Miscellaneous Mental Musings of an Emerging Artist
I wonder if it’s actually like this.
[INT. The offices of Business Insider magazine. STEPHEN CLEVELAND, veteran staff reporter, slams back a cup of coffee. Across from him is rookie reporter DORA REYNOLDS. Here’s a salacious description of her body because screenplays apparently require these.]
CLEVELAND: So that’s the lay of the land. Don’t use the copy machine for personal use and if you finish the last of the pot you damn well better make a fresh one.
REYNOLDS: Can I just say–
CLEVELAND: –I wish you wouldn’t. It’s not an honor to work here and it’s not an honor to work with me. The job’s not about honor, kiddo. It’s about business. It’s about being inside business.
REYNOLDS: Of course.
CLEVELAND: So. Let’s start you off with something light. Get your feet wet before the sharks start circling. What do you know about tech startups?
REYNOLDS: A lot. We all had to create one in high school.
CLEVELAND: Yeah? How’d you do?
REYNOLDS: A-minus. My app got bought out by a company that got bought out by Amazon. A cool couple million. That’s how I paid for half of my college tuition.
CLEVELAND: You’re going to be fine, Reynolds. Here, let’s–
[Every phone in the office starts ringing, one after another. ARTHUR “MACKIE” MACKENZIE, the Editor-in-Chief, bursts out of his office.]
MACKIE: The devil is happening out here?
STAFF REPORTER #1: Oh my god. Yes. Yes, I’ll tell him. Mackie? Reports are coming in from everywhere. The diamond industry is dying.
MACKIE: What? But that’s…that’s impossible.
STAFF REPORTER #2: Just got off the phone with North Cali, chief. Harley-Davidson’s getting killed out there.
MACKIE: The hell?
STAFF REPORTER #3: Casual dining’s on life support. I’m trying to get more details but…
[An email alert sound from CLEVELAND’s computer. He opens the attachment. It is an audio file. The voice is disguised, and malevolent. Here is an additional description of REYNOLDS’ legs just in case one is necessary I’m not sure I haven’t taken a class in screenwriting or anything.]
CLEVELAND: Chief? You’re going to want to hear this.
VOICE: Good morning Mr. Cleveland. By now you’ve heard about my latest victims. I wanted you to know that there will be more. Much more. You will watch helpless as every business you have ever loved crumbles to ash. I cannot be stopped. I am the future. You will hear from me again.
MACKIE: Jesus. Who’s it from, Steve?
CLEVELAND: Spoof account, clearly. Signed it, “The Millennial.” Reynolds, that ring any bells for you?
REYNOLDS: Oh god. I think so. I think…I might be connected.
REYNOLDS: I might know who this is. It’s not just one person. It’s a lot of people. It’s an entire generation. And I think I’m supposed to be one.
MACKIE: Any idea what they’ll go after next?
REYNOLDS: I told you, sir, it’s not just one person.
MACKIE: I heard you the first time.
REYNOLDS: Oh. That was a plural they, wasn’t it.
CLEVELAND: Is there some other kind?
REYNOLDS: Never mind. The point is, if the pattern holds, I think the napkin industry is next.
CLEVELAND: Good Christ.
REYNOLDS: I’m sorry. I don’t know how to stop this.
[REYNOLDS starts to cry. Here are her ideal measurements seriously what is wrong with us.]
CLEVELAND: Don’t you cave on me, Reynolds. We’re going to stop this all right. We’re going to stop it with the most powerful weapon there is. Reporting. Old-school, inside-business reporting.
MACKIE: All right. Looks like I’ve got you two on point. Remember, there are Hooters restaurants relying on us. Get to work.