TWO FOR TEA

TWO FOR TEA is a short film that was produced in the summer of 2014 by director Ben Joyner. It is currently making the festival-rounds.

Logline: When the law shows up on a country grandmother's doorstep, things take a turn for the worst. It's a southern gothic tale about the dark side of unconditional love. 

Here is the trailer...


Two for Tea - Teaser Trailer from Ben Joyner on Vimeo.

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This excerpt has been formatted to fit a computer screen, so if it's wonky on your tablet or phone... sorry.

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FADE IN

INT. BEDROOM - DAY

Yellowed, flower-print curtains glow with sunlight. They are faded, but clean. 

A young man appears at the window. This is DREW MEIER (late teens). He wears a hooded sweatshirt -- a bit thuggish. His face is stubbled with a wannabe beard. He might be high.

Drew nervously pulls the curtains back a few inches.

The sound of TIRES ON GRAVEL.

Drew YANKS back out of sight. Obviously freaked.

SMASH CUT TO BLACK

TITLE: "TWO FOR TEA"

OVER BLACK, WE HEAR...

The SOUNDS OF STRUGGLE -- brief and intense. Then... a GUNSHOT, morphing into the SQUEAL of a tea kettle as we

CUT TO:

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

GERTA MEIER (60s) leans forward across a coffee table in the living room of a fraying-but-neat, two-bedroom rancher, holding out a framed photograph of a younger Drew for inspection.


INSERT: PICTURE - PREPUBESCENT DREW, CLEANED UP

Gerta sits on a padded arm-chair with hand-tatted doilies on the arms. Outward propriety, guts of steel (think Jacki Weaver in ANIMAL KINGDOM).

She pulls the picture back and turns the image toward herself, then smiles at it. Lingers on it -- the quintessential grandma, bursting with familial pride.

                         GERTA
                Do you have any children?

Across from her on a sagging, mustard-colored sofa is OFFICER JOHN COLLINS (30s).

Officer Collins is your basic cop-next-door, if there is such a thing. A slightly-soft, genuinely nice guy. 

His doughy fingers grip the handle of a petite, bone-china teacup. Shaking ever-so-slightly, he replaces the cup on its plate. It rattles.

He looks away to where Drew (Gerta's grandson) sits. Drew is intensely nervous. 

Gerta quietly CLEARS HER THROAT for attention -- a gentle, almost demure sound. 

Drew's eyes dart from the Officer to his grandmother.

Officer Collins follows Drew's look back to Gerta.

                         OFFICER COLLINS
                Huh... What?

                         GERTA
                I said, do you have any children?

We may not notice it, yet, but his gun-holster is empty.

                         OFFICER COLLINS
                No.

She sniffs -- a corrective sound.

                         OFFICER COLLINS
                No, ma'am.

                         GERTA
                Good. Better.

She gazes lovingly once more at Drew's picture, then sets it down on the coffee table in front of her, next to a teacup of her own.

Drew shifts in his seat.

                         DREW
                Grammaw, I don't--

Gerta -- eyes still locked on the Officer -- cuts him off. 

                         GERTA
                Hush your mouth. I've just gotten him to be
                civil.

She spits this out with an unexpected intensity.

                         DREW
                    (chastened)
                Yes, ma'am.

Gerta breathes in. Exhales. Calms herself.

                         GERTA
                If you haven't any children, then I suppose you
                don't know what it's like to lose one, do you.
                Hmmm...?

The Officer doesn't answer.

                         GERTA
                Tell me, officer...?

                         OFFICER COLLINS
                Collins. It's John Collins, ma'am, and I've
                only just transferred to this county, but I--

                         GERTA
                Officer Collins is fine. Tell me, Officer 
                Collins... how long have you been a policeman?

                         OFFICER COLLINS
                Twelve years... ma'am.

                         GERTA
                And in those twelve years, have you ever taken
                anyone's child away from them? 

                         OFFICER COLLINS
                I don't see how this is relevant.

                         GERTA
                I asked you a question, Officer.

He clears his throat. Averts his eyes.

                         OFFICER COLLINS
Social services usually handles that sort of thing.

                         GERTA
                You know precisely what I mean.

The Officer squirms.

- - -

Thanks for your interest! 

If you're an industry professional and would like to see the rest of the film, feel free email your request to jlbarkey at hotmail dot com.


Everyone else... We'll get TWO FOR TEA online as soon as possible!

PINK

Logline: A tormented artist under house arrest has just three days left in his tracking anklet when a friend stashes a backpack full of stolen drugs in his home.

PINK is a feature-length screenplay by Josh Barkey. It is scheduled to go into production with Director Austin Herring in the summer of 2015.

PINK was a quarterfinalist in the 2014 Scriptapalooza Screenwriting competition and a second-rounder in the 2014 Austin Film Festival Screenplay Competition.

*Note: The following excerpt contains harsh language, as it is a harsh story exploring sexual desire, the destruction of relationships, and the importance of accepting all of the truth - not just the bits we like. Small children and people obsessed with the notion of moral purity may now shoo.

**Also: this excerpt has been formatted for a computer screen. So if you're reading on a cell phone or suchlike and it's all wonky... sorry. 

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FADE IN

BLACK SCREEN

A vaguely bird-like CALL pierces the darkness.

                         BIRD CALL
                Pink!

INT. PINK'S HOUSE - DAY

Pink's eyes POP open.

Pink is Caucasian, early 30s. Medium build. A sweaty-toothed madman with wild, thick hair and bloodshot eyes. 

He's also naked, with the exception of a pair of tighty-whitie underwear and a POLICE TRACKING ANKLET.

The bird call sounds again.

                         BIRD CALL
                Pink! Pink! Piiink!

Pink is on his back in a cramped attic bedroom, on the top floor of a slightly-derelict, three-story brick house -- a late-'70s suburban mini-mansion.

He rolls groggily toward the sound.

Sitting at the window next to an oversize telescope-on-a-tripod is SAM FINCH. Sam is an early-40s hipster with a man-crush on Che Guevara.

At the moment, though, he's wearing a BIRD SUIT -- a robin red-breast -- and smoking a cigarette.

                         SAM
                Pink!

Pink rubs his eyes.

                         SAM
                Hey, Pink!

Pink looks again -- Sam is still there.

                         SAM
                Rise and shine and go fuck yourself, amigo!

Pink stands.

Sam is gone.

Pink walks to the telescope and looks through.

INSERT: THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS

A BACK YARD. Tree-branches.

Our round window-to-the-world tracks through the branches and finds a ROBIN, then moves to the channel behind the house, over the rippled water to a deep-blue air mattress with a blonde girl on it.

A WOMAN, in a bright-red bikini and over-sized sunglasses.

Her name is HEATHER, but for now all she is to us (and Pink) is 11% body fat on a cushion of air.

Pink blinks.

Now a BRUNETTE lies on the air mattress.

Pink rubs his eyes vigorously. Looks back through the glass.

It's Heather-the-blonde, again.

EXT. LAKE - DAY

Heather sees a glint of reflected light from the top floor of Pink's house.

Does she know it's a telescope?

She lowers her sunglasses. Begins to untie her bikini top.

INT. PINK'S HOUSE - DAY

Pink holds his breath, watching through the telescope as Heather unties. 

RIIIIIING!

On a stand directly behind him, an antique, red rotary-telephone RINGS! off its hook. 

Pink JOLTS away from the telescope, SMACKING a lamp and KNOCKING it careening. He grabs for the lamp, misses, and falls to the floor. 

The telescope tips onto two legs and CLINK! leans against the window. 

The lamp lands with a CLATTER.

The phone continues to RING.

Pink crawls to the phone. He reaches for it. Hesitates. He picks it up. He Listens. 

A moment passes.

                         VOICE (V.O.)
                Pink?

This is the voice of BARRINGTON PHILPOTTS.

                         BARRINGTON (V.O.)
                I can hear you breathing, Pink. 
                    (beat)
                Say something.

Pink doesn't answer.

                         BARRINGTON (V.O.)
                I'm coming over.

                         PINK
                I got two days left. I told you not to call
                me. 

                         BARRINGTON (V.O.)
                I'm coming over.

                         PINK
                Two days.

                         BARRINGTON (V.O.)
                Already on my wa--

CLONK! Pink SLAMS the receiver down on its cradle.

Pink collapses back to the floor and stares at the ceiling. He notices his telescope leaning against the window.

Pink gets up and adjusts the telescope. Scans across the water.

Heather is gone.

Pink exhales heavily.

KNOCK-KNOCK-KNOCK.

A POUNDING on the downstairs door echoes through the house. 

Pink SPINS.

                         PINK
                Asshole!

Pink makes his way out of the room and down a first flight of steps, muttering "asshole" in various sing-song ways:

                         PINK
                assHOLE-ASShole-asshole...

He walks a short hall and enters another bedroom, then crosses it, to the window.

                         PINK
                ...assHOleo-assholeeee...

Pink opens the window and crawls through.

- - -

Thanks for your interest! 

If you're an industry professional, feel free request the rest of this script by emailing jlbarkey at hotmail dot com.

FOUNDER

Logline: The story of teenage genius Jayce Loman, who hijacks an untested time machine into a post-technological future where his is the most hated name in history.

FOUNDER is a feature-length screenplay by Josh Barkey. It was a Quarter-Finalist in the 2014 Page International Screenwriting Awards competition, and in the 2014 Big Break Screenwriting contest.

Please note: this excerpt has been formatted for a computer screen. So if you're reading on a cell phone or suchlike and it's all wonky... sorry. 

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FADE IN

INT. HALLWAY - NIGHT

JAYCE LOMAN (late teens) walks confidently down a long, narrow passage lined with a tangle of pipes and cables -- lit with a sickly, artificial glow.


Ventilation HUMS over it all.

We see Jayce in silhouette only, and his head is haloed with a cool-blue, electronic glow. He has a black-and-neon, vinyl backpack slung over his shoulder.


                         JAYCE
                Almost there.

A female, teenage VOICE (slightly tinny) responds.


                         VOICE
                You're welcome.

                         JAYCE
                As if. I coulda' got this far with my eyes 
                closed.

                         VOICE
                Then why didn't you?

                         JAYCE
                Because I--Hold on.

                         VOICE
                No, wai--

Jayce's halo disappears, as does the girl's voice.

Jayce ducks sideways into an alcove, his departure revealing the beam of light coming from a side passageway at the "T" intersection up ahead.

A tense, loaded silence, punctuated by the growing CLUMP, CLUMP, CLUMP of booted feet, and then a GUARD appears at the intersection.

The Guard turns, revealing a light attached to an automatic rifle -- which he shines in Jayce's direction.

Jayce FLATTENS against the wall, further into the shadows.

The Guard taps a fitted, matte-black band on his wrist, and a HOLOGRAPHIC RECTANGLE appears in the air in front of him: a hovering maze of passageways.

A light-green, BLINKING DOT marks his place at the "T"

A few other green dots move around the complex maze. All clear. The Guard clumps on.

Jayce peers out.


Our first good look at him reveals a thin, angular face with deeply-intelligent eyes.

He reaches out a hand translucently-gloved with a network of holographic, electronic-pathways, which are projected across the back of his hand from a wristband like the guard's.

Jayce twiddles his fingers.

A hearing-aid sized, matching device in his ear (called an earwig) projects a curved, translucent window in front of his face -- the source of the aforementioned halo.

Images and bits of data flash in front of him, reflecting off his bright, attentive eyes.

The one constant is a live video-image of a cute, curly-haired redhead -- whose VOICE we heard earlier.

Her USERNAME displays below her feed.

This is AERLI.

NOTE: Until otherwise indicated, all Aerli's interactions will be through Jayce's hologram -- speaking directly into his ear.


                         AERLI
                What the hell, dude?

Jayce steps fully into the hallway, and walks toward the "T" intersection.


                         JAYCE
                There was a guard.

                         Aerli
                What? Weren't you running the program
                I gave you?

Jayce twiddles his fingers again, and the same passage-maze the guard saw appears on his screen.

                         JAYCE
                I thought you were gonna ping me when they
                got close. I can't watch everything.

                         AERLI
                I could.

Jayce turns left at the "T"


                         JAYCE
                    (annoyed)
                Almost there. I'mma cut you off in
                case it echoes when I'm inside.

                         AERLI
                No. I wanna see what--

Jayce twiddles his fingers. Aerli disappears.

He steps into another alcove. On the wall: a ladder, with a security pad next to it.

The ladder leads to a HINGED GRATE on the floor.

Jayce twiddles his fingers again.

His earpiece projects a beam of light out at the pad. A floating, holographic image of a human eyeball appears at the end of the beam.

A light from the pad scans the eyeball. The grate CLICKS open.

Jayce pulls up the grate and crawls down the ladder, down into darkness.

INT. CHUTE - CONTINUOUS

Jayce climbs down, down, down, toward...

INT. LABORATORY - CONTINUOUS

The most advanced physics lab you've never been allowed to see, protected by an unbeatable security system... a system that's about to get pwned.

Activation-lights on cameras flicker off, then on. Rotating laser-arrays disappear. A panel lifts up from the roof overhead, and Jayce drops through the opening.



- - -

Thanks for your interest! 


If you're an industry professional, feel free request the rest of this script by emailing jlbarkey at hotmail dot com.

POUNDERS

Logline: When two brothers enter the harsh, highly competitive world of Canadian industrial treeplanting, the elder's talent threatens to tear their relationship apart.

POUNDERS is a feature-length screenplay by Josh Barkey. 

It was a quarterfinalist for the 2014 Nicholl Fellowship, a finalist in the 2014 Atlanta Film Festival Screenwriting Competition, a semifinalist in the 2014 Big Break Contest, and a quarterfinalist in the 2014 Bluecat Screenplay Competition.

Please note: this excerpt has been formatted for a computer screen. So if you're reading on a cell phone or suchlike and it's all wonky... sorry. 

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FADE IN

EXT. CITY - day

Well-muscled forearms lower a root-bundled sapling into a hole in a ribbon of dirt, landscaped between pavements.

This is DAIN FIEDLER (early 20s): short-swarthy-tough, in the rugged clothes of a manual laborer.


TITLE CARD: "VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA"

Dain adjusts the tree in its new home.

A GRUNTING NOISE (O.S.)

He turns to where his slightly-younger brother JUDE clings horizontally to the back-rest of a metal bench that's bolted to a sidewalk.

Jude is taller and thinner than Dain, with a shock of unruly hair. A focused grimace temporarily replaces his typical, relaxed grin.

 
                         DAIN
                Hey!

 Jude grunts and strains as he makes his way down underneath the bench, until he's clinging to the bottom with his arms and legs.   
 
                         DAIN
                We're supposed to have this done.

Jude swings his weight a little to the side.

 
                         JUDE
                I'm trying to...

Jude's foot slips. His elbow scrapes the ground. He collapses with a GROAN to the sidewalk.

 
                         JUDE
                Impossible.

He rolls out from under the bench.

 
                         DAIN
                What?
 
                         JUDE
                Nothin'

Dain rises from his knees and, shucking off battered work gloves, steps over to where his brother is getting to his feet.

 
                         DAIN
                No. What's impossible?

Jude grins -- knows he's got him.

 
                         JUDE 
                You're supposed to circumscribe the bench 
                without--
 
                         DAIN
                Circum-whuu?
 
                         JUDE 
                Jackass. You go all the way around the bench 
                without touching the ground. But it's impossible 
                in work boots.

Dain wipes his hands.

 
                         DAIN
                Nothing's impossible.
 
                         JUDE
                See you do it.
 
                         DAIN
                I will.
 
                         JUDE
                Fine.

Dain starts on top of the bench, and carefully clambers over the back.

He's made it underneath -- stuck about where his brother was -- when a truck pulls up.

 
                         JUDE
                Brohan!
 
                         DAIN
                Shhht -- don't distract me.

The door to the truck opens. Booted feet step out.

 
                         JUDE
                Dain, you--
 
                         DAIN
                I got this.
 
                         JUDE
                No, man. It's--

Their booted BOSS-MAN steps up to the bench, cutting Jude off with a throat-clearing HARRUMPH!

Dain glances over. Sees who it is.


                         BOSS-MAN 
                You boys mind explaining what--
 
                         DAIN
                Hold on.

                         BOSS-MAN
                Excuse me!?
 
                         DAIN
                I can get this...

And Dain manages, through sheer tenacity, to pull it off. He makes it under and up the other side. Rolls onto the top of the bench, then swings his legs and sits up.


Jude sits heavily down on the bench next to his brother, and together they look up at the Boss-Man.

                         DAIN
                Yes, sir?

- - -

Thanks for your interest! 

If you're an industry professional, feel free request the rest of this script by emailing jlbarkey at hotmail dot com.