Tedium of a Pessimist
EXT. DESOLATE FIELD DAY
SOUND OF WEEDS RUSTLING IN THE WIND
The feet of ED COUPLAND pass through the frame extremely
slow, careful not to trip over the weeds.
Eds feet walk out of frame as we focus on the coffee
SOUND OF RUSTED METAL BEING HIT BY TWIG
A weed taller than all the rest sticks out from the middle
of the coffee can. Sun filters through the rusted out holes creating awkward
shadows in the surrounding field.
Camera circles around the can revealing its age and deterioration,
and then SLOW PAN away from the coffee can and across the field, stopping
once again at the feet of ED walking slowly through the underbrush.
SOUND OF CARHORN IN THE DISTANCE
EDs FACE as he jerks his head around to see what direction
the car is coming from. The sweat dripping down his face reveals the heat
that surrounds him, as he sneezes violently.
ANGLE on patches of sand interspersed between weeds, and
in the middle of a larger patch of sand are the remains of a campfire.
LOW ANGLE of EDS FEET entering into the campfire,
his brown boots are tattered and torn and covered with the dust that he
is kicking as he walks.
His feet come to an abrupt pause next to a wooden carton.
Charred logs, twigs, and debris, have created a black spot in the field,
and the overturned wooden carton rests next to the spot.
ED as he struggles to pull a pack of cigarettes from
ED squints out over the horizon, searching the road.
CLOSE UP of a match being struck by ED. Ed begins to mutter
ED is coolly taking a drag from his cigarette, exhaling
through his nose. The cigarette dangles from his lips as he continues
to look out over the horizon.
PAN away from ED across the field and pause on a water tower
that sits at the top of a hill right next to a dirty gravel road, a cloud
of dust is unfurling in the distance.
ED JERKING TO HIS LEFT.
SOUND OF CAR KICKING UP GRAVEL/SOUND OF WOODEN CARTON BEING
TRACKING SHOT of a car barreling down the road. A wave of
dust washes over the field.
LOW ANGLE POV: ED hidden below the weeds. We see the campfire
and the wooden carton and a clear blue sky, the sun sifts through the
cloud of dust created by the passing car.
As the dust clears Ed stands up and brushes himself clean.
SOUND OF DISTANT TRAIN WHISTLE
A solitary leaf slowly falls to the ground and lands next
to the outstretched legs of Ed. The leaf is half decayed and filled with
Ed picks up the leaf and HOLDS IT UP TO THE SUN, watching
the light as it filters through for A LONG PERIOD OF TIME. Ed takes the
leaf and marks his place in the book.
CLOSE UP of ED as he looks up at the sun, squinting, and
a smile creeps across his face. He takes one last look at the camp he
has made and trudges off into the weeds.
EXT. COUNTRY ROAD - DUSK.
Ed is walking down the road with the book neatly tucked
underneath his armpit and a cigarette still loosely hanging from his lips.
SLOWLY FADE IN AND OUT OF FOCUS
Ed clutches his head in pain as the SOUNDS AROUND HIM ARE
Slowly things come back into focus and Ed shuffles into
town, rubbing at his head.
INT.CONVENIENCE STORE - NIGHT
Ed stumbles into a convenience store saturated with fluorescent
light, a lone teenage clerk stands behind the counter and immediately
The clerk slams down three backs of Lucky Strikes on the
counter before Ed can even answer his questions.
Ed clutches his head in pain as the image of the convenience
store slowly fades in and out. John is saying something but the sound
is garbled to Ed.
Ed is visibly frustrated, not making eye contact with
the clerk, his feet tapping, and rubbing his hands together violently.
Ed slams down a handful of wadded up bills and takes the
Lucky Strikes and the Aspirin off the counter.
The clerk stares as Ed shuffles listlessly out of the store.
INT. EDS LIVING ROOM LATE NIGHT.
Ed is sitting in a tattered blue recliner, cigarette hanging
loosely from his lips, and a lone lamp without a lampshade standing to
The book he was reading in the field lies in his hands.
Ed flips through the final page and slams the book shut with authority.
Ed turns out the light and continues to sit in the chair,
smoking his cigarette and listening to the incessant ticking of an apparent
INT. SMALL APARTMENT - EARLY MORNING.
SOUND OF ALARM CLOCK GOING OFF
A pile of books lays scattered over a cluttered coffee table
that sits in the middle of an otherwise empty room.
A recliner sits next to a makeshift end table made of discarded
milk cartons, and a cigarette lies burning in an overfilled ashtray.
There is a single window through which little sun gets through
the drawn curtains, and a fluorescent overhead light glows silently above.
SLOW PAN through the rest of the apartment.
SOUND OF WATER DRIPPING IN BATHROOM.
The kitchen appears unused accept for a large pile of dishes
that lie in the sink.
A single over-filled ashtray sits in the middle of a fold
out kitchen table.
The SOUND OF THE ALARM CLOCK gets louder as we enter into
ED is sitting on the corner of the bed with his head in
his hands staring at the alarm clock.
The alarm clock appears distorted to Ed as he looks up and
slams down the snooze bar.
A woman lies in the bed next to him, awake, and staring
at Ed quizzically.
Silently Ed leaves the room and shuffles towards the bathroom
where he splashes his face with water and downs a large amount of painkillers.
As he stares up at the flickering fluorescent light, A BLACK
ED panics but is able to feel his way back to the bedroom.
He sits down with his back to Gloria.