Judging is now underway for the NYC Midnight Screenwriting Challenge 2016. Writers are randomly grouped into heats, and given a genre, subject and character assignment, from which we must write a screenplay of up to 12 pages. My prompt was Political Satire / A Photo Opportunity / A Private Money Lender. Here’s my entry.
Donald & the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Hair Day
If you let your hair down during the campaign, don’t be surprised to find your opponent has you by the short hairs.
EXT. – 5th AVENUE, MANHATTAN
A black town car pulls up in front of the Trump Tower. The driver opens the back door and IVANA TRUMP gets out. She smiles at the doorman as she enters the building, and walks gracefully to the elevator marked “Penthouse,” which is flanked by armed security that make no effort to stop her.
She exits the elevator into the vast and opulent offices of her former husband, DONALD TRUMP, and is taken immediately to his private office without a word.
INT. – DONALD TRUMP’S PRIVATE OFFICE
DONALD TRUMP is seated behind an enormous desk.
Ivana sweetheart. You should have called. I’m a busy man. The election is in two days.
Donald, do not worry. I will only take little bit of your precious time.
I know. You’re here to make sure you’re invited to the inauguration. Of course, darlin’. You and Marla can sit right behind Melania.
No, that’s not it Donald. But it does have to do with the election.
Name it, baby.
I want you to schedule a press conference for tomorrow… and drop out of the race.
DONALD stares in disbelief, and then breaks into a belly laugh.
That’s a good one, honey. Now, c’mon, I told you I’m a busy man. What do you really want?
I’m serious Donald. You need to drop out, tomorrow.
DONALD stands and comes around the desk and stands in front of IVANA.
And why would I want to do that, kitten?
IVANA slowly takes her phone out of her purse, swipes a few times, and turns to show it to DONALD.
This is why.
Camera zooms in on phone screen, which shows DONALD TRUMP in a closed, windowless room, seated on a make-up chair. His trademark hair is hanging limply around his prominent bald head, and the camera pivots to show all angles.
(red-faced and shouting)
Where did that come from? It’s a fake!
You know it isn’t, Donald. Look at the room. It’s your private salon at the studio. This is from the last taping of The Apprentice before you announced your candidacy.
(anger and volume building)
Who took it? It had to be the girl that does my hair and makeup – Janet!
DONALD goes to his desk and hits a button on the phone.
Sharon! Get my lawyer on the phone, right away!
This will never see the light of day!
DONALD starts pacing, still screaming in rage.
She’ll pay. She signed a contract – no cameras, no cell phones, total privacy. She knows the rules and the punishment.
First of all, sweetheart, your hairdresser’s name is Janice, not Janet. And you’re right. She would be in big trouble, if she had taken this video. But she didn’t.
DONALD expression changes from rage to confusion.
That’s impossible! I would have noticed.
All you noticed was that was some meaningless young thing with blonde hair and big boobs worked her magic every day to create that monstrosity on your head. They all look alike – isn’t that what you always say?
INT. – STUDIO PRIVATE SALON
JANICE (mid-40s, blonde, busty, with glasses) styles DONALD’s hair in the same chair as in the video. DONALD pays no attention.
IVANA TRUMP (v.o.)
It’s too bad you never got to know Janice. She is a lovely young lady and a talented hairdresser. A single mother who took years of belittling and abuse from you in the hope of opening her own salon someday, if only she could get a loan. She’d tried several times but kept getting rejected.
INT. – HALLWAY AT TV STUDIO
JANICE is getting ready to leave for the day, when IVANA motions for her to join her in a conference room. They carry on a conversation, during which IVANA makes a phone call, nods to JANICE, who responds with a hug. They talk some more, JANICE removes her security badge and places it on the conference table, hugs IVANA one more time, and both women leave.
IVANA TRUMP (V.O.)
Then one day, about 18 months ago, I happened to run into JANICE at the studio. I told her that I’d heard about her difficulty in getting a loan, made a call, and put her in touch with a private lender I know. He told her she was guaranteed to get the loan if she could be at the meeting the next day.
Of course, being the conscientious worker she was, she was concerned about missing the last day of shooting, but I assured her that I would take care of finding her substitute.
INT – STUDIO PRIVATE SALON
DONALD is seated in the makeup chair, as another WOMAN (blonde, 40’s, busty, with glasses) stands behind him styling his hair. He is equally oblivious to her.
IVANA TRUMP (V.O.)
So the next day, when another meaningless young thing with blonde hair and big boobs was doing your hair, you didn’t notice a thing. Not even the teeny, tiny body camera.
Funny how women are always telling you, “my eyes are up here, Donald.” If you’d listened, you might have seen it, right there in the middle of her glasses.
Close-up shot of tiny lens on the bridge of the glasses.
INT. – DONALD TRUMP’S PRIVATE OFFICE
So, darlin’, if you don’t want this to be tomorrow’s viral video, and pictures plastered all over the National Enquirer, you’d better schedule that news conference and make that announcement. The clock is ticking.
You aren’t going to blackmail me, you bitch. Who cares, anyway? I’m going to be the goddamn president. Everyone will respect me!
(she belly laughs)
You’ve hidden your bald head better than presidents have protected the missile codes. I hardly ever saw it and we were married for 15 years.You’d sooner have a picture of your micro penis on the front page of the Wall Street Journal than this.
The intercom buzzes.
Mr. Trump, your attorney is on line 1.
So what’s it going to be, Donald? Are you going to tell Marvin to schedule the press conference, or will tomorrow’s headline be Trump Wants to be Cueball in Chief?
DONALD pushes the intercom button.
Sharon, tell him I’ll be a minute.
OK, you win.
IVANA smiles, puts her phone in her purse and walks toward the door.
Well, Donald, let’s just say we gals that have been wronged like to stick together.
And by the way, your secretary’s name is Cheryl.
IVANA turns to leave again.
How do I know you won’t send this to the press anyway?
IVANA turns with a coy smile.
Oh Donald, pussycat, you know you can trust me. My name is Trump.
INT. – PRESS ROOM IN TRUMP TOWER, NEXT MORNING
DONALD is behind a podium, surrounded by campaign personnel. He is facing a room full of reporters, microphones and cameras.
And so, it is with regret, and for deeply personal reasons that I cannot go into, that I am suspending my campaign for president immediately.
Pandemonium erupts both on and off stage.
I hope that all Americans who supported me will go to the polls tomorrow and write in the name of my very worthy running mate, Geraldo Rivera.
MONTAGE OF IMAGES
Computer screens, TV news reports and newspaper front pages create a montage, all filled with the news of DONALD’s dropping out of the race.
The New York Daily News has a full page picture of DONALD with the headline:
These are followed by the same type montage from the next day, with news of Hillary Clinton being elected president in a landslide victory.
INT. – WALDORF ASTORIA BALLROOM, THE NEXT NIGHT
HILLARY CLINTON and BILL CLINTON stand on a stage at the end of the room, with hundreds of people cheering. The room is filled with balloons, confetti, and streamers. People hug and cry, and toast to the newly-elected president.
Having just concluded her victory speech, HILLARY comes down and walks through the crowd. She shakes hands, hugs people and stops for selfies.
A SECRET SERVICE AGENT (male, 30s, in a dark suit) approaches HILLARY and leans in to tell her something. HILLARY excuses herself and follows the agent out of the ballroom to an office area.
INT. – PRIVATE OFFICE WITH NO WINDOWS
The WOMAN is sitting with her back to the camera, facing the office door. She stands as HILLARY enters.
Please, sit down.
I’m so glad you could come. Your great work is a big part of the reason we’re celebrating tonight.
Mrs. Clinton, I promised you many years ago that I would find a way to make things up to you. I hope this means all is forgiven and we can consider the matter closed.
Of course. A deal is a deal.
(they shake hands, and HILLARY stares intently at the WOMAN for a moment)
I still can’t believe that no one recognized you!
(Removing glasses and taking off blonde wig, to reveal dark hair)
Yeah, it is amazing what a wig and glasses can conceal.
Office door opens and BILL CLINTON walks in, looking at his phone and chomping on a big cigar.
Hillary, the night keeps getting better and better. You should see the video of Trump that just went vi….
(looks up from phone)
Monica! What in the world are you doing here?