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For a fraction of a second [Adaptation] (Short)
by Brian-Paco (paco_bond@yahoo.com)

Rated: PG-13   Genre: Miscellaneous   User Review:
NOT YET
RATED

A short film based on the essay, "For a fraction of a second." Jacob starts out stressed with a project, and searching for a distraction. However, when an unpleasant occurrence goes beyond a mere escape from work, he find himself forced to deal with an emotional connection. [The screenplay is in the drafting stage, but any comments, criticism or general feedback that you make on the work will be helpful.]


This screenplay is copyrighted to its author. All rights reserved. This screenplay may not be used or reproduced without the express written permission of the author.



FOR A FRACTION OF A SECOND [ADAPTATION]
(SHORT)


FADE IN:

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
The Writer with Writing Frustration
                                                            
JACOB sits at a computer desk working. The monitor shows a
word-processing program like WORD. Jacob is concentrating
upon the unfinished document. He reviews his writing without
much inspiration or progress.
                                                            
In the dark room, a description of a writing assignment
rests on his desk, and is propped by the frame of a
photograph, which the ditto covers. Jacob examines the
straight forward instructions, and then presses his focus
back to the nearly blank monitor. Somewhere on the
assignment sheet, the type reads:
                                                            
Complete a 500 word essay about a personal
experience
.
                                                            
A minor frustration begins to set into Jacob, and he
restlessly wanders about his room. He needs to focus upon
something else for a minute, or two, before the disrupting
force builds beyond his will. Jacob begins to look around
the bedroom, but still seems to spy back at the computer
monitor.
                                                            
Jacob straightens a ruffled sheet on his bed. After a
moment, he picks up an object from his night stand, and
tosses the small ball in brief upward passes, catching it
with alternating hands. Jacob stops his catch-play not from
boredom, but only as the thought of his unsaved file,
sitting on the computer waiting for a power surge to strike
the laptop erasing all his painstaking (but still minimal)
progress, comes to mind.
                                                            
The nineteen year old moves to the desk, and uses the mouse
in order to click to save the file of his frustrating task
in it's updated, yet unresolved state. With the document
secure, Jacob is a little more relaxed, but is far from

2.

ready to resume into the abyss surrounding the bounding job
of concentration and looming stress. He pauses aside the
computer, but faces away from his chair.
                                                            
Jacob's eyes search the room causally. He meets posters,
paintings, and distant family photographs among the
furniture, personal items, and closet of his room. In a
strange, yet predictable, desire of enticing
procrastination, Jacob seems to be looking for something to
preoccupy his attention for the time being.
                                                            
Nothing drastically appeals to the young man. He picks up an
odd piece of laundry from the floor, and effortlessly throws
the material into a basket. Jacob goes to the exit of his
room, and opens the door. However, before leaving the
bedroom behind, Jacob grabs the laundry basket, and places
the hamper out into the hallway against a wall.
                                                            
Jacob hesitates at the doorway for a second. He turns and
scans over the room again. Now, he is impatient with his
condition of indecision on whether to stay with increasing
frustration or leave into that dangerous arena of lack of
focus. Eventually, the glare of the computer screen pushes
him onward as he imagines the hard stare from his work
bearing down on his back and shoulder blades. Jacob pivots
away toward the freedom of the hallway.
                                                            
 
INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT
                                                            
Into the Hall He Fled
                                                            
Jacob enters the hall. He pauses briefly at the doorway of a
neighboring room. The door to the bedroom is ajar, and light
is visible from inside. With a quick glance into the empty
room, Jacob continues down the hall with the inward thoughts
from the stress of his project weighing upon him. Although
Jacob is stuck with writer's block, the present
procrastination away from the computer, in the form of time
and space, has started to offer some minor relief.
                                                            
                       JACOB (TO SELF)
      (in a rambling
       fashion)
A half-n-hour break, that's all. A
quick walk. Could get a drink. A
cold drink and back to restart
            (MORE)

3.

                       JACOB (cont'd)
once more. No problem. Plenty of
time to finish.
                                                            
As he convinces himself with these justifications for his
"resting period," Jacob is slowly moving through the
hallway. The sounds of blaring entertainment is audible from
the end of the hall. Throughout the course of his
self-addressed rationalization, the noise of the television
down the hall is increasing, and in portion, gains an
amplitude of awareness in his head. The blaring
entertainment is a "cartoon-ish" broadcast. It is loud, and
yet still distance.
                                                            
Jacob is not intrigued, nor totally distracted by the noise
at the end of the hall. However, the sounds stimulate a
response as some notion crosses his mind's eye, and Jacob
turns around. The young man tracks back along his path with
a curious passion. When he again reaches the doorway of the
neighboring room, Jacob pauses for a brief period, and then
cautiously pushes the door completely open.
                                                            
 
INT. HALLWAY / NEIGHBORING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
What Lies Ahead
                                                            
At the entrance, Jacob steps partially into the light of the
room. He stands where the ajar door stood before, and looks
momentarily around the area beyond the doorway. With a sigh
expressing the wasteful bother of this situation, Jacob
walks back a pace, and rests a hand in a ready position on
the light switch. In the hallway, as he leans his upper body
into the room, a sudden internal sensation to inspect once
more the currently unused, but well lit space takes over
Jacob.
                                                            
 
INT. POV NEIGHBORING ROOM FROM HALLWAY - NIGHT
                                                            
Nothing Inside
                                                            
Jacob stands looking at the room for a short while. There is
little variety in his vantage point, not from the view of an
uninteresting room, but from a lack of movement or searching
on Jacob's part. In an introverted fashion, Jacob stares at

4.

the colorful room of a "pre-teen." The seconds of the clock
pass and fade in his unchanging glaze. Suddenly, a CLICK of
the light switch is heard. A stream of darkness flows into
the room.
                                                            
 
INT. HALLWAY NEAR THE DARK NEIGHBORING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
After Lights Out
                                                            
Slowly, Jacob steps back from the room into the light of the
hall. With a touch of vanity, he moves to a mirror hanging
on the wall, in order to fix his hat. As Jacob begins to
groom his appearance, he speaks to himself again.
                                                            
                       JACOB
Clean up and back to work. There
isn't any real rest (until you
really are finished tonight)...
                                                            
 
INT. OPPOSITE END OF THE HALLWAY - NIGHT
                                                            
What Comes Next
                                                            
An UNNOTICED BYSTANDER watches from a distance, as Jacob
finishes with his head. A person with an amazing
disposition, or stupendous abilities, might have heard the
footsteps of the Unnoticed Bystander's approach. Jacob did
not.
                                                            
 
INT. HALLWAY NEAR MIRROR - NIGHT
                                                            
Consequences of the Darkness
                                                            
After adjusting his hat neatly, Jacob walks back toward his
work and the relative silence of his room. The Unnoticed
(and now annoyed) Bystander interrupts Jacob's motion with a
verbal assault.
                                                            
                       UNNOTICED
      (upset gesturing)
Hey! What did you do that for?!
                                                            
Jacob is surprised and speechless in response to the roaring
accusation.
                                                            

5.

                       UNNOTICED
I SAID: Why did you do that?!
                                                            
In non-violent opposition to the angry and mounting
questions, Jacob tries to speak serenely, but instead
stumbles a bit in the confrontation .
                                                            
                       JACOB
      (stunned)
Well...
                                                            
The tension of unresolvable annoyance on the young
pre-teen's face seems intent on hearing an unsatisfying
reply.
                                                            
                       JACOB
I thought it wasn't being used.
                                                            
                       UNNOTICED
Ah! Sheeeesssh! I was using it!
                                                            
Jacob gestures to turn on the light.
                                                            
                       UNNOTICED
It is too late now, GOD!
                                                            
The source of the young intolerant voice storms away. Jacob
stands still, and watches the Unnoticed Bystander go. Then,
a melancholic feeling rains down upon him.
                                                            
 
INT. HALLWAY / NEIGHBORING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
A Tardy Return to Light
                                                            
Again, the CLICK of the light switch is heard. Jacob is
leaning into the neighboring room as light fills the area.
He re-enters the L-shaped corridor of the hallway and heads
for his room.
                                                            
 
INT. JACOB'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Beyond Mere Distractions
                                                            

6.

Jacob reaches his room, but his thoughts and feelings are no
longer concerned or consumed by his work. An onslaught of
emotions seize his attention away from and beyond mere
distractions.. Moments before, his previous notions were
directed in an effort to escape work, but now his emotional
baggage is tipped wide open casting everything else aside.
Jacob sits down in the darkness to ponder the reasons for
the recent, unpleasant occurrence.
                                                            
                       JACOB (TO SELF)
Why is it like this?
                                                            
Jacob remains seated, but is staring off with pensive eyes.
He is trying to visualize an answer, before shaking his head
and almost completely shutting his eyes.
                                                            
                       JACOB
      (uttering slowly
       as his thoughts
       draw inward)
Where did it go wrong?
                                                            
FADE OUT, THEN GRADUAL DISSOLVE TO WHITE:
                                                            
*** REFLECTION MONTAGE ***
                                                            
The Thoughts that Come
                                                            
[Emboss & White Edging; Images/Video and Sounds/Audio are
formalistic and altered; Dissolving in and out of white
between "scenes."]
                                                            
 
INT. *** HALLWAY / NEIGHBORING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Unnoticed Bystander and Jacob arguing in a semi-typical room
for a suburban child of ten or eleven years old. Distorted
sounds of their bickering is heard and blurred.
                                                            
DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 

7.

INT. *** CU UNNOTICED IN A ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
A spinning view of the boy (i.e. Unnoticed Bystander)
holding a stuffed animal is slowly stabilized, but still
rather unfocused.
                                                            
                       REFLECTION VOICE (VO)
      (strained listing
       of facts)
He was born eight years later.
Eight years after.....The youngest
of three with two above him.
                                                            
The shot of Unnoticed Bystander sweeps to reveal two figures
standing over him.
                                                            
DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. *** HALLWAY / NEIGHBORING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Another view of Jacob and his brother arguing in the
bedroom. Again, the distorted sounds of the bickering can be
heard. A video console controller is in the hand of one of
them.
                                                            
                       REFLECTION VOICE (VO)
Vindictive disputes...
..relationship suffers...
                                                            
DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. *** KITCHEN - DAY
                                                            
[After the previous scene ends and the white takes over the
screen, the transition (i.e. cross dissolve) to this scene
is extended to correlate with the following dialogue.]
                                                            
                       REFLECTION VOICE (VO)
Where did it being?
                                                            

8.

As the voice trails off, the layout of this scene is
clearer. A woman's pregnant stomach is in the foreground. A
YOUNG JACOB is in the center of the screen framed and
overshadowed by the body of his FATHER to the left and his
MOTHER's pregnancy to the right.
                                                            
                       YOUNG JACOB
      (crying in
       desperation)
I'm running away!
                                                            
CUT TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. *** STREET CORNER - DAY
                                                            
An adult arm (i.e. that of Father) grabs the left wrist of
Young Jacob, and spins him back in the opposite direction.
                                                            
                       YOUNG JACOB
      (pleading)
"He will be the youngest."
                                                            
DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
EXT. *** BACK PORCH (POV OF YOUNG JACOB) - DAY
                                                            
[Again, the transition is extended to be lined up with the
voice over.]
                                                            
                       REFLECTION VOICE (VO)
Still needed a name.
                                                            
The blurred figures of adults, Mother and Father, are seen
from the POV of Young Jacob. The words "a contest" are
passing from the direction of the his parents, and then the
Mother and Father look off to screen left. Another YOUNG
VOICE comes from that particular direction, but Young
Jacob's focus remains on his parents (even as they look
away).
                                                            
                       YOUNG VOICE (OS)
How about Stewie! Like in the
(show)... Steward?
                                                            

9.

The parent figures are shaking their heads "no" at the Young
Voice, before he finishes his last words. Then, Mother and
Father shift their attention onto Young Jacob.
                                                            
                       YOUNG JACOB
Eric.
                                                            
As the folks start to seem pleased with the name of Eric,
the scene crashes onward to white.
                                                            
DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. *** LIVING ROOM - DAY
                                                            
Young Jacob is cradling a BABY in his arms
                                                            
                       JACOB
      (joyfully; almost
       singing)
Eric. Eric. Little Eric.
                                                            
DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. *** KITCHEN PANTRY - DAY
                                                            
Jacob hands TODDLER ERIC something from a higher shelf.
                                                            
                       REFLECTION VOICE (VO)
Then, an enthusiastic friend...
                                                            
DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. *** LIVING ROOM COUCH - DAY
                                                            
Toddler Eric stands atop of the couch and jumps onto Young
Jacob, who is laying still on the cushions. Both start
laughing playfully as Eric lands on his older brother.
                                                            
                       REFLECTION VOICE (VO)
...an extraordinary
acquaintance...
                                                            

10.

DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. *** HALLWAY - DAY
                                                            
Jacob is marching with (Unnoticed Bystander) ERIC following
behind in the parade. Eric is wearing Jacob's hat and/or
shirt, which is either too big or too long.
                                                            
                       REFLECTION VOICE (VO)
...an emulator.....but...
                                                            
DISSOLVE TO:
                                                            
 
INT. *** HALLWAY / NEIGHBORING ROOM - DAY
                                                            
A conflict between Eric and Jacob rages once more. Eric
throws a stuffed animal at Jacob. Afterward, Jacob storms
out of the room, and the door is slammed shut.
                                                            
                       REFLECTION VOICE (VO)
...separation grows
                                                            
FADE OUT:
                                                            
[As Jacob's flashes of memory dissipate,
the black screen holds for the following dialogue.]
                                                            
                       REFLECTION VOICE (VO)
I don't like it.
                                                            
*** END OF REFLECTION MONTAGE ***
                                                            
FADE IN:
                                                            
 
INT. JACOB'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
The Return from Remembrance
                                                            
For a few seconds, Jacob is still sitting.
                                                            
                       JACOB
I do not like the distance between
us.
                                                            

11.

Jacob looks up in the direction of the door, and leaves the
room.
                                                            
 
INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Fleeting Possibilities
                                                            
Jacob is standing at the edge of the room, and is in the
foreground of the screen. Over Jacob's shoulder, Eric is
seated defenseless on the couch. He is watching television.
The "cartoon-ish" channel is blaring once more, but Eric,
the owner of the previously angry voice, is now calm.
                                                            
As Jacob approaches, a ceremonial silence dominates the
vicinity. The television is muted with the volume turned
down. Eric senses someone in the room, but has not taken his
glaze away from the electron firing box.
                                                            
                       JACOB
      (with a touch of
       longing)
Eric.
                                                            
Eric looks toward an adversary, but his eyes encounter a
remorseful soul. He waits for his brother's next words.
                                                            
The moment holds and the silence sticks between them. Jacob
struggles in hesitation for a fraction of second, and then
just before it all crashes forcing them back into their
corners, he speaks.
                                                            
                       JACOB
I love you.
                                                            
Without a second thought, Eric responses by mumbling an
uncertain phrase, which Jacob cannot make out in this
instance.
                                                            
                       JACOB
      (anxious,
       uncertain of
       acceptance or
       dispute)
What?
                                                            

12.

Eric increases his volume and enunciates his words clearly.
                                                            
                       ERIC
I love you, too.
                                                            
Jacob smiles, and so does Eric.
                                                            
FADE OUT:
                                                            
FADE IN:
                                                            
 
INT. JACOB'S BEDROOM - NIGHT
                                                            
Some Writing Takes Hold
                                                            
An empty chair sits next the computer desk. Still, the
monitor contains a nearly blank word-processing document.
The assignment sheet is now laid across the keyboard, and
the photograph frame encasing an image of Jacob and Eric is
fully visible.
                                                            
From the work station to the bedroom floor, a view of Jacob
on the carpet with a pad of paper and a pencil becomes clear
by the light of a previously unlit lamp. Jacob is working
again. His writer's block is absent, and the desire for
procrastination is dormant. At the moment, he has the
majority of a sentence completed, and reads his words over
to obtain an ending.
                                                            
                       JACOB
Tomorrow, there could be more
heated moments...moments...
                                                            
Jacob returns to scribble on the pad. As he finishes the
first sentence, the young man starts another corresponding
line that needs rounding off.
                                                            
                       JACOB
...heated moments that may
continue. The passiveness of
tonight might switch to...
                                                            
Jacob holds out the word "to", stops to scratch his chin,
and then writes as he states the words aloud.
                                                            

13.

                       JACOB
The passiveness of tonight might
switch to - rage, - but for now
something is very right in a place
where almost everything seems
wrong.
                                                            
Jacob gives a slight smile as he glazes over the progress.
Then, with a pronounced stroke of the wrist scribes a single
word.
                                                            
                       JACOB
Finished
                                                            
Jacob leans back and gently signs his name to the prose.
With a soulful relaxation, his eyes raise from the pad of
paper to a level position. After finishing this vague draft,
Jacob looks content enough.
                                                            
FADE OUT:
                                                            


THE END


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