Wednesday, June 11, 2014

6/11/2014 So it begins

Hi. Not sure if this is intended for anyone but future me to read, but this is a production diary. ...

Before talking about the actual production, I should note the context it's starting in - as in my personal world!
So I'm unemployed and living in Asheville, surviving on savings. Emily and I had our son Arthur exactly four months ago today, and I'm only now thinking about anything other than him.

Having Arthur put an end to the original career plan, which was to do freelance in NYC a quarter of the year which would be enough to make it in Asheville. Now as a dad that's out. So I've spent quite a long time trying to see what other options are possible other than the late shift at Arby's.

Emily and I have settled on me being the full time parent since she has a steady career at the moment. That will definitely be my primary "career" until Arthur starts school. Not much work will lend itself to that schedule, so it has to be something I do by myself on my own schedule.

And so, after a million other plans, I'm going to do a narrative animation. We'll see if, when, and where it makes any money, although I'm hopeful considering the lack of other opportunities. I think it will find an audience somehow. If nothing else I think it will lead to other work down the line...

I guess this (6/11/14) is as good a date as any to set as the start date, although the ideas and preparations have been kicking around for a few weeks...

This is going to be a Christmas special. I think it will be called "No Christmas for Ned". Or maybe it's an anti-Christmas special. Not really anti- Christmas but anti- "Christmas special". Or maybe just a spoof. But heartfelt and really dealing honestly with alienation and being "different".
The plan is to do it pretty much solo, although probably getting some voice artists and other sound folks later on.
It will be a musical with songs I write. ...

The audience is basically kids and families that don't celebrate Christmas (as well as people who sympathize with them) and how they feel during the season. It centers on Ned, who is implied to be from an atheist family. But the special should be as universal as possible and NOT political or preachy. (!) ...

Right now the whole thing is just a bunch of sketched out concepts in a mental shoe box. Here's what exists so far! ...

The "script":

 2 min - song "every year"
 3.5 min - kids tease ned
 2 min - song "poor ned"
 3.5 min - ned asks parents
 1 min - song "the question!(ask us later)"
 3.5 min - asks mall santa why he ignores him
 2 min - song "you must be bad"
 1 min - walking home
 1 min - song "every year" slower, sadder
 3.5 min - meets other kids
 2 min - song "the season for the reason" ...

VERY goofy movement
reason for not celebrating xmas is never explicitly explained
ned is emo/goth?
ned is charlie brown-like but not too depressing.
whole story is on a single "set" that corkscrews up a mountain. starts low ends high.
 there is a constant snowball fight throughout - snowballs hitting things in the background and also narrowly missing Ned constantly.
whole show one camera shot?
set is cheesy cliche xmas stuff like little victorian house decorations and snow globes.
very shallow depth of field like a toy world.
early scene of kids in classroom trading absurd amount of gifts while ned gets none. they get passed right in front of his face. one of the kids hands out ferrets from his family breeding farm. They all have ridiculous bows on their heads.
teacher is spazzed about xmas and wears all xmas clothes, hats, etc...
teacher sings a pity song to ned in class while kids mock him behind her back...
teacher asks all other students to give ned one of their gifts and they all give him their ferrets. From then on he's followed by a herd of ferrets...
vehicles get ambushed with snowball barrages
end scene starts ominously with other outcasts in silhouettes
ferret sings or talks at the end with no warning
voices will be actual kids like Peanuts
kids are about 8

6/11/2014 Learning

So what's been happening up to this point?
Not too much yet. Right now I'm really getting my nose to the grindstone re-learning a lot of Maya. I'm doing my best to stop being an animation specialist and truly becoming a generalist. A lot has changed in the years since I first learned anything other than animation. So before I really get going on NCFN I have to get back up to speed on modeling, rigging, lighting, rendering, texturing (or whatever it's called now!) dynamics, and effects. 
The other thing to learn is how much to learn! In other words, learning enough to get things done but not trying to become and expert at all of it.
It's a colossal undertaking but I'm pretty excited about it. I'm currently going through rigging tutorials. So far to go!

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

6/15/2014 Father's Day!

My first father's day!
   Recent progress: continuing through rigging tutorials and learning a lot, including stuff about scripting which I'd really like to dive deeper into...
   Mining Pinterest for character design inspiration. Not easy to find things I like but that's good, I guess. It shows that I'm discerning? Hard to find kid designs that are not either cloying Disney/Pixar fanboy drivel or Tim Burton wannabes. Plus the anime influence. Does every character have to look like a desperate puppy? Not Ned!
  All the tutorials are going to take weeks, and design probably just as long. I'm hoping to start sketching soon, though. Not sure how much early embarrassing stuff I'll post... I dread showing anything but also want to document it for better or worse...

Monday, June 9, 2014

6/19/2014 Very Pinteresting

Still going through the epic rigging tutorial videos. Damn there's a lot to a good rig. The special will have very few rigs used over and over.
Mining Pinterest for kid character design references - finding some good ones...
Also collecting a HUGE amount of set ideas. Basically the whole town is going to be those porcelain lit-up Xmas houses.
I'm thinking that the sets should be WAY over the top with decorations. The town should look like the most gaudy holiday theme park possible. Lots of those inflatable things in all the yards. Ned's house will be the only one that doesn't look insane.
I also want to record Arthur's babbling and have Ned come across a baby trying to communicate with him. It might be a recurring thing.

6/20/2014 Ideas

Two kids in the classroom gift exchange give each other $20 gift cards from the local toy shop. They both react like it's the perfect gift and hug. The camera flies at warp speed to the shop register where the owner gives a double thumbs up to the camera (chaching sound and $40 readout on register) and then it flies back to the hug.

The hook line for the "Every Year" song will say "Every year I'm left out in the cold." At the end when he meets the other outcasts, the reveal is that Ned is singing the song slowly and before he can say "cold" the others sing it in a rising harmonic chord one at a time.

At the end, the Xmas kids come as a group to invite Ned to an Xmas party but he says no thanks and goes with the outcasts to get Indian food at one of their families' restaurants. The Xmas kids' invitation is totally insincere and they even say that their parents forced them to do it or else Santa would only give them grocery store gift cards. Quick cut to the mean Santa saying "Harsh."

Maybe the closing song is "Indian Food" talking about how it's good for Christmas. Maybe the mean Santa is eating there when the kids arrive.

Sunday, June 8, 2014

6/23/2014 Ideas

Santa has a thick accent and a black beard. Ned asks about it and the Santa gets bent out of shape saying that Americans are suckers for Hollywood misleading them about Santa's origins.

The outcast kids all wear gray like a gang and have ski masks and seem like they're after Ned to cause him harm until the end. They whisper "Ned" and approach him and he runs away.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

6/25/2014 Ideas

Ned rescues a younger kid from a mob of other younger kids at the beginning. They've been doing some Xmas-themed bullying, wrapping him in lights, poking him with oversized candy canes.
The kids are exaggeratedly tiny compared to Ned.
After Ned releases the victim, they sing a song to Ned with the lyrics:
Don't blame us - we don't know any better - we're too young to know right and wrong...
When we're alone we feel weak and tiny. When we're together we're tough and strong..
The last notes of the kids' song are the rising tones of Bach's Toccata and Fugue in D minor. But it doesn't resolve into the last chord. They don't stop singing the notes the whole time they chase Ned to the school. Their voices shake with the impact of their running. ("Str-oOoOoOoOoOoNnNnNg")
The kid Ned releases turns out to be the Indian kid at the end - the leader of the grays.

Friday, June 6, 2014

6/30/2014 Ideas

Held up by my parents visiting.
Have to finish my HTML and Java classes this week.
Now jury duty tomorrow!
Still going through the very helpful but very long rigging tutorials.

Teacher compels (using grades) Ned to censor the class singing "Silent Night" by using an air horn when a religious lyric comes up.

Teacher has a sweater with a "telephone pole" on it. (NOT a CROSS!)

Teacher calls Ned "a diversity".

When the songs are playing, they all have the usual jingle bells. But every time, people can be seen actually stopping in place and jingling the bells.

There is always a blizzard going on so nothing can be seen beyond the houses and row of trees.

Cameras should have a very shallow depth of field.

I think I've decided against having Ned's parents in it at all.

The whole town is on one street going up/down a mountain.

The whole story should start at Ned's house on top of the mountain, travel down almost to the school at the bottom of the mountain during the first song, then travel back up the mountain until the end at the restaurant.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

7/3/2014 Thoughts

Took a day of sitting through a full day of juror selection, but I dodged having to do a trial!
Still finishing up with my classes though.

I had second thoughts about the teacher being overtly Christian. I don't want to get into bashing anyone and try to keep the tone silly and light.

I still definitely want to do the air horn, though!

Speaking of silly, I think I'll have people continuously sliding on ice and doing pratfalls, including sliding helplessly down the steep sidewalks and knocking others over.

I'm thinking that maybe I could do all the voices myself a la South Park (most) or Fat Albert.

7/7/2014 Rig-tastic!

Wow! Found a really good auto rig plugin online. No more watching rig tutorials (for now). This will save me a massive amount of time! Hopefully it will work as advertised. If it does, it more than suits my needs.
Also found a really great set of animation tools - pose library setups, etc. Very awesome.
Next up probably modeling tutorials.
Just about done with classes - just need to take the final tests this week.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

7/12/2014 Slowing Down?

So things might slow down a bit - even slower than the snail's pace I've been on! Classes are done - I passed - but priorities are shifting a little.
I'm still doing tutorials - modeling now - and I counted up all the ones that I want to do before I start doing real work, and it works out to about 65 hours of stuff to watch. That's what I'm going to hold myself to.
Before really moving forward on Ned, though, I'm going to do a set of animations to upload to stock animation sites and see how that goes. Hopefully generate some income! I project about a month of that.
So 3 to 4 weeks of tutorials, then probably 4 weeks of stock animation, then really getting a solid start on Ned. Add in a little over a week of traveling.
But I will be loosely doing pre-production in the meantime. Continuing to come up with ideas, thinking about designs, song ideas, the script, etc... Not much CG stuff but important steps forward.
It sucks to put things in front of Ned, but it has to be...

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

7/15/2014 Sweaters

Everyone in Ned's town will have insanely tacky Xmas sweaters.

I thought maybe the teacher might play an instrument during Silent Night, but I'm not sure. Maybe a really loud bass? Pencils could vibrate off the desks...

Thinking maybe everyone should have noodle arms... 30's motifs (updated) like visible exclamation marks, etc...

Monday, June 2, 2014

7/28/2014 Background noise / the look

There is a constant background of overlapping Xmas carols coming from stores, cars, etc.
What to do about realism vs stylized?!?!?!
Great idea from Emily: take examples of CG character surfaces and experiment in PShop...
Definitely not going for super-realism, but also not hyperreal simulations of things like wood, cloth, clay, etc.
Try to "mess up" the perspective and lighting (including shadows) if going non-real. Not exactly orthographic but something along those lines. Lighting individual surfaces with translucence instead of using lights? Or each thing having its own light? Hmm...

7/30/2014 Classroom ideas

More ideas for classroom scene:

  • Every time Ned blows the air horn, the kids jump and get nervous - pants wetting suggested...
  • Kids get increasingly angry with Ned...
  • They sing "Silent Night" extremely quietly, contrasting with the loud air horn...
  • Ned blows horn for "virgin". Teacher corrects him saying, "Very good, Ned, but you didn't need to censor the word "V- *BWAAAAAHHH*.  Everyone in this ROOM is a v- *BWAAAAHHH* and it has almost nothing to do with religion!"
  • For "Completely Diverse Present Time", that one kid hands out mice from his father's pet store. They all have reindeer horns and are in snow globes....
  • Ned complains that he didn't receive any presents. The teacher says, "Of course not, Ned! You're a diversity and it's against the law to offend you!" Ned stares angrily and the teacher relents and instructs all the students to give him one present. They all give him a mouse...
  • As students leave the classroom, Ned has no mice but we see a snake in the foreground shaking his tail. Instead of rattles he has jingle bells strapped to his tail.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

7/31/2014 Mice and Ice

  • The mice handed out as gifts are actually dog paddling in the snow globes.
  • Ned says hi to the snake at the very start.
  • Rather than people shaking jingle bells for every song, possibly have anthropomorphic jingle bells walk into the scene. This means really committing to anthropomorphisizing (?) everything!
  • When Ned confronts the little kid gang, he throws a giant snowball in the air, then a smaller one, which breaks the big one into little ones (like one of those missiles that breaks apart in the air). Each snowball is a direct hit on one kid, and chimes play notes to a carol on each hit. (Maybe "Oh Little Town of Bethlehem").
  • Maybe the kids don't have their own song, just sing the Bach canon with lyrics like: "Better run.... you have made us annn-gry..... Better hiiiiide.... we're after youuuuuu....  Heee-eeer we cooooooooommmmmeeeee...."
  • We get a closeup of the Indian kis waving thanks to Ned.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

8/9/2014 Yellow fellow

Control the palette!
As much as I want everything to be hyper-gaudy, this video: re-inspired me to go with a more purposeful set of color choices.
With that in mind, I think I want to restrict all colors to reds, greens, and very desaturated blues.
Except that Ned and the Indian kid will have yellow and purple.
In the Indian restaurant, everything will be warm colors.
I'm thinking that maybe Ned will be very vaguely Asian. I really want to avoid race, but color-wise I think it might be good to separate Ned subtly. So the other kids who are not black will have redder skin tones. Especially on the nose and cheeks from the cold.
I'm back to thinking that I want to go the Peanuts route with the voices again. Very young kids.

9/2/2014 Been a long lonely lonely lonely lonely time...

After parents' visits, Labor Day travels, and Emily going back to work full time, I haven't had a lot of time for Ned, but I have continued to watch lots of tutorials. Really soon I have to quit that and get down to actual work. I've got a decent map forward with all the new Maya tech, although I came close to taking a wrong turn with global illumination. I learned a lot about it before anyone mentioned that it looks amazing as a still but flickers like crazy when animated. So learning stuff is still saving me time in the long run.
A couple ideas:
The "antagonist" will be a girl that Ned worships. She will always appear as an angel - floating with heavenly light around her. She'll press Ned about why he won't just go along with everyone else and celebrate. She'll be the one to invite him over for dinner and he'll choose to remain honest and go with his new friends.
There should be linking animations of completely surreal xmas themed behavior set to music to connect scenes. Think M. Python Gilliam animations.

Friday, May 30, 2014

9/19/2014 Skinny Santa

The Santa that Ned meets is the owner of a car stereo store. He has a southern drawl. When Ned points that out, he claims that he moved to the south pole a while back because of global warming.
He tries to convince Ned to have his parents buy a car stereo for him for Christmas.
He's really skinny with a printed Santa outfit-type t shirt and pants that are red but only sort of match.
He says "Ho, Ho", leaving off the third ho.
The "antagonist" is a girl that Ned is infatuated with. She floats and is surrounded by a heavenly glow. She tries to convince Ned to celebrate Christmas and if he does then he can come to her party.
Ned is conflicted and says he has to think about it.
At the climax she asks for his decision and presents him with the same sweater that everyone else is wearing. (Ned has been wearing a sweater that is not Christmas related and purple/yellow instead of red/green. Picture is a dinosaur with a caption saying Rarr!")
The "misfits" walk off sadly when it seems that Ned will go with her. He looks at the tag and says "It's not my size!" He decides to run after the "misfits" and her glow shorts out like a bad bulb and she floats to the ground.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

9/21/2014 Reindeer Sighting

There could be a narrator like in Rankin Bass specials (like the snowman in Rudolph). It might be a (relatively) realistic reindeer playing guitar. Characters will treat it exactly like people would in reality: "Holy crap did I just see a reindeer playing a guitar?" People would follow it around recording with their phones.
In the classroom scene all the kids will have torrents of snot all over. Keep it somewhat subtle but unmistakable. Lots of sneezing and nose blowing. Kids raise hands to answer questions and have boogers on fingers...

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

10/24/2014 Script First Draft!

So it's been a month, but I haven't been idle. I finished a rough draft of the script and - while it's got a way to go - I'm pretty happy with it even now.

It's amazing how many things change as I'm writing - tone, character personalities, motivations, etc. - all of it is still evolving after this first pass. It's exciting to see it continue to develop.

One frustration is that I have no idea of how long the thing would be as written. It seemed like it would run over the 25 minute mark, so I cut out the gift giving part in the classroom, which was a little disappointing. I could be wrong about the run time, so maybe it will come back. Honestly, though, it had no real impact on the story once removed, so maybe not. I just liked the idea of the drowning mice.

I'm going to post images of the pages that I wrote in long hand because it will be interesting (to me, anyway) to see all the edits and such. From this point on I'll probably type it and not do it by hand. I'll have to remember to preserve edits later on so the history of the writing will be visible.

Other than that, I do have an actually paying gig coming up, so once again I might put Ned on the back burner for a month or so. We'll see.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

11/2/2014 Script Version Two

Well, my intention was just to type up the first version of the script exactly as is, so that I could more easily edit it and create a version 2. But I just couldn't help editing as I went, so there won't be a typed version 1 (the one written longhand.)

It took WAY longer than I thought it would. I started just after the last post. Again, rather than just transcribing I did a lot of thinking. I made some significant changes but the main story is still intact. I mostly changed dialog and made different choices for some preliminary camera angles. One change that's sort of big and that I like a lot is that Ned will look into people's windows - once per "act" - and see - on the TV that the kids are watching - a moment of alienation that's pretty obviously lifted from classic Christmas specials. Before this the idea was to show some family moment that Ned is missing out on and that falls apart as soon as Ned stops looking.

Here's the second version of the script!

No Christmas for Ned”
Version 2
copyright 2014 Mike Gargiulo

Scene 1

Establishing Shot

A blizzard on a street like the crazy hills in San Francisco. Three houses are shown – Ned's family's in the middle. Ned's is modern looking (F. L. Wright) and not at all decorated. The two surrounding houses look like the little Christmas Town buildings bought at Hallmark stores. Decorations in the front of the houses play competing tinny carols and create a cacophony. Others can be heard off screen. Passing cars also have Christmas songs on their radios.

A song starts playing as Ned appears – pretty much spelling out the setting and Ned – about how he's the only one in town who doesn't celebrate Christmas.

Ned emerges from his house and starts walking down the hill.

Camera Trucks with Ned.

Every house and store Ned passes is absurdly over decorated. Each one plays its own carol. Ned walks along for the length of the song until he sees something and stops in his tracks.

OS Ned

Across the street, a group of 8 kids surrounds another one who wears a turban, poking him with oversized candy canes and laughing.

CU Ned

Ned: Hey! What are you guys doing to that kid? Leave him alone!

5 Shot of Some of Kid Group and Victim

The kids stop and look. Their victim peers over their shoulder looking desperate for help.
Kid 1 gives a dismissive wave.

Kid 1: Aaah go deck your halls!

The bullying continues.

Behind Ned

With the bullying continuing in the background, Ned makes a huge snowball and heaves it toward the group.
He quickly makes another small one and hits the first one just as it's over the group.
The larger snowball breaks into 8.
Each bully is knocked out with the 8 snowballs.
Each hit is accompanied by a detuned note of “Deck the Halls”.

Full Victim

Victim is amazed and overjoyed. He waves at Ned.

Victim: Thank you! Thanks!

The bullies start to recover and he runs off.

CU Ned

Ned smiles and waves. Then gets worried.

OS Ned

The bullies have gotten up and are crossing the street. They make the “eeeEEEeee” sound from 2001.

Camera Trucks Behind Bullies

Camera and Bullies approach Ned, who has taken a defensive stance. The bullies stop. Camera rotates to the front of Kid 1, who points zombie-like at Ned.


CU Ned

Ned snaps into panic and runs off screen.

Wide - Street

Ned and bullies begin a frantic chase. But they all pretty much just slip in place, periodically falling. Camera trucks with them as they eventually reach the entrance to the School. (Labeled “Slipperyville Elementary”)

School Entrance

Ned slips his way up the stairs to the school door. Just before camera cut the bullies reach the bottom stair.

Full Behind Ned

Ned runs up to a device on the wall marked “STOP – all students – retina scan check point”

ECU Ned's Eye at Scanner

The scanner probes Ned's eye.

Full Behind Ned

Readout says “PASS”
Door opens.
Ned bolts through.
Door slams shut.
Bullies rush up to scanner and pause.
Alarms sound and readout says “HOME SCHOOL INTRUDER” flashing.
A portcullis slams down.

Full Behind Ned

Ned runs past camera and into a full shot then turns and looks back.

Bullies Behind Gate

Kid 1 shakes gate.

Kid 1: This has only.

Jump Cut Closer

Kid 1: Just.

Jump Cut Closer

Kid 1: Begun.

Full Ned

Ned turns and walks swiftly away.

Cross Fade

Scene 2

Cross Fade to Establishing Shot Classroom

Ned walks swiftly into room and goes to the coat rack.

Closeup Coat Rack

Ned's hand hangs up his yellow/purple hat next to all the red/green ones.

Behind Desk

Ned walks up to his desk (in the center of the room) and sits.

Full of Teacher – Mr. Fork

Mr. Fork stands at the front of the room with his eyes shut tight. The bell rings and he comes to life like a robot switched on. His expression pops open to a “HEY KIDS!” over-enthusiasm. He looks at the ceiling.

Mr. Fork: Morning all you spe-e-e-e-ecial kid-DEEZ!! (looks toward door and pauses – becomes a little more serious.) Ah. Just in time miss Sue.

CU Ned

Ned becomes electrified. Mr. Forks' “Sue” repeats over and over.

OS Ned

Sue levitates into the room in slow motion, surrounded w/ a heavenly glow. Her eyes shoot out energy beams, scanning the room. Angel sounds start, building gradually.

CU Ned

A still like in 2001 of Ned enraptured


Sue's eye beams come closer to Ned (camera)

CU Ned

A still of Ned enraptured X2


Sue's eye beams come closer to Ned (camera)
CU Ned

A still of Ned enraptured X3


Sue's eye beams look directly at Ned (camera)

Full Profile Ned

Ned is engulfed in Sue's eye beams; he starts the shot leaning forward and is blown backwards like in a wind tunnel like the Memorex commercials. Daisies sprout from his skin and are blown away, leaving nothing.

After a long pause...

Sue: Ned? Ned?

Full Ned

Ned snaps awake. He rubs his eyes and looks around groggily, then does a take in shock.

Smash Zoom Out

Ned looks around in disbelief – everyone in the room has become Sue and continues saying “Ned? Ned?”

Full Ned

In reality, Ned is being poked with a giant candy cane by Mr. Fork, saying “Ned. Ned.”
Ned snaps awake and looks around in confusion, then quickly up to Mr. Fork.


Mr. Fork lowers the candy cane.

Mr. Fork: Ned. How many times have I told you about swooning during class time? Are you contagious?

Full Profile Ned

Ned watches Sue pass him in the aisle. His head turns impossibly around. (creaking noise)

Ned: I hope so?

Full Class

Mr. Fork strides to the front of the room.

Mr. Fork: All right youngsters. As you all know, this is our last class before our...

Full Fork

Fork spins on his heel into an absurdly contemptuous and sarcastic pose with flashing air quotes.

Fork: ...Hhhhaawwliddaaaaayyyy break. (bad ventriloquist girly speaking) 'Christmas' (fake scolding) Who said that?! Naughty.
And so this is a great opportunity for us to discuss....

Fork walks up to the smart board and writes...


Fork turns, squinting.
Fork: WHO. Who. Can tell me what – or... (eyebrows up theatrically) whom? - is a di-ver-si-teee?

Full Excited Kid

Excited Kid practically leaps from his seat with his hand up and blurts out:

Excited Kid: It's like when you tell someone 'look! A bat!' so you can run away from them and they're like 'whuuUUUT?' but you ran away.

Medium Fork

Fork has zero reaction to this and continues...

Fork: A diversity is a person whom is different but whom we must treat like they are not. Diversities are good people to know, because if we are able to make them feel OK about being unusual, it makes us more prepared for college, where almost everyone is a diversity. Plus you might find yourself in a place where everything around you is weird and people will think that it is YOU whom is the diversity, and it would be good to tell those people that when you met diversities in your world you treated them nice.

Full of Student

Student: How do we know who -

Fork (offscreen): whom

Student: -whom a diversity is? Do they look like normal people?

Behind Students

Fork: ah HA. They can look like normal people. But not always. But sometimes. In fact – believe it or not – we have a diversity right, here, in this, room!

2 Shot of 2 Students

2 Students eye each other very suspiciously. Class mumbles.

Full Ned

Ned looks as befuddled as everyone else.

Fork (offscreen): Why, it's Ned, of course!

Ned: What!?! No! What? I'm just regular!

CU Fork

Fork: Oh, Ned. It's cool! These days diversities are in! I think the class really wants to understand you. They probably have never met someone who doesn't celebrate – um – the thing that happens on December 25th...?

Wide Class with Ned in Center

Students in unison: YOU DON'T CELEBRATE CHRISTMAS?!?!??!?
One student (on the verge of tears): why?

CU Fork

Looks up to corner, points at students.

Fork: They said it!

OS Fork

Security cam looks from him to students.

CU Fork

Fork (back to students): Talk about di-VERSE! (Makes very theatrical “WOW” face to kids.) Now students – I for one can't imagine the loneliness of being the only boy in town who doesn't celebrate– what you kids said. So now is the time to make Ned feel OK about being different. Ned -

CU Ned

Fork (offscreen): - would you like to share with the class your perspectives and feelings?

Ned (freaked out): Not really, please.

Fork: What about for extra credit? You need it.

Ned: I don't want to, please.

Wide Class, Behind Fork

Fork: All righty – we'll open it up to questions.

Ned: Can we talk about atoms?

Fork: Who wants to ask Ned something?

Every hand shoots up simultaneously.

Full Cindy

Fork: Cindy?

Cindy: How come your Mom and Dad don't make you celebrate Chri -

Fork: CINDY.

Cindy: - that day?

Full Slightly Above Ned

Ned: Well, they didn't celebrate it first before I was even born.

Class gasps

Questions start coming fast and overlapping – Ned is spinning around as he faces each questioner. When kids ask, they lean in from behind Ned and from off screen.

Kid: Don't you get any presents?

Ned: No

Kids: Ohhhh (pitying sound)

Kid: Did you ever wish that Santa would make your parents celebrate it?

Kid: If Santa gave you a present would you keep it?

Kid: Do you just leave your tree blank?

Kid: What do you do while every other kid is having the best day in the whole universe?

Kid: Do you have to come to school tomorrow?

Ned: I don't know I don't know I don't KNOW I DON'T KNOW!!

CU Girl

A very confused and sorrowful girl: But isn't being different terribly, miserably, desperately, lonely?

CU Ned

Ned is dumbstruck and taken aback.

Fork (offscreen): AAAAAAAAALLLLLLLALALALALA-righty little ones. Obviously Ned has to stop and reflect on your questions and probably about the direction of his life overall.

Full Fork

Fork: I think deep down inside we've helped Ned see that we care about him and want him – and all his fellow diversities – to feel welcome in our world. And who knows? Maybe the magic of the season will tinkle upon his heart and melt it down into the pot that we are in as one.

CU Ned

Ned looks stunned.

Cindy (offscreen): We love you Ned!

The class applauds and an arm leans in and pats him on the shoulder.

Behind Fork

Fork: Oooh! Look at the time! Kids, I have a personal tradition that I love.

CU Fork

Fork: It's a song I've sung with every one of my classes every year at this joyous time. But. I've been told that it's not secular enough. Who can tell me what secular means?
Full of Excited Kid

Excited Kid: Naughty?

CU Fork

Thinks about it for a second – looking toward security cam.

Fork: Sort of but no. Secular literally means “ungodly”. So they're saying

CU Security Cam

Fork: that the song has too much God content. So I say

Trucking Behind Fork Down Aisle Up to CU Ned

Fork walks slowly with an air horn behind his back (so in camera).

Fork: we can still sing the song with a little creative editing. And our honorary editor will be – Neddo!

Ned is destroyed.

Ned: Please? No?

OS Ned

Fork: It's simple, Ned. Just press this button here whenever we come to an unsecular word in the song. Goody?

OS Fork

Ned: I......I just really think there's something very wrong about this.

Fork: NED. (Leans in fast and very close.) This...this song's just so, so, so important to me. Tradition? You know? I wish I could explain. But they're watching me, Ned, watching me so close. (eyes dart toward camera)

Quick Cutaway to Camera

ECU Fork

Fork: I can't... stand the thought of a year without this song. But they want to stop me. You can help me, Ned. Buddy. Please help. You don't want me to get fired do you Ned? Or maybe even put in jail? * extremely tense whisper * Will you save my Christmas?

OS Fork

Ned is scared. Gets out a tiny nod and the “mm” part of “mm-hm”.

Wide Classroom

Fork: YES!!! Chriss(OOPS!)ollliday is saved!
(runs like a dork to the front of the class and pulls a standing bass out from a flag pole that impossibly hid it.)
OK little elves – very softly now. SHHH.
(pops the first note very loudly)

Ned and Surrounding Students

Kids: Silent night... Ho-

Ned blasts the incredibly loud air horn and the other kids jump out of their seats.

OS Ned

Kids turn and glare at Ned. Class gasps and buzzes.
Fork plays eighth notes on to spur the song on.

Fork: Don't stop kids, we're gonna make this work. Be brave for teacher. “NNNNIIII....”

Med Ned

Kids quietly and reluctantly start to sing again. Ned mimes “it's not my fault” to other kids.
Kids behind him glare at him.

Kids: “...night. All is calm.”

CU Fork

Fork (overcome with emotion): “All is bright”

CU Ned

Ned painfully prepares the air horn.

Kids: “Round yon v---

Ned blows the horn – BBWWAAAAAAHHHH!!!!

OS Ned

Kid in front of Ned knocks desk and tumbles forward.

2 Shot – Ned and Neighboring Girl

Girl is miming 'no no no please don't!' and shaking like crazy.

Ned mimes 'teacher told me to!'

Kids: “Mother and child... Ho-”

Ned blasts the horn and the girl looks as if she's electrocuted then passes out.

Sounds of kids whimpering begins.

Camera Shifts to Right

Boy on Ned's other side is also shaking but with crazed murderous rage. He's about to hit Ned with his book. Ned is still looking regretfully at passed out girl.

Kids: “infant so”

Fork: “SO”

Kid looks over to Fork.

CU Fork

Fork (with angry expression directed at book kid): “TENDER AND MILD!!”

Previous Shot

Kid lowers book with “aww shucks” attitude.

Kids: “Sleep in hea-”

Ned blows the horn – BBWWAAAAAAHHHH!!!!

Book kid throws book into the air and knocks himself out with it.

Kids: “peee-eeeace”.

Wide Classroom from Above

A kid runs wildly out the door just before horn, knocking over his desk.

Kids: “slee-eep in he-”

Ned blows the horn – BBWWAAAAAAHHHH!!!!

Kids: “peeeace”.

Full Fork

Way into it, he plays (badly) a coda.

Some kids are weeping and moaning.

Fork: Excellent job, kids! And well done, Ned. I think we can safely say that secularity has been preserved and nobody needs to get fired.

Fork glances at camera.

CU Camera

Camera looks down inscrutably.

The bell rings.

Full Fork

Fork acts like a child in celebration.

Fork: Yyyyyaaaaaayyy! Everyone have a very merry HOLY-day break!

Wide Classroom, Above

Students scramble for the door, knocking everything over. Fork plays “Greensleeves” on the bass super fast.
Scene 3

Outside School

Ned starts down the stairs of the school. About 2/3 of the way down, a voice calls.

Kid: Hey, Ned!

Ned looks toward voice.

Kid: This is for making Brianna tinkle her tights! BWAAAHHH! (imitation of air horn)

Ned is hit in the face with a snowball.

More snowballs hit him as he ducks and dodges, each accompanied by a BWAAAHHH!

Ned: Hey! Cut it out! It's not my fault – Mr. Fork made me do it!

OS Sue

Sue: Ned?

Ned looks up the stairs to Sue then stands completely still and ignores snowballs that hit him.

Ned: (awkwardly and strangely intoned) I am Ned. (thwump)

Full Sue

Sue: So I was going to invite you to my Christmas party tonight, but I didn't realize that you hate Jesus.

Med Ned

Ned: What? No! (thwump) I don't hate anyone! Jesus seems like a cool guy – at least what I've seen on TV. (thwump) I like the baby version a lot! Plus you like him, so, yeah, he must be awesome! (thwump) I mean he's pretty popular, right? So, yay Jesus!

Med Sue

Sue: Cool! But so why don't you worship Christmas?

CU Ned

Ned thinks for a minute.

Ned: I'm not sure why. My family's just different, I guess. My (thwump) parents say that I'll understand when I'm older and I can decide things for myself.

OS Ned

Sue: How long ago did they say that?

Ned: I think... two years ago?

Sue: Well then you are older now! So you can decide to worship Christmas with me and every other kid in the world!

OS Sue

Ned: I think they mean when I'm super old and I can drive a car and stuff.

Sue: Oh.

An awkward silence goes on for a while.

OS Ned

Silence continues.

CU Ned


Ned: Sooooo... I'm not sure if I'm invited to your party or not.

Full Sue

Sue: Oh. Well, I think you'll have to decide. If you want to come, there's one thing you have to do. My mom has this thing where everyone needs to bring a present for Jesus to the party. She picks the one she thinks is best and that kid gets this chocolate Santa that's like this big. I thought maybe that would be weird for you because of your diversity.

CU Ned

Ned thinks.

Ned: I mean, are you saying that I have to go on a journey of discovery (thwump) to find the true meaning of Christmas (thwump) so I can know in my heart (thwump) what the perfect gift would be?

Med Sue

Sue: Only if you really want the chocolate Santa. Otherwise just get a gift card or something.

CU Ned

Ned: Well I have no idea what to get, but if I do this I want to do it right. I'll just have to look into my soul, I guess.

Full Sue

Sue: OK, but don't look in your soul for too long because a lot of stores close early. It really doesn't have to be perfect – just wrapped.

She turns to leave.

CU Ned

Ned: (to himself) It will be perfect. It's got to be. (thwump)

OS Ned

Sue: What?

Ned: (yells) Oh! Um. Thank you for me being invited! (to himself) Guh..

Sue: I know! It's freezing! Bye!

CU Ned

Ned (to himself): What? (yells) Bye!

Ned waves.

OS Snowball

Camera flies with snowball toward Ned's head.

ECU Hand

Ned's waving hand grasps ball out of the air in slow motion, stopping it just next to his eye. His eye pops to where the ball came from (was looking at Sue).

Full Ned

Ned suddenly does a crazy karate wind up and flings the ball back.

OS Snowball

Camera flies with snowball towards an inflatable snowman decoration.

Full Snowman

The snowball punctures the snowman, causing it to fly into the exact duplicate of it in the next yard over. The carrot nose pops the next one's rear. This happens 5 times. Camera flies with them until the 5 kids are tackled by one each and attacked as they deflate with the pbbb sound.

Scene 4

Wide Ned

Camera trucks with Ned in profile as he walks up hill. People and cars slide by downhill on the ice. Ned pauses at a house window and looks in.

OS Ned

In the house, kids watch a TV show which shows a defective toy being mocked by other toys.

Wide Ned

Ned (and camera) continue uphill and pass two snowmen (made of snow this time). Just as they are about to leave screen they both hop apart into 6 snowballs with legs and follow Ned.

Med Ned

Ned walks to camera. Sensing that he's being followed, he turns and sees the snowballs nearing.


Ned: (to himself) Those candy cane kids! (gulps) Hey!

Full Ned

Ned: You kids leave me alone! I was just trying to help out that guy you were bullying!

The lead snowball walks into frame and mumbles.

Wide Ned and Snowballs

A frantic chase ensues as they all run at full speed but essentially slide in place, slipping now and then. (a few cuts of feet, Ned's face, etc.)

CU Ned

Ned searches for some escape route, then sees something.

Above Ned

A tire store has a rotating tire sign on a pole that's been decked out with lights along the tread. A string of white lights connects down to a plug on the ground.

Wide Ned and Snowballs

Ned doubles his efforts and pulls ahead to the tire sign.

CU Ned

Ned reaches camera and gives a hard yank on the white string of lights which hang in the foreground.


The tire sign tips over and falls to the street on its flat side between Ned and the snowballs.

OS” Tire

Ned runs up to the tire, grabs the end of one of the colored strings of lights, and yanks it hard, causing the tire to spin on the ice and slide downhill.

Full Snowballs

Snowballs turn and run in place as the spinning tire approaches slowly like a saw mill blade.

OS” Tire

As the tire touches each kid, they go flying off downhill.


In the foreground, one of the snowballs' legs struggle – wearing colorful striped boots. In the background, Ned turns and walks briskly uphill.

Scene 5

Wide, Storefront

Ned, looking back, enters frame in front of a shop called “We Three Things”. He looks up at the sign.

OS Ned

The sign reads “The Only Biblically Correct Gift Shop in Town!”

Med Ned

Ned looks confused but curious, goes in.

Inside Store Towards Ned

Ned stares down an aisle that only has small boxes on all the shelves.

CU Ned

Camera trucks with Ned as he walks down the aisle looking confused. He leans for a closer look at the boxes.

ECU Ned's Finger

Continuing down the aisle, Ned's finger goes along the boxes, stopping over each type of box. The boxes are plain except for the store name and a “G”, “M”, or “F” in ornate shimmering lettering.

POV Mystery Person

A deep quiet voice goes “rrrr” as the camera observes Ned from behind, down the aisle. Ned walks on away from camera and turns corner for the next aisle. Observer/camera follows quickly.

Wide Ned

Ned emerges into the next, narrower, aisle, and casually walks and pulls a box off and examines it.

POV Mystery Person

Camera/observer turns the corner into Ned's aisle. More growling.

CU Ned

Ned shakes the box, drops it.

POV Mystery Person

Observer nears.

CU Ned

Ned bends down out of frame to pick up the box.

POV Mystery Person

Observer arrives to stand over Ned. His shadow covers him.

CU Ned

Ned, suddenly covered in shadow, turns quickly and looks up.

POV Ned (shin level to observer)

Towering over Ned is Frankenstein with a Santa hat and beard. He leans down with arms outstretched.

Frankenstein: Can I help you? (In typical growly voice)

Frankenstein leans toward camera (Ned)

POV Frankenstein

Ned screams bloody murder and backs away on all fours.

2 Shot – Profile

Frankenstein is kneeling in front of Ned

Frankenstein: Whoawhoawhoawhoa! Take it easy, son! It's just a costume! I didn't mean to scare you so bad!

Ned: W-w-w-why are you dressed up like Frankenstein!?!?

OS Ned

Frankenstein: (proudly) Not Frankenstein. FrankenSanta! (points at hat and tugs beard)

CU Ned

Ned: What?

2 Shot – Profile

Frankenstein: FrankenSanta! Frankenstein plus Santa makes FrankenSanta! And FrankenSanta because I sell Frankincense! (picks box up off floor and shakes it) Ah?

OS Frankenstein

Ned: (incredulous but still freaked out) Clever.

Med Frankenstein

Frankenstein rises up into frame.

Frankenstein: So! Cash or charge? Would you like it wrapped?

Med Ned

Ned rises up into frame.

Ned: Oh. Um, well. Do you think Jesus would like that Frankenstense stuff?

CU Frankenstein

Frankenstein: No doubt about it! That's exactly what he got for his first birthday. The three kings of the East came following a star and gave him Frankincense, Gold, and Myrrh. And so that's all I sell. The only gifts mentioned in the bible, and so the only gifts anyone should ever give anyone! But – hey – why do you want to know if Jesus liked Frankincense? What about the person you're shopping for? Maybe they like Myrrh better.

OS Frankenstein

Ned: Well, Jesus is the person I'm shopping for. I'm supposed to buy Jesus a birthday present so I can go to a party and make a girl like me. ….Also maybe win a chocolate Santa.

CU Frankenstein

Frankenstein: (astounded, thinks for a moment) You know I'm not 100% sure that that is blasphemous, but I think it is. I'm going to pray for you as you leave my store forever.

CU Ned

Ned: What? Why?

2 Shot – Profile

Frankenstein “escorts” Ned to the exit.

Frankenstein: Son, Jesus is not a tool for you to win a girl's heart. Don't buy a gift for Jesus if it's not in your heart.

Outside Store

Frankenstein gently shoves Ned out. Ned turns.

Ned: But I don't worship Christmas!

OS Ned

Frankenstein: Lovely! Then I don't have to be a big phony and wish you a Merry Christmas!

Door closes.

CU Ned

Ned looks anguished but also irked. After a long pause:

Ned: Do you sell gift cards?!?

Scene 6

Outside, Street

Ned starts walking up the street dejectedly. He pauses to look into a house window and looks in.

OS Ned

Ned sees kids watching a TV show with a group of reindeer teasing another one with red antlers.

Full Ned

Ned continues uphill but hears something and pauses. Footsteps in crunching snow can be heard behind briefly but stop.
He takes some more steps with an odd rhythm and stops. The feet behind him copy. This happens twice more.

CU Ned

Ned looks back.

CU Boots

The rainbow boots step through frame.

Full Ned

Ned runs offscreen

Wide Ned and Kids

Once again a chase ensues with nobody making much traction.

OS Ned

Ned runs – 6 shadows chase him. He searches around for a means of escape and finds one.

OS Ned

Ned sees a roof decoration of a Santa sled and reindeer.

Full Ned

Ned makes a snowball, winds up, throws it, and ends in a somersault, comes up throwing another snowball, 6 times, ends standing in a post-throw pose.
Full Roof Decoration

Each snowball hits a reindeer and makes it slide down the roof.

Wide Street

Ned double times it off screen. Just as he leaves the shot, the kids come into frame one by one and are carried away by a reindeer.

Full Ned

Ned runs up to camera and turns to look.

ECU Boots

Camera flies along with Striped Boots and then stops, showing the 6 kids sliding downhill on reindeer (seated backwards).

Wide Street

Ned turns and continues on.

Scene 7

Wide Street

Ned walks past a gym door. Muffled club music comes from inside. As he passes, the door opens and a buff Santa jumps out.

OS Ned

SuperSanta: Yo, yo, yo little bro, bro, bro!

Ned spins around, startled.

OS SuperSanta

Ned: What are you supposed to be?

OS Ned

SuperSanta: You may call me SuperSanta!

Ned: I thought Santa was fat.

SuperSanta: Right! That's the problem! Regular lard-butt Santa makes everyone think that it's cool to eat like a fat disgusting pig and be all jolly about it. Well there's nothing jolly about morbid obesity! No wonder it takes 8 reindeer to lug his nasty red butt around the world. Maybe if he layed off the fudge he'd only need 4. I say let's drop Mr. Flab and start workin' them abs!

CU Ned

Ned: Wow. You're pretty worked up about it.

Med SuperSanta

Supersanta (flexing): NNNN! WORKED! UP!

CU Ned

Ned: ?

CU SuperSanta

SuperSanta: Listen. Forget about that slob. I saw you running from those dudes like a little weasel. I know you're ashamed of yourself, so I wanna pump up your Christmas spirit with this.

SuperSanta pulls a piece of paper from behind his beard and hands it to Ned.

CU Ned

Ned accepts the paper and looks at it.

SuperSanta: This special invitation -

Ned: It's a coupon.

SuperSanta: - special invitation is a gift of a long, buff life of not getting smacked around like a wet sloth. Merry Christmas.

Ned: Thanks, but, I don't celebrate Christmas. But this girl I like wants me to get a present for Jesus so I can go to her party. You think Jesus would like a discounted gym membership? In the paintings he looks pretty skinny.

CU SuperSanta

SuperSanta: Totally! Of course, I'm not gonna charge God to work out in my gym. I'm pretty sure that would be a sin, right? So on second thought, maybe he doesn't need the coupon. But seriously think about that special offer. You're not gonna get that honey without at least getting toned. Just sayin'

CU Ned

Ned sighs.

Ned: Thanks but I better go. All the stores are closing and I still have no idea what to get Jesus.

Ned walks away uphill.

Full SuperSanta

SuperSanta: Later!

SuperSanta looks towards where Ned came from.

SuperSanta: Work on your core, though, 'cause those other little dudes are coming your way again!

Scene 8

OS Ned

Shadows approach.

Ned: Oh, come on.

Ned turns and runs.

Wide Street

The slippery chase starts again. The kids draw closer. Next to the gym is a Christmas tree lot.

Full Ned

Ned sees something in the lot.

CU Angels

Camera zooms in on angel decorations on the tops of some trees.

Full Ned

Ned fires off 6 snowballs.

Med Angels

Each tree top is hit by a snowball, causing them to bend and launch the angels forward. Camera pans with the last one to show their trajectory.

Flying Camera

Camera flies along with the angels in formation (with a celestial “aaaah” sound) as they approach the kids.

OS Kids

The angels approach.

OS Angels

Camera follows angels into kids, who are turning to run.

OS Ned

The angels swoop down and carry the kids away.

Full Ned


Ned hears slow clapping and turns to look.

Scene 9

Full Skinny

A skinny man – similar to Matthew McConahey(?) emerges from behind a tree. He has a Santa trucker hat, shirt with a Santa suit print, and red Dickies.

Skinny: Yer pretty handy with a snowball, son. 'Course I'm gonna need ya to imburse me for them angels you sent flyin' off.

OS Skinny

Ned: Um...

Med Skinny

Skinny: Naw I'm just funnin' wit ya. They'da been flyin' off ta the dump in a couple minutes anyhow. Consider 'em Santa's little extra sock stuffins for ya.

Med Ned

Ned (disbelieving deadpan): You're Santa.

Med Skinny

Skinny: (blink) 'sraht.

Med Ned

Ned: It's just your accent. It's not all that – North Pole-ish

Med Skinny

Skinny: Polish? (blink) Oh, Pole! Raht. (blink) Global warmin' ya see. Meltin' ice and so on. Buncha elves drowned. Sad. Me and the missus had to pack it on up and set up shop at the South... Pole.

(gets a crazy look)

Skinny (to tune of Dixie): “Ohhhhhhhhwwway down South in the land of penguin” EEEEE-HEE-HE-HE!!

CU Ned

Ned goes from surprise to smile.

Full Skinny

Skinny (to self): 'land of penguin' heh-heh.
(to Ned): All right then, snowball, time for me to shut this gold mine down and do some flyin' of my own. Ya need a ride on Santa's sleigh there?

Skinny gestures to snowmobile behind him.

Full Ned

Ned: Thanks, but I still gotta get Jesus a present so I can go to my dream girl's party.

CU Skinny

Skinny: (blink) Well now I think that's just beautiful. (blink) I reckon all the shops is closed so yer gonna have to go the hand-made road. (thinks) (snaps finger) Yer soul. I have it on good authority that Jesus has a powerful love for folks' souls. Problem solved. Soul. Hallelujah.

CU Ned

Ned (sighs): I think my parents would not be happy about that.

Full Skinny

Gets on snowmobile.

Skinny: Rriiight. Young folks got parents. Yup, you mind them good now. Whelp. Ya got me beat. If Santa hisself cain't think up a present for Jesus, ain't nobody can. I tell you what – tell this gal of yours that Santa says ta bend her party rules else it's not to late to put her on that nasty list. Ho ho!

Does a fishtailing peel out and heads off.

Fade Out

Scene 10

Fade in - Wide Street

Truck with Ned as he trudges uphill.

OS Ned

He pauses in front of a house window and looks in.

Full of TV

Kids watch a TV show showing a group of kids mocking a kid who has a pathetic looking palm tree decorated.

Wide Street

Ned turns into the sidewalk leading to his plain house. He bends down to pick up a potted cactus that had fallen over.

OS Ned

The 6 kids rise up from behind hedges in Ned's yard. Ned rises up into frame.

CU Ned

Ned looks up from cactus, sees kids, reacts, looks around, freezes.

Ned (getting mad): All right. Let's finish this.

OS” Rainbow Boots

Ned squats down to make a snowball.

Navdi: No! Please! No more snowballs! There has been a terrible misunderstanding!

CU Ned

Ned: No I understand! You jingle bullies want revenge because I saved that kid from your candy cane fight!

Full Navdi

Navdi: No!

He steps forward and lowers his hood, showing Sikh turban.

Navdi: I am the boy you rescued.

CU Ned

Ned is uncertain.

Ned: You don't want to poke me with oversized candy canes?

Med Navdi

Navdi: If I had a large piece of candy I would prefer to eat it than use it for evil.

Med Ned

Ned relaxes a bit more.

Ned: So why have you and – whoever they are – been chasing me all over town?

Full Navdi

Navdi: First of all, because I wanted to thank you. But more importantly, to let you know that you are not alone.

Truck Past Kids

Each of the 5 remaining kids steps forward and lowers their hoods.

Navdi: We all come from families who – for many different reasons – do not celebrate Christmas.

CU Ned

Ned is touched and relaxes fully.

Navdi (offscreen): We know how it can feel like the whole world is sharing in a special moment that we can only watch from outside.

CU Navdi

Navdi: So every year on Christmas Eve we come together and share each others' company and celebrate in our own way. We've been trying to tell you that if you would like to

CU Ned

Navdi (offscreen): join us you would be most welcome.

Slow zoom in as Ned absorbs this.

Sue (offscreen): But Ned's already coming to my party

Ned's head swings to Sue's voice.

Camera Pans Quickly to Full Sue

Sue: aren't you, Ned?

Camera Pans Quickly Back to CU Ned

Ned is completely stuck.

Ned (whispers): Sue.

Full Navdi

Navdi: Ohhh! I'm sorry. I didn't realize you already had plans. Perhaps you can join us next year, Ned.

Navdi's group starts to leave.

CU Ned

Ned is confused, torn.

Ned: Wait!

Full of Navdi

Navdi stops. The rest of the group pause to look back but resume walking away.

CU Ned

Ned is frozen. An awkward silence.

CU Sue

Sue is troubled.

Sue: Ned, I hate to pressure you, but the party's about to start and I need to be there. I'd love for you to come. I'm dying to see what present you bought for Jesus.

CU Ned

Ned (whispers): present. (out loud) Present!

OS Sue

Ned: I – Sue – I – gosh – I want to go to the party but – I don't have a present. So – I mean – I can't – I guess. Right?

OS Ned

Sue: Oh. (pause) Really? I – I'm disappointed. I really thought you'd want to come. I thought maybe you'd have a good time and – I don't know – maybe want to fit in. I um - we all like you.

CU Ned

Ned: But... I did try! I didn't think it would be so hard to think of a present. I think what happened – well, I think I would need to really understand Christmas and all the beliefs that go with it. I mean

CU Sue

Sue goes from crushed to a little more understanding.

Ned (offscreen): I know what it is from TV and movies and all that, but I guess that's not enough.

CU Ned

Ned: When it comes down to it, Christmas is just not – inside me.

CU Navdi

Navdi smiles in understanding then looks to Sue.

CU Sue

Sue thinks for a moment.

Sue: Wow. (another pause then looks up) It's hard for me to understand why anyone would want to miss out on the most awesome thing in the whole universe. But I guess I can respect your diversity. That's important.

CU Navdi

Navdi nods.

Med Ned

Ned: Thanks.

Full Sue
Sue: Goodbye Ned.

She turns to leave.

CU Ned

Ned looks from Sue to Navdi.

Med Navdi

Navdi tosses his head “let's go” and starts walking.

OS Sue

Ned and Navdi start walking away – Ned looking back at Sue.
Sue has a realization and turns.

Sue: Hey!

2 Shot Ned and Navdi

Ned turns.

Ned: I knew it! You're going to invite all of us to your party anyway!

Full Sue

Sue: No?

CU Ned

Ned: Oh.

OS Sue

Sue: What about New Year's?

Ned: Huh?

OS Ned

Sue: Do you celebrate it?

Ned: New Year's? Sure.

OS Sue

Sue: Cool! Wanna go to my New Year's Party?

CU Ned


Ned (deadpan): absolutely.

OS Sue

Sue: Cool! See you there!

She turns toward camera and jogs away.

2 Shot Ned and Navdi


Ned raises his hands to heaven.

Ned: Hallelujah!


Navdi: Come, Ned. The others will be waiting at my uncle's restaurant.

Scene 11

Interior Indian Restaurant

Ned and Navdi fling open doors to a big song and dance number: “Indian Food for Christmas”.