# SCENE 8

INT. LIVING ROOM — DAY

A huge TV screen fills the frame. On it, the tiny computer generated soccer players run around a computer generated pitch, to computer generated cheers.

Next we see two GIRLS, about 10 years old, staring like zombies at the screen, their mouths open, their fingers rapidly clicking on their controllers.

INT. KITCHEN — CONTINUOUS

CLOSE on two plates piled with spaghetti. PULL BACK to reveal DAD (40s) carefully arranging meatballs on each plate and pouring tomato sauce over them.

We can hear the sounds of the video game from the other room, but Dad is happily whistling away, delighted with his creation.

Finally with the care of a Michelin star chef, he places some garnish on the top of each dish.

INT. LIVING ROOM — CONTINUOUS

The same shot of the girls on the sofa, still staring at the screen. We hear the cough of someone clearly wanting attention.

CUT to reveal Dad standing at the door, holding the two plates as if it were the prize entry in a competition.

Back to the girls. Their eyes have not moved from the screen.

We see the screen again, the soccer match in full swing. Suddenly a black silhouette fills the frame. PULL BACK to reveal Dad holding the plates, a look of stubbornness on his face.

Without acknowledgement the girls lean to their right to see past him.

Dad moves to his left to block them.

The girls silently lean to their left and continue playing.

Dad moves to his right again.

And the girls simply lean in the other direction. The computer-generated crowd erupts — somehow one of them has scored a goal.

Dad sighs and walks out of the frame.

CUT TO: CLOSE on Girl 1, her mouth still open.

A beat.

A fork, loaded with a meatball, carefully enters frame left and tries to work its way into her mouth. She does not react and the meatball drops onto her lap.

CUT TO a CLOSE on Girl 2, her mouth also open.

A beat.

A string of spaghetti lowers into the frame from the top, past her eyes and tries to make contact with her mouth. It sort of does, but drops and is left hanging from her lips. She does not react at all.

CUT TO a WIDE. We see Dad on a step ladder beside her trying to lower the spaghetti in. He looks around and realises the ridiculousness of the situation.

CUT TO the screen: computer generated players still running around.

Suddenly the screen goes black, the computer-generated commentary falls silent.

The girls are awoken from their stupor, their eyes widen and they shoot glances to their right. WHIP PAN to reveal Dad standing by the screen triumphantly holding the power plug in his hand.

He points across the room. WHIP PAN to a table with the two plates of spaghetti and meatballs waiting.

The girls sigh, put down their controllers and get up.

INT. KITCHEN — CONTINUOUS

Dad walks in, a satisfied smile on his face.

But then he freezes. The sound of computer generated commentary commences again!

His expression turns from satisfaction to anger.

INT. LIVING ROOM — CONTINUOUS

The TV screen fills the frame, computer generated players running around their computer generated pitch.

The girls, back on the sofa just as they were before.

We see the two plates on the dinner table, minus one meatball each, but otherwise untouched.

Back to the TV screen, the players from one team are crossing midfield, heading towards the goal. One player passes to another, outwitting the defence. Another pass and they set up a strike…

CUT TO a shot of Girl 1 her eyes narrowing in concentration, her mouth open.

CUT TO a shot of Girl 2, similarly focused, her face scrunched in frustration.

CUT TO the TV screen, the computer generated crowd getting excited as the striker picks up the ball, and kicks —

CUT TO both girls in fast succession as a plate of spaghetti and meatballs is emptied over their heads.

CUT TO BLACK as we hear the commentator screaming “gooooallll!”

Video artist working at The New York Times. I write a weekly newsletter about visual storytelling and creativity. https://adamwestbrook.substack.com/

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