Gravity script

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I'm posting the script for Liquid TV season 2's Aeon Flux Episode 8.

During production and for broadcast, the LTV episodes had only numbers, no titles.
I came up with the titles at the time of the home video release.

The original order is:
Liquid TV season 1: Episodes 1-6 (pilot)
Liquid TV season 2: 7 (War). 8 (Gravity). 9 (Leisure). 10 (Mirror). 11. (Tide)
7, 8, 9 and 10 all had detailed scripts. Only 11 was storyboarded without a script. Due to the unique visual structure, it was conceived as a grid of 6 rows and 20 columns.
Episode 7 was the first one written and put into production. Because of its length and complexity, it took longer to deliver and ended up airing fourth out of five.

I found and scanned printed copies of the scripts recently. I had not read them for many years and was surprised by how much I wrote them as if directing them on the page. They read almost like transcriptions of the finished films.


From an extreme close up inside Aeon Flux's mouth, we see a second person's tongue lifting open a secret compartment in Aeon's molars and placing inside it a sealed capsule. Cut to a close up exterior view of Trevor Goodchild's and Aeon's faces locked together in a passionate kiss.

Cut wider to show that Aeon is on board a large old fashioned propeller airplane (a 150 ft. long passenger carrier) that is flying alongside a moving train; both vehicles travel at tHe same speed. SHe is leaning out of a window near the plane's front, while Trevor leans out through a window of the train.

A two-lane highway runs parallel to the train tracks on the side opposite the airplane. On the highway, a large bright green all-terrain vehicle with giant wheels and distinctive painted insignia drives in the same direction as the train. Aeon is able to see through the train's window at the car while still locked in Her kiss with Trevor. The car is moving urgently, passing cars in its way, at a faster speed than the train and airplane. Before it moves beyond Aeon's view, she notices that the two occuPants of the car
are dressed in strange helmets an uniforms.

Meanwhile, at a compartment of the train farther behind Trevor's, a distinguished-looking man in his late fifties, Ignatz Jocco, is transferring from the train to a door at the rear of the airplane. The tail of the plane is squared off and has a door built into the stern. A flight of three steps leads up to a landing at the base of the door like the front porch of a home. Presently, the steps connect to a cantilevered platform jutting out the side of Jocco's train car. Jocco, carrying a briefcase, climbs the steps, enters
the plane, and shuts the door,

As if on cue, the airplane disengages from the train and rises toward the clouds. Aeon is carried away in the front section of the plane, while Trevor travels on with the train. Aeon shuts her window and settles in her seat. She wears a long dark overcoat and sits in a small passenger compartment with seating for six; all the other seats are empty. A door at the front of her compartment leads to the cockpit.

Aeon reaches into her mouth and removes the sealed capsule from her teeth. She unfolds the contents and finds a photo of Ignatz Jocco and a second photo of his briefcase. She examines the photos, then wads them up and swallows them. She rises from her seat, moves to the rear of her compartment and peers through the curtain covering the doorway set in the wall. Camera trucks through the interior of the plane, showing that a second, larger passenger compartment holding several travelers lies between Aeon and the tail section in which Jocco travels. Jocco's section is not accessible from inside the plane: its walls are ten-inch steel plate, and the only door is the one at the stern that is accessible only from outside while the plane is on the ground.

Aeon steps away from the curtain and tosses off her overcoat, revealing her familiar black leather action get-up. She climbs through a window, crawls up the exterior hull, braving the harsh wind that threatens to carry her off, and continues crawling the length of the roof of the plane. (The plane now cruises well above the clouds.)

She reaches a position directly over a small port-hole or Jocco's compartment. She leans over, hugging the fuselage, to look inside. The compartment is furnished like an elegant old office, with carpet, heavy oak desk, and a leather upholstered chair where Jocco sits, the briefcase folded open before him. He pulls sheets of paper from the briefcase and looks at them one at a time, reacting in various ways to whatever he's seeing on them (we can't see from this angle what words or, more likely, what images they contain). The expressions on his face tell us they must be very interesting papers.

Aeon executes a series of daring feats of agility to reach a place on the tail wing of the plane. From here, with just one leap, she'll be able to grab onto the steps leading to the door. She withdraws one of her guns from its holster and raises it in readiness. She jumps from the tail wing, reaches out for the steps with her free hand, misses her mark, and finds herself plummeting through the thin air. She continues clawing at the air as if replaying in her mind the way she ought to have grabbed the steps, or as if rehearsing the gesture for some next time. Alas, the plane is quickly becoming a speck in the distance.

Aeon looks all around herself, sees that she's very much alone and she covers her face with both hands in shame. She's spread prone against the wind like a skydiver without a parachute. She looks down at the ground rushing up to meet her, winces painfully as if reacting to the terrible thought of her inevitable impact. She shifts her eyes to look at the gun in her hand, and her face brightens. She slowly raises the gun barrel and aims it at her temple.

The landscape below is mountainous with sparse signs of civilization. A few highways and railways interlace the rocky gorges through intermittent tunnels and over bridges.

Aeon sees below her a tiny bright green rectangle moving toward the edge of a rocky outcropping that juts from the side of a canyon wall. The green rectangle skids to a stop near the edge. Aeon gets a puzzled look in her eyes and lowers her gun from her head.

She reaches into her backpack and pulls out a miniature pair of binoculars. Through her binoculars, she sees the two uniformed men get out of their bright green all-terrain vehicle and rush to the edge of their outcropping and look down over the opposite side, away from camera.

One of the men has dragged out of the car with him a long, heavy chain. They react excitedly to what they see beyond the edge. The man with the chain throws one end, which has a large loop tied in it, down into the canyon. The rocky outcropping prevents Aeon from being able to see what is down there.

Aeon tears her eyes away from her binoculars to check the distance to the ground directly below her. The earth rushes toward her at an ever quickening rate. She returns to looking into her binoculars and searches urgently for the two men. She finds them now pulling on the chain with all their strength, evidently trying to drag up something either very heavy or very uncooperative. At one point, the thing on the other end pulls the men back to the edge, almost causing one to fall off.

Close up on Aeon biting her lip with anxiety. She looks below her again, then quickly back to the two men. They redouble their efforts and really lean into their pull. They start to make progress.

Aeon turns to look below her. She sees that she's headed for a deep, dry river bed between the walls of the canyon-- the same canyon within which the two men are working. Their promontory is located about a quarter of a mile up the river bed from her destination. She notices now that there is a long, narrow railway bridge spanning the canyon directly below her. It is built high over the river bed on spindly steel girders. The railway runs into a dark tunnel in the canyon wall.

Aeon's face brightens. She tucks her binoculars under her chin, reaches behind her and pulls the grappling hook from her backpack. She attaches the hook to the barrel of her gun, aims it toward the steel girder bridge, waits until she's close enough, and fires. The hook, trailing its rope from the spool on Aeon's back, catches on the bridge. While Aeon is still above the bridge, a train comes rushing out from the tunnel.

Aeon falls past the train as it crosses the bridge. Through a window, we see Trevor Goodchild on board the train (It is the same train as before) with another woman. Trevor's window passes by less than a second before Aeon falls past that same point, and that is enough for her to miss seeing him.

The gust of wind from the passing train blows the slack rope wildly about Aeon. Her binoculars slip from under her chin, so she twists in mid-air to grab them and she succeeds. She continues falling below the train, past the bridge's supporting girders. Through the girders, she sees with her naked eyes the tiny distant green vehicle on the rocky promontory. She raises the binoculars to her eyes. Close up on the rope, finally drawing tighter. Close up on Aeon's backpack shows the rope supply expiring. Medium shot on Aeon looking through her binoculars. The rope is tangled around her torso; as it draws tight, it rises and closes around her neck.

Aeon s point of view through the binoculars: the two uniformed men make the final tug on their load. The edge of a vague, glowing form appears for two frames at the crest of the rock. A loud choking sound erupts and the screen cuts to black.


Peter Chung, Saturday, 18 December 2021 20:31 (one year ago) link

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