A Lemony Script: The Series of Unfortunate Hamishes By Talin Agon and Araz Eleyasian
Based on True Events
INT. WRITER’S ROOM - DAY OVER BLACK Paper shuffling. Pens scratching. Coffee mug is put down on the table. A cough. MALE VOICE (Excited) So picture this. Wide shot. A sad clown is on the roof. Larry’s at his whits end. He’s gonna jump. EXTREME CLOSE UP: EYES OF MALE. BOTH HANDS BORDERING EYES, JUST ON THE EDGE OF FRAME. FIRST LINE OF DIALOGUE SPOKEN ON CUT TO XCU. HAMISH (Excited) Extreme close up! The traffic is roaring. And the pigeons are flying. And the old lady next door just dropped dead. And there’s a wedding down the street. And it’s all just tooMEDIUM WIDE SHOT: MALE WITH ARMS OUTSTRETCHED. HAMISH much! Cut to three people sitting in a row with blank faces. Awkward pause. Two women are seated to left and a young male is seated on the right. The young male looks down to the script in front of him. He looks confused, like he can’t find his page. He leans over to the woman to his right. EDDIE (Whispering) I’m confused. Is this what you guys wrote? LEXIE I didn’t write that. PIPER (Whispering) Where are we going to get pigeons? LEXIE stares at PIPER for a beat. FADE OUT
2. INT. KITCHEN - DAY HAMISH is at the counter and he’s making cups of tea. LEXIE slowly comes into the kitchen and leans against the opposite counter. LEXIE So, HAMISH...that was...an exciting monologue. HAMISH Yeah, I’m getting into this writing thing. It’s pretty cool. LEXIE Hm. Yes, well you really grabbed it by the horns. (Under her breath) And cut it off at the knees. HAMISH (Over his shoulder) What? LEXIE (Changing the subject) So, the travel doco. What else have you done? HAMISH (Stumbling for thoughts) Uhh..yeah, that travel doco was unreal, let me tell you. Can’t believe I came up with all those ideas. They just rolled in, one by one. Same thing’s happening now. This is going to be an amazing directorial debut for me, don’t you think? LEXIE stares at him in disbelief. HAMISH turns back to finish making the tea. INT. WRITER’S ROOM - DAY HAMISH sets down a tray of tea while EDDIE finishes up his conversation on the phone. LEXIE comes in and retakes her seat as PIPER hands out the tea mugs. HAMISH How are we going with locations, PIPER?
PIPER Yes! We’ve got the rooftop sorted. We can shoot the party scene at my house. It’s got a big backyard. HAMISH No. I didn’t like it. PIPER Well, LEXIE’S boyfriend has a nice house in Mosman. LEXIE You want to get Adam involved? No. No. Just, no. HAMISH We need to think outside the box, PIPER. I’m counting on you. PIPER I’m really not quite sure what you’re looking for. You said you just wanted a house with a backyard. HAMISH (Going into his own vision) I’m looking for a blank canvas. A house that hasn’t been tampered with. We will be the first to touch it with our vision. Taps on his temple. You know what I mean? (To PIPER) You know what I mean. Good. PIPER looks almost dazed. LEXIE’S stifling a giggle. Now, EDDIE. We need an old lady. And I’m talkin’ real old. I’m looking for something...authentic. No actors. EDDIE What about my granny? She’ll make us lunch. HAMISH How old’s granny?
EDDIE (Thinking) Oh, like 83? HAMISH (Raises his voice) Nah! She’s got at least 10 years on her sentence if she can still cook a feast! No! I need someone on death’s door EDDIE. EDDIE Okay. So where do I find a HAMISH (Quieter voice, like he’s just struck gold) The hospital! Get on it. LEXIE I’m sorry, but why do we need this old lady? HAMISH She’s absolutely necessary. Have you read the changes? LEXIE I don’t need to read the changes. You’ve already decided, haven’t you? HAMISH I have a vision, LEXIE. Taps on his temple. You need to respect that. I’m directing this and I think that if you don’t have anything creative to contribute, then you should just pipe down. LEXIE (In disbelief at the audacity) Nothing creative? PIPER (Cutting LEXIE off) So how many kids are we looking to cast for the party?
LEXIE Yeah, let’s talk about that kids party. There’s just way too much going on for a 7 minute short, HAMISH. HAMISH What are you talking about? QUICK CUTS IN TIGHT CLOSE UPS OF THE DESCRIBED LIST. LEXIE We’ve got an aborted suicide sequence. A Sri Lankan telemarketer who won’t stop calling. Keys get locked in the car. An annoying windscreen washer. A roommate who doesn’t pay his rent. An ex-girlfriend with her new boyfriend and a bloody kids party! In seven minutes. Please explain just how that’s going to work? HAMISH Have you not seen my travel doco? Look how much we fit into the segment in only four minutes. LEXIE (Takes a deep breath) That’s a travel segment. This is a movie. There’s a character. And a sequence of events that connect together. Where’s the coherent story that’s supposed to grab the audience? This is just a collection of moments. It’s a freaking zoo. LEXIE walks out to cool off. HAMISH (To PIPER) I don’t think she should come to the auditions. PIPER Why not? She’s just having a bad day HAMISH. She’ll calm down. HAMISH Ah, cry me a river. This isn’t personal. We’re professionals here and if she’s got an issue she can voice it to the mirror at home. (CONTINUED)
PIPER That’s a little harsh. We brought her in to write the script because it just wasn’t working. She’s talented. You said it yourself. HAMISH Well talent doesn’t even make the top 5 qualities you need to make a film. EDDIE But it helps. HAMISH (Continues as if EDDIE didn’t even speak) You’ve got to have passion, enthusiasm, perserverance, motivation and inspiration. And she doesn’t have them. She’ll never get anywhere in this business. PIPER and EDDIE look on and wonder where he’s going with this. EDDIE Um, HAMISH. You know she wrote the script for last year’s Tropfest winner, right? LEXIE comes back into the room and everyone shuts up and looks at her. She holds eyes with them and waits. HAMISH (Tensely) Alright guys, let’s shortlist the actors. INT. WRITER’S ROOM - DAY HAMISH, PIPER, LEXIE and EDDIE are in the writer’s room sitting around the table. HAMISH EDDIE, take notes. EDDIE grabs his notebook with his pen at the ready. HAMISH So, I showed my friend the script.
PIPER Is this the doctor friend? Or the other one? HAMISH Neither. This is my travel doco mate. He’s got a good eye. LEXIE rolls her eyes. HAMISH Yeah and we came up with some changes. LEXIE sits up in her seat. LEXIE Excuse me, what? More changes? HAMISH (Pointedly) Improvements. EDDIE jumps in his seat after looking at his phone and fist bumps the air. EDDIE Yes! I got myself an old lady! LEXIE and HAMISH break off their staring contest as they all turn towards EDDIE. EDDIE It’s all happening now, guys! We’re right on track. LEXIE (Slightly under her breath) Yeah but what’s not is my script. HAMISH slowly turns his body towards LEXIE. HAMISH (Brightly) Our script, LEXIE. LEXIE (Getting fired up) You only came up withHAMISH (Dismissively) We don’t have time for your meltdowns. Auditions are tomorrow. (CONTINUED)
PIPER Auditions? Do we even have a final script? You’re still passing it around, HAMISH. HAMISH I’m just getting feedback. This script needs to be perfect. PIPER Well...we’ll never have a shooting script at this rate and I...just don’t think we should be organising auditions right now. HAMISH PIPER, I know what I’m doing and I say I’m ready to see the actors. As for the script, you know I’m a perfectionist LEXIE (Cutting in) Exactly. Then you’ll never be satisfied. EDDIE (Trying to diffuse the tension) Hey! So...what are these changes? INT. HALLWAY - DAY LEXIE is flicking through her emails on her phone as she walks down a hallway. She reaches a door and knocks. The door opens and reveals HAMISH on the other side. He looks surprised but not fazed. He shuts the door on her. LEXIE is startled and is starting to get pissed off. She aggressively knocks on the door and stands back with her arms crossed and waiting impatiently. No one answers the door. She tries the knob and finds that it’s locked. LEXIE (Agitated) Are you kidding me? Bangs on the door. There’s no answer. She kicks the door out of frustration. The door unlocks and out slips PIPER. PIPER (Placating tone) Lex. I’m sorry. He doesn’t want you in the audition room. (CONTINUED)
LEXIE He what? That’s my script! What the hell?! PIPER He said something about your energy being...too much. He says you’re too involved and you’re going interfere with his vision. I’ll call you later. PIPER turns to go back inside the room but LEXIE sticks her hand on the door and makes her way inside. HAMISH looks shocked as LEXIE takes a seat. LEXIE This my seat? Great. Let’s see some talent. HAMISH Not a word from you. (Quietly to LEXIE) I’m the director. PIPER calls in for the first actor. In walks a young 20-something, charming actor. He notices LEXIE and smiles. LEXIE Oh, hey TOM! TOM LEXIE! Thanks for sending me the script. Not your usual style. LEXIE Yeah, it’s quite something isn’t it? HAMISH So, TOM I’m HAMISH, the director. They shake hands. I’m sure you’re thoroughly prepared for today’s audition. Do you need a moment to prepare? TOM Uh HAMISH Awesome. We can start straight away. (To PIPER, not so quietly) (MORE) (CONTINUED)
HAMISH (cont’d) I don’t like this one. HAMISH looks TOM up and down. TOM (Weirded out) Do you like, want me start now? Or..? HAMISH retakes his seat. HAMISH Oh, yeah. Go. You taping this EDDIE? EDDIE Got it, boss. TOM starts the opening scene as was explained in Scene 1. HAMISH interrupts him already. HAMISH Alright. Stop. EDDIE cut the film. (To TOM, thoughtfully) You’re not anxious enough. You’re on a roof top! TOM I haven’t started yet. HAMISH Well you take your time don’t you? Cut to TOM’s reaction. He’s flabbergasted. INT. AUDITION ROOM - DAY MONTAGE:HAMISH DIRECTING THE ACTORS IN THEIR AUDITIONS HAMISH I’m not liking the hair. It keeps getting in the way of her nose. CUT: HAMISH Do you drink? You might have to start. We need to loosen you up a bit. PIPER, write that down. Male actor 1, young and dorky, looks horrified at the suggestion. (CONTINUED)
CUT: HAMISH Can you blink three times and then say the line? CUT: HAMISH Less spitting. It’s distracting. CUT: HAMISH (Points to) That was three and a half blinks. Try again. A female actor looks puzzled. CUT: HAMISH No no - look up again. Why are you looking at me? CUT: HAMISH visibly frustrated. CUT: HAMISH Wait. No. Try two and half. Like...like a half blink on the line. You know? A half blink? CUT: HAMISH We’re looking for a Steve Carell? Have you seen 40 Year Old Virgin? Can you be that guy? Think Steve Carell and you’ll fly. Male actor 2 is frozen. He has no idea what he’s supposed to do. CUT: HAMISH Just scrap the blinking. God, actors. Just turn that off.
12. HAMISH puts his hand in front of the lens. INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT Camera pans across a coffee table. It’s littered with used tissues, chocolate bar wrappers, empty cans of coke, leftovers... Out of focus in the backgroumd, EDDIE is uncomfortably situated on an armchair, exhausted and trying to relax. The camera tilts down as it reaches the end of the table and we see HAMISH’S head peaking out with his eyes closed. He’s lying on the ground. PIPER and LEXIE are both on the couch sipping wine. They all look tired and worn out. HAMISH (Muttering to himself) We don’t have a Larry. No one was a Larry. Where are we going to find a Larry? EDDIE Is he having a nightmare? LEXIE No. She throws a cushion at HAMISH. He holds the cushion to his chest as he gets up to his feet. HAMISH I think I have to be Larry. PIPER No! Wait. That’s, no. No. That’s not necessaary. I’m sure we can find someone. Anyone. PIPER looks to LEXIE for back up. LEXIE Writer. Actor. Director. He does it all. LEXIE claps twice. EDDIE gets up and pats HAMISH on the shoulder, comforting him. EDDIE There’s plenty of hungry actors out there. We’ll find your Larry.
HAMISH I just wanted everything to be perfect. HAMISH puts the cushion down, grabs his bag and walks out, defeated. They watch him leave wordlessly. EDDIE goes to sit near PIPER and LEXIE. LEXIE hands EDDIE her semi-full wine glass and leans over to grab the wine bottle for her self, taking a swig. They sit silently, sipping on their wine. LEXIE slumps with her head between her legs. PIPER What a disaster. (Beat. To LEXIE.) It’d make a funny movie though. Right? LEXIE looks up. Cut on her reaction. She’s intrigued.