My students and friends following me on Twitter (at TweetAMovie) have been working on a collaborative effort to write a movie Tweet by Tweet.
As the story develops 140 characters at a time, it’s been amazing to see how people’s visions may differ, but the story can stay remarkably cohesive. But “cohesive” may be an understatement! What’s unfolded is becoming a remarkably exciting, taut mystery.
If you haven’t been following our experiment, please enjoy the screenplay so far and be sure to direct message your suggestions to TweetAMovie!
(Apologies for not being able to make the formatting more accurate in Blogspot.)
EXT. – LUXURY CRUISE SHIP DECK – NIGHT – A distraught young bride frantically searches for her husband. She finds his jacket caught around one of the rails on the port side. The arms of the jacket flapping eerily out towards the sea. Off the port bow in the shadows of the hull of the large vessel floats a small group of pirates who hold him bloodied and bound.
INT. LUXURY CRUISE LINER – While below in the cargo room, a stowaway is pacing. His eyes are filled with lust & murder.
Joe! Joe! Where are you?
Help me! I’m over here.
From behind her, a moving SHADOW passes over her shoulder. She spins and SHRIEKS. Joe sees what’s happening but can’t help her. His boat of pirates takes off into the black darkness.
INT – LUXURY CRUISE LINER – A radio squawks.
We got him.
The stowaway steps into light, smiles. He looks just like Joe.
INT. ROOM ON THE SHIP – Boat security questions Mira.
Ma’am, when did you last see your husband?
Two hours ago. We had just come back from the ballroom. We’re on our honeymoon.
The Security Guard who looks just like Joe, glances at his security detail.
Uh, yeah. You know, that vacation you take together after the wedding?
The guard slams his fist on the table, close enough to Mira that she feels the air move.
You’d think you’d watch your tongue if you wanted your husband back.
Mira doesn’t flinch. The guard paces the windowless room.
My husband’s name was Joe.
The guards look at each other. The guard silently pulls out a file labeled Robert Harrison.
That name is familiar.
He’s a VIP on this boat. He’s seated at the Captain’s table tonight.
Holding my tongue is what put Joe’s life in danger in the first place.
Everybody’s named Joe. Sometimes, they got other names, too.
He opens the file.
Is this your Joe? Or this?
I saw him after dinner. We were looking at the moon. He said… we said goodbye. I should’ve known. Can I see that file?
The Guard hesitates.
She pours over the file, staring at Joe’s face, his outfit.
That’s us in Venice. That’s Joe in Paris, on business. That’s impossible. I know a Photoshop when I see it. No no no.
She slams files to the floor, she notices a dufflebag tucked away in a corner. Stenciled on it, the name JOE.
She bursts into tears.
Why are you yelling at me? Can I go, please? My husband’s missing and I need to make some phone calls and go sleep.
Just one more question. You said “was”.
You said a minute ago that his name “was” Joe. Family of missing people usually refer to loved ones in present tense.
Int. Cafe – One year earlier Mira waits for her computer to start up. She impatiently makes circles with the cursor.
Joe, waiting for his coffee, watches her intensely.
There are two kinds of people in the world.
People who wait for things to happen and people who make circles with their cursors.
Sorry, I just have so much to get done this morning.
You realize the first two things you said to me were both “sorry”?
The first two things? Will there be more I say to you?
He considers that for a moment. Suddenly Mira’s computer comes to life, finally done loading.
Sorry. Back to work.
Mira can feel Joe still staring at her. Wanting to protect what’s about to come up on her screen, she closes her laptop, trying to be casual.
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?