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Revision as of 12:09, June 16, 2013 by PuppyOnTheRadio
FADE IN EXT. LONDON STREET - DAY From high above the bustling city, the foreboding calm of a breezy Alfred Hitchcock day looms. Slowly approaching street level, the sights and sounds of a busy, bright London day fill the eyes and ears. At length, a lone sheet of paper - an Uncyclopedia article about a great English suspense film maker - flaps in the breeze, stuck temporarily in the damp gutter. Presently, the wind carries the article away. It slaps at the face of a busy London commuter as he tries in vain to hail a taxi. He bats at the article in frustration and it flies away. COMMUTER Taxi! He checks his watch. A young lad tugs at his coat. The man impatiently brushes him away - but the lad is persistant. COMMUTER What is it, boy? I'm late for a meeting! LAD Please sir. I wondered if you have seen an article flying past in this wind. COMMUTER A what? LAD An article sir. About a great English suspense film maker. COMMUTER What are you talking about, young man? I haven't seen anything at all. I'm trying to find a ride downtown. LAD Sorry to bother you sir. At long last, a taxi approaches and stops for the man. The driver is a portly but stately man with a grey balding head and the jowls of a bulldog. But then, from around the corner of a nearby brick building, the barrel of a gun emerges. Just as the man is opening the taxi door, a shot rings out, and the commuter doubles over, clutching at his gut. He slowly collapses. The shrieks of women resound, and then all fades to black. INT. OFFICE CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY In the conference room of a high-rise London office building, a group of uptight businessmen in grey suits are embroiled in the cacophony of a heated discussion. Finally the conference chairman claps loudly to quiet them all down. He is a tall, unassuming American man with an endearing drawl and a kindly air. CHAIRMAN Gentlemen, gentlemen, please. We are accomplishing nothing with all this arguing. Please. We are here to write this article, and, and, and, that's just what we're gonna do. And all of this unfocused bickering will get us nowhere. CHARLIE Mr. Chairman, if I may. CHAIRMAN With all due respect, Charlie, I'd like to get things under control first. I mean... w-w-w- what is this? Listen, now. We're gonna write this article on Alfred Hitchcock for this, this, encyclopedia thing, and that's that. You hear me, gentlemen? The men all nod and murmur agreement. CHAIRMAN So, what do we know about this... Hitchcock fella? Gregory, a proper English businessman, picks up the article from the table top. GREGORY Well, so far, Mr. Chairman, I've got - quote - In Alfred Hitchcock we have cinema's greatest auteur in the suspense genre. CHAIRMAN Well, now, see, Gregory, that's good. That's real good. That's a good start. CHARLIE Mr. Chairman, I'd also like to share an idea I have that will really make a difference to this project. CHAIRMAN Go ahead there, Charlie. CHARLIE Thank you, sir. You see, it has been well documented that Mr. Hitchcock strongly felt that his best finished product was always the screenplay. In fact, he has been quoted as saying that as much as forty percent of his overall vision is always lost in the translation from page to film. This, ironically, is despite his widely acknowledged important contributions to the visual language of cinema, at least within his genre if not even wider. CHAIRMAN Certainly, Charlie. So what is your idea? CHARLIE Well, in honor of this notion, I think it would be a fitting tribute to present the article as an actual bare-bones screenplay. The man himself would have been pleased, I should think. CHAIRMAN Interesting. CHARLIE No frills, no pitiful attempts at mimicking his visual mastery with still shots that do no justice to his vision. See? If you read Hitchcock's final drafts, the flowery descriptions often almost outdo the actual shots. I think it would be appropriate for us to do likewise, limiting our visuals to the same sort of flowery descriptions. CHAIRMAN It's intriguing. But our forum is a satire encyclopedia that, especially in the main space, prides itself on its visual presentation. Would such an approach then not be more suited to the UnScripts section then? HARVEY Well, sir, I think in this case, UnScripts is not the appropriate space. This is at heart an article, not a script. It's an article that is paying tribute to the man by looking like a script. But UnScripts are directed more toward an actual ostensible show, while this is a simple self-aware device in the context of an article. CHAIRMAN That's a good point, there, Harvey. And what about that self-awareness? HARVEY Certainly a cheeky self-awareness is a hallmark of Hitchcock's work. The fact that he takes a cameo role in every film himself calls for a meta-level appreciation that smacks of such cheeky self-awareness. CHAIRMAN So we don't feel it would be more appropriate in a satire article to simply poke fun at him? There's so much material there, you know. His well-known hatred for actors? Didn't he call them cattle? That's a two cows joke just waiting to happen. CHARLIE Such satire articles are fine and have their place, but there are endless examples of them at all levels of quality. We thought we'd do something that might be more clever or interesting. Maybe not as funny, per se, but comedy doesn't always have to skewer. CHAIRMAN That's fine then. GREGORY The fact is, he maintained that Psycho is at heart a comedy - did you laugh when you watched it? CHAIRMAN Well, now that you mention it, I suppose I did. So this is all good. But there is one last thing, gentlemen. It is important that we give our article a classic Hitchcock twist ending. How do we do that? The room falls silent. Gregory looks at the article in thought. He approaches an open window. CHAIRMAN Be careful with that paper there, Gregory. Don't get too close to that- A gust of wind blows in and snatches the paper from Gregory's hands and it flies out the window. The men leap to their feet. CHAIRMAN Gregory! The article! Gregory leans out the window and calls to the street below. GREGORY Hey! You there! Young lad! Yes, you! Do us a favor and don't let that paper get away! Chase it down, boy! Yes, that's a good lad! The Chairman collapses back into his chair and trembles nervously. INT. CHAIRMAN'S OFFICE - DAY The Chairman's secretary, Maggie, is busy sorting through to-do papers opposite the Chairman, who sits at his desk, nervously smoking. CHAIRMAN I don't get it, Maggie. Why would Gregory, a good conscientious businessman, allow such a thing to happen? What would possess him to stand so close to the window? I'm telling you, Maggie, there's something fishy about this. MAGGIE Don't fret yourself about it so, Mr. Chairman. I'm sure there's a perfectly reasonable explanation. CHAIRMAN This shouldn't have happened, Maggie. I just don't get it. Now what am I gonna do? MAGGIE You'll figure it out, sir. You always do. CHAIRMAN This has got me bugged, Maggie. Bugged, I tell you. EXT. LONDON STREET - DAY The chalk outline of the murdered commuter is all that remains to tell the story of his demise. Police tape surrounds the taxi and a police investigator observes the scene with a police sergeant. Presently, a police officer brings the young lad to the sergeant. The officer carries the tell-tale article. SERGEANT This is the boy? OFFICER Yes, sergeant. This is the lad that witnesses say was the last person to contact the victim. SERGEANT And that? OFFICER He was carrying it when we caught him. The officer gives the paper to the sergeant. SERGEANT Take the boy in for questioning. Detective? INVESTIGATOR It's a tough one. No motive, no murder weapon. A boy with no known connection. And that. Let me see that. what is it? SERGEANT Well, it appears to be an article, sir. About an acclaimed English suspense film maker. INVESTIGATOR Suspense, eh? I don't think I like the sound of that. SERGEANT That's not the worst of it. It's written as a screenplay. Like it might be one of his films. INVESTIGATOR What's wrong with that? SERGEANT Well, it's depicting us, sir. Our very actions. Everything we're saying and doing right now. INVESTIGATOR What? What is that? Is that something he was known for? That sort of mystical, eerie conundrum that defies reason? SERGEANT Perhaps not so much in his films, but his television show, certainly. I would suppose any article about him would be incomplete without a nod to that. Don't you think? INVESTIGATOR You're probably right, sergeant. Still, it is disturbing. SERGEANT It sure is, detective. The investigator shivers nervously, then turns his gaze to eye <insert name here> directly. The scene slowly pulls away as the music swells. Up and away from the street until the top of a nearby building is reached. A black crow lights on the edge of the building. It observes the scene carefully, appearing to be deciding on a possible course of action. Finally, though, it shakes off the idea and flies away. FADE OUT THE END.