Roughin’It
Six in the Morning
Episode 1


Thenewly designated pilot for the proposed series Roughin’ It. Six in the Morning is a collection of intertwined short stories, withbrief vignettes about each of the three main characters and threesupporting characters. Where one character’s story ends, thenext begins, and so on in that fashion until all six characters runinto each other (literally) on the sidewalk.


Thisformat is based loosely on the film 11:13 and the Simpsons episode 22Short Stories about Springfield. It should give the viewer a goodintroduction to the cast and allow for some world-building withoutfeeling forced.


SETTING:Woodland, a small planet light years from Earth. This world ispopulated by half-human, half-animal hybrids; typically carnivorousmammals. Woodland is a pangea on the verge of splitting intoseparate continents. This land mass is split into twelveterritories, based on locations in Canada, French Canada, NewEngland, and states in the northern Midwest.


STORY:Meet Ada Sanders, hot-shot computer programmer and hapless singleparent. She raises her two kids on a planet not too different fromours… well, aside from all the talking animals, anyway.


SCRIPT


BYRON


(Eyesslowly open to reveal a view from inside the crib)
(Byron shiftshis glance from left to right)
Byron: “Morning already… Am I the first one up? Better test the waters…”
Byron:“Waah! Waah! Waah? Waa-aaaaah…”
Byron:“The coast is clear! Time for a daring escape!”
(Byronpulls a dart gun from under his pillow and aims it upward, with histongue peeking out from the side of his muzzle)
(A militarytheme- preferably the marching theme from Bionic Commando- plays asByron fires a suction dart with a string fastened to it at the top ofthe crib. He inches along the edge of the crib and takes a leap forthe mobile overhead. After swinging over the gaping mouth of thecrib he lets go, then tucks and rolls before hitting the ground. Hetriumphantly springs to his feet and spins the dart gun in hishand)
Byron: “No sweat! I have a feeling this is gonna bea GREAT day!”
(takes a step, trips over a toy andfaceplants rather painfully on the floor)
Byron (mumbling, witha face still full of floor): “Then again, I’ve been wrongbefore.”


Byron:“Now to sneak downstairs for a little me time.”
(Byronputs a hand under his chin and stares upward thoughtfully)
Byron:“Wait a sec, I’m two. Me time is all thetime!”
Byron: “Anyway, I’ll just take a fewthings with me…”
(Byron digs through his toychestand pulls out a teetering pile of items. He wanders out of his room,carefully balancing the tower of toys. As Byron descends the stairs,he loses an item with each step, until reaching the bottom. He looksdown at his now empty hands, slightly puzzled)
Byron: “Eh,I’ll get it all later. Now for some TV!”
(Byronclimbs up on the couch, wriggles down into the cushion, and aims theremote at the television set. He leans back, the couch cushionsnearly swallowing him, and sighs contentedly)
Byron: “Ah,this is the life. At least, until my dumb sister gets up…”


ELLE


(Ellesprings up from her bed, wearing a simple nightgown)
Elle: “Ah,smell that fresh morning air! I have a feeling this is gonna be aGREAT day! And I woke up dry! That’s one more gold star forme!” (peels off a sticker on the counter and sets it on aposter scattered with stars)
Elle: “I’m so excited! I… I…”
(Elle’s face goes from elationto surprise to weary annoyance)
(Elle peels off the sticker andglares at it angrily)
Elle: “You haven’t seen thelast of ME, star! Someday we will meet again, and you shall bemine…”
(Elle flicks her finger three times, finallyshaking off the star)
Elle: “Oh, nuts to this. I’mgoing downstairs.”


(Ellewalks downstairs, picking up debris on every step)
Elle:“Rattle, rubber ball, skateboard, sitcom-grade ottoman…this stairway is a cornucopia of cartoon concussions. Byron needs topick up after himself.”
(Elle bends down near the foot ofthe stairs)
Elle: “A bear trap?! That one I’mblaming on the writers.”


(Ellewalks into the kitchen, retrieves a box, and plops down on the couchnext to Byron, who’s too engrossed by his cartoon to notice)


Elle:“Here’s your rattle.” (thumps Byron over the headwith his toy)
Byron: “Hey, thanks! I was wondering wherethat went!”
Elle: “So how’d you get out of thecrib this time?”
(Elle is shot in the forehead with asuction cup dart)
(Elle groans, then starts stuffing thecontents of the box into her mouth)
Byron: “Aren’tthose for dogs?”
Elle: “They can be for bears,too!”
Byron: “That’s not what it says on thebox!” (points to front of box, reading “DOG BONES”)
Elle:“That’s just a serving suggestion. Now shut up and letme watch… whatever this is.”
Announcer: “Itslices, it dices! It minces, it pinches! It does everything yourheart desires and a few things you’d rather it didn’t! It’s a thimble, it’s a garbage disposal, it’s aluxury yacht! Now how much would you expect to pay for this miracleof science? One thousand oaks? Two thousand oaks? Actually,yes, it’s quite expensive.”
Byron: “Oh no,it’s an ad for one of those all-in-one thingies! When are theygonna get to the cartoons?!”
Elle: “Oh, those don’tstart ‘till Mom gets up.”


ADA


(clockalarm goes off, reading 6:00AM)
(Ada fumbles around and hits thesnooze bar)
(clock alarm goes off, reading 6:05AM)
(Adahammers the snooze bar with her fist)
(clock alarm goes off,reading 6:10AM)
(Ada leaps out of bed, grabs the clock by thecord, spins it over her head a few times, and shatters it against awall. She climbs back into bed as if nothing happened)
(Adafinally wakes up at around 7:00AM and picks up the remains of theclock)
Ada: “Stupid piece of crap, why didn’t youwake me up?!”
(Ada wanders blearly eyed to the closet,grumbling. She throws out a bunch of clothes, then walks out fullydressed and exuberant)
Ada: “I have a feeling this isgoing to be a GREAT day!”
(the flash drive around Ada’sneck starts buzzing… she grabs it and puts it next to herear)
Ada: “I just got up. You want me to do what? It’sgot to be finished when? But rebuilding that database isgoing to take all weekend! Yes, I would like to keep my job. I’llbe there soon.”
(taps the top of the drive and releasesit, letting it dangle from her neck)
Ada: “…andthen that happened. Guess the sitter’s on overtime,too.”

(Ada walks out of her room, sulking slightly,and trudges down the stairs)
(Ada picks up the trap on thestairs)
Ada: “Hey, who left this here?!”
(Byronand Elle peek out from behind the couch)
Byron: “Wasn’tme!”
Elle: “Some hack writer, I think.”
(Adalets out an irritated groan, then throws the trap out the window. The yowl of a cat can be heard)
(Ada winces, gritting her teethand squinting one eye)
Ada: “Sorry, Mr. Henderson.”


Ada:“Okay, let’s get you two dressed for the sitter. Aw,Elly… you didn’t make it to the potty, did you?”
Elle(blushing): “I tried, Mom…”
Ada (doing herbest Yoda): “Do or do not, young padded one. There is notry.”
Elle: “…were you hit on the headrecently?”
Ada: “Just… just lay down. I wishI’d taken up the same career as my brother-in-law. Professional moocher is a pretty cushy gig…”


GLEN


(Glenwakes up in a cramped, unkempt apartment)
Glen: “Man, thatwas some party. That was some party I was at last night,right?”
(Glen rolls his eyes, groans, and puts one hand tohis forehead as he smacks his dried out lips)
Glen: “Onething’s for sure… I had waaay too much chocolate. Nothing a little hare of the dog won’t cure!”
(Glenfumbles around for a chocolate bunny labeled “Edible-LikePalmer’s” on a nearby dresser drawer. The candy has animage of a jackrabbit shooting sparks out of a guitar on the front. He unwraps the foil and tears off the head with his teeth)
Glen:“Oh yeah, that’s the stuff. I’ll get Dogg anotherone later.”
(Glen sits up and looks around. Now would bea good time for a camera pan of the crappy apartment… sneak insome subtle clues that he’s gay, and some band posterstoo)
Glen: “Ahh… just look at this place! Everything I could ever want is just an arm’s length away. Truly I live as a king here. I’ve got a feeling this is gonnabe a GREAT day!”
(knocking on the door)
Landlord:“Mr. Sanders? Mr. Sanders, are you there? I was wondering, ifit’s not too much trouble, if you could pay last month’srent? If I don’t have it by the end of the week, I’llhave no choice but to THROW YOUR SORRY DEADBEAT BUTT OUT THEWINDOW!”
Glen: “Eep. I’m on the third floor! That could hurt! Maybe I could squeeze a little save-my-cash from mysister-in-law. Just turn on that can’t-miss Sanders charm andchase it with a little guilt, and she’ll be like putty in mypaws.”
(Glen does a kneading motion with his hands, thenshakes them off)
(Glen fumbles around for the flash drive on hisnightstand, then holds it up to his ear)
Glen: “Connect,Ada. Hey sis, I was wondering- yes, I need money. No, I still don’thave work yet. Yes, I really ought to think about growing up. Look,they’re going to throw me out if I don’t give them rent,and they haven’t ruled out the third story window as an option. Thanks, I really really REALLY appreciate it! You’ll be atthe park when? That’s a little early for me. Take it or leaveit, huh? Yeah, I’ll take it. See you soon. Really, reallysoon…”
(Glen tosses the drive aside andgroans)
Glen: “Sometimes I think I should have stayed incollege…”


SARAHAND LYNN


(Sarahlooks down on a thick textbook, flipping through pages with one handwhile holding the other hand to her forehead. She’s visiblyspent, with bags under her eyes and a wrinkled brow)
Sarah:“…the world-nation of Woodland is governed by apublically elected Collaborator, along with a Council of Sevenassigned to specific government functions. The Council of FinancialAffairs is tasked with the production of national currency, alongwith taxation and public…”
(Sarah trails off andfalls face first into the book)
Lynn: “Morning, Sarah! Ihave a feeling this is gonna be a GREAT-“
(Sarah,grim-faced, slaps Lynn in the back of the head)
Lynn: “Whatwas THAT for?”
Sarah: “I’ve been up all nightstudying while you spent the last nine hours swapping spit with thesandman. You figure it out.”
Lynn: “Hey, there’sno law saying you can’t get some rest. That exam is days off…you’ve got plenty of time to burn.”
Sarah: "And3… 2… 1…”
(Sarah points at a nearbystack of papers, which starts vibrating and ringing. She pulls upher sleeve, digs inside, and pulls out a device similar to Ada’s. She holds it up to her ear)
Sarah: “Bonjour-hi? Oh, goodmorning Ms. Sanders. You need me to sit? For the weekend? That’sa pretty long haul, and I’ve got a test coming up. You’llpay double? Can’t say no to that! I’ll meet you in thepark at eight!”
Sarah (to Lynn): “My fine felinefriend, this is exactly why it pays to be prepared. Complacency is the wrist pin of the engine of failure.”
Lynn:“Uh …?”
Sarah: “It’s a veryimportant part, trust me.”
Lynn: “Okay, but how areyou gonna take care of kids when you’ve barely got the strengthto keep your head up?”
(Sarah’s eyes spring open. She’s noticeably worried, until a sneaky smile spreads on herface)
Sarah: “How’d you like to split the take onthis one?”
Lynn: “It’s gonna be an evensplit this time, right? You’ve got a deal! Wait, I won’thave to do any icky baby stuff, will I? You know, change diapers,wipe noses, fight that scaaaaary monster under the bed…”
Sarah:“No time to lose! Come on!”
(Sarah grabs Lynn bythe wrist and races out the door, leaving a cloud of loose papers inher wake)


THEYMEET


(Ada,Elle, and Byron race down the sidewalk, tearing into some granolabars)
Byron: “Mom, can I get a sno-cone?”
Ada:“No, dear.”
Byron: “Lunch ‘nCrunch?”
Ada: “We’re in a hurry, dear.”
Byron:“Wait wait, how ‘bout some Meaty Meaty BeefTongues?”
Ada: “I know you’re a growing boy,but let’s try to keep it vertical, kay?”
Elle: “Howcome we’re in such a rush, anyway?”
Ada: “Mommy’sgot an important project at work, honey.”
Elle: “Letme guess… one of your so-called superiors screwed up big andyou’ve got to patch things over before the boss gets back,right?”
Ada: “Uh… that’s the long andshort of it, yes.”
Byron: “That’s ahumiliating kick in the crotch!”
Ada: “Byron! Itold you not to talk to that boy Gordon!”
Byron: “CanI sta-“
Ada: “Don’t even ask.”


(speedpans to Glen, racing with all his might)


Glen:“Hopped up on chock and runnin’ wild! I’ve neverfelt so ali- GURK!”
(Glen clutches his chest and pants,slowing down slightly)
(Glen pounds at his chest)
Glen:“Stupid heart, don’t make a liar out of me! I promise,as soon as I get the money, we can sleep off the rest of theday.”
(Glen gets a second wind and picks up speed)
Glen:“All right, that’s more like it! Hey, tonight can we getone of those triple-fried onion explosions at the bar? GURP! Okay,okay, chicken salad! RARK! With low-cal dressing, I promise!“
Glen:“Man, when did my organs get so uppity? I thought I had atleast twenty years of carefree debauchery before they staged arevolt…”


(speedpans to Sarah and Lynn)


Sarah:“The park isn’t much further!”
Lynn: “Tellthat to my legs…”
Sarah: “You’ve got tokeep going! Like my grandmother used to tell me, ‘Don’tlet go of the potato!’”
Lynn: “What dopotatoes have to do with this?!”
Sarah: “I don’tknow. Grams was never right in the head…”
Lynn:“Must run in the family…”
(Sarah lifts tailthreateningly)
Sarah: “Excusez-moi?”
Lynn:“Nothing, nothing…”
Sarah: “Hangtight!”


(speedpans to all three groups, one after another)


Ada,Byron, and Elle: “We’re…”
Glen:“…almost…”
Lynn and Sarah: “…there!”


(allcharacters collide, followed by an immediate screen blackout)
Byron:“…I’m okay.”


END


Uploaded 24/05/2016 15:20
By popular demand, here's a more suitable pilot for the proposed series Roughin' It. This episode puts a spotlight on each of the show's six lead characters, until they all come together in the script's climax. The story takes some inspiration from the film 11:13, as well as the Simpsons episode 22 Short Stories about Springfield.

The pilot's not as funny as Careless Whisperer, but it does serve the purpose of introducing the characters and setting without feeling forced. I'm also partial to the relatively high concept... it's been done before, but not very often.

Next up... a drawing of some penguins kissing! Stay tuned, folks.
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  • Word count: 2,388
  • Reading time: 13 minutes @ 180wpm

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