Wednesday, 16 October 2013

Minor Project: 'Incompatibility' Screenplay Version Five

'Incompatibility' Screenplay Version Five

This is yet another revision of my screenplay for Incompatibility, taking into account feedback I had received on the last revision.
The major changes to this version are the addition of dialogue in the form of infomercials and advertisements, as well as a further fleshing out of the second act and the various slapstick elements.
I'm yet to settle on a third 'mishap' for the Male Robot character in the second act, but the current two give an idea of the direction I am heading in with them.
I've also settled on a name for the Female Robot character. She is now known as Tidy-Heidi, inspired partially by the idea of appliances being given human names, notably, Henry the Hoover.
The screenplay is still fairly unrefined, but its getting close now. I plan to have this in a somewhat final form this week, meaning that I can get on with storyboarding and creating an animatic as soon as possible. I can always make additions further along the pipeline as long as its nothing too major.

'Incompatibility' (Working Title) Version 06



ESTABLISHING SHOT displaying the ELECTRONICS STORE, in desolate street of other long forgotten sources of consumer history.

CLOSE IN on a TELEVISION AERIAL mounted to the roof of the store. The camera follows the cable down the side of the building, fading through the wall to the interior of the shop, continuing to follow the cable.


Still following the cable, the camera PANS 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 A plethora of outdated and redundant electronic equipment from throughout the 20th Century litters the shelves, from floor to ceiling. 

The camera slows to a stop, revealing that it is connected to an old and outdated TELEVISION SET, reminiscent of classic Bakelite television sets.

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 camera PULLS BACK to reveal a lonely MALE ROBOT, the last functioning model of his kind, seen viewing the TELEVISION SET. The MALE ROBOT functions through a series of CASSETTE TAPES, used for to provide him with functionality and instructions for executing preset commands. These tapes are inserted into a TAPE DECK situated in the MALE ROBOT'S chest. In his past life, the MALE ROBOT served as an autonomous multipurpose housekeeper. Each household task had a corresponding CASSETTE TAPE, with the MALE ROBOT being required to insert and play each specific one before a particular task could be fulfilled. When there isn't a CASSETTE TAPE in place, the MALE ROBOT is lost, without purpose or direction. He is still sentient and able to move freely, but he is void of any desires or free will. He simply exists to serve, waiting idle for commands. 

The TELEVISION SET is the MALE ROBOT'S only loyal companion, constantly making an effort to keep the lonely robot in high spirits. 

The TELEVISION SET flicks through channels, in an attempt to entertain the MALE ROBOT. The MALE ROBOT only shrugs, shakes his head and sighs with every channel change.

In a final effort to cheer up the lonely MALE ROBOT, the TELEVISION SET changes channel to display an advertisement, highlighting the many features of the MALE ROBOT. Recognising the audio, the MALE ROBOT turns back to view the advertisement.

Coming home after a hard days work, only to be greeted by an abundance of chores and and housework?
Feel as though you could really do with an extra pair of hands around the house?
Well now, worry no more, with a brand new, all purpose, household helping hand!
Introducing the MALE ROBOT from Hygienotech!
The MALE ROBOT takes the stress and strain out of home maintenance and family care.
With a wide selection of pre-assigned roles, the MALE ROBOT can handle any tasks you may have.
Simply insert one of the twelve supplied CASSETTE TAPES into MALE ROBOT'S central unit, and press PLAY! MALE ROBOT will get to work within seconds! 
Your husband's boss coming round for dinner? Not a worry! MALE ROBOT is a culinary virtuoso! Insert the 'Chef' CASSETTE and presto! Haute cuisine without lifting a finger!
Oh no! Rover's treading mud through the house again! MALE ROBOT is on the job! Using the 'Janitor' CASSETTE, muddy paw prints will be a thing of the past!
Even little Timmy benefits from MALE ROBOT, with the included 'Encyclopaedia' CASSETTE, no longer will Timmy struggle to get his homework done on time!
And when its time to get to bed, simply remove MALE ROBOT'S CASSETTE and he'll wait patiently for his next opportunity to serve. 
Its as if he hasn't got a mind of his own!
The MALE ROBOT; your emotion-free, butler-to-be!

The MALE ROBOT turns away from the TELEVISION SET in disdain, as he begins to thumb through his collection of CASSETTE TAPES, waiting hopelessly for an excuse to use one of them.

The TELEVISION SET, recognizing the MALE ROBOT'S sadness, attempts to find something more uplifting for him to watch. The TELEVISION SET flicks through Saturday morning cartoons, stand up comedy and slapstick movies from the 1940's, but nothing appears to cheer up the MALE ROBOT. The MALE ROBOT turns to leave the workbench when suddenly, their attention is drawn elsewhere. 

Note on Style: If relating to previous ideas of the electronics shop being similar in appearance to that of an 80's singles bar, I would have the MALE ROBOT sat at a workbench resembling a bar, with the TELEVISION SET fixed above the workbench on the wall. 

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 MALE ROBOT. 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. She appears to serve a similar purpose to the MALE ROBOT, although she is a far more advanced model. 

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, having not seen another robot for goodness knows how long, let alone such a beautiful one, the MALE ROBOT hoists himself up promptly, unearthing himself 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 switches channel, displaying Tex Avery's iconic 'Howling Wolf' animation, attracting the attention of the FEMALE ROBOT. Shocked and embarrassed, the MALE ROBOT immediately switches the TELEVISION SET off, and reverts back to playing it cool.

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 switches itself back on and flicks through various channels, stopping on an advertisement for the FEMALE ROBOT. 

The MALE ROBOT'S attention is shaken, as he turns to view the TELEVISION SET once again.

Introducing the next revolution in home maintenance and family care from Hygienotech: TIDY-HEIDI!
TIDY-HEIDI is the latest model in our popular line of lifestyle assistance automatons.
Functioning in the same way as our previous models, but now with considerable improvements.
In our previous models, the CASSETTE TAPE mechanism was known to fail periodically, 
but now this is a thing of the past, as TIDY-HEIDI uses the far more reliable format of COMPACT DISCS.
No more will your housework be interrupted by intermittent breakdowns or inconvenient fires.
Not to mention, HEIDI is far more improved in every other way, not only in terms of functionality, but appearance too. 
She has been drastically redesigned to breath a sense of class and modernity into your home. Who ever said housework can't be stylish?
Once TIDY-HEIDI enters your life, you'll wonder how you ever lived without her!

Stunned, and a little envious, the MALE ROBOT turns back to look at TIDY-HEIDI. 

The TELEVISION SET picks up on the unease of the situation, and encourages the MALE ROBOT to approach the FEMALE ROBOT, through means of footage of encouragement from various samples of film and television shows.

The MALE ROBOT unfamiliar with this new scenario, hesitates, thumbing through his collection of CASSETTE TAPES in search of an appropriate action. 

He cautiously settles on his 'Waiter' CASSETTE TAPE. He removes it from his collection and inserts in into his TAPE DECK. Immediately, his back straightens and his head tips upwards, as his right arm crosses his chest and his left is outstretched in front of him. A towel ejects from his right forearm, as if it were paper from a fax machine, as the palm of his left hand begins to grind and dispense black pepper.

The FEMALE ROBOT tilts her head in confusion, attempting to make sense of the MALE ROBOT'S intentions. 

The MALE ROBOT continues to display the features of his 'Waiter' CASSETTE TAPE.

A plate is ejected from his central unit. Although, as he goes to retrieve it, his arm jams up. Struggling to free his arm, he frantically pulls at it with the other, until it finally comes free. The force hurls the plate across the room towards TIDY-HEIDI. She ducks out of frame in a panic, narrowly avoiding the airborne plate, as it shatters against the wall behind her. 

She stands up once again, moderately perturbed at the MALE ROBOT'S sudden aggression towards her, unaware that it was completely accidental.

The MALE ROBOT begins to panic, flailing his arms apologetically in an attempt to explain himself.

Noticing the FEMALE ROBOT'S irritation, the MALE ROBOT shy's away, only to be encouraged further by the TELEVISION SET'S jostling. He makes another attempt, this time swapping over to his 'Gardener' CASSETTE TAPE. 

The MALE ROBOT once again begins to transform. This time, his feet become the rotary blades of a manual lawnmower, whilst his hands transform separately, once becoming HEDGE-CLIPPERS, the other becoming a HOSE PIPE NOZZLE.

TIDY-HEIDI looks on, still somewhat on edge from their last encounter. 

The MALE ROBOT demonstrates the HOSE PIPE, spraying away from TIDY-HEIDI. He continues to do so, until once again, there is a jam.

In an attempt to fix the jam, the MALE ROBOT tries to use his other hand once again, forgetting that this time he is wielding HEDGE-CLIPPERS instead.

He accidentally severs the HOSE PIPE, causing a torrent of water to come spewing out, soaking TIDY-HEIDI and throwing the MALE ROBOT back across the room and over the work bench.

The TELEVISION SET looks down upon the now soaked and battered MALE ROBOT, and displays the opening few seconds of the Beach Boys' 'Wipe Out' in response (

TIDY-HEIDI, gradually reaching boiling point, makes an attempt to dry herself off, whilst the MALE ROBOT hauls himself up from behind the workbench.

The MALE ROBOT, now in somewhat of a panic, begins to rifle through his collection. Swapping from one CASSETTE TAPE to the other, from role to role, in the hopes of finding a role that the FEMALE ROBOT responds positively to.

She remains confused and irritable, as the MALE ROBOT begins to give up.

The TELEVISION SET, distressed, switches to another channel, this time suggesting that the MALE ROBOT should make an attempt to talk to her.

The MALE ROBOT reverts back to his default form, and heeding the suggestion of the TELEVISION SET, takes a step towards the FEMALE ROBOT. He attempts to generate some confidence and makes an attempt to speak to her.

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 makes one last attempt to help his friend. He changes channel, showing an advertisement for a 'Greatest Love Songs of the 80's' compilation CASSETTE TAPE. The MALE ROBOT glances at the TELEVISION SET. The advertisement inspires him to try one more thing.

Looking through his collection of CASSETTE TAPES once more, he stumbles upon an irregular CASSETTE TAPE, one which he had never noticed, let alone used before. As if it was never in his possession at all. It is different to the others in appearance, transparent and scrawled in marker pen and faded stickers. 
Curious and more or less out of options, the MALE ROBOT hesitantly inserts the CASSETTE TAPE, at the suggestion of the TELEVISION SET. He rewinds the CASSETTE TAPE and cautiously presses PLAY.



Music begins to emanate from the MALE ROBOT, much to his surprise. As with the other CASSETTE TAPES, this completely transforms his personality, but instead of shifting shape to serve a purpose, he begins to dance. Disconnecting from his existing inhibitions and releasing his suppressed, hidden desires of free will. 

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.

The MALE ROBOT collapses to the ground, frantically rummaging through his collection of CASSETTE TAPES in an attempt to find another CASSETTE TAPE containing music, but he only finds his preset CASSETTE TAPES.

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.

The TELEVISION SET, ecstatic that the two ROBOTS have finally established a connection, begins to rhythmically change channels, creating an effect similar to that of a disco.

Other relics of technology begin to join in, with lamps flashing on and off, alarm clocks chiming, hairdryers switching on and off and a wide variety of other bits and bobs, all interacting in beat with the music.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Steve,

    'Tidy-Heidi' made me laugh 'out loud' :) Time to give your male-robot a name too using this same formula - 'Handy-Andy'? In terms of the wooing-via-cassette-modes sequence, I think that still needs work because the gardener one doesn't quite make sense in terms of an obvious choice. Also - there's lots of action implied there - and you do have to make all of it happen. Can I suggest that you power through into the animatic stage because I'm keen for you to translate some of the implied complexity of your scenes into 'easy viewing'. I don't think the Tidy-Heidi advertisement needs to as extended as all of that, because the 'Handy-Andy' ad has already taught us the concept, so I suggest you look at a way of making that punchier. Anyway - the key thing now is 'easy watching' - so do what you have to do get us 'looking' at your story now asap. Onwards, Steve :)