Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Minor Project: 'Incompatibility' Screenplay Version Two

'Incompatibility' Screenplay Version Two

This is the second draft of the screenplay for my animated short. After several conversations with Phil and other people, it was concluded that a third, somewhat ancillary character should be included as a means of encouragement and guidance for the Male Robot character, so this updated (but still very rough) script addresses these changes.

I'm still struggling to weave the third character, a Television Set, throughout the rest of the story, as well as deciding how the Male Robot discovers the music cassette tapes and the whole resolution in the third act, but I feel as though its gradually heading in the right direction.

'Incompatibility' (Working Title) Version 02


PAN across the room, from right to left. A plethora of outdated and redundant electronic equipment from throughout the 20th Century litters the shelves, from floor to ceiling. 
The camera slows to a stop, displaying a lone, battered MALE ROBOT, half buried under a collection of electronic components. The MALE ROBOT functions through a series of CASSETTE TAPES, used for DATA STORAGE. These tapes are inserted into a TAPE DECK situated in the MALE ROBOT'S chest.

On the shelf sits an old and outdated TELEVISION SET, reminiscent of classic Bakelite television sets.
ALTERNATE SCENARIO: The TELEVISION SET'S functionality may be better applied to a RADIO or similar device instead, depending on the relevance and necessity of it's visuals.

The TELEVISION SET flickers on, displaying snippets of footage with audio that is sequenced as a means of forming sentences. It communicates solely through brief phrases.

The MALE ROBOT, startled, sits up suddenly, as if it were waking from a bad dream. Turning to see the TELEVISION SET, it relaxes, and turns the TELEVISION SET off. The MALE ROBOT gradually stands up, adjusting itself to its surroundings as if it were waking from a deep sleep.

The TELEVISION SET switches itself back on, this time displaying footage with audio that reflects it's distaste at being switched off. The MALE ROBOT turns to address the TELEVISION SET when suddenly, their attention is drawn elsewhere. 

A metallic rattling is heard, as the camera CUTS to a disposal chute of sorts in the ceiling. A hatch swings open as an object tumbles through, landing in a pile of electronic junk with a hefty crash. As the object hits to ground, miscellaneous junk and trash is cast up, burying the newly awakened MALE ROBOT once again. The electronic components begin to shift as the object below moves around.

The object rises to its feet, and it is revealed that it is another robot. A FEMALE ROBOT, at that. The FEMALE ROBOT is far more MODERNIZED than the MALE ROBOT, using COMPACT DISCS for DATA STORAGE.

POV of the MALE ROBOT, peering through the electronic junk above him, as he casts his eyes upon the FEMALE ROBOT, picking herself up and dusting herself off.

Stunned, the MALE ROBOT hoists himself up promptly, unearthing itself from beneath yet more junk and miscellaneous electronics. He makes an attempt to play it cool, unsure whether the FEMALE ROBOT knows he is there or not.

The TELEVISION SET lets out a wolf whistle, attracting the attention of the FEMALE ROBOT. Shocked and embarrassed, the MALE ROBOT immediately switches the TELEVISION SET off once more.

The FEMALE ROBOT turns in response to the whistle, seeing the MALE ROBOT stood across from her on the other side of the room. The MALE ROBOT waves, somewhat shyly, greeting the FEMALE ROBOT. Somewhat confused, the FEMALE ROBOT waves back doubtfully. 


The TELEVISION SET picks up on the unease of the situation, and encourages the MALE ROBOT to approach the FEMALE ROBOT.

The MALE ROBOT, still uneasy, begins to move towards the FEMALE ROBOT. Unsure of the MALE ROBOT'S intentions, the FEMALE ROBOT hesitantly moves away gradually.

Noticing the FEMALE ROBOT'S hesitance and unease, the MALE ROBOT shy's away, only to be encouraged further by the TELEVISION SET'S jostling. He decides to makes an attempt to speak to her, hoping that this will reduce the tension of the situation.

Instead of a coherent language, the MALE ROBOT produces a series of unintelligible noises, a grinding and whirring of mechanical components. Similar to that of a TAPE DECK.

Puzzled, the FEMALE ROBOT makes an attempt to respond, only to create a similar collection of miscellaneous noises, this time more digital than analogue. Dial tones, computer alerts and other similar sounds.

Both characters repeatedly make an attempt to communicate, the FEMALE ROBOT getting more frustrated and confused as more and more unintelligible dialogue is exchanged. The noise gets out of hand, resembling some sort of argument. When the volume becomes too much, the TELEVISION SET chimes in, attempting to settle the situation.

The two ROBOTS settle down, although their confusion remains. The TELEVISION SET starts to play something. It is an advertisement for the MALE ROBOT, highlighting his various features, specifically, his ability to use CASSETTE TAPES. This gives the MALE ROBOT an idea. He gestures towards a form of TAPE DECK inset within his chest. A final series of mechanical whirring is heard, as the MALE ROBOT writes a collection of data to a CASSETTE TAPE.

The MALE ROBOT removes the CASSETTE TAPE. With a timid disposition, the MALE ROBOT begins to approach the FEMALE ROBOT once more, gesturing the CASSETTE TAPE towards her in an encouraging manner.

Perplexed once more, the FEMALE ROBOT shrugs, gesturing towards a collection of buttons on her chest. She presses one of the buttons, as a TRAY begins to extrude outwards.

The FEMALE ROBOT removes a COMPACT DISC from the TRAY, displaying it to the MALE ROBOT.

The MALE ROBOT, stunned, begins to recognize the incompatibility between the two of them. Disheartened and disappointed, he turns to walk away, giving up on this opportunity.

As the MALE ROBOT leaves, the TELEVISION SET tautens its POWER CABLE, trailing across the floor. The MALE ROBOT is tripped up, tumbling and staggering across the room. He finally collapses at the foot of a large shelf. Looking up from below, he sees a box begin to fall, landing on his head and spewing its contents across the floor. The box contained a plethora of CASSETTE TAPES, which provokes an epiphany in the MALE ROBOT.

The MALE ROBOT excitedly inserts one of the various CASSETTE TAPES into his personal TAPE DECK. He REWINDS the CASSETTE TAPE, generating the expected rewind noises and proceeds to press PLAY.


The MALE ROBOT proceeds to scrub throughout the CASSETTE TAPE, using the snippets of lyrics on the various songs to assemble rudimentary phrases and sentences, much like the TELEVISION SET.

The FEMALE ROBOT begins to understand the MALE ROBOT'S intentions, acknowledging his efforts to communicate and begins to warm up to him.

The MALE ROBOT, ecstatic that he has finally established some form of a connection, begins to dance along to the music he is producing, gesturing towards the FEMALE ROBOT in an attempt to get her to join in.

The FEMALE ROBOT, her attitude lifted, begins to move along with him.

The FEMALE ROBOT's dancing slows to a stop, as she begins to notice smoke pouring from the TAPE DECK of the MALE ROBOT

Distracted by the situation, the MALE ROBOT is oblivious to the smoke pouring out, until the music begins to warp and slow down to a stop.

The CASSETTE TAPE unspools, pouring from within the TAPE DECK. In a panic, the MALE ROBOT makes an attempt to repair the CASSETTE TAPE, but it is too late, the damage has been done.

Embarrassed and completely disheartened, the MALE ROBOT promptly turns his back to the FEMALE ROBOT, facing the camera.

Out of nowhere, the hand of the FEMALE ROBOT appears upon the shoulder of the MALE ROBOT. 

The MALE ROBOT turns around to see the FEMALE ROBOT holding another COMPACT DISC.

The FEMALE ROBOT inserts the COMPACT DISC and presses PLAY. The same music from before begins to play, continuing where the MALE ROBOT had left off.

Sensing the newly established connection between the two of them, the ROBOTS begin to dance, having finally determined a common language through music.


  1. I really love this script Steven! And I like the addition of the tv in this version. One thing, I'm not too sure about the bit when the television set tautens its cable. What if some clip comes up on the screen instead with an arrow of some sort e.g. neon arrow diner sign etc. This could then point to the tapes. What do you think?

  2. Hi Steve,

    Yes, there's still a bit of flabbiness in here re. the television set and the discovery of the tapes, and also I don't really understand the relationship between the tv and the robot; they should be buddies from the get go, so I don't really understand why the robot turns him off at the start or why the robot wakes up 'as if from a dream'. It makes more sense that both the tv and the robot are somehow a unit of friendship before the lady robot arrives. More than this, the television needs to be established as loyal to the robot, wanting the best for him, trying always to cheer him up. For example, the first scene could begin with the sad lonely robot being cheered up by the television; so, we encounter sad robot, and loyal tv companion. Tv doesn't like to see sad robot sad, so tv companion seeks to cheer him up with clips of jolly things; sad robot doesn't cheer up - sigh. Then lady robot appears - sad robot does cheers up, tv is pleased, but sad robot is shy, so tv wolf-whistles to kick things off, embarrassed, sad robot turns tv off etc. Think of it as a matchmaker story in this respect, with the TV playing cupid. In terms of the cassettes, can't we just see that there are lots of cassettes already in the scene and that the point of the eureka moment is not the existence of them, but rather the idea to play love songs - which is something the TV could show by playing adverts for Reader's Digest 'Favourite Love Song' collections or similar - the idea that music is the key, not the computer language?