“College,” feature film script.

A feature from a few years back. This is my over-the-top high concept take on an archetypal Spring Break comedy. I am confident this will never be produced, because no one would ever spend this much on a comedy.

At any rate, I present it here as a writing sample because, what the hell, right?

“College,” by Ryan M. Moore. (WGAw registered feature film)

Entourage:2039, Chapter 19: Night Flight

Vince and Mary stand in the living of the abandoned, unfinished house. Vince is dazed and confused, dead on his feet.

“We need to get you into bed,” Mary tells him, and no argument is forthcoming from Vince. She takes him up the stairs into the master bedroom- somehow there is furniture here after all- and she puts him into the big canopy bed. Vince experiences neither shame or arousal as Mary strips off his clothes- only a distant, fuzzy gratitude and a longing for sleep.

“I’ll be back,” she whispers, and then she kisses him on the forehead and turns out the light.

Down in the kitchen, Mary fires up the portable gasoline generator she’s brought in, and she has the water boiling in five minutes flat. She uses two teabags, a little sugar, and a few special ingredients all her own.

Mary’s voice calls Vince back out of a deep sleep. She sits on the bedside and she gives him the tea. “Careful, it’s hot.” Vince sits up, leaning back on a big pillow, and he takes the first experimental sip. It’s good.

Before Vince has even finished the tea, he starts to feel himself floating upward, like the ghost of a dead husband he played once in a television movie. He sees the stars through the open roof and they seem to be falling on him, but no- Vince is rising, flying and he’s not afraid now- it’s amazing actually:

He flies out of the house and looks down on the entire abandoned subdivision, the roads and cul-de-sacs from above like runes carved onto the desert by a people now as ancient and inscrutable as any in the Social Studies classes Vince missed anyway because he was making out in the janitor’s closet. Vince flies higher now, far above the desert and west, back towards the ruined city. Through the permanent layer of pollution and soot Vince can somehow see it all: the studio lots, the hills where he once lived, the streets and clubs of Hollywood where he had been a Boy-King- there are almost tears in his eyes now but there’s no time because he keeps flying west, over the luxury fortresses of his former agents and lawyers.

The coast is coming up fast now, Malibu off to the north-west and directly below, the Palisades and Santa Monica, lit by the last red ray of the huge sun as it sinks into the western ocean. Vince circles lower now- he’s not really in control of his flight, but he has no fear either- wherever he’s being taken, he’s pretty sure it will be OK and if it’s not, well… Vince is willing to take his chances at this point.

He makes slow circles over the Santa Monica pier, skirting the blackened hulk of the Ferris wheel, and then lower, below the roofline of the luxury hotels he flies south towards Pico, over the Beachfront Walk where the deathracers speed by, day and night, and then Vince is over Shutters and floodlights beam into the sky around him because, unbelievably, there is a party going on at One Pico.

Somehow Vince knows to fly lower now, and he descends with perfect control until his feet are only eight inches off the path- behind him a three-wheeled death race bike rams its two-foot-long spiked blades through the inadequate armor plating of a hapless opponent and metal screams and blood flies through the air but Vince takes no notice at all – because he is looking the other way, into the big floor-to-ceiling glass windows of the restaurant, and not six feet away, staring out at the waves and holding a glass of red wine, is his former agent and friend, the Warlord Ari Gold.

Entourage:2039, Chapter 18: Untitled

For a few hundred feet the car bounces over rough ground, and Vincent Chase is rudely shaken into complete consciousness. There’s one last bounce, a big one, and then: suddenly smooth sailing. Somehow they’re on a completely smooth blacktop.

They’re rolling slow, about ten miles per hour. On each side of the big convertible, Vince can see shapes, big shapes in neat rows, rising darker out of the dark. It’s like they’ve landed on another planet, and yet somehow so familiar.

Mary guides the car off the road to the right, slows down, stops. She turns to Vince:

“Get up. We’re here.”

Unquestioning, Vince gets out of the car. If anyone was flying above their heads (and maybe they are, on silent bat wings- there are a lot of strange things in this desert) – but anyway, if they were up there, this is what they would see:

Mary has driven them off of the main highway, across a wide grass embankment, down a street and into a far-suburban cul-de-sac – 16 houses spaced even around the perimeter of the circle. 16 identical houses, and as we pull back, twenty, thirty, forty cul-de-sacs just like this one, drawn onto the nothing of the desert like ancient runes remaining far past their time, now spelling out nothing for an audience of no one.

But that’s from up top. Vincent Chase is not privileged with such a God-like view of the events he is participating in- not yet, anyway. For now, he can barely even think, can barely even gets his legs moving enough to follow the girl into the house:
Up the front path- the lawn on either side still has grass somehow, but in this light it looks black to Vince, and then he looks up at the shadow of the house towering over him, blocking out the stars- he feels sick in a way he can’t describe, stumbles, falls to his knees.

“It’s OK.” Mary is whispering in Vince’s ear.

“What happened?”

“You fell. It’s OK. We’re almost home. Just a few more steps. I’ll make you a nice hot cup of tea. Come on.” She helps him to his feet and they make up the path. Mary pushes the door open.

Inside: This must have been someone’s dream house once. Three bedrooms, four baths, a deck out back, a kitchen with one of those islands in the middle with the pots and pans hanging down. All that and a spectacular view of the stars- right through the exposed rafters where the roof would have been, if anyone had ever lived here.

Entourage:2039, Chapter 17: What a long, strange trip it’s been

It was very dark, and Vincent Chase didn’t know whether he was awake or asleep. He was in a car, and it was moving fast, but that was all he could say for sure. In his dream (or what he thought must have been in his dream), he had been in the passenger seat of another car, somehow on I-95, his mother taking them to Florida, brother Johnny out cold in the back seat. They’d never had the money to take vacations, really, but that one time, somehow, his mom had pulled off. They drove through the night and once Vince had woken up and they were in another state one- he had never heard of before- and it felt like another world.

Time had always seemed like a flexible concept to Vincent Chase. His first year of stardom had seemed like a decade, with the parties and clubs every night, after the party a girl, maybe two, and the guys there in the morning when he woke up to start it all over again, The days just… flowed. And then, later, after the bad movies, and the bad women, and the bad business deals, when he had retreated into himself, and into his penthouse- he could have sworn ten years had passed the second the big heavy door clicked shut behind him. But now, with Mary, time seemed to have suddenly speeded up again, with her he was a frightened old man, and he was a child again, speeding southbound for the promised land. It was all very confusing.

“You awake, baby?” asked his mother, and Vince sped upward through the well of time, into the light, into consciousness, and he knew again that his mother was twenty years dead, and Johnny now too, and the person talking to him was the girl, Mary, in the driver’s seat. Whatever road they were on, there were no lights. Just the faint orange glow of the city, over the horizon in the rearview. Above the convertible, the dome of the stars offered their ancient benediction down to Vince, and the girl, and whatever else was still alive out here.

For a second Vincent Chase loses everything- he has no idea at all where he is, or even who he is: He is blessedly, blissfully, blank. And then it’s all back. The engine purrs as Mary downshifts and eases the big muscle car off the main road.

“Where are we?” asks Vince, and Mary, her voice as soothing and smooth as the one in Vince’s dream, replies, “Almost home.”

Entourage:2039 Chapter 16: Sunset at One Pico

Inevitably, there’s a lot of symbolism involved in leading an army into battle on the back of a magnificent white charger. Even more so, some might say, when you’re using a genuine old Germanic two-handed broadsword to decapitate a cyborg replica of the man who was once not only your personal friend but the most prized client of your industry-bestriding talent agency.

Ari Gold would understand this symbolism, of course. He’s been many things in his life, but he’s never been a stupid man. What he would not do, however, is care. Caring is for people who aren’t leading the most deadly army known to 21st century Los Angeles on the back of a beautifully groomed white horse straight out of a magazine ad for a Boys’ School in Connecticut.

Ari has the horse and the sword, sure, out front, but behind him it’s all business:

Fifteen hundred men in full body armor, carrying a melange of state-of-the-art assault rifles, grenade launchers, shoulder-mount missiles, and all manner of description of sticks with pointy things on the end.

Thirty armored vehicles- everything from genuine former-Army troop carriers, to 1980s-vintage unkillable pickup trucks, to a late-model BMW 7-Series sedan with armor plating and black-tinted, bulletproof windows.

Air support: Six black helicopters, flying in perfect formation. So many guns, missiles, and rockets lining their wings that Ari can’t help but smile every time he looks at them, like a proud father.

They’re all after one thing: The Murphy Group. Except Ari doesn’t know where The Murphy Group is. He and Eric haven’t exactly traded cards over sushi lately. Ari doesn’t know where the underground hideout is- but someone around here must. Which brings us back to where we started: Ari, on the back of his magnificent white steed, with the decapitated head of a Vince-bot in his hand, riding west down Santa Monica Boulevard. Ari has a map in his head and it looks something like this:

West down Santa Monica, through West Hollywood and Century City, burning and pillaging as they go- destroying anything and anyone that gets in their way- but especially Vince-bots. These people, or things- they hardly even seem like people anymore- but these troglodytes still skulking through this blasted ruin of a city- they seem to think of Murphy as some sort of folk hero. They don’t even know if he’s still alive, or if he ever existed. Ari doesn’t know if he’s alive either, but he sure hopes so- where’s the fun in taking a dead man’s head. But anyway, Ari is going to show them exactly what their hero has done for them.

Loudspeakers on the troop carriers broadcast the message over and over, asking for information. They’re even offering a reward- a case of gold bars from Ari’s personal stash, and a lifetime lease on a condo inside the Green Zone. (The announcement, a careful listener might note, contains no small print about exactly how long that lifetime might be, once Ari has what he wants.)

But anyway, none of the pathetic little fuckers has anything to say. Ari draws his pistol, the big one with the sniper scope, and looks over at what’s left of the country club fairway on his right. His stomach turned- they’ve actually set up one of their disgusting hovels on the 16th fairway. Ari wants to exterminate them, to purify the sacred turf of so many fond memories, but there’s no time. He drops one with a single shot from three hundred yards, and then he rides on.

Ari has a busy day planned. He’s going to slash and burn a path to the ocean. And when he gets there, he’s going to have drinks and a light dinner on the deck at Shutters. He directs his men to start a few extra fires, and watches the ash rise with the greatest satisfaction, watches at it hangs there, diffusing and softening the light in a way the old directors would have paid tens of millions for. Ari smiles: It’s going to be a beautiful sunset.

Entourage:2039 Chapter 15: Roadtrip!

In the trunk of the girl Mary’s car was: two large bricks of marijuana, an ornately embroidered leather satchel full of dried peyote, six jugs of some kind of clear homemade liquor, and a metal roadie case full of pills: Speed, downers, sleep aids, all the big brand-name anti-depressants, and a few for male sexual dysfunction. Also, there was a disassembled and deactivated cyborg replica of the actor Vincent Chase, aged approximately 26.

The girl Mary, in the driver’s seat of the big red convertible, says: “We should be somewhere near Barstow when the drugs start to take hold.” The real Vince just stares at her, his face a complete blank.

“What?”

Mary takes a deep breath: it’s going to be a long trip. “Nevermind.” She floors it. The huge V8 roars to life with 390 horses, and the GTO leaves a trail of burnt rubber out of the underground carpark. Vince doesn’t even have time to shit himself and anyway, it’s been done. The wall comes up fast but then they’re through, into the tunnel, so fast that now that the blue lights into the ceiling blur into each other, and now there’s no sense of time, or danger, or anything- it’s like a video game.

But the light is coming up fast now, and then they’re out into the daylight, Vince cowering back from it like a newborn, and they’re ejected onto the broken concrete of what used to be Soto Street, and the sky is full of things that look like huge bats, except they’re metal, and they’re launching rockets at targets on the ground, or maybe just at nothing. But the first explosion is too close, and Vince’s lungs fill with black smoke and Mary yells something at him but he can’t hear it because his hearing is gone and then there’s a woman in the road in a black robe firing a machine gun in the air, and Mary jerks the wheel to the right – hard – and Vince passes out cold.

When he comes around they’re speeding north through the concrete bed of the L.A. River, spraying the half an inch of water out behind them. Over their heads, the sky is on fire, but down here it’s quiet, relatively speaking. Mary drives on, with the lights off, one hand on the wheel as she lights herself a cigarette. And the sun sinks in west, dying the ravaged city a deeper shade of red.

Enoturage:2039 Chapter 14: Billy.

Billy Walsh has always been independent. He made his first movie for twenty thousand dollars- money he made selling lottery tickets and porno mags on the night shift at a liquor store. And when that wasn’t enough, he sponged off his friends, and when that still wasn’t enough, he started stealing out of the till.

Six months later he had four shoeboxes full of cash stashed under his bed, and 20 months after that he had won Sundance for the first time. He wrote, directed, edited, produced, and executive produced. No investors, no film school, no connections: fuck that rich kid shit. He never could relate to the ones who got everything on a silver platter- the ones who got profiled in the glossy magazines with their goddamn pull quotes about “hustling up” four hundred grand. Billy knew right where they hustled it from: rich daddy and his rich friends.

None of that for Billy. He was real indie then, and he was real indie now, here in the Griffith Park Badlands, hunkered down three miles or so outside the big north wall of Ari Gold’s domains. They had a lot of guns, but they knew better than to come in the woods. In their hearts they were all still rich kids, pussies. Even when it had been surrounded by a functioning metropolis, there had been a lot of places in the park to lose a body. Now it didn’t take more then twelve hours for one of Ari’s guys, or anyone who wandered in uninvited, to rejoin the food chain at the lower end.

But the land is beautiful in a lot of ways. Little brooks gurgle in the background, just off the path. Outside there’s a war going on, but it’s green and peaceful in here, and the sunlight cuts through the overhead branches just right, landing on your shoulders in soft diffused rays, and sometimes you even see deer. Things grow here. But this ain’t no Disney flick, Billy’s seen to that.

He sits on his throne of wood, carved into the side of an enormous old growth oak. The tree is still alive, somehow, and Billy is inside it. He has his women, clad all in brown and green like the land, and he has his drugs to keep away the loneliness and the fears that sometimes come in the night.

Billy takes a long drink from a bottle of hooch they make right here in the woods, and runs his hand down the long black hair of the girl on his left, until his fingers find the back of her lithe and chestnut-tan neck. Someone is telling him something about what’s going on outside- something about drones in the air and an army led by a man on a white horse, for real, even though it sounds like something out of a bullshit movie, but Billy isn’t really listening. He knows all about the war already. After all, it’s his.

Entourage:2039 Chapter 13: Three things happen at once (part three).

When we last left Vincent Chase he was underground. Way underground, in the chamber of horrors presided over by the girl Mary, watching a no-holds-barred sex show given by two spitting images of his youthful self. “Could they come?” Somehow that was the only thought circling through real Vince’s dazed head. It seemed like they were some kind of robots., or cyborgs. Whoever made them had obviously gone into a lot of detail but… would something come out? And if so- what?

Whatever the answer was, he was going to find out soon. The Vince-bots pleasuring of each other was nearing its climax. And so, Vince found as he glanced over, was the girl Mary. Both hands were deep inside her panties now, her head pitched way back, mouth open, watching her own movie on the back of her closed eyelids – waiting for the big explosion.

It came. Literally: It knocked Vince out of his seat. Shook tiles and big clods of dirt from the ceiling, knocked the two Vince-bots to the floor. Something up there had blown up, and it was big. The next few stunned seconds were punctuated with follow-up blasts, further away than the first, but jarring all the same same.

When the fog cleared from Vince’s head, Mary was already on her feet, buttoning her fatigues and frantically throwing items into a duffel bag. “We have to go,” she snapped at him.

“What? Where,” Vince managed to stammer.

“No time for that.” With a strength that scarcely seemed possible in her petite body, she reached out with one arm and hauled Vince’s corpulent bulk upright.

“But… what about… them?” Sure, they were perverts, but they were after all, him.

Mary stopped loading documents from a recessed wall safe into her bag and looked sideways at Vince. “What, the bots? Are you kidding me?”

“I don’t know I just… we can’t just leave them here, can we?”

Mary considered for a few beats. “It’s going to be a long trip. And God knows you’re not going to do me any good. Four- come on. The young Vince-doppelganger she addressed stood at attention, ready to follow his master wherever she might lead. “The rest of you…”

She made a gesture, and the other Vince-bots knelt, without complaint, their faces to the wall. She pulled her pistol from her belt and chambered a round. To the real Vince: “You might want to look away.”

A few minutes later, Mary was dashing down a tunnel, Vince-bot #4 by her side, real Vince wheezing fifty feet behind her, doing his best to catch up. Mary, rounding the bend first, came into a dimly lit chamber that stretched a hundred feet overhead, and longer than a football field in either direction. There were cars here, all makes and models, and tanks, and military transport trucks. Vince caught up to her just as she pulled off the cover.

The car was a ’69. Pontiac GTO convertible, Fire Engine red, perfect mint, with the Ram Air V you couldn’t get from the dealer.

Vince finally caught up to her. The top was already down as she threw her bag in the backseat. Vince doubled over, gasping for breath. Mary smiled a little as she held the passenger door open for him; a real smile this time, not the cynical flash of teeth she had showed him back in the apartment. Now she raised an eyebrow.

“Roadtrip?”