A car, a man and a girl. And a life-ending threat if you don’t… drive!
Imagine this scenario: You’re a black man who just accepted a promotion; about to “pop the question” to your lady. Which is when a 14 year old white girl hops in your car, and starts barking orders. She’s going to scream rape if you don’t…. drive!
How can a guy get out of a situation this grave? How can one fight back, yet emerge unscathed?
Reminiscent of 1997’s The Game (Michael Douglas and Sean Penn), Pia Cook’s Initiation takes us on a nail biting car ride; one which has no brakes.
Nico’s the captive driver. And Amara? The out-of-control teen calling the shots.
When we first meet Nico, life seems to be going his way. There’s that promotion he’s worked his tail off for. He’s on the phone with his girlfriend – sharing the news, and planning the evening’s festivities. On his celebration short list: roses, chocolates, wine.. and a shiny engagement ring. In fact, Nico’s just bought condoms. Tonight’s going to be perfect. He thinks.
But that’s when skinny blonde Amara hops in: issuing orders and threatening Nico instantly.
Fearing for his livelihood, a terrified Nico complies. As he steers the car, Amara tears through his newly purchased gifts with abandon. Spilling wine, eating chocolates. Throwing condoms around the car. Nico’s so cowed by Amara’s random threats that he’s willing to do every little thing he’s told.
Things get particularly tense when the cops pull them over. Amara insists Nico follow her lead. He’s got to trust her, and keep his mouth shut. If so, she’ll get him out of trouble. Maybe.
What’s the game Amara’s playing? And whatever it is, will Nico survive?
A perfect short thriller, Initiation’s got all the ingredients you need: a fast paced script with a simple setup – one that delivers tons of conflict, emotional range and a spectacular twist. Despite featuring only two actors, there’s tons of meat to dig into here. Just imagine – the dramatic timing of The Game, with the intensity of Speed. Speaking of which: speed up and grab this one – before some other lucky Director wins the race!
Budget: Pretty low. Make sure your actors have perfect timing and chemistry!
About the writer: Born and raised in Sweden, Pia Cook is director of the short film Them That’s Dead and writer of produced feature films Finders Keepers: The Root of All Evil and Blackout. She started writing screenplays in 2006 and has written over sixty short screenplays and ten features. She can be reached at gatortales – “AT” – gmail.
Read Initiation (14 pages in pdf format)
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This screenplay may not be used or reproduced for any purpose including educational purposes without the expressed written permission of the author.
About the reviewer: Rachel Kate Miller is a veteran of the feature animation industry, having worked on several Oscar winning films, bringing stories to life. In 2012, she left animation to move to Chicago and run the design department for President Obama’s reelection campaign. She is now living in New York, writing, consulting on various projects and creating an educational animated series for elementary students focused on engaging kids in science. She is now heavily engaged in her new project, being a Mom.