Maria was sitting on the couch watching a Sandra Bullock movie. She was waiting for the laundry so it seemed like a good idea.
Sandra Bullock was getting ready to drive her car. She put her sunglasses on and started the engine.
Meanwhile across town, Dianna #1 was sitting in her office. She has a big desk with one of those leather desk chairs, all in front of an enormous window on a very high floor. It’s exactly like the office Sandra Bullock had in that movie she was in.
Diana #1 and Maria had never met but they have seen the same Sandra Bullock movie.
Diana #2 works in the admissions office of a large university. Her desk is quite different from Diana #1’s. Hers is a cubicle with papers and an outdated computer. Her office is exactly like the ones you see in commercials for cold/flu or headache medication.
The laundry has finished but Maria now has a headache. “I’ll take a pill and then get back to the laundry.”
Maria never finished the Sandra Bullock movie. It suddenly became unavailable. She’ll have to live in a state of suspense, never knowing what will happen next.
Diana #2 is making a promotional video for the university. She is shooting a group of students having a picnic in the park.
Sandra Bullock is driving her car around the same park. She could have sworn that she was supposed to be going somewhere.
Later in the editing suite, Diana #2 noticed a car driving by the park. For some reason the eye jumped to it immediately. She tried to edit it out, but it looks like the car will make an appearance in the promotional video.
Diana#1 is working late at the office. It’s hard to say what exactly because there was no research done on behalf of character development on what life at such an office might be like. When the car arrives, she surprised to see that Sandra Bullock is her driver.
Sandra Bullock realized when Diana #1 opened the door and gave her an address that she is playing a driver. She really needs to talk to her agent.
Diana #2 is still editing. She is looking at some crucial footage of a student giving a testimonial about life at the university when she notices the car stops right behind the student’s left ear. A woman gets in the car.
Diana #1 vaguely remembers this moment. She had seen this Sandra Bullock movie. She puts on her glasses and tries to remember what happens.
Maria is folding laundry. She can’t help but wonder what is going to happen to Sandra Bullock.
Suddenly Diana #1 says, “I’ve been making things and tearing them down for years. They all just seem to fall apart. Sandra Bullock tenses her grip on the steering wheel. She has forgotten her line. She’s going to have to wing it.
“You know what, I hear you, I don’t think it can be avoided.”
Diana #1 is silent for a moment.
“We’re going to have to make another stop.”
Maria hears the bell ring and steps into the front. Diana #1 is standing there in a long coat. Of course, Maria doesn’t know Diana #1 or anything of her significance in this movie.
“I have some things I had laundered to pick up”
“Ok. Just a moment.”
There is silence as Sandra Bullock drives Diana #1 home. When she pulls up to Diana #1’s house she asks about payment. Diana #1 opens the door and gets out. Right before she closes the door she leans in and says, “I have an account.”
Sandra Bullock drives a few panicked blocks then pulls over and immediately calls her agent. Her agent’s name is Diana #3. She has no office, and instead she works out of restaurants, bars, and occasionally beach clubs. Diana #3 is in a dimly lit restaurant with a glass of wine. She answers her phone, “Sandra, how are you?”
“Um, what movie am I in?”
“We’ve had this conversation before, you wanted more challenging roles and I got you one.”
“Ok well, can you get me a script?”
“What kinds of problems are you having over there?”
“I don’t even know…”
Sandra Bullock says as she grows even more aware that she’s still doing a scene. There is a silence over the phone as Diana #3 considers if she should go over to the location. She decides against it.
“Listen darling, you’re in very capable hands.”
Sandra Bullock opens her mouth to say something but realizes she doesn’t know who the director is and starts to feel embarrassed.
“Can you send me that script?” Sandra Bullock finally asks.
Diana #3 is confused by her client’s request and says, “Well, I’ll look through what I have and send it over but I’m not sure what it is you want exactly.”
Sandra Bullock is red in the face and wants to get off the phone immediately. She says “Ok, thanks” and hangs up.
Sandra Bullock then realizes she has no idea what to do next.
Quite accidentally, Sandra Bullock has landed herself a starring role. There was an implication at the beginning of this text that Maria was the most sympathetic of the characters. Somehow in the process of playful association, Maria has taken a backseat (though not literally, but take this as your foreshadowing).
Sandra Bullock realizes she has to start over. She knows where she must go right now. She puts the car into gear. She arrives at the studio gate right when the night shift has begun. She has no trouble getting in as she has spoken to the guard many times. She is, after all, Sandra Bullock.
She drives into the studio back lot and looks for a stage with a house. She stops in front of #14. She remembers that the studio usually uses this spot for house sets having a basic structure and then modifying the details according to the film’s needs.
There’s a room with a bed and a dresser. There’s a wall with posters and photos. There’s even a window. Sandra Bullock takes off her shoes and climbs into the bed. She’s so tired it doesn’t bother her for a second that there are only three walls.
HIT THE FULL SCREEN.
This project and research was done with support from the canada council for the arts.