Monday, May 9, 2011

rough screenplay

James Satterberg The Watcher

John Davidson pulls into his parking space at the Department of Homeland Security, and walks into the building and walks down a long hallway. As he walks , we hear John’s voice in the background, though his lips do not move.

JOHN Voiceover monologue: The boss called me in earlier than usual. I didn’t mind. I loved my job. As far as I knew, it was another day at the office.

John walks into the office, a large room filled with computers and TV monitors used for surveillance. John is about to walk past Greg’s desk, but Greg stops him.

GREG: Hey John, tough loss for those Redskins yesterday.

JOHN: Tell me about it Greg.

GREG: Maybe you oughtta teach them how to tackle, huh?

Greg laughs at his own joke. John does not.

GREG: Well, other than that, how was your weekend?

JOHN: I worked all weekend. They wanted me to come in. Lauren was out of town. I figured I might as well.

GREG: Wow, do you ever take a moment off?

John begins to walk away to his nearby desk.

JOHN: Later, Greg.

GREG: Later, John.

John walks to his desk and sits down. As he sits, the monologue returns.

JOHN Voiceover monologue: I sat down and got to work. I’m a button pusher. My main job is to monitor the security cameras we placed all around the city. If I see anybody committing crimes, I push a button. Then the cops show up.

John is sitting at the computer at this point. The camera flashes to show the monitor showing a street from the point of view of a security camera. The monologue continues.

JOHN Voiceover monologue: You know how some kids like to shine a magnifying glass onto bugs and watch them burn? My job’s just like that.

On the monitor, two bums are fighting in an alley

JOHN: Take it inside, drunkies. Inside a cell.

John presses a button. The camera goes to the monitor, and a cop car shows up.

GREG: Hey John, I see some suspicious characters on the corner of Oak and Lincoln. You should take a look.

JOHN: I’m on it.

Three male teenagers are standing on the street corner. They are joking around, doing nothing.

JOHN: Truancy and loitering. Probably have drugs too. Party’s over boys.

John presses the button. Four cop cars show up.

GREG: Check out this guy on 26th. Looks like he’s trying to run from something.

John’s monitor turns to a man running down the sidewalk.

JOHN: Let’s see if he has a reason.

John pushes the button. A cop car cuts off the running man.

GREG: Nice work John. I’m going to get some coffee, you want any?

JOHN: Sure.

Greg walks out of the room. John looks around and presses a button marked WIFE TRACKER. The screen changes to show Lauren, wearing sunglasses and a dress, walking down the street. She sees a man, they hug, and they walk together holding hands.

JOHN: Who the hell is that?

John reaches for his phone and dials a number. Lauren answers on the monitor.

JOHN: Hey baby, just calling to see what you’re up to.

LAUREN: I keep telling you, you don’t have to do that ten times a day, John. I’m at work.

JOHN: At work?

LAUREN: Yep. I have to go to a meeting now. Love You.

JOHN: Love you too.

Lauren hangs up.

JOHN: What’s going on here?

Lauren and her male friend get into a car and drive away.

JOHN: I have to see what this is about.

The camera follows Lauren and the Mystery Man as they walk to a car, enter the car and drive away. The camera follows the car, abruptly switching angles, implying that John is watching this on his computer using security cameras. The car pulls up to the driveway of a house, and Lauren and MM go inside. The camera switches back to John’s stunned face. Greg walks back into the room with coffee.

GREG: John, I have your coffee here (John turns to him with the same stunned expression) What happened to you?

John quickly gets up and runs to Greg

JOHN: Greg, what would you do if you thought you saw your wife sneaking around with another man?

GREG: Well, with Stacy I don’t think that I really have to worry about-


GREG: (scared) uh, uh, I‘d probably follow them.


John runs past Greg and out of the office

GREG: Do you still want your coffee?

The camera follows John as he runs out of the office and into his car. He starts the car, and there is a very short scene where he is driving the car to fast, intense music. John then pulls up to the house, gets out of the car, runs to the door, pauses, then opens the door and enters.

John enters to find that he is alone in a quiet, empty living room. However, he hears a woman screaming out from a nearby doorway, which the camera flashes to. John walks to the doorway, pulls his gun out, and opens the door.

Inside he finds Lauren sitting alone on a made bed. There is a radio next to her.


John puts the gun away.

JOHN: What is going on here Lauren?

LAUREN: John, for a long time now, I have felt like wherever, I am, no matter what I am doing, I can’t ever be alone.

JOHN: Look, baby-

LAUREN: (interrupts) John, I love you, but I can’t get away from you. You call me twenty times a day. You always want to know where I am and what I’m doing. I needed to know how much you spied on me. John, this was a setup.

JOHN: What do you mean, a setup?

LAUREN: I figured you might be spying on me at when you’re work, but I needed to know. That man I was with is a friend from college. He agreed to help. We aren’t having an affair, and he’s gay anyway. It doesn’t matter anymore now. I’m leaving you.

JOHN: Lauren, baby, please, I Love you. I just need to know that you’re safe.

LAUREN: There is a thin line between feeling safe and feeling caged, and with you I crossed that line a long time ago. You had your gun out when you came in. Were you going to shoot me if I had been cheating on you?

JOHN: I thought something bad might have been happening to you. I wanted to protect you.

LAUREN: Protect me? You clearly don’t trust me, and if you can’t trust me, you don’t respect me. I can’t be with someone that doesn’t respect me. I going to my lawyer and getting a restraining order against you.

Lauren gets up and begins to walk out the door.

JOHN: Lauren, don’t do this to me please, I Love You, I Need you!!

LAUREN: I’ll send someone to get my things. I’ll be moving far away. Goodbye, John.

The Camera follows Lauren as she goes to the car she arrived in, gets in, and leaves. The camera goes back to John in the bedroom alone. John pulls his gun back out. He looks at it, then puts it back, and walks out the door.

Credits Roll

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