Space alien seeks employment.
Demo script for series writing project
Demo script for series writing project
Background, the story this far
- Let's grow a comedy series in Second Life
- Comedy series project Planning 1 and 2
- Series writing in virtual worlds: plan for a project
One SWG (Special Working Group) has organized around a project and now is busy working on a series placed in an entertainment world of the future. This SWG is now developing characters and writing scripts to introduce them.
The script presented here is not part of any planned series, but is intended to illustrate some aspects of the products we will need.
Space alien seeks employment
Note: This is a preliminary draft, formatted for convenience, not for stage presentation. It is partly in narrative form, partly in script dialog, again for convenience.
Note that it is written for camera, not stage production. It would have to be rewritten for stage production.
It is also not a finished product – for example, it starts too slowly and with too much exposition. And it is probably about 7 minutes long, so about 1/3 of the desired length for an episode. Another third might do the backstory on Raspberry if it were actually to be made into a series.
Time: a few years in the future.
Place: Corporate headquarters for Consolidated Advertising, Entertainment, and News (CAEN). CAEN is pronounced like the pepper.
Red Achu. (Pronounced like a sneeze) Space alien, UFO standard. About 4.5 feet tall, green with chartreuse abdomen, bright red area near the top of his rather pointed head.
Red initially speaks in a deep stentorian voice (singing or projected voice). Red speaks perfect colloquial English, with no hint of an accent. Red is pompous (initial mode) and expects people to be impressed with him because he is a leading video news anchor on his home planet. Red is also vulnerable when people are not impressed with him. In that mode, he changes to a non-projected higher pitched, timid voice.
When Red speaks as vulnerable, the script will show: RedVul:
Red’s home planet has a name that is best represented in human sounds by a Raspberry. Red will normally refer to his home planet as Raspberry, but the sound will occasionally be used for comic purposes.
Backstory: Red has been studying television from the earth for 30 years, and is familiar with everything that appears on broadcasts, though he may not interpret it correctly.
Red was a leading video news anchor on his home planet. He has been sent on assignment to earth. This assignment was mainly given at the impetus of his colleagues, who find him insufferably pompous. He may not be aware of this reason.
Homer the janitor. Apparently the janitor at the News building of CAEN. Homer looks and talks a lot like a middle aged Wilfred Brimley. He wears a janitor’s uniform but talks more like an executive. He seems to know more than he is telling.
Receptionist: No name given. She is friendly and casual.
Pod:. (YavaScript pod tours) The pod carries people around, provides voiced narration, expostion, and possibly conversation. (This is another AI role, and can be used in many ways.) The YavaScript pod is readily available in the virtual world of Second Life.
Female voice off camera: Non-distinctive, task oriented, managing a video capture.
Opening scene: The gateway to CAEN, as indicated by huge arched sign over the street. The sign clearly shows the elements: Advertising, Entertainment, and News. Red materializes in front of the sign and looks up at it. The few people on the sidewalk do not notice.
Red (to self): This is the place. I hope I don’t attract too much attention.
Red looks around (camera follows) and sees a garden entrance and a building named Consolidated News.
Red (to self): With my experience in news, they may want me as a weekday anchor. I will have to turn that down. Too busy on my reports for my network. But I could do weekend shows if they insist.
Red walks to the garden entrance. On a low post, a gecko stands on his hind legs.
Red waves at the gecko and the Gekko waves back.
Red: “Damn. He’s cuter than I am.”
Red approaches the door, which slides out of the way with a Startrek standard whoosh.
Red sees the receptionist and approaches the desk. The receptionist looks up from the monitor in front of her.
Red: Good morning. I am Red.
Receptionist (matter-of fact tone): You look green to me.
Red: I’m a space alien.
Receptionist: Perhaps that explains it. Do you have an appointment with someone?
Red (disappointed): Well, no. I rather expected that the news media would be interested in a space alien.
Receptionist: We used to be, but we’ve got lots space alien stories. We closed our Space Alien office a while back. Whenever we need a space-alien story we just send an old one to the rewrite desk. But you can visit Homer. He handles the space alien walk-ins now.
Red (distrubed): Space-alien walk-ins? Do you get many space-aliens?
Receptionist: Not any more. People know we don’t buy those stories any more
Red (brightly): I am a leading video news anchor on my home planet.
Receptionist: Yeah. I thought I heard news anchor in that voice of yours. We have some of news anchors here, you know. You better keep away from them. They’ll stomp you.
Red (alarmed): Stomp me? What do they have against me?
Receptionist: You’ll sound like competition to them.
A pod glides up and comes to a stop. (YavaScript pod tours)
Receptionist: Here comes your pod. Climb on and it will take you to Homer’s place.
Red sits in the pod and iy starts off. The pod will probably give voice exposition about some of the places it passes. Red may also offer comment and exposition. He will probably mull over his eagerness for appearance on television news and the diminished prospects.
The places passed will offer visuals that contrast with the expectations of a news office but fit with common suspicions. Examples:
Huge sign: Office of Fact-checking and Research over a single empty and apparently unused desk. Red may be impressed with the sign, and console himself with the remark “I guess Fact-checking is out to lunch.”
Talking heads. Shelves with heads and upper torsos, fitting the typical camera shot for talking heads
News planning and generation. Computer screens, no people
Advertising Liaison: Huge office full of busy people, all nearly identical.
On its travels, the pod moves up to the top floor, executive suites (shown on sign). Red remarks with satisfaction that he is approaching the zone that befits his importance. The pod starts to slow at a palatial office,
Red: “Here we are,”
The pod moves on to stop at a Janitor’s Closet.
Pod: “We are at your destination.”
The pod unseats Red and vanishes.
The janitor’s closet door is partly open. Through it Red sees Homer sitting on an inverted pail.
Red (Doubtful): Have I reached the correct place?
Homer: Depends on where you were going.
Red: I was looking for Homer. I am a space-alien.
Homer: I am Homer and I work with space-aliens that come by here. So this is the right place. Come in and have a pail.
Homer kicks an inverted pail in Red’s direction. Red sits
Red (With disapproval): I had expected more upscale furnishings.
Homer: Well, these are hard times for space-aliens around here. But what can I do for you?
Red: My name is Red. I’m a leading video news anchor back on my home planet. I am here to start regular news reports back to my network.
Homer: Now that’s story I haven’t heard before. Space aliens usually want to sell us news for our networks.
Red: I had thought of that, but it seems that there have been space-aliens before me.
Homer: Oh, yes. Miles of copy. Weeks of air time. Not many dollars of ads, though.
Red: Are they real space aliens?
Homer: We don’t get into that. We just do news. We leave evaluation to the talking heads. That way we’re not responsible.
Red: But I am a real space alien. Wouldn’t your audience be interested in that?
Homer: Nah. Why would they be? They’ve already seen lots of news about space aliens. They either believe in ‘em or not. How would your story be any more real?
Red: I am a video news anchor. I can read any copy from a teleprompter and sound like I know what I’m talking about.
Homer: Well, that qualifies you as a video news anchor. But you don’t have the right look. Not enough gravitas. Maybe you could do ads. What else can you do?
Red (voice breaking to vulnerable): I--I can whistle.
Red puts a hand to his mouth and gives a sound that duplicates the sound commonly used on TV to signal the unknown.
Homer: That’s pretty good, but we already have it on file.
RedVul: Isn’t there any way I can fit in on earth video news? I don’t need money. All I need is a chance.
Homer (sympathetic): Well, now, I didn’t say you can’t fit in. Maybe we can think of something. Especially if you don’t need money. Do you have a last name?
RedVul: That’s my name.
Homer: Your name is Gesundheit?
RedVul: No. My name is Red Achu
Homer: Do you have an allergy?
RedVul: Of course. That’s how I got my name.
Homer: What name?
Homer: Can’t you take something for that?
RedVul: For what?
Homer: For that allergy—oh, never mind. What ‘s the name of your home planet?
Homer: Sounds delicious.
RedVul: Not that raspberry. This one.
Red puts his hand to his mouth: (sound the raspberry).
Homer: Your home planet is (sound the raspberry)? You know what that signifies here?
RedVul: Of course. That’s why I call it Raspberry.
Homer: How far is Raspberry from here?
Red: About forty light years. But we have instant communication by quantum entanglement.
Homer: How does that work?
Red (Authoritative): Quantum entanglement is a form of quantum superposition. I can’t elaborate beyond that because the prime directive prohibits major technology transfer.
Homer: And besides, you have no idea what it means.
RedVul: That, too.
Homer: How often will you send a report back to—um—Raspberry?
RedVul: Weekly--our weekly--every eight-point-three earth days.
Homer: I think I know how you could fit into our video plans. I’ll see if I can set up an audition.
RedVul: Oh, That would be wonderful! Thank you! Thank you! But do you have that much influence here?
Homer: The janitor knows all the secrets. If I can set up an audition, how do I get in touch with you?
Red reaches behind him, in the general vicinity of his buttocks and pulls out an object that looks like a cell phone. The camera gets only a front view of this action. On the upper side of the object is a picture of Red and a red button with the label “Push to talk.” This need not be shown clearly while Red holds out the object to Homer.
Homer takes the object, sniffs it, and then looks at the object (camera close-up here).
Red (announcer): Just press the red button to contact me. You see—red on Red.
Homer stands. Red stands.
RedVul: Will someone give me a script on the teleprompter? I can’t improvise.
Homer: Of course we’ll have a script for you. We don’t want you to improvise. I’ll be in touch
Red (announcer): I will be eternally grateful for your assistance. I will teleport back to the mother ship. Live, long and prosper.
Fade to green.
Scene 2: A video news set, talking heads setup. Red sits alone at the anchor desk apparently writing vigorously on a yellow legal pad. Nothing appears on the pad. Behind Red is a backdrop showing a star field and two planets. One is the earth. The other is covered in clouds.
Female voice off camera: Raspberry audition. Take one. Action.
Red stops writing looks squarely at the camera and begins to speak.
Red ( with drama, reading a script from a teleprompter):
Greetings earth people. We come in peace. I am Red Achu. I come from the planet Raspberry.
We have been observing your planet for many earth-years. I have been sent here as a foreign correspondent, to report on the habits and practices of earthlings.
The Consolidated Advertising, Entertainment, and News service has invited me to deliver an English language version of my report. My reports of earth habits will provide extensive coverage of sex, sports, eating, over-eating, sex, military action, drug and alcohol abuse, sex, criminal activity, car accidents, disasters, and, of course, sex.
In just a few minutes, I will be presenting my first, thrilling report on the prominent role sex plays in earthling commerce. But first--.
The backdrop changes to a battle scene with huge, insectoids battling armor clad humans. There is abundant blood and at least one human with intestines hanging out. A scantily clad girl is gratuitously placed at the front of the scene, apparently semi-conscious. The scene may change from time to time as Red reads the copy from the prompter. Sounds of futuristic battle are heard. As the sounds fade to background, Red continues speaking
Red: (from the teleprompter, with heightened enthusiasm): Are you ready? Ready to defend your home planet from the invading space aliens? Ready to blast the aliens into tasty crab legs? Ready snatch the princess from the jaws of death and carry her to her rightful place beside you as your queen?
Yes? Then you are ready for Space Wars Seven-hundred-twenty-two, Apocalypse Earth. You can order the Apocalypse right now. Just click or press on the little window on your second screen or floating at the bottom of your main screen if you don’t have a second screen.
Act now! Servers are standing by to take your order! Have your credit card ready. The Apocalypse is yours for only ten easy monthly payments of twenty-five United States dollars! That’s less than a mug of coffee! But wait—there’s more!
Order in the next five hours and you will also get special introductory versions of all the Space Wars games of the seven-hundred series!
This is the chance of a lifetime! Don’t let it get by you!
And now back to the news!
Female voice off camera: Raspberry audition. Take one. Cut.
Red slumps to the desk, sobbing.
Homer walks onto the set, still in janitor uniform.
Homer (solicitous): Hey, you did good. Really sounded sincere. No reason to feel bad about your performance.
RedVul: (in despair): it’s not the performance. It’s the material. Oh, God!
Homer: Oh, don’t let that bother you. That’s the way we do it here. Maybe not the way you did it in Raspberry, but you’ll get used to it.
RedVul: Oh, God no. That’s exactly how I did it on Raspberry. I’ve come forty light years and I’m still back home. Oh,God!
Fade to black
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