The Princess and the Pauper by E. Hart

EXT. PRIVATE CHINESE CASINO – NIGHT

A sleek black matte car pulls up in front of the private Chinese casino, The Lotus Flower. The DRIVER, who is a tall man, mid 40’s, built like a mountain, but lighthearted only around PRINCESS BERNADETTE; opens the driver side door and then closes it confidently after he gets out. The driver then swiftly makes his way around the back of the car,and over to open the back passenger door. The neon lights shine against the opaque black window as it rolls down an inch.

THE DRIVER:

(Stands Parallel to the door, ready to open it.)

We are here, your Highness.

PRINCESS BERNADETTE (cascading beautiful brown hair, early 20’s, Asian decent, very fair skin, about 5’7 – 5’9 with two inch heels,and brown eyes):

(HIGH ANGLE OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT From THE DRIVER)

(She peeks out through the crack and inspects the street. While inspecting her surroundings,she raises an eyebrow in suspicion.)

I thought there was supposed to be a greeter?

THE DRIVER:

Your Highness not to point it out, but you are indeed an hour late.

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

Well, you know what my mother says, “You can’t rush a Princess in heels”. Speaking of my mother, she will hear no word of my whereabouts.

(A red nail polished hand slips a two hundred dollar bill to THE DRIVER)

THE DRIVER:

(Discreetly pockets the two bills in his chest pocket.)

I don’t know what you are talking about, Your Highness.

(THE DRIVER opens the car door for PRINCESS BERNADETTE.)

(Medium shot from within the car looking to the outside of the casino.)

Have a goodnight, miss.

(LOW ANGLE TWO SHOT PAN of the back of PRINCESS BERNADETTE’s cherry red desire heels walking regally into the casino.)

INT. PRIVATE CHINESE CASINO – NIGHT

(And OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT of the princess as she is walking down the hallway, that’s decorated in traditional red and gold with Chinese cultural robes, vases, swords, statues and bonsai trees. At the end of the hallway, stands three men; the greeter and two bodyguards. The princess pauses four feet in front of the three men.)

THE GREETER:

(THE GREETER widens his arms like he was embracing the air and then clasps his hands, causing a big clap to echo in the hallway.)

(TILT UP SHOT from the right and CLOSE UP.)

Ahhh, Your Highness, we’ve been expecting you.

Please follow me, so I can announce your arrival.

(The bodyguards turn and open the door as THE GREETER turns around to lead in PRINCESS BERNADETTE.)

(OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT from PRINCESS BERNADETTE’s right shoulder followed by an ESTABLISHING SHOT of a bird’s eye view,then a PAN FORWARD SHOT of the private Chinese casino.)

(All guests have turned to welcome the guest of honour, and get a glimpse of PRINCESS BERNADETTE’S beauty. One particular eye is caught, CONNOR, and is enchanted by her beauty. A PAN SHOT of the guests admiring PRINCESS BERNADETTE, and then as the camera pans across the crowd and gets closer to CONNER, it gets a CLOSE UP SHOT of his wide eyes looking at the PRINCESS.)  

THE GREETER:

(Close up of THE GREETER on the balcony stairs that overlook the casino.)

I am proud to announce the arrival of PRINCESS BERNADETTE, heir to the Belencium Throne.

(Bows out of the way for the first reveal PRINCESS BERNADETTE to the audience watching the movie and everyone who is present. Men within the casino do a slight bow, while the ladies do a small curtsy.)
(WIDE PAN SHOT of the Casino guests)

(PRINCESS BERNADETTE starts making her way down the steps to the tables as a majority of the rooms eyes were still stuck on her.

WIDE SHOT from within the crowd. After selecting a table, it happens to also have CONNER seated at it, she inadvertently sits across from him. LOW ANGLE SHOT of CONNOR sitting at the table transitioning to MEDIUM CLOSE UP SHOT of PRINCESS BERNADETTE sitting down)

(A table waiter comes by to ask if PRINCESS BERNADETTE would like them to fetch some chips.)

FEMALE TABLE WAITER:

(Leans in front of PRINCESS BERNADETTE with arms crossed behind her back)

(MEDIUM TRACKING SHOT as she leans over)

Your Highness, would you like me to fetch your chips for you?

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

(MEDIUM OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT from CONNOR’s seat to look at PRINCESS BERNADETTE.)

I would greatly appreciate that, thank you very much.

(Reaching into her clutch purse, she pulled out a thousand dollars and hands it to the FEMALE TABLE WAITER.)

Please exchange $950 into chips of $25.

FEMALE TABLE WAITER:

What about the other $50?

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

Keep the change.

FEMALE TABLE WAITER:

Thank you, thank you soo much. I’ll be quick.

(From across the table, CONNOR comments on PRINCESS BERNADETTE’S generosity.)

CONNOR (fluffy tousled hair that looks chestnut brown in the sun light but black in the shade, 5’11-6’1, structured facial features, Native American descent):

Well that was very kind of you. (Pause to look up from his hands) If I were you, your Highness, I would check to make sure they didn’t take extra.


(CLOSE UP of PRINCESS BERNADETTE’S facial response.)

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

What do you mean by that?

(TRANSITION PROFILE SHOT that encompasses their conversation with facial responses.)

CONNOR:

I would just check in case, I’ve had it happen a couple of times to myself where I had money magically disappear.

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

Have you ever thought that it was due to gambling it away?

CONNOR:

I have considered that a couple of times, but the last time it happened, I was missing $200 dollars before I got to the table.

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

Sounds like bad luck mister…?

CONNOR:

Jackson. Connor, Jackson.

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

Hmm nice Bond reference. Do you pick up all the ladies with your impressions?

CONNOR:

Only the pretty ones, Your Highness.

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

Now tell me Connor, why do I not believe that?

(CONNOR pauses to try and think of a come back to her remark)

(A CLOSE UP SHOT to show she smirks at his pause)

CONNOR:

Because you haven’t met a man like me, your Highness. (Camera flips to a MEDIUM SHOT of him. He nods in the direction coming up behind her) Here come your chips. I would still check them if I were you.  

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

(She turns in the chair to be handed the chips. Stack by stack, she picks each off the platter that the FEMALE TABLE WAITER holds and places it in front of her.)

Thank you very much, I’ll call you over if I need any assistance.

(PRINCESS BERNADETTE skims each stack of poker chips in front of her, counting under her breath for 38 chips.)

19…25…32…38

(A CLOSE UP SHOT of CONNOR, who smirks, as he observes PRINCESS BERNADETTE counting her chips.)

CASINO DEALER:

Alright Ladies and Gentlemen, place your bets.

(PRINCESS BERNADETTE and CONNOR go to place their bets on 14, but brush hands against one another. CONNOR hesitantly places his bets on 15 instead and places it on even and red. Two $5 chips on 15, one $5 on even, and one $5 on red.)

(Close-up tracking shot of both of their hands)

CASINO DEALER:

No more bets, Ladies and Gentlemen

(MEDIUM SHOT at the end of the table to see all who sits there.)

(PRINCESS BERNADETTE and CONNOR’S eyes meet as the dealer releases the ball into the wheel. A CLOSE UP SHOT of each of their that transitions into a TRACKING SHOT of the ball in the wheel)

CONNOR:

If you win, Your Highness, you owe me a drink. If I win, I’ll buy you a drink.

(A MEDIUM OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT from PRINCESS BERNADETTE’s shoulder to look at CONNOR)

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

Whoever said I wanted a drink, Mister Jackson.

CONNOR:

Well, you did take my lucky number after all, so if you win with my number, you get me a drink. But if I’m wrong about my lucky number and I win, I’ll buy you a drink, Your Highness.

(TRANSITION PROFILE SHOT that encompasses their conversation with facial responses.)

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

Any drink?

CONNOR:

Sure, why not.

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

You must have a lot of hope on 14.

CONNOR:

You bet I do, Your Highness.

(The wheel slowly comes to a stop as the ball slides into 14. Across the table, CONNOR winks at PRINCESS BERNADETTE.)

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

Don’t think I didn’t notice that you won as well.

CONNOR:

Ahh but not as much as you Princess.

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

I still want that drink.

(MEDIUM OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT from CONNOR’s seat to look at PRINCESS BERNADETTE.)

CONNOR:

Well you’re going to have to beat me for it. This round if it lands on a black number, I’ll get you a drink, lands on red, you buy me another. Deal?

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

(After collecting her winnings, PRINCESS BERNADETTE places her winnings on black.)

Deal.

(CONNOR places his winnings on red.)

CASINO DEALER:

No more bets Ladies and Gentlemen.    

(MEDIUM SHOT at the end of the table to see all who sits there.)

(The ball rolls into slot 20, black. PRINCESS BERNADETTE starts placing her winnings into her clutch purse, and stands up from the table.)

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

You coming? (Nods for CONNOR to follow.)

(LOW ANGLE LEFT TILT UP SHOT from CONNOR’s position.)

(CONNOR gathers all his chips in his pocket and follows PRINCESS BERNADETTE to the bar.)

(HIGH ANGLE SHOT of CONNOR following her to the bar.)

(PRINCESS BERNADETTE orders an Old Fashion once she is seated.)

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

So what will it be, Mister Jackson?

(A drink is slid down the table top by the bartender for CONNOR.)

(CLOSE UP TRACKING SHOT of the drink sliding into CONNOR’s awaiting hand.)

CONNOR:

My regular, whiskey and coke. They know me here.

(TRANSITION PROFILE SHOT that encompasses their conversation with facial responses.)

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

Should I be concerned about that?

CONNOR:

No, no, I-I used to work here, as a table dealer.

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

What happened?

CONNOR:

Apparently, I wasn’t collecting enough winnings and letting people  off to easy. But the truth is, I wasn’t giving them, the people, enough. See that gentleman by the black jack table? (Camera PANS over to a man with a worn down jean jacket, obviously disheveled due to being drunk, a 4 o’clock shadow, looks about to be in his early 40’s)(PRINCESS BERNADETTE nods) That man would always sit at my table and pour his heart out to me every night, about how his wife had left him and took his son with her. The man told me that she left him because he couldn’t provide for his family because of the construction job he works 9 to 5 in the summer. So with the little money he has left, he comes here every night to win his child support, rent, and life back. Every so often when he came to my table, I would slip him a few extra chips just to make sure he gets by for the night. Unfortunately, the cameras see everything and the records don’t lie, and I got fired. Now that poor man, comes every night to try his luck but ends up with less than before. He owes the casino quite a lot of money, but they keep inviting him to play here. Therefore, sucking not only the money out of him, but his life as well. I only come back every night just to make sure he’s ok… and to have one of Marty’s drinks over here. (Nods to the bartender and lifts his drink with acknowledgement) Best bartender in town, makes drinks like no one else.  

(CONNOR takes a swig of his drink)

So, Your Highness, what are you doing in a place like this?

(A MEDIUM OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT from PRINCESS BERNADETTE’s shoulder to look at CONNOR)

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

Just going out for the night, why?

CONNOR:

(shrugs shoulders)

I don’t know but shouldn’t you be surrounded by guards, wearing some fancy ball gown, and dancing with your prince charming?

(TRANSITION PROFILE SHOT that encompasses their conversation with facial responses.)

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

Do I look like a Disney princess to you?

CONNOR:

Well their beauty does fall a little in comparison to yours, Your Highness.

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

Are you comparing me to cartoon characters?

CONNOR:

Please take the compliment.

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

(exaggerate)

Uh Huh.

(Pauses and swirls the drink within her hand)

(MEDIUM OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT from CONNOR’s seat to look at PRINCESS BERNADETTE.)

I’m here to get away from all that. To experience a normal night, where I don’t have to wear a gown or practice global trade agreements; which I’m not really good at, to be honest. They feel like an eternity of non stop arguing, until I put my foot down and say that’s enough. They either take the agreement or go. Usually, a lot of countries take my agreements, but there are a few that like to stir the pot and turn the agreements down.    

(PRINCESS BERNADETTE gives a little smirk and pauses before turning her attention to the drink in her hands. The smirk falls away from her face as if she recalls something.)

I can’t believe that these are actually going to be the last few weeks I have the freedom to do what I want.

CONNOR:

What do you mean your “last few weeks of freedom”?

(A MEDIUM OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT from PRINCESS BERNADETTE’s shoulder to look at CONNOR)

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

Well if you haven’t seen the headlines, I am going to be crowned soon. Which in my case means no freedom and more global trade agreements. Hurray for me.

(Takes a small sip from her drink)

(MEDIUM OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT from CONNOR’s seat to look at PRINCESS BERNADETTE.)

CONNOR:

(Scoffs as he takes another swig)

If I were you, Your Highness, I wouldn’t be so glum. You’re set for life. You have all the food you could eat, you don’t pay taxes, you don’t have to worry about paying rent because you live in a house that essentially could house all the casino guests here. If I were you, Your Highness, I wouldn’t go talking about privilege and freedom, not all of us have those luxuries.

(A MEDIUM OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT from PRINCESS BERNADETTE’s shoulder to look at CONNOR)

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

At least you have a choice of what to do with your life. I was born into this, I have no choice. I haven’t had a taste of true freedom from responsibilities, because before I was even born, that right to freedom was stolen from me. Don’t go around and assume that I can afford all the luxuries, some of them have to be sacrificed for everyone else’s greater good.   

(PRINCESS BERNADETTE downs the rest of her drink and takes out a couple of bills from her clutch purse)

(TRANSITION PROFILE SHOT that encompasses their conversation with facial responses.)

Here, since I’m so privileged, I’ll pay for both of our drinks. Have a goodnight Mister Jackson.

(She slams down the bills and gets up and walks away with attitude.)

(CLOSE UP SHOT on the money being placed on the bar.)

(MEDIUM SHOT from behind the bar that transitions into MEDIUM SHOT positioned to the right of the casino floor as PRINCESS BERNADETTE stomps away.)

(CONNOR, who feels bad for driving her away, notices that PRINCESS BERNADETTE has left her clutch purse on the counter.)

(CONNOR looks around to notice that PRINCESS BERNADETTE is half way up the stairs and walking towards the exit. Picking up her clutch purse and downing the rest of his drink, CONNOR makes haste to the exit to return her clutch purse.)

(TRACKING BIRD’S EYE VIEW PAN UP SHOT of CONNOR making his way through the crowd.)

(Meanwhile in the hallway, PRINCESS BERNADETTE taps the side of her hip as a sign of having an absent purse. She freezes at the absence of her purse, but hears the clinking of her purse chain.)

(Transition from a CLOSE UP REACTION SHOT of PRINCESS BERNADETTE’s face, when she is missing her clutch purse, to LOW ANGLE MEDIUM SHOT as CONNOR let’s the chain slip from his fingers and the clutch purse bounce in his grasp within the camera frame.)

(Knowing who exactly is holding her purse, she turns around to face CONNOR. PRINCESS BERNADETTE crosses her arms, pops out her hip, and raises her eyebrow.)

(MEDIUM SHOT of how PRINCESS BERNADETTE turns around to face CONNOR.)

CONNOR:

I assume that this is your purse, Your Highness, and not any other beautiful woman’s purse.

(CLOSE UP SHOT of CONNOR’s upper torso and head.)

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

Your charms will not work on me Mister Jackson, you’ve left a bad taste in my mouth. Now excuse me, but I have to go.

(CLOSE UP TILT UP FROM THE LEFT SHOT of PRINCESS BERNADETTE’S upper torso and head.)

CONNOR:

Go? Go where. You literally just got here?

(MEDIUM OVER-THE-SHOULDER TRACKING PAN SHOT from PRINCESS BERNADETTE’s shoulder positioned to look and focus on CONNOR.)

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

(PRINCESS BERNADETTE stomps to meet him in the middle of the hallway and snatchs the purse from his hands)

Anywhere that doesn’t have men questioning my privilege.

(PRINCESS BERNADETTE turns around to keep walking down the decorated hallway, but CONNOR catches her wrist.)

(CLOSE UP SHOT of CONNOR grasping her wrist.)

CONNOR:

Hold on, wait, so you’re telling me that you are going to go and wander around in the middle of the night, slightly intoxicated, probably not knowing where you are going. I don’t think that’s the best idea, Your Highness, especially considering your status and having no one to protect you.  

(TRANSITION PROFILE SHOT that encompasses their conversation with facial responses.)

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

I’m perfectly capable of protecting myself, and I can get around, I have Google maps.

CONNOR:

Yes, I believe you’re perfectly fine of taking care of yourself, but getting around these parts at night are particularly dangerous.

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

Well what do you suggest?

CONNOR:

Well, if you let me, Your Highness, it would be an honour to escort you around tonight.

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

I think I’d rather take my chances. Like I said before Mister Jackson, have a good night.

(MEDIUM OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT from CONNOR’s shoulder positioned to look and focus on PRINCESS BERNADETTE.)

CONNOR:

Look, Your Highness, you can be as mad as you want about earlier, but I don’t want to be made responsible for a possible disappearance or anything. So please do yourself and I, a favour, and let me escort you around tonight.

(MEDIUM OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT from PRINCESS BERNADETTE’s shoulder positioned to look and focus on CONNOR.)

(PRINCESS BERNADETTE raises her right brow in suspicion.)

I’ll show you the best dinner in town, or whatever you want.

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

(Huffs in submission)

Alright, but if I feel uncomfortable at anytime, I will not only sick my guards on you, but I’ll unleash my powers of karate on you.

(MEDIUM OVER-THE-SHOULDER SHOT from PRINCESS BERNADETTE’s shoulder positioned to look and focus on CONNOR.)

CONNOR:

You know what, I wouldn’t rather anyone else to kick my ass. I’ll have a cool story to tell my friends. Now let’s go to Hefty’s diner, they’ve got the best fries and freakshakes in town.

PRINCESS BERNADETTE:

What are freakshakes?

(TRANSITION PROFILE SHOT that encompasses their conversation with facial responses.)  

Categories: Gallery

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