I’m doing something fun/crazy this month, and I wanted to include you in it.
This could be very embarrassing, but so what :) I’m planning a surprise for my mother and sisters and I’m betting they don’t visit my website often enough to notice what I’m doing this month. Its a very safe bet.
We love to spend December watching sappy Hallmark movies. We love the snow and Christmas magic, and cookies with cocoa that everyone is always drinking. But frequently, while predicting the movie lines, I announce that I should be writing the movies. So I’m going to try to write a Christmas movie in the twenty-four days before Christmas.
When I was in college this would have been easy. I might in fact have waited until December 22 to start it, just for the energy. But I have a bit more going on now so…(sorry) it won’t be polished. It won’t even be well edited, but it may be fun. Lets see if I can make my deadline!
By the way its been years since I took playwriting and I never took screen writing so the formatting will not be standard, but I hope it gets the point across. Small warning: this movie includes profanity. ;) It might be a little more spice than sugar but still full of holiday fun!
The plan is to finish this and give it to them as a fun little Christmas present.
If you want to follow my progress the first scene is below. More in a few days.
Working Title: Christmas Movie (I have yet to find my title)
Scene 1: Eight Tiny Reindeer
GABRIELLA: Enthusiastic woman in her later twenties.
An I.T. worker, bright and friendly with a bit of an edge.
Wearing a pair of elf ear headphones, and a Christmas lama sweater over slacks.
JACK: an I.T. worker is a casual man in his later thirties, sly, playful but generally unmotivated beyond the bare minimum of his job.
Basement IT department of My Best Friend Doll company, Burbank CA. It is Monday November 26. There are several cubicles crammed into the small room, along the left wall is a small break room with one glass window and an open door, through which a fridge and a small round table are visible.
At the desk of GABRIELLA neatly appointed with a computer, office phone notepads and a jar of pens and decorated for Christmas with a small strand of snowflake lights a miniature Christmas tree without ornament, a snowman mug filled with candy canes and a Santa with eight reindeer.
GABRIELLA faces into the camera speaking to the crew of a documentary working in the company.
There were in fact nine tiny reindeer on my desk when I left work last Wednesday! And there are only eight now. So yes, some people think a full week before Thanks Giving is too early to decorate for Christmas. But thats no excuse for theft. And they did it so blatantly too. (rolls eyes) Its probably Jack. Its always Jack. He’s like a five years old. Its not as if he stole Rudolph, who wasn’t a part of the original octet so I might not have noticed him right away. But nooo! He stole Vixen.
GABRIELLA (answers unheard question)
Of course I know their order. Santa speaks English, so presuming a basic English education he would call them from left to right, starting with the deer nearest his sleigh! And the perpetrator stole the second deer on Santa’s right. Vixen! (gestures broadly at desk)
Camera pans to show the figurines on the desk.
Pans back to GABRIELLA.
Call me a Who. I like Christmas—a lot. But I’m not crazy or rude about it. I don’t play my music so others can hear it, thats what the ears are for. (indicates elf ear headphones) I don’t try and get other people to decorate, or sing random Christmas carols in the break room. But if someone still has a problem with me, they should come at me
GABRIELLA slaps chest in a manner intended to be intimidating but hits too hard.
Coughs, ruining the effect.
GABRIELLA (rubbing chest)
Not at the reindeer.
Camera pans up slightly as a hand slowly appears over the cubical wall
JACK’s head follows finger to lips.
JACK steals another deer. Donner.
GABRIELLA (answering unheard question)
No. I can’t just move Rudolph to Vixen’s place. For one thing, he leads the sleigh. For another, he didn’t even come with this set, so he doesn’t match exactly.
GABRIELLA begins to reach towards reindeer.
GABRIELLA swivels to answer.
GABRIELLA (into phone)
I.T. department, Gabriella speaking. How can I help—Oh. Good morning, sir (sits straighter) Of course anything. (beat) Well…thats not exactly an I.T. assignment, maybe… No. No. Of course. It would be my pleasure. Five minutes, of course.
GABRIELLA hangs up and sighs into a slouch looking at Christmas sweater.
Shakes head at camera.
When I first got this job I was in a full business suit or dress everyday. And I got teased mercilessly for it and never left this basement. Like 355 days a year I don’t even leave this cubicle. I mean I’ve never even met our COO, thats who was on the phone, Mr. Coleman.
What? Ha ha, very funny. No they don’t keep me chained to my desk. I can leave for weekends and vacation days. It was hyperbolic. If you want to know my exact number of working days ask an accountant.
GABRIELLA stands only the bottom of torso in the shot.
Pulls sweater over head revealing a loose blouse.
The lama sweater hits the floor.
An exaggerated sigh can be heard.
GABRIELLA ducks into the shot.
Wish me luck.
GABRIELLA exits, camera pans to watch her leave.
JACK’s head dips into the shot watching GABRIELLA.
JACK spins to face camera, pulls out both reindeer,
prancing them around.
Cut to JACK’s cubical, sitting with reindeer in hand.
JACK’s cubicle has a bare minimum of personal items.
One family photo.
Nah. I have nothing against Christmas, or even decorating early. (rolls eyes) At home. I just like screwing with her. She’s too intense about everything: her value to the company, her plans for the future, company hiring policy, now Christmas! I mean come on relax already.
Shakes head answering unheard question.
No. No. Seriously, no. I’m not into…that. I mean can you imagine.
JACK makes scared face holding up reindeer.
This is the level of intensity she puts into a holiday at the office! She has twinkle lights, a snowman with candy canes. Which she says she doesn’t even like that much by the way. And a tiny tree a Santa and reindeer and as of yesterday while on a tech call she made and decorated a chain of snowmen. Don’t get me wrong she’s a nice girl. Maybe too nice. She told everyone when she first came here that she doesn’t like being called Gabby or Gabs but everyone calls her that and she just smiles sweetly. And when Maya accidentally synced her home calendar with the whole office, and lost all the other appointments Gabrielle not only fixed the calendar she also spent hours comforting her, and showing her how to run her phone. I don’t even think she got a thank you. But she can’t relax. I mean is she on speed or something and this whole “I like Christmas like a five year old thing.” Can you imagine dating that its a—(breaks off looking beyond camera)
ENTER GABRIELLA leans into shot.
Violently yanks both reindeer from JACK.
Imagine it all you want. Its not happening.
Camera pans to follow GABRIELLA marches around desk,
replaces the reindeer with care.
Face impassive, breathing heavily.
JACK (whispers, rolling eyes)
GABRIELLA (shakes head at unheard question)
Cut to GABRIELLA in conference room.
It was nothing special. At least nothing special about me. Mr. Coleman just wants me to run the office Secret Santa this year because last year was as disaster. I mean he did basically order me to data mine the office for gift ideas. (beat/chewing lip)
Its not just the invasion of privacy, which I am (shrugging) slightly opposed to. But we do sign contracts that give the company access to everything we do on our office computers. But really I think he should let the whole secret Santa thing go.
GABRIELLA pulls a face.
Shaking her head at an unheard question.
Oh I love Christmas! I love decorating my desk but that doesn’t mean I think there should be a company wide mandatory participation in a holiday function. He should just give us an end of the year bonus and leave it at that. I know I'd prefer money to the kind of gifts I got last year. A box of Bic pens. I’m pretty sure Angelo stole it from the supply closet.
No. (answering unseen question) its not flattering that he picked me. (scoffs) I’m the most junior member if the department so I cannot say no. And I obviously love buying gifts and giving them since I’m female. The only one in the department. Which by the way (growing agitated) is really weird. At least half my graduating class were female, why are we so under represented in the work force? (blushing at an unheard question) I can get a little...passionate I suppose. What? You think that just because I smile and decorate for Christmas I’m incapable of viewing inequity in the world. You listen to Jack too much. What did he do, call me an airhead before I came back?
Of course that upset me! Not in an oooh my poor broken heart sort of way. I’m not into him either. But just the way he was talking, like dating me would be a form of torture or something. It was offensive! You’d be offended too. (shrugs) maybe even hurt.
GABRIELLA looks up, nodding to unheard question.
Oh, well Mr. Coleman gave me a lot of latitude so I’m gonna have fun with it. Not everyone celebrates Christmas, but that doesn’t mean they don’t all have something they want or need. So (grinning) I’ll figure it out. This year—just call me Santa.