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FUTURE ROOM - a short film
by Andrew Sutton (andrewjohnsutton@gmail.com)

Rated: PG   Genre: Science Fiction/Fantasy   User Review: ***1/2
A new invention allows the user to see into their future. Welcome to the FUTURE ROOM. Would you?

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.


A six year old boy stands by the side of a busy swimming
pool. He looks scared. Beside him, his father encouraging
him on with no result.
As long as I can remember, I've
been scared.
The boy stands looking on, he is worried. His father is
standing next to him, trying to get his son to enjoy
but he never gave up on me.
The boy, dressed in soccer kit, stands as goalie looking at
the game going on in front of him. The soccer ball suddenly
hits the boy, bouncing into the back of the net.
despite me being a big
The boy now stands by a grave, again next to his father.
This time, the son is offering his Dad words of comfort.


I only saw him cry once, the man
who wasn't scared of anything.
As the rain falls, a huddled mass of black umbrellas shield
Jim and his wife Jane from a summer rain shower.

We see people walking past them, shaking the hand of Jim
passing on their condolences.
The mourners disperse, leaving Mr. and Mrs. Jones standing
in front of a freshly covered grave.
and now he's gone.
Jim pulls out a cigarette and lighter from his jacket
pocket. Jane glances at him and grimaces.
58 is young, isn't it?

"PETER JONES. Beloved Father. 1951- 2009"
I thought you'd given up smoking?
Jim looks at his wife, his cigarette hanging out of mouth,
looks slightly deflated and close to tears. Mrs Jones
removes the cigarette from his mouth.
58 years old.
It was his time. You are only 38
Jim. Young.


But 58?
You can't keep going over and over
that in your head.
      (holds Jim's hand.)
He had a good life.
Jim turns and kisses Jane. The couple hug briefly and then
walk to their car.
JIM is sitting on the sofa watching TV. Jane can be heard
in the kitchen making coffee. Jim flicks through the
channels. We hear sound bites from the various channels.
On the TV is a man smoking a cigarette. Jim can taste it,
smell it.
Jim mashes the remote button.
                       VOICE ON TV
is proving to be a health scare
like no other and
Jim presses the remote button.
                       VOICE ON TV
obesity is the country's biggest
killer but...
Jim sits watching TV with a blank expression.
                       VOICE ON TV
fitness levels are important when
you think about...
We see the TV as JIM flicks to another channel. We see a
slick infomercial start.


We see an attractive female TV presenter standing in a white
room next to a futuristic computer station.
FUTURE ROOM - where you can
experience your future today. Our
patented predictive neural network
enables you to see your future
today. You can select to look
forward an hour, week, year - any
amount of time you want, it's that
easy! Why worry what tomorrow
holds when you can find out
The presenters PTC is covered and inter cut with shots of
overly happy people using the "Future Station", we see them
watching happy moments from their future.
JANE steps into the lounge with a cup tea. JIM quickly
switches the TV off with the remote.
We see JIM in a taxi as it drives along. He nervously looks
around. He holds a newspaper cutting in his hand. He
checks it.
Just here will be fine.
A taxi pulls up outside a very average looking industrial
building in an equally average industrial estate.


The taxi stops on the corner and JIM gets out. He looks
around and approaches the entrance.
Surprisingly, having seen the outside, we see JIM walk into
a clean and clinical reception area. A few people are
waiting. Wall mounted TVs play promotional videos about
JIM walks through reception, growing more nervous. He
approaches the receptionist and waits for her to stop
talking on the phone.
      (on phone)
I'm sorry sir, but I can't help.
Thank you again for calling.
      (puts the phone
Hello sir, welcome to Future Room.
Can I help you today?
Yeah. I'm Jim Jones - I've got a
room booked for 2:30.
The receptionist taps away at the keyboard.
Mr James?
No. Jones, 2:30.
The receptionist looks at Jim blankly and then taps at the
keyboard once again.
She shuffles some papers and hands them to Jim.
Could I ask you to sign this? It's
just a standard disclaimer.
Jim looks at the paper and signs without reading it.


There... we... go.
That's great. Please take a seat,
Mr. Mentira will be with you
Jim turns away and sits.
Jim sits for a second, looking around him. Jim's phone
starts ringing.
He checks who's calling him. It's Jane.
Hello sweetheart.
He awkwardly pauses.
Nothing wrong, nothing, why?
      (pauses, listening)
Um, I'm just on my lunch break.
No, I'm just at the... the
library. That's why you can't
hear anything.
I know I'm in a library - I was
being quiet until you rang -
what's up?
A smartly dressed smiling man walks up to JIM, seeing that
he's on the phone he hovers for a sec. Jim does his best to
draw the call to an end.
Listen honey, you are right, I
can't really talk at the moment -
a lady in the self help section is
giving me funny looks.
Oh, okay. Um, yeah I'm sure they
have a few books about Yoga - I'll
see what I can find here. Gotta


                       JIM (cont'd)
go. Bye, bye bye.
Jim stands to shake the hand of the Mr. Mentira.
                       MR. MENTIRA
Mr. James. Nice to meet you.
Welcome to Future Room.
Mr. Mentira is well spoken, immaculately preened and
dressed. He is super slick.
It's Jones. Nice to meet you.
Sorry about that - she wouldn't
understand why I'm here.
                       MR. MENTIRA
      (guiding Jim from
       his seat)
We get that a lot. I'm Perry
Mentira and I'm the manager of
this centre. If you have any
questions, please feel free.
The Mr. Mentira leads Jim away from the reception room.
Jim and Mr. Mentira walk along a long corridor.
So have you tried out "Future
                       MR. MENTIRA
Yes, Yes I have, and it's great.
It's also shown me that this
invention empowers people, and
I've seen how popular it will
become. That's my future. I
recommend it to anyone!


It's like waiting for exam
                       MR. MENTIRA
That's the beauty of it! You
don't have to wait!
Mr. Mentira snaps his fingers.
I'm so nervous.
                       MR. MENTIRA
That's completely normal, fear of
the unknown, but it won't be
unknown for much longer. Think of
it as a weather forecast for your
future life.
How does it do what it does?
                       MR. MENTIRA
A good question - the whole future
room we are walking to now is a
huge brain scanner, I can't really
give too much away, patents
pending you see. We have to
protect our investors.
      (pause - walking)
It works very well.
As John passes a door marked 3.5 it opens. An old woman
exits, sobbing uncontrollably. Jim and the Lab Technician
pass her. Jim is mildly distressed.
Is she alright?
                       MR. MENTIRA
Just as the future is unique, so
are people. They react in so many
different ways.
but don't worry, we have a very
professional medical staff here


                       MR. MENTIRA (cont'd)
Mr. Jones. She's in the best
possible hands.
She's found out when she's going
to die. God, I'm not sure I want
to know.
JIM stops walking. Mr. Mentira puts a reassuring hand on
Jim's shoulder.
                       MR. MENTIRA
I understand your concerns Mr.
Jones, but look at it this way, if
you find out how long you have
left, that's by no means the end
of it.
what do you mean?
                       MR. MENTIRA
You asked me if I've been in there
myself? Well, I've been in there
twice. The first time I went in
there it told me that I wasn't
going to be around in 30 years.
That was tough news to take but
that changed my life. I eat
better, exercise more, I stopped
smoking and I got this job. The
next time I went in there,
completely different story. I
like to think of it as a sort of
So, it's a good thing, a good
thing to do.
                       MR. MENTIRA
This machine has helped me become
the man you see today.


Okay. I'm going to do it.
                       MR. MENTIRA
Well done Mr. Jones. Well done!
Please, call me Jim. You're a
great salesman!
                       MR. MENTIRA
Okay Jim. Ah, and here's Timothy.
We see a lab technician walking toward JIM and MR. MENTIRA.
                       MR. MENTIRA
He's one of our best. He'll be
looking after you and getting you
all set up.
Thank you. Thanks for your time.
The men shake hands.
                       LAB TECHNICIAN 1
Hello, Mr. Jones. Please follow
The Lab Technician taps at a key pad mounted by the door
marked 3.6. There is a loud angry beep.
Incorrect access code. Please try
                       LAB TECHNICIAN 1
      (Under his breath)
Stupid thing!
The Lab Technician enters another code. There is a much
more cheerful sound and the door unlocks.


We are in a large white medical room. In the middle stands
a futuristic table with a computer display, a large simple
dial and a single large red button. There is a chair in
front of the table. The screen displays a futuristic
rotating logo "FUTURE ROOM 3.6".

A door opens and in steps Timothy the lab technician,
followed by Jim.
                       LAB TECHNICIAN 1
Welcome to the "Future Room" Mr
Jones. I take it that you've seen
our adverts?
Jim is directed to sit down on the chair in front of the
computer screen.
Yes I have, thank you. Amazing
what you do here.
The lab technician's manner is relaxed and a million miles
from the very slick patter of Mr. Mentira. Timothy is just
following a script. He'd rather be watching a fat kid
riding a roller coaster on YouTube.
                       LAB TECHNICIAN 1
      (Pointing at chair)
Please take a seat.
      (picks up cables)
So what brings you here today to
look into your future?
Well, history of heart problems in
the family - so I'm just curious
how long I've got.
                       LAB TECHNICIAN 1
We get a lot of people in just
like you. Very common.


The lab technician sticks wires and pads to Jim, connecting
the wires and Jim to the desk. His bedside manner leaves a
lot to be desired.
                       LAB TECHNICIAN 1
All you do is select on that dial
- how many years you would like to
see into the future. The machine
is very accurate - so be aware
that this is your real future -
but it is a future you can change.
Better diet, exercise - or avoid
the nasty men with guns, that kind
of thing.
The lab technician laughs. Jim does not. An awkward
                       LAB TECHNICIAN 1
      (holding out
Could I just get you to sign this
one last form. It's another
disclaimer - I will not sue if I
get electrocuted, that kind of
If you get into any trouble while
the system is running - just
pickup the phone and someone will
be able to help you straight away.
Jim scribbles on the dotted line.
                       LAB TECHNICIAN 1
OK. You're all set. When I close
the door the system will start.
Good luck.


The lab technician leaves the room. As the door closes, Jim
shifts nervously in his chair being careful of the loom of
wires that connects him to the machine.

The door slams shut. The computer boots up.
Welcome to FUTURE ROOM. You are
about to experience your future.
Please use the dial in front of
you to select the number of years,
months and hours you wish to see
into your future, then press the
red button to continue.
Jim nervously selects his first setting, 30 years, the
screen comes up "no data available".
I am sorry. No data exists for
that time frame. Please try
Okay. Less than 30 years. I can
deal with that. Exercise, healthy
living for me from now on...
Jim takes the news well, considering...
He sets the dial to 15 years - the computer whirs and
I am sorry. No data exists for
that time frame. Please try
What?! Oh no!
CLOSE on a cigarette being lit, a phone being dialed.


                       MR. MENTIRA
Hello baby, sorry I didn't ring
you back, just showing some sad
case around.
Perry Mentira is not as well spoken as we first thought.
                       MR. MENTIRA
Don't worry, all the money in the
world wouldn't get me in that
bloody machine.
Jim re-dials. 10 years.
I am sorry. No data exists for
that time frame. Please try
The screen displays the same message as before. Jim reads
it and the message sinks in.
I'm gonna be dead in 10 years.
Jim is now getting a little worried. He dials again. Hand
shaking, he makes a bold selection, 5 years.
There is a pause. The computer makes a whirring noise. The
screen goes blank for a second. Jim holds his breath.
I am sorry. No data exists for
that time frame. Please try
      (to the screen)
No! That has to be wrong! You're


He hits the desk. He is starting to freak out. He is
Our systems have detected high
levels of adrenaline in your blood
stream Mr. James. Please calm
down. Elevated stress levels
delay processing times. Thank you
for your co-operation.
We see both LAB TECHNICIANS sitting watching TV and eating
pizza. Next to them is a bank of CCTV monitors. One of them
spots JIM getting angry and taps his mate on the shoulder.
                       LAB TECHNICIAN 2
The dude in 3.6 is wigging out.
                       LAB TECHNICIAN 1
That didn't take long.
Jim takes a deep breath in, and dials again. 1 year!
There is a pause, feels like an age. Whirring and clicking
from the computer.
I am sorry. No data exists for
that time frame. Please try
Jim loses his calm.
No! You're bloody wrong! How can
I be dead in a years time!?
Jim grabs the phone by the dial and presses the button
marked "CALL for HELP".


We faintly hear someone pickup.
Something is wrong, it keeps on
telling me that there is no data.
He listens closely, pacing around the control station.
Are you sure?! If nothing is
wrong, no data means that I'm
going to be dead in 1 year?!
He stops pacing.
Your receptionist called me Mr.
James and my name is JONES.
J-O-N-E-S. Are you sure these are
MY results?!
We see the two Lab Technicians sitting in a small control
room. One is still eating pizza. The other is on the phone
to Jim.
                       LAB TECHNICIAN 2
No. Those are your results Mr
Jones... it doesn't matter what
you are booked in as. Everything
you are seeing, the predictions,
are taken from the blood sample
and the room's scanner you are in
right now, so no, there is no
possibility of a mix up. Sorry.
Alright. Enjoy Future Room.
                       LAB TECHNICIAN 1
People always blame the kit.
                       LAB TECHNICIAN 2


Jim now feels decidedly worse after his "help" call and
begins to sob uncontrollably. He's sweating and looking
generally unwell. He grabs his chest, rubs the back of his
neck and massages his arm. He pulls himself together as
much as he can and makes his final dial. 1 day.
      (out of breath)
Come on. Come on!
The computer clicks and whirs as it processes the data.
I am sorry.
      (long pause)
No data exists for that time
frame. Please try again.
Jim gets an incredible shooting pain in his chest. Gasping
his for his breath, he picks up the phone and dials for help
Help me. This can't be right. I
want someone in here NOW dammit!
Jim just lets go of the phone. It dangles from the desk
like a black potato.
Frustrated, angry and feeling like his chest is about to pop
open - he summons all his remaining energy and dials in ONE
HOUR. He slumps on the desk, looking at the monitor
sideways - losing focus.
I am...
      (long pause)
...displaying data on screen now.
We see the a flicker of beautiful relief on Jim's red sweaty
face, then his expression changes. A sudden brain shattering
horror, we see the image on the screen in front of him.

On the screen: Jim is dead on the floor surrounded by


medical staff trying to remember their CPR training. A man
with a tool box stands looking on helplessly.

JIM collapses onto the shiny white floor, pulling the wires
out of the machine.
Thank you for using FUTURE ROOM.
Have a nice day Mr. James.
A Lab Technician and a repair man are walking down the
corridor towards room 3.6.
                       REPAIR MAN
What's the problem?
                       LAB TECHNICIAN 1
Oh, room 3.6 has crashed again and
is giving people wrong
They arrive at door 3.6.
                       REPAIR MAN
It just needs a re-boot it and
it'll be fine.
The two men enter room 3.6. The camera stays in the
corridor. We hear panicked voices from inside the room.
                       LAB TECHNICIAN 1 (OOV)
This is room 3.6 - get me a
medical crew in here!!
The door closes.


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From Kevin Mitchell Date 9/3/2008 ***1/2
I wasn't familiar with the OOV (Out of vision) I would have just used OS (Off screen) and there were a few structural hiccups like some action in the parentheses that could have been made into interesting descriptions. I have to agree with David on the we see, try never using that and rather play with adjectives and verbs to paint "what we see". All that minor criticism aside I have to say... Well done. ANYBODY who can convey such an intriguing story in such a small space of time deserves an applause. The dialogue flowed nicely despite the few structural fauxpas, a real enjoyable short and I look forward to reading more of your work.

From Kevin Isaacson Date 9/2/2008 ***
I like the idea and a lot more could be done with it. This would be a good short in combination with several other "strange" tales to make up a full movie or show. Maybe have the receptionist say something a little more forboding while talking to the person on the phone when Jim meets her. Maybe something foreshadowing what's to come without giving away too much. Good concept and the script seemed to flow well. Go back over to correct the small typographical errors but nice job overall.

From David Chase Date 8/29/2008 ***1/2
I read an earlier draft of this, and as I said before, this is a really great concept. I actually liked the first draft better as a screenplay, because it started closer to the real action. I think the back story would work better if this were in short story form, but as a screenplay, I'd consider starting it as close to Jim hooking up to the machine as possible. A couple of minor points: avoid saying "we see", and just tell the story. Also, stay consistent with character names, such as calling him Jim in one spot, and Mr. Jones in another. Minor points, but they will likely be picked up on. Otherwise, really good dialogue, and a great ending.

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