Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Living Dead - Dead on Arrival

So some people have been asking for samples of my writing, so I thought I would post a sample script I wrote on my blog. I created this one last week, it took me a total of maybe four hours to write, edit, and send over. Avatar allows for freelance writers to submit to them for potential jobs, but they require you to write a sample script using their characters... So, I chose the Living Dead because I was always a sucker for those movies when I was younger. Late night on USA, I watched a ton of horror movies when I was a kid. Probably explains why I'm so twisted with my writing now at times. Anyway, read and enjoy... let me know if you have any comments and keep in mind that though it contains zombies and is inspired by the Living Dead, it doesn't mean you can take the idea and run with it... I've got the rest of the story saved up in case Avatar asks me to move forward with it.

PAGE ONE (Two Panels)

Panel 1. A 747 flying through thick clouds, heavy rain, and lightning all around (some way too close to the plane). Angled image to give the impression that the plane is not flying perfectly straight (turbulence). Plane labeled with fake airline logos for Northern Airlines - Pacific Connection, flight 842.

RADIO (Captain): This is your captain speaking, please return to your seats and fasten your seatbelts. We are experiencing a little bit of turbulence.

Panel 2. View from a seat in coach looking up at the little air dial, the no smoking light and the fasten your seatbelts light which has just lit up. The square compartment for the air masks is closed in the center.


PAGE TWO (Five Panels)

Panel 1. View from Dr. Evans' seat as he reaches up to fiddle with the air nozzle above him with his right hand. The motion from the plane shaking is making his hand move around slightly as he tries to twist the nozzle.

Panel 2. View Dr. Evans from the seat in front of him. He is looking forwards, sweat on his brow as his right hand arcs awkwardly down, feeling sick due to the motion of the plane. His left hand is clenched tight on his briefcase against his chest. He is crammed between an exceptionally fat man (Roy - his left) and woman (Wanda - his right), barely enough room to gesture, let alone reach for an air vent. The man to his left appears to be sleeping and the woman to his right has her hand on the slide to open the little window cover so she can see outside.

Panel 3. Nervously, Dr. Evans positions the briefcase onto his lap flat and clicks open the locks.

Click! Click!

Panel 3. View from the aisle looking in towards Dr. Evans’. His head is cocked slightly to the side and he tries to contort to looks into the barely open briefcase without letting anyone else see what is inside. Barely visible is an orange bag with a biohazard symbol on it and, written in sharpie, “tissue samples 08-13-2005”. Slivers of duct tape hold the visible corners of the bag to the inside of the brief case.

Dr. Evans:

Panel 4. Same POV, but Dr. Evans’ head is back up and he’s looking around with a look of relief on his face. The fat woman to his right has opened the window and is looking out into the storm, raindrops buffeting the window. It’s dark outside and her head is cocked in that direction. A flash of lightning is visible in the distance. The plane continues to rumble with turbulence.

Roy, check this out!


Lean your fat head and look out!

Panel 5. View from outside in the rain looking into the window, the window taking up most of the frame. Other windows are visible, but all are closed. Dr. Evans has leaned a little back in his chair so Roy can lean towards the window without getting overly friendly. Beyond Roy, we can see the middle and opposite side of the plane where most people are looking forward, concerned looks on their faces because of the turbulence. On the far side, Alan is visible, head back, eyes closed, and a relaxed look on his face ~ all in a day’s work. He is wearing a sports coat over a red button up shirt and khakis.

PAGE THREE (Five Panels)

Panel 1. Camera pans back into the plane, closing in on Alan, still looking relaxed. The motion from the plane’s turbulence intensifies.

Panel 2. View from outside the plane again, view from beyond the back of the plane looking forward at a slight angle. A thick bolt of lightning hits the top of the plane about a third of the way back, the arc of the bolt is visible on top, arcing to the left engine, and continuing on into the depths below the plane.


Panel 3.
Same view as before looking at Alan, but his eyes snap open suddenly.

Panel 4. From his POV looking at the passengers. Everyone is looking around frantically, some looking like they just woke up. Dr. Evans is visible on the other side of the plane, briefcase clenched tightly again to his chest.
What was that?

Did you hear that?

What the fuck?


RANDOM PERSON 5 (burst):

Have you ever felt turbulence this severe?

Panel 5. Same POV, but the lights go out and only the light coming in from the bolts of lightning outside cast any light in the cab.

RANDOM PERSON 1 (burst):

RANDOM PERSON 2 (burst):





PAGE FOUR (Four Panels)

Panel 1. View from the nose of the plane looking back at the left engine which is on fire and sputtering, not sure if it wants to stall out or explode. Figures of the pilot and co-pilot are partially visible in the front windows, but it’s dark in there.

Mayday! Mayday! This is Northern Airlines flight 842 en route to Los Angeles, engine has been hit by lightning and we are losing altitude. Mayday! Mayday!

Captain, looks like the radio is fried.

PILOT (burst):
God damn it!

Panel 2. View from inside the pilot’s cabin. The pilot is looking back towards the door to the cabin, which is open. In the darkness a couple of figures are visible strapped in for the turbulence.

PILOT (burst):
Get into the cab and tell everyone to get on their life preserves and release the damned oxygen masks, this brick’s going down.

Panel 3. View from the door looking at the two stewardesses, both buckled in and trying to get themselves unstrapped. They are looking at each other with fear in their eyes.

Yes Captain!

Panel 4. The stewardesses walking into the main cabin of the plane, view from around ten rows back looking forward towards them. Everyone still looks frantic, but their mouths are closed. Many have their eyes clenched shut. Stewardesses on either side of the plane start unbuckling themselves. Of the two who are already standing, 1 is addressing the crowd and 2 is reaching into a compartment by the door.

STEWARDESS 1 (burst):
Ladies and gentlemen, the captain is working to get us leveled out, but we were asked to please have you put on your oxygen masks and reach under your seats for flotation devices.

PAGE FIVE (Three Panels)

Panel 1. Door above one passenger opens up and three air masks drop down, lines for the air lost in the darkness. Dozens of tubes intertwined are visible.

Panel 2. View of the left engine from a close by window, exploding violently.


Panel 3. Same POV, but the engine, the wing and the section by them flying out into the night in a shower of rain, air, fire, glass, and people.

PAGE SIX (Five Panels)

Panel 1. View from outside where the wing was looking into the plane, the plane at a 45-degree angle forward to back and left to right. A lot of empty seats are in the middle of the plane and all of the seats close to the explosion are gone, blackened areas in their wake. People either have on their oxygen masks or are frantically trying to fasten them on themselves or their children. A couple more people, including a stewardess are flying out of the plane due to the angle. A crack has appeared on the top of the plane where the wing and section came off.

Panel 2. Same view, but the crack has gotten worse. People are looking up around them who can see it and a few are trying to get themselves out from their seats to move out of the way.

Panel 3. Same view, but the crack is larger. A few people have successfully started climbing towards the front and back of the plane. A few more people fly out of the plane, though.

Pane 4. Same view, but the front of the plane take a steeper dip while the back retains the same angle, now only attached at the seat level. Some people, screaming, whoosh out all around.

Panel 5. View from well behind the plane looking forward towards it. An island is ahead in the distance, a large mountain visible on the right, and a fishing village of some sort visible at the foot of the mountain, also on the right side of the island. The angle of the plane is pointing towards the left side of the island.

PAGE SEVEN (Six Panels)

Panel 1. Fuzzy vision… View from Alan’s POV looking around. Light is filtering into the wreckage of the plane from outside. All around are dead bodies, moans, metal, seats scattered, body parts, and a general mess of things.


Hours later…

Panel 2. Alan’s POV a little clearer. He is looking back in the direction of Dr. Evans. Evans is wearing his life preserver and has the oxygen mask on his face. The briefcase is still held tightly to his chest, but both he and it have been pierced by a piece of metal from the plane upon crashing. Blood has come out of his mouth and is now dry, flies are just starting to flutter around from outside.


Panel 3. View from a few seats away looking at Alan. He is struggling to get himself out of his seat belt. There are dead bodies in all of the seats around him, necks at odd angles and impaled with shards of metal. He’s looking around frantically as he struggles with the buckle. His movement reveals a concealed weapon beneath his jacket, under his left armpit.

Fuckin’ thing!


Panel 4. View from behind Alan’s shoulder as he looks ahead of him to the seats. A hand is waving a little ways ahead of him from the floor, barely visible near one of the seats.

Hello? Where are you?

I’m down here… I’m stuck… They’re on top of me…

JOSIE (burst):

ALAN: I’ll be right there, just hold on.

Please hurry.

Panel 5. View from the floor where Josie is looking up towards Alan who is coming her way. He has a tender look on his face and looks a little battered, but not overall in bad shape.

ALAN (small):
There you are.

Thank you, I didn’t think anyone would come. A few people passed by, but… I don’t know if they couldn’t hear me or what.

It’s ok, I’m here now.

Panel 6. View from beyond the two looking back at them. Josie is pinned beneath two bodies and one of the chairs has curved over, blocking her beneath. Alan is forcing the chair to move out of the way bodily.

ALAN (burst):

Ok, slide out of there.

PAGE EIGHT (Six Panels)

Panel 1. View from Alan’s POV as Josie slides out from beneath the two dead bodies on top of her. She’s covered in a bit of blood, but it’s obvious that she’s very pretty. She’s wearing a green top, spaghetti straps with a different shade of green cardigan over it and dark blue jeans now with splotches of dark blood. She’s also wearing tennis shoes.

Thank you!

Panel 2. Alan helping Josie to stand up and they’re looking each other in the eyes. She smiles sadly while he maintains a grim expression.


Alan… Let’s get out of this place.

Panel 3. View from behind Josie and Alan as they walk towards the light, behind where Alan was sitting. The plane is in half, and he was in the front half. Bodies litter everywhere and beyond the light they see the other half of the plane. In the other plane there are some people standing in the shadows.

Well Josie, it looks like we weren’t the only lucky ones.

JOSIE (small):
Look at all the people.

ALAN (small):
Shhhh, there’ll be time to mourn later. Let’s make sure we’re safe first, ok.

Josie (small):

Panel 4. Walking into the light, sun just about down, view from where the two parts of the plane split looking towards the wide opening. We see Alan and Josie’s backs. Trees surround the plane, but there is a little clearing there around the crater where the plane landed. A few people are sitting down in the shade beneath one of the trees. Frank is pointing towards Alan and Josie.

A couple more made it out!

There may be more survivors in there.

I think we got most of them.

Panel 5. Closer view of Frank from over Alan’s shoulder. He has a devastated look on his face, as they all do.

We’ve been through there; anyone still alive is probably dead by now.

You missed us.

You looked dead a couple of hours ago.

Fair enough.

Panel 6. View of the group together looking up near the nose of the plane on top where a fire is burning.

Not to mention that.

Holy shit, you think it’s gonna blow?

No fuckin’ clue.

PAGE NINE (Four Panels)

Panel 1. View from Alan’s POV looking up at the sky, a few people’s torsos at the bottom of the frame and the sun, just a sliver on the horizon, darkness all around except for there.

And there it goes.

Panel 2. View from Alan’s POV. He has turned back towards the plane. Mark is walking towards the plane, the sun is now down and view is darkening. Mark has his head cocked as though he’s listening to something.

MARK (burst):

Panel 3. Closer view, Mark is near the opening and it’s now dark inside the plane, nothing visible except for the silhouette of a woman, torso cocked to its left (our right) and head cocked even more to the left (our right). Left arm is dangling uselessly while the right is reaching forward, the tips of the fingers in enough light to make out nails painted red.

Oh God, Molly, you’re alive!

MOLLY (small):

You’re in shock, honey, I’m coming.

Panel 4. Mark is now stepping into the darkness of the plane, stepping to reach for Molly. Frank and Charles are stepping forward to flank Mark, a little cautious. Molly’s head has moved a little bit against the unnatural angle of the neck and is now putting her right hand on Mark’s shoulder, tips of her nails biting into Mark’s shoulder.

MARK (burst):

It’s ok, I’m here.

Panel 5. Closer view of the two of them. Mark has pulled Molly partially into the light and it’s obvious she’s a zombie. She clamps down on his face with her mouth and her hand digs more into his shoulder, breaking the bone. She is still hobbling forward, motion to indicate the two of them are going to fall.

MARK (burst):


Panel 6. View from Frank’s POV looking down on Molly who is eating Mark’s face, pulling a bit of flesh up, gobbling. Her eyes are looking up to the sky, but don’t see anything, they’re a sickly white. Mark is thrashing around on the ground. Charles, beyond them is looking down in horror, his mouth open.



PAGE TEN (Six Panels)

Panel 1. View from Josie’s POV behind Alan. Alan is pulling out his gun. Beyond him. Frank is pulling the zombie Molly off of her husband.

FRANK (burst):
Get --

Panel 2. Same POV, but now Alan has his gun out and Frank is chucking Molly towards the side of the plane.

FRANK (burst):
-- OFF!

Panel 3. Molly being impaled by a sharp piece of plane, the metal just bursting from her chest in a spray of blood and flesh. Her head, at an angle, is being thrown back and her limbs are splayed out.


Panel 4. Molly impaled on a sharp piece of the plane, the metal hooking around so she can’t just slide off. She is looking down (more sideways down since her head is tilted wrong) at the metal.


Panel 5. View from behind Frank and Charles looking towards Mark and, beyond them, Molly, still impaled, but trying to move her arm and legs to get loose. Blood is bubbling from her mouth. Mark is squirming on the ground.

MARK (small):

Panel 6. View from Molly’s POV looking towards everyone else. Alan is visible on the right side of the plane, motioning for Frank and Charles to get over to him with his left hand, his right is holding his gun, pointing it towards Mark. Frank and Charles are starting to move, but shocked looks are on their faces.

ALAN (burst):
Get your asses in gear; let’s get the fuck out of here!

CHARLES (burst):
What the hell’s happening?!?

Don’t worry about that now, let’s start moving!

PAGE ELEVEN (Four Panels)

Panel 1. View from Molly’s POV looking towards everyone again. Charles and Frank have joined Alan and the others. Josie has started crying. Alan is now aiming with both of his hands and has just fired a round, the shot visible arcing through the air into Mark’s head, right in the temple. Mark had started to pull himself off the ground, his face a mess and his shoulder where Molly grabbed him is gored, but the bullet has started to knock him back a little bit, a spray of blood and brain matter popping out behind his head.



Panel 2. POV looking over Alan’s shoulder back at Josie whose mouth is open, bottom lip quivering and she’s pointing back towards the plane.


Panel 3. From Josie’s POV looking forward. Alan, Charles, and Frank are in front of her, though spread out. Visible beyond them are the two halves of the plane. Shuffling figures are visible in the darkness of the left side. In front of them is marks body, now dead on the ground.



Panel 4. Three figures in different states of destruction are now standing behind Marks body, shuffling forward, arms forward, hands opening and closing, mouths open. Blood is visible all over them in various places depending on where they died (crushed by seats, other passengers, overhead luggage, etc or impaled by metal). One of them has the oxygen mask still on its face, though slightly out of place, the tube trailing behind them. More figures are shuffling forward from the shadows behind them.




Mid-Twenties air marshal – Ruggedly handsome and white with a farmer’s tan, brown hair, blue eyes, stocky build, 6’ / 205 lbs.

Fifty-something biologist – white (pale), stringy grayish hair, grey eyes, very thin, 5’8” / 140 lbs.

Nineteen – Very pretty African American with dark skin, brown hair (curly and relaxed, just past the neck) and brown eyes. Labret piercing, piercing green makeup around the eyes and red lipstick.

Mid-Forties – X-Football player… Big like he could hit the field today, but a bit round in the middle. White, light tan, blond hair, blue eyes, and built like a refrigerator, 6’5” / 300 lbs.

30 year old accountant – handsome in a bookish kind of way, wire framed glasses, light brown hair and green eyes wearing a business suit torn to shreds. Married to Molly.

30-year-old schoolteacher – very pretty in a bookish kind of way… perfect match for her husband Mark.

28-year-old tourist – African American with medium tone skin, clean shaven (head and face) and brown eyes. He’s wearing a form fitting yellow t-shirt partially tucked in, displaying a big belt buckle and baggy jeans, only down a little bit below his waist, large hiking boots on his feet.

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