Joe Steel Writes A Screenplay

06 March, 2014 06:15AM · 6 minute read

Title: Joe Steel Writes A Screenplay Credit: written by Author: John Chidgey Copyright: © 2014 TechDistortion

EXT. JOES RESIDENCE - NIGHT

The wind blows gently in the background. Waves can be heard breaking on a nearby beach. The moonlight casts peaceful moving shadows of palm trees in the front yard.

CUT TO:

INT. JOES HOME OFFICE

Wearing his well worn “Hooray for Sarcasm” T-Shirt Joe is hunched over his keyboard typing.

JOESTEEL (muttering) ‘…Tell Marco, that I love him…’

JOESTEEL (aloud and shaking head) No. That’s too obvious. Make it ‘Erin’ instead.

Three loud consecutive knocks at the front door. Joe jerks his head up, shakes his head subtly and then stands.

JOESTEEL (muttering) At this hour? Really?

Walks to the front door with quizzical expression and an heir of impatience. Opens door.

CUT TO:

EXT. VIEW OF PORCH The backs of three men wearing identical black suits. Moonlight illuminates Joes face as the door opens.

JOESTEEL Yes?

FIRSTMAN (emotionless voice) We’re looking for Joseph Rosensteel.

JOESTEEL Yeah? Who’s asking?

CUT TO:

INT. VIEW OUT FRONT DOOR The three hart-less men are wearing sunglasses at night.

FIRSTMAN We represent Apple Incorporated. May we come inside?

JOESTEEL (forcefully) The porch will be just fine.

The first man unbuttons and pulls back his jacket revealing a large scroll of paper in an inside pocket.

FIRSTMAN We’re not here to hurt you Mr Rosensteel and we have something you need to see. Urgently.

Joe glances behind to the left at his Samurai Sword hanging on the wall above the dining room table.

JOESTEEL (Steps back to allow them in) Fine. You have two minutes. And don’t try anything.

CUT TO:

INT. DINING ROOM

Joe and the Firstman are seated opposite each other. The other two men are standing behind where the first is seated. A large scroll with a wooden core tied with a white ribbon with the Apple logo emblazoned on it sits on the table between the two seated men.

FIRSTMAN We’ve been keeping an eye on you for some time…Mr Rosensteel. It seems you have been living two lives. In the first life you’re a visual effects artist. You work regular hours, earn a wage and your neighbours…like you.

Joe squirms slightly in his seat.

FIRSTMAN The second life is lived in computers…where you go by the alias ‘JoeSteel’ and it is for your activities in this capacity that we are brought here this evening.

JOESTEEL (Raises left eyebrow) Okay. I’m sorry but I’m just not getting this. Have I done something?

FIRSTMAN (impatient tone) What you see in front of you is a petition…tabled by iTunes users and Podcasters from around the world. It calls for you to cease and desist your online activities immediately.

JOESTEEL (nervous laugh) What activities? Exactly?

FIRSTMAN Your ‘Terrible Podcast Screenplays’ have become…shall we say…a problem.

JOESTEEL (scrunches lips) Everybody loves them. What’s the problem?

FIRSTMAN iTunes is a system…Mr Rosensteel. That system…relies on consistency. You have created an inconsistency. An imbalance in the system. You’re going to stop writing those reviews; whether you like it…or not.

JOESTEEL (shaking head) Why do so many people want me to stop?

Joe opens the scroll and begins to read through the list.

JOESTEEL What the heck is the ‘Totally Forgettable Podcast?’ Who are all these people?

FIRSTMAN By writing such exceptional reviews you have inadvertently created an imbalance in the system. Any podcast that you haven’t written such a review for is now suffering as a result. Less listeners…less advertisers…more people aren’t being listened to…and it comes back…to…you.

FIRSTMAN (removes sunglasses dramatically) We are here representing…those people.

JOESTEEL (recognises who FIRSTMAN is) Eddy Cue?

FIRSTMAN Agent Cue Mr Rosensteel.

Firstman (Eddy Cue) stands and glowers at Joesteel.

JOESTEEL (swallows but is still sitting) I have the right to free speech. I can write what I want, where and how I want. I don’t care what these people say or what YOU say.

JOESTEEL (stands quickly and knocks his chair backwards) You’re leaving my house now and I’m getting back to typing my latest review. Good night.

Joe gestures towards the door.

FIRSTMAN (confidently) Tell me Mr Rosensteel how do you expect to type a review if you have no fingers with which…to type?

JOESTEEL (confused look) What?

Joe looks down at his hands. His fingers are slowly merging together into in rounded blobs with only his thumbs still defined. He lurches backwards and bumps the wall making the sword fall near his feet. The three men in suits draw glock pistols from their holsters as Joe extracts the Sword from its Saya. Gripping the sword clumsily with his abnormal hands Joe faces the men.

JOESTEEL (yelling) What did you do to me? WHAT’S WRONG WITH MY HANDS??

SECONDMAN He will not comply willingly.

THIRDMAN We must escalate the issue.

EDDYCUE You are part of a system Mr Rosensteel. Our system. You are under our control. Your reviews are our reviews. We can remove them just as we can remove you.

Eddy fires his weapon at Joe and the bullet hits him squarely in his chest adjacent to his heart. Joe staggers backwards briefly but is still standing. Blood does not appear. There is no visible wound.

JOESTEEL (looks down at his chest) This isn’t real.

JOESTEEL (rubs hand over spot where the bullet visually entered his chest) You’re not real…and you can’t hurt me!

The three men each fire their weapons at Joe. He swings the sword and cuts each bullet in two with swings so fast they can barely be seen. Time appears to slow down as bullet after bullet is decimated by Joes swordmanship.

JOESTEEL (panting but smiling) You’re all empty.

EDDYCUE So are you.

JOESTEEL (matter of factly) No I’m not. It’s a sword! It doesn’t run out of ammunition. Okay?

CUT TO:

INT. JOES HOME OFFICE

Joe is sitting with his face laying on the table in front of his keyboard as The Matrix: Revolutions closing credits are scrolling past on the screen. Joe wakes up and draws a sharp breath.

JOESTEEL (rubbing eyes) I always fall asleep during the third one…I should finish that review I was working on.

JOESTEEL (mumbling groggily) ‘…Tell Erin, that I love her…’

Three loud consecutive knocks at the front door. Joe jerks his head up, shakes his head subtly and then stands.

JOESTEEL (muttering as he stands and staggers towards the door half-awake) Didn’t we already do this?

Walks to the front door with quizzical expression and an heir of impatience. Opens door.

CUT TO:

EXT. VIEW OF PORCH The back of one man wearing a black suit. Moonlight illuminates Joes face as the door opens.

JOESTEEL Yes?

STRANGER (excitedly) Hi you don’t actually know me but I’m a big fan of your reviews.

JOESTEEL Oh…gee…well thanks. Um, one question though. Why are you here this late at night? For that matter how did you find me?

STRANGER Oh that’s easy. I’m not really here. This isn’t really happening. This is one of your scripts you’re just not sure how to finish. Any second now…you’re going to wake up with the answer.

CUT TO:

INT. JOES HOME OFFICE

Joe is sitting with his face laying on the table in front of his keyboard looking at a screen of text. Joe wakes up.

JOESTEEL (rubbing eyes) I must have dozed off…I should finish that review I was working on.

Three loud consecutive knocks at the front door. Joe jerks his head up, shakes his head subtly and stares back at the screen.

JOESTEEL (continues typing) Not…this time.

THE END<

You can find Joe’s much funnier screenplays here.