Eli Marshall, a starting-out talk show host, seeks out magical forces to acquire more fame and experiences the trials of stardom; Kanye West tries and fails to hail a cab.
INT. TALK SHOW SET – DAY
Eli sits in a chair on the set of a talk show called “The Grapevine.” He adjusts a LAPEL MICROPHONE on his shirt. The show’s producer NORA, a quirky, British woman in her 50s, overlooks the set from the control room.
(Half-yawning) Okay Eli get ready. We’re live in 5, 4, 3…
A bead of sweat drips down Eli’s forehead as he fidgets.
DEEP MALE VOICE (O.S.)
Welcome to The Grapevine! Here’s your latest entertainment news from our newest host, Eli Marshall. Remember…you heard it through us!
Recorded applause begins, along with scattered claps from a sparse LIVE STUDIO AUDIENCE.
Good morning. Today we’ll start the show off by chatting with ZOE HARPER, the star of HBO’s popular psychological drama “Violence, Sex and Action.” The show was recently called ’America’s favorite story’ by The New York Times. Welcome Zoe!!
Upbeat music begins to play, Eli smiles and turns to the stage entrance but no one comes out. The crowd waits about 20 seconds in anticipation.
AUDIENCE MEMBER #1 (Shouting)
Um, where is she?!
(Through Eli’s head set) Her agent just paged us that she’s not showing. Typical Harper. Apologize for the confusion and welcome our next guest.
Eli gulps as another bead of sweat runs down his cheek.
I-It appears there’s been some confusion regarding our guest, but we’ll move right along to our next guest instead: one of the first and most-respected U.S. television producers, SUE KATO!
Audience Member #1 and AUDIENCE MEMBER #2 glance at each other.
AUDIENCE MEMBER #2 (Whispering)
Isn’t she like 90 now?!
Same upbeat music begins. Sue, a small, elderly woman, slowly makes her way onto the stage. Eli helps her to her chair.
It’s an honor to have you here today Mrs. Kato. I’m a big fan.
Sue adjusts her HEARING AID, high-pitched microphone feedback is heard.
Yes, yes you are a big man.
Eli starts to speak but is cut off.
You know these celebrity talk shows didn’t exist at the height of my career. If you ask me, they’re not doing anything for anyone.
Just smile and nod. We’re cutting to commercial.
INT. MAGIC SHOP – DAY
ELI Today was my second day as The Grapevine’s host, and I’m already a laughing stock.
If fame is what you seek my child, you should know it is not to be taken lightly. It is a powerful element with the ability to consume a person entirely.
I know, but this could mean more than fame…financial security, happiness. I actually enjoy this job, and I’m atrocious.
When she doesn’t answer immediately, he starts to get up.
There may be something: a ritual, called ’The Mark of Glory.’ When performed, it will bestow Glory’s Mark upon the chosen recipient. They will then be able to harness fame from those they touch, but as a result will take all fame away from the original owner.
How long does it take? What will it involve?
Be patient, Eli. First you must understand the ramifications of such magic. You will be altering the course of other people’s lives, not just your own.
Eli begins to pace back and forth in front of Roma’s desk.
Yes, things will change, but think of it could mean. If this works, I’ll be able to give you the finest jewels and clothes, send you to exotic places, even pay off the mortgage on this shop!
Roma looks pensively into the distance for a moment.
EXT. EXOTIC ISLAND – DAY
Roma is on a beach in a lounge chair, wearing vibrant clothes. The sun shines high and bright. ISLAND MEN are rotating between feeding her grapes, giving her a foot massage, and lifting a Pina Colada to her lips.
ISLAND MAN #1
You know he’ll end up asking you to reverse the spell. What’s the point of ruining some peoples’ lives for nothing?
Why must spirit guides always doubt? It will not be for nothing! I either get this:
Roma motions to her surroundings.
Or my nephew learns a very valuable lesson.
INT. MAGIC SHOP – DAY
Then so it will be done.