EXT. MARFA, TEXAS - 1993 - WIDE - DAY
The Texas plains, horizon to horizon, nothing but the browns
and ochres of earth and the blue and violet of the sky. The
sheer scope of it sinks in: the blank slate of nature, the
absence of man. On the screen superimpose:
MARFA, TEXAS, 1993.
A plume of dust comes into frame. The dust is from a TRUCK,
orange and white and violet, with "FedEx" blazoned across the
The truck turns into a collection of ramshackle World War II
era Quonset huts and outbuildings. Around the outbuildings
are large sculptures of wood and metal.
EXT. QUONSET HUT - DAY
The door is opened by a WOMAN in her late twenties. Hair
pulled back, casual, an artist. She hands the DRIVER a FedEx
BOX which is decorated with a drawing of two ANGEL WINGS.
The Driver has a hand-held computer; a portable printer
dangles from his belt.
The Driver scans the package with his hand-held computer,
prints out a label and sticks it on the Box, ready to go.
But something on the box catches her eye. She wants it back.
He glances at his watch. She draws RINGS around the Wings,
uniting them. She gives the box to the Driver, then hands
him a cup of coffee. They've done this before.
He takes a sip of the coffee, then runs for the truck. He
jumps in and heads back onto the plains.
EXT. FEDEX OFFICE - MIDLAND/ODESSA - NIGHT - HOURS LATER
The Driver jams the distinctive Angel Wing Box on top of a
dolly and loads it into a CONTAINER with clear plastic sides.
A female Loader slaps a large bar code label on the
container, scans it, then pulls the container across a belt
of rollers onto a larger truck. The doors of the truck
close. The latch slams down.
A forklift hoists the container to the cargo doors of a 737.
EXT. MEMPHIS AIRPORT SUPERHUB - NIGHT
The 737 lands.
EXT. SUPERHUB - NIGHT - MINUTES LATER
One of a seemingly endless line of FedEx planes, our 737
taxis to a gate at the FedEx SUPERHUB. The Hub is a vast
living organism -- loud, complex, overwhelming, as much a
symbol of modern life as was the factory in Modern Times.
Five thousand people work in a frenzy of interconnected
activity inside three vast hangers brightly lit. Hundreds of
forklifts and cargo-pullers dart about, their headlights
crisscrossing like a laser show.
Loaders quickly roll the container onto a FORKLIFT.
INT. MEMPHIS SUPERHUB - NIGHT
The forklift speeds inside one of the hangers to a LOADING
BELT, where our Box is spilled into a Mississippi River of
packages, HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of them, all shapes and
sizes, from shoe boxes to engine blocks. Large mechanical
arms divert the immense flow of Workers at dozens of
stations. The packages surge and move.
The Workers place the packages label-side-up on new belts,
where they're scanned by laser readers. Picking up speed our
Box is shunted across the acres of interlocking belts.
The Box ends up in a much larger CONTAINER labeled CDG.
EXT. MEMPHIS SUPERHUB - NIGHT
A forklift lifts the Container to a door on a giant MD-11.
INT. GLOBAL OPERATIONS CENTER - NIGHT
A jumbled room jammed with computers and dominated by a HUGE
WALL GRAPHIC that charts hundreds of airplanes. An Operator
moves a yellow strip labeled Jumbo 12 across the board.
EXT. CHARLES DE GAULLE AIRPORT - DAY
SERIES OF SHOTS:
The giant place touches down in Paris. The Angel Wing Box
moves quickly on another belt and disappears into another
CONTAINER, which is loaded onto still another AIRPLANE.
EXT. ST. PETERSBURG AIRPORT, RUSSIA - NIGHT
The plane lands. The container is unloaded down a belt. We
see our Angel Box. Directly in front of it is a DENTED BOX.