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Peace and Other Stories

Fragments of a Formerly Active Sex Life

Shooting Permit
by Julian X  /  scripts  /  20 Jul 2007

This story runs 24 pages.  It occurs after the events of Peace and shows Irene on a mission in Los Angeles in early 1984.  The story jumps around a lot temporally, intermixing Irene’s actions with her victim’s and the context of the assassination.  The story also mixes Hollywood with murder -- which is always fun --, and the title reflects this:  a “shooting permit” is a city-granted permit to film in a public area, but here it also refers to Irene’s “license to kill.”

This story was written in the afternoon and evening of Friday, 7 June 2002.

Page 1
1.          A large, tier-wide shot of the Los Angeles valley, smog all over, hanging over everything like a cloud covering seen from above.  Bustle, bustle.  We’re looking down from the famous Griffith Observatory.  Caption:  “They say the Native Americans who lived here when it was grassland and forest noted that smoke never left the valley.  It was just trapped there.”
2.          Here we’ve pulled up and back so that we see, in the foreground, the shaft of an outstretched arrow, contextless, aimed over the bluff at the panel bottom.  Caption:  “What a place to build a city.”

Page 2
A single panel.  Irene in disguise, wearing sophisticated electronic goggles, holding a longbow, stretched and primed with arrow, at the observatory seen in Rebel without a Cause, high over Los Angeles.  A movie camera with an operator stands nearby, trained on her.  A director, complete with sunglasses and French beret, stands near the camera, staring, arms crossed.  An assistant is near him.

Page 3
1.          A general shot of the observatory, white with that telescope poking out.  Irene, the camera, the director, his assistant, and visitors are all about.
2.          A shot of the sign reading “OBSERVATORY” -- only “OVERV” is visible, however, the rest being cropped off-panel.
3.          A close-up on the statue of James Dean that’s there.
4.          The director noticing the approach of two security guards who look like policemen.
5.          The director and the security guards approaching each other.  The director is pulling a piece of paper from his clothes.  Director:  “It’s alright.  I’ve got a permit.”

Page 4
1.          The director standing while the security guards examine the paper.
2.          A close-up on the lower face of one of the security guards.  Security guard:  “We weren’t notified.”
3.          The director speaking to them.  Director:  “You gonna argue with the city?”
4.          The director walking off.  Director:  “Now, I’ve got a movie to shoot if you don’t mind.  Thanks.  You can come watch if you like.”
5.          The director standing by the camera, looking at its monitor.
6.          The director standing back and letting Irene and the camera operator be.  Director:  “Hillary, remember:  severity!  Poise!”

Page 5
1.          A security guard asking the director’s assistant something.  Security guard:  “Why the goggles?”
2.          The assistant leaning in towards the security guard and answering, looking down as if making an aside.  Assistant:  “We’re shooting day for night.  It’s supposed to be nightvision goggles.”
3.          A larger shot.  The whole scene, civilian gawkers present, as the director frames the shot with his hands, making a wider-than-tall square out of two L-shaped hands.  Director:  “And... action!”
4.          A similar shot.

Page 6
1-3.       As if on celluloid, three images of Irene drawing the bow and aiming.  The borders are black with celluloid holes.  We all recognize what this is today, even when depicted inaccurately.

Page 7
1.          A shot from the camera operator’s perspective.  We see on the camera’s monitor the image of Irene.  Caption:  “Among the many CIA plans to kill or embarrass Castro after the Cuban revolution was a plan to infiltrate his staff and put a gun in a television camera.”
2.          The director speaking to Irene as the others stand by and the camera rolls.
3.          A shot of Irene, arrow drawn, the director watching.
4.          The director slamming his right fist into his left hand.  Caption:  “There was a certain brilliance to this stupidity.  Trained on him like a weapon, but never drawing offense.”
5.          A close-up of these hands slamming together.

Page 8
Running along the left and right edge of the page are images of Irene standing with bow drawn, adjusted to make them appear as if taken during a very blue-tinted night, connected by the black margins of celluloid.
1-3.  In the center, we have a shots of Irene letting the arrow go, of it sliding off the bowstring and into flight on a fairly high trajectory.

Page 9
1.          A shot looking up at the observatory from just below as the arrow glides overhead.
2.          People at the red (I think) binocular machines, staring out at the valley.
3.          A shot of quarters going into this machine, with emphasis on it as antiquarian, as relic.
4.          A close-up of the quarters sitting in the slot, a boy’s hand turning the wheel to make the machine accept them like a gumball machine.
5.          A circular panel (not the phony binoculars of movies, with two circles), looking down on the valley through the machine.
6.          A boy doing so, eye sockets perched against it.

Page 10
A large panel, but one that does not take up the full page.  The director yelling on the scene.  Director:  “Cut!”

Page 11
A blank white page.

Page 12
After whiteness that consumes the top half or so of the page, a panel showing a Big Director in the back seat of a limousine, talking on the phone.  Big Director:  “-- right, right, right, but... fuck him, fuck him, get it done, Janice, if I fucking have to tell you --”.

Page 13
1.          A larger shot of a tourist family on the streets in downtown L.A.  The mother is taking a picture of her children.  No father is present.  The limo drives past in the background.  Mother:  “Smile.  Say ‘cheese!’”  Caption:  “The word makes the mouth turn upwards at its ends, resembling a smile.”
2.          A larger shot of two teenage girls in a BMW sitting next to the limo at a light.  The girl in the passenger’s seat is talking and the two, looking chipper, are staring over at it.  Passenger-seat Girl:  “Do you think that’s someone famous?”  Driver-seat Girl:  “It could be anyone -- anyone.  Like the man of my dreams.  Who can give me a part.”
3.          A shot of the girls reflected in the dark glass of the limo.  Passenger-seat Girl:  “Do you think I should I flash my tits?”
4.          A close-up of the red light.  Passenger-seat Girl (off-camera):  “Baby, show me your casting couch!  I will rock your world!”
5.          A close-up of the stoplight, now green.  Driver-seat Girl (off-camera):  “I can’t believe you did that.”  Caption:  “It’s all done with mirrors.”

Page 14
A shot of a stoplight in extreme close-up.  Caption:  “Stop.”

Page 15
Back to the observatory.
1.          A security guard questioning the assistant and pointing out to the absent arrow’s flight path.  Caption:  “Six seconds after.”  Security guard:  “Is that safe?”
2.          The assistant looking up disdainfully at the guard.  Assistant:  “Do you think we’d do it if it wasn’t?”
3.          The director, the cameraman, and Irene breaking position and walking away, the camera being moved.  In the foreground, the assistant, near the security guards, reaches into a metal box.
4.          A close-up of the assistant’s hand pulling a couple arrows out of the box.  There are many more in the box.
5.          A shot of the assistant handing the arrows to the guards, who look like they don’t know what to do with them.  Assistant:  “Feel the tip.”
6.          A close-up on a security guard’s sneer.  Guard:  “Boy, I bet you get to say that a lot in this business.”
7.          A close-up on the arrowhead, shaft running off-panel, a security guard’s finger bending it like it’s rubber.
8.          A similar shot.
9.          The assistant looking at the two guards who are examining the arrows.  Assistant:  “Soft rubber.”

Page 16
1.          A close-up on a woman’s face as she sips coffee.  Caption:  “Two minutes before.”
2.          Here we’ve pulled back a bit.  A shot of the woman with coffee in hand, speaking.  Woman:  “So I think -- I hope -- I believe -- I know ...”.
3.          A larger shot.  In the foreground, the woman and a man talking over coffee at a yuppie-like place, sitting outside in chairs made of wrought iron.  The limousine drives by in the background.  Woman:  “This guided meditation stuff is going to help.  No more stage fright.  No more stupid ... you know.  It’s the cure.  It’s the answer.”
4.          Here we’ve kept on the limousine as it drives past, but the man is still in the foreground.  The woman’s cropped off-panel.  Man:  “Whatever works.  Me?  It’s like... it’s like the aborigines -- or Indians or whatever.  How they say a camera steals their soul.  Whatever.  Fuck that New Age shit.”
5.          Here we’ve zoomed in a bit on the limousine driving past.  Man (off-panel):  “Worry about it when you’re rich and famous, you know?  When you can afford to.”

Page 17
1.          The security guards talking to the assistant as the director walks by.  One guard is speaking and pointing to Irene, who’s following the director a ways back.  Caption:  “Two minutes after.”  Guard:  “Do -- should we get her autograph?  Is she somebody?”
2.          A similar shot but from another angle as Irene approaches them.  Assistant:  “She’s nobody.”
3.          A similar shot but from another angle as Irene walks past and the guards check her out.  Assistant:  “Just a stuntman -- er, person.  Brought in for this shot.”
4.          A close-up on the cameraman moving the camera.

Page 18
An overhead shot of the street in downtown L.A.  The limo is parked on the side of the road.  The back door is open.  Its window is down.  A couple cops stand at the open door, looking into the car, one writing things down.  The driver is standing on the sidewalk, looking stressed, talking to a cop.  There are three police cars and other cops standing around.  The road is closed off.  Caption:  “Forty-one minutes after.”

Page 19
1.          A shot of the Big Time Director in the back of the limo.  He’s talking on his phone.  Through the window behind him we see the two girls we saw earlier, stopped at a red light with the limo.  They’re looking at him and talking.  Caption:  “Thirty seconds before.”  Big Time Director:  “Yeah, well, manip ... no, I... well, you don’t hear writers complaining about this.  No one... yes.”
2.          A similar shot, only here the girl in the passenger’s seat is holding the bottom of her top.  Big Time Director:  “No, it’s still mine, even if it’s out there... no, I am an artist, Janice and -- you don’t give novels alternate endings.  Publishers don’t -- right.”
3.          A similar shot, only here the director’s turning to the side, noticing that the girl has pulled her shirt up to show her tits.  Big Time Director:  “Now there’s something you don’t see every day.”

Page 20
1.          A large shot of a fat man sitting outside in the sun on lawn furniture by a pool.  He’s sort of a parody of a studio exec (though we don’t say who he is), real scowling, slurring of speech.  An obese man with rough eyebrows.  He’s on the phone and looking at a newspaper, though we don’t see it -- its back is to us.  Caption:  “Eighteen hours after.”  Exec:  “She’s already taken care of.  Doesn’t know how cheap she came.  A fraction the cost of production.  Of the numbers we deal with.”
2.          A shot of the fat man tossing the newspaper towards the camera and onto a table as he continues to talk.  Here the paper’s just left his hand.  Exec:  “Untraceable.  Traceable only to our competition.  Their studio’s name was on the permit.”
3.          A shot of the fat man tossing the newspaper towards the camera and onto a table as he continues to talk.  Here the paper’s landing in the foreground.  Exec:  “I know, I know, but don’t worry:  it’s all taken care of.”
4.          An overhead shot of the fat man standing up from the lawn furniture, the paper small and unreadable on the table beside him, the pool before him.  Exec:  “Right.  ‘The weirder the better.’  Cinematic.”
5.          A shot of the man’s reflection in the pool, though he’s not looking at it.  Exec (off-panel):  “That’s the thing about L.A., Jack.  You can kill anyone as long as the camera’s rolling.”

Page 21
A shot of a movie theatre.  The marquis lists “BROKEN ROMANCE” as the title.  The line’s around the block.  Try this image with charcoal highlights or something to set it off, to give it a bit of the look of old cinema, of newsreels.  Caption:  “Three months after.”

Page 22
1.          The Big Time Director, phone in hand, staring through his window at the tits.  Caption:  “Fifteen seconds before.”  Big Time Director:  “Hold on, Janice.”
2.          A close-up of the button to roll down the window being pressed.
3.          A shot of the Big Time Director leaning into the window as he pushes the button, tits visible through the glass.  Driver-seat Girl (in small lettering in a balloon without an arrow):  “I can’t believe you did that.”
4.          A similar shot, only now the window is down and the limo is pulling forward, the girls and the tits being left behind.  Passenger-seat Girl:  “Omigod omigod.  He’s rolling the window down.  Go, go.”  Big Time Director:  “Hey.”
5.          A similar shot, only here the girls in their car are pulling forward to keep up, though they are not caught up.  The cars are almost at the end of the intersection.  Big Time Director:  “Want to party?  I want to part your legs.”  Passenger-seat Girl:  “It’s my big break.”
6.          A similar shot, only here the window has stopped and the Big Time Director’s body is jutting back towards us as an arrow hits the seat behind his figure, an arc of blood running from his neck.

Page 23
1.          A large shot.  The L.A. Post -- dated February 18, 1984.  The shot is of the Big Time Director in the back of the limo, his jugular cut through, blood all over, a broken arrow shaft imbedded deep in the seat behind his corpse.  A policeman is attempting to block the photographer.  The headline reads “BIZARRE MYSTERY MURDER DOWNTOWN; RANDY HEINMANN DEAD IN LIMO”.  This newspaper is sitting on the studio exec’s table by his lawn furniture where he was sitting and where we saw him throw the paper.  The text is unreadable.  Caption:  “Eighteen hours after.”
2.          A section of text from within a paragraph:  “whose murder is strange by even Hollywood’s standards.”
3.          A section of text from within a paragraph:  “even stranger, the murder may be connected to a film crew that was shooting at the observatory, made famous by James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause.  At approximately the same time the murder occurred, security apparently”.
4.          A section of text from within a paragraph:  “attempt at blame.  The city claims no such permit was granted and that security should have checked their information if anything seemed questionable, implying”.
5.          A section of text from within a paragraph:  “but studio executives claim the van was stolen and disavowed any attempt to botch their competitor’s film.  ‘Such implications are, of course, groundless.  I just don’t believe any studio would ever do that.  We watch and like the films of other studios.’  But gossip columnist Anne”.
6.          A section of text from within a paragraph:  “Eyewitnesses said that Heinmann opened the window for a flasher in a car in the adjacent lane, but the other car sped off, apparently seeing the injury.  Police believe the open window allowed the assassin to see the director, suggesting that he died for the same libidinous desires that made his films so scandalous.  Further eyewitnesses are being sought by”.
7.          A section of text, beginning with a paragraph’s indention:  “Heinmann, famed director of last year’s blockbuster Fatal Reflection, was reportedly millions over-budget on the prominent thriller Broken Romance.”
8.          A tier-wide but short (not tall) shot of the studio exec on the phone, standing by the pool, the morning sun rippling on the water.  The newspaper and the table are in the edge of the shot.  The emphasis is on landscape, on the sun and environs.  A little beautiful sliver of a panel.  Exec:  “Beautiful.”

Page 24
Back to the observatory.
1.          The camera being loaded into the back of a van in the observatory parking lot.  Caption:  “Fourteen minutes after.”
2.          The director getting into his Porsche.
3.          People staring as the cameraman closes the door on the van and Irene gets into the passenger’s side.
4.          A kid in the foreground feeding off the cheap metallic water fountain that’s near the edge of the parking lot.  In the middle ground, people stand and stare as, in the background, the director drives off in his Porsche while the cameraman gets into the driver’s side of the van.
5.          A woman eating an ice cream cone in the foreground at the wooden concession stands that run along the edge of the parking lot near the water fountain.  In the background, the van drives off.
6.          A shot of the scene, people walking off, the van and Porsche gone.

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Peace and Other Stories:
Peace, Chapter 1 (part 1 of 2)
Peace, Chapter 1 (part 2 of 2)
Shooting Permit