Jana Winston makes her first appearance at NiTH with a story within a screenplay. The Pilot and the Screenwriter is a film treatment for a film about a Martian screenwriter named Yasmine written by human screenwriter named Yasmine.
Not making any sense? Well maybe you just need to read on…
THE PILOT AND THE SCREENWRITER
A Short Story Set On Mars
By Jana Winston
Film Treatment: The Pilot
By Yasmine Bletch
After crashing down on Mars, Kell Phillipsmith must learn to adapt in the harsh, unfamiliar terrain of the red planet.
Kell Phillipsmith / The Pilot – Tom Cruise
Yasmine – Amber Heard
Wipeout – Clive Standen
Crashdive – Rowan Atikinson
Raleigh Francis – Samuel L Jackson
The Queen of Mars – Cate Blanchette
The year is 2048
Humanity as we know it is changing. It has been twenty years since Mars was first colonised, millions now flood to the new frontier to stake a claim and look for fresh opportunities.
Kell Phillipsmith is not one of those millions.
Content to do his job as a pilot for a grade 3 commerial transport vessel ferrying goods between Mars and Earth, Kell has spent the last eight years watching the world turn, literally.
But on this mission, everything will change.
Plagued by issues with the grav-generator that powers his ship, Kell crashes in the Martian Desert. Crawling from his ship he wanders to dunes until he is confronted by a pair of desert bandits, Wipeout and Crashdive, two outcasts from the colony.
In exchange for his life Kell promises to lead them to the wreckage of his ship, where some of the cargo might have survived the crash.
It takes three days,. but when at last they arrive back at the ship, it has been gutted, and all the precious cargo removed.
The bandits string Kell up by his feet, preparing to torture him, when he is rescued at the last moment by a beautiful woman, who kills the two bandits with a laserlasso.
The woman’s name is Yasmine. She agrees to take Kell to the nearest city, Lander One, where Kell can find transport back to earth.
On their journey through the outer terraforms of Mars, Kell discovers binders of paper and a computer in Yasmine’s bag.
Yasmine tells Kell she came to Mars to write a great screenplay. After much persuasion, Yasmine agrees to shows Kell the manuscript. It is a story about the secret experiments conducted on Martian colonists, about the thousands who didn’t survive, or who perished in failed terraforms in the early years of colonisation.
After reading it, Kell realises it is a great story. Yasmine says she can’t get it made, as the Martian Film Authority Board controls the production of films, and will do everything in their power to see the film never gets made.
Yasmine reveals she lives in the outer terraforms because she fears for her safety.
Kell realises that his cargoship often carries equipment for the Martian Film Authority Board. He decides the Board needs to be taken down. And they are the only ones who can do it.
The Martian Film Authority Board’s megacomplex is the tallest builing in Lander One, the first Martian City.
Posing as janitors (Yasmine already has uniforms, she’s worked as a janitor for a long time while writing the screen play) they infiltrate the megacomplex, sneaking into the office of Raleigh Francis, who is conducting a meeting with the Queen of Mars, the elected leader of the United Colonies of Mars.
Using all his bravery and cunning, Kell demands that the Queen and Raleigh hear what the have to say. Page by page, Yasmine reads her screenplay to the Queen. When it becomes clear that the Queen is not aware of the travesties that occured on Mars, Raleigh Francis orders his personal security to remove both Yasmine and Kell.
But the Queen is moved to compassion by Yasmine’s screenplay. Using the powers bestowed to her as Queen of Martians, she frees them, green lighting Yasmine’s play and appointing Kell head of the Film Authority.
The film ends with Kell and Yasmine sitting on a terraformed hill of Mars, looking at the Earth, so far away.
THE PILOT AND THE SCREENWRITER – A Short Story Set On Mars first appeared on the Dallas Lawyers Club Short List
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