The weekend between Christmas and New Years 2014, Jess and I did a second full dress rehearsal for the 48 Hour Film Project. Once again we used the script specifics generator and got the following:

Name: Derek / Dori Beehler
Occupation: Utility Meter Reader
Prop: a garden
Line of Dialogue: I am going to sleep.
Genre: Mistaken Identity

Here is what we came up with:

Summary: Paranoid person freaks out over meter reader and captures them.

“Shiny Side Up”
—–

INT. HOME OFFICE - DAYTIME
Paranoid person sitting at DESK with NEWSPAPER CLIPPINGS 
and other paranoid BOOKS. SETI screensaver playing on the 
screen. A TIN FOIL HAT sits upon his head. Some sort of 
music is on in the background. Sitting at desk and 
scrolling through stories.

PARANOID PERSON:
They can’t hide for long with all the technology we have 
at our disposal. I wonder if the McRib is back.

Paranoid person stands up and looks out the window in case 
someone is out there. Sits down and works more.

PARANOID PERSON:
I could always get a cheeseburger, I suppose. Come on, 
SETI. Find ‘em.

Paranoid person stands up and looks out the window.

PARANOID PERSON:
What the...
EXT. “BACKYARD” - DAYTIME
Meter reader walks along SIDEWALK wearing a BRIGHT ORANGE 
JACKET with WIRELESS READER and CLIPBOARD in hand. Stops 
in front of the house. Shakes wireless reader as though 
it is not working. Begins to walk toward the house.
INT. HOME OFFICE - DAYTIME
Paranoid Person sees meter reader through WINDOW and 
begins shaking. He stands up and begins pacing.

PARANOID PERSON:
(Agitated)
They’re back! No! No! No! Not again!

Paranoid person looks out the window through his TELESCOPE.

PARANOID PERSON:
(Agitated)
What the fuck is she doing in my garden!?

Paranoid Person puts the telescope down, opens a LEDGER, 
and makes a note in it.

PARANOID PERSON:
The last time she came around was November 15th. That’s 
exactly 30 days! And before that, October. 30 days again!
INT. HALLWAY OF HOME - DAYTIME
Paranoid person races to the door, clumsily putting on 
BOOTS and JACKET.

PARANOID PERSON:
(Putting on JACKET)
Not this time!

Paranoid person opens the DOOR and storms out.
EXT. “BACKYARD” - DAYTIME
Meter reader puts WIRELESS READER inside JACKET and writes 
down her findings on a CLIPBOARD with a PEN. Paranoid 
person comes up behind her. Meter reader turns and looks 
over her shoulder. Paranoid person hits her across her 
face. Meter reader gets knocked out and lands on the ground.
INT. GARAGE - NIGHT
Meter reader sits unconscious and bound with her hands 
behind her back to a CHAIR. Paranoid person searches her 
jacket, finding her WIRELESS READER. Meter reader begins 
to wake. Paranoid person steps back, examining the device.

METER READER:
(Groans)

PARANOID PERSON:
(Stands in front of the meter reader)
Where are your friends?

Meter reader opens her eyes and reaches to touch her face. 
Upon realizing she can’t move her arms, she begins to 
wiggle her hands and arms to break free.

METER READER:
What the fuck?

PARANOID PERSON:
You heard me! Where are the rest of them!?

METER READER:
I don’t know what you’re talking about!

PARANOID PERSON:
Is this what you use to communicate to the mother ship? 
Huh!?

METER READER:
Mother ship? Let me go you crazy fuck!

PARANOID PERSON:
Oh, how the tides have turned. Tell me how to contact the 
others.

METER READER:
Fine! In my other pocket there’s a phone. Dial 9-1-1 and 
tell them a crazy person has a government employee hostage!

PARANOID PERSON:
You work for the government! What a clever cover. How many 
others work for the government?

METER READER:
(To herself)
This is not happening. This is not happening.

PARANOID PERSON:
Stop it. Stop talking to yourself!

METER READER:
My name is Dori Beehler. I went to CSU. I live with my 
parents while I save up enough money to get my own place. 
Check my pockets. I have my credentials. Please! Check my 
pocket.

Paranoid person searches other jacket pocket, finds 
CREDENTIALS CASE. Flips it open, revealing her ID and 
GOVERNMENT CARD.

PARANOID PERSON:
Of course you would have an ID. You have to keep your cover.

Paranoid person hits random buttons on her WIRELESS READER 
and holds it in the air to get a signal.

METER READER:
What are you going to do to me?

PARANOID PERSON:
What am I going to do to you? What are you going to do to 
me!?

Paranoid person opens the GARAGE DOOR slightly and bends 
down to peek out.

METER READER:
HELP! Someone help! Please! FIRE!

Paranoid person quickly closes the GARAGE DOOR.

PARANOID PERSON:
Would you shut up!?

METER READER:
Why? If you’re going to kill me, maybe someone will see and 
you won’t get away with it.

PARANOID PERSON:
(Startled)
Kill you? I’m not going to kill you. I’m not a monster.

METER READER:
Then why won’t you untie me and let me go?

PARANOID PERSON:
Because I was bound for what felt like an eternity. When 
I got back, not a day had gone by and no one cared.

METER READER:
If you let me go, I’ll help you find them.

PARANOID PERSON:
That doesn’t make sense. Why are you here every 30 days 
for the last 6 months? Are you checking in on me?

METER READER:
What? No. I’m a Utility Meter Reader, like it says on the 
card. I have a grid of utility boxes to check, and the 
neighborhood box just happens to be in your backyard. 
Usually I can get the readings wirelessly, but today our 
network decided to be spotty. Just my luck.

PARANOID PERSON:
All right, Meter Reader, answer me this. Are we alone in 
the universe?

METER READER:
No, man. The truth is out there and shit. There have to 
be other life forms. I just don’t know why they’d be 
interested in a species like us.

PARANOID PERSON:
Oh, they’re interested. Very interested. I was taken once. 
To find truth, you have to filter out the static.

Paranoid person reluctantly removes TIN FOIL HAT and places 
it upon her head.

PARANOID PERSON:
There. Are you getting the signal?

METER READER:
Oh, boy.

PARANOID PERSON:
Well?

The garage door opens. GREEN and WHITE LIGHT streaming in. 
He looks back at Meter Reader who has turned her head away.

(Camera Direction: MCU on PP’s legs silhouetted by the 
lights, pull back and up for wide frame shot of PP in 
front of garage door and lights.) (spaceship sound effect)

(fade to white)

METER READER:
(Scoffs)
Took them long enough.

Meter reader pulls her hands free without issue and stands 
up. ROPE goes flying. Removes TIN FOIL HAT.

METER READER:
Fucking things actually work.

(dark screen, pause a second)
INT. HALLWAY OF HOME - DAYTIME
Paranoid person walks through his home as though he had 
been assraped.

PARANOID PERSON:
I am going to sleep.

(Credits roll)

This one was far better than Sycamore, and the actual movie was something we haven’t been too ashamed to show people since then. (Warning: Some NSFW language.) It actually took us 51 hours to get to this point, which is better than we did with Sycamore (which wasn’t technically finished for a week or two after the weekend).

We’ve gotten good feedback on the script, and have actually tried a few things on the edit, such as shortening the whole thing, having the meter appear in a vignette through the telescope, taking out the “what the—” lines, etc. I was really happy with the music (or lack thereof in some places) we used.

For something two people who don’t quite know what they’re doing to put together in a weekend? Not bad! More practice to come, of course.

Here’s the video:

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