Clicker Clatter Script


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“CLICKER CLATTER” BY Benjamin Radford     FINAL DRAFT Benjamin Radford “CLICKER CLATTER” FADE IN: 1. INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY - PRESENT Camera opens with blank screen and moves up to reveal the back of a couch, and then a room and television in background. BRAD comes into scene from right side, seen from the waist up. He centers himself in front of the TV, pauses for a beat, then sits directly down on the couch, his head just above the couch line. INSERT: Frame is masked top & bottom, close up on Brad’s eyes as he looks down at... INSERT: Remote control in his right hand; most buttons are readable, including one by man’s thumb that says “Title.” Brad pushes “Title” button with thumb, hear CLICK. Cut back to close up on his eyes, looking back up at the television. BACK TO SCENE TV screen comes on and reads: “Clicker Clatter.” Man CLICKS again, and the station changes to: 2. DATELINE PAPERCUTS Standing anchor ROCK FLATHEAD plugs an upcoming segment in front of a title on a TV set background. ROCK (ominous; Stone Phillips gravitas) It’s the silent threat in every home. (beat) Our children use it every day. It looks harmless; but how much do you really know about... INSERT: ONSCREEN LOGO: “The Hidden Danger of Papercuts”; graphic below: two simple sheets of paper in the background begin to drip blood, maybe with a child’s hand or finger spewing blood. 2. ROCK (V.O.) (continuing) ...paper? It’s even found in schools! Is your child safe? A story every parent must see.   3. CAMEL TOADS Long shot on generic morning show set, with a crowd outside the studio windows, waving like idiots, holding up signs, flashing, etc. (Background crowd includes Sgt. Pepper characters, Waldo, Soy Bomb, Zevon, bin Laden, Dan Rather, etc.) Camera pans to medium shot of DIANE, a typical morning show co-host. DIANE It’s a shocking new trend: teen boys in search of “camel toads.” INSERT: PHOTO OF (REAL) NEWSPAPER STORY ON “CAMEL TOADS”; inset image of Ralph Steadman-style, crazed-looking teen getting high licking an irritated frog. DIANE (O.S.) The toads apparently contain some sort of drug, and young men are scouring beaches for these “camel toads.”... 4. TIFFANY BELLE 1   Full screen photo of attractive young blonde on cell phone.   ANDREW BONANNO (O.S.) continues for teenager Tiffany Belle. Belle has been missing for nearly a day, and thousands of searchers are scouring her Beverly Hills neighborhood. Photo of Tiffany reduced slightly, seen to be on large Wholesome, Low-fat White milk carton. A dozen images of other missing persons run quickly along the bottom of the screen, on pints of chocolate milk. All the faces are Black or Hispanic. ANDREW BONANNO (O.S) If you see Tiffany (or any of these other missing persons) contact police.   5. NATURE CHANNEL / OZZY 1 African wildlife footage of two rhinos beginning to mate. OZZY (V.O.) (excited whisper, Australian accent) Crikey! It seems the male rhino has picked up her scent... 6. OXYFELCHER COMMERCIAL Cartoon man’s smiling face is next to a logo for a new drug, Dolorax (Oxyfelcher Hypochondrate). Cut to a wide shot of cartoon man’s outline body, with the drug logo at the top right of screen. 6. Below, a serene butterfly alights a sun-kissed flower in a faded-in inset scene. Man’s expression goes from smiling to unease as side effects are read.   FEMALE ANNOUNCER (V.O.) (pleasant, reassuring delivery) ...side effects are often mild and may include bloating, tremors, migraines, chronic ennui, greasy rectal leakage…   7. CNN CLUTTER Typical cluttered 24-hour news screen: logos, screen crawls, weather reports, sports updates, Asteroids or Tetris screen, cookie recipes, etc. Amid this garbage is a talking head EXPERT with the ID caption, “Media Whore Ass Clown.” Expert’s face is mostly obscured as he makes BLAH BLAH BLAH noises. Screen crawls include: “Flava Flav breaks silence: “Yeah Boyeeeee!”; “Rev. Falwell calls for own assassination”; “Atty General: controversial short film “Clicker Clatter” is “salacious, offensive”; “George W. Bush legally changes name to ‘Captain Freedom’”; “Sudoko misprint injures dozens.” 8. ERNIE 1 Fat, earnest, Hemingway-esque guy in front of a mud hut is sitting on a log holding Ndugu, a big-eyed third-world kid close, rubbing his shoulder absently while the kid looks like a puzzled prop, inert and faintly uncomfortable. Ndugu is wearing an obviously too-large, outdated, and third-hand “Where’s the Beef?” T-shirt. Shirt message is subtle. 8.                      ERNIE (sympathetic, faint huckster) Ndugu here eats twigs, and, when he’s lucky, crumbs he finds in my beard. He lives in a house with a floor made of dirt and a roof made of bugs. (beat) How do you sleep at night? On satin sheets in your adjustable solid gold bed? Little Ndugu sleeps standing up–— on sharp rocks. If only… 9. SCRAMBLED PORN Brad flips ahead a few channels (insert split-second gag glimpses of next two scenes after each ). He stops when he hears OVERACTED PORN SEX MOANS and MOUTH-MADE CHICKA-WOW MUSIC. INSERT: Back to scene 1 image of his eyes, one eyebrow cocked. He makes an interested “HM?!” sound and flips back. Cut to a scrambled channel pattern, snow, wavy lines, but with faint figures amid the scramble. Cut back to his eyes, looking irritated. He tries hard to squint to make out figures in the scrambled signal. Figures go in and out of focus. He emits a disappointed grunt. 10. HOW DO YOU FEEL? Medium shot on anchor Katie Couric, who has exaggerated, worried look. She is on location with sad, haggard WOMAN in a parking lot, a burning building in the background. She is clearly distraught, being rained on, and a dog is pissing on her leg. Katie is holding an umbrella.   10.                     KATIE COURIC (voyeuristic, exploitative sincerity) Your home is gone, your husband lost a lung, is brain damaged, and could die at any minute. Camera gets closer on women as Katie reaches out into the rain with the microphone to the woman. (a beat) How do you feel?   11. RECALL Medium shot of news anchor DON. Inset graphic says “Recall” above images of “Support Our Troops” and “God Bless America” bumper stickers and ribbons. DON ... the consumer group demanded the recall of millions of magnets and bumper stickers sold since 2001. INSERT: Close up on ribbon magnet and bumper stickers; beneath each is a short bulleted list. List below ribbon reads: “Inadequate armor; Backdoor draft; No exit strategy.” List below bumper sticker reads: “Hurricanes; Poor economy; Terrorism.”   11.                     DON (O.S.) (continuing) They claim U.S. troops have not been supported, nor it is clear that God has in fact blessed America. A company spokesman called the group “unAmerican, terrorist-comforting faggots.” 12. DRIVING LIKE ASSHOLES Anchor Bonanno at news desk reading copy; he has name caption. ANDREW BONANNO Highway Safety Bureau study found that 92 percent of car accidents... INSERT: Image of official-looking government document showing typeset summary. Most of the page is blurry, highlighting the following passage: “...single greatest highway threat was people driving like assholes. Assholish behavior included...” Small “Asshole on Board” graphic appears. ANDREW BONANNO (O.C.) (continuing) ...are caused not by cell phones or alcohol, but instead, by quote, “driving like an asshole.” 13. NATURE CHANNEL / OZZY 2 One rhino is now mounting the other, a lion and giraffe nearby. 14. THANK GOD Scene of candlelight vigil. It seems very somber at first, but one candle lights a woman’s jacket on fire. WALTER (O.S.) ... The families of the surviving miners thanked God for their rescue, while the widows of the dead took comfort that their husbands are with God. Cut to respected veteran anchor WALTER at news desk as others slap at the flames on her head. WALTER (continuing) Reached for comment, God said, “I collapsed the mine, you morons!” The deity also acknowledged responsibility for centuries of famine, as well as last season’s NBC sitcoms.     15. OXYFELCHER 2 Cartoon man nervously edges off screen as side effects list continues. FEMALE ANNOUNCER (V.O.)   …crabs, toe rot, mild coma, and flatulence during orgasm. If you are pregnant, or may become... 16. ERNIE 2 Ernie is standing, a squalid village in the background, pushing Ndugu’s face toward the camera.   ERNIE Can you say no to a face like this? Ernie squeezes Ndugu’s head into a more pitiful shape, pulling it into a lost puppy dog expression.   ERNIE How about this face? Can you say, ‘No, Ndugu, I don’t want you to eat?’ INSERT: Cut to a clip of a young, big-eyed Hispanic girl picking her nose. When she realizes she’s on camera, she quickly pulls her finger out and smiles sweetly.   17. FOX  / TIFFANY 2 Similar to CNN setup, but less screen clutter. Big “Fux” logo on the left hand side. Clean-cut, Republican-looking anchor is wearing an American flag shirt and George W. Bush tie tack. Image of Tiffany Belle inset. Thompson Twins’ “Lies Lies Lies” CLIP. FOX ANCHOR Belle was found under a mountain of what were described as “really cute pumps” at a local mall; her cell phone had died. 18. SPEAKING OF KILLING Long shot of co-hosts Katie Couric and Walter at a desk.   18.                     KATIE ...about Dr. Phil’s new book, “Simplistic Solutions.” WALTER (alarmed, listening to earpiece) We have breaking news: genocide in Africa. So far thousands have been killed; more on this story as it develops. KATIE (to Walter, with exaggerated concern) Tragic, tragic news.   (cheerfully, to second camera) Speaking of killing, we’ve got killer fun fall fashions! Is eggshell the new ivory? Find out, coming up next! 19. THREAT ROULETTE DON ...with an update on what you should be scared of this week. INSERT: Nine-square screen looks like a game show tic-tac-toe board. Each square contains phrases: “Terrorism”; “Anthrax”; “West Nile Virus”; “Sex Offenders”; “Sharks”; “Flu”; “School Shootings”; “Potholes”; “Killer Bees.” One more set of screens appear for a few seconds each, with different phrases. Each square lights up in turn, with an electronic “BEEP - BOP - BOOP” sound. Logo at top reads: “Threat Roulette.” 19.                     DON (O.S.) No whammies! No whammies! Light ends up on “Potholes”; BELLS ring. Graphic appears: “Pothole Fast Facts.” Under that are two bulleted items: Invented in 1926 by tire mogul Frank Pott; Second leading cause of road accidents (#1: Assholish driving).   20. YOU DON’T KNOW Local TV anchor Andrew Bonanno reports a story, with a graphic box that says “Shooting” above and to the left of his shoulder. ANDREW BONANNO In other local news, a man you don’t know was shot by someone else you don’t know, in a part of the city you don’t go. Next, sports! 21. NATURE CHANNEL / OZZY 3 Rhino is surrounded by a half dozen animals. One elephant mounts it and begins slapping its ass with his trunk in a “Who’s Yo Daddy?” way. OZZY (V.O.) (excited whisper) Crikey! Look at that slut take it! That’s amazing! What a treat! 22. ERNIE 3 (short) Close-up on Ernie’s face. 22.                     ERNIE (cajoling, almost snide) The telephone doesn’t have cooties.   Pick it up. (beat, waiting) Have you no soul? 23. TIFFANY 3 & NIPPLEGATE News anchor Walter in studio; image of TIFFANY BELLE inset.   WALTER ....Tiffany’s Law will require all teens’ cell phones be charged daily. Infamous “Nipplegate” photo replaces TIFFANY BELLE image. WALTER (continuing) Today Janet Jackson’s nipple was found guilty in a Texas court of corrupting America’s morals. INSERT newsreel-type footage of the nipple looming over the city (a la War of the Worlds or Godzilla) as terrified people scramble for cover. After a few seconds, the nipple comes toward the screen, getting larger, until prison bars SLAM together over it, as in the final scene of “The Prisoner.”   WALTER (O.S.) While the defense claimed that nipples are natural and harmless, the prosecution proved that nipples help fund terrorism and increase global warming. 24. DID YOU… BONANNO OR DON and co-anchor at a news desk; as the scene opens anchor is turning to his co-anchor. ANCHOR (annoyed) Did you fart?   25. CLICKER CLATTER OUTRO We see the opening animation style, with the head behind the sofa as in the first part of Scene 1.   ANNOUNCER (V.O.) Welcome back to Clicker Clatter, where TV reality meets film fiction. Join us as a man searches for quality television. Will he find it? And will audiences watch him look?   After a beat, man looks startled, sits up, and the TV image in front of him does the same. Man then turns around to look at the camera, looking annoyed, points the clicker to the camera, and-- IRIS OUT   ADDITIONAL CHARACTER CLIPS Ernie: (almost wailing, pleading, disgusted) “For less than the price of a Dixie cup of warm spit…” Walter, Andrew, and Don: (to co-anchor, an unguarded on-air admission) “I don’t even know what that means…”   (to co-anchor) “Did you fart?” (excited ad pitchman aimed at frat boys) “Grannies Gone Wild! Order now and you also get…”   Celebrity Survivor cooking: “...add the diced dog penis to the brains and garlic butter”