THE FIRST TASTE OF HUDSON Synopsis: A character sketch, this scene is on moving-in day in a bare home. A conversation between new neighbors reveals that the move is a self-perpetuating insurance scam. TITLE ON BLACK INT - MOVING VAN Shot: Title fades, blackness, broken as moving-van doors swing open, revealing cracks of light and the dim outlines of a pile of boxes. Shot: Series of 5-10 time-lapse style cross fades - by unseen hands, box after box is removed from the van, until another scenic neighborhood is framed by the empty van interior. Shot: Camera zooms out until neighborhood fills the screen. Doors swing closed to black. INT - EMPTY ROOM - DAY Shot: Cut to blurry shot of a sunlit, empty room. Shadowy silhouettes move inside. Camera pulls back so that window frame becomes visible, camera refocuses on the surface of dirty glass obscuring view. Shadowy silhouette swells in background, and window is noisily raised. As the figure moves back into the room, the camera refocuses on the interior. WELCOME-WAGONER ...some of the dust out, it'll be great. We've been hoping for some neighbors to move into this nice old house for some time. Fran will love to meet you. HUDSON The same, I'm sure. You will be welcome in my home for as long as we both shall live here, starting today. Pull up a box! Hudson laughs at his own joke. Welcome-Wagoner finds no boxes to sit on in the bare room, scratches his head and laughs nervously. Shot: Cardboard box looms out of an interior doorway. Shot: Previous interior MOVING MEN Coming through! Make way! Watch it! Welcome-Wagoner jumps out of the way, and a group of seedy, moving men slouch through the room. The sound of heavy boots on stairs is heard periodically. All carry various battered cardboard. Welcome-Wagoner stares curiously at the packages, as Hudson looks on amused. WELCOME-WAGONER You sure did bring a lot of stuff, Mr. Hudson. If those moving boys aren't enough help, it'd be unneighborly of not to lend you a hand in your unpacking. HUDSON Oh, that won't be necessary. I'm sure they'll do a fine job. Shot: Worm's eye view of stairwell. A heavy cardboard box tumbles loudly down into the camera. Shot: Previous room interior. WELCOME-WAGONER I don't mean to tell a man his business, but you aren't saving by hiring poor help. What in those packages can be tossed about so? HUDSON Everything a body requires. Foods. Clothes. Tools. Entertainments. Ornaments. Shot: The stairwell, this time empty. A crash sounds from upstairs, this time shattering. Shot: Previous room interior. WELCOME-WAGONER I hope they weren't too expensive. HUDSON Expensive? The very best, sir. The contents of my wine cellar, for one. Bottles older than your grandfather. A collection of fiddles from the continent... first editions, paintings, sculptures! I've been assured that they are without compare. WELCOME-WAGONER All this fine stuff in our own little town.... Paintings and sculptures you say? Fran dabbles a bit, she'd like very much.... Shot: Stairwell. Refridgerator box falls heavily from off camera against the far wall of the landing. Bad noises inside. Shot: Previous room interior. Welcome-Wagoner is in clear agitation now, pacing as Hudson looks on, amused. HUDSON Don't be alarmed. I care nothing for wine, nor art. Instruments? Wouldn't know what to do with them. I'm not a refined man. The only taste in life that I've cultivated is for travel. WELCOME-WAGONER You may find this amusing Mr. Hudson, sir, but even if you can buy more such things, you ought to think of posterity. Sell them, or leave them in a museum. Sir. HUDSON My dear... neighbor. Let me be more clear. These are the finest things I could lay hands on. They are fads - and may be insured for truly astronomical amounts. Crashing noises and other horrors ofstage. HUDSON This has become a process that will keep me quite happily funded for the rest of my wandering days. I'll spend a day or two filing the claims, and then relax and enjoy the new environs. Welcome-Wagoner stands speechless as two moving men carry a large, clearly beaten up package in with the tops hanging open. Hudson peeks inside, then makes a note on the clipboard presented by one man, and smoothly passes the man a wad of bills. Welcome-Wagoner makes a strangled noise, and Hudson turns to him as the men exit. HUDSON There there. Those things would fall all apart someday - just look at those Greek statues! At least this way someone actually profits from them existing. Shot: Wagoner's face, drawn and tired WELCOME-WAGONER Well... I suppose I'll be off. Perhaps Fran can come by when you've hung those paintings that made it through.... Shot: Hudson's face, laughing HUDSON Oh, I'm afraid I'm not sure exactly where they've got to. Its such a bother unpacking all this nonsense when you just have to pack it all back up again. You understand how it is. I shall be about for a month or so before relocate to Africa. Shot: Reaction shot Welcome-Wagoner, back of Hudson's head in frame HUDSON (V.O.) Do look me up at the hotel, won't you? And give my best to your beautiful wife. INT - DARK ENTRYWAY - DAY Shot: Welcome-Wagoner stands on the doorstep facing into the house and camera, framed by the doorway. The van is parked in the background, men closing it up. Front door closes, shutting out scene into darkness which fades to black. INT - MOVING VAN Shot: Blackness is broken as moving-van doors swing open, revealing a view of a quiet neighborhood road that fills the screen. Camera pulls back so that corrugated edges of empty van are visible. Shot: Series of 5-10 time-lapse style cross fades - by unseen hands, box after box fills the van, obscuring all but the top of the doors. Shot: Doors swing closed to black. CREDITS Discussion: Except for an arty opening and closing sequence (which could be cut in a pinch) and the tricky establishing shot of the one-room stage, this is an incredibly easy one to film - 1 room space, one stairwell for cut scenes, cardboard boxes as props, and a cast of 4 - two extras can be the entire moving crew, although it could also be 20. Although the moving men figure in the room scene, the theme of all other shots is "unseen hands" - even the boxes which are understood to be carried or dropped are seen from an angle in which they appear alone. Ditto the closing front door and the van doors - hands are not in the shot. Soundtrack: Air, "Playground Love" plays continuously throughout the piece, soft muted during dialog.