TITLES EXPLODE TO WHITE
SLOW FADE TO:
EXTREME CLOSE-UP of MAXIMILIAN COHEN'S eyes popping open.
INT. MAX'S APARTMENT -CHINATOWN FLAT – NEW YORK CITY - NIGHT
Max jolts his head from his desk and tries to orient him-self
in the darkness. He has intelligent eyes set in an exhausted,
Then he notices the blood dripping from his nose. Max wipes
Max's voiceover begins:
Monday, September first.
INT. BATHROOM - DAWN
A pull-string light flips on. Max examines his bloody nose in
The alchemist awakes.
"Turn lead into gold, Max,
lead into gold." Today, I find it.
Max's hand as three unmarked, circular pills hit his palm.
Then, he slams the pills into the back of his mouth.
Max replaces the cap on a plastic bottle of unmarked
prescription drugs. He drinks from the sink and splashes a
generous amount of water onto his head and face, cleaning his
He wipes his nose and examines the last remnants of blood on
his fingertip. Then, he dips his finger under the tap.
INT. MAX'S APARTMENT - MAIN ROOM - DAY
Max's room is constantly dark because the windows are blacked
out. He flips on his desk lamp.
A tiny ANT crawls across his desk. He looks at it for a moment
before getting angry and squashing it.
Sitting on the desk are three computer monitors, which Max
Then he pops on more lights and more switches. We pull back
revealing that Max's apartment looks more like the inside of a
computer than a human's home.
The room is knee-high in computer parts of all shapes and
sizes. The walls are covered with circuit boards. Cables hang
from the ceiling like vines in a Brazilian rain forest. They
all seem to be wired together forming a monstrous homemade
This is EUCLID, Max's creation. The computer is alive with
sounds and lights.
Max works on Euclid with his solder and drill. He cares for
the machine as if it were his dream car
Heat's been getting
to Euclid. Feel it most in
the afternoon when I run the
set. Have to keep the fans on
all night from now on.
Otherwise, everything is
running topnotch. The stack
of 286's is now faster than
Columbia's computer science
department. I spent a couple
hundred dollars. Columbia's
cost? Half a million?
Max checks the peephole on His front door. No one is there. He
unbolts the five lock and slides into the hall.
INT. APARTMENJ HALLWAY - DAY
As he secures his apartment, a Young girl named JENNA runs up
to him. Her MOM, down the hall, looks apologetic.
Jenna's eyes light up and she pulls out her Fisher Price
Max, Max! Can we do one?
(Over and over again)
What's three hundred
and twenty-two times four
hundred and ninety-one.
Jenna types it into her calculator. Max finishes locking his
One hundred fifty-eight thousand,
a hundred two. Right?
(Eyes light up)
Max heads down the staircase.
Jenna screams after him.
divided by twenty-two.
Three point three one eight one
eight one eight...
EXT. CHINATOWN - DAY
Max watches people bustle through the busy intersections of
Chinatown. The streets are clogged with people.
Somewhere in there.
Somewhere. I know it's right
in front of me. The pattern.
They say it's chaos, it can't
be understood, too much
EXT. ELECTRONIC MEGADUMP - DAY
Max scavenges electronic parts as he carefully navigates an
endless dump for old and rotting computers.