INT. SUBURBAN BASEMENT -- RAINY NIGHT. .
VIDEO CAMERA POV: held at hip level, jerking with each step,
we move in dim light past boxes of junk...a dormant furnace
...a rusty bicycle...shelves of Christmas decorations...and
bundles of Ethernet cable, running beside flashing state-ofthe-
art computers...around a corner into-
A WOOD-PANELED ROOM. Rain rattles the ground-level windows,
whose panes are covered with black soundproofing panels. A
folded-up Ping-Pong table leans against a wall. Ugly shag
carpeting has been stripped back from the cement floor.
A small, muted TV set, sitting on a cardboard box, plays a
prime-time hour-long drama. Thunder rumbles outside.
The CAMERA shakes as it is screwed into a tripod and pointed
to the cement floor. At the top corner of the frame, the TV
Footsteps. Liquid pours.
A MALE HAND, long and slender,
lowers a saucer of milk to the floor.
More footsteps. A package is torn open. A glue rat-trap is
slapped to the floor a few feet from the milk. .
A canvas bag is unzipped. A tiny meow, then the tinkling of
a little bell. .
A man’s torso passes by, momentarily blotting
out our view.
A moment later, the CAMERA zooms tighter on the milk and the
trap. More meowing, as a KITTEN enters the frame, bounding
clumsily, adorably. It wears a handcrafted pink collar with
It steps into the trap. It freezes, pulls and pulls, the bell
tinkling urgently, but it cannot free its paw.
Klieg lights flash on.
The kitty freezes, blinded.
EXT. SUBURBAN PARKING LOT -- RAINY NIGHT. .
Headlights blind us, as an SUV, wipers working, drives up to
a guard booth.
CAR RADIO DJ (O.S.)
--then once he’s raised a million .
bucks in donations, he’s gonna
shoot himself in the ass, live on
Laughter from the radio. The YOUNG GUARD nods, smiles, and
waves the driver through.
INT. SUV -- MOMENTS LATER -- RAINY NIGHT.
The driver, whose face we cannot see, pulls into a parking
spot in the barely-filled lot.
CAR RADIO DJ:
And guess what his website’s
called. I am not making this up.
Manic laughter from the radio, until the driver kills the
engine. As the driver unfastens the seat belt, we glimpse a
9mm Glock on the driver’s hip.
The driver reaches over and grabs a black umbrella, which lies
next to a half-clad Barbie doll.
EXT. SUBURBAN PARKING LOT -- CONTINUOUS -- RAINY NIGHT.
Emerging from the car, opening her umbrella, is JENNIFER
MARSH, early 30’s, beautiful and fierce, no make-up, wearing
FOLLOW MARSH, walking alone across the dark, rainy lot toward
a bland FOUR-STORY OFFICE BUILDING.
The closer she gets to the entrance, the higher the CAMERA
CRANES. By the time she enters, the CAMERA has reached the
roof, which is crowded with massive satellite dishes and
INT. OFFICE BUILDING LOBBY -- SAME -- RAINY NIGHT.
RAY, 65, a security guard, smiles almost paternally at Marsh
as she jams her photo I.D. in and out of the electronic
INT. OFFICE ELEVATOR -- MOMENTS LATER -- RAINY NIGHT.
As the car ascends, Marsh stares at herself in the silver
doors. Her hair is wet, disheveled. She primps at it a bit,
then stops. What’s the point? Why bother?
INT. DIAL-UP ROOM -- MOMENTS LATER -- RAINY NIGHT.
Marsh walks down a row of beige cubicles under fluorescent
lights. In each carrel, a MALE WORKER clicks away at a
Over the workers’ shoulders, we catch glimpses of their
screens. Mundane stuff, mostly: chat rooms, newsgroups,
myspace.com, e-mails, etc....