Man with a Video Camera


EXT. SUBURBAN NEIGHBORHOOD. DAY

A street aligned with similar-looking pristine houses, lush green lawns and bright flower gardens.


EXT. DICK’S HOUSE. DAY

A two-floor golden colonial. Two cars are parked in the driveway dripping with sudsy water. The left door to the house’s two-car garage is wide open.

DICK and BILL, early 40s, sit in lawn chairs within the door nursing beers. DICK has a mustache and wears a flannel shirt. BILL wears a mesh John Deer ball cap and a T-shirt that says “PEWEE COACH.”

JANE, DICK’S sexy housewife, pokes her head out the front door of the house.

JANE
You boys want another beer?

DICK
I’m good, hun. How ‘bout you, Bill?

BILL
No thanks, Jane. I’m all set.

BILL and JANE give each other a brief, ambiguous glance. JANE then pulls her head back into the house.

DICK
Perfect weather for washing your car, eh Bill?

BILL
Oh, I know it. Just one of those gorgeous June days.

DICK
Sure is. Nothing like...

BILL
What?

DICK
Well, last June.

BILL
All right now, Dick. No need to stir up bad memories on a day like this.

DICK
Sorry, Bill.

There’s a short, awkward silence.

We follow a narrow river of water that’s been dripping off the wet car. It flows out of the driveway and into the street’s gutter.


EXT. STORM SEWER. DAY.

The river trickles into the sewer’s dark abyss. Suddenly, we see something slowly rising from the grating. It’s a hand!

A dark mass slowly appears on top of the grate. It is a body curled up and covered in a cocoon-like slime. This is the MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA.

We see a greasy, grimy face with a crusty, square mustache over the upper lip. A blue eye opens and pierces our line of vision.

An arm slowly peels itself away from the slimy cocoon and reaches to the sky. 

The palm of the hand opens and a video camera slowly materializes within it.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA slowly rises. Now we can see his black trench coat open to reveal a Hollywood T-shirt underneath.


EXT. DICK’S HOUSE. DAY

DICK spots the MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA out of the corner of his eye and does a double-take.

DICK
No. It can’t be.
(rubbing his eyes)
I must be seeing things.

BILL sees him too.

BILL
Oh no.

DICK
Tell me you’re not seeing what I see.

BILL
He’s back.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA sniffs the air and scopes out the neighborhood.

DICK
But he looks different. Is it really him?

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA trots away.

BILL
There’s only one way to find out. Come on!

They both jump out of their chairs and follow the MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA’S trail. 


EXT. STONE WALL. DAY

CHARLES and GARY, two punk teens, play cards on the lawn above the wall.

GARY
Whadaya got?

CHARLES tosses down his hand.

CHARLES
Three jacks. 

GARY whips down his cards.

GARY
Three kings. 

He laughs like a hyena.

CHARLES’ eyebrows slant in anger.

GARY (CONT’D)
Pay up!

CHARLES reluctantly throws a few dollars at GARY’S chest.


EXT. BUSH. DAY

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA rustles within its leaves.

Through his video camera, we see CHARLES and GARY. Ominous horror music assaults his soundtrack.


EXT. STONE WALL. DAY

GARY deals another hand.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA crouches at the foot of the wall and crawls until he’s directly underneath GARY.


EXT. BUSH. DAY

DICK and BILL, out of breath, run up behind it.

DICK
Where’d he go?

BILL
(pointing at the wall)
Look! 


EXT. STONE WALL. DAY

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA hides below GARY. 

He smiles, revealing an evil set of mossy teeth. 

Reaching into his inner coat pocket, he pulls out four aces. 

CHARLES and GARY look through their hands and organize their cards. The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA’S fingers slither their way up the wall and slide the aces under GARY’S leg.

GARY
All right, let’s see ‘em.

CHARLES tosses down his hand.

CHARLES
Two queens and two kings.

GARY whips down his hand and stands.

GARY
Three aces. That’s all she wrote.

CHARLES spots the four aces.

CHARLES
What are those?

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA, still hiding below GARY, rubs his hands together, eagerly awaiting an impending fight.

CHARLES flips the cards over.

CHARLES
Son of a bitch. I knew it.

He stands and rolls up his sleeves.

GARY looks at the cards.

GARY
Hey, man. I don’t know where those came from.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA scampers down to the end of the wall, hops onto the lawn and positions himself for a good camera angle.


EXT. BUSH. DAY

DICK and BILL in a trance. They can’t do anything but stare at the scene before them.


EXT. STONE WALL. DAY

GARY
I’ll give you back your money if it means that much to you.

CHARLES
Na, that’s all right. I’d rather take it out of your ass.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA nods his head, loving that line.

CHARLES takes a jab at GARY and nails him right in the face.

GARY swipes his lip with his fingers and looks at the blood that’s been drawn. Now he’s pissed. He retaliates with a mixed bag of punches.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA comes closer, filming the fight from high, low and oblique angles as though he’s a fashion photographer.

CHARLES finally gives GARY a fierce uppercut, propelling him into the air and onto the ground.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA, needing more action, takes a pistol out of his trench coat and throws it at CHARLES’ feet.

CHARLES spots the weapon, crouches down and palms it.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA positions himself in a low angle to film the shooting.

Out of the video camera, we see CHARLES aiming the gun right at GARY’S head. Suspenseful music in his soundtrack crescendos.


EXT. BUSH. DAY

A shot is heard. 

DICK and BILL, sweating profusely, get shaken out of their trance.

DICK
Dear God.


EXT. STONE WALL. DAY

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA runs away from the crime scene, smiling in glee.

BILL (O.S.)
Well, it’s him all right.


EXT. BUSH. DAY

BILL
He’s getting away. Come on!

They follow his trail.


EXT. STREET. DAY

It is a quiet suburban river of asphalt.

Suddenly, the MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA trots across the way. This trot resembles that of a Warner Bros. Cartoon character.

DICK and BILL are in pursuit.


EXT. SIDEWALK. DAY

JOHNNY and DEBBIE, two high school students, walking. Their bright eyes and shiny smiles reveal their hots for each other. DEBBIE nervously applies gloss to her lips.


EXT. HOUSE. DAY

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA runs onto the front lawn. He has just cut through a backyard.

From his camera, we see JOHNNY and DEBBIE. Cheesy romance music abruptly enters his soundtrack.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA sneakily follows the young LOVERS.

DICK and BILL, rubbing their stomach cramps, run into view. 

They see JOHNNY and DEBBIE walking twenty feet ahead of the MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA.


EXT. DEBBIE’S HOUSE. DAY

JOHNNY and DEBBIE stop at the end of her driveway.

DEBBIE
(bashfully)
Well, here we are.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA hides behind a car parked right next to the LOVERS. He holds his camera up above the hood.

DICK and BILL hide behind another car parked across the street. Their eyes widen and become entranced.

JOHNNY
So, can I get a taste of that lip gloss?

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA nods his head, liking what he hears.

DEBBIE smiles.

They come together and kiss.

While their eyes are closed, the MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA comes out from behind the car and maneuvers his way around the LOVERS, hoping to get a good shot of them smooching. 

From his video camera, JOHNNY and DEBBIE kiss passionately. We hear a collective audience “whoooooooooo” like you would hear in a sitcom.

After a moment, the MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA becomes dissatisfied. He gets an idea.

He pulls a wrapped condom out of his inner coat pocket.

He tosses the contraceptive at DEBBIE’S feet and retreats to his hiding spot.

DEBBIE, still kissing JOHNNY, hears the sound of the condom dropping. She opens her eye and looks down to the ground.

The condom looks right into her eyes.

She pushes JOHNNY away.

DEBBIE
(pointing at the condom)
I knew it.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA rubs his hands together and continues filming. 

JOHNNY
What?

DEBBIE
You just wanna get in my pants, you sleazy asshole!

JOHNNY
(seeing the condom)
Whoa, Debbie. I swear that’s not mine.

From the MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA’S camera, we see DEBBIE slap JOHNNY across the face. We hear an audience “whoooooaaaaa!”

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA creeps around the other side of the car to get a better angle. He’s loving every minute of the drama.

DICK and BILL shake themselves out of their trance. 

BILL
We can’t let him keep doing this, Dick. Come on!

BILL leaps over the car hood. DICK follows him.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA continues to film the fight.

JOHNNY pleads with DEBBIE.

JOHNNY
Look, I don’t know where that came from, Deb.

BILL runs across the street.

BILL
He’s telling the truth! It’s not his!
(to the MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA)
Get out of here, you bastard!

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA runs away like a dog from the trash, but continues to film them as he flees.

BILL chases after him for a few feet.

BILL (CONT’D)
Go on. Git!

DICK approaches JOHNNY and DEBBIE.

DICK
(catching his breath)
The condom. It’s not his. It was planted.

DEBBIE
Planted? By who?

DICK
(pointing to the MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA)
Him.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA disappears through a yard.

JOHNNY
Who is he?

BILL
(rejoining the group)
He’s the MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA.

JOHNNY
The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA?

BILL
That’s right.

DEBBIE
Why would he plant a condom at my foot?

BILL
To create drama. That’s what he lives for.

DICK
Every summer he comes out of the sewer and terrorizes the neighborhood with his video camera.

BILL
But neighborhood life isn’t dramatic enough so he...

DICK
Plants condoms at people’s feet.

DEBBIE
What?

BILL
Or whatever, you know, spices things up.

JOHNNY
You two are nuts.

DICK
He just caused a shooting a few minutes ago.

Sirens are heard in the distance.

DICK (CONT’D)
It’s the cops.

BILL
Come on, Dick!

DICK and BILL run off. 

JOHNNY and DEBBIE look at each other in confusion.


EXT. BUSH. DAY

DICK and BILL hide behind it.

The stone wall is crawling with cops. 

One COP has handcuffed CHARLES and escorts him to a cruiser.

DICK
Poor kid. It wasn’t his fault.

BILL
Or was it?

DICK
Either way, one thing’s for sure: we’ve got to put a stop to this. 

BILL
Yeah, but how?

DICK
I got an idea. Follow me.

They run off.


INT. DICK’S GARAGE. DAY

DICK and BILL, gasping for air, storm through the open door. DICK runs over to an old dresser nestled in a corner. 

He opens a drawer. We see some old army fatigues and a tackle box. He opens the box and takes out a pistol.

BILL
What are you doing?

DICK
I’m gonna shoot a bullet right through his mustache.

BILL
Dammit, Dick, that’s exactly what he wants you to do. Violence makes good drama.

DICK
What?

BILL
Remember what happened last summer? We tried to fight the bastard and he loved every minute of it. Never put his goddamn camera down ‘til he got enough footage.

DICK
But I’m gonna kill him.

BILL
Don’t you get it? It’ll turn into this hunter-becomes-the-hunted-type scenario. No, we can’t get rid of him that way. 

DICK
Then how?

BILL turns and looks at the lawn chairs they were sitting in earlier.

BILL
Well, since he exists solely for drama, if he’s denied drama...

DICK
...he’ll cease to exist.

BILL
Bingo.


EXT. DICK’S HOUSE. DAY

DICK and BILL sit in their lawn chairs sipping beers at the edge of the driveway. Their heads remain still but their eyes carefully scan the neighborhood.

BILL
Any sign of him?

DICK
Not yet.

Shouts are suddenly heard from the house across the street.

DICK (CONT’D)
Wait.


EXT. HOUSE. DAY

A FATHER pushes his SON out the front door.

FATHER
I want you out of this house!

SON
But Dad, it’s not mine.

FATHER
No son of mine is gonna smoke grass under my roof.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA comes trotting out of the door behind them, camera to his eye.

SON
But Dad...

FATHER
Out!

The FATHER turns back into the house and slams the door.


EXT. DICK’S HOUSE. DAY

BILL’S eyes squint.

BILL
That’s it. This bastard’s going down.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA finishes filming and searches the area for his next target. He spots DICK and BILL.

DICK
He sees us, Bill.

BILL
All right, now remember the plan. No drama.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA slithers his way across the street.

We see DICK and BILL through the video camera. They pretend that they don’t see him.

DICK
Nice Day, eh Bill?

BILL
Beautiful day, Dick.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA sneaks behind them, smiles, rubs his hands together and pulls out a photograph.

He puts the photo up to BILL’S pocket and drops it.

DICK eyeballs the photo. 

It is a picture of BILL kissing JANE on a park bench. 

DICK
(whispering)
What the..? That’s you and Jane.

BILL
(to himself)
Where the hell did he get that?

DICK
You son of a bitch!

BILL
Don’t do it. Resist the urge. It was just a fling. I promise.

DICK’S face gets as red as a fire truck.

DICK
I’m gonna kill you.

BILL
We’ll discuss it later. Just don’t give in.
(at a normal tone)
So, see any good movies lately?

DICK
(through his teeth)
Not lately.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA is quite displeased with the scene. He pulls another photo out of his pocket and throws it next to DICK.

It is a picture of BILL in bed with JANE.

DICK sees it. His eyes and veins pop out of his head.

BILL
Don’t, Dick. It was only one time. I swear. 
(nodding over to the MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA)
Look, it’s working.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA’S face is pale, sweating profusely.

BILL (CONT’D)
Nice and peaceful out today. Just the way I like it.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA starts choking, clasping onto his throat. He tries to grab something else out of his pocket but can’t muster up enough strength. His eyes roll back into his head and he collapses.

BILL jumps out of his chair.

BILL
We did it!

DICK
(bitterly)
Yeah.

Suddenly, the MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA begins to cackle and rolls over onto his side.

DICK
(rising from his chair)
He’s not dead.

The MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA peels off his mustache.

BILL
He’s not the MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA.

The “fake” MAN WITH A VIDEO CAMERA stands up and brushes himself off, still laughing off the top of his lungs. He points at US, sitting and eating our popcorn. DICK and BILL slowly turn around and look right into our eyes.

They scream.


THE END


 


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