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NIGHT DRIVES

Written by
Ryan Dunford

Adapted from Objects In The Rear-View Mirror
By Matthew Holland

1022892
Final Draft
03/06/2016

FADE IN:
INT. TAXI - NOON
REAR VIEW MIRROR.
Busy five PM peak hour traffic. The suns dipping slowly.
Commuters on their way home, but not everyone. On the
dashboard, a dusty plastic case hides the point blank mug
shot of a man in his forties with dark features, beside the
case; ID# 63782 GEORGE M. TSAKIS, VALLEY CABS. ON-THE -GO!
A hand swiftly maneuvers the steering wheel round a corner
sending the five o’clock shadow into a flickering frenzy
throughout the cab. No passenger in this one yet. Windows are
up, gliding by the neon lit BARS, PUBS and EATERIES.
FM RADIO DJ (V.O)
It's five past five on Kick.FM with
your host J.J. Romantic tunes for a
smooth Friday night. It's going to
be a long night for you graveyard
shifters out there and we got the
hits. But first a word from our
sponsors.
An eight-ball dangles from the rear-view mirror as the
vehicle halts at a red light. Out the window is BOMBAY CAFE,
a mini Taj-Mahal trash palace with an intruding OPEN ALL
NIGHT! Green light. The taxi gently drives on.
FM RADIO DJ (V.O) (CONT’D)
Love song dedi-mi-cations.s? Give
us a call. Gotta jam for your loved
one
INT- GEORGE’S CAB, ARROWSMITH STREET - NOON
The vehicle takes a slight bend as a tacky 80’S RnB BALLAD
plays, the taxi is in cruise mode, out of the concrete jungle
and into a shadowy, calmer pocket of inner city suburbia with
tree lined streets and neighbourhood kids out on the street.
A GIRL on a scooter stops to give a big GRIN and a WAVE to
the yellow vehicle, who reciprocates the greeting with the
sound of two soft taps of the HORN.
The taxi slows right down, gently turning into a driveway.
DRIVER
Eighty-eighty. Lucky eighty-eight.
A left hand, no rings, twists the volume knob down.

2.

88 Arrowsmith is as easy on the eyes as it sounds. A cozybrick layed townhouse, neat lawns and the only house in the
street with its outdoor lights on. The woman who steps out is
a treat on the eyes too. Out from the gate, SIMONE (leggy
blonde, thirty-five, Kim Basinger features) with a smile
worth a pretty penny. She walks comfortably in heels and
black stockings and a tight fighting short dress. The driver
is GEORGE, late forties with receding hair; substantially
older than his ID photo. George gets out to open her door.
GEORGE
Miss Simone. Happy Friday.
SIMONE
Mister George. Hello.
It’s nice to see you. Beautiful
arvo isn’t it?
George opens the back door behind him.
GEORGE
After you.
SIMONE
George. There’s no need to get out
for me.
GEORGE
I’m trialling a new loyalty kinda
thing. Customer rewards.
Simone slinks into the back seat like a starlet. George
starts the metre and the RED DIGITAL LED clocks at $0.00
ready for a trip. George stretches round to Simone with a
wide eyed look and grin to match.
GEORGE (CONT’D)
What’s on for tonight? The usual?
SIMONE
The usual it is. I wish I could
tell you different Georgie.
GEORGE
Ah, I know the feeling. Good old
Friday’s
SIMONE
Busy Friday night you think?
GEORGE
Last few Friday’s haven’t been as
busy. The usual drunk lot. Out of
towners. People with places to go,
things to do. Possibly Uber cutting
our grass. Hard to keep up.

3.

SIMONE
I’m behind the times. I don’t know
even what Uber is, but, I can say,
you are hands down, the best driver
in town.
GEORGE
Backseat confessionals like no
other.
SIMONE
I do look forward to our
confessionals Georgie. You know me
better than anyone. It’s quite
true.
GEORGE
Is that so?
(remembers)
Oh. By the way. There’s mints and a
water in the back there, in my
backseat pocket.
Simone delightfully peels the back pocket open.
SIMONE
George! See this is why you’re the
best. And you got cherry-flavoured
mints.
GEORGE
What did I say? Customer rewards.
Gotta keep you coming back.
SIMONE
You’re a gem George, a true gem.
RADIO D.J (V.O.)
Arvo love song dedi-mi-cations.
Gotta love a bit of Whitney. Up
next.
On the radio, Whitney Houston’s ‘I Will Always Love You’
begins.
SIMONE’S POV
George refrains eye contact. He is uncomfortable.
SIMONE
Isn’t this-Awkwardness.
GEORGE
I thought you may have forgotten.

4.

SIMONE
I should have kept quiet.
GEORGE
The vows. Marika’s wedding vows.
The one’s she forced me to
rehearse.
(Sarcastically)
And she left me.
Simone politely chuckles to herself, not wanting to offend
George.
SIMONE
(cooes)
Poor thing.
GEORGE
Awful. Left me at the altar with
the wedding bill and a commitment
phobia. I loathe weddings.
Looks at Simone in rearview mirror.
GEORGE (CONT’D)
May I? Please..
SIMONE
(laughs)
Go for it. Do whatever you like.
George changes the FM station. He comes to an orange traffic
light. He is tense. The light goes red. He stops. He goes to
speak but Simone cuts him off before he can even start the
sentence.
SIMONE (CONT’D)
Speaking of awkward situations, I
had an awful one last Friday. Just
awful.
George looks at Simone in the rearview. He is uneasy.
GEORGE
Yeah?
SIMONE
Middle aged man. Top job. Public
profile. Wife. Two kids. Has it
all. Still wants more. I just don’t
get it George. I really don’t.
George’s demeanor changes and he appears uncomfortable.

5.

SIMONE (CONT’D)
He wanted to suck my toes George.
Like, massage my feet- my foot, one
at a time, and suck on my toes like
some sort of perverted infant manchild.
Green traffic light. George drives on. He looks like he
doesn’t want to hear it. He’s being polite.
GEORGE
Geeze.
SIMONE
I mean. People have their kinks,
some of the other girls tell me
some horror stories. I’m one of the
lucky ones.
GEORGE
Right.
SIMONE
It makes me think; what am I doing
with my life? Who lives like this?
Where am I headed?
GEORGE
We’re in the business of
transactions, that’s what it is. I
take people from A to B. Fill in
their between. Your ‘interpersonal’
transactions, they are the same
kinda thing. We seem to be the
people in between the origin and
the destination. A to B. I don’t
know what B is, but hell, we’ll
find out one day right?
George looks into the rearview mirror.
GEORGES POV.
Simone looks at George right in the eyes, darting through the
reflection of the rear view mirror.
SIMONE
A to B. Somewhere lots in the
middle.
George looks back at Simone before looking catching the
traffic lights change from orange to red.
GEORGE
Well
(nervous)
(MORE)

6.
GEORGE (CONT'D)
Maybe we can help each other get
there.

Simone nods. Uncertain. It’s a tense atmosphere inside the
vehicle. George is sweating. Beads of sweat bubbled onto his
brows and upper lip. He patiently watches the traffic lights.
They turn green.
GEORGE (CONT’D)
You know Simone. We-We have spent two years in my cab,
driving back and forth a few nights
a week. What do you say we get out
of here sometime and go someplace
else?
SIMONE
Outside of here?
Knot in his stomach. Lump in his throat.
GEORGE
A drink? Dinner?
SIMONE
Like a date?
Make or break moment. George wants to chuck.
GEORGE
Customer rewards. For my top
passenger.
Simone smiles.
SIMONE
I like that idea a lot George. That
would be nice.
George is smitten. Looks instantly relieved. The two eyeball
each other via the rear view mirror when George accidentally
changes lanes without indicating. A LOUD HORN from the car
behind him breaks the spell between them. George goes beet
red.
GEORGE
Jesus-fucking. Dammit.
Sorry.
Simone erupts into laughter. George tries to play it cool.
Silence pervades. Bad FM music. George must break it.
GEORGE (CONT’D)
What time do you knock off tonight?
Usual time?
SIMONE
One am.

7.

GEORGE
You know, I’ve put in enough hours
the past fortnight. I can sign out
early, pick you up and we can go to
a late night joint?
SIMONE
George, you don’t need to break a
leg.
GEORGE
It’s really no problem. Bombay’s is
open all night. Indian joint near
yours. My shout.
SIMONE
Bombay’s sounds great.
The taxi pulls up at a dimly lit concrete slab of a building.
Discreetness, quiet part of town. George stops the meter at
$37.80. He turns to Simone.
GEORGE
Thirty bucks. Your safety, my bad
driving and equally bad mouth
warrants a discounted fare.
Simone gives him a ‘you shouldn’t have’ kind of look, handing
him her mastercard.
SIMONE
Always a good time Georgie.
George processes the transaction.
GEORGE
For you.
He hands her the card.
SIMONE
Thank you driver.
George sits there in a daze watching her store her cards away
before bursting out from his side and round to Simone’s side,
opening her door.
GEORGE
I almost forgot.
Simone gets out of the cab.
GEORGE (CONT’D)
I’ll pick you at one. I’ll be
waiting, right here.

8.

SIMONE
One a.m.
(pause)
You enjoy your shift.
George begins to walk back to his side.
GEORGE
(grinning)
Always. I’ll see you soon.
He gets in the car. Simone watches him drive off into the
distance.
INT. BOMBAY’S CAFE - NIGHT
A cheap plastic clock with the hands at 1:20 sit above George
and Simone who sit opposite each other. Simone is gazing the
rather large plastic menu card. George is holding a menu card
too, but is distracted by the fact Simone is sitting opposite
him. His eyes flicker between her and the menu. Simone is
‘umming’ to herself.
GEORGE
The saffron rice is great.
SIMONE
Saffron rice? Is that a main dish.
GEORGE
Oh. Um. No, it’s a side.
Awkwardness.
GEORGE (CONT’D)
Did you want a water?

Yes.

SIMONE

GEORGE (CONT’D)
Water. Ill-- pour you. Glass.

SIMONE
Oh--Um. Yes. Please

Disastrous. Silence prevails.
INT. BOMBAY’S CAFE - LATER
The clock is now at 1:55. With half eaten dessert dishes at
each end of the table, more exciting than what’s going
between the two people at the table; nothing. Simone is
fidgeting with the wine glass between her fingers, yawning.
The SHOP OWNER approaches them to clear the table.
GEORGE
Excuse me. May we get the bill?


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