suspension bridge, which overlooks the
Raven Cliff Falls -- an endless waterfall surrounded by
deciduous beauty. The soothing rush of water below.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
This is it. This is why I love it
here.
88.
Ella puts her arm around Hogan's waist.
ELLA
I can see why.
They walk to the end of the bridge and step back on soil.
Hogan and Ella face-to-face, but a voice interrupts them.
His face obscured by a tree, but his hiking boots visible.
A PARK VISITOR possibly lost.
PARK VISITOR (O.S.)
Excuse me.
The Park Visitor emerges.
PARK TOURIST
Do you folks know if campfires are
allowed here?
Hogan smirks at Ella.
HOGAN
No, it's illegal in the park.
PARK TOURIST
Ok, thanks.
EXT. CAESAR'S HEAD STATE PARK - DAY (LATER)
Near a stream, an ideal setting for a picnic.
ELLA
You should come over to my parents
house for dinner. My mom is the
best cook, chef, whatever you call
it. She's amazing. How about your
mom?
Ella sweeps her hair back.
HOGAN
I'm just now realizing how amazing
she is too.
ELLA
So, I've got my speech written. Did
you decide yet?
HOGAN
I don't know.
ELLA
Please make Chavis a liar.
HOGAN
Why? I like Chavis.
89.
ELLA
Please. Not at Renwar and especially
if you ever want to meet my Dad.
HOGAN
Ella, it's not about me being famous
or --
ELLA
My father's risking his life right
now. I don't know where he is or
when he's coming home. Why don't
you get that?
Ella's last words echo.
INT. HOGAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT - TRACKING
Shaw lays perpendicular on the couch. Hogan enters and
tiptoes upstairs.
INT. HOGAN'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
His back to the door, Hogan plays his computer keyboard like
Chopin. On screen, two newspaper pictures. The first, Andy's
father, stately in his Dress Blues. The caption "MgySgt
Marcus Versando" and headline "One of City's Own Fallen".
Hogan drags the second image closer to the first. An image
of his father. Underneath the picture, "Professor Claims
War Not the Answer".
Hogan studies both.
INT. PROFESSOR JAMES' OFFICE - DAY
Professor James waters a row of plants as a shadow approaches.
PROFESSOR JAMES
Yes?
HOGAN
Professor James.
PROFESSOR JAMES
Hello Hogan. I should give these
plants to someone who cares,
Shouldn't I? Have a seat...
(the last plant)
Oops, you're not real. You wanted
to speak about your grade.
HOGAN
Not exactly.
PROFESSOR JAMES
(taking a seat)
Then what is it?
90.
HOGAN
I just wanted to say thanks... and I
wanted to talk to you about
tomorrow... I don't think I can
speak.
PROFESSOR JAMES
Really. I suppose I can understand.
By the sounds of it, there may be a
bit of a crowd here tomorrow, but
they won't be allowed in.
HOGAN
That's not it. I just... I can't
afford this place another semester,
and I was wondering if I could just
turn in my notes for my last speech...
for credit.
PROFESSOR JAMES
Look, you've earned enough credit,
but a lot of people will be
disappointed. Course, my phone may
finally stop ringing... so many people
asking me about you.
The Professor's cell rings.
PROFESSOR JAMES (CONT'D)
This one's my wife. She's just
telling me she landed... Hogan, I
realize that you may be worried about
your safety and I can understand
that.
HOGAN
No, I just... I'll let you go pick
up your wife. Thanks again Professor
James.
PROFESSOR JAMES
(puzzled)
You're welcome.
Hogan turns to leave, while Professor James pulls a book
from a desk drawer.
PROFESSOR JAMES (CONT'D)
Hold on! I'm glad you stopped by.
I meant to give you this.
Professor James hands him a book, The Measure of a Man, Dr.
Martin Luther King Jr.
HOGAN
Wow, thank you.
91.
PROFESSOR JAMES
They have this book in the library?
HOGAN
No. I'm sorry. I just... I already
own it.
PROFESSOR JAMES
I see. Well it is a signed copy.
Hogan opens the front cover. The writing and the signature
disarm him.
HOGAN
My father gave this to you?
PROFESSOR JAMES
It was a birthday gift from him.
HOGAN
I thought you didn't know him.
PROFESSOR JAMES
I did Hogan. I just thought you
should learn about him on your own.
You know? Speaking of that, I hope
you found what you were looking for.
Sometimes the library doesn't have
everything.
Hogan picks up his head and looks directly at Professor James.
HOGAN
Right.
Professor James glances out a basement window into the
relative darkness.
PROFESSOR JAMES
It's already getting dark.
HOGAN
I know, I better get going. Thanks
again. Really, thank you.
Hogan gone, Professor James to himself.
PROFESSOR JAMES
No, thank you.
EXT. CAMPUS SQUARE - DAY
Shadows creep across an emptied campus.
Hogan scurries down a sidewalk that leads to the Campus
Square. Balice, right behind him.
92.
BALICE
Hogan!
Hogan spins around and Balice catches up to him.
BALICE (CONT'D)
Hey, we were looking for you.
HOGAN
What do you mean we?
BALICE
Ella didn't want to talk to you, so
she sent me. Your roommate told me
you were on campus. Hogan, we just
heard about that guy.
HOGAN
What guy?
BALICE
C'mon. We know. Everyone knows...
about your father. And what he spoke
about when it happened.
HOGAN
No.
BALICE
Yeah. You don't speak about war in
these parts. You just don't.
HOGAN
You're right.
Hogan continues down the sidewalk. Balice follows.
BALICE
Slow down. What are you going to
speak about?
HOGAN
I don't know.
BALICE
You don't have to speak at all. And
I wouldn't. That's just stupid. If
you care about Ella...
HOGAN
I do. And I just talked to Professor
James.
BALICE
Did he say you could skip it?
Hogan nods. Balice celebrates with her fist.
93.
BALICE (CONT'D)
Good. We're just looking out for
you. You know?
HOGAN
Right. I know. I better get going.
BALICE
Me too. It's freezing.
HOGAN
Yeah, it is cold.
Balice disappears as a haze moves in over campus.
Hogan blows on his hands to warm them while he treks past
the east side of the Humanities Building.
Propped open by a wood block, a sliver of light comes from
one of the basement doors. He looks around and then moves
with caution.
INT. HUMANITIES BUILDING - NIGHT
Hogan slides in and sneaks down a dimly lit hallway adorned
with photographs of nature. He slows to quiet the soles of
his shoes, but suddenly freezes as a door behind him slams
shut. The DEAN OF HUMANITIES confronts him.
DEAN OF HUMANITIES
Hello.
An attempt to look lost.
HOGAN
Hello. I'm just... I was wondering
if you could help me.
DEAN OF HUMANITIES
Sure.
HOGAN
The front doors were locked and I
didn't know how to get out.
DEAN OF HUMANITIES
Really? They should be open. You
can use that door.
The Dean points to another hallway which Hogan turns to.
HOGAN
Right. Thanks.
DEAN OF HUMANITIES
You look familiar.
94.
HOGAN
Yeah. I get that a lot. Thanks
again.
Hogan starts toward the exit and looks back. The Dean
disappears. His feet, though, can only go three more steps.
An office with a single desk and giant shelving force him to
stop. Something familiar. The wood floor, the arched window,
and the chair.
He moves forward again. Something more powerful draws him
back. A giant photograph of his father underneath a light
on the wall. The photo -- taken in his office, and a striking
likeness to Hogan.
Every inch surveyed, Hogan's eyes finally reach the gold
plate below.
"James Buhl, Distinguished Faculty Award 1992, 1994."
HOGAN (CONT'D)
(faintly)
Hi, Dad.
Before he can speak further, a door shuts. He looks toward
the exit, but then a final look at the photograph. Seeing
it this time, there is more.
DISSOLVE TO:
SERIES OF SHOTS - HOGAN'S PAST
A) The Waimea picture in Hogan's room.
B) Hogan's father reaches back to him in the Cessna.
C) The wall photograph.
D) The empty pilot seat at the crash.
FLASHBACK: INT. CESSNA 172 - DAY -
Hogan collapses further to his right side.
HOGAN's P.O.V.
A blood stain on the plane's windshield. Collapsing
completely to his side, his father slumped over in the corner
of the plane.
LIFE FLIGHT P.O.V.
The wreckage of the Cessna pinned against a giant red maple.
A search light creeps through the tear in the top of the
plane. Hogan and his father both folded over.
95.
PRESENT: INT. HUMANITIES BUILDING - NIGHT
Hogan gives way to a river of tears, his fists tremble and
push together.
INT. BUHL HOUSE/BEDROOM - DAY
Haley awakens to phone music. She clears her throat. The
mirror reflects her new hair style. She picks up her cell,
an image of Jennifer displays. She opts for speakerphone.
HALEY
Jen.
JENNIFER (filtered)
How are you?
HALEY
Jen. I'm fine. What is it? You're
loud.
JENNIFER (filtered)
I'm sorry to call so early, but did
you watch the news?
HALEY
No, I just...
JENNIFER (filtered)
It was Hogan. He was on tv.
Still sluggish, but eyes fully opened.
HALEY
What? What happened?
JENNIFER (filtered)
Nothing. He was just being recognized
or something. He's giving some sort
of speech this week and the news
said that people from all over are
headed down there to listen to him.
HALEY
What? You're kidding! He didn't
tell me!
JENNIFER (filtered)
No, but Haley...
HALEY
What?
JENNIFER (filtered)
I'd go with you, but I've got my
surgery. Maybe your parents could
go with you. You gotta get down
there. I know it'll be tough, though.
96.
HALEY
Why?
JENNIFER (filtered)
He's speaking about war.
HALEY
Oh my God.
INT. KITCHEN - DAY
Haley's eyes swollen. Her voice breaks.
HALEY
(into phone)
Hey, Sheila. This is Haley... How
are you?... Can I see about booking
a flight to South Carolina?
(pause)
Tomorrow.
INT. HOGAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
SHAW
Who was that?
HOGAN
Ella. We're meeting tomorrow before
class. I'm gonna do it.
SHAW
Ok. I'll call Tate and tell her I
can't make it. You know the price.
HOGAN
Pizza. Green olives.
SHAW
And...?
HOGAN
And, I'll clean the bathroom.
Shaw double pumps his fist.
SHAW
I'll close the drapes.
HOGAN
Hey, there's going to be security
there tomorrow I hear.
SHAW
Yeah, all because like a hundred
people are supposed to show up.
Don't sweat it.
97.
EXT. HOGAN'S APARTMENT - NIGHT
From the street and through the rain, Hogan's room light
shines.
INT. TAXI CAB - TRAVELING - DAY
Haley in back. The cab heads away from an airport.
INT. HOSPITAL - DAY
Haley takes in the new lobby. A VOLUNTEER approaches.
VOLUNTEER
Hello. Can I help you?
HALEY
No, I was just... remembering.
A few feet away, an RN pushes an empty wheelchair by her.
It is her old friend RACHAEL.
RACHAEL
Haley? Haley! Come here.
HALEY
Rachael.
An embrace.
RACHAEL
I can't believe it. We were all
just wondering where you might be.
HALEY
I know, I feel bad. I'm just in
town to see my son.
RACHAEL
That's right! That's why we were
talking about you. He's all over
the news. He was just that little
guy and now I'm seeing his face
everywhere. Where are you living?
HALEY
We're still back in Iowa. And I
didn't think I would miss this place,
but I do... Hey, I'm in a little bit
of a hurry and I gotta find Luke.
Can you help me find him?
INT. GOOD MORNING AMERICA STUDIO - DAY
NEWS ANCHOR
Thousands are expected to head to
South Carolina today where a college
freshmen has created quite a stir.
98.
A still of Hogan over the News Anchor's shoulder.
NEWS ANCHOR (CONT'D)
His name is Hogan Buhl, and he is
one of many testing the limits of
the new video privacy act. We
understand the crowd that will see
him speak today or least listen are
a mixed group of supporters and...
INT. LZ COFFEE HOUSE - DAY
Andy follows the story on a mounted television.
ON TELEVISION
NEWS ANCHOR'S VOICE
...protesters as he is expected to
voice his opinion on the US and its
foreign policies as it relates to
war.
Andy reaches into his pocket and takes a swig of whiskey.
He quickly departs.
EXT. BRECKLIN HALL/PARKING LOT - DAY
An early sun, a friend to morning joggers.
A news van pulls up. The CAMERAMAN gets out and runs into a
CURIOUS STUDENT.
CURIOUS STUDENT
Hey. What's going on?
CAMERAMAN
We're covering the protest.
CURIOUS STUDENT
What protest?
A caravan of media vehicles approaches the parking lot.
As the RENWAR PRESIDENT passes, a RUNNING INTERVIEWER attaches
to his hip.
RUNNING INTERVIEWER
As president of this University, is
this the kind of publicity you want?
RENWAR PRESIDENT
We believe that freedom of expression
is as important here as anywhere.
RUNNING INTERVIEWER
We understand that there may be
National Guardsmen here today for
security purposes. Is this true?
99.
The question leaves the Cameraman and student dumbfounded.
EXT. CAMPUS SQUARE/NORTH SIDE - DAY
A private company security team assembles and huddles over a
small piece of electronic equipment; all are in plain clothes,
but their leader points to their uniformed counterparts atop
adjacent buildings in the Square.
SECURITY LEAD
Those guys are your eyes. As soon
as you get a signal coming across,
just scramble it and call it in.
Within 30 feet of the Security Lead, Andy surveys the crowd.
His look modified. Dressed in Combat Utility Uniform and
lowering a matching hat across his brim.
EXT. THE FOUNTAIN - DAY
Hogan and Shaw hustle toward Brecklin. They stop at a giant
fountain.
HOGAN
I guess she's not here yet... I'll
go in about ten till.
SHAW
I'll be right behind ya... Good luck
man.
A deep inhale and fist knock. They both look around to see
if anyone watches them.
HOGAN
You too.
Shaw continues on to campus with his coffee in hand. He
turns back to give Hogan a peace sign.
Hogan chews his nails.
INT. HOSPITAL - DAY
Haley and Rachael head down a hallway near the ER entrance.
RACHAEL
There he is... Dr Merkish... remember
this girl?
DR. MERKISH
Haley! I'm all set.
An embrace. Dr. Merkish grabs his suit coat.
RACHAEL
What? Where are you going?
(MORE)
100.
RACHAEL (CONT'D)
Duh, what am I thinking? You're
going to see Hogan aren't you?
HALEY
Yeah. Thanks Rachael.
Haley departs with the doctor.
EXT. THE FOUNTAIN - DAY
Hogan keeps an eye on his watch. Minutes before the hour of
eight o'clock, he cannot wait any longer. He steps on to
campus.
EXT. CAMPUS SQUARE/NORTH SIDE - DAY
Across a grassy area, Hogan makes his way between illegally
parked cars. He reaches the sidewalk, which leads to
Brecklin. He rounds a corner. The crowd noise takes him
back. Scores of people on both sides of the sidewalk
separated by rope.
A sign denotes the entry into the Square, "PRST Students
Only - violators will be persecuted." Hogan continues.
Parts of the crowd recognize Hogan and react with a mix of
boos and cheers.
He proceeds to the middle of the Square with Brecklin in
sight. A woman pushes him from behind.
HOGAN
Mabry! It says students only.
MABRY
I know. I'm sorry... I was just
waiting for you. There's a whole
bunch of...
An aluminum can bounces of Mabry's head.
MABRY (CONT'D)
Knock it off!
A Security member stops her.
MABRY (CONT'D)
Hogan! Just remember... I get the
exclusive!
Hogan smiles and continues without Mabry, past the local TV
talent.
The Local TV Reporter that broke the missing gun story.
This time on a raised platform.
101.
LOCAL TV REPORTER
You can see this crowd gathering
behind me, many of them students and
many of them who watched the pirated
online speeches, and looking behind
me...
Below the media platform are two students. One of them sports
the Union Jack as a cape.
LOCAL TV REPORTER (CONT'D)
... I spoke to these two students
who came here all the way from London.
I guess they are one of many who
feel like that history might be
being made today. Byron is in the
middle of this crowd. Byron...
BYRON, a bit green, struggles to be heard in the middle of
the crowd.
BYRON
I have two different perspectives
right now.
An arm out to the man to his left.
BRYON
Why are you here today, sir?
LOCAL MAN
I just wanted to come and support
this kid. If he wants to be heard,
that's his choice, his freedom.
BYRON
And ma'am... Why have you made it on
down today?
ELDERLY WOMAN
(highly irritated)
We just believe that the younger
generation just doesn't seem to
understand the sacrifices that have
been made in their name. This young
man needs to know that.
BYRON
Ok. Obviously, some dissension in
the crowd. Hopefully, a peaceful
day here. Back to you guys.
A wide shot of the Local TV Reporter.
LOCAL TV REPORTER
Ok, thanks. There you have the scene
at Renwar.
(MORE)
102.
LOCAL TV REPORTER (CONT'D)
Never a bigger crowd on campus in
the history of the school. And it
certainly would be easy to get lost
in that crowd. Back to you.
Haley and Dr. Merkish move by the Local TV Reporter and join
the masses.
EXT. SOUTH SIDE - DAY
A CAMPUS NEWS REPORTER rushes up to Hogan as he nears the
doors of Brecklin.
CAMPUS NEWS REPORTER
Hello, Hogan? Hogan how are you?
Do you have a second?
HOGAN
Sure.
Hogan looks upward at protesters in the trees and checks the
time on his watch. A photographer takes an up close shot of
him.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
I'm sorry, I guess I don't have time.
Some 20 yards to Hogan's left, Andy changes direction. His
boots dig into the grass, determined to intercept. His right
hand clenches something in his pocket. He holds up at the
sidewalk rope and draws the attention of Hogan. Hate pours
out of Andy's eyes. A wave of tv reporters duck the rope
and break their stare.
The crowd surges to the front of Brecklin. Hogan makes it
the very front.
EXT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
A BUILDING SECURITY MEMBER steps in front of Hogan.
BUILDING SECURITY MEMBER
ID please.
HOGAN
What?
The Security Member pulls Hogan by his shirt so that he won't
have to shout.
BUILDING SECURITY MEMBER
You need an ID to get in.
Hogan turns to look back for something.
103.
EXT. CAMPUS SQUARE/SOUTH SIDE - DAY
Seconds behind Hogan, Chavis and Balice negotiate their way
to the doors of Brecklin.
CHAVIS
This is amazing.
BALICE
Yeah. Thanks to glory boy.
CHAVIS
Glory boy?
Just then, Chavis runs into the back of Andy, who leans over
the rope.
CHAVIS (CONT'D)
Sorry man.
Andy responds with an irritated look.
EXT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
Shaw reaches the entrance.
BUILDING SECURITY MEMBER
ID.
SHAW
I'm the booth controller. The AV
guy.
BUILDING SECURITY MEMBER
I still need some sort of ID to allow
you in guy.
SHAW
What is this a club?
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
Chavis and Balice arrive and find Hogan.
HOGAN
Hey, have you guys seen Ella?
BALICE
I thought you were supposed to meet
her.
CHAVIS
Hoagie, what's up? Chili. She'll
be here.
Hogan saves a seat while the two slide by.
104.
CHAVIS (CONT'D)
(pointing at Balice)
She's in a bad mood, it's that time
still.
EXT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
Haley and Dr. Merkish are the next in line at the front doors.
SECURITY AGENT
Folks, this is students only. You'll
have to move back.
Showing an ID and pass.
HALEY
I'm Haley Buhl, Hogan's mother.
They gave us this.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
All but a few seats have been filled, and the crowd noise
ceases as the doors close.
PROFESSOR JAMES
Good morning class. How is everybody?
We're still waiting on our booth
tech, so it may be a few minutes...
Hogan looks back to the booth and in all directions for Shaw.
A few seconds later a light shines in the booth.
SHAW'S VOICE
(over the sound system)
Ready in the booth.
Hogan takes an extra breath.
PROFESSOR JAMES
Great. Let's begin. As you know,
those who have finished their final
presentations will be evaluating
today. We will wrap up with three
presentations, but before we do, I
wanted to thank you for listening
and retaining everything I have said
so far.
Laughter breaks the tension.
PROFESSSOR JAMES
So, we will start with presentation
number four, which is Hogan Buhl.
Some of the students cheer.
105.
EXT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
The Bicyclist and his group assemble in their usual spot.
With a listening device in one ear and a laptop on the ground,
the Bicyclist makes an announcement to the crowd.
BICYCLIST
I've got it. I've got it!
BICYCLIST'S FRIEND
Pipe it!
Suddenly, distorted classroom noise comes from a small speaker
system while live video from inside Brecklin streams to the
Bicyclist's laptop.
Byron approaches the two students.
BYRON
Can I get a feed on this guy?
BICYCLIST
Sure, for a small fee.
Bryon calls back to his crew near their news van.
BYRON
Get ready to send this!
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
Hogan makes his way down the center aisle and reaches the
lectern. He searches for Ella and notes the empty seat next
to Chavis and Balice.
On screen. In the distance, an adolescent couple warm up to
each other underneath two blossoming trees.
HOGAN
There's always something to look
forward to...
The trees lose their leaves as the seasons change around
them, but in fast motion. The progression finishes where it
started.
EXT. CAMPUS SQUARE - DAY
Several large projection screens show the action inside
Brecklin. Some watch on their cell phones. Large sections
of the crowd cheer.
A security team member waits for instruction on his ear piece
while he monitors his electronic equipment. He raises his
hands in confusion. Two of his team members scatter.
106.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
On screen, a virtual world unfolds. Through the eyes of a
motorcyclist crossing the Golden Gate Bridge at 199 mph and
swerving down Lombard Street. The colors more fantasy than
true to life. The second motorcyclist, possibly Shaw.
HOGAN
... even though our days are numbered.
And as we speed along we come to
realize that there is more than
wealth, power,... fame.
EXT. THE SQUARE - DAY
Made obvious by their jacketed uniforms, Andy spots members
of the security team as they disperse toward him. He takes
cover between a tree and a group of college students.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
HOGAN
I've always imagined something bigger.
I've imagined that we all are climbing
a mountain in life.
A video. Through the eyes of a hiker, the ascent up a narrow,
muddy trail. On one side, thick foliage overhangs. On the
other, a steep 100 foot drop off, with the ocean below.
Darkness ahead.
INT. SUBURBAN HOUSE - DAY
Three teenage girls move closer to a computer screen.
ON THE COMPUTER
The trail image narrows.
The youngest girl bites her nails.
EXT. BOSTON - DAY
A middle-aged man waits for a subway. Headphones on. Under
his arm, the "Boston Globe." Hogan's picture on the front.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
HOGAN
Right now you are hiking up the trail
of life, and there is always the
potential for you to slip and fall,
or for something to weaken you,...
A misty fog moves over the trail.
107.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
...but you keep walking even though
it's impossible to see what lies
ahead.
INT. ICE CREAM PARLOR - DAY
A speaker in the corner. Ice cream sundaes are handed out.
HOGAN'S VOICE
(reverberating)
You keep climbing even though you're
not sure if you will end at a point
that will fulfill your expectations.
And you realize one thing... That
fear does more than slow you.
INT. BUSINESS OFFICE (MANHATTAN, NEW YORK) - DAY
The ATTORNEY and his ASSOCIATE tune in again.
ATTORNEY
I'll bet you a hundred he gets
arrested today. Stupid kid, just
trying to become a celebrity.
ASSOCIATE
I think he's doing it for another
reason.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
The video stops just before the hiker reaches the pinnacle.
HOGAN
And I'm here today speaking because
I'm driven like you. I don't want
to waste another day letting my fears
keep me down. I want to live for
more than just myself, like these
people...
On screen, a scrolling list.
"Socrates, Leonardo da Vinci, Amelia Earhart, Dr. MLK Jr.,
Albert Einstein, Mother Teresa, Bill Gates."
Hogan switches to a more assertive tone and speeds his tempo.
HOGAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
...they pushed their fears aside and
reached the highest of heights.
They rose above the trail and lifted
our spirits with them. Wealth, power,
popularity - these were not their
ambitions.
A video. Amelia looks down over a body of water.
108.
HOGAN (O.S.) (CONT'D)
(heating up)
They saw the commonality of our
journey. She flew, he taught, he
painted, he theorized, she embraced,
... he dreamed... not for one race
or one country, but in the name of
uplifting humanity. Where would we
be today if anyone of them had given
into fear?
A depiction of the earth spins on screen. The continents
are visible, but disappear as the planet shrinks.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
They all knew... that borders don't
define human beings... that we are
united.
On screen, the headline.
"Report: U.S. Coastal Cities Most Vulnerable to Attack"
HOGAN (CONT'D)
Among our borders, we must realize
that fear takes the place of our
freedoms.
Hogan pauses, not for affect, but as Ella arrives to her
seat.
EXT. CAMPUS SQUARE - DAY
The back of Andy's boots. He moves in front of a huge display
monitor and a group that applauds Hogan's message.
ANDY's P.O.V.
On the monitor, the stars and stripes. Atop a hill, it blows
in the wind.
HOGAN'S VOICE
(taking off)
Those freedoms that have been
protected by those willing to shed
their blood...we know them as...
Suddenly a still image replaces the red, white and blue.
The Iwo Jima Marine Memorial at dawn followed by a
photographed soldier. It is Andy's father in his Marine
Dress Blues.
Piercing Andy's soul, his body goes limp and his eyes fill.
HOGAN'S VOICE (CONT'D)
...the bravest of the brave!
109.
BACK TO SCENE
An elderly man pats Andy on the back. The crowd celebrates
the message.
INT. BRECKLIN HALL - DAY
Ella inhales the same image. Her focus then shifts to Hogan.
They embrace with their eyes.
The video of the hiker continues. A cloudy pinnacle.
HOGAN
But a new kind of bravery must emerge.
One that is willing to rise to the
point where geographical boundaries
fade. For he dreamed, not just for
his family, not just for Atlanta or
for this country alone, but for the
whole world.
PROFESSOR JAMES
(to himself)
Indeed.
HOGAN (O.S.)
Those who better our world do so
because they push their fears out of
their minds and allowed a world view
to enter their minds.
Haley finally allowed in, takes her seat with Dr. Merkish.
HALEY
He's still speaking.
HOGAN
I would like to be one of those, but
I have fear in me. And I thought I
would end by revealing my own greatest
fear as a way of trying to rise...
A swarm of tiny fireflies appear on screen. They criss-cross
and come together to form a single candlelight.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
I lost someone when I was eight years
old and I've been searching for him
ever since. And all along I've been
fearing that I'll never know him.
And at the same time, fearing that I
won't heal from the pain if I do
remember him... but I'm letting go
of fear.
Haley loses a tear. Dr. Merkish consoles her.
110.
HALEY
My boy.
Hogan's voice crackles. His pain obvious.
HOGAN
Because I know that fear won't get
me to where I want to be. And because
I already know, I already know, that
he lives deep within me... and I say
to you...
The candlelight fades on screen and a majestic view unfolds
for the hiker atop the Waimea Canyon.
HOGAN (CONT'D)
Let us not lose to fear, but rise
together... to the highest of heights.
Hogan puts his fists together. The glimmering screen image
cascades on his face as he looks upward.
Haley's hands cover her mouth.
Tears spread among classmates faces, especially Ella's.
INT. CONTROL BOOTH - DAY
Shaw's face never more serious.
EXT. CAMPUS SQUARE - DAY
The masses erupt.
Andy cannot take the noise and disappears into the crowd.
EXT. THE SQUARE - DAY (LATER)
Trash litters the open space. More than half the crowd gone.
Hogan, Haley, Ella and Dr. Merkish unite on the trampled
grass. Haley's zest for life returns on her face.
HOGAN
I still can't believe you made it.
HALEY
I had too. And I have another
surprise. Sweetie, I wanted to tell
you inside, but thought it might be
better out here.
The face looks familiar to Hogan.
HALEY (CONT'D)
Do you know who this is?
The man reaches out his hand to Hogan.
111.
HALEY (CONT'D)
This is Dr. Merkish.
Reaching out a hand.
DR. MERKISH
Luke. How are you Hogan?
HALEY
He was so impressed by you, he came
here just to listen to you.
HOGAN
I remember you.
DR. MERKISH
I remember you... you still amaze
me...
HALEY
Dr. Merkish wants to help you Hogan.
HOGAN
What do you mean?
DR. MERKISH
I wanna see you finish at this school.
Ella squeezes Hogan.
EXT. CITY CEMETERY - DAY
Following the running shoes of a man who makes his way across
the grass.
Crouched down, a tattooed hand reaches forward and places a
bouquet of white flowers in front of a headstone that reads,
"Marcus J Versando."
INT. HUMANITIES BUILDING - DAY
Pencil in hand, Hogan prepares to take notes, but the window
view distracts. He looks out to see two members of the
freshmen class.
EXT. CAMPUS SQUARE - DAY
Under a sweltering sun, two FRESHMEN head to their first day
of class. They reach out to bump fists together at the
intersection of two sidewalks. Their fists of unlike color,
but their walking motion the same as they head down a unified
path.
FRESHMEN #1
Hey.
FRESHMEN #2
Hey, guy...
112.
FRESHMEN #1
Bet you didn't know about this heat.
FRESHMEN #2
Yeah.
FRESHMEN #1
The humidity kills ya. My brothers
told me about sweatin' it to class.
They went here, so I gotta come here.
What about you?
FRESHMEN #2
Just like you... someone before me.
FADE OUT.
THE END

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