This moment from the script of my City Rock TV series pilot, "While You're Busy Making Other Plans," in which the main character, "FRANK CELLO," is confronted by the spirit of a street kid who was killed on Frank's watch, is one of my favorites. The idea of making Frank's conscience manifest as the spirit of that boy was inspired by Paul Michael Glaser, who directed the recent reading of the episode at the Cherry Lane Theatre. An interesting tidbit - the reading took place on December 8, the anniversary of John Lennon's death. Lennon's murder figures prominently in the story, but I was not aware that our reading was scheduled, serendipitously, for that particular night.
Here's the final scene:
EXT. NYC STREET - LATE EVENING
Frank is walking, lost. He arrives to the Gramercy Park Softball League playing field and goes over to sit on a bench. He looks out onto the dark asphalt schoolyard, lit up only by the street lights.
YOUNG GUY (O.S.)
Hey, man, your team was tough.
What? What are you doing here?
What are you doing here?
Look, what do you want?
What do you want?
Tonight is not a good night for questions.
Can’t have answers without askin’ questions.
Silence for a long moment.
YOUNG GUY (cont’d)
Remember that night John was killed?
Frank remembers and looks pained.
YOUNG GUY (cont’d)
Four months ago tonight. That was not a good night.
Don’t remind me.
Why’d you name your team after me?
I don’t know. It just came to me.
YOUNG GUY/CITY ROCK
I like that you did that.
You never told me your real name.
Nobody has a real name on the street.
Maybe it was his time, you know? John. I wasn’t into the Beatles. Kinda cool, though, that we checked out on the same night.
Cool? Not exactly.
You couldn’t save me, Frank.
Frank starts to object.
CITY ROCK (cont’d)
No. I mean you couldn’t save me. You can’t save anybody, Frank. That’s what I’ve been tryin’ to tell you, but you don’t want to hear it.
Frank looks at the boy, then hangs his head for a long moment.
Then, what am I doing? What’s the point? What’s my point?
What would Kirk say? You just know what you gotta do and you do it.
You know Kirk?
Yeah, we just met. Hey, maybe you just keep going, Frank. These are crazy times comin’ up. This decade, I got a feelin’ a lot of people are gonna split. But what you’re tryin’ to do, it still matters.
Frank looks out at the ballfield under the moonlight, then looks back at the boy... but he isn’t there.
EXT. CENTRAL PARK - SAME MOMENT
We see a crowd of people mourning, holding a candlelight vigil in Central Park in what will soon become Strawberry Fields.
DISSOLVE BACK TO:
EXT. GPSL PLAYING FIELD - SAME MOMENT
Frank walks over to home plate, stands there, looking out onto the field, then heads for home.
FADE TO BLACK.