Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Case Study No. 0309: The Enigmatic Librarian

The Library Chronicles - Episode 1
The Library Chronicles - Episode 1 of ...
The Library Chronicles takes place somewhere in the future. Knowledge is now the new envied drug of choice. What we once took for granted is now banned .
Tags: Comedy Library Chonicles Future banned suspense
Added: 5 years ago
From: waterspick
Views: 657

LIBRARIAN: [from off camera] The future. You must fight to survive.
[scene opens with black and white footage of a lone male figure sitting in the middle of an empty room]
LIBRARIAN: In a world where reading a book, seeing a film, or gazing at a piece of artwork is illegal ... Why are we so interested in the future? Because it is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives! My friends, these are the stories based solely on the sworn testimonies of those poor souls who survived this terrifying ordeal.
[cut to a closeup of the man's face, as ominous music plays]
LIBRARIAN: No card, no book! Those are the rules of the future ... God help us, in the future.

Chapter 1: The Rules of the Future

[cut to the librarian sitting at a desk in a darkened room, when a young man approaches and puts down his backpack]
SCOOTER: Greeting, library-keep! Do you remember me?
LIBRARIAN: No card, no book.
SCOOTER: Yes, that was me!
[cut to the doorway, as another male patron enters the room]
SCOOTER: [from off camera] I still don't have a card, but I ... I really need a book.
LIBRARIAN: [from off camera] No card, no book.
[cut back to the front desk]
SCOOTER: Can't we bargain? Look, look, I-I assure you ...
LIBRARIAN: No card, no book.
SCOOTER: Okay look, is there anything I can do for a card?
LIBRARIAN: No card, no book! Those are the rules of the future!
[Scooter slams his hand on the desk]
SCOOTER: I hate living in the future!
LIBRARIAN: [quickly] Nocardnobook ...
[cut to the other patron slowly approaching]
SCOOTER: [from off camera] Look, I understand that! But is there anything I can do?
[cut back to the front desk]
LIBRARIAN: Oh, I know what you could do ... You could get a library card!
SCOOTER: Yes! That's exactly what I--
LIBRARIAN: No card, no book.
SCOOTER: Look look look, I have something for you.
[he reaches down and puts his backpack on the desk]
SCOOTER: You see this? See this? Look, I invented this, it's the wave of the future! It's a pack, and you put it on your back, like so.
[he puts on the backpack]
SCOOTER: It's state of the art, I call it ... a stuff-hold! And you can have it, the patent, all the money you can make off of it is yours!
[he takes off the backpack and places it on the desk]
SCOOTER: You can keep this, all I want is a library card.
[the librarian calmly knocks the backpack off the desk]
LIBRARIAN: No card, no book.
SCOOTER: I don't ... have a card. I can bring you ladies. They will want to get to know you.
[cut to the other patron watching, when the librarian suddenly pulls out a knife and stabs Scooter]
LIBRARIAN: [calmly] No card, no book.
[cut to the other patron watching in horror]
SCOOTER: [from off camera] Ahh! You stabbed me! Oh, my lungs, I think you got my lungs ...
[cut back to the front desk, as the patron falls to the ground]
SCOOTER: Aww, no. Oh, it's a kidney. Ooooh, I think that's a kidney ...
[cut back to the other patron, as he watches Scooter stumble out of the library]
SCOOTER: [from off camera] Oh, I'll be back with better stuff-holds! I'll buy you yet, librarian!
[he leaves, as the librarian waves goodbye, then the second patron approaches the desk]
STEPHEN: Is this the library?
STEPHEN: [pause] Can I get some books?
LIBRARIAN: Yes and no ... No card, no book.
STEPHEN: Well, well, I don't have a card ... Can I, can I get a card? How do I get a card?
[the librarian reaches under the desk (causing Stephen to flinch), and pulls out a big stack of papers which he slams onto the desk]
LIBRARIAN: These are the papers for the application process. And the commitment is binding.
[he picks up the stack of papers]
LIBRARIAN: You're to understand too, that by the eighth hour or so, you may start to see the most amazing display of blue colors.
STEPHEN: I'm, I'm gonna do it ...
LIBRARIAN: If you are caught with these papers ...
[he makes a slashing motion across his neck]
LIBRARIAN: Do you understand the risks?
STEPHEN: Yes, I'm gonna do it.
LIBRARIAN: You may use one of our study rooms over there.
[he points to a lone chair in the back of the room]
STEPHEN: Thank you ...
[he goes to sit down, then checks his pockets for a pencil, when the librarian's arm shoots out of the shadows and hands him a pencil]
[he takes it, and (after the librarian takes his photograph) a montage begins of Stephen filling out the various forms]
LIBRARIAN: [in voice over] The commitment is binding, binding, binding ...
[cut to the librarian, who wags his finger at the camera, then back to Stephen wiping his brow and flipping page after page]
LIBRARIAN: [in voice over] So much passion. So much pain. So much pain, so much pain ...
[cut to the librarian, who places a hand over his face, then back to Stephen who is sprawled on the floor]
LIBRARIAN: [in voice over] Amazing display of blue colors, blue colors, blue colors ...
SCOOTER: [in voice over] A stuff-hold, stuff-hold, stuff-hold ...
[cut to the librarian at the front desk, as an exhausted Stephen approaches]
STEPHEN: I'm done ...
LIBRARIAN: So you are.
STEPHEN: I did them all ...
LIBRARIAN: Excellent. Oh, I just need you to sign here ...
[he signs the paper]
LIBRARIAN: Very good.
STEPHEN: I don't know how I missed that one ...
[the librarian points to another page]
LIBRARIAN: Here ... and there.
STEPHEN: Uh ... ?
LIBRARIAN: Right there.
[he signs another page]
LIBRARIAN: Thank you ...
[he stamps the paper, as Stephen looks down in horror]
STEPHEN: "Declined"?! How can you do that?!
STEPHEN: I just spent all that time!
[he desperately flips through the pages]
STEPHEN: I signed that one, I signed that one ... I did everything right! I have everything--
LIBRARIAN: No, no ... Right there.
STEPHEN: I had--
LIBRARIAN: No, look. Right there.
STEPHEN: What did, what did I do wrong?
LIBRARIAN: That one right there.
STEPHEN: Then I'll, I'll sign it ...
LIBRARIAN: No, no, no ... Hey.
[he struggles to take the papers back]
[the librarian stamps it again]
LIBRARIAN: Declined.
[he breaks down and begins crying]
LIBRARIAN: Thank you.
STEPHEN: You have to give me a library card ...
[the librarian pushes his elbows off the table]
LIBRARIAN: No, off the table, please. Thank you ...
[the librarian knocks the papers off the desk]
STEPHEN: Just one book, please! One book ...
[Stephen slinks off in defeat, as another male patron (his face obscured by a hoodie) approaches]
LIBRARIAN: Ah, had a hard day?
UNNAMED PATRON: Yeah. I need a book.
LIBRARIAN: I see you've brought your card.
[the librarian holds up his library card to the light]
UNNAMED PATRON: Yeah, I just want a book, please.
LIBRARIAN: Very good.
[he reaches under the table and holds up a pair of reading glasses]
LIBRARIAN: To enhance your viewing.
[the patron gladly takes the glasses]
[he puts them on]
UNNAMED PATRON: Yeah, aw! Oh yeah! I can read so much!
LIBRARIAN: This way, please.
UNNAMED PATRON: I can read it in my own, my mind's eye!
[cut to the two men passing Stephen, huddled in the corner]
LIBRARIAN: This way, please ...
UNNAMED PATRON: Aw, it's so good!
LIBRARIAN: Through this door ...
[he opens the door, but there's another closed door behind it]
LIBRARIAN: And this door ...
[he opens the second door]
LIBRARIAN: It's the library.
[the patron rushes inside]
LIBRARIAN: Enjoy your reading.
[Stephen tries to stand up, but the librarian pushes him down]
LIBRARIAN: Mind the door.
[the librarian closes the door and leaves, but the patron almost immediately exits and stumbles away, as Stephen gets up to follow him]

Chapter 2: The Spiral Downward

[cut to Stephen grabbing the patron by the shoulder]
STEPHEN: [whispering] Do you have a library card? Do you have a library card?
UNNAMED PATRON: What? No, I don't have one ...
STEPHEN: [whispering] Do you have a library card?
[he smiles menacingly, then cut to the librarian standing stoically at his desk while Stephen can be seen murdering the patron in the shadows along the wall]
[cut to Stephen stumbling back to the librarian and placing the bloody library card on his desk]
STEPHEN: I got it! I got a card, I won!
LIBRARIAN: Dear boy ... You do realize that many things cannot be undone once done?
STEPHEN: [pause] I got it. It's mine!
[the librarian holds the card up to the light, then smiles]
STEPHEN: I won ...
LIBRARIAN: Very good. Follow me.
[he takes him to a different door (a large metal bank vault door) and stops]
LIBRARIAN: Through this door ... is the library.
[he opens it (with much effort) and points inside]
LIBRARIAN: This is the library. It is best to observe silence while in the room, for it might distract others who enjoy the peace.
STEPHEN: [quietly] Others?
LIBRARIAN: Young man, why so hesitant now? You got what you came here for, so long ago ... Please, allow me.
[he smiles, then grabs Stephen and throws him into the room]
LIBRARIAN: And remember, anything read within the library must stay within the library ... Enjoy your reading.
[he waves goodbye]
[he shuts the door, then cut to Stephen inside a sparse room with a table, a toilet, and a bookshelf with only a couple of books on it]
[he wipes the blood on his hands off on his shirt, then grabs a book on the top shelf and (after putting the lid down) sits on the toilet to begin reading]
LIBRARIAN: [in voice over] It was the best of times, it was the worst of times ...
[cut to Stephen lying on the floor, excitedly flipping through the pages]
LIBRARIAN: [in voice over] Out out damn spot, out I say ...
[cut to Stephen sitting on the floor, with the book on the toilet as he turns the pages carefully]
LIBRARIAN: [in voice over] Tomorrow, and tomorrow, and tomorrow ...
[cut to Stephen with the book on the floor, when he turns a page and it gets stuck on his bloodied hand and rips out of the book]
LIBRARIAN: [in voice over] Leave me alone, I hate the scar on my head, it always tingles ...
[cut to another shot of Stephen lying down on the floor]
LIBRARIAN: [in voice over] Congratulations, you have purchased one of the finest color TVs on the market. This manual ...
[cut to a shot of Stephen lying on the floor laughing, as pieces of paper fall from the ceiling around him]
LIBRARIAN: [in voice over] And thus Poo, and his friends Tiglet and Tigger, pinned the donkey's tail back on to poor Eeyore ...
[cut to Stephen lying on the floor, hugging the book to his chest and smiling, when he hears a horrible screaming noise from somewhere in the room]
[he gets up and puts the book back on the shelf, then more slobbering noises can be heard off-camera, so he runs off]
[cut to Stephen opening the library door and then closing it behind him, when he sees the librarian dragging the unnamed patron's lifeless body across the floor]
LIBRARIAN: [calmly] Have you finished your reading?
STEPHEN: What is that thing?!
LIBRARIAN: [pause] Oh, I see you've met the Unspeakable!
STEPHEN: The Unspeakable?
LIBRARIAN: Yes, he lives here too, you know.
STEPHEN: The Unspeakable?
LIBRARIAN: I guess I forgot to tell you about him.
STEPHEN: Yes you did! I did the application process, I filled out the papers, I got a library card, and you didn't even tell me ... What is that thing?
LIBRARIAN: Ah, I have many things on my mind, one of which is your little mess here.
[he kicks at the dead body]
STEPHEN: Your Unspeakable tried to kill me!
STEPHEN: [pause] You're sick ...
LIBRARIAN: [calmly] Please come again, young man. You have real heart, and it touches me so.
STEPHEN: You're sick ... I'm leaving, and I'm reporting you.
[he starts to walk off]
STEPHEN: I am reporting you ... You and your Unspeakable!
[the librarian walks towards the vault door, as Stephen shuffles off]
STEPHEN: Stuff-holds! Unspeakables! Application processes! This place is weird!
[the librarian quickly opens the door, as the (unseen) Unspeakable rushes out and attacks Stephen]
[cut to a closeup of the librarian's smiling face, then to Stephen's bloodied body being dragged into the shadows]


[cut to the librarian writing something down at his desk, when Scooter returns]
SCOOTER: Library-keep! Library-keep!
[he puts his hand on the book the librarian was writing in, so the librarian slams it shut]
SCOOTER: Ahhh ... Ahh.
[he pulls his hand out]
LIBRARIAN: How is your lung? Or was it a kidney?
SCOOTER: It was a spleen, and you stabbed me in it ... It's doing much better now, thank you.
[he reaches for the book again, so the librarian slaps his hand away]
SCOOTER: Can I have a book?
LIBRARIAN: No card, no book.
SCOOTER: That's why I brought this! I invented it ... again!
[the librarian rolls his eyes, as Scooter holds up something that looks like a strip of beef jerky]
SCOOTER: It's called ... a snack-strip!
LIBRARIAN: Please quit this embarrassing charade ... You did not invent that. You did not invent anything.
[he reaches under the desk and takes out a radio]
LIBRARIAN: A radio is not called a listening-cube. It is called a radio.
[he reaches under the desk again and takes out a backpack]
LIBRARIAN: This is not called a stuff-hold. This is an ... ownership-bag. You didn't invent it.
[he takes the beef jerky away from him and holds it up]
LIBRARIAN: And this, where did you get it?
SCOOTER: [pause] I got it at the rations clinic, they told me it was corned beef.
LIBRARIAN: This is dried dog shit! You did not invent this!
[he slams it on the table, and Scooter picks it up and stares at it]
SCOOTER: I've been eating dog poopies!
LIBRARIAN: You know the rules by now, painfully well. No card, no book. Those are the rules of the future, and one must follow them ... One being you.
SCOOTER: Look library-keep, I know I haven't invented snack-strips ... Or stuff-holds, or even listening-cubes. I just want a book. I'll do anything.
LIBRARIAN: No card, no book. Now please go, go with all the organs you have left.
SCOOTER: I, I'll leave if that's what you want ... You win again!
LIBRARIAN: [smiling] Goodbye.
[he turns to leave, but stops and leans in close]
SCOOTER: I'll ... work for you? I'll clean your toilets! I-I know toilets don't work anymore, but I'll get yours working again! I'll sweep the chimneys, you must have chimneys! I'm an expert!
[he moves his left arm back and forth]
SCOOTER: This is my sweeping arm! Please ... please?
[he reaches under the desk and calmly pulls out a knife]
SCOOTER: Oh, don't stab! Don't stab! I always get stabbed!
LIBRARIAN: Then I suggest you go.
SCOOTER: Okay, I'll go ... No stabs.
[he turns to leave, but again stops]
SCOOTER: Maybe if you gave me the card, I could come back ... another time, and then you would give me a book? With the card that you give me now?
LIBRARIAN: Please go before I am forced to murder you. I will give you until the count of one.
SCOOTER: Please! Please, library-keep?
LIBRARIAN: And with a thrust of my blade, I give you a dose of pain. Are you ready for the pain?
SCOOTER: [pause] Am I ever ready for the pain? Spleen, please.
[he reaches over the desk and stabs him]
LIBRARIAN: No card, no book. Those are the rules of the future.
SCOOTER: Ugh, no ... You stabbed me!
LIBRARIAN: [calmly] Yes.
SCOOTER: You stabbed me again and I never get used to it!
SCOOTER: In my sweeping arm!
LIBRARIAN: Yes! Go, please ...
SCOOTER: My swee--
[he tries to move his arm but cannot]
SCOOTER: Ahh ... My sweeping arm is what I need to survive! You don't know what you've done! You're horrible!
LIBRARIAN: Would you like to be dead instead?
[he finally leaves, but returns almost immediately]
SCOOTER: [quietly] Could I get a book?
LIBRARIAN: [calmly] Now for a dose of murder.
SCOOTER: Oh, merciful one!
LIBRARIAN: I fear I must murder you.
SCOOTER: Oh, omnipotent god of the written word! Give me library card! Give it! Please! Please? Please? Please!
[the librarian just gives him an odd look]
SCOOTER: [fighting back tears] Please ... Please? Please. Please.
[the librarian continues to just stare]
SCOOTER: Erggghhhh, library card? No? I'll leave now ... I hate you! I, I'm sorry, please give me a library card. I'm stealing this!
[he grabs some paper off the desk and runs off, but the librarian just starts whistling and returns to his writing, as the sound of Scooter falling down can be heard off-camera]
SCOOTER: [from off camera] Ow! Oh ... My bones hurt.
[the camera focuses on the librarian writing down "Card + Book = Library?", then cut to Scooter lying in an alley writing on the stolen paper with his finger using his own blood]
SCOOTER: I don't need your books, librarian, I don't need your books! I can write my own!
[he winces in pain as he dips his finger into his open wound, then continues writing]
SCOOTER: "Dear everybody, my name is Macbeth. I am so very fun to read about ... Watch as I ride my unicorn to and fro. My compunctious unicorn, whose silent spurs sees not the wounds it makes. Oh blood, being split ... "
[he stops]
SCOOTER: Oh, this was a stupid idea ...
[he drops the paper]
SCOOTER: Stupid ...
[an unidentified person (his face obscured) walks into the scene, then cut to the librarian trying to listen to his radio, when he gives an angry look]
LIBRARIAN: Oh shit ...

To be continued!

Written and Directed by
Thom Stitt
Marshall Langohr


Marshall Langohr
as The Librarian

Stephen Pickering
as Stephen Pickering

Thom Stitt
as Scooter

Produced by
Sam Kim

Cinematography by
Nathan Drillot

Edited by
Thom Stitt

Special Thanks to
Ricky Choi

See the future at
www dot thelibrarychronicles dot com


From thelibrarychronicles.com:

A black-and-white comedy-horror pastiche, it is an amalgam of Ed Wood films, The Twilight Zone, David Lynch's Eraserhead, and Orwellian tales like Gilliam's Brazil, and of course 1984.

The story: In a dark and desolate "Future", a supremely powerful bureaucracy has outlawed all art forms. The world has taken many steps backward in terms of technology and civilization - it is now a hodgepodge of modern junkie neighborhoods, 1940s Noir, and Victorian London. Literature has become the drug of choice, and the few wandering the streets indulge and corrupt themselves in the pursuit of the meekest scraps of book-knowledge.
Our tale is that of a rogue Librarian, a mysterious and devilish soul who runs an underground Library, forcing all who enter to follow his own cruel and violent creed.


Stephen Pickering as Dr. Stephen Pickering
Thom Stitt as Scooter the Chimneysweep
Marshall Langhor as The Enigmatic Librarian


From cineworks.ca:

In the gloomiest of futures, in a land called The Future, all art and knowledge will be outlawed. Our story takes place amid The Futures dark, smokey environs, beneath the deep alleys of Sector Eighty-Twelve, in an underground Library operated by a cruel enigma of a creature known only as The Librarian. A foreboding storm is gathering around this Library, into which an avenging Bureaucrat, a fallen Agent, and a simple Chimneysweep are about to be pulled.

Principal Crew

Writer - Thomas Stitt, Marshall Langohr
Producer - Thomas Stitt, Marshall Langohr
Director - Thomas Stitt, Marshall Langohr
D.O.P. - Thomas Stitt
Picture Editor - Thomas Stitt
Lighting Tech - Thomas Stitt
Sound Mixer - Ryan Anderson
Sound Editor - Ryan Anderson


From stage32.com:

The Library Chronicles
Seattle, Washington

Thom Stitt and Marshall Langohr present a comedy of horrors - The Library Chronicles. What dreams, what nightmares await in the Future? In its illegal underground libraries, where books are outlawed and knowledge is crippling? In its towering ministries, where agents bustle about their papers behind black ties and red tape? Where reality itself may be little more than a belch of fog from abominable and ancient machines? God help us! In The Future!


From stephencpickering.com:

The Library Chronicles- Episode 1.
2006 Running time 8:57

In a setting called The Future, all art and knowledge will be outlawed. Our story takes place amid The Futures dark, industrial environs. An underground Library is operated by a most unusual individual and his Unspeakable.

Filmed one afternoon in just a couple hours by myself, Tom and Marshall at Vancouver Film School, there was no script, no story structure, no characters, no plan. The boom mice was hastily propped up against a chair to record audio. The two lights were aimed and switched on almost randomly. The gear had to be returned, and the studio was not properly booked. In some scenes, someone hit the record button and then ran in front of the camera to act in the scene.

The making of this "episode" is one of my most memorable experiences in school. After graduating I moved back to the States while the rest of the team remained in Vancouver where they have kept the project active. I appeared in one last episode while my wife and I visited them. More episodes can be found at www.thelibrarychronicles.com
Co-Writer/Co-Director/Co-Director of Photography/Actor


From thomstitt.com:

The Library Chronicles – Back in Action
Posted on May 3, 2011 by Thom

Some years ago, Marshall Langohr and I began work on a simple little short film which, unbeknownst to us at that blissfully innocent time, would blossom into a terrible and unwieldy beast.

Easter Weekend held for the tiny crew much suffering and agony, rich with injury and the threat of doom looming (as it is wont to do).

The good news is that it is looking wond'rous, beautiful even in its blinding blightness. We have miles to go before we sleep – at least three more intensive shoot days await before the movie is in the can after all these years. At which point Postproduction Hell can officiously begin.

Until then, I am in the kitchen, cooking up some sweet goodies which will hopefully be ready soon. Amongst these goodies is a new Library Chronicles website which will be a proper hub for all things Chronicles. Also on the dessert tray will be a short video teaser showcasing a snippet of what's to come.

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