Back in April, I started on a script inspired by the SCP Foundation. I never did finish it, but here below is the first draft I wrote:
EXT. SALEM CITY MAIN STREET - DAY
A 1967 Honda N360 slowly drives through the Salem City Main
Street, the window ajar. Its driver is JOSEPH WHITECOMBE
(24), a young, dark-haired man wearing a pair of horn-rimmed
On the driveway of one of the houses, CHUCK (39), a man with
a beard, looks at the engine of his parked pick-up truck. A
portable radio stands on the ground, playing Chicago’s "25
or 6 to 4." Whitecombe’s car comes to a halt. He cranks the
window open completely.
Excuse me, sir?
Chuck doesn’t hear him.
(raising his voice)
Chuck looks over his shoulder. His hands are covered in
motor oil, but he wipes them on his unbuttoned shirt. He
walks over to Whitecombe’s car.
Sorry, buddy, I didn’t hear you.
How can I help you?
I’m looking for the road to the
Oh, you’re almost there. You just
turn left past the diner, and then
keep going ’till you reach the
woods. Make a right turn and then
it’s just straight ahead ’till you
get there. You can’t miss it.
Thanks a lot. I thought I was
close, but these streets all look
the same to me.
I know what you mean.
I’ll let you get on. Thanks again.
No problem, man.
EXT. SALEM CITY DINER - DAY
Whitecombe’s car makes a left turn at the 50’s-styled diner
on the corner of the street.
EXT. WOOD EDGE - DAY
Beyond the first few trees, there’s hardly any light to be
seen through the dense forest right next to the road. After
a short while, Whitecombe makes a right turn.
EXT. CHEMICAL PLANT DRIVEWAY - DAY
A poorly-paved gravel path goes straight ahead, the dense
forest still on either side. Whitecombe’s car bumps across
the rocky road.
Then it’s finally fully visible through the trees, high
ahead of him. The large cooling tower appears in sight. On
it the words "Salem City Chemical Plant".
Whitecombe can’t supress a tiny crooked smile.
When he looks down again, he pushes his foot down on the
brakes immediately, narrowly avoiding impact with a barrier.
Beyond the barrier, a large chain-link fence extends into
Some sort of access device containing a microphone and a
loudspeaker is located on the side of the road. Whitecombe
sticks his arm out of the window to reach a button on the
machine. He can’t reach.
He steps out of the car and takes a step towards the button.
Salem City Chemical Plant?
Joseph Whitecombe. I have an
appointment with Mr. Evans.
I’ll let you through right away,
While waiting for the barrier to move up, Whitecombe takes a
Polaroid SX70 camera from the breast pocket of his jacket.
He takes a look at the cooling tower and snaps a shot. As
the barrier slowly starts moving up, he gets back into his
EXT. CHEMICAL PLANT ENTRANCE - DAY
A line of cars are parked by the side of the building.
Whitecombe parks his next to a green ’71 Chevy Nova SS. He
gets out of the car and walks towards the revolving
doors, which have "Salem City Chemical Plant" printed onto
the glass. His pace is very controlled, his back straight
and his posture almost exaggeratedly excellent.
INT. CHEMICAL PLANT RECEPTION - DAY
The reception hall is a large, tall, impressive room,
stylised in a sort-of futurist art déco. On either side of
the room, in between to the elevators, some benches and
potted ferns. One of the elevators is marked "out of order"
with a black and yellow ribbon.
Whitecombe walks up to the reception desk. SANDRA, the
receptionist, a woman with short-cut hair, looks up with a
Mr. Evans will be here to see you
in a minute. Did you find your way
You sure did your best to keep
everything out of sight.
That is what we’re best at, mr.
He nods and smiles. One of the elevators’ doors slide open.
Out comes RANDALL EVANS (50), a grey-haired man wearing a
dark-colored suit with a turtleneck sweater underneath it.
He walks towards Whitecombe and extends his hand to shake
I’m glad to see you made it.
INT. CHEMICAL PLANT ELEVATOR - DAY
Whitecombe and Evans in the elevator together. Whitecombe
seems to be leaning agains the wall for support. The display
above the doors indicating the current floor shows "88"
We’re still trying to get this
place running properly again. I
never realised how lousy Stewart
was doing his job.
I heard it wasn’t really his own
He still allowed it to happen. He
didn’t stop it in time. And that’s
a mistake. Because he didn’t know
how to keep everything in check,
the Foundation now has to clean up
Whitecombe nods silently. The doors slide open and the two
INT. SITE 16 FLOOR A7 - DAY
Whitecombe and Evans walk out of the elevator, into a long
hallway with concrete walls and blue artificial lighting. A
sign on the wall indicates they are on floor A7.
I’m sorry, sir. I don’t know all of
You don’t know any of the details.
(with a slight chuckle)
I suppose that’s true.
But you don’t have to know any of
INT. EVANS’ OFFICE - DAY
The door opens to a large, rectangular room with a hardwood
floor. Two book cases stand on either side of the door,
although both are mostly empty. On the other side of the
room, on top of a dark red rug, stands a wooden desk. The
wall behind it is lined with filing cabinets. Evans leads
Whitecombe towards the desk, along a longer wall, which is
almost entirely a window.
Evans gestures for Whitecombe to sit down and walks towards
one of the filing cabinets.
Can I get you a drink?
Instead of files, Evans gets out a pair of drink glasses
from the cabinet. The rest of the cabinet seems filled with
(as polite as possible)
Oh, I don’t usually drink before
I’ve had lunch.
I’m joking! I’m joking!
Whitecombe lets out a sigh of relief. Evans approaches the
desk, still with two glasses in one hand and a bottle of
scotch in the other.
Have a drink. There’s plenty of
time for lunch later. The diner is
If you insist.
Evans pours two glasses, filling them only slightly too
Listen. You’ve probably already
guessed what you’re here for.
I’ve got a hunch.
I’ve got to make some tough
decisions, Whitecombe. Now that I’m
the head of Site 16, it’s up to me
to decide who I want on the team. I
can do that. And unlike Stewart
before me, I’m the kind of boss who
only works with people he can
trust. Can I trust you, Joe?
I think so, sir.
You think so? Yeah, I think so too.
A sly smile.
I’d like to offer you a job.
I already have a job at the
And I’m offering you a better job.
Here. If you want, you can be a
senior researcher at Site 16.
Whitecombe seems baffled.
Me? You must be joking.
Evans shakes his head.
I don’t make more than one joke an
hour. I’d like to give you the
I really don’t know what to say,
Look. I heard you were getting
married, Joe. That’s great. That’s
fantastic. Have you lovebirds found
yourself a place to live yet?
Whitecombe seems caught off guard by these questions.
Err, yeah, no, we’re still looking.
The Foundation could provide you
with a house right here in Salem
City. Driveway. Porch. Little
garden with a swing set. The
perfect place to start a family.
Just a stone’s throw away from the
Exactly. I hope you realise there’s
people who’d give their right arm
for an opportunity like that. But I
find the right arm is imperative to
several critical functions, so I’d
rather have someone intact.
Can I think about it?
Evans nods and gets up.
Go get lunch - the cheeseburger’s
great. Call your fiancée. And then
call my office to tell me you’ll
take the job.
INT. SALEM CITY DINER - DAY
A mostly empty, rather kitschy, 50’s-style nostalgic diner.
Whitecombe sits alone at a table, reading the menu. His
jacket lies on the seat next to him and his polaroid camera
lies on top of a newspaper on the table. MONA (20), a young,
bubbly, black waitress with a large, curly hairdo, walks up
to the table with a note pad.
Have you decided?
I’ll have the cheeseburger. And,
err, a banana milkshake.
She writes it down.
I haven’t seen you around here
before. You new?
Just a visitor for now, I suppose.
One taste of that cheeseburger, and
you’ll want to visit every day.
He chuckles softly. Her eye catches the Polaroid camera on
Oh, my god, is that one of those
Polaroid cameras? Can I?
She loses all decency and before he even gets the chance to
answer, she sits down in the seat opposite him. She seems
giddily eager to get as much information as possible.
I’ve been reading about these. This
is great. Are you a photographer?
She picks the camera up and observes it closely. She pays
more attention the the camera than him.
Well, amateur, if anything.
Far out. When did you start?
Somewhere back in high school, I
suppose. Taking pictures of the
football games, when I wasn’t
She looks though the camera, happy as a schoolgirl.
I wish I had one of these.
She snaps a picture. Whitecombe is briefly startled, but he
smiles. She grabs the picture from the camera and puts the
camera back down on the table.
And now I just shake it?
Yeah. Speakin’ of shakes…
Right. I’ll be back before you can
even say my name.
She jumps up and heads into the kitchen area, still shaking
the picture in her hand. Whitecombe lets that sink in for a
But I don’t know your name!
Mona cackles and only replies with an exaggerated shrug
without looking over her shoulder. Whitecombe smiles a
crooked smile, rolling his eyes.
The door opens and in come three youngsters, MIKE, DONNIE
and ERICA. Caught in a heavy discussion with each other,
they walk towards a table next to Whitecombe’s and sit down.
You can’t be serious.
I swear! I read it! Why do you guys
keep ragging on me?
’cause you’re always talking
Donnie sighs. He notices the newspaper on Whitecombe’s
Hey, sir? Are you reading that
Whitecombe takes the paper and hands it over to him.
No, go ahead. Why, did something
Hold on, let me find it.
You really shouldn’t be listening
to him. I swear, he’s the biggest
airhead I know.
Sit on it!
Erica and Mike laugh out loud.
Look, here it is!
He points at a small article in the local news section,
headlined "INCIDENT LEAVES CITIZEN UNCONSCIOUS IN FRONT
Oh wow, some old jive turkey passed
out on the lawn. Big deal.
What’s the rest of the story?
It’s just way too freaky. This guy
lived alone in this house…
But, like, no one ever heard a
sound coming from his house and he
never came out.
And then all of a sudden, in the
middle of the night, people say
they heard this wacked sound and
the guy screaming for help on his
They just saw him sitting there
pulling his hair out, or something.
There must’ve been something in
there that made him go crazy!
Mike and Erica laugh again.
So at least you admit he’s crazy.
Mona returns to Whitecombe’s table with his order. She
places the cheeseburger and the milkshake on his table.
Is Donnie coming up with stories
I swear I didn’t make this one up,
Mona. It’s right here in the
Yeah, but, Donnie, there’s lots of
weird stuff in the papers.
Yeah, take that Doonesbury for
Mike and Erica laugh once more. Donnie frowns and gets up in
frustration, walking towards the door.
Come on, man! We’re just messin’
around! Don’t be a square!
Donnie keeps walking and flips them the bird, before he
exits the bar. Whitecombe seems a bit irked.
Did I take that too far?
Don’t worry ’bout it. He’s just a
He just always thinks he’s seen
And what if he actually has?
Now don’t start telling me you
believe in ghosts or something.
Who said anything about ghosts?
The conversation goes quiet at Whitecombe’s remark, like
everyone seems collectively puzzled and no one can come up
with an appropriate thing to say. Whitecombe turns towards
Hey, do you have a phone I could