High Concept
Goes Adventuring

Screenplays

by
 
Jacqueline Lichtenberg
 &
Collaborators

 

Screenplays  available on request 

  Below is an opening 10 pages written by Jacqueline Lichtenberg
for a script contest http://cowritescript.com/  for 2009.
The premise given to be fulfilled by the entry was:

Movie Premise: Determined to be a high-level Jason Bourne type operative,
an awkward teenager enlists the help of a mysterious, supposed ex-CIA
agent in his hometown and finds himself entangled in a dangerous
plot that is way over his head

Please drop comments on my blog
http://editingcircle.blogspot.com/ 

Here is what the contest said of this tidbit.

 

NoRibbonsAttached
Script created with Final Draft by Final Draft, Inc.

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                                                                 FADE IN:



                 EXT. SUBURBAN NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY

                 1940's Cape Cod, peeling paint, weedy lawn, toy-litter
                 from 5 and 7 year olds.  Slanted shade in upper window.  



                 INT. CAPE COD BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

                 Slanted shade.  Scattered electronics, jeans, shirts,
                 socks, and college catalogues on a threadbare carpet.  

                 JASON WHITCOMB (17) sprawls across his rumpled bed,
                 texting on his phone.  He bolts upright, bleats:

                                         JASON
                           What do you mean you need a
                           college degree!  

                 He looks at the silent phone, stabs a button.  The
                 DISTANT SOUND of a landline phone RINGING.  



                 INT. HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELING OFFICE - CONTINUOUS

                 Shelves of college catalogues, neat piles of folders,
                 delapidated vertical files, gray steel desk, worn chairs. 
                 Signs say CAREER COUNSELING.  ARLENE SHEPHARD (50's)
                 rocks in the desk chair, opens a folder with JASON
                 WHITCOMB's photo.  Arlene texts:

                                         TEXT
                           RL isn't lk d Mvies.

                 Before she can SEND, her phone rings.  It's JASON.  

                                         JASON
                           What could a CIA agent possibly
                           need a college degree for!  

                                         ARLENE
                           Jason, spies must know psychology,
                           criminology, and science.  Most
                           top Agents are Lawyers.

                                         JASON (FILTERED)
                           College isn't happening for me!

                 Arlene flips pages, looks at Jason's lists of A's.  

                                         ARLENE
                           You've got the grades.



                 INT. CAPE COD BEDROOM - CONTINUOUS

                 Jason gazes hopelessly at his shabby room.  

                                         JASON
                           I got nothin'.  

                                         ARLENE (FILTERED)
                           Scholarships are - 

                                         JASON
                           Haven't seen the financial news? 
                           You can't program a Feed Reader?

                                         ARLENE (FILTERED)
                           If you want to be a C.I.A. Agent,
                           Jason, you will find a way.  All
                           good Agents do.  Find a way.  

                                         JASON
                           And how many Agents do you -  
                                (beat)
                           Sorry to bother you, Ms. Shepard.

                 Jason clicks off his phone, exhumes his laptop, googles
                 ARLENE SHEPHARD MILLSTONE HIGH SCHOOL COUNSELLOR.  Google
                 returns a short list.  The DOOR FLIES OPEN.  MICHELLE
                 OGDEN (17) crashes in, swings a BACKPACK into a corner
                 and flings herself onto the bed.  Jason flinches, pulls
                 his laptop screen down.  Michelle flips the screen up.

                                         MICHELLE
                           You're googling your Counsellor?

                                         JASON
                           I'm not.  Mickey, gimme!  

                 Jason grabs the laptop back, shuts it.  Michelle bounces
                 off the bed and heads for the door.  

                                         MICHELLE
                           Have it your way.  I just came
                           over to let you help me.  Your cut
                           would be a cool fifty grand but -

                                         JASON
                           Cut?  What have you been snorting?

                 Michelle turns back.  

                                         MICHELLE
                           Nothing and you know it!  This is
                           for real. We can go to the same
                           school, room together, save money!

                                         JASON
                           Fifty grand?  One quarter's fees.

                                         MICHELLE
                           It's a start!  If you dare.  

                 Two boys, DANNY (5) and PHILIP (7) burst in fighting.  

                                         DANNY
                           Ma says come for dinner!

                                         PHILIP
                           Now or else!  You staying Mickey? 

                 Danny punches Philip.  Michelle grabs her backpack.

                                         MICHELLE
                           Naw.  Your Mom said my Mom called. 
                           Jason, I'll text where to meet me.  

                 Michelle turns at the door, ignoring the kids.  

                                         MICHELLE (CONT'D)
                           I'll find a way to do this with or
                           without you.  So be there.  

                 Michelle spins out of the room.  Danny and Philip assault
                 Jason.  Jason gapes after Michelle, wrestles the kids.  

                                         PHILIP
                           Ma says you have to wash Danny up.

                                         JASON
                           So I'll find a way.  

                 Jason sweeps Danny over his shoulder.  Danny squeals. 
                 Jason exits, playing happily with the children.  



                 EXT. SUBURBAN LIBRARY - NIGHT

                 The Library is open.  Well lit parking lot with a SUNDIAL
                 and ASTROLABE.  MICHELLE sits crosslegged in the wabe,
                 her laptop on her knees.  JASON skids his bike to a stop.  

                                         JASON
                           Well, here I am.

                 Jason crams his bike into a rack, does not chain it.  

                                         MICHELLE
                           Sit down.  Here's the deal.

                                         JASON
                           Fifty grand.  Is it a contest?

                                         MICHELLE
                           Not exactly.  Look!  

                 Michelle turns her laptop to Jason.  It shows a colorful
                 POSTER offering $100,000 REWARD FOR THE SAFE RETURN OF
                 "RIBBONS".  The photograph is of a FEMALE CHIMPANZEE
                 playing with colored ribbons.    

                                         JASON
                           We got to find a chimp?  A chimp
                           can't be worth a hundred grand!

                                         MICHELLE
                           Chimp's a circus star with a movie
                           contract pending.  I bet we could
                           get double the reward, a year of
                           college for both of us.  

                                         JASON
                           You want to ransom a chimp!   

                                         MICHELLE
                           No!  Negotiate.  She was last seen
                           in Garnerville three days ago. I'm
                           betting on the train.  Circuses
                           travel by train a lot.  A box car
                           would be home.  

                                         JASON
                           The ten o'clock freight from
                           Garnerville?  

                                         MICHELLE
                           We need a big net and bannanas.  

                                         JASON
                           What if we catch it - her?  Chimps
                           are dangerous.  They bite.  

                                         MICHELLE
                           Can you get a tranq gun?  

                 Jason shakes his head.  

                                         MICHAEL
                           Well, Ribbons is tame . . .. 



                 EXT. TRAIN YARD - NIGHT

                 Hulking shadows of parked trains.  Slant of moonlight. 
                 SOUND of train marshalling in distance.  A female chimp,
                 RIBBONS, without ribbons, sleeps atop a shipping 'tainer
                 on a flatbed car in a parked train.  

                 MICHELLE and JASON, in jeans and sweat shirts, skulk
                 along train, peer under the carriages, wave peeled
                 bannanas into dark cracks.  Jason carries a large net on
                 a stick.  Michelle carries a big sack of bannanas.  

                                         JASON
                           I should have brought a light.

                                         MICHELLE
                           We'd get caught.  This is
                           trespassing, you know.  

                 The chimp wakes, searches for the voices.  

                                         JASON
                           Everyone comes here.  I'm
                           surprised there are no Dealers
                           hanging around.  

                                         MICHELLE
                           Just wave that bannana over there.  

                 They move along the trains.  The chimp watches them from
                 above very interested in the peeled bannanas.  

                                         JASON
                           We need to peel a fresh one.  

                                         MICHELLE
                           She's here.  I smell animal.  

                 Jason sniffs, nods.  Starts through between cars.

                                         JASON
                           We'll find a way to catch her!  

                 INDISTINCT VOICES.  TWO MEN in top coats and scarves
                 mutter.  LIGHT FOOTSTEPS approach on gravel.  Jason
                 halts, bars Michelle's way.  Ribbons scampers to the edge
                 nearest the men, watches.  Michelle pushes past Jason,
                 peeks past the 'tainer edge to the other side.



                 EXT. TRAIN YARD - CONTINUOUS

                 On the other side of the train, TWO MEN loiter in deep
                 shadow.  ARLENE tromps toward them wearing a striking
                 pants suit, high boots, FRINGED SCARF over head and face. 
                 MOON LIGHT reveals part of her face.  

                                         ARLENE
                           Have you been waiting long?

                 The two men straighten, hands in coat pockets.  

                                         MAN ONE
                           How did you spot us?  

                 Arlene sweeps her scarf back and tosses out her hair.  

                                         ARLENE
                           Professional secret.  

                                         MICHELLE
                                (whispers)
                           My God!  Ms. Shephard is a drug
                           dealer?  User?  My God!  

                                         JASON
                                (whispers)
                           No way.  Listen!  

                 Jason absently bites the bannana.  RIBBONS watches Jason. 
                 The men approach Arlene.  

                                         MAN ONE 
                           Well, you're still the best, then.

                                         ARLENE
                           I'm retired.  Got that?  

                                         MAN TWO
                           We do.  They may not.  

                                         ARLENE
                           Which they?  

                                         MAN TWO
                           The Orson Gang.  

                                         ARLENE
                           They're all dead!  

                                         MAN TWO
                           Three died in Paris.  Five broke
                           out.  We think they made it to
                           Columbia, then crossed the Texas
                           border.  

                                         ARLENE
                           You think?

                                         MAN ONE
                           Look, I don't report to you any
                           more.  You don't carry a badge - 

                                         ARLENE
                           Why do you think they're after me?  

                                         MAN TWO
                           We caught one of the five in
                           Panama with your picture and an
                           offer from Columbia.  You'd be
                           worth a helluva ransom. 

                                         ARLENE
                           And the other four are missing? 

                                         MAN ONE 
                           So far.  We're here to bring you
                           in for protection.  

                 Arlene throws up her hands and walks in a circle. 
                 Ribbons watches.  Michelle bites her bannana.  

                                         JASON
                                (whispers)
                           See!  I told you.  She's C.I.A.! 

                                         ARLENE
                           Why bring me in?  The Shephard
                           identity isn't compromised.  Get
                           the department to re-issue my
                           sidearm.  And keep me posted.  

                 Arlene turns to leave.  

                                         MAN ONE
                           But - 

                 Arlene pauses, turns.  

                                         ARLENE
                           I have sixty kids depending on me
                           to get them into college.  I
                           wouldn't endanger them, and you
                           know it.  No buts. 

                 Arlene spins and CRUNCHES back the way she came.  The men
                 leave in the other direction.  Ribbons SCREAMS and
                 POUNCES on the partially eaten bannanas.  Jason drops the
                 net.  Ribbons SNATCHES both bannanas and scrambles back
                 atop the 'tainer, eating.    

                 The Men race toward Jason and Michelle.  Arlene crouches,
                 ghosts under a car and around behind the teens.  

                 Jason swarms up a ladder after Ribbons.  Michelle backs
                 out of the space between the cars and right into Arlene's
                 arms.  The two Men speed after Jason.  Ribbons scolds
                 them, tosses the bananna peels at them.  Jason lunges at
                 Ribbons, grabs, slips on a peel, misses.  Ribbons leaps
                 to the next car, pauses to laugh at them, and whisks off
                 into the night.  Man Two scoops Jason up rather gently.  

                                         MAN ONE
                           What the hell was that?

                                         MAN TWO
                           Take it easy, son.

                 Jason straightens and yields to custody.  

                                         JASON
                           What do I do?  Name, rank and
                           serial number?  

                 Both Men laugh.  

                                         ARLENE
                           Bring him down here!  



                 EXT. TRAIN YARD - CONTINUOUS

                 ARLENE, the TWO MEN, JASON and MICHELLE huddle in the
                 shadow between two train cars.  Michelle holds the bag of
                 bannanas and the net.  

                                         MAN ONE
                                (to Arlene)
                           We should take these two in.  

                                         MAN TWO
                                (to Man One)
                           I swear that was a chimpanze!  
                                (to Jason)
                           Don't you kids know how dangerous
                           it is to own exotic pets?

                                         ARLENE
                                (to Man One)
                           What would you tell their parents?  
                                (to Man Two)
                           They're responsible for letting
                           their pet escape; they'll learn.  

                                         MAN TWO
                                (to Arlene)
                           We can't take both families in. 
                           Budget.  

                                         JASON
                           I thought the C. I. A. got all the
                           funding you can use.

                 RIBBONS creeps back along the tops of an adjacent train.  

                                         MAN ONE 
                                (to Jason)
                           Where did you get the idea we're -
                           how long were you listening?   

                                         ARLENE
                           Jason here has a fine imagination.

                                         JASON
                           I do?

                                         MICHELLE
                           So you are C. I. A.!  

                 Arlene sighs, fools with her scarf, thinking.  The Men
                 watch her while scanning their surroundings, guarding.  

                                         ARLENE
                           Homeland Security, actually. 
                           Retired.  
                                (to Man One)
                           No way can these two keep quiet.  

                                         MAN ONE 
                           So now the Shephard identity is
                           compromised.  We take you in; we
                           let them go.  Simple.  

                 Ribbons scuttles down the ladder to the gravel.  Man Two
                 cocks his ear at the sound Ribbons makes.

                                         ARLENE
                           Not so simple.  If we leave them
                           here to leak, they'll be bait. 
                           The Orsons will try to torture my
                           whereabouts out of them.  

                 Arlene watches Jason for a reaction.  He's impressed.  

                                         ARLENE (CONT'D)
                           So how much did you hear?

                                         MICHELLE
                           A gang wants to kidnap you for
                           ransom.  You need a gun.

                                         ARLENE
                           A+ for that summary.  

                 Arlene glares at Man Two.  He shakes his head.

                                         JASON
                                (to Arlene)
                           So are you a lawyer?

                 Arlene LAUGHS. Ribbons scampers under a car. Arlene 
                 hushes herself.  The Men scour the vicinity with their
                 eyes, miss Ribbons.  Man One flips out his cell phone.  

                                         MAN ONE
                           I've got to call this in.  

                                         ARLENE
                                (to Jason)
                           The less you know about me, the
                           better for you.  

                                         MICHELLE
                           So you are a lawyer.  Well, you
                           ought to know you can't hold us. 
                           We're only seventeen! You can only 
                           turn us over to the police for
                           trespassing, and they'll call our
                           parents, and well, if you do that - 

                                         ARLENE
                           Not an option.  

                 Ribbons dashes at Michelle.  Man Two HEARS, turns, goes
                 for his gun.  Jason knocks into Man Two.  Arlene spins
                 Jason aside.  Man One drops his phone.  Man Two jockeys
                 for balance.  

                 Ribbons snatches the bag of bannanas with one hand, the
                 net with the other.  Ribbons swings the net at Man Two. 
                 The net goes over Man Two's head, captures his shoulders. 
                 Ribbons lets go of the net and grabs Arlene's scarf,
                 throttling her.  

                 Man One grabs for Ribbons.  Arlene spins to unwind the
                 scarf. Ribbons grabs the net handle with one foot, Man
                 One's face with the other, leaps to the top of the
                 nearest 'tainer and is gone with bannanas and scarf.  Man
                 Two pulls the fish net off his head.  

                                         JASON
                           I know a solution.  Apprentice
                           Mikey and me!  Deputize us.    

                                         ARLENE
                           You're not eighteen yet.  

                                         MICHELLE
                           Will be in two months.  

                                         JASON
                           And we keep secrets!  

                                                            FADE TO BLACK.

      
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Script created with Final Draft by Final Draft, Inc.

 

 

 
 

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