P:O.V. No.11 - Three Recent Short Fiction Films, PEEPSHOW

The original screenplay



PEEPSHOW
Screenplay
written by Damon Jones and Bob Kirsh
& Patti Frick

Adapted for the screen by Charlie Call
30 September 1998

INT - PEEPSHOW LOBBY - NIGHT
Open on a neon sign which says "Peep Show", positioned above the entrance. The sign flickers and buzzes. The music is "In Your Wildest Dreams" by Horton Heat. Tilt down to the door as FERN enters. She stops, looks around, then advances to the ticket counter. Pan with her as she advances and we see the back of the ATTENDANT, sitting in the booth, but facing away. As she gets closer, the ATTENDANT spins around to face her and we do a FAST PUSH-IN on the ATTENDANT as he is turning and his face is revealed. Bottom lit with an off-color light, he is a scary looking guy and gives a menacing grin as the push-in concludes. Fern, startled. She hesitates, then begins to dig in her purse. Finds $2, places it on the counter. The ATTENDANT simply nods, grinning, and takes the money. Camera begins to move down the hall as he takes the money; Fern turns to her right and begins to walk down the hall, camera tracking behind her. Still nervous and apprehensive. Pauses at one door, then keeps going. Finds a door that is vacant and opens it. We cannot see inside. She peeks in. Looks around, then enters. Music halts. CUT TO

INT - PEEPSHOW BOOTH, FERN'S SIDE
FERN looks around, hesitant. Takes off her coat. Sits. CUT TO

INT - PEEPSHOW BOOTH, GUY'S SIDE - NIGHT
BOB and DAMON are seated in the booth, shooting the breeze. It is not evident that they are in fact part of the Peepshow. The camera starts out low, knees to elbows, and shows their respective activities: Damon is smoking and holding a small toy basketball. Bob is reading "Beyond Uhura", the Star Trek memoir of Nichelle Nichols. Boom up to two shot of BOB and DAMON. Hold for a beat, Damon takes a drag on the cigarette and begins speaking.

DAMON
Man, I lost 50 bucks on the fucking Giants this weekend.

Damon tosses the ball to Bob, who turns to Damon and speaks,

BOB
Well, youre a fucking moron. You're throwing your money away on the Giants. (Turns away from Damon, lines up shot with basketball.) They have no running game.


INT - PEEPSHOW BOOTH, CUSTOMER SIDE - NIGHT
FERN enters the booth and looks around. It is decorated with red fabric, a bowling captain's idea of fine furnishing. Vase of flowers, various toiletries on the shelf in front of the window. The panel behind the glass is closed, so she can see nothing beyond the glass. On the right side of the window is a selection panel and a small speaker. The panel is about 12"-18" high and 8"-12" wide. There are six buttons, one beneath the other. To the right are the descriptions "BEGINNER - $1", "INTERMEDIATE - $2", "DATE FANTASY - $5", "TAG TEAM FANTASY - $10", and simply "$50". Beneath the panel is a dollar bill slot. FERN is nervous, not sure about what she is doing, looks around before taking off her sunglasses and scarf. CUT TO

BOB and DAMON, from the side, about a 30 degree angle. DAMON is in focus in the foreground, lining up a shot with the toy basketball, cigarette hanging out of his mouth. As he aims, we see that a yellow light has lit up and is casting light on his face. He pauses, looks at the light. CUT TO

SIGNAL LIGHTS. The SIGNAL LIGHTS are positioned in the GUYS' SIDE of the booth so that the customer cannot see them. They are similar to FERN's lights. At the top is a red light with the words "BOOTH VACANT" next to it. Below the red light is a yellow light with the words "CUSTOMER IN BOOTH", and it is this yellow light which is currently lit. Below the yellow light is a series of green lights. The first one reads "BEGINNER", the next "INTERMEDIATE", the next "DATE FANTASY", "TAG TEAM FANTASY", "$50". CUT BACK TO

DAMON, still aiming the ball. He shoots. PULL FOCUS to BOB.

BOB
Time to go to work. Gimme a drag of that.

CUT TO the ball, circling around the rim, then falling in for a basket. CUT TO

BOB blows smoke, hands cigarette back to DAMON. DAMON then puts out the cigarette in an ashtray that is positioned so that someone looking from inside the customer booth cannot see it. DAMON picks up a small battery-powered fan and clears the air of cigarette smoke. BOB is buttoning his shirt, checking his teeth in a hand mirror. CUT TO

SIDE SHOT of FERN, fumbling through her WALLET. She puts a dollar in the lot and nervously pushes the "BEGINNER" button. She looks at the window as the curtain begins to go up. The lights on her side of the booth dim slightly. The camera begins curved dolly move from beside her into an OTS looking through the glass into the Guys' side. When the curtain is up and camera has stopped, we see BOB and DAMON, looking sharp, lighting having changed from when we saw them earlier. BOB and DAMON speak only to each other, not looking at FERN. Slow PUSH IN on the window as BOB and DAMON speak.

BOB
So I said "Sweetheart, Im man enough to admit when I'm wrong I'm lost, I don't know where we are."

DAMON
So what'd you do?

BOB
I did what she suggested. I stopped the car and asked for directions.

DAMON
And she was right, wasn't she?

BOB nods. A small warning light in FERNs side of the booth begins to flash.

DAMON
You're lucky to have her.

On the third flash of the warning light, a buzz sounds and the curtain closes.

CUT TO side view of FERN, immediately begin to DOLLY across the wall separating her from the guys.

FERN
Oh, this is good.

FERN digs in her wallet for more money. The wall wipes the frame and we see BOB and DAMON beginning to sit back down.

DAMON
Yeah, like that'd fucking happen.

BOB
My wife needs directions to find the fucking kitchen.

CUT TO
FERN, retrieving more money. She puts in two dollars and selects "INTERMEDIATE". We stay with Fern's POV as the curtain goes up.

DAMON
So I said "Honey, we don't have to watch the Super-bowl. Let's rent Enchanted April again."

BOB
Oh, that's a beautiful picture.

CUT TO warning light begins to flash in FERN's booth. CUT TO BOB and DAMON's side of the booth.

DAMON
I feel so much closer to her -

BEEP! The curtain closes. Still standing,

BOB
Enchanted April? Isn't that a porno?

DAMON
You're thinking Enchanted April Showers.

BOB
Oh, right.

BOTH
Traci Lords.

They sit.

CUT TO
FERN, delighted.

FERN
Fabulous!

She looks at the selection menu, and, emboldened, selects "DATE FANTASY - $5 ". Her anticipation building, she puts the five in the slot. CUT TO

BOB and DAMON standing, FERN's POV. BOB speaks directly to FERN.

BOB
Hi. What's your name?

CUT TO MCU of FERN, eagerly watching.

FERN
Fern.

CUT BACK TO BOB and DAMON, FROM FERN'S POV.

BOB
So I called Fern on Monday to ask her out for Saturday.

DAMON
Where'd you take her?

BOB
Well, first I cooked her dinner at home, and then, well, you know how she loves to go dancing.

DAMON
But you hate dancing.

BOB
Well, I've been taking lessons for Fern.

FERN reacts.

DAMON
So afterwards, did you take her home?

BOB
Oh, yeah, it was great...we just cuddled all night.

Lighting cue changes again. Soft, romantic. Fireplace gag?

DAMON
Spooning? (FERN moans.) I love that.

BOB
I can't sleep unless I hold her close. And she's got these beautiful Laura Ashley sheets, its like sleeping in a country garden.

FERN reacts. Warning light begins to flash.

BOB
And the next morning---

BEEP, the curtain closes. CUT TO

FERN
Oh no! Dont stop now. I don't think I have any more...

FERN searches desperately in her purse. CUT TO

BOB and DAMON, sitting.

BOB
Oh, man, we got her with that spooning thing.

DAMON
I'd rather gnaw my own arm off.

CUT TO FERN finds a ten dollar bill and stuffs it in the panel. CUT TO

BOB and DAMON standing. Bob is holding a fireman's helmet. A siren, low, can be heard, and flashing red lights are in the room. Smoke billows.

BOB
Well Fern, I just saved your cat from this burning blaze, and now it's your turn to be rescued...

CUT TO FERN reacts. The men slap five and switch positions as Fern regains her composure. CUT BACK TO

BOB & DAMON, flashing lights are gone, smoke is almost gone, no siren, no fireman's helmet. DAMON puts on a delivery hat and is holding a dozen roses. Brighter light; birds chirp.

DAMON
Delivery for Fern...

FERN
I'm Fern!

DAMON
It looks like a dozen long-stem roses. There's no card... OK, they're from me. No reason; just thinking about you.

FERN squeals with pleasure.

BOB
Tell us what you want, Fern.

FERN
OOHHH! Tell me you like my mother.

BOB
Like her? I want her to live with us!

FERN
Oh, yes. Take me out somewhere special for a change!

DAMON
Two tickets. Front Row Center. Michael Bolton.

BOB and DAMON launch into a series of ad-libbed remarks, the pacing going faster and faster, FERN getting more and more excited as the pace increases.

BOB
I made reservations at this great Bed & Breakfast.

DAMON
It's a gift certificate to Bath & Bodyworks.

BOB
Let's take a ceramics class.

DAMON

Let's go Shoe Shopping!

BOB
Don't move! In that light, you look just like Audrey Hepburn!

DAMON
Stay in bed! I baked us some croissants!

BOB
You look even better without makeup!

DAMON
I sold my Nintendo...and I bought you a sundress.

BOB
I bought you a teddy bear!

DAMON
I don't deserve you!

BOB
How did I get so lucky?!

DAMON
Let's go wine tasting!

BOB
I want to French Braid your hair!

DAMON
I wish I could carry our child!

BOB
I'd love to go to your niece's christening!

DAMON
You look even better without makeup!

BOB
I want to take your last name!

DAMON
Did you find the note I put in your lunch?

BOB
I wrote you a sonnet!

DAMON
Can I wash your hair?

BOB
Can I...wash your hair?

DAMON
Tell me more about your childhood!

BOB
I'm really ready to commit!

DAMON
I'm really ready... to commit!

Fern's warning light begins to flash. BEEP! Curtain closes and the men sit.

FERN
Don't stop!!! I'm almost there. Oh, no!

FERN frantically scrambles through her purse, finds nothing. Then she has an idea, thinks for a moment, and pulls a small folded envelope from within her wallet. It says "Emergency Money" on it. She opens the envelope, hesitates for a moment, then pulls the fifty from inside, tosses the envelope away and jams the bill in the machine. CUT TO

The SIGNAL LIGHTS. The bottom green light is lit. It simply reads "$50". BEEP, the men stand.

DAMON
Let's bring it on home.

BOB
Fern...

FERN
Come on... give it to me!

The men look at each other, tension building. The cutting gets faster, the music accenting the mounting tension. CUT TO Fern, worked into a frenzy, then back to Bob and Damon.

DAMON
Fern?

Fern is on the brink...

FERN
Give it to me!

Fern's warning light begins to flash. She squeals.

Then, together:

BOTH
Fern? (All music stops.) Have you lost weight?

A silent beat on FERN, her mouth open, her face - is it pain or pleasure? She can't vocalize for a moment, then finally... FERN wails orgasmically.

FERN
AAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!


THE END





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