Second Glances (2011)
This was produced for the 2011 168 Hour Film Project.
Alan Tregoning & Jason Walter Vaile
FADE IN: INT. COPYROOM - DAY Pages listing opening credits rhythmically spit out of the copy machine. The final credit page is printed crooked-a hand reaches in and pulls it off the stack. The hand belongs to DAVID, an artsy twenty-something who wishes he could be anywhere but here. David crumples up the page and tosses it at a trash can. The paper wad misses and rolls out into the hallway where we see coworkers ROMANTIC GUY and MOONSTRUCK GIRL flirting. Romantic Guy pulls out a Valentine's Day card and hands it to Moonstruck Girl. She reads the card and gives him a loving smile. They embrace. Back behind the copy machine, an unimpressed David watches the tragic reminder of his singleness. Wow, life sucks. EXT. YOU+ BACK STAIRS-DAY David sits with his crumpled brown bag lunch and eats the triangle of his chicken salad sandwich. Next to him on the step is a RED APPLE. Balanced on his knee is a sketchbook where he draws a detailed picture of the apple. The stairway door opens nearly hitting him. Romantic Guy, Moonstruck girl and a group of coworkers has to squeeze by David to go to lunch. One of then kicks the apple and it bounces down the stairs. EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET - DAY David navigates his GREEN MOPED through the streets. Heading home for another lonely night. Suddenly, the sound of an acoustic guitar catches his attention. He stops, backs up the moped and searches out the source of this haunting melody. EXT. PARK - CONTINUOUS A beautiful young woman, GUITAR GIRL, is seated on a park bench strumming a guitar. Dressed in a brilliant red scarf and hat she is the most vibrant thing we have seen so far. David stares at her transfixed by the perfect moment. As the notes from the song drift towards him, he smiles for the first time. He's in heaven. Suddenly, the girl stops playing and looks towards him. Embarrassed at being caught staring David quickly goes to accelerate but the moped is still in reverse and lurches backwards. He finds the right gear and zips away. INT. DAVID'S APARTMENT-LATER David doodles a picture of the girl playing her guitar. He stares down at the drawing. He is pulled closer and closer into the drawing until it is just the pencil and HER EYES. EXT. DAVID'S APARTMENT ROOF-NIGHT David eats a bowl of cereal alone on his roof. A big pair of retro headphones run into an old school record player. He takes the headphones off and places them around his neck. He stares at the needle running along the groves. The haunting chord he heard in the park plays in his head. The city is alive behind him but he stares off-lost in the melody. EXT. PARK - DAY A hopeful David steers the moped towards the park bench. YES! Guitar girl is back playing her song. David puts down the kickstand and cautiously walks towards her. He stops several yards short and sits on the ground. As she plays, she looks towards him and smiles. He smiles back and gives a friendly wave, which she does not acknowledge. INT. COPYROOM - DAY Copies spit out of the machine. David stares at the clock ticking excruciatingly slow. Coffee drips into the office coffee pot. Each second is drawn out until he is finally able to rush out the door. EXT. PARK-LATER David walks excitedly with two cups of coffee towards the bench. He freezes as he sees Guitar Girl sitting and talking to her CHATTY FRIEND. She gathers her guitar case as her friend takes her arm. They walk off together smiling and laughing. David walks to his moped throwing the two cups of coffee into the trash. EXT. STOP LIGHT-LATER David sits dorkily on his moped waiting for the light to turn. A car pulls up next to him. Sitting in the passenger seat right next to him is Guitar Girl. She is wearing sunglasses, smiling and bobbing along to the radio. Time slows. He opens his mouth to speak and... HONK! The light has turned green. The truck behind him is laying on the horn. Guitar girl's car pulls off and David watches as her hand dances out the open window in the breeze. INT. CUBICLE - DAY David doodles a much more detailed picture of the guitar girl this one an up close face portrait. Romantic Guy and Moonstruck Girl walk by arm in arm laughing. EXT. PARK - LATER David drives past the park, the park bench is empty. EXT. PARK-DUSK David sits alone on the park bench staring at the sketch. INT. COPYROOM - DAY A dejected David keeps a distracted watch over the machine. He stares at the pages as they shoot out. Suddenly words begin to pop up from the pages... YOU BLEW IT, ALONE FOREVER, YOU NEVER HAD A CHANCE, LOSER He unfolds the sketch and takes one last look. He is about to toss it in the trash when the copier jams. He reaches down and pulls the jammed page from the machine. He looks down at his hands, the sketch in one hand, the crumpled copy page in the other. He smiles. An idea is forming... INT. COPYROOM - MOMENTS LATER The sketch is placed down on the copy machine glass. David punches the machine buttons. Copies of the sketch spit out of the machine. David takes a copy from the tray and... EXT. PARK - LATER ...hands it to a man jogging past the bench. He hands another copy to a woman pushing a stroller. MONTAGE - DAVID SEARCHES FOR GUITAR GIRL -- David nails a flyer to a telephone poll. -- David zooms down the street, a flyer in his teeth. -- David pulls up to the curb and checks the park bench, still empty. -- David slowly navigates his moped down a street and places flyers under the windshield wipers of cars. -- David stares at the empty park bench from his moped. -- David at the train station handing flyers to people as they pass. -- David runs out of flyers. -- David sits dejected on the empty park bench. END MONTAGE EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET - LATER A dejected David navigates his green moped through the streets. Heading home after his epic fail. He slides into a parking space and pulls out the original sketch. Guitar Girls haunting eyes stare back at him. Suddenly. the melodic sound of the guitar faintly drifts in. David sits up, alert. He determinedly kicks the stand and zooms off in the direction of the music. EXT. PARK - MOMENTS LATER David zooms up to the park bench. Empty, but the music is a little closer now. He zooms off. EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET - DAY David searches for the source of the guitar sound. He stands up to get a better feel for the direction. EXT. TRAIN STATION - DAY David spots the girl, sitting on a bench waiting for the train to arrive. David kicks the moped stand down and runs over to the girl. She is still strumming the same melodic tune. She stops as he approaches and looks up at him. David smiles and hands her the sketch. Guitar Girl seems confused. David sits down next to her and places the page eagerly into her hand. Guitar Girl gently runs her fingers over the sketch feeling the texture of the paper. She traces the details of her face. David is eager for a reaction. Guitar Girl turns towards him. Here it comes... She gives him an apologetic shrug and hands the page back. David is confused, hurt. Guitar Girl reaches down and opens her guitar case. She takes out a white cane as she places the guitar inside. She then unfolds the cane, grabs her guitar case and taps her way blindly towards the train. David stares in shock as she walks away. INT. COPYROOM - LATER David is crushed, heartbroken. Through the door he sees Romantic Guy drop to his knee and propose to Moonstruck Girl at her desk. David slams the door shut. David leans back against the wall, his thoughts a million miles away. The rhythmic sound of the copy machine acts like a metronome, keeping a steady beat. Suddenly the sound of Guitar Girl's melody begins to play along with the beat. As David listens to the music and reminisces-he stares down at the pages coming off the machine. Suddenly, a word pops off the page in time with the music. Then a second word. David leans forward, his attention is on the pages now. An entire line of the song pops off the page. Realization falls, David scrambles for a pencil and paper and writes down the lyrics as the music plays along. EXT. DOWNTOWN STREET - DAY A focused David steers the moped through traffic. EXT. PARK - MOMENTS LATER David runs towards the park bench. Guitar Girl is at her regular place strumming away. David pulls up in front of her and pulls out the hand written lyric sheet. As she plucks away at the string David opens his mouth and SINGS THE LINE OF THE SONG. She stops playing. The world stops turning. David nervously belts out another line of the song. Then another, he is singing acappella now. He stops. Waits. Now she understands. She plays the opening chords. David smiles and joins in. He takes a seat next to her and they play together in happy harmony. They finish singing. She smiles and reaches up to touch his face. FADE OUT.