Monday, February 8, 2010

Old Man vs. Technology

This is the first story that I wrote for my storyboarding class.

The light turns on to a grungy, dull apartment with slightly disheveled furniture and the wallpaper falling off the walls. All the interior decor is from the 1970s, a lot of dull oranges, yellows and browns. The clanging of keys is heard while they are tossed into a bowl by the door. Meanwhile, a grunting old man pushes through the doorway carrying a large box, bumping into the wall. After trekking down the hallway into the living room he puts the heavy box onto the coffee table next to a half empty wine bottle, in front of the dingy brown, wine stained couch. He walks around the back of the couch, into the kitchen. Same color scheme, yellow walls and dingy cream floor tiles. The table is old and wooden, with legs that look as though they were once scratched up by a cat. He lazily grabs a knife from the drawer to the left of the sink and slams it closed making a clanging noise. He slumps back into the living room, walking past an end table that has a picture on it of a smiling older woman and himself, still with his usual smug expression. As he walks past it, he accidentally kicks the corner of the couch, grumbling and cursing in pain. He quickly moves on and continues to the large box on the coffee table.

He carefully cuts the tape along all edges. His shaky hand moves slowly, as he is concentrating on each cut. He sets the knife down next to the bottle of wine and proceeds. He pulls open the top flaps and pulls out a chunk of white Styrofoam. A pamphlet with the words “User Guide” has stuck to the bottom edge, it releases and falls on the floor, sliding under the couch. The old man doesn’t notice. He pulls off another chunk of Styrofoam. He grumbles something about the company as he takes out a pamphlet that says “Guía del Usuario.” He tosses it onto the end table and then turns back to the box. He rolls up his brown knitted sweater sleeves in preparation to tackle the next step. He bends his knees, straightens his back and then leans in to the box, picking up a VCR with two pieces of Styrofoam still attached. The box sticks to the device that he is holding and he has to shake it off, grumbling curse words the whole time. It finally falls to the coffee table with a thud. He shakes the VCR again and the two Styrofoam pieces fall to the coffee table. One bounces and falls lightly to the floor. He carries the VCR to the tv stand, gets on his knees and slides the device on a shelf beneath a tv. He has a hard time of getting up but finally makes it back to his feet. He wheels the tv stand around sideways and pulls the power cord out the back which doesn’t reach the outlet which is behind the couch. He grumbles another few curse words and makes his way into the bedroom. In the hallway on the way, he walks past a bookshelf full of philosophy books mostly on Friedrich Nietzsche. There are 4 cats sleeping on the queen sized bed as he walks past it to the closet. He slams open the closet door and squats down to a old, crumpled cardboard box on the floor. He digs through some wires and cables. Unsatisfied he stands up and walks back to the living room. He pauses and stares at the tv. He then pushes up his sleeves again. He leans backwards on the tv stand and rolls it over towards the couch. He picks up the plug again and it now reaches. After plugging it in he pushes the power button. A red light comes on.

He turns around to look at the Spanish guide and the red light turns off. He catches the light change in the corner of his eye. He spins around and grumbles at it. Goes back to the VCR and turns it on again. The red light again comes on. He stares at it for a while, watching to see if it will turn off again. He turns again to get the guide and it turns off. He grumbles, walks over and grabs the guide and then returns to the tv. He moves the wine bottle off the coffee table and sits in its place in front of the tv. He looks at the guide, flipping through the pages and then with a grunt throws it onto the couch. He turns on the tv, it starts up at top volume on static and a news channel slowly comes in. The old man looks around. He gets up and goes over to the couch searching through the cushions. He finally pulls out the remote control. He goes back over and sits on the coffee table in front of the tv. He turns down the volume and changes the channel twice. The tv now displays a large red “3" in the upper left corner. He pushes the power button on the VCR again and pushes a few buttons while grumbling. He goes back and picks up the spanish guide once again and flips through. He gets an expression of understanding on his face, a change from his usual face of grump. He goes back down the hallway and returns with a VHS tape. He then attempts to put the VHS into the machine. It wont go. He turns it over and puts it into the machine. This time it goes easily. A cat sneaks up on the old man and rubs against his leg. The old man looks down at the cat and angrily grumbles at it, calling it “Fred.” While the old man is looking down the VCR spits out the VHS which comes into the air with a couple strands of tape still inside the machine. The VHS opens up and two arms of tape squiggle out. They lash out towards the old man and he worriedly backs as far away as he can, but he cannot escape. The tape then wraps around his legs multiple times. The white spools on the VHS begin to turn and start to suck up the old man into the VHS. On his way into the VHS he is clawing at the ground and grabs the closest thing to him which happens to be Fred. They both get sucked up. The VHS then pops back into the VCR and the light comes on. The TV then powers up again, showing the man and his cat on the screen. The camera pans to a picture frame, zooms in to a needlepoint embroidery that says "‘Whoever battles monsters should take care not to become a monster too, for if you stare long enough into the Abyss, the Abyss stares also into you.’ -Friedrich Nietzsche"

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