Curtains open to the interior of CAMBRIDGE’s office; a large room with a leather couch and chair lines against the wall, which is the color of eggshell white, and decorated with period appropriate “hard-edged” and neo-expressionist paintings, which all convey a cheesy sense of “happening.”
At stage right is the door into the office, and a coat rack. At stage left, Cambridge sits behind an elegant desk, talking on the phone. Behind him is an outlook to the Santa Monica Hills.
CAMBRIDGE, on the phone: No, no, there is no…no, there…look, I had four accountants…four, four fucking accountants explain the budget to me…Yes, personally…personally, oh, oh, you want to talk personally? Fucking personally shove my foot up your God damn ass! Where are your results?...No, I want you to explicitly state to me, in bullet point form, what your fucking results are, Kim. How much?...How much footage?...And you’re comin’ at me with that crap?...No, bullshit, fuck you! I don’t know who your accountants are, what inbred breed of sponsors you’ve got behind you, or who’s ass your kissin’, because you’re nothing…Yes, shit…Everything’s to schedule on my end, you told me production was post, but you’ve just started filming…I could go down to Florence Avenue, throw a rock in any direction, and I’d hit someone with more competency than you, and I could probably pay that person in bread crumbs…
MARTIN opens the door at stage right. He wears a hat and long coat; he’s confident in his stance and expression. He isn’t fazed at all by Cambridge’s verbal rampage. He starts the process of hanging up his hat and coat.
CAMBRIDGE, on the phone: …Yeah, that’s Inglewood…Well get over it, if it’s too hot for you…Kim…Kim, I don’t know why you thought this conversation would be cordial…
Cambridge notices Martin and covers the phone up with his hand.
CAMBRIDGE, to Martin, shifting tone: What?
MARTIN: Battery on the front lines?
CAMBRIDGE: That’s putting it one way. You don’t stop by often.
MARTIN: I do when I have something important.
CAMBRIDGE: Yes, I just love how intrinsically essential you are to my being. Please tell me you have a life raft.
MARTIN: I have the whole United States Coast Guard waiting behind that door.
CAMBRIDGE, pause: You have Kim’s accountants to tell me how wrong he is?
MARTIN: Or your accountants to say how you're right.
CAMBRIDGE: Is that it?
MARTIN, grimacing: No, that’s not it.
CAMBRIDGE: Good, because that would be entirely pointless.
MARTIN: Why’s that? The budget---
CAMBRIDGE: The movie’s scraped.
MARTIN: What? Since when?
CAMBRIDGE: Since right now. (On the phone): D’you hear that, Kim? I’m dropping the project…Yeah…Yeah, that’s right, you stupid fuck, you’re done, go home and familiarize yourself with the classified section…Location scouting? You were going to…yes, were, in a backlot studio. And now I’m going to call up your accountants, and they’re going to show me how much funding you’ve wasted…I’m done with you, Kim.
Cambridge hangs up the phone, leans back in his chair.
MARTIN, as a statement: The Kalvin picture is closed.
CAMBRIDGE: Done, gone.
MARTIN: Like that.
CAMBRIDGE: Like that.
MARTIN: And I am your CFO.
CAMBRIDGE: And I made this company from shooting on a 16mm, so what? I hired you.
MARTIN: I’m not disputing that fact.
CAMBRIDGE: I wanted to drop the picture, so I dropped it.
MARTIN: I saw it with my own eyes. (Pause): Is there anything we can salvage from this?
CAMBRIDGE: We’ve still got most of our budget, we got the cameras, the crew. Of course they’re all unionized, so we have to get them to work on something quickly.
MARTIN: Can we set them to work on the Krag-Jorgenson Picture?
CAMBRIDGE: No, shooting’s done, I saw the footage.
CAMBRIDGE: It’s shit, what do you expect? Might even make back our production costs.
MARTIN: Maybe you just don’t like space movies.
CAMBRIDGE: How can I like them when there’s nothing human about them? Young kids who want to dress in rubber costumes and pretend to be aliens. Jesus, Martin…I hate this decade. Ever since Star Wars came out---
Martin raises a hand for silence.
Martin: I’m going to stop you right there, because I think you’re gonna hear some of the things you were just talking about.
CAMBRIDGE: From who, the Coast Guard?
MARTIN: No, not really.
CAMBRIDGE: Then who? C’mon, you’re big and important and you came to me with…what?
MARTIN: A young kid with stars in his eyes and fire in his heart.
CAMBRIDGE, almost immediately losing his calm: Oh, Jesus, no, these hills are infested with them.
MARTIN: Deliberate phrasing.
CAMBRIDGE: How old is he?
MARTIN: Twenty two.
CAMBRIDGE: Is he a native, at least?
MARTIN: Said he’s from Milwaukee.
Cambridge shoots out of his chair, turning, still groaning.
CAMBRIDGE: God, that’s the whole package, isn’t it?
MARTIN: I think you’ll like what he has to show you.
CAMBRIDGE: Show me.
MARTIN: I saw his stuff and it sure made an impression on me.
CAMBRIDGE: What’s he got that half a million other broken hearts around here don’t?
MARTIN: Pretty interesting script.
MARTIN: You said I’m big and important.
CAMBRIDGE: That was sincere.
MARTIN: So hear this kid out. I brought him, he wouldn’t shut up or leave me alone for the past two weeks. Says he has this amazing, absolutely drop dead script. Said it’ll cause a massive tidal wave in Hollywood.
CAMBRIDGE: And you believed him?
MARTIN: I read it.
CAMBRIDGE: Don’t we pay people to do that?
MARTIN: He said he wanted to skip the middle man and come straight to us.
CAMBRIDGE: So he thinks he’s better than everyone else his age?
MARTIN: See for yourself.
MARTIN: Give the kid five minutes.
CAMBRIDGE: I’ve got a clock, you know.
MARTIN: A very admirable one.
CAMBRIDGE, pointing: I’ve got one right there.
MARTIN, cheesily: And I’ve got the greatest CEO in all of Los Angeles county.
CAMBRIDGE: I want this kid at my feet.