Paul Joseph The Project 1 The Project Production Script Scene 1 Montage: Construction/Science We see welding, grinding, metal against metal, scientific instruments (magnetic stirring device closeup), balances, computer displays, wires, hazmat symbol, door closing. ID badge being made. We see Fulton‟s face on the card. (Consider ID cards as credits for all principle characters) Scene 2 Exterior: Empty Road We see an empty road with no street lights. A lone car travels over a hill. Headlights are just becoming visible as darkness falls. The driver looks disheveled, wearing a wrinkled and dirty lab coat. Scene 3 Industrial building The car approaches a non-descript industrial building which looks military. A sign on the entrance reads “Baxter Research Group.” The car proceeds down an underground entrance into a parking area. A door closes be hind him. Scene 4 Underground Parking Structure INT: Roadblock We see a non-descript shelter in which a guard stands at a booth surveying the concrete roadway. He is reading a book, but puts it aside as a car approaches. He glances at the vehicle and squints to make out details. The occupant of the car looks nervous but tries to hide it. As he approaches, he glances at his face in the rearview mirror. Briefly startled by his disheveled appearance, he slicks his hair back and rubs at his face. As he slows down, he notices a red stain on his lab coat. In a moment of panic, he tucks the side of the coat behind him to try to hide it. Then, taking a deep breath, he stops the car and looks to the guard, pulling a card from his lapel and handing it out to him. He then digs into his pocket and hands him a folded piece of paper. The guard unfolds the paper and inspects it, looking back and forth between the paper and the ID card. Then he looks back to the driver. Guard: You know this pass expires today. Dr. Fulton (with a nervous smile, wiping beads of sweat from his forehead) Paul Joseph The Project 2 It is still valid, isn‟t it? Guard (nodding slowly): Well, normally yes, but I‟ve been advised that this project code has been retired. Dr. Fulton: Dr. Grimes is the project supervisor. This pass was issued under his authority. Guard (shaking his head): I‟m sorry, Sir, but the project‟s been retired. In fact, Dr. Grimes‟ code is off the renewal list. Dr. Fulton (feigning surprise): He‟s off the list? Are you sure? Guard (nodding): That‟s what the order says. Dr. Fulton: Oh, wait a minute, that could be right. He‟s catching a flight to Washington tonight for a conference. But he left some of his equipment running and he needs me to get some measurements before he leaves. Guard looks uncertain. Dr. Fulton: (with a forced smile) I realize it isn‟t quite standard, but the pass should still be good. It just says today, right? And „today‟ doesn‟t end until midnight. Tell you what - when does your shift end? Guard: nodding 1900 hours, but they keep this building pretty much buttoned down these days. Dr. Fulton: I‟ll only be there for a few minutes. Maybe an hour tops. Guard looks unsure Dr. Fulton: Look, I know you‟re just doing your job. If it will help, go ahead and call Dr. Grimes. He could probably clear it up. Guard (shrugging): No, no, I don‟t imagine that would be necessary. Paul Joseph The Project 3 Dr. Fulton: Thanks, I‟ll be quick. Dr. Fulton nods and puts the car back in gear. He exhales sharply and pulls ahead several feet. Guard (loudly): Dr. Fulton! Dr. Fulton hits the breaks and the car shakes. He looks back with concern. The guard jogs to the car waving his piece of paper. Guard (handing him the paper and his ID card): You don‟t want to be going in there without this. Dr. Fulton (licking his lips with a nervous smile): Thanks. Sorry. Guard (resigned, giving a concerned stare): Well, you take care in there, then. Remember to be out before seven. Dr. Fulton (relieved): Yes, yes, of course. The car drives away from the checkpoint down a network of concrete ramps. No other vehicles are there. Scene 5a Long Corridor INT: Long Corridor We see Fulton hold an ID card up to a reader in front of a wooden door. The face on the card is not his. The name is Grimes. We see a picture of an aging scientist. The latch clicks and he is able to enter. The corridor itself is dark and empty. At the touch of a panel, fluorescent lights pop to life. He proceeds down the hallway creating echoes with every step. Scene 5b Corridor to breakroom INTERIOR: An empty corridor. Fulton walks down an empty corridor, footsteps echoing. He pauses at a dark room. As he looks in, we see that this is an empty break room. This transitions to the same room but illuminated. Scene 6 Breakroom FLASHBACK Paul Joseph The Project 4 INT: An institutional break room We see an ugly room with a utilitarian refrigerator, table, and no windows. We see Fulton sitting across the table from the man in the picture, Grimes. They have cups of coffee, but don‟t appear to have been eating. Fulton: What is it they‟re not telling us? Grimes: A lot. That is their job, you know. Fulton: And you just accept this? Grimes (grimly): I live with it. We agreed to the job. We‟re in it now. I asked you in here because I thought you could do the work. I also thought it would take your mind off what happened between you and Tammie … Fulton: Tammie and I are done. That has nothing to do with this. This discovery, whatever it is, could have implications that go way beyond anything we‟ve ever imagined. Grimes: Or it could be nothing at all. Fulton: But what did the others see? We can‟t learn anything if no one lets us ask questions. Not one of them is talking. Why? Grimes (looking grave): We‟re not going to know everything, Neil. We can only know our part of it. The others have been reassigned, that‟s why. Fulton: Reassigned! What the hell does that mean? You‟ve heard the rumors! Grimes (making hushing motions) They‟re just rumors. They‟ve been reassigned, that‟s all. If there is some kind of conspiracy or industrial accident, we‟re not going to know about it. Fulton (shaking his head): That‟s not good enough. Grimes: Paul Joseph The Project 5 We‟re neither doctors nor psychologists, Neil. We‟re research scie ntists analyzing specific things we‟re asked to. Or job is to design the chamber. That‟s it. Fulton: The chamber we aren‟t even allowed to see. Grimes: Do you want to see it? Really, after everything you‟ve heard, do you really want to see? Now, they‟ve told us in as many words that there‟s only so much about this we really want to know. Fulton: But you want to see, don‟t you? I thought that‟s why we‟re in this business. Grimes (shaking his head): That‟s not how it works, Neil. Not everybody involved with the Apollo missions got to walk on the moon, which is a good thing because most of them wouldn‟t have survived the trip. The best thing they could do was stick to their part and do their jobs. Fulton: But at least they knew why. At least they got to see the pictures! Grimes: This is different! Fulton: Not really. We design a chamber based on specifications we get out of thin air: Lighting at no less than 500 nanometers and yet no greater than 700 nanometers, no white light, no ultraviolet, no stray electromagnetics . . . Grimes: Yes, that‟s right, and that‟s what we were here to construct. We have all the information we need to do our job. Why is that so hard for you to understand? Fulton: Because we weren‟t told why! Radio waves aren‟t proven to be harmful to any living flesh and they‟re pretty hard to completely screen out, especially in a facility that‟s drawing so much power it needs it‟s own dedicated reactor! What do they need all that power for? Even the ventilation system can‟t draw that much or the humidity control. Grimes: It‟s a very specific environment, you know that! They‟ve spared no expense. Fulton: Yes, specific is the word I would have used. Specific humidity requirements down the three decimal places, a delicate balance of unusual gasses like Argon and Neon. These are inert gasses! Why do they need Argon and Neon? It‟s a life support system, isn‟t it? It has to be! Paul Joseph The Project 6 Grimes (looking alarmed and glancing over his shoulder): It doesn‟t matter! Neil, look, just drop it! We‟re not talking little green men here. That‟s ridiculous. It‟s research! Just research. We‟re not supposed to know about what. Fulton (sighing): But you do want to know. You‟re aching to know! Grimes: If I am, that‟s my problem. We have our orders. Fulton sits back and massages his scalp in frustration. He looks at his hand, seeing a clump of hair. He leans closer to Grimes and thrusts it out in front of him. Fulton: And how can you explain this? There‟s nothing we put in there to cause this. Maybe that has to do with the small part somebody else plays. The little piece of the puzzle they don‟t ask questions about. Grimes (sighs): There is a price for the kind of work we do. That‟s a small one. There‟s also a price for knowing more. Fulton stares at Grimes. END FLASHBACK Scene 7 Security Door INT: hallway The lights fade out now, but the refrigerator hums. Fulton steps past the door and sees no one. He continues down yet another corridor. A mark is drawn on the floor with a caption “Authorized Personnel Only.” He steps past the line. The door he comes to next requires him to hold the card up to the reader again. He looks at the card for a few moments before continuing. He holds the card to the scanner, but the red light remains on the panel. He looks down at the card in disappointment and perhaps relief. He begins to turn away. Above him we see a security camera. The lock flashes green and the door clicks. Fulton swings back in the direction of the door. He regards the security camera above, then pauses to look at the face on the card. Scene 8 Well- lit Hallway FLASHBACK INT: The same corridor more well lit Paul Joseph The Project 7 Tortured screams can be heard. Two military police officers dressed in hazmat suits struggle with a man on a gurney. He wears a white coat now stained with blood from self- inflicted injuries. His hands are secured to the sides of the gurney as are his legs. His head is braced against the headboard and his eyes are covered with gauze. Blood drips through soaked bandages. He struggles with his bonds and wails in agony. An arm gets free briefly, causing the guards to wrestle with him. Fulton runs to confront the men. Grimes: Get out! Stop it from looking at me! I‟ve got to hide! I can‟t let it see me! Fulton (Running to approach the gurney) Matt! What happened? What‟s going on? Lead MP: Keep back, sir! Fulton: Matt! What the hell? For an instant Grimes‟ hand finds Fulton‟s lab coat and holds on tight. One of the suited figures pulls his hand back and secures it to the gurney. At this point, we notice a strange mark carved into the back of Grime‟s hand, which appears to be self inflicted. Fulton notices the wound and compares it to the beginnings of a similar mark on his own hand. He regards the mark with a brief look of dread. The lead MP pushes Fulton back. Lead MP (holding out his arms in warning): He can‟t hear you, sir! Let us do our jobs. Just stay where you are. You didn‟t see this, you don‟t know anything about it. Trust me, that‟s the way you want it! The gurney is wheeled past but the wails continue. Fulton glances down at the floor. He sees that Grimes‟ ID card was ripped off during the struggle. He glances up and down the corridor before retrieving it. Attached to the card is a metal key. END FLASHBACK Scene 9 Corridor to elevator INT The dark corridor: Fulton continues his journey, now stopping at an elevator. The card accesses the lock and the door slides open. He presses the button for the lowermost floor. The door opens and he proceeds down a darker corridor. Paul Joseph The Project 8 Scene 10 Lobby FLASHBACK EXT: The lobby of the research facility Fulton stands at the entranceway. The Lieutenant stands between him and the door. Fulton: But that‟s just not possible! Lieutenant: Dr. Fulton, I‟m giving you exactly what I was told. Your project is completed. Dr. Grimes signed off on it and he‟s scheduled to catch a plane to Washington tonight. I strongly suggest you leave as well. Fulton: He‟s getting on a plane? Are you saying he‟s all right? Lieutenant (nods): As far as anyone knows here, he‟s doing just fine. Fulton: As far as anyone knows? So, what happened this morning . . . Lieutenant: Nothing happened this morning, and I mean NOTHING. Grimes is fine. He‟s on his way to Washington and that‟s the end of it. Fulton: Well . . . What about the final report and the summary? Don‟t I have to __ Lieutenant: There‟s nothing left to be done, Doctor. Baxter Labs appreciates your work. Fulton: But what about Dr. Grimes? Where‟s he going? How can I contact him? Lieutenant (growing impatient): Sir, that‟s classified. If he needs to contact you, you can be sure he will. Fulton (becoming agitated): What flight is he taking? What airport? Did you see him leave this morning? Did anybody? Nobody really knows where he is, do they? Paul Joseph The Project 9 Lieutenant: Dr. Grimes has been reassigned. Anybody who needs to know more than that does. Fulton: He got in there, didn‟t he? He saw it! He knows what‟s in there! Lieutenant (face hardening): Nobody here wants to know about things like that. Smart people stay out here where it‟s safe. Now, that‟s the friendliest warning you‟ll ever get from me, and it‟s also the last one. Are we clear? END FLASHBACK Scene 11 Elevator INT: Elevator The door to another elevator closes with Fulton in the cab. The lower most floor has no button but a keyhole. Fulton inserts the key. The elevator moves. He looks at it in amazement. The door opens to reveal a dark corridor. The walls are cement and very dark. No features exist. He begins to walk down the narrow corridor. Finally, he is confronted by a large door, well fortified. A stern warning sign appears on it. Fulton stands in front of the door and examines the lock. FLASHBACK Scene 12 INT: Design Room Fulton and Grimes are looking at a screen with the designs for the chamber. The fortified door is featured at the edge of the main lab. The chamber is immediately opposite this door. Grimes (tapping the area surrounding the chamber itself): Airlock, lightlock, EMI- lock. Twenty stories of concrete down, reinforced on all sides. A lot of power being used there. This zone is completely isolated. Once inside, the environment is in control. Inner chamber there. The holy of holies, if you will. Fulton: How did you get these plans? Grimes ignores him. Fulton, seeing that Grimes is not going to answer, takes a longer look at the screen. Fulton (taking interest): Paul Joseph The Project 10 Standard access lock. Doesn‟t look very secure. Grimes: Apparently, they‟re not too worried about people breaking in. And they don‟t seem to be worried about anything getting out either. Fulton: The door to the zone is a combo lock? Grimes: All programmed. The combination itself changes periodically based on some sort of algorithm. Haven‟t figured that out yet. Fulton: Are you trying to? END FLASHBACK Scene 13 Deep Tunnel INT: Inner corridor Fulton walks the last few paces towards a smaller metal door. In it is a window looking into darkness. Fulton Peers in. Scene 14 Fulton Home FLASHBACK: Fulton‟s home. Morning. A telephone rings. We hear water running in the bathroom. Voice on Machine: Hi, this is Neil . . . And Tammie . . . We‟re not at home. You know what to do! BEEEEEP Voice of Caller: Neil? Neil, are you there? It‟s Grimes! I‟ve got it! We need to talk! I figured it out last night! You were right, Neil, the others weren‟t reassigned! They were promoted, Neil! They were all promoted! Fulton rushes to the phone. He is half dressed and has shaving cream on half of his face. We can see that the bed has not been made. He picks up the phone and puts it to his face, coating it with shaving cream. Paul Joseph The Project 11 Fulton: Matt? Matt, what are you talking about? I can‟t . . . Grimes: There‟s nothing in there, Neil, there can‟t be! All this was some kind of mind game. The others weren‟t hospitalized! There weren‟t even any paramedics on the scene. Whatever happened was just for show! That‟s why the environment isn‟t harmful to us. Those suits are just for show too! Fulton (wiping off the receiver): What about the environment? Grimes: I‟m going in there, Neil! I‟m going in there now. I know the door code. It‟s easy. It changes all the time, but it‟s predictable. It‟s the date, Neil. You just punch in the date backwards! Isn‟t that nutty? But that‟s what they did! Fulton: Matt, I‟m coming. Let‟s talk about it, Matt. Matt? Hello? Fulton hangs up the phone, still covered with cream. He grabs a shirt and runs from the bedroom. 14a Grime‟s Office INT: small office with clutter everywhere. We see drawings on the wall behind him that resemble the mark seen previously on his hand. END FLASHBACK INT: Tunnel We see the keypad up close. Fulton glances at his watch and begins to e nter in numbers. The door draws in and slides open. Scene 15a Main lab INT: Main Lab Fulton steps out into a spacious lab with the chamber at its center. Lights begin to glow in response. Tables of scientific equipment circle the main chamber. The entrance to the chamber is at the end of a narrow tube with translucent walls. We hear a low rumbling sound throughout and see some distortion in the walls themselves. Paul Joseph The Project 12 Fulton approaches the outer hatch to the airlock. With some hesitation, he uncages a mechanical switch that releases the door control. The airlock door slices open revealing a narrow tube. As he walks in, the outer door shuts behind him. Scene 16 Airlock INT: Narrow airlock tunnel Fulton walks through the airlock, steam hitting his face from a decontamination spray. We also see light dancing on him, lighting him up from different directions. We also notice that the steps he takes in the airlock don‟t equal the distance he travels. The airlock begins to look more elongated and the door to the chamber gets larger the closer he gets to it. As he approaches, the door opens. Scene 17 The chamber Fulton steps into the inner chamber and reality returns to normal. The room is deep red and everything in sight looks strangely stable. In one corner we see what looks like a massive spider web. In it, something shifts. Fulton picks up his digital camera and looks at the thing in the web. It shifts again. We can make out the form of a huddled creature, his head supported by his hands. We see the infra-red effect of the camera lighting up the creature like a search light. From the web‟s perspective we see a blinding light come out of the camera. The creature shifts again. A head moves and faces Fulton. The eye opens and the scene distorts instantly. Crash- zoom into Fulton. His eyes open wide and he screams. We see his face deconstruct to reveal musculature and bone. The eye moves down like a searchlight revealing his internal organs. Back to his face. We see spidery-thin fingers grip Fulton‟s head and we zoom madly into his eye. The screaming continues. Scene 18 Baby Fulton‟s room We see a little boy crying. He stands in front of his bed. A woman, presumably his mother, glares down at him, but her face is in shadow. We see her from his perspective. She looks larger than life. Mother: Waaa, Big baby! You peed your bed again, didn‟t you? Don‟t lie to me, I can see you! Get back in bed! I don‟t care of it‟s wet, you made it that way! The boy looks up at her, still crying, but does not move. The mother advances on him, stepping out of the shadows. Paul Joseph The Project 13 Mother: You‟re disgusting! How many times do I have to tell you? Well, this time you‟re going to sleep in it! She glares at him, but now we can see that she has no eyes. Fulton screams. We hear whispering from the side. He turns to see. He finishes the turn in the next scene. Scene 19 Classroom INT: classroom: Fulton is teenaged now, with a group of other teens in the back o f a classroom. The teacher is writing on the blackboard constantly. Whisper: Is it loaded? The whispering boy next to him has a gun in his hand. Another voice: Of course not. Fulton looks down as a gun being passed between members of the group. He takes it in his hand. We see erratic camera movement and we hear a gunshot. On the floor lies another boy clutching his stomach. Other students turn to face him. They have no eyes. The teacher continues to write on the board. Young Fulton: It was an accident! Somebody get some help! I didn‟t know it was real! Everybody looks at him silently as he pans the room with his eyes. The teacher continues to write on the board. Wee see that she is writing “I can see you” multiple times. The chalk breaks. We hear the sound of a gavel. Scene 20 Court Room INT: A courtroom We see Fulton looking up Judge: Did you hear me, Mr. Fulton? Fulton sits at a desk facing the judge, a woman is sitting in the plaintiff‟s table with her arm around her daughter, who stares at Fulton, though he does not have eyes. Paul Joseph The Project 14 Judge: Do you have anything to add to your wife‟s testimony? Do you have anything to say in your defense? Fulton (Shaking his head and trembling) I...I... We see the wife stare at him coldly, sobbing, tears flowing where her eyes would be. In the background we see a dark figure of a little girl. Blood is running down her face from her eyes. Little Girl (singing): I see you! Fulton looks down at his wedding ring, flexing his fingers. He takes it off and sets it on the table. Scene 21 Romance Room INT: Bedroom We see him pick up the same ring and look at it. We see Fulton naked from the waste up coming out of the bathroom with a towel wrapped around him. Mistress is in the foreground facing a mirror. Her hair is in a towel and she is drying her face. Fulton approaches her from behind. He looks confused. Fulton: What are you looking at? Mistress: Nothing, but I can see you. Neil, don‟t make me do this. Fulton: Do what? Mistress (more emphatic): Don‟t make me do this! Scene 22 Abortion Clinic INT: Abortion Clinic We pull back to see the mistress on a hospital bed, her feet tied into stirrups. Camera pulls back to reveal Fulton standing in the clinic. Mistress (screaming) Paul Joseph The Project 15 Neil, don‟t make me do this! The doctor is standing in the background with a tray full of tools. The nurse appears in the foreground. Nurse (off camera) The doctor can see you now, Mr. Fulton. The doctor walks between her and Fulton. Nurse turns to face Fulton. She has a clipboard with the mistress‟s chart. She brings the chart down, pulls up her glasses (no eyes) Nurse: Don‟t worry, Mr. Fulton, she‟ll be done in a jiffy. She draws the curtain. We see Fulton‟s face horrified. We see the airlock door behind him. He pulls aside the curtain to reveal himself with no eyes. Other Fulton: I see you! Fulton screams. We crash zoom into the eye. Screaming continues. Scene 23 Main Lab INT Lab Fulton stumbles out of the airlock screaming in terror. Ghost images appear in the lab. Judge: Guilty! Daughter: How could you do that? You‟re a monster! We see a collage of faces of the mother, the wife, the mistress, the dead teen, etc. Mother (cool seductive voice): It‟s all right, Neil, we‟re done for now. I see you now, Neil. I know it all! I‟ll always see you! You can never hide again! Screaming continues but the ghost images fade. Men with chemical suits replace them, rushing to catch Fulton. Slow dissolve to lights going by from the point of view of the gurney. We see distorted faces of MPs each with their own version of the eye staring at him. Lieutenant (distorted): Had to do it, didn‟t you? Couldn‟t leave it alone, could you? What an idiot! Paul Joseph The Project 16 Scene 25 Monitor Room INT: a dark room with surveillance monitors. The Lead MP sits at the controls. The Colonel stands behind him. Colonel: Isolate. Lead MP: Yes sir! The Lieutenant touches the screen and displays the image of Fulton‟s struggle with the guards as they wheel him down the corridor. Lead MP: That‟s all six of them now. All the ones that worked on the chamber. Colonel Their choice. Lead MP: Was it? Too much of a coincidence, don‟t you think, Sir? Colonel: I don‟t advise you to think. It gets you into trouble around here. Get him down to the lab. Let‟s see what we can learn about him. I believe he‟s expected. Lead MP: Yes, Sir! Paul Joseph The Project 17 Scene 25 Security Door - Chamber We see the ceiling tiles roll away as the gurney is rushed along the corridor. We then see Fulton‟s tortured face, as his hands gouge at his eyes. The face morphs into a reflection in a red jewel in the hand of the alien. Its narrow fingers guide it into a tray with five others. We hear its breathing become more relaxed and it moves again, settling itself in its web. INT: Security Door As the lieutenant reaches down to grab the badge and we can see a mark on his hand, which resembles an eye.