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Influence Lost

I’ve been busy working on my novel about a girl named Gloria (title pending) and I thought I’d take a moment and update my readers with another story. This is a small short story in the form of a script, from my favorite contest, NYC Midnight. 

I really enjoyed the experience, my second script, and the feedback was excellent. Scripts are awesome to write because you can cut directly to the action.

Influence Lost is a story about a man named Sean who is a semi-famous YouTuber in a tight competition for the hearts and minds of young, socially awkward men. He sees women as the enemy of men until the beautiful assistant media agent Angela Dempsey is hired by his firm. Neither Angela nor Sean will be the same after their worlds collide in this funny, contemporary romance for the Internet age. (Note: this is the contest version, and in that contest, there are strict rules about length and I did not include their feedback in this version. If you want to see this in pdf form that retains the formatting, please click here. Thanks for reading!)


INT. COLUMBIA TOWER – VIDEO STUDIO – DAY
SEAN MONGEL (Male, 20s) sits in front of a small camera
manned by his producer, CARLOS LENN. Sean is screaming into a
camera for several seconds then the video freezes on his
contorted face.
SUPER: Sean “AngryDog” Mongel
NARRATOR (V.O.)
This is Sean. He is an angry man,
but doesn’t know why. He thinks his
channel helps young men from
becoming victims. Sean hopes that
New World Media, will be able to
help him fend off his competitor,
BroMedia. He believes love is dead.
He is wrong on all accounts.
INT./EXT. ANGELA DEMPSEY’S CAR – MORNING
ANGELA DEMPSEY (Female, 20s) is driving to work in an old
car, pounding on her steering wheel.
ANGELA
C’mon, people, move!
Video freezes mid-scream, with Angela’s face contorted.
SUPER: Angela Dempsey
NARRATOR (V.O.)
This is Angela, a broke Psychology
grad student, and an Assistant
Media Agent for New World Media.
She thinks that doing well on the
Cerberus account could get her
promoted from Assistant to full
Agent. Angela believes she can do
both work and school well. She is
also wrong on all accounts.
INT./EXT. CERBERUS STUDIOS PARKING GARAGE – CONTINUOUS
Angela drives under a massive office building into the
parking garage, gets out hurriedly, and runs towards the
elevators.
2.
INT. CERBERUS STUDIOS – CONFERENCE ROOM – MOMENTS LATER
Angela enters the conference room, papers clutched to her
chest, laptop bag in hand. IVAN SUSHKIN and Carlos, cofounders
of Cerberus media (along with Sean) are sitting
with feet up, throwing a Nerf football to each other.
IVAN
Look who decided to show up!
CARLOS
Well, well, aren’t you a Stacey?!
Carlos ogles Angela, who looks at them confused and
embarrassed.
ANGELA
Actually, my name is Angela, I’m
from New World Media. The traffic
was murder.
She puts her bags and papers down at the front of the table.
Ivan, annoyed at being ignored, BEAMS the football at Carlos.
It hits him in the head, bounces, hits and scatters Angela’s
papers onto the floor. She bends over to pick them up when
Sean enters the room right behind her. She spins around to
face him. They’re awkwardly close together.
SEAN
Oh,um, sorry. Huh, you must be
from…New Earth…ummm…
ANGELA
I’m Angela, from New World Media.
Angela holds out her one free hand, while the other holds her
papers. He shakes it and then helps her with her papers.
SEAN
Sean, Sean Mongel. I see you’ve met
my colleagues, Ivan and Carlos.
We’re the three founders of
Cerberus. Started it from my Mom’s
basement, and now we employ ten
people. It’s a ton of fun.
They sit down, Sean not breaking his gaze from Angela.
SEAN (CONT’D)
So, what do you do for fun?
ANGELA
Well, I go to the Space Needle or
the Ferris wheel.
(MORE)
3.
ANGELA (CONT’D)
I love high places, where I can
look to the horizon. I feel like I
can see the whole world.
SEAN
Ugh, I hate high places. I was
diagnosed with Acrophobia when I
was eight.
ANGELA
That’s awful. My sister is a
terrified of heights.
Carlos and Ivan laugh rudely. Sean gives them a dirty look.
Then Angela yawns.
ANGELA (CONT’D)
Sorry! I was up late studying.
SEAN
You know we’re in the coffee
capital of the world. Why don’t we
grab some?
Angela nods and smiles. Sean and Angela leave the conference
room abruptly. Ivan and Carlos look worried. The film
freezes.
NARRATOR (V.O.)
Ivan and Carlos were worried and
rightfully so. Soon Sean and Angela
were inseparable. Days turned into
weeks. Things were good for a time.
That was, until that fateful day
when greed and envy threatened to
destroy it all.
TWO WEEKS LATER
INT. CERBERUS STUDIOS – CONFERENCE ROOM – DAY
Ivan and Carlos are sitting in the conference room, pensive.
Carlos has a computer hooked up to a projector. Sean walks in
and looks surprised.
SEAN
Hey guys, you needed to see me?
IVAN
Sean, sit down.
SEAN
Uh oh, am I in trouble?
4.
Sean sits down. Carlos hits a button his laptop. A picture of
him feeding Angela ice cream up on the screen, the word
“SIMP?” above his head.
SEAN (CONT’D)
What the hell is this?
Carlos forwarded the slide show. Picture after picture
flashed by of Sean and Angela being affectionate.
CARLOS
Have you forgotten what a simp was,
Sean? Someone so pathetic they give
everything to a girl without any
thought for their own needs.
IVAN
Angela is a Stacey. They feed on
Simps. Beautiful women that flaunt
their bodies in front of us, use us
for our money and time, and then
throw us to the curb the minute a
Chad shows up.
SEAN
I know what a Stacey is. That’s not
Angela.
CARLOS
You’re lost, man. We’re staging an
intervention.
Sean sat speechless.
IVAN
I know for a fact you’re spending
money on her. I saw that necklace
on her the other day. Is she even
sleeping with you?
SEAN
That’s none of your business!
CARLOS
Sean, we’re going to give you a
choice. Either you sign over your
portion of Cerberus to us for a
reasonable discount and walk away
or you drop that bitch.
SEAN
I can’t believe this is happening.
I thought you were my friends.
5.
IVAN
We are. Look at what I found
online.
Ivan slides Sean a stack of papers, stapled together. The
title of the paper: “YOUNG MEN AND SEXUAL DYNAMICS BEHIND
MALE RIGHTS ACTIVISM – Angela Dempsey, Psych 510″
IVAN (CONT’D)
This is her masters thesis. You can
read it, but I’ll tell you what it
says. We’re lab rat losers, and you
are our leader.
As Sean flips through the report, his face grows sour.
SEAN
You guys didn’t have to threaten me
– this would have been enough. This
ends, now. It’s time for a special,
live event. Right. Now.
Ivan and Carlos smile with glee as the three of them head to
the filming studio.
INT. COLUMBIA TOWER – VIDEO STUDIO – CONTINUOUS
Sean sits in front of the camera, screaming, his face red.
Ivan and Carlos sit next to him, brooding, nodding in
agreement. The frame freezes.
NARRATOR (V.O.)
This is Sean screwing up his
relationship. He commences to trash
Angela by name for the world to
see, an instant viral hit.
EXT. TACOMA – UNIVERSITY OF PUGET SOUND – DAY
Angela is moving boxes into her car, walking up and down from
her dormitory. Tears are streaming down her face.
Sad, dirge-like music plays, while she continues to move out.
NARRATOR (V.O.)
This is Angela dropping out of
University after being fired from
New Age Media. Once her boss saw
Sean’s video, her dismissal was
immediate. But Fate is not yet done
with our couple.
6.
ONE WEEK LATER
EXT. SEATTLE – SPACE NEEDLE BASE – DAY
Ivan and Carlos walk with Sean as he approaches a local radio
station next to the Space Needle. Sean is
uncharacteristically sullen.
CARLOS
What do you think, AngryDog? How
are the Boomers going to take this?
They’re all into radio.
SEAN
(looking bored)
Who knows? They figured it out for
their generation, or we wouldn’t be
here. Maybe they have answers for
us. Wouldn’t that be funny?
CARLOS
(fake laughing)
Super funny, AngryDog! All I know
is our generation of males must
stick together, right my man?
Sean doesn’t respond. He stops, as if frozen. Carlos and Ivan
follow his gaze. In the distance, they see Angela, in a work
uniform. She sees them and crosses her arms defiantly.
IVAN
Oh my God, it’s her. Let’s go tell
that bitch off.
Sean’s face is stoic as the three men approach Angela.
ANGELA
Sean. What are you doing here?
SEAN
I have an radio interview. Seems
that I’m a hot topic now. You?
ANGELA
I work in the Space Needle, at the
restaurant.
SEAN
That’s great – you know what, to
hell with the niceties! Angela, why
did you do it? Why did you write
that hit piece?
(MORE)
7.
SEAN (CONT’D)
Was it a set up the entire time?
Were we nothing but lab rats to
you?
ANGELA
Sean, I’m taking a class, at least
I was until I dropped out…just
the opinions of a grad student. Did
you read the whole thing?
SEAN
Enough of it.
ANGELA
Yea? Did you read the part about
reframing situations? You, and
those two henchmen of yours, have
only yourselves to blame for your
girl troubles. How could you listen
to them?
SEAN
I see I was right the whole time.
Love is dead.
ANGELA
The only thing that is dead is your
brain, Sean.
Angela pokes him in the head, and steps closer to him.
ANGELA (CONT’D)
You know it’s perfect that you
called your company Cerberus. Do
you know what Cerberus did in
mythology?
SEAN
Three headed dog that guarded the
gates of hell?
ANGELA
That’s right, but not to keep
people from entering, but from
leaving. These fools and this whole
mythos keeps you locked in a hell
of your own creation!
Ivan and Carlos LAUGH LOUDLY. Angela GRUNTS, stomps her feet,
flips them off, turns and storms off towards the Space
Needle. Sean stands there, his face forlorn, tears begin to
form. The frame freezes. Arrows appear on the screen pointing
at Sean’s eyes.
8.
NARRATOR (V.O.)
That’s right, ladies and gentlemen,
those are tears falling from Sean’s
eyes.
Film rolls again. Carlos looks at Sean’s face, his eyes grow
large. He hooks Sean’s arm and drags him away from Angela to
the radio studio entrance next door.
INT. SEATTLE – KXXX RADIO STATION – CONTINUOUS
Sean is seated at a microphone. In the other chair is ROGER
ROCK (male, 40s), shock jock of Seattle.
ROGER
I have with me here the hottest
YouTube sensation, Sean “AngryDog”
Mongel here, from Cerberus Studios
right here in Seattle. Sean, tell
us about yourself and why you hate
women!
Sean looks at Roger and then to Ivan and Carlos, who are
behind the sound proof glass in a side room, nervously
smiling.
SEAN
(beat)
Roger, I’m not sure its about women
at all, really. Why do we hate
women? Do we really?
ROGER
Well, I’ve been divorced three
times, so I’ll let you fill in the
blanks on that one. You say love is
dead in your latest episode that
some are calling the most brutal
breakup video ever.
SEAN
(sullen)
I was furious…lost my temper.
ROGER
I get you, young man. She used you
for your money and dissed you in an
academic paper. That’s low!
SEAN
I gave her that money for school so
she didn’t have to work two jobs.
(MORE)
9.
SEAN (CONT’D)
I did it so she could spend more
time with me. Honestly, if you read
her paper or watch her YouTube
channel, you’ll see she’s just
trying to figure out why we’re all
so damn mad.
ROGER
Mad…do you mean angry or crazy?
SEAN
Both, Roger. We’re both angry and
crazy. This war we have with women
is pointless. My producer, Carlos,
said it best: Every generation has
had to figure out how to get
together, what the rules are for
relationships.
Sean looks to Carlos, who looks dumbfounded. Ivan punches him
in the arm, nearly knocking him down.
ROGER
You sound mad, AngryDog!
Sean peers over to his friends, who look extremely concerned.
Carlos WAVES his hand under his neck, and mouths the words
“Stop it!”
SEAN
(bangs the table)
You know what, Roger, I’m crazy.
Crazy for losing the last few weeks
of my life, hell, the last few
years of my life being angry. For
what? How am I going to learn about
women by yelling into a camera
about them? And I see my producer
is telling me to stop, and I think
that’s exactly what I’m going to
do.
Sean gets up abruptly and runs out of the radio studio.
ROGER
I guess that young man had to go to
the bathroom! Radio isn’t for
everyone, AngryDog! We’ll be back
in a few minutes.
10.
EXT. SEATTLE – SPACE NEEDLE – CONTINUOUS
Sean bursts out of radio studio. He looks up at the Space
Needle. The film freezes.
NARRATOR (V.O.)
Sean faces a foe made of steel,
glass, and metal, stacked 605 feet
high – the Space Needle. His
stomach churned. There was no time.
Carlos and Ivan were coming.
SEAN
I will not be kept in hell!
Sean runs into the Space Needle, buys a ticket and heads to
the elevator. The camera zooms to his face as it begins to
pour sweat. His eyes clamp shut.
Music: Carl Orff’s – O’ Fortuna plays, softly at first,
building as the elevator rises into the sky, and hitting a
crescendo as the doors of the elevator open.
INT. SEATTLE – SPACE NEEDLE – RESTAURANT – CONTINUOUS
The elevator opens. We see out of Sean’s eyes at first, as he
exits the elevator, the world is tilting and spinning. Sean
holds onto the walls as he nears the reception area. He
reaches the podium, leaning on it for support. A HOSTESS
approaches him, a worried look on her face.
HOSTESS
Sir, can I help you?
SEAN
(moaning)
Angela…is she here?
HOSTESS
She’s on the Loupe taking a break.
Are you sure you’re okay?
Sean sinks to the ground. The film freezes.
NARRATOR (V.O.)
It is only now that Sean recalls a
detail of this concrete monstrosity
– the Loupe, the only rotating
glass floor in the world. For Sean,
it might as well be a ring of fire.
Yet, Angela’s beautiful face enters
his mind and fills him with renewed
determination.
11.
Music: Carl Orff’s – O’ Fortuna hits a crescendo as the
hostess backs away and Sean crawls towards out towards the
Loupe. Concerned diners and waiters avoid the crawling man.
SEAN
Angela! Angela! Where are you!?
Sean continues to crawl towards the outer ring of the
Observation deck, but upon reaching the transparent floor his
eyes cross, stomach GURGLES, body LURCHES, and he spews sick
everywhere as people flee the scene.
Music: Carl Orff’s – O’ Fortuna comes to its climatic ending.
EXT. SEATTLE – SPACE NEEDLE BASE – DAY MOMENTS LATER
An EMERGENCY MEDICAL TECHNICIAN rolled Sean out of the Space
Needle and towards an ambulance. A crowd had gathered,
including Carlos and Ivan, who approached.
CARLOS
Dude, you look dead.
SEAN
Where is Angela?
IVAN
You are pathetic. Look at you! That
Stacey has ruined you! Maybe the
folks at BroMedia will be
interested in some video-
Just then Angela steps in between the stretcher and Ivan. She
stands on her tippy toes and points right in his face.
ANGELA
Why don’t you take your big fat ass
out of here and hit the road?! You
two have been poisoning his mind
for too long! That paper wasn’t
about him, it was about you two
idiots! You don’t hate women, you
hate yourselves, and you can’t even
see it. Get help!
IVAN
So tough, little girl. So tough.
Carlos grabs Ivan’s and Carlos walk away into the Seattle
crowd. Sean reaches for and grabs Angela’s hand.
SEAN
You found me.
12.
ANGELA
Found you?! You made quite a scene.
What were you thinking? You have a
condition, Sean. You could have
called!
SEAN
No, no, I needed to apologize, now,
in person. I have been horrible. I
am so sorry. You lost everything
because of me.
ANGELA
No, I should have told you about
the paper, but I didn’t think it
was a big deal. I am sorry.
Angela wipes the matted hair off of Sean’s forehead.
ANGELA (CONT’D)
I would kiss you, but, you know,
vomit.
SEAN
Totally understand.
ANGELA
I’ll see you at the hospital,
AngryDog.
WEEKS LATER
INT. SEATTLE – ANGELA’S APARTMENT – DAY
Angela and Sean are seen happily talking on camera.
NARRATOR (V.O.)
Sean and Angela got back together
with a commitment to communicate
with respect and love. Sean gladly
sold off Cerberus to his exfriends,
Ivan and Carlos. Sean and
Angela started a hot new YouTube
channel called Open Arms,
specializing in relationship
advice. The happy couple never
returned to the Space Needle, for
which the personnel there were
eternally grateful.
FADE OUT.

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