Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Draft "Double Indemnity"

I have many unfinished scripts. This is my problem. I will write and be excited about the story and then I become afraid that I'm doing it wrong PLUS my writing is bad. Then I give it up. I guess I am better at imagining the ideas but shall post it anyways.

I hope to resume work on this particular story. Basically, it is a local adaptation of this film that I love, "Double Indemnity". It is about an insurance-scam-murder-love story.

Jay, translated, for your convenience.


Hari hari aku bingit. Siape tak bingit. Cuaca macam sial. Hari ini aku pergi kerja takde duit. (pauses) Macam sial. Hari hari pun takde duit. Bila aku kena nombor? (pauses) Macam sial. Pukimak punye panas. Macam sial. Hari hari aku bingit. Macam mane ni. Hai, sial.. macam sial betul.

[translation: Everyday I'm pissed, who isn't? The weather's fucked. Everyday I'm penniless. Like fuck. Every day I'm penniless. When will I strike the fucking lottery. Like fuck. The weather's hot as cunt. Like fuck. Everyday I'm pissed. How now... fuck.. fucking fuck.]

Narration will play over the opening scenes:
Overhead shot of Bukit Panjang neighbourhood. We see, Khairudin, dressed in smart office-wear, standing at the traffic junction.

Cut to the traffic junction (introducing Khairudin):

Khairudin is standing right beside the traffic light, holding a laptop bag. He is visibly disturbed by the heat. Sweat trickling down his face and his shirt is soaking wet. His business shirt sleeves are rolled up. Noticeably very angry by the weather as he looks up to the sky with great tension in his eyes.

POV: the camera shows the bus-stop indicating Khairudin’s taking the bus.

Cut to traffic junction from the other side:

We see Khairudin crossing the road once and then once more (L-shaped). He walks towards the bus stop. He sits down at the bus stop and he still looks angry. He puts his hands inside his pants pocket and takes out his cellphone. He dials a phone number. The name on his iPhone screen is Rizal. He immediately cancels the call. He deliberates and he looks at his phone again, sucking his lips in nervous excitement. He dials again and this time waits for the response on the other end.

Khairudin: Hallo, Zal. Dok, eh ada masalah besar la. Aku rase aku lambat gila tau. Mak aku ada masalah besar. Aku rase kau pegi dulu ah. (pauses) Tak, pasal aku tak tahu pukul berapa aku habis la. Kau terangkan aje pada dia. Dia nak tak nak belakang cerita. Kau cuba. Apa apa kau kol aku la. (pauses) semua okay, aku nak pegi hospital ah. Ah, ah, nanti aku call kau. Mungkin malam kita jumpa ah.

[translation: Hello, Zal? Hey, I've got a big problem. I will be extremely late. My mom has a huge problem. I think... you should go ahead. (pauses) No, cause' I am not sure what time I'll be done. You just carry on with your presentation. Whether they buy it or not, that's a different story. You try... if there's anything just call me. (pauses) Yeah, everything's fine, I'm going to the hospital. Yeah, I will call you later. Maybe we'll meet tonight.]

Khairudin puts his phone down and we see abit of relief on his face. The bus arrives and he boards the bus.

Cut to the office:
The camera passes by at medium pace, every isle of workstation. Total of 3 isles. Each isle has about five to six workstation facing each other. Each isle we hear a distinctive agent/character speaking. This is to introduce what Khairudin is actually doing. In the first isle we hear: We hear someone screaming in Mandarin over the phone (“For all that benefits and coverage, that’s a very low premium to pay. We’ve been over this many times!”)

The first isle introduces us that this is the office of an insurance firm.

In the second isle, a guy speaking in Cantonese: (“Okay your car insurance has been renewed for a premium of $2000.”)

Finally in the third isle there is no one else except Khairudin at the end of the isle. He sits at the corner sit with both his hands on the table and head slightly hanging. At this point, the camera moves into the isle slowly but eventually rapidly in his direction and braked immediately coinciding with a man saying:

Man: Ah, amacam, Din? Semua, ok?
[translation: How's everything, Din?]

Din: Hmm, semua okay ah.
[translation: Yeah, everything's okay.]

Man: Eh kau kata ada presentation dgn Richemont kan?
[translation: Eh, you said you had a presentation at Richemont?]

Oh tak ah. Takde. Dorang kansel ah.
[translation: Oh no, they cancelled the appointment]

Ah mari, sekejap, lima minit, kita bual bual kejap.
[translation: Okay, can I have five minutes with you, quick chat?"]

Cuts to manager’s office:

Manager: Okay… kau ada apa apa masalah tak?
[translation: Okay, everything okay? Any problems?]

Khairudin: Takde, semua ok.
[translation: No, everything's okay.]

Manager: Takde perubahan pun aku tengok. Dah 5 bulan sejak kau (bangs table) janji yang tahun ni kau akan bangkit! Aku percaya dalam kau tau. Kau ada potensi, banyak potensi! Tapi macam sayang tau.
[translation: Everything's stagnant, no changes whatsoever. It has been five months (bangs table) since you promised that you'll make improvements! I believe in you, y'know. You have a lot of potential! A lot of potential! Huge waste...]

Khairudin: (shocked and we see him gritting his teeth) Tahu, tapi… tak lama lagi la…
[translation: Yeah I know... but matter of time, really.]

Manager: Okay, aku kasi kau cadangan… aku tahu kau dah takde orang nak jumpa kan…
[translation: I give you a suggestion. I know you have no one else to see, right?]

[Khairudin nods]

Manager: Kau pegi tengok baik baik senarai kau… Mesti ada satu orang yang kau belum kol atau jumpa.. kau cari tu satu orang tu.. kau cuba kol dia untuk jumpa dia.. amacam? Senang kan? Aku tengok hari hari kau duduk kat meja kau macam takde nyawa tau. Aku pun tak tahu apa masalah kau.. dah satu tahun lebih kau kat sini.. belum sekali aku nampak kau angkat telepon tu kol orang. Boleh tak!
[translation: You go through your listing again. There must be at least one person that you have yet to call or meet. You look for that one person and get an appointment. How? Easy, right? I look at you everyday sitting there at your desk like a lifeless person. I don't even know what's bothering you. You've been here for more than a year and I have never seen you pick up that telephone yet! Can or not?!]

Khairudin: Okay…

[And this was where I last stopped. The next scene will soon us introduce to the other main character and then the conflict.]

Monday, September 6, 2010

Singaporean kid and her label.

You know, my friend, I've always been envious of you that you're still close to your mates from BP.

I recently removed my secondary school when it comes to the education part of my Facebook page. It's just something I had to do. Sure, it's one of life's glorious moments: imagine, the inept, socially-awkward girl, getting into THAT secondary school. Doing better than that smart-ass 'best friend' I hung around with. "Bukit Panjang Government High School". I wore it proud. Not "normal-academic" which many assumed, but "Express", okay?! Such good PSLE marks. Such unexpected grades for a girl that had to stay back in school for remedial lessons.

But for what fuck. I didn't do well in Secondary School. I was failing most subjects. I wasn't interested in classes. Perhaps it was at that point of time I realized I'm not that good after all.

But I still used it after leaving, still wave it around like a pride flag, like "once in my life, I was among the great". Jumping into the opportunity to tell people I was from there. Never mind that I was possibly one of the worst students from that school.

My father recently went to the alumni dinner. Yeah, we were from the same school. And I wasn't even invited by anyone to go. It's pointless for me. I don't even know how to talk to my best friend from that school anymore.

So it's time to retire this flag, and wave another. Bukit Panjang, thanks for giving me the chance to use you, but I don't deserve you at all.