ATW: 24 (minutes) (Part One)

OPENING SCREEN (digitized with electronic noises): ATW: 24 (minutes)

CHRIS (voice over): The following takes place between 6:42 pm and 7:06 pm. Events occur in real time.


(We see the truck pulling in. Chris and Nathan are inside. They seem to be having a conversation. After a couple of sentences Nathan starts to get out. The audio of the conversation can now be heard.)

NATHAN: …costumes would be fun to make, and I could use some of my goofy voices.

(Chris exits the vehicle as Nathan is pulling groceries from the back of the truck.)

CHRIS: What was that? I couldn’t hear you after the bit about costumes.

NATHAN: I could use some…

CHRIS: Eh. Doesn’t matter. Listen, I still hold pretty firm to the fact that too many shows do “A Christmas Carol” spoofs.

(Chris grabs the rest of the groceries. And they walk and talk.)

CHRIS: I mean what are we going to do that hasn’t been done before? It’s just going to be the same crap. I presume that you’ll be Jacob Marley…

NATHAN: The reggae singer?

CHRIS: Have you even read “A Christmas Carol”?

NATHAN: Oh like you have. You hate Christmas.

CHRIS: Actually, I have. It’s a good book. At least until he sells out at the end. Anyway, Jacob Marley is his dead business partner. I’m guessing you’d be dead because I pushed you too hard on eBay for Christmas sales. Miguel would have to be a ghost since he’s creatively dead anyway. It would be more fun to make fun of him on the show if he was actually involved.

(They’ve entered the house by now.)

NATHAN: This is my point though. Those aren’t bad ideas. We could do it, and even if it’s not an original idea, it would be unique because we did it using our jokes, and our inside bits.

CHRIS: Well, I’m not going to write it. I have more important things to do. And I really doubt you’d want to sit down and write it.

NATHAN: I’ll write it.

(Chris looks at Nathan speculatively. He sets the groceries he’s carrying down on the counter. He pulls his phone out at looks at the time.)

CHRIS: It’s 6:44 right now. It’ll take us an hour to shoot a sketch if we hurry. I gotta leave at 8:00 to go support the local music scene.

NATHAN: Yeah, more important things…

CHRIS: You listen here. I’m trying to tell you something, and you should pay attention. If you can get the sketch written by 7:00 we can shoot it before I leave. That will almost ensure that I don’t have time to reconsider my position on this.

NATHAN: Really?

CHRIS: Yes. So you need to hurry.

(Nathan gets a mildly panicked look over his face and runs out of the room, still holding the groceries. He runs back in the room and puts them on the counter.)

NATHAN: Put these away.

(Nathan runs back out of the room. Chris waves his hand dismissively at the groceries. He walks to the couch and sits down. He sets the alarm on his phone for 7:00 pm.)

CHRIS (yelling): Fifteen minutes!

(Nathan is at the computer, waiting for it to load.)

NATHAN (yelling): I know!

(Nathan motions impatiently at the monitor as though it’s going to make the computer load faster. He pulls his phone out and makes a phone call to Miguel. It rings and rings until finally the message picks up.)

MIGUEL (voice over): General Kenobi: Years ago, you served my father in the Clone Wars; now he begs you to help him in his struggle against the Empire. I regret that I am unable to take your call in person; but my ship has fallen under attack and I’m afraid my mission to answer your call has failed. I’ve placed information vital to the survival of the rebellion into this outgoing voicemail message. If I’m lucky I’ll figure out how to retrieve it. You must see that your message is safely delivered after the beep. This is our most desperate hour. Help me, Obi-Wan Kenobi; leaving your message is my only hope.

(The phone beeps.)

NATHAN: This must be why I don’t call you so much. You don’t answer your phone. Listen, Chris finally agreed to do a spoof of “A Christmas Carol” and I don’t really know anything about it. I know there are ghosts and he says “bah humbug” a lot, but I have very little time to write this… just call me back. I’m gonna go see if I have a copy in my collection. Help me, Obi Wan Miguel. This is my most desperate 15 minutes.

(Nathan hangs up. He checks the wires on his external hard drive, just as the computer finally starts booting. He walks away from the computer and walks to the bookcase, preferably in another room so we can follow him. He examines his books carefully, but doesn’t find “A Christmas Carol” there. He picks up a copy of the movie “Scrooged” and looks at it considering and then decides against it. He walks back to the computer and starts typing. The screen reads, “Brainstorm: Chris’s ideas” and so forth.)

INT – MIGUEL’S (for purposes of shooting this can be anywhere that looks like a house and has a bathroom.)

(Miguel’s phone is flashing that there is a voicemail, but Miguel is busy reading about Stephen Spielberg in a book called “Comparatively Scorsese Sucks.” The phone beeps at him, sounding similar to a bleep for cussing on TV, indicating that he has a message. He sighs. He takes his book and goes into the bathroom.)

(The time counts on the screen and we wait for Part Two.)

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