Reality Road Kill (work in progress!!!!)

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Paul spends the morning on the phone, looking for work. He checks in with two temp agencies, then phones low-budget production companies about doing grip work on movie sets. Everyone asks for his resume, but no one is encouraging. He reads the paper, does the dishes, makes the bed, and cleans the bathroom. He has tomato soup with crackers for lunch. When the phone rings, he screens the callers. There are two creditors, one calling about his student loan, the other calling about a maxed-out Visa card. Two of Maggie’s friends call and ask in worried voices whether Paul is still living there. There are no job offers.

At 2 p.m. he sits down at the computer and works on his new screenplay -- a story about five genetically engineered super-kids who escape the lab facility where they were bred and go to New York to form an alternative rock band. The kids just want to play some kickass tunes while eluding the evil government agency that created them. But then in the underground music scene they butt heads with five powerful young aliens posing as a punk group, who are part of a scouting expedition to conquer Earth. The kids realize they must use their hidden super powers to save the planet, even though it means the government will trace them and it may ruin the group. The movie comes to an amazing climax in New York’s legendary CBGBs in a literal “battle of the bands.” Paul starts on page seven, writes for two hours and gets to page nine.

He emails resumes and checks in with a few job sites on the Internet. He gets no responses, and by 6 p.m. he figures the day is a wash, so he sits down to watch TV until Maggie gets home.

The phone rings. Paul mutes The Jerry Springer Show and leans forward to listen to the caller leave a message on the machine:

“Hello, this is Hans Mela at RTL German Television and we are looking for a cameraman tonight--”

Paul picks up the phone, mid-message. “Hello, this is Paul Franti. You need a cameraman?”

“Yes, our regular shooter just canceled and there’s a movie premiere we need to cover for our Hollywood News Show. Lars said you worked with us twice last year?” Hans asks.

“Yes,” Paul answered. “I shot the Paul Hasselhoff record release party, and the lighting of the Christmas tree on the Bold and the Beautiful."

“Both good pieces. Can you meet our crew in an hour?”

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