Chapter 4

Pitch

Part Jump

Part A
Part B

Transcript for Chapter 4

Transcript for Chapter 4A

Title Page:

PopChromatic, Chapter 4 - Pitch

Depicted is a smiling Justice in casual clothes and sunglasses with one hand in his pocket. He's walking outside on a sunny day and holding a disposable coffee cup in his free hand.

Chapter opens with a shot of a fist knocking on a door. The door has a name plate on it that says "Harrison."

We see the inside of the office and someone responds to the knock.

Voice: Come in.

Justice peeks his head in the door and sees HARRISON standing at his desk. Harrison is dressed in formal business wear, with slacks and a dark tie, but he's not wearing a coat and the sleeves of his shirt are rolled up. He wears stylish horn-rimmed glasses and his hair is combed to one side. A tiny bit of hair seems to be escaping from the style; it's a hint of the natural hair insanity he shares with his son.

Harrison is busily organizing files into several bins. The bins say things like "Definitely Out," "Probably Out," "Undecided," "Probably In" and Definitely In." Justice smiles as he watches his dad working.

Justice: [You gotta admire my dad. He has four hundred employees and he works harder than all of them.]

Harrison is looking at a file and doesn't glance up when he addresses Justice.

Harrison: You ready to get started with these? We have to cut all these girls down to the top eighty so the crew can start calling them.

Harrison finally looks up, and he sees that Justice is holding a file down by his side.

Harrison: What's that?

Justice won't look his father in the eye as he approaches the desk. He puts the file on top of the files Harrison was working with. Then he puts his hand in his pocket, pulls out a flash drive, and places the flash drive on top of the file. Then he finally meets Harrison's gaze. Harrison stares down at the file.

Harrison: What is this, Justice?

Justice: A girl.

Harrison puts his hand on a pile of folders.

Harrison: I've got all the girls right here. Counted them myself.

Justice: This one's different. Will you look at her please?

Harrison looks confused and annoyed, but he opens the file and looks at it. Inside the file are two photos of Jade in the dress. One photo is a large upper-body shot and Jade is frowning at the camera. The other photo is a smaller head shot, and Jade is forcing a smile.

Harrison: I have this one already-

Harrison looks more closely and realizes his mistake. He looks up at Justice.

Harrison: Who is this?

Justice's demeanor with his dad isn't quite as confident as it is when he's talking to Jade. He seems to be choosing his words carefully.

Justice: Her name is Jade Smith. She's the twin sister of one of the other girls.

Harrison: I didn't know we cut a twin.

Justice looks away guiltily.

Justice: We didn't.

Harrison waves the file. He's getting angrier and angrier as the conversation wears on.

Harrison: So why am I holding a file for a girl I've never seen before?

Justice: Because I only met her yesterday.

Harrison: Auditions were closed two months ago.

Justice cringes.

Justice: [This is going to be the hard part. Convincing Harrison, a producer who's famous for his integrity, to unnaturally interfere with an audition that's already in progress. I'm not even going to think about the fact that I told Jade my dad was already in on this. That's a complication I don't need to dwell on right now.]

Justice drops his eyes.

Justice: I met her in the food court. She was only there to support her sister, but...I don't know. Is there a way we could work her in to this round?

Harrison's face shows anger and disbelief.

Harrison: Work her in?

Justice scratches the back of his neck.

Justice: I just think she's...I mean, I know she looks rough, but potentially...

Harrison closes his eyes.

Harrison: Justice. What are you doing? You know there's no way I would say yes to this.

Justice: I know.

Harrison: I don't want to insult you by suggesting that this girl offered you something...

Indeed insulted, Justice suddenly shouts at his father.

Justice: Then don't!

Harrison glances up at him, then looks back down at his work.

Harrison: I'm sorry. It's too late. Even if I was tempted to add a another girl, which I'm not, it's too late from a production stand-point. Round One is airing tonight, and the station already has Round Two. They've both been approved. And there's no Jade Smith in either one of them.

Justice: Does that really matter, though? We started with twelve hundred girls. Most of them didn't make it onto the tape.

Harrison: The good ones did. We've never named a winner that didn't show up by Round Two.

Justice: There's a first time for everything. The audience will be-

Harrison: No, Justice.

Harrison holds up Jade's file.

Harrison: I'm not adding any new girls right now. She's got something, I'll admit it, but she'll have to wait until the next round.

Harrison moves the file toward the bin that says "Definitely Out."

Harrison: That's my final decision.

Justice's eyes get huge.

Justice: [Oh, no. Once the file goes in there, it's never coming out!]

Justice shoots out a hand and snags Jade's file right before it hits the "Out" bin.

Harrison looks at Justice, confused and ticked off. Justice grins at him, sweating and maybe a little embarrassed.

Justice: Y-you have to trust me on this. I have, like...

He makes a grasping motion with his free hand.

Justice: ...a feeling. A really good feeling.

Justice stares at Harrison, trying to get him to understand.

Justice: I talked to her, and you didn't. Can't you at least humor me before you shoot me down?

Harrison looks at his watch.

Harrison: You have three minutes.

He slumps back into his chair.

Harrison: Pitch it.

Justice is shocked.

Justice: You're letting me pitch?

Harrison: This is just my advice, but you might want to use the first minute to gather your ideas.

He presses a button on his watch and it beeps.

Harrison: Three minutes starts now.

Justice grins, confident.

Justice: [I don't need to gather my ideas. I've been going over this argument with Dad in my head since I first laid eyes on Jade.]

Justice launches into a speech, most of which is cut off at the end of the page.

Justice: Okay, so I know you've heard me say that Bouquet needs a slightly gritty element to root it among a more mature fanbase, but...

We pick back up once the three minutes are almost up.

Harrison: Fifteen seconds.

Justice: So, to sum up, Jade has all those qualities we need, and I know you're frustrated because Amber's face and voice are great, but she's weak. But as a package, Jade and Amber are perfect.

Harrison rubs his chin as he considers Jade's file again, along with a crowd shot that was taken during the first day of auditions. In the photo, Jade and Amber can be seen laughing adorably together. Justice gets worked up, trying to make his dad understand.

Justice: If I could explain this better, I would, but I can't. It's a gut instinct. I want her, Dad. I want her so bad, and I think letting her go might be the biggest mistake I ever make.

Harrison's watch counts down, and at the last second Justice slaps his hands down on his father's desk.

Justice: You know who she is, don't you? She's my Reagan Lacey.

Transcript for Chapter 4B

The chapter picks up where we left off, with Justice leaning forward on Harrison's desk, intently trying to convince his father to consider Jade.

Justice: Come on, Dad. You have to remember what this feels like.

Harrison's eyes widen. A shot of a framed magazine that hangs on his wall shows us what's going through his mind right now. The cover of the magazine, called Popping Rock, features a man in his early thirties sitting on a couch with a girl who has her arm around three platinum records. They're both grinning; the man is wearing a dark suit and the girl is dressed in a mini-dress and high heels. The magazine shows their names: Harrison and Reagan Lacey. The related headline says "Thirteen-year-old golden voice catapults producer into super-stardom; launches industrial tour de force." Judging by Harrison's age in picture, the picture would have to be at least fifteen years old.

Harrison returns to the present.

Harrison: I didn't think you were that serious about the music industry.

Justice: I'm not. I mean, I could take or leave the music half of it. I'm interested in the people. THe relationship between the girls, and between the girls and the audience. Maybe I got that from you, I don't know. I just know I can see the whole thing in my mind. The future of Bouquet with Jade and Amber. It's real and it's waiting for us; we just have to go there.

Harrison thinks. He picks up the flash drive and holds it up to look at it. Justice grins.

Justice: He's going to watch it.

Harrison puts the flash drive into a USB port on the side of his laptop and clicks an icon with Jade's face on it. It's called Jade.mp4. Justice comes around to his dad's side of the desk so he can watch the video with Harrison. The sound from the video, a conversation between Jade the photographer, comes from the computer.

Jade: My name is Jade Smith, I'm fifteen years old, and I don't want to be doing this.

We see the image of Jade from Harrison's POV. She's stewing as the interview is conducted.

Evan: Why don't you want to be doing this?

Jade: I hate Bouquet, for one thing. Do I need another reason?

Evan: Why do you hate Bouquet?

Jade: What are you, a shrink? It's natural to hate Bouquet.

Jade: Bouquet is overproduced pond scum that's only popular because the bottom-feeders of society will slurp up anything they don't have to chew.

Justice grins; Harrison's expression is unreadable. Jade points a finger angrily.

Jade: And if you ever tell my sister I said that, I'll hunt you down!

Justice looks down at Harrison.

Justice: You always say how you like honesty in a girl.

Harrison: Is she threatening me, or Evan?

Justice: She's pretty much always threatening everyone.

Evan: If you hate Bouquet so much, then why are you auditioning?

Jade: I was coerced. By Justice Harrison.

Justice keeps grinning. Harrison looks at him askance.

Evan: Justice made you do this?

Jade: Coerced me.

Evan: That's not really an answer, though. Justice can try to coerce you, but something inside you has to respond to it.

Jade won't look at the camera.

Evan: So, tell me, why did you decide to audition? Unconscious ambition? Fear?

Jade: No. No. I'm not afraid of anything except conformity.

Evan: Then what was it?

Jade: I guess...

Jade finally looks at the camera. The sincerity of her expression seems to pierce the screen.

Jade: I'm doing this for love.

Justice gets the chills.

Justice: (Man, she's good. Never in a million years could a girl fake reluctant honestly like that.)

Harrison is rubbing his chin, deep in thought.

Justice: (She's getting to him.)

Harrison closes his laptop. Then he opens Jade's file and studies it. He takes out the letter Jade wrote and waves it at Justice.

Harrison: Have you seen this?

Justice: No, uh, honestly I just had her scribble out something in the elevator before the shoot. Why, what does it say?

Harrison reads.

Harrison: It says, "Dear Harri-song Il. I hope you're proud of your son. I'm sure he's a chip off the old Communist block. Sincerely, Jade. P.S., I hate you."

Justice chews his thumbnail nervously.

Justice: How's the handwriting?

Harrison: Funny.

Harrison opens Amber's file, too, and then looks at the photos of Amber and Jade together, side-by-side. In her picture, Jade's not smiling and she's not even really posing; it's more like Evan captured a good shot of her surreptitiously while she was getting down off the stool. In Amber's picture, Amber is grinning and posing, a true idol-type.

Harrison: Let me ask you a question.

He opens a drawer in his desk and pulls out a picture of all eight of the most recent complete group of Bouquet members.

Harrison: If you had to arrange a duet tour with Jade and any member of Bouquet, who would you partner her with?

Justice: For overall balance, or...?

Harrison: For maximum impact.

Justice: I guess...

We close up on Cherry, a dark-haired girl with a clever smile.

Justice: If it was up to me, I'd put her with Cherry.

Harrison: Really? Why?

Justice: Because Cherry's the only one who might be able to dominate her. It would be hell on the bus, but the audience would go crazy for it.

Harrison gives him the knowing side-eye, and Justice returns the expression.

Harrison: The audience would, or you would?

Justice: Are you saying you wouldn't?

Harrison sighs and ruffles his hair, torn. Suddenly he stands up, takes the files, and heads for the door. Justice reaches for him, a bit absentmindedly.

Justice: Dad?

Harrison whips around, his eyes alight with the mad genius that grips him sometimes and which had made him a millionaire in a very short time.

Harrison: What?

Justice: Where are you going?

Harrison turns back around and keeps walking toward the door.

Harrison: Gotta figure out how to work in your phenom two rounds in.

Justice: Really?

Justice pumps his fists victoriously.

Justice: Yes! I knew it! I knew you were going to love her! I knew underneath all that grunge was a flower.

He starts to follow his dad.

Justice: So, what are we going to do first?

Harrison turns and raises his arm just in time to put his hand on Justice's forehead and bring him to a halt. Justice looks surprised.

Harrison: We aren't doing anything.

Harrison's hair still looks a little crazy from when he messed it up.

Harrison: Before you walked in here, there were still two hundred girls left to cut. Now there are two hundred and one. So I suggest you get to work.

Justice points to himself.

Justice: Me?

Harrison's already halfway out the door. He smiles. Justice is looking back over his shoulder at the piles of folders that still need to be organized.

Harrison: I don't see why not. My favorites are already in the box. Just use your best judgement on the rest.

The door clicks shut; Harrison's gone. Justice is left alone with all the work. He looks a little defeated from the get-go.

Justice: Oh, crap.