The Cross Over

*Originally written 2002 for intended submission to BMW for consideration for their short film / commercial series ‘The Hire’, starring Clive Owen. Last surviving hard-copy recently found in storage and transcribed here.

**Edited for content and pacing

Smash cut from Black…

…to a wide-screen telephoto shot of the sun, centered in the frame huge and shimmering. This vast orange globe then smoothly fades into a crimson circle, instantly recognizable as the Japanese national symbol. We pull away to see this insignia emblazoned across the tail of a private jet, a Honda HA-20, in flight.

We hear radio VO:

Pilot: “LAX ATC, Honda Nippon 0-4 on final approach. How copy?”

LAX ATC: “Copy 0-4, we have you on the scope. Your attitude and bearing look good and you’re cleared for final descent to Runway 24R/6L.”

Pilot: ‘Runway 24R/6L copy. Is ground transport for the principal ready?”

Cut

Sitting on the vast, empty tarmac, bathed in the golden red glow of late afternoon in California, is a beautiful, silvery-blue BMW. A handsomely rugged sits motionless in the driver seat, waiting. His eyes are hidden behind a pair of stylish, mirrored shades.

We hear the ATC’s reply…

“Roger that, 0-4. The Driver’s there.”

We hear a beeping ring tone. The Driver (Clive Owen) smoothly pulls a cell phone from inside his jacket and answers…

“Yes. I’m here.”

He listens, before responding…

“She’ll be on the ground momentarily.”

As he says this, we gently track past the elegant front end of the BMW. We slow to a stop. The luxury private jet can be seen approaching in the distance, seeming to hang against the deep blue sky. In the foreground, the Driver turns in his seat to watch the landing.

Cut

Tight on The Driver looking past us at the approaching jet, which we can see in the highly glossed lenses of his stylish sunglasses. He continues listening to the voice on the other end, before again responding…

“Yes sir. Straight to the venue…no stops.”

He turns back.

Cut

The Driver glances over at something on the passenger side seat. The voice says something more, and he nods, saying…

“Yes sir. I’ve been fully briefed and I’ve got my eye out for him.”

Cut

Tight on the object of his attention. It’s file folder, adorned with both Japanese and English law enforcement scrawl. From within, The Driver pulls out a glossy surveillance-type photo of a sinister-looking Asian man: all shades, ponytail, earrings and expensive attire, exiting a Mercedes while smoking a thin, dark cigar. Attached with a paperclip is a torn, Japanese tabloid article featuring a grainy photo of the same man, tuxedo’d at a large party, his arm slung protectively around a stunningly beautiful young Japanese woman. Something in her expression suggests she doesn’t want to be there. We can see a unique microphone, artfully emblazoned with the word “LILY’, clasped in her hand. As we slowly zoom in on the photo, we hear the high-pitched whine of the Honda’s turbine as it approaches.

Cut

We track smoothly along the side of the BMW, showing off its lines. As we reach him, The Driver looks up from the file as the jet flashes past in the background, landing.

Cut

Long, telephoto shot of the jet, from behind, touching down in a puff of smoke from the tires, seen through shimmering waves of heat.

Cut

Tight on the Driver. He watches through the windshield as the jet taxis toward him. We can see the plane reflected in his shades again, growing in the lenses.

Cut

Wide-shot. In the background we see the jet approaching the BMW, positioned in the foreground. Gassy pulses of heat obscure details. The jet brakes and the pitch of the turbines drop.

Cut

Wide-shot. We see the whole scene laid out below us. The Honda sits facing the poised BMW on the dark surface of the tarmac. Everything is still, save the sound of the spooling-down jet engine and the warm California breeze. All is tinged with a reddish gold hue, the heat is evident. After a pause, we see the Honda’s hatch begin to cycle open.

Cut

Tight on the hatchway smoothly descending, slowing to its OPEN position and locking in place. From the darkness of the cabin, a man’s head emerges. He’s a powerfully built Caucasian sporting strangely intellectual-looking, wire-rimmed glasses. From the protective cover of the jet he scans the surrounding area around the tarmac with the practiced eye of a professional bodyguard. His gaze falls on the BMW.

Cut

Tight on the bodyguard. He locks eyes with the Driver and gives a deliberate nod of professional appreciation.

Cut

Tight on the Driver, watching over the BMW’s steering wheel. He returns the nod and reaches forward to start the car.

Cut

Tight on the BMW engraved START button as he pushes it. The car revs to life, sounding sexy.

Cut

Slow track around the BMW, admiring the sleekness as it purrs powerfully. The jet dominates the background and in the open hatch, we see the bodyguard turn to address someone unseen.

Cut

Two fatigue-clad Asian men, corporate contractors in unmarked military gear, suddenly rush past the poised bodyguard, HK MP-5 submachine guns held at ready as they clamber down the ladder with practiced urgency. They hastily take up watchful positions between the Honda and the BMW.

The Driver watches coolly.

Cut

The bodyguard then gracefully steps aside, respectfully bowing his head. SHE emerges. All falls into slow motion. SHE is a stunningly beautiful young Japanese woman, clad in a figure flattering black power suit. She steps out into the light of late-afternoon California, a wide handbag of dark material clenched at her side. It’s the girl from the tabloid cut-out in the Driver’s file! Wind catches her thick mane of long black hair and it seems to dance on the breeze as she descends.

The Driver watches, his awe just peeking out from below his cool exterior.

Cut

Tight on the cut-out in the file, specifically focused on the young woman with the microphone. It’s her, without a doubt. After a beat, the file closes over it.

The Driver’s VO begins

“So…this is it. The big crossover. This is Lily, THE Japanese princess-of-pop, making her transition to a much broader audience, North America…an audience these days craving something a little more…exotic, than just another sex’d up ex-Mouseketeer.”

She could very well be the personification of grace, a breathtaking Asian beauty matched with elegant sophistication.

She’s also sexy as hell!

Cut

We see her expensive heels click down onto the hot tarmac and she sashays with confidence toward the waiting car.

Cut

The Driver, still transfixed by the approaching vision. His VO continues

“This bold arrangement is the result of an unusually shrewd and independent decision, entirely of her devising. She made the contacts, broached the idea, financed the move. Her desire to branch out, call the shots and to expand her audience…was not greeted with much in the way of enthusiasm…from her homeland representation.”

Cut

Tracking shot from behind the idling BMW. As the car glides out of frame, we see this woman in full, moving with feline precision. One of the sentries gives a curt nod of respect as she passes, before sidling along beside her, weapon at ready.

Cut

Tight on the other sentry, his helmeted head bobbing as he dropped his eyes respectfully in her passage.

Cut

The Driver’s VO continues

“How hot a commodity this young superstar was in Japan was unrealized in the West until whispers began to surface…whispers of possible…managerial…action, perhaps following her Stateside in order to stop her massive debut performance in the City of Angels.”

Cut

Tight, slow motion on the woman’s flawless face, the smokey matte black shades revealing nothing as she approaches the car.

Cut

The accompanying sentry slips ahead, reaching for the car door.

VO continues…

“Her explosion onto the scene, if you will.”

Cut

Tight on one of the Honda’s engines, idling with a whine. Over the din, a shrill hiss abruptly cuts through, ending with…

…a large, round hole suddenly punches into the thin metal, and the engine housing shudders violently. Something akin to a thunderclap ripples across the tarmac. The engine’s idle falters, cutting out to muted thuds and the ferocious squeal of metal aggressively grinding on metal at high speed.

Cut

Slow-motion. The woman whirls around, shock and fear contorting her features.

Cut

The sentry yanks the BMW’s door open, gesturing frantically to her as the other leaps up, rushing to cover her to the car.

Cut

The bodyguard yells from the jet…

“Get her outta here!”

With that, he pulls a nickel-plated Desert Eagle from a webbed holster beneath his arm, racking the slide, ducking low in the doorway and pulling back into the shadows of the cabin.

Cut

Slow motion. Tight on the woman’s sunglasses as they clatter onto the tarmac, knocked free as the sentry rushed her forward.

Cut

A large chunk of the wing blows away next in a spray of aluminium and fibre-glass shards. Another crashing shot sounds in the distance. Aviation fuel splashes from the ruptured wing, pooling in the jet’s shadow.

Cut

The Driver yanks his own shades away, yelling…

“Let’s go!”

Cut

The woman is thrust into the passenger seat, her handbag leading the way. As she struggles to hunch down, one of the sentries reaches back, pulling a short-barreled Glock from a hidden holster. He presses the pistol into her hand and, addressing the Driver, says…

“Just in case.”

Turning to her, he mutters something in hushed Japanese, giving a quick bow before ducking back, slamming the car door.

Cut

One sentry bounds away from the BMW, weapon up as he scans the area for the source of the attack. The other takes up a firing position beside the car, poised protectively before the door.

Cut

Wide-shot. We see the damaged jet isolated on the landing apron, the BMW glinting in the sun before it as the sentry spins, scanning the area on high alert. After a moment, we pull back, over the shoulder of a prone sniper manning an enormous Barrett .50 calibre sniper rifle on a bipod. It seems that we’re on top of a structure nearby. Smoke snakes from the barrel.

Cut

Cross-haired POV. The view shifts from sentry to sentry, target undecided.

Cut

The Driver quickly looks the woman over with practiced efficiency, a look of concern clouding his stubbly features as he asks…

“Are you injured?!”

She looks up at him, her dark eyes wide. She glances around hurriedly and, in perfect English, says…

“Not yet.”

The Driver gets her meaning, nodding coolly.

Cut

Sniper POV. The sentry beside the car sees him, pointing and yelling, raising his MP-5.

The crosshair lines up…

Cut

She springs up in her seat, going for the belt. As she grabs it, the shape of the sentry out the window is yanked aside, crashing heavily to the asphalt beside the car, sub-machine gun clattering away.

Cut

Tight on the woman looking in horror through blood-spattered glass inches from her beautiful face. Her hand flies to her mouth and we hear the crackling gunshot echo past.

Cut

Sniper POV. The crosshair sweeps from the downed sentry’s splayed body to…the polished hood of the BMW!

Cut

Tight. The Driver’s hand swiftly throws the shifter into Reverse, a heartbeat before he hits the accelerator. The car leaps backward with a squeal of burning rubber, causing the woman to yelp in surprise.

Cut

A sudden geyser of chewed tarmac explodes, spraying the escaping vehicle with oily pebbles. It screeches to a halt several yards away. Both occupants stare through the windshield at the new crater in the runway with visible disbelief.

Cut

The sniper curses, realigning the rifles long barrel. The scope’s cross-hairs center on the Driver but before he can squeeze the trigger…a bullet suddenly pops past, followed quickly by another.

Cut

The bodyguard, crouched in the jet’s open hatchway, carefully fires round after round at the sniper’s position on a low hangar roof in the distance.

Cut

The lone sentry rushes to his fallen comrade’s side, dropping to one knee, opening fire with his sub-machine gun, joining the bodyguard’s counterattack. Shell casings spray across the tarmac.

Cut

We see aviation fuel splashing from the punctured wing, the pool in the plane’s shadow still expanding.

Cut

From the shadows of a building behind them, two black Humvees race into the sunlight with a throaty roar, speeding toward the scene.

Cut

Tight. The BMW’s rear-view mirror. In the reflection, we see the two trucks rapidly approaching. We hear the Driver exclaim…

“Shit!”

Cut

The woman spins in her seat, her eyes widening as she sees the quickly approaching vehicles. Grabbing his arm, she implores…

“Oh my God…drive!”

The Driver, his cool demeanor returning, calmly responds with a subtle…

“Yes, Ma am.”

…slamming the car into gear and hitting the accelerator. The BMW instantly leaps forward, pushing them both back into their seats.

Cut

The sniper curses again, in Japanese, and pushes himself up from his prone position, hoisting the heavy gun to his shoulder for another shot. He doesn’t get the chance.

Cut

The bodyguard and the sentry both see the figure rise, weapon in hand, and they open fire simultaneously.

Cut

Several bullets slam into the sniper’s torso, jerking him back and throwing a crimson mist into the late afternoon air. As he collapses, the Barrett fires one last time with a crashing report.

Cut

Tight on the jet’s already smoking, damaged engine as the errant .50 calibre round tears into it with a shriek, sparks and hot metal bursting away.

Cut

The Driver makes a snap decision and aims directly for the jet, accelerating.

Cut

Tight on the woman’s face, shock registering as she realizes what he’s doing.

Cut

The Honda looms large in the windshield, fast approaching.

Cut

A smoking chunk of the crippled engine drops free, trailing pieces and sparks as it falls. It impacts the tarmac below with a crash…splashing aviation fuel in all directions. It suddenly ignites with a roar.

Cut

Wide-shot from the jet’s opposite side. We see the BMW, it’s shiny roof barely clearing the underside of the fuselage as it races beneath. A split second behind, a deep wash of violent red flame billows suddenly, spreading mercilessly beneath the stricken plane.

Cut

The woman cranes around again, looking past us through the rear window.

Cut

The jet seems to hang on the rapidly expanding pool of fire, black smoke curling up toward the sky.

Cut

Tight on the Rising Sun logo on the tail as a thick cloud of black smoke envelopes it.

Cut

Through the flames, we see the two Humvees racing in.

The rest of the fuel fumes in the wing tanks choose that moment to detonate. The cylindrical body of the Honda abruptly blows apart, twisted debris spraying in all directions. An angry red fireball curls skyward with a loud *BOOM!*. The forward landing gear buckles under the sudden pressure and snaps, dropping the immolated fuselage to the ground a split second behind the BMW with a grinding crash.

Cut

Tight on the woman’s face, eyes wide, illuminated by the flash of the blast.

Cut

From inside one of the pursuing trucks, we see the BMW’s back end as it races away. As the driver expertly steers to pursue, we see the car abruptly obstructed by the collapsing body of the destroyed jet as it hits the tarmac. The Hummer, unable to stop in time, vanishes into the fiery wreckage with a crash.

Cut

We see the stricken aircraft’s opposite side again. The Hummer, now engulfed in flames, explodes through in a violent shower of debris, flipping over onto its side with a squeal of metal and sliding to a stop across the tarmac.

Cut

We are looking down the long length of the runway. The BMW suddenly sweeps into frame, tires squealing as it races away.

Cut

From around the raging funeral pyre the jet has become, the other Humvee speeds into view, locked on the escaping car.

Cut

We see the driver, a muscular Asian adorned with a plethora of Yakuza tattoos, his attention fixed on the fleeing BMW as he steers the large truck after it. We quickly pan over to the passenger side where another man sits…the man from the file! He pulls a small cell phone out, punching in a number.

Cut

Interior BMW. An insistent beep can suddenly be heard. The Driver and the woman simultaneously reach for their phones. It’s hers, and she pulls it from the shadows of the handbag at her feet.

The dialogue is subtitled from Japanese…

“You can’t get away, Lily. Why try? I made you…you do belong to me!”

“You’re wrong, Kenji! I belong to my audience! I’m making my own way! It’s all legal. You have no hold, as my lawyers have clearly explained.”

“If I can’t have you…then no one will, bitch!”

Cut

The Driver watches out of the corner of his eye as Lily shrieks in anger and frustration. She snaps the phone closed, wiping at a tear. Then…she notices the Glock in her lap. With surprising precision and skill, she grabs the gun and racks the slide. She glances over, meeting his studious eye. They exchange a quick nod.

Cut

Tight on his finger nudging the window OPEN button.

Cut

Undoing her seat-belt, Lily leans out, the wind buffeting her long mane of dark hair as the two vehicles speed down the open runway. She raises the pistol, using the side of the car to steady her aim.

Cut

Tight on Kenji, through the windshield, as he slowly lowers his phone, straining to focus on the car ahead.

Cut

Kenji’s POV. We see the BMW tearing along up ahead…and the figure leaning out the side window. It’s Lily! And she’s glaring over the square barrel of a Glock!

Cut

Kenji shouts a quick warning, ducking down behind the dash.

Cut

Lily fires.

Cut

We see the 9mm round punch a hole in the Hummer’s windshield, right where Kenji’s head had been seconds earlier!

Cut

Tight on the bullet hole. We can hear the shrill whistle of wind screaming through the punctured glass. We then rack focus as Kenji rises back up, his eyes fixed on the damage in amazement. He’s dumbfounded. Seconds later, he grabs a nearby walkie talkie, yelling an order in Japanese.

Cut

Wide shot. We see the two vehicles charging down the wide black-top with a roar of sound and fury.

Cut

Lily slides back into her seat, Glock clenched in perfectly manicured fingers, as a coolness now over-takes her, some of her original poise returning along with her sense of control.

Cut

Kenji lets go with something akin to a growl, before barking something Japanese toward the backseat. A henchman hurriedly hands a short-barreled Steyer Aug assault rifle forward. Kenji takes the deadly weapon, puzzling over it for a moment before raising it to his shoulder, cocking the loading bolt with a sharp *click-clack*. He leans out the window and fires.

Cut

Tight on the BMW’s trunk as the 5.56 calibre round tears a hole in the shiny metal with a loud *clang!*

Cut

Interior BMW. The Driver and Lily flinch in unison. With no hesitation, Lily whirls around again to straight-arm the pistol, rapidly firing round after round in quick succession.

Cut

The Hummer weaves erratically back and forth as the driver struggles to throw off Lily’s barrage of gunfire. But many of her shots connect in an orchestra of punctures and ricochets.

Cut

Tight on Kenji as he jerks back in, shrinking down. A bullet punches into his seat-rest with a thud.

Cut

The end of the runway looms ahead, speeding toward us. And beyond it…the shape of an approaching airliner, lined up to land and getting close.

Cut

Lily fires one last time, then the slide locks open. The gun’s empty! She ducks back inside.

Cut

The Driver looks over at her, impressed. She catches his eye and sheepishly glances down at the empty gun. With a nonchalant shrug, she says…

“I was in a movie once.”

As if that properly explained everything.

Cut

The Driver cocks his head and, with a curt nod, and replies…

“OK.”

…as if it was all suddenly clear to him,

Another bullet strikes the car with a *crack!*.  The Driver turns his attention back to their escape and shifts the car into another gear, the RPMs climbing steadily.

Cut

Low along the ground trailing the BMW at high speed, the asphalt a blur below us. The powerful engine roars and it quickly pulls away. As the bulk of the car diminishes in frame, we see the approaching airliner looming, landing gear down, moments from touchdown.

Cut

Kenji struggles to line up a good shot, but his attention is pulled away from the rifle’s scope. He sees the growing shape of the 747 beyond, the thunder of its engines growing steadily. His eyes widen. Turning, he yells something to the driver. The Humvee accelerates.

Cut

BMW bumper POV. The long chain-link fence marking the perimeter of the airport quickly grows in our vision, stretching from edge to edge. The approaching jet is huge in our view, the late afternoon sun gleaming off the aluminium skin.

Cut

Tight on the Driver as he scans the upcoming obstacle and makes a quick mental calculation. He deftly spins the wheel.

Cut

The BMW responds like a striking cobra, flying onto a service route off to the side.

The roar of jet engines is deafening.

Cut

Kenji braces for impact as the 747 looms before them with nothing to stop it. The driver yanks the wheel over, sending the Hummer careening off the runway after the BMW with only seconds to spare.

Cut

We see the BMW racing away from the runway as the Humvee makes a sluggish turn behind…just as the airliner roars in, touching down, disaster narrowly averted.

Cut

The Driver glares ahead, searching for any upcoming obstacles. Something catches his eye. Sitting just beyond the gate at the end of the service way is a sleek black Jaguar, tinted windows and dark mag tires.

Cut

Tight on the Jag’s passenger-side window. In the reflection we see the BMW racing up the service way toward this ominous new car. The window then whirs down and the nickel-plated wide-mouthed barrel of a 12-gauge shotgun emerges.

Cut

We see the Driver and Lily as they both see the gun at the same moment, eyes going wide.

Cut

Tight on the shotgun as the unseen gunman pumps the slide with a gloved hand and levels the barrel…directly at us!

Cut

The Driver quickly reaches over and grabs Lily, dragging her down and out of sight with a yell of warning. With the principal concealed, he then yanks on the emergency brake, giving the wheel a tight spin.

Cut

The BMW brakes into a slide with a screech of burning rubber.

Cut

Tight on the shotgun. It fires with a roar!

Cut

Tight on the Driver as he barely registers the 12 gauge slug passing nearby with a *pop!* as the car rapidly slides toward the Jaguar.

Cut

We see the Humvee speeding up behind the sliding BMW.

Cut

Tight on the Hummer’s driver, glaring through the windshield before us at his target. The glass abruptly punches inward and a flower-pattern of blood explodes across, obscuring the ruin his head suddenly becomes.

Cut

Kenji jerks back in surprise and looks over in time to see the body of the driver slump over, very dead thanks to the messy hole that opened his forehead.

Cut

The sliding BMW smashes sideways through the gate, bursting the padlock. It comes inches from impacting the Jaguar before the wheels spin up again, digging into the road top as it narrowly slips past.

Cut

Kenji looks stricken, not knowing what to do. As a last-ditch effort, he grabs for his seatbelt in a panic.

Cut

The exposed shotgun is yanked back into the Jaguar as the out-of-control Hummer speeds onward, looming quickly.

Cut

Kenji’s POV. The sleek, black side of the Jaguar grows fast as we tear toward it. Impact is inevitable!

Cut

Head-on shot of the motionless Jag. We see the BMW escaping in the distance behind a moment before the bulk of the Humvee roars into frame, T-boning the car at full speed. There’s a violent explosion of twisted metal and shattered glass as the two mangled vehicles crash across the road, slamming hard into the ditch on the other side.

Cut

The BMW races into frame, screeching to a sudden halt on the road. A stillness falls over the scene.

Cut

Wide shot. We see the accident scene laid out before us. Nothing moves. The Hummer appears to have almost cut the Jaguar in half. The two vehicles lie heaped on one another, smoke hanging over the pile of metal and glass.

Cut

Tight on a limp arm draped out of the remains of the passenger side of the Humvee. Blood trickles down to drip off the motionless fingers. We slowly rise up the appendage to…Kenji. The guy is a mess. A snowy spiderweb pattern in the remains of the windshield marks where he hit. Blood pools over the dash where his head lies. His eyes flicker open and we can see that one of them is now almost black, filled with leaking blood. He looks around in confusion, hoarsely coughing before noticing the idling BMW stopped down the road. He tries to speak but all that emerges is a wet rasp…and a drool of crimson.

Cut

Tight on the Driver and Lily as they stare past us, out the BMW’s rear window at the aftermath of the crash. Lily watches with veiled horror but after a moment, her expression softens as relief falls over her.

Cut

Kenji raises his bloody hand, reaching in vain for Lily. He still struggles to speak.

Cut

Lily sees Kenji’s futile gesture and meets his eye. She slowly shakes her head, a final refusal.

Cut

The Driver sits quietly, now watching this silent exchange. He doesn’t know what to make of it.

Cut

Kenji’s bloody hand reaches past us as his features contort into a mask of anger and agony. He strains against the pain and opens his mouth, his growl becoming a scream that is suddenly drowned out by the high squeal of tires on pavement.

Cut

Tight on the BMW’s rear tire as it spins up in a cloud of smoke. The car tears off again, racing away down the road.

In the background…we can hear fast approaching sirens.

Cut

We are looking down on the highway leading into downtown Los Angeles, lit in the reddish gold light of the setting sun. It’s rush hour and traffic is pretty much at a stand-still, very little movement among the hundreds of commuting cars. We slowly drift back, seeing the end of the waiting line of vehicles emerge into our view. Seconds later…the BMW speeds into frame, sliding on twin tracks of burnt rubber that extend out behind the car.

Cut

Ground-level. We see the last car in line, it’s brake lights glowing redly. The BMW streaks into frame, halting inches from impact.

Cut

Tight on the other car’s bumper as the BMW’s own slides into frame, halting maybe an inch from contact.

Cut

Tight on the Driver as he scans the situation, eyes flickering back and forth calculating their options. It doesn’t look promising.

Cut

We crane up from behind the idling car (we can make out bullet holes in the trunk) to see the frozen river of cars that lay between them and the city skyline.

Cut

Lily also stares out at the formidable obstacle before them, before glancing over and, with a twinge of panic, saying…

“We’re not going to make it!”

The Driver coolly looks over, responding…

“Nonsense ma’am. You’ll be there as scheduled.”

An expression of disbelief flashes over her features as she gestures to the traffic jam…

“How?!”

The Driver doesn’t respond. Instead, he slams the shifter into Reverse and hits the gas. The BMW responds instantly, leaping back and causing an approaching Mercedes to hurriedly duck into another lane, narrowly avoiding a collision. He hits the brake and shifts again. The car jumps forward, aimed for the wide shoulder. It tears along, the motionless traffic jam blurring beside as they race along at full tilt.

Cut

We see various quick-cutting beauty shots of the BMW as it blasts up the highway in its race against time. We also see flashes of the Driver and Lily reacting to the speed, the car, maybe an obstacle or two, lit in the red of sunset.

Fast approaching is the main source of this traffic jam…

An 18-wheeler has flipped over and lies on its side across the highway, obstructing 6 lanes of traffic. The driver and emergency personnel mill about as a huge Kenworth tow truck prepares to pull the rig, now separated from the collapsed trailer, over with heavy cables and back onto its wheels. Over the hustle and bustle of the scene, we hear an engine fast approaching. Police and bystanders go quiet, glancing around for the source of the rising sound. We then hear straining metal as the tow cables go taut, slowly pulling the rig over with a hellish groan.

Suddenly…the BMW blasts into the accident zone, tearing through with no deceleration!

Cut

Tight on Lily as she sees the large rig looming in their path, preparing to fall heavily onto its wheels. Her eyes widen as she points and yelps in terror.

Cut

Tight on the Driver. He too sees the deadly obstacle in their path and clenches his teeth. This is going to be close! He jams his foot down on the accelerator.

Cut

The BMW surges forward again and streaks through the looming shadow of the falling truck, scattering panicked people in all directions, mere inches below the cables as the large Peterbilt begins to topple, coming down at them with nothing to stop it as gravity takes over.

Cut

We see the BMW burst back out into the sunlight, mere seconds before the background is eclipsed by the bulk of the rig crashing down onto its tires in a burst of dust.

Cut

Bystanders and emergency personnel recover to stare in awe, unsure of how to react as the roar of the car’s engine quickly fades from the scene.

Cut

Wide shot. We see the highway extend below us, almost entirely empty in one direction, thanks to the crashed rig. Downtown LA is now tantalizingly close, dominating the background. The BMW rips into frame, speeding across the open expanse of hot asphalt, homing in on the off-ramp visible in the distance.

Cut

Off ramp. The car, a silvery blur, heads into the downtown core, long shadows from the towering skyscrapers plunging large swaths into darkness, backlit by the remnants of an orange and pink sky.

Cut

Telephoto shot. The sun, still huge and shimmering, dips below the horizon (mild time-lapse).

Cut

Tight on the BMW’s sexy front end as the headlights come on with a crisp, clean glow, the city’s neon ambiance reflected across the car’s polished skin.

Cut

Exterior. Night. We are poised before a huge concert venue. The whole area is prepped for the big event. There’s the usual horde of predatory paparazzi clustered around the entrance amidst enthusiastic young fans clutching posters and other ‘Lily’-branded goodies. A mammoth banner hangs above the entrance proclaiming a dual language ‘Welcome!’ to Lily. A long red carpet of expensive, velvety material lies like a huge tongue, rolled elegantly to the street while large spotlights nearby light up the sky with towering beams.

Cut

Interior BMW. Lily, looking more like her former self, stares at the city around her, a moment of awe among the thank-god-I’m-still-alive relief flooding her system…mingled with the energy of her impending performance. Her inevitable conversations with the LAPD and INTERPOL can wait till tomorrow…tonight Lily breaches new shores…thus fulfilling a long-held dream. Kenji is gone…SHE is Lily. No one else. Now and forever.

She points ahead, curious and excited…

“Is that…the venue?”

Cut

Lily’s POV. Through the windshield, we can make out the sweeping pillars of light marking the event.

Cut

The Driver, without looking, nods…

“Yes ma am. We’ll be arriving momentarily.”

Cut

Lily nods, a small smile playing over her lips, and reaches down to the large hand bag at her feet, unzipping it and reaching inside.

Cut

Tight on the handbag as she rummages before withdrawing, something clenched in her fingers, masked by shadow.

Cut

Lily sits back up, raising the object. It’s her personalized mic…the beautifully sculpted gold of the ‘LILY’ glinting in the passing lights of the city.

Cut

Beauty shot of the car smoothly darting through traffic, light gleaming across the hood.

Cut

The venue. A slick-looking American dude clad in an expensive Italian blazer and slacks, a Lily fan T-shirt showing beneath, paces back and forth before the throng of fans and press. This is Lily’s new management and his name is Rick. He peers down at his Rolex before glancing over his shoulder.

Cut

Rick’s POV. Voices shout Lily’s name and flashbulbs flash, the glare blinding, as the crowd’s enthusiasm rises to a fevered pitch.

Cut

He turns back, a quick decision made. Pulling out a cell phone, he hurriedly punches in a number.

Cut

Interior BMW. An insistent beeping sounds and, again, both reach for their phones. It’s his, this time. He answers…

“Hello, sir.”

Cut

Rick digs in, straight to the point, absently stepping off the curb…

“Where the hell are you?! She’s due onstage in less than 10 minutes! Was there a problem at the airport?”

Cut

The Driver glances over at Lily before coyly responding…

“No, sir. Just your standard irritable LA commuters. A little road rage and such. We are inbound and she’ll be there lickity-split.”

Without another word, he hangs up.

Cut

Rick stares down at his phone, an awe-struck expression widening his features. Clearly not many people hang up on this guy. Suddenly…bright lights flash over him and he glances up in surprise.

Cut

The BMW streaks in, seemingly zero’d in on Rick who was unwise enough to wander out into the street in all of his nervous pacing.

Cut

Bumper-mounted shot. The pavement blurs beneath us as we barrel toward Rick, who’s frozen like a deer in headlights, arms outstretched, still clutching his cell phone.

Cut

The Driver calmly presses down on the brake.

Cut

The BMW very rapidly looses speed at it flies at the paralyzed manager, stopping mere inches from his pricey Italian slacks. He blinks…stunned. It takes him 3 full seconds to focus on the car and when he does…he sees Lily and The Driver staring back at him. Exhaling heavily, he mutters…

“Oh…my…god.”

…and leaps into action. He jams his phone into a pocket and rushes around to Lily’s side of the car.

Cut

The Driver looks over at Lily, saying…

“Well, here you are, ma am.”

Lily locks her door before looking over to meet his studious gaze, much to the chagrin of Rick, who tries to open the door seconds later. She looks around before answering…

“Yes…here I am. My big night. My crossover.”

Rick begins rapping his knuckles on the window, his pleading muted. Lily opens her mouth to speak again, but pauses…a quick flurry of nerves over taking her.

Cut

Tight on the Driver says, with care and confidence…

“You’re going to be just fine. Like you said…it’s your big night. You were great today…and you’ll knock em dead tonight.”

Cut

Lily looks down with a touch of sheepishness edging in. It doesn’t last long. She rises back up, newly confident again…

“Thanks. I intend to.”

She unlocks the door, and Rick wrenches it open, struggling to compose himself. Addressing both of them, he implores…

“Please?! Tonight?!!”

Lily looks back as Rick carefully takes her arm, saying…

“Thanks for saving my life.”

Leaning over, she lays a quick kiss on his stubbly cheek.

Cut

He turns away, stoically glaring through the windshield, the flash of the cameras strobing across his rugged features as he answers…

“It’s my job, ma am.”

She nods knowingly, saying…

“You do it well.”

Rick intrudes, his exasperation showing.

“You two are killing me here. Lily, can we please get you inside, honey?!”

The passenger-side door is slammed shut.

With a last glance, Lily allows herself to be led away by the chattering Rick as the fans go batshit crazy. Just as she’s about to be swallowed by the crowd, she breaks away, slipping quickly back to the car.

Cut

The press follows her movements, cameras strobing wildly as they watch. What fresh drama is this?!

Cut

We see several quick-cut freeze frames of the shots they would’ve captured.

Cut

We see the passenger-side window, the lights of the venue clearly reflected. We see Lily rushing back to the car, her form growing across the glass. With a gently whir, the window slides down, revealing the Driver looking up at her expectantly. She leans in…

“What’s your name?”

Before he can answer, Rick strikes again, gently but firmly taking her by the arm to lead her away. All falls to slow motion.

Cut

Driver’s POV. Slow motion. We see Lily looking back at him, something emotional in her gaze as she is herded toward the venue. The crowd moves in after her, fans cheering, reporters reporting.

Cut

Lily’s POV. Slow motion. We are pulled away from the BMW and we can see the Driver watching us from the cozy confines of the silvery-blue luxury car. The crowd moves in to block out her view and she is swallowed by the mob of adoring fans.

Cut

Driver’s POV. As the crowd rapidly thins, pushing inside, two statuesque bodyguards take up positions at the end of the red carpet. Then…there’s the flurry of heavy fabric in motion. He glances up, looking through the car’s sunroof as two more banners, of enormous size, drop in announcement of Lily’s arrival from the roof. One is the good ole Stars n Stripes…the other the Rising Sun. Both flank the massive photo of Lily herself, poised seductively in black and white, her name blazing in vibrant yellow.

Cut

Slow zoom on the Driver. He looks thoughtful as he gazes up at the two flags rippling gently in the warm California breeze. From a distance, we hear an excited voice on a PA system announcing Lily’s arrival onstage. The applause is deafening.

Cut

Slow zoom on the Rising Sun emblem till the lower half of our frame is occupied by the upper half of the red circle rippling in the gentle wind. The sounds of concert pandemonium fade gently away as the image morphs to that of a massive sun on the horizon, in wide telephoto glory, as it rises over a flat desert plain distorted by heat waves, underscored by the plaintive sigh of the wind.

Then…another sounds quickly rises.

The BMW roars into frame, triumphantly speeding away…soon lost in the wavering pulses of heat dancing before us.

Cut to Black

THE END