George’s Jungle

1 //  INT. FASHION SHOW BACKSTAGE — DAY. 1

GEORGE is doing AMY’s hair. She’s a model. Around them is a flurry of activity. Focus on children helping out backstage pushing racks of clothes or carrying boxes. While he does AMY’s hair, CHILD 1 passes GEORGE clips and straighteners.

AMY

So anyways honey I’ve been talking about myself this whole time, how are you?

GEORGE

I’m good. Everything is starting to finally look up.

AMY

Good! Do you think you’re ready to get back out there again?

GEORGE

Yeah! I think so. I just haven’t met anyone I’m really interested in yet. (to CHILD 1) pass me the straightener.

AMY

She’ll show up. I know you thought Amanda was the one-

GEORGE makes a disgusted noise.

AMY

I know. Cheating bitch. But there’s someone so much better out there for you-

A DESIGNER knocks into GEORGE, spilling coffee on his sleeve. GEORGE shakes the hot coffee off him, furious.

DESIGNER

Watch it! Idiot!

AMY

Hey! Don’t talk to him like that!

DESIGNER

Oh, don’t waste your breath, he’s just a hairdresser

AMY

Don’t be an asshole

DESIGNER flounces away. CHILD 1 passes GEORGE a towel

GEORGE

(mutters) It’s hair technician

AMY

Are you okay?

GEORGE

I’m fine.

AMY

I’m sorry, they shouldn’t treat you like that. You guys have one of the most important jobs.

GEORGE

Thanks.

AMY

Now back to me. How do I look?

Stunning?

GEORGE

Perfect.

AMY

Thanks honey. And any girl would be lucky — I mean that.


2 //  INT. RUNWAY — EVENING. 2

AMY is finishing the show in a fur coat. TESSA runs up to the end of the catwalk and splashes fake blood on her.

TESSA

Murderers! Animal killers!

AMY

(Screams) Oh my god!

Two security guards run up and grab TESSA by the arms. They try to carry her outside, but she twists away from them and runs into the crowd, the guards in hot pursuit. GEORGE watches from the sideline.

AMY

What a bitch

GEORGE

What a woman!


3 //  EXT. STREET IN THE CITY — NIGHT. 3

TESSA is hurrying down the street, her hood pulled up. Then she sits down under an umbrella outside a coffee shop. GEORGE who has been running after her, catches up, sees her, and tries to control his breathing before he approaches her. He steps past a line of children on the curb making a carpet.

GEORGE

Hey! You’re the woman from the show- I was there-

TESSA stands up, ready to run.

GEORGE

No, no. I think what you did was really brave. I pointed the guards in the wrong direction.

TESSA

Oh, well, thanks.

GEORGE

Yeah! They are animal exploiters. Such, such jerks!

TESSA

I completely agree.

GEORGE

What’s your name?

TESSA

Tessa Loper. What’s yours?

GEORGE

It’s George —

TESSA

Wait — what were you doing at the fashion show if you hate animal exploitation?

GEORGE

I — uh —

TESSA

You work for them don’t you? I’m so sick of men pretending to care about these things just to try to impress me.

GEORGE

I’m a hair technician.

TESSA

Oh god.

GEORGE

It’s a respectable profession —

TESSA

With all the testing on animals for those products? Get lost.

TESSA gets up and walks away. GEORGE watches her, and is momentarily distracted by the sight of CHILD 2 crawling under the table at a woman’s feet. The woman drops a piece of chicken on the floor, and CHILD 2 lunges forward to grab it, then retreats into some bushes. GEORGE cranes his neck to see TESSA round the corner. Then he looks directly into the camera.

GEORGE

I think I’m in love.


4 //  INT. GEORGE’S APARTMENT — NIGHT. 4

GEORGE is on his laptop, searching through Facebook results for “Tessa Loper”.

GEORGE

That’s her!

GEORGE scrolls through her profile, and we see a ton of sharing about animal rights.


5 //  INT. FASHION SHOW BACKSTAGE — DAY. 5

GEORGE is talking to AMY while she gets dressed behind a screen.

GEORGE

So I figured you’re the best person to talk to. How do I convince her that I like, care or whatever?

AMY

It’s easy! you make a big gesture.

You know, show her, don’t tell her.

AMY steps out from behind the screen.

GEORGE

You look fantastic.

AMY

I know! Who is this girl anyways?

GEORGE

Oh, uh, you’ve never met.


6 //  EXT. MONTAGE AROUND TOWN — DAY. 6

No dialogue, montage over music.

GEORGE walks into TESSA’s work and acts surprised to see her. He unbuttons his shirt to display a ’save the whales’ shirt underneath. TESSA rolls her eyes and points to the door.

GEORGE watches TESSA cross the street and go into a coffee shop. He follows, and puts up inspirational posters on the cork board. She reads them over his shoulder, but quickly turns away when he notices her.

GEORGE stands outside TESSA’s job with a sign and a donation bucket. People are pointedly ignoring/avoiding him. TESSA gives him a rare smile and puts a dollar in the donation bucket.


7 //  INT. TESSA’S WORKPLACE — DAY. 7

GEORGE bursts into TESSA’s work, he drops the donation bucket at his feet and strides up to her.

TESSA

Can I help you?

GEORGE

Yes. I’ve done everything I can to show you that I’m not who you think I am. Please, won’t you give me a chance?

TESSA

No.

TESSA turns back to her work. GEORGE is shocked.

GEORGE

No? What do you mean no?

TESSA pretends not to hear him, and GEORGE picks up his donation bucket, hanging his head in defeat.


8 //  INT. BACKSTAGE A PHOTO SHOOT — DAY. 8

GEORGE is doing AMY’s hair. Kids are making shoes at their feet. He pulls some of her hair too hard and she winces.

AMY

Okay, what’s up with you today?

GEORGE

I’m sorry. I’m frustrated.

AMY

Girl trouble?

GEORGE

I did everything I could think of. She still said no.

AMY

How exactly did you ask her?

GEORGE

I burst into her work, all romantic,and told her I’d done all of this to impress her and —

AMY

Oh you idiot.

GEORGE

What? Isn’t that romance?

AMY

No, that’s deceitful. Women like to be lied to, but you don’t insult her intelligence by making it so obvious.

GEORGE

So what do I do? I can’t eat, I can’t sleep. If I had her then everything would be perfect.

AMY

You’re going to have to do something huge to convince her now.

Sacrifice! Risk! That’s romance. Who is this girl anyways?

GEORGE

You’re not going to like it… Her name is Tessa. She’s the woman who was protesting that night —

AMY

The fake blood bitch?

GEORGE

You can’t help who you fall for!

AMY

You watched her publicly humiliate me and decided to ask her out? What kind of asshole are you?

GEORGE

A huge one.

AMY

Lucky for you I don’t hold grudges… and her stunt helped to launch my career. I wish you’d told me earlier she cares about animals.

GEORGE

Why?

AMY

Well I happen to know about a room at the studio where they’re keeping a bunch of animals in cages for a show. Here’s what you’re going to do —


9 //  INT. TESSA’S WORKPLACE — DAY. 9

GEORGE bursts into TESSA’S workplace.

TESSA

Not this again. If you aren’t here to buy something then get out.

GEORGE

This isn’t about that.

TESSA

Oh yeah, sure.

GEORGE

Can I trust you? I could get into trouble for this.

TESSA

Fine, I’m listening.

GEORGE

There’s a room at the studio where they’re keeping helpless animals in tiny cages for some show. God knows how long they’ve been in there.

TESSA

Are you serious?

GEORGE

I want to break in and set them free. And I need someone to help me.

TESSA

I’m in… on one condition. This is not a date.

GEORGE

Furthest thing from my mind.

GEORGE smiles into the camera deviously.


10 //  INT. STUDIO — NIGHT. 10

GEORGE and TESSA are sneaking through the studio. They approach the room and push open the door. The lights turn on- the cages are covered with white sheets. GEORGE grabs the sheet and pulls it down dramatically.

TESSA

What? These are kids!

GEORGE

Wow. This is awful.

TESSA

Well… yeah. This is awful too, but I was kind of hoping it would be puppies.

GEORGE

Me too, but… they’re still pretty cute.

TESSA

I still want to punish the fashion industry…

GEORGE

We can still take a couple of them I guess, but which ones?

Zoom into the cages where the kids are shocked by what they’re saying. TESSA reads a label on a cage.

TESSA

Thai girl, 13 years old, used for pornography. Eh, you know Thailand.

GEORGE

But… it’s still awful, right?

TESSA

Terrible! I’m not saying it’s okay

GEORGE

No I know! It’s those Thai businesses. I’m so glad there aren’t people here who’d buy child pornography.

CHILD 3 looks straight into the camera with deadpan expression while it zooms into her face. CHILD 4 puts a finger through the bars of his cage and wiggles it pathetically.

TESSA

Whoa! This one is all white!

GEORGE

He’s blond and everything!

TESSA

Look! there are more white ones.

GEORGE

Well we can’t take the white ones, then it looks like… (clears throat)

TESSA

Ah, right. Uh… but hey! It says he’s Ukrainian. I think it’s okay.

GEORGE

Okay, but we should look for a black one to go with him. Brown at the very least.

TESSA

African kids?

GEORGE

Africa is always doing this kind of thing.

TESSA

Careful, don’t stand too close to them. I think I see AIDS crawling around on their clothes.

GEORGE

Whoa, Tessa. They’re still people. This one looks clean.

GEORGE points to CHILD 5 wearing an army uniform .

TESSA

It says here he’s a child soldier.

TESSA and GEORGE both take an exaggerated step back from the cage. Long silence.

GEORGE

Do you think he could be trained at this point?

Another beat of silence

TESSA

Lets go back to the Asian section!

GEORGE

This one is in the wrong area. Her cage says Afghanistan.

TESSA

Weird.

CHILD 6

Afghanistan is in Asia you idiots.

TESSA

I think it tried to speak! I couldn’t hear her through that oppressive scarf around her head.

GEORGE

Over here! I found one!

TESSA hurries over and takes out her smartphone to take pictures of CHILD 7, who smiles.

TESSA

Oh no. I need to raise awareness about reality. Could you maybe cry instead of smiling?

CHILD 5 does an exaggeratedly pathetic pose. GEORGE starts looking uncomfortable.

GEORGE

This is pretty bad Tessa.

TESSA

Mmm hmm. Awful.

GEORGE

I feel like we should be doing more.

TESSA

No, no. We’re doing enough.

GEORGE

Do you really believe that?

TESSA

Yes! We’re saving two whole kids. What else could we do?

GEORGE

I guess you’re right.


11 //  EXT. FIELD FULL OF WILDFLOWERS – DAYBREAK. 11

They pull up to a field in the countryside. The two kids are sitting in boxes in the backseat. While TESSA drives and GEORGE watches them in the rearview mirror.

TESSA

Isn’t this place beautiful? They’ll be happy here.

GEORGE

Oh yeah, for sure. Happy.

They each carry a kid out to the middle of the field. TESSA takes a selfie with them, then walks away without looking back. The kids look at GEORGE.

GEORGE

Stop looking at me like that.

There’s nothing I can do. Listen, I’m sorry. At least you have each other. You won’t have to worry about being alone. And neither will I.

GEORGE walks away and gets into the car beside TESSA. They drive up the road and the sun starts to come up.

GEORGE

This isn’t right. Tessa, stop the car.

GEORGE steps out of the car and TESSA follows him to the middle of the road. He grabs her by the waist, pulls her in and kisses her hollywood style. The kids crawl out of the long grass on the side of the road. GEORGE notices them, gives them the thumbs up, and walks back to the car. TESSA takes the cage out of the backseat, and tosses it on the side of the road. As the car drives away the sun comes up. The kids walk into the middle of the road, look at each other, and then look at the cage, shocked.

 


 

Painting by Jean-Michel Basquiat, “Untitled”, 1984

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