POLARIZED- Script by Sam Ruano (with notes)

Again, I’m sorry I can’t figure out how to transfer the formatting into this blog entry, but here’s Sam’s final script for POLARIZED with SOME formatting included.


HOLMES INC. – “Polarized” by Sam Ruano

===========PAGE 1: FOUR PANELS

1 – EXT: SOUTH POLE – DAY———————————————–

WIDE – no border OTS of EDGAR, ELIZABETH AND NUMBER TWO
casting shadows over the curled CORPSE of a dead woman. She
isn’t wearing a jacket and most of her exposed skin is
covered in snow drift. Number Two can’t bear to look.

CAPTION 1
Trans-Antarctic mountain Range.

CAPTION 2
Present day.

2 – EXT: SOUTH POLE – DAY———————————————

CLOSE UP Of ELIZABETH’S gloved THUMB pulling down the skin
beneath the corpse’s eye. The nose and mouth appear frost
bitten and her skin is pulled taut as if she died screaming.

3 – EXT: SOUTH POLE – CONTINUOUS——————————-

Reverse Angle TWO SHOT high contrast – Elizabeth crouches
down to examine the BODY. Number TWO looks on.

NUMBER TWO
Good Lord, she’s frozen solid.

ELIZABETH
Ecchymosis occurred post mortem, I
reckon.
(cont)
Edgar? What’re you thinking?

4 – EXT: SOUTH POLE – CONTINUOUS——————————–

Edgar focuses deeply, head cocked, hand to chin/bottom lip,
one eyebrow slightly raised, studies the body closely.

EDGAR
Contorted expression, distended
jaw, bloodshot eyes.
(cont)
This woman did not die of
exposure…

=============================PAGE 2 – FIVE PANELS

CAPTION
(top left)
“She died of RAGE”.

HOLMES INC. – “Polarized” by Sam Ruano

1 – EXT: RESEARCH STATION – DAY——————————

PAGE WIDTH LONG SHOT – They approach the research station.
The industrial shelter resembles a wide hangar. There are
fuel tanks and oil drums next to the structure along with
antennae and sat dishes. A Snow Cat is parked to the side.

ELIZABETH
What exactly are we fixin’ at
here?.
(cont)
The Madrid Protocol banned mining
in this region years ago.

NUMBER TWO
Our services are being offered as a
personal favor to very dear friend.

2 – EXT. RESEARCH STATION————————————————

TWO SHOT – Elizabeth, incredulous, Looks back at Number Two.
Edgar, standing behind her, is surprised by her candor.

ELIZABETH
(with contempt)
Not because Holmes Inc happens to
be a principal shareholder?

3 – EXT: RESEARCH STATION——————————————-

CLOSE-UP of Number Two – below eye level.
doesn’t like the implication.

Reserved but he

NUMBER TWO
Good people are in peril. I should
think that would be sufficient.
(cont)
Wouldn’t you agree?

4- EXT: RESEARCH STATION——————————————-

MEDIUM PROFILE – Dark foreground, side lit – Elizabeth is not
convinced. Edgar and Number Two disappear into the shelter.

THOUGHT CAPTION
(suspicious)
You can put your boots in the oven
but that don’t make ’em biscuits.

============================PAGE 3: FIVE PANELS

1 – INT. COMMUNICATIONS BAY – DAY—————————-

OVER HEAD SHOT – Looking down on all three amid a room in
shambles. Torn schematics on the walls, smashed monitors,
consoles and overturned chairs.

2 – INT. COMMUNICATIONS BAY – DAY——————————-

TWO SHOT- of Edgar and Elizabeth inspecting the wreckage.

ELIZABETH
Whatever came through here must’ve
been madder an’ a whompus cat.

EDGAR
As colorful as that sounds,
whatever is responsible-

3 – INT. INDUSTRIAL SHAFT – CONTINUOUS———————————

LONG SHOT- Looking twenty feet up at all three standing at an
observation window from a wide open industrial shaft. Number
Two ponders cross armed with one hand on his mouth. The shaft
is an ice wall lined with beams, pipes and rigging.

EDGAR
-lies within the belly of your
proverbial beast.

4 – INT. INDUSTRIAL SHAFT———————————————-

EXTREME CLOSE UP Number TWO on EDGAR’S communication watch.

NUMBER TWO
I’m afraid you’ll have to push on
in the dark while I work on
restoring power. Godspeed.

5 – INT. INDUSTRIAL SHAFT——————————————

MEDIUM CLOSE UP of EDGAR- We see him from the waist up
leaning back in mid rappel. He holds the rope in one hand
and a lit flare in the other.

EDGAR
Lasciate ogne speranza, voi
ch’intrate

=========================PAGE 4: FIVE PANELS

1 – INT. INDUSTRIAL SHAFT—————————————-

TALL PANEL – Edgar, still clipped in, has just reached the
bottom While Elizabeth is a few feet from touching down. The
flare gives the shaft an eerie glow.

ELIZABETH
No idea what you just said but if
it means we’re on the Devil’s
doormat…
(cont)
I concur.

EDGAR
The entrance has been barricaded.
The question is, to keep someone
out or to trap something in.

2 – INT. INDUSTRIAL SHAFT————————————————-

MEDIUM TWO SHOT – Elizabeth steps out of her harness in the
background while Edgar uses the circuit conduits on his exo
gloves to release a LASER WAVE into the wall of ROCK DEBRIS.

EDGAR
A low electro burst should loosen
enough debris to clear a path.

3 – INT. INDUSTRIAL SHAFT——————————————-

CLOSE on ELECTRIC PLASMA waves creating a CRACK in the ice
beneath Elizabeth’s feet. She teeters backwards helplessly
trying to regain her balance.

ELIZABETH
EDGAR, STOP! The ice is…

SFX
CRRRACK!
Panels four and five are split across the width equally.

4 – INT. ICE CREVASSE————————————————

WIDE PANEL – Dynamic angle of Elizabeth in a panic. She
reaches out towards us as gravity swallows her whole body
through the ice into a deep crevasse. ICE SHARDS fall around.

5 – INT. INDUSTRIAL SHAFT—————————————-

SMALLER PANEL CLOSE UP reverse angle of panel four. EDGAR
frantically reaches out with one hand extended over the lip
of the crevasse.

EDGAR
(shouts)
ELIZABETH!

===============================PAGE 5: FIVE PANELS

1 – INT. ICE TUNNEL – CONTINUOUS——————————–

WIDE SHOT – Elizabeth drops from a crack in the ceiling and
hits the ground hard on her back. This hurts and it shows.

SFX

SMACK!

2 – INT. ICE TUNNEL————————————

MEDIUM SHOT – ELIZABETH sits up wincing from the pain. She
rubs her aching head and looks up towards the hole in the
ceiling. Light shines down, bathing her in a pool of light.

ELIZABETH
(shouts)
I’m OK.

THOUGHT BUBBLE
Sore as a sinners saddle but OK.

3 – INT. SCIENCE LAB————————————-

LONG SHOT – Elizabeth holds a flare. Science lab, lots of
tech equipment. LARGE SPECIMEN CASES on Work tables. The word
LIAR is written repeatedly on the wall in smeared blood. DEAD
CREW MEMBERS LITTER THE FLOOR peeking in and out of shadows.

4 – INT. SCIENCE LAB – CONTINUOUS————————————-

CLOSE UP – PROFILE of Elizabeth looking into a SPECIMEN CASE
and talking into her cracked communication watch. Inside the
CASE is an organism that looks like a scorpion/starfish
suspended in a block of ice. WAY up in the corner of the
panel we see the tip of an appendage sneaking in.

ELIZABETH
Ho-lee, you are going to want to
see this.

5 – INT. SCIENCE LAB – CONTINUOUS—————————-

MEDIUM CLOSE UP of appendage reaching out from the darkness
and painfully stinging Elizabeth in the back of the neck. Her
head whips back in searing pain.

=============================PAGE 6: FIVE PANELS

1 – INT. ICE TUNNEL – MOMENTS LATER———————-

WIDE SHOT – We see a curled up body on the ground against a
wall in deep contrast from the light pooling in from around
the corner. Edgar’s shadow is cast against the opposite wall.
The edge of the bodies face reveals deep TERROR.

EDGAR (O.S.)
(shouts)
ELIZABETH

2 – INT. ICE TUNNEL – CONTINUOUS—————————

MEDIUM CLOSE OTS Edgar examines the curled up body. His face
is turned slightly as though addressing someone he can’t see.

EDGAR
There you are. See here, this man
died of absolute-

3 – INT – ICE TUNNEL———————————-

WIDE DYNAMIC SHOT Elizabeth comes FLYING out of nowhere with
her arms wrapped around EDGAR laying huge SMOOCH ON HIM.
EDGAR has a SHOCKED expression on his face.

4 – INT – ICE TUNNEL——————————————–

MEDIUM SHOT – EDGAR SHOVES her off. It doesn’t even phase
Elizabeth. She just stares at him with EXTREME LUST. Her
pupils are so dilated you can’t see the white.

ELIZABETH
(lasciviosly)
C’mon Eddie. Want a little taste?
(cont)
Mmmm… I know I do.

5 – INT. ICE TUNNEL———————————-

WIDE OTS – Elizabeth is poised to attack. A GIANT PARASITE
has attached itself to the back of her neck. Huge crab like
tentacles protrude outward. Edgar’s adrenaline surges.

EDGAR
Elizabeth, you’ve been infected!
Let me help you.

ELIZABETH
Wrong answer.

THOUGHT CAPTION
If I focus the current it should
generate a charge strong enough to
overload her neuro receptors…

===========================PAGE 7: FOUR PANELS

1 – INT. ICE TUNNEL—————————-

WIDE PROFILE SPLASH – ELIZABETH on top of Edgar. He lays his
hand on her forehead and ZAPS her. ELECTRICITY fills the air.

THOUGHT CAPTION
-Or kill her in the process.

SFX
ZZZZRAAKKK!

Elizabeth’s head whips back in pain. The Parasite unlatches.

2 – EXT. DEER STALKER – DAY—————————————

Flying over a the antarctic mountains

CAPTION 1
Hours later…

3 – INT – DEERSTALKER LATER——————————————-

LARGE WIDE SHOT – Elizabeth is in the foreground lying down.
Edgar and Number Two pilot the plane. A mountain range is
partially visible from the cockpit.

EDGAR
…They contracted a parasite that
invades the amygdala, an area of
the brain that controls emotion.
(cont)
Causing the host to display
primitive raw emotion.
(cont)
She’ll be fine after a good rest.

NUMBER TWO
The risk is too great. I’m ordering
the mine be destroyed immediately.

4 – INT. DEER STALKER——————————————-

WIDE – Elizabeth in the foreground. Her eyes are open, she’s
heard it all. Edgar looks back at her with a slight smirk.

NUMBER TWO
Elizabeth was right. Some things
are meant to stay buried.

THE END—————————

=============================================

 

NOTES:  It reads terrifically, with just the right amount of dialog, just the right amount of movement, and tension.  Fun!  Can’t wait to see what Gibson does with it.  My ONE note would be this:  Give me a SMALL explanation of what the creature is and where it came from.  A tossaway line about a million year old pre-Jurassic creature long frozen, or a mutated life form created in a lab…something so that the monster’s appearance isn’t treated as unremarkable.  Otherwise, I love it.

“Polarized”
Story synopsis by Sam Ruano

Holmes Inc has been called down to the South Pole to investigate a strange disappearance of a group of scientists at a mining facility deep within the trans-Antarctic mountain range. Elizabeth takes issue with being called in to help a private corporation after learning that Holmes inc. is a principal shareholder. Number two argues the potential benefits for mankind. Elizabeth accuses him of hiding behind progress to make profit. Edgar only agreed to tag along because it allows him to try out Artie’s new exo-suit.

When they arrive they are greeted by the frozen remains of one of a scientist who Elizabeth determines has died of dehydration. There’s no sign of the crew. The elevators and main communication station has been disabled.

Number two stays back to get comms back online with Artie’s remote help while Elizabeth and Edgar rappel down the central shaft to access the central core.

Upon arriving they find the entrance to the mine has been barricaded from the outside. Elizabeth, still reeling over her argument with number two, accuses Edgar of taking sides. Edgar is too preoccupied clearing debris with the exo-suit to listen.
Edgar accidentally over powers the suit causing a collapse that sends Elizabeth sliding down a crevasse into chamber on the other side. She’s alright and tells to Edgar to stay put while she goes to look for the missing science team.

As Elizabeth goes exploring she encounters the scientists bodies. As she approaches a body she realizes it has been hideously mutated into some kind of creature capable of dislocating his jaw wide enough to lash out at her with an oral appendage. Elizabeth tries to fight it off but is quickly over powered and dragged off.

Edgar has lost her signal and works furiously to clear the debris. When he gets on the other side. He follows the path and finds Elizabeth suspended in a giant Hydra like organism. Edgar engages the creature. They fight. Edgar shines exo-suits infra red light on the creature and manages to burn it long enough to release Elizabeth. Edgar carries Elizabeth to safety sealing the mine  entrance with an avalanche.

At the surface, Elizabeth comes to after being re-hydrated. Edgar deduces that this was a prehistoric parasite that fed off of moisture. Number two orders them to blast seal the mine and decides that mankind is not ready for this much progress.

Act one
Holmes is sent in to rescue trapped miners

Act two
Elevators have been disabled.

ACT Three
Miners have become paranoid and have barricaded themselves in the mine.

Act Four
Miners have been infected by a biological virus that’s been trapped in the ice for millions of years.

Act Five
Surviving Miners are saved when they are exposed to UV light.

—I had a few concerns myself that perhaps you could help me with.

One- I’m worried that the story may be too different than my original pitch which more closely resembled “The Thing”.
two- I need to find ways to implement more Holmesian deduction somewhere. (When finding the first victim and perhaps when defeating the ‘monster”

Also- since there are a lot of exo-suits and monsters stories already i was wondering if I should change anything.

NOTES:

Well, here’s my first reaction.  The new script is missing my two favorite things from the original script.  Literally my two favorite things.

1)  I loved the idea of someone they described as dying “…from rage”.  That’s a great opening beat.
2)  The moment where Elizabeth suddenly, ravenously attacks Edgar with kisses, while under the influence of the parasite.

Your concerns about not wanting to replicate things in the other stories is unwarranted.  The mind-control elements in both Artificial Intelligence and Mind Spiders isn’t a similar enough beat to worry me.  I liked your original story so much better with those two moments listed above, and it feels a little pedestrian without them.  Please put ’em back, I implore you.

Let the readers worry about the recurring themes in the whole issue, you worry about making your story excellent.  And you know, I considered the Mind-Control, and emotional elements of your original story when I created the running order and without those beats in the script, I might have to shuffle the story to another spot.  (It required holding the story back towards the back of the issue, to strongly establish Elizabeth in earlier stories so that her behavior in both your and Aaron’s stories would be more shocking…).

Ty the Guy

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  1. March 28, 2011 at 3:31 am

    There’s a lot of great stuff in here Sam. Congrats. You write a fantastic Elizabeth. I’m particularly fond of the line “You can put your boots in the oven but that don’t make ‘em biscuits.”

    Well done. Can’t wait to see the art start to pour in for this!

  2. March 28, 2011 at 11:54 am

    Love it Sam. You boldy jump ahead in time from panel to panel but leave your reader with all they need to keep up. An important when you’ve only got seven pages. – Pinc (Rob)

  3. March 28, 2011 at 4:52 pm

    Wow Sam, the script is a great read! At the beginning of this process, I thought to myself that with seven pages, it is gonna be hard to write a complete story without it feeling rushed or edited down. I didn’t feel the sense of either while reading this — kudos to you. As an artist, I was also able to picture every scene/panel clearly without wondering “how the heck do I gonna draw this?!”

    I agree with James. Elizabeth’s lines (and Edgar’s and No.2’s, for that matter) are wonderfully written, characterizing them beautifully!

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