For WANTED #16, we invited writers to submit 1,000 word screenplays and said we’d film it. There were two restrictions: 1) the action had to take place behind a frozen waterfall and 2) the opening line of the screenplay was: “Voiceover: I wanted to be the most famous person in America.”
Tough, huh? We also discovered it was tough to film behind frozen waterfalls—actually impossible once the ice melts.
Clocking in at 7:49, Revolver’s first short film: “The Dive.” Enjoy.
THE CAST & CREW
Woman: Catherine Hanson
Man: Caleb Rotach
Writer: Paul Baird Brutscher
Director: Marcus Anthony
Producer: Luke Finsaas
Camera, Sound, Post: Richard Molby
Music: Jon Hopkins, “A Wider Sun” ©2009 Domino Recording Co; Jóhann Jóhannsson, “Englabörn” ©2009 Jóhann Jóhannsson
Special Thanks: Ken and Anne-Marie Finsaas, Rachel (cupcakes), Ross Nervig, Highland Grill
Voiceover: I wanted to be the most famous person in America. [Woman]
[Fade into frozen waterfall. Woman dressed simply sits on a stool on cavern floor, comfortable despite being underdressed.]
[Man’s voice is heard offscreen]
Man: Can I come in? [silence] Make some noise if I can’t come in.
[Moments later, Man enters, dressed warmly with a grocery bag. Woman does not look at him at first]
Woman: What did you bring?
[Man produces celery and hands it to the woman. She examines it, then takes a bite]
Man: Why here?
Woman: It’s nice, it’s ephemeral, it’s sterile.
Man: Mind if I?
[Gestures to remove his coat]
Woman: Go ahead.
[Man removes most of his clothes and sits beside her]
Woman: How are things?
Man: Not even…a whimper. When spring comes…
Man: When spring comes, you have to realize people are going to be down here.
Woman: [Grandiose] When spring comes I shall emerge from the cascade, plunge through the air, whatever happens to me after that, I’m one with the river. I’ve gotta earn it first though.
Man: I don’t know how you’ve lasted this long.
Woman: I cheated a couple nights ago, built a fire. [Gestures offscreen] I don’t think the river will mind.
Man: I’m finally at peace with it.
Man: Yeah. I had a breakthrough last night.
Woman: That’s important, I need you to be at peace with it.
Man: Uh huh.
Woman: Seriously, I do, because…
Man: Because you care?
Woman: Yes, yeah, and because you’re filming it.
Man: Okay, listen…. and even if I’m a little off, you’ve gotta let me have it. There’s a lot of people. The world spits out a lot of people. Some are crazy, some are lovers, some are so fucking full of love they want to marry objects, like the Eiffel Tower. Some people just don’t want to be here, some people are meant for something the world doesn’t have… Some people are water.
Woman: Close enough.
Man: Some people are water, with no other elements, and the earth wants to suck them up and it just drains them.
Woman: [Lighting up] And it pollutes them. And they have to be purified.
Man: God, you have to make it morbid. [Turns away]
Woman: No, you’re so fucking close so just listen: …and sometimes you can dump chlorine and salts and everything, filter it through charcoal, and that doesn’t work and the only way to get rid of the pollution, the only way out is not under, or over, or around.
Man: It’s through.
Woman: I didn’t used to care what they thought, I was stronger. Sometime around when I was fourteen it started to matter, you know, when what people think costs you opportunities. And you think that eventually, like, if you do your own thing they’ll start to respect you.
Man: But they never do.
Woman: They never ever do. They forget about you instead. And you think you have a chance to make everyone notice, everyone respect you. There’s endorsement deals, you’re wearing somebody’s brand on your two thousand dollar suit that makes you feel like a streamlined bastard child of a mermaid and a porpoise.
Man: Did you just come up with that?
Woman: It’s the purity. I’m getting purer, thinking more clearly. But the suit, the attention, the preparation, they mean othing. And you show the world something that’s less than your best. I have to fix it. I showed everyone an image of me that isn’t true.
Man: I never watched it.
Woman: I doubt that.
Man: I swear, I’ve never watched the dive.
Woman: Please, it’s on every blooper reel on YouTube.
Man: I met you after that.
Woman: But you know. You know I failed my entry and went face first into the water. The way I never did in thousands of hours of practice.
Man: Only because you told me! You’ve put that so far behind you, most people close to you, they don’t even know that.
Woman: I do.
[Man stands up and pounds the ice in frustration]
Woman: (Laughs) Careful big man, you’ll to crack it.
Man: How can you be so fucking… melancholy and then turn around and make jokes?
Woman: You said yourself, I’m water.
Man: No. No. You don’t get to turn that around on me.
Woman: Maybe I’m at peace with it. Maybe knowing YOU get it helps me.
Man: The thaw isn’t for a couple of weeks yet.
Woman: Time enough to get in shape. [Reaches into the bag for an apple and bites into it]
Man: You aren’t a diver anymore.
Woman: Reversion is the way of things. Back to my roots and whatnot. All that training’s coming back to me.
Man: You sure you don’t want to go down to the municipal pool, practice a few times before then?
Woman: Maybe. If you could sneak me in. I’m officially dead, remember?
Man: You’re barely recognizable, you’ve lost so much weight.
Woman: When it gets closer, come get me.
Man: (Sits, resigned) You know, they just opened a new restaurant across the street from our place.
Woman: (Mouthful) Yeah?
Man: It’s… Indian. They’ve got that carrot pudding.
Man: And a real clay oven.
Man: Went there with your parents a few weeks ago.
Woman: Oh…christ I’m hungry. Christ…what was I thinking…
Man: You wanted to be the most famous person in America.
Woman: I’m coming back with you.
Woman: But…one last thing…when the sun comes through the ice, at two thirty or so…when it does, it’s amazing. It’s perfect. It’s better than fame, better than endorsements. Better than diving and being dead.
Man: Wow. That good.
[Man sits. Woman takes his hand in hers and looks at him]
Woman: Thank you.
[Shot of woman’s and man’s hands together. Woman has hospital bracelet on, and IV stent in her arm.]