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Subject: "A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01"     Previous Topic | Next Topic
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Conferences Our Witches at War Topic #41
Reading Topic #41, reply 8
Gryphonadmin
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Dec-14-17, 11:54 PM (EDT)
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8. "RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01"
In response to message #0
 
   (apologies to Philip Kaufman)

EXT. DAY. Black-and-white, vignetted footage of high-altitude flight through scattered clouds, from the point of view of whatever is flying (which can't be seen in shot).

GRYPHON
(VO)
There was a demon that lived in the air. They said that anyone who challenged him would die. Their controls would freeze up; their Strikers would buffet wildly; and they would disintegrate.

The POV flight footage gets faster and seems to become less stable.

GRYPHON
(VO)
The demon lived at Mach 1 on the meter—seven hundred and fifty miles an hour—where the air could no longer move out of the way. He lived behind a barrier they said no witch could ever pass.

(beat)

GRYPHON
(VO)
They called it the sound barrier.

The clouds close around the camera; when they part, the scene has changed to

EXT. DAY. Grainy, jittery black-and-white archival footage of a goggled and helmeted WITCH standing in a docked Striker Unit in front of a hangar. The Striker and its launch stage are both unusual, the latter larger than is typical and covered in curious-looking tanks and fittings, the former sleek and pointed with stubby square winglets and no visible props or jet intakes. The Striker is connected to the stage with several hoses and emitting thick plumes of steam from ports on its sides—the "clouds" that parted to open the scene. A couple of TECHNICIANS in fire suits are walking eerily in and out of the mist as they check hose fittings and adjust levers and valves on the launch stage.

GRYPHON
(VO)
Then they built a new Striker, the X-1, to try and break the sound barrier...

CUT TO more grainy archival footage of a group of leather-jacketed women standing a short distance away from the launch stage, talking animatedly amongst themselves. We don't know who they all are, but one is clearly CHARLOTTE E. YEAGER. JACK RIDLEY is with them.

GRYPHON
(VO)
... And women came to the high desert of San Andreas to ride it.

The camera swings from RIDLEY and the chatting WITCHES back to the launch stage, where the masked WITCH standing in the Striker gives the others a thumbs-up, which SHIRLEY returns.

GRYPHON
(VO)
They were called test witches...

CUT TO a wider shot. A GROUND CREW carefully maneuvers a B-29 into position, its nose gear describing an arc around the launch stage so that the stage ends up positioned beneath the aircraft's bomb bay.

CUT TO rear-angle shot, showing the crew winching the stage up into the B-29, rotating it on the chainfalls as they go so that the WITCH aboard ends up hanging face-down below the bomber.

GRYPHON
(VO)
... And no one knew their names.

CUT TO aerial footage of the B-29 at cruising altitude, leaving bright contrails. A couple of WITCHES flying P-80 jet Strikers keep pace with it, a bit behind and to either side.

MAN'S VOICE ON RADIO
Two... one... drop.

The X-1 WITCH falls from the bomb bay and momentarily drops behind; then her engines ignite and she streaks ahead, pulling into a hard climb as soon as she's clear of the bomber.

CUT TO the ground; SHIRLEY, RIDLEY, and the OTHER WITCHES are watching the flight, some through binoculars, one with something that looks like MIO SAKAMOTO-style witch sight.

CUT TO aerial footage; the X-1 WITCH is just a speck at the tip of a fast-lengthening contrail at this distance.

WITCH'S VOICE ON RADIO
(calmly)
Mach... point niner two. Point nine three. Point nine four. Got a mild buffet there... point nine five.

CUT TO a tighter but jumpier shot, as if taken with a very long lens. The X-1 Witch's contrail is much wider than she herself is, a token of the very high altitude she's at.

WITCH'S VOICE ON RADIO
(slightly tense)
Mach point nine six.

A quick shot of an UNKNOWN WITCH sitting in a high chair, like a tennis umpire's seat, with a look of intense concentration on her face as she trains brightly glowing magic radar antennae on the sky; then back to the X-1 WITCH's contrail.

WITCH'S VOICE ON RADIO
(unsteady and very tense now)
Point nine seven...

CUT BACK TO the wider shot; the dot that is the X-1 WITCH is now almost indistinguishable, her contrail arcing into a high spiral in the desert sky.

WITCH'S VOICE ON RADIO
(audibly struggling)
Point nine eight... point nine nine...

CUT TO the X-1 WITCH'S POV: hurtling headlong through the clouds, going much faster and and a lot less stable than the shot at the beginning. As she passes through a cloud deck, we see that she's much closer to the ground now, and losing altitude. Her POV does a complete roll. She seems to be trying to pull up—the center of the shot is above the horizon—but the ground is still getting closer.

MAN'S VOICE ON RADIO
(urgently)
Whiskey Kilo Two Eight, do you wish to declare an emergency?

WITCH'S VOICE ON RADIO
(barely intelligible)
Negative! Negative! Whiskey Kilo Two Eight does not—

JUMP TO an explosion on the desert floor, the transition made all the more shocking by a simultaneous switch to full color—the orange fireball boiling into black smoke against a stark blue sky.

CUT TO

EXT. DAY. Evidently a different day; the sky now filled with a low overcast. The X-1 launch stage stands on the apron outside the hangar again, with a (presumably different) empty X-1 in it and the B-29 from earlier standing in the background.

TURNAROUND: we see SHIRLEY standing with her hands in the pockets of the bomber jacket she's wearing, regarding the X-1 with an unreadable expression. As she gazes at it, RIDLEY comes out of the hangar and walks up beside her.

SHIRLEY
(without looking at him)
Hey, Ridley. You got any Beeman's?

RIDLEY
Yeah, I think I got me a stick.

SHIRLEY
Well, loan me some, willya? I'll pay you back later.

RIDLEY nods and reaches into his shirt pocket.

RIDLEY
Fair enough.

TITLE CARD

Avalon 17 Presents


CUT TO

EXT. DAY. RIDLEY and SHIRLEY, still in the same scene, silently chewing gum and contemplating the X-1. After a few seconds, a third figure walks slowly out of the hangar and joins them: NIKKA E. KATAJAINEN, battered and heavily bandaged, one leg in a cast, hobbling with the aid of a crutch.

NIPA
(grumpily)
I'm not dead.

A beat. SHIRLEY and RIDLEY keep staring thoughtfully at the X-1 and chewing their gum.

NIPA
Give me a stick of that gum.

Silently, RIDLEY gets the pack out again and hands her one. She unwraps it, puts it in her mouth, and now all three of them gaze in silence at the X-1.

TITLE CARD

Friday nights at 8:30


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  Subject     Author     Message Date     ID  
 A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 [View All] Gryphonadmin Jan-01-17 TOP
   RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 Peter Eng Jan-01-17 1
      RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 Star Ranger4 Jan-04-17 4
   RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 Droken Jan-01-17 2
      RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 SpottedKitty Jan-02-17 3
   RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 Gryphonadmin Nov-27-17 5
      RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 Lime2K Nov-28-17 6
          RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 Berk Nov-28-17 7
  RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 Gryphonadmin Dec-14-17 8
      RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 Gryphonadmin Dec-17-17 9
          RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 Peter Eng Dec-17-17 10
          RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 MoonEyes Dec-17-17 11
              RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 Gryphonadmin Dec-17-17 12
                  RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 Peter Eng Dec-17-17 13
                  RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 MoonEyes Dec-18-17 15
          RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 Star Ranger4 Dec-17-17 14
              RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 Verbena Dec-18-17 16
              RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 Gryphonadmin Dec-18-17 17
                  RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 trboturtle2 Dec-19-17 18
                      RE: A17 promo spot, 2412.04.01 Gryphonadmin Dec-19-17 19


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