Busy life right now and not as much time for blogging as I would like. So, until I have some time for original content, I thought I would post a portion on something I wrote a while ago.

I watched Lars Von Trier’s Melancholia a few nights ago, and by some odd chance, Roland Emmerish’s 2012 was on TV the next day. It’s hard to think of two movies about the end of the world that could more different. The first half of Melancholia seemed like a pale imitation of Celebration, by vov Trier’s fellow Dogma 95 alum, Thomas Vinterberg. I found the second hald much more engaging and it reminded me of Andei Tarkovsky’s Sacrifice. 2012 on the other hand mad me think of all the research I had done for an end of the world screen play I wrote in 1999-2000. Most of it seemed to be ripped from the pages of Grahamn Hancock’s The Fingerprints of the Gods.

So, since this is the year 2012, for which there are so many end of the world prophecies, and the end of the world genre is on my mind from the films I’ve recently seen, I thought I would post the first few scenes from my own end of the world story – The Day the Sky Fell (a reference to The Day the Earth Stood Still – which was part of the inspiration for the script). It’s a big budget action sci-fi script with a spiritual message. Not an easy sell. And it had a female lead. Also a hard sell with that genre. I tried switching the genders of the leads to see if it might be a little more marketable, but I like the original version best.

The story: The world is thrown into panic when, Europa, an ice encrusted moon of Jupiter, suddenly and inexplicably leaves the orbit of its parent planet and heads directly for Earth. By the time this Visitor arrives in Earth orbit three days later it has shed its icy shell to reveal a smoothly polished silver surface. As governments, scientists and religious leaders race to discover the meaning of the silent sphere’s presence, Dr. Valerie Whitehawk, a parapsychologist and philosopher with an extraordinary ability, is swept up on a quest into the bowls of the Visitor and eventually to the depths her own being.

If you like these scenes, you can read the whole script here in PDF.

The Day the Sky Fell

FADE IN:

EXT. SURFACE OF JUPITER’S MOON EUROPA- PLANET RISE

The icy, airless surface of Jupiter’s second largest moon becomes slowly brighter as the rotation of its axis brings the massive form of Jupiter up from the horizon to dominate the starscape above.

TITLES:   “Europa- Moon of Jupiter”

DISSOLVE TO:

EXT. MOUNTAIN LAKE- SUNRISE

Crimson ripples in water. At the edge of the lake, beneath the branches of a large pine tree, sits a woman in her mid thirties.  She is dressed simply, in jeans and a denim jacket, her long, jet black hair flowing over her shoulders, the gentle morning breeze casting the ebony strands around the dark brown skin of her face.  She is seated with her legs crossed and her hands cupped upward in her lap, meditating.  Her name is VALERIE WHITEHAWK and her eyes are closed to the sunrise that lights the strong, but beautiful, Cherokee features of her face.

TITLES:    “The Appalachians 2012 A.D.”

A CELL PHONE RINGS.  She is still.  RING AGAIN.  She is silent. RINGS AGAIN.  She breathes deeper.  RINGS AGAIN.  Opens her eyes.  RING AGAIN.  She slips a small wireless earplug into her ear.

VALERIE
Yes, this is Valerie.

She listens to the voice in the earplug.

VALERIE (CONT’D)
No.  I haven’t been watching.

Valerie pulls the sleeve of her jacket back and taps a button on her Comwatch, activating a small video display.

VALERIE (CONT’D)
I’ll be there as soon as I can.

Valerie removes the earplug and looks at the screen.  The video image is of a city wrecked by a massive earthquake. A handsome Indian reporter in his mid-thirties is interviewing a survivor.  Valerie sighs and touches the face on the tiny screen with her finger and then looks up into the face of the fully risen sun.

INT. WEATHER DOME- MORNING

Early-orange morning light streams through the thin portal of the foam walled, all purpose weather-dome, and cascades across the desk that is in the center of its circular main room.  At the desk is a large meaty man in his late forties.  His name is LAWRENCE HOWARD and the normally jovial features of his face are pulled tight in concern as he watches reports of the earthquake on a small laptop screen.

He taps the screen and the image switches to another view of the aftermath.  At the bottom of the screen are the words “Miami Live”.  He taps the screen again and the handsome Indian reporter’s face fills the screen.  The reporter’s name is VAREEM THAPUR.

VAREEM (ON SCREEN)
The earthquake which struck Miami early
this morning, the twenty third major
quake so far this year, may be part of what
scientists are calling a “global geological
shift.”  A shift that may have occurred
many times in the planet’s past.  This
morning’s quake reached 8.2 on the Richter
scale and has left the city…

The door to the weather dome opens suddenly, a gust of wind rustling the papers on the desk and causing Lawrence to look up from his screen and into the face of his youthful French assistant, MARIE CHABRIE.

MARIE
Dr. Howard.  We’ve found something. I
think you should take a look.

LAWRENCE
Where?

MARIE
In the main temple.

Lawrence turns the laptop off and pulls on a thick parka as he walks toward Marie and the door.

EXT. ANTARCTICA ARCHEOLOGICAL DIG- SUNRISE

Lawrence and Marie step out of the small weather-dome and into the dim sunlight of morning.

TITLES:   “Antarctica”

They walk along a path lined with weather-domes of various sizes.  There is little snow on the ground, the weather being mild. The path turns as they are suddenly at the ocean.  Before them is a large crescent-shaped bay.

The ice that normally would accompany such a view has been melted away to reveal stone structures, streets, buildings, houses, pyramids; an entire city, ancient, and long buried.  Lawrence and Marie head toward the largest of the pyramids, in the heart of the small, dead coastal city.

INT. ANCIENT TEMPLE- MORNING

Lawrence pulls a large sheet of plastic back and steps into the inner chamber of the temple.  Work lights are hung irregularly, creating pockets of shadow through out the massive room.  Large square columns support the high curved ceiling.  Around the temple are statues and wall carvings in a form that suggests both ancient Egyptian and Olmec styles.

In the center of the temple is a raised stone platform with a series of steps leading up to it.  At the top of the steps is an altar of four enormous carved stone arms, reaching skyward.  Cradled in these four hands is a large stone sphere, nearly five meters in diameter, its surface etched with markings that appear to combine written language with complex pictograms.

A team of archeologists in hard-hats swarm around the stone sphere measuring the relic with various instruments.  Marie hands Lawrence a hard-hat.  He waves it off and walks up the steps of the platform to the stone sphere.

MARIE
The door to the temple was breached
only half an hour ago.  I would have
come for you earlier, but we wanted
to make sure it was going to be
structurally sound.  After what
happened last week…

Lawrence walks over to the stone sphere and places his hand on it.

LAWRENCE
Yes, yes, I understand.  This is the
first time we’ve seen pictographic
language with text.  This may prove to
be the key to translation.  See these
symbols?  They could easily be related
to Egyptian. And this. What is this?  It
looks like a depiction of sacrifice.
That makes no sense.  There’s no indication
of sacrifice anywhere else.  Interesting.

MARIE
That may not be the most interesting
thing about it.

Lawrence turns from the stone sphere and follows Marie’s gaze toward to small video screen nearby.  A technician is holding a large flat metal plate against the stone sphere and watching the video screen.  On the screen is an interior view of the stone sphere clearly showing that there is something of greater density beneath the rock.

MARIE (CONT’D)
It appears to be a casing.

Lawrence turns from the video monitor and stares up at the mysterious stone sphere.

EXT. OUTER SPACE- EUROPA

Europa.  Nearly as large as the Earth’s moon, it hangs, silent in space, above its giant Jovian mother planet.  The icy surface of Europa is covered with cracks and fissures, two of these being strangely long and straight.  Suddenly, a dim light seeps up from the depths of these straight valleys.  At first faintly orange and then bright green.  Then they are gone…

And Europa begins to move.  Imperceptibly at first, then faster and faster until it is rapidly leaving the orbit of Jupiter, heading toward a pale blue dot in the sea of stars near the sun.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. ARCHEOLOGICAL LAB- DAY

Lawrence and Marie are standing behind a wall of safety glass watching as the technicians on the other side examine the stone sphere with an array of instruments.  Lawrence turns from the glass wall and looks at a series of video monitors that are displaying the data from the various probes being used on the stone sphere.

MARIE
This makes no sense.  It couldn’t
possibly be so dense that we can’t
see through it, or we never would have
been able to lift it.

Lawrence leans over to a microphone.

LAWRENCE
Cut the shell away.

The plastic clad technicians turn toward the glass wall momentarily and then begin to pull the probes and scanners away from the stone sphere.

INT. OBSERVATION ROOM- DAY

As the technicians move back a large robotic arm with a shinny circular saw attached to its end is pulled forward.  The technicians lock the robotic arm in place and clear out of the room.

INT. ARCHEOLOGICAL LAB- DAY

Lawrence watches as a technician remotely guides the robotic arm toward the stone sphere.  As the arm nears the surface of the stone, the circular saw HUMS to life, a nozzle attachment spaying water over the blade as it bites into the stone shell.

EXT. OUTER SPACE- EUROPA

As the miniature planet hurtles through space the cracked ice of its surface begins to ripple and quake.  The mighty planet Jupiter is now a small multicolored globe far behind Europa.

INT. ARCHEOLOGICAL LAB- DAY

Lawrence watches as the robotic arm saws across the stone sphere in large swaths, the first chunk of stone breaking away and being grabbed by a second robotic arm.

EXT. OUTER SPACE- EUROPA

The thick crust of ice that covers Europa’s surface has begun to melt and liquefy, boil, and turn to steam, trailing off into space behind the swiftly moving moon.

INT. ARCHEOLOGICAL LAB- DAY

The robotic arm continues to saw away sections of the stone sphere.  Lawrence leans closer to the glass shield, trying to peer through the haze of dust and steam that surrounds the sphere.

EXT. OUTER SPACE- EUROPA

The vapor trail of steam and ice crystals behind Europa is a giant comet’s tail, glittering in the golden light of the nearing sun. The icy crust of what was once Jupiter’s moon has completely melted, steaming away to reveal a shadowy silver sphere beneath a boiling liquid surface.

INT. ARCHEOLOGICAL LAB- DAY

The mist of steaming water and dust clears as the robotic arms swing to the side.  Lawrence gasps and steps back from the glass shield in the same moment that rest of the researchers step forward.  In the observation room beyond the safety glass rests a large silver sphere nearly four meters in diameter.

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