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2007 Cinematic Interlude #1: The Budsucker Proxy

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(Original [non-shooting] script here.)

To get a sense of the visuals, without having the actual dialogue distract you, here's the opening clip of Le Lieu-Tenant de Hudsucker:

[Scene I after the jump.]

SUBURBAN BAYSIDE SKYLINE - NIGHT (CIRCA 2012)

Village lights twinkle by the water’s edge. A heavy mist falls. Calm, soothing orchestral music carries us TRACKING HIGH THROUGH the night sky from above the water toward the shore.

After a beat, the voice of an elderly catcher:

RAY FOSSE (V.O.)
That's right -- Free-mont, Cal-i-for-nigh-yay.

We TRACK IN to the shoreline – and then UP AND OVER the lightly populated hills beyond.

RAY FOSSE (V.O.)
It's March, 2012 -- anyway, for a few mo' minutes it is. Come midnight it's gonna be Opening Day. A whole 'nother season. A new year. The future ...

After passing over the hills and down across a valley, we DRIFT TOWARD AND AMONG a picturesque set of buildings; the tops of condo complexes and mixed-use buildings slip by left and right.

RAY FOSSE (V.O.)
Yeah, ol’ daddy Earth fixin' to start one mo' trip 'round the bases, an' everybody hopin' this ride 'round see a little mo' winnin’, a little mo' games ...

We PASS OVER shorter buildings: a grade school, teetering on a massive waste pile, ringed by wheeling seagulls ...

RAY FOSSE (V.O.)
Yep ... All over town, Cracker Jacks is a-poppin'.

... a convoluted cloverleaf, choked with cars, their lights twinkling in the mist ...

RAY FOSSE (V.O.)
Over in the Fairmont, the big shots are dancin' to the strains of Joey Ramone ...

... a panorama of used-car dealerships, their lots illuminated by energy-efficient sodium lights dotting the dark ...

RAY FOSSE (V.O.)
Down in Jack London Square the little folks is a-watchin' and a-waitin' fo' that first pitch to pop ...

We are MOVING IN TOWARD a particular skyscraper. At its top is a large illuminated clock. Beyond it, we can see the bright lights of a big-league ballfield.

RAY FOSSE (V.O.)
They all tryin' to catch hold o’ one popup in time ...

The clock reads a minute to twelve. Above it, A NEON SIGN LIGHTS UP -- a company's name: "BUDSUCKER INDUSTRIES." Below it, also in neon, the company's motto: "AND WHEN IS NOW."

RAY FOSSE (V.O.)
... to be able to say – "Right now! This is it! I got it!"
[chuckles]
'Course by then it'll be past. But they all happy, everybody havin' a good time.

We are MOVING IN ON a darkened penthouse window next to the clock. With a PING on the soundtrack, a light pops on in the window.

RAY FOSSE (V.O.)
Well, almost everybody. They's a few lost souls floatin' 'round out there ...

The window starts to open.

RAY FOSSE (V.O.)
Now if y’all ain’t from the city, we got something here called the "pennant race." Got a way of chewin’ folks up so that they don’t want no celebratin’. Don’t want no cheerin’ up. Don’t care nothin’ ‘bout no new season. Out of hope. Out of rope. Out of time.

A young man is crawling out of the window onto the ledge.

RAY FOSSE (V.O.)
This here's Poor Bill Beane.

The man gingerly straightens up on the ledge. He is perhaps in his mid forties. He has a "good face." He wears too-short khaki pants, loafers with no socks, and a white double-knit baseball jersey with green letters. Printed on the front of the jersey: "BUDSUCKER MAIL ROOM."

RAY FOSSE (V.O.)
That office he jes’ stepped out of is the office of the general manager of Budsucker Industries. It's his office ...

He looks with nervous determination into the void.

RAY FOSSE (V.O.)
How'd he get so high? An' why is he feelin' so low? Is he really gonna do it –

We TRACK IN SLOWLY, ENDING VERY CLOSE.

RAY FOSSE (V.O.)
Is Poor Bill really gonna blow up the lineup?

Poor Bill sways in anguish as the wind and mist blow in his face.

Poor Bill is tensing his body, peering out over the ledge, preparing to make a swan dive into oblivion -- but the CAMERA'S continued MOVEMENT is LOSING him FROM FRAME.

We are MOVING IN ON the enormous CLOCK.

RAY FOSSE (V.O.)
Well the future, that's something you can't never tell about ...

The second hand of the clock is nearing the twelve -- just seconds to midnight.

RAY FOSSE (V.O.)
But the past ... that's another story ...

OPENING CREDITS OVER MIST SWIRLING OVER BLACK-NIGHT BACKDROP

BILLY BEANE

BUD SELIG

SUSAN SLUSSER

MICHAEL LEWIS

LEWIS WOLFF

THE BUDSUCKER PROXY

[To be continued ...]