INT. GOVERNMENT OFFICE – DAY
DON, a harried-looking middle management type in a wrinkled suit, opens a door.
Come in, quickly.
ALLY hurries into the room. She’s red-eyed and upset, and she’s dressed as though she ran out of the house while cleaning the basement, which she did.
GAVIN, her weedy bookworm husband, slips in behind her.
Don checks that the hallway is empty then shuts the door.
I thought your mother would be here.
She’s in Spain. All flights are grounded–
Of course. I’m sorry. It’s crazy out there.
Uncle Don, do you know what
happened to my dad?
Don hesitates, clearly nervous, then turns his computer screen so they can see it.
You can’t tell anyone about
this. I could be tried for
He taps a key and a video begins to play on the screen. It’s clearly a security camera and it shows an elevated walkway leading to a glass and steel building. PEOPLE cross the walkway casually, and their CONVERSATIONS are captured on the video.
Where is this?
It’s a top-secret installation
in Nevada. That’s why–
Dad! There he is!
A MAN in a red jacket strolls along with the crowd. Ally’s father.
Just as he’s about to reach the far end of the walkway, a battered van races into view. It crashes through the barrier, slams into the side of the bridge, breaking it partway. People loose their footing, and Ally’s father tumbles over the railing with a SCREAM.
Ally clasps her hands over her mouth, horrified.
Gavin is also shocked, but his expression is harder to read.
ON THE VIDEO, a huge explosion blasts upward from the space where the van and Ally’s father fell. The video ends.
Oh my god oh my god.
I could get life in prison for
showing you this. But your mother
deserves to know.
Uncle Don, thank you.
Yeah, Don. Thanks.
Something in Gavin’s tone seems off, but Don breezes past it. He checks that the hallway is clear, then hurries them out.
Quickly. I’ll call you on Sunday.
EXT. SIDEWALK – DAY
Ally and Gavin stride out of a parking garage and hurry down the street. Then Ally stops, overwhelmed.
Keep moving. The video was fake.
Fake? How do you know?
Did you hear it? The scream when
the bridge was collapsing?
It didn’t sound like Dad…
Because the man who made
that scream has been dead
for decades. That video your
uncle showed us was put together
in an editing room somewhere,
and they didn’t even do a good job.
What do you mean?
I mean we’ve been insulted. They think
we’re stupid. That scream is an old sound
effect that’s been floating around
Hollywood for years. It even has a
name. The “Wilhelm.” The only reason
they would use it is because they don’t
care if we can tell how fake it all is, or
because they think we’re idiots who’ll
believe anything. That sound effect
is a sign of their lazy contempt for us,
and I’m sick of it.
So… you think my father is alive?
I hope so, honey, if only so you get
another chance to earn his approval.
In case you couldn’t guess, I’ve really grown to hate The Wilhelm.