Feature Screenplay: Pride before the fall, by Obiora Gabriel OKOSI

Logline – A young male model living in Los Angeles in 1981 is blessed with health, beauty and wealth contracts a deadly virus which causes him to realise that success, respect and status are all fragile things.
Genre- Drama/Tragedy

Synopsis:

Beverly Hills Los Angeles, 1981, Living a luxurious life of fast cars, beautiful women and celebrity status all at the age of 24 years old, Paris Wingard is a man who seems to have everything he could ever want. He is handsome, charismatic, in great physical shape and could charm the devil, but he has one problem, he is extremely arrogant man who carries an attitude of entitlement where ever he goes. Paris is part of a powerful upper-class family who live in Beverly Hills Los Angeles his father is a stock broker and his step-mother is a fashion designer. The story begins in June 1981 , Paris returns from Miami on the night of his brother Terry’s wedding to a woman named Loretta where he makes a late appearance. As he enters the ballroom he Instantaneously makes efforts to draw the attention of all of the guests away from his brother and onto himself. Once he has reacquainted himself with the rest of his family Paris then meanders through the crowd of people and into the gardens where his on again off again girlfriend Viola is stood outside waiting for him. Viola has missed Paris and invites him to her birthday party which is on the following day.

The following day Paris has attends a photoshoot for an underwear line, watching and observing Is a major Hollywood executive producer. Initially the producer is not hesitant to take a chance on Paris, however through talking to him he is impressed by Paris’ confidence and offers him the opportunity to audition for the part of Conan in the upcoming film Conan the barbarian. Paris meets his friend Tex Devereau in locker rooms where the two begin talking about their plans for the night. Tex notifies Paris that he is hosting a party where female models from all over the country will attend, Paris is at odds with what to do as he has already promised Viola he would attend her party. Once again expressing his selfish nature he bails on Viola to attend Tex’s party. Viola is extremely upset and she breaks up with Paris. Later that night Paris attends the party and ends up sleeping with three models. The title card reads November 1981 where it has been 5months after Tex’s party. Paris is on the set of Conan the barbarian dressed in his costume he reads the lines flawlessly and the director is very impressed by him. Paris then enters his apartment and heads to his bedroom he feels as if nothing can stop him from getting what he wants, picks up a picture of his biological mother and holds it close to him. He then enters his bathroom to get ready for a dinner engagement and there at that moment he realises that there are spots on his his lower torso, at first he is concerned but then he is completely fine. At the Wingard residence the family are having their thanksgiving dinner, Paris arrives late to the dinner but is pleasantly greeted by everyone with the exception of his father as the family converse Paris begins to cough profusely all most to the point where it feels as if he is going to throw up, he ends up leaving the dinner early and heads home. The following day Paris is playing a game of Tennis in Tex’s backyard he expresses his concerns about his health to Tex, however Tex assures him that there is nothing to worry about even though it is visibly clear that he is becoming thinner in stature, Tex notifies Paris that he and a few of their friendship group are meeting at the daisy for drinks on that night, initially Paris is excited about the idea, however when he enters the daisy that night he notices that Viola is there with another man. He takes her by the hand and expresses his anger about her embarrassing him in public like this and she simply is confused as they are not together anymore. Enraged Paris storms away from the daisy. Paris then enters a dancers club where he is confronted by many dancers. He picks an exotic dancer that he likes, takes her into the back room and the two have sexual intercourse. As morning hits Paris is late to the set of Conan the barbarian, he is hungover and is forgetting his lines and the director and producers are growing impatient with him an argument breaks out between them and Paris ends up quitting the film.

It is December 1981 and the Ford supermodel awards are being, as Paris is getting ready he notices that the spots on his torso have gotten a lot worse and the change in his physique is noticeable however he feels fine and decides to attend the awards. As he attends the award show he is met by various Hollywood stars including his friend Tex . When it comes time for Paris to enters the stage and makes his speech Thanking everyone for his support especially his biological mother. Upon leaving the stage he begins to feel faint and collapses shocking everyone in the room, his family including his father rush to his side.. When regains consciousness he is woken to the sight of Terry jr who is by his side, he is then seen by a doctor who diagnoses him with HIV.

Paris is shocked and quickly becomes enraged and he storms out of the hospital ward. Paris goes to confront Tex at his condominium, Tex is hesitant to open the door but opens it the two begin arguing but eventually Paris notices Viola’s underwear on a sofa and storms into the master bedroom where he sees Viola in bed at that moment he realises that Tex and Viola have been having an affair behind his back, a fight between the two young men breaks out and Paris severs ties with both Viola and Tex. Paris heads to his apartment and begins to cry, he then decides to take a trip to his brother’s house. Terry is worried about Paris and already knows about his condition and promises Paris that he is there for him whenever he needs him. Paris decides to visit his parents after and however he is met with a cold welcome from them as they know he has been diagnosed with HIV.

The news of Paris’ condition Is too much for Terry Snr to bear and he disowns his son due to the notion that he could be a homosexual. Alone and no one to rely on Paris begins to drink heavily trying to take his mind off of the fact that he has this condition, he enters the bathroom of his apartment and looks into the mirror where it is evident that his body is deteriorating he then smashes the mirror with his alcohol bottle he then heads to his bedroom and starts to destroy everything before slumping to his knees in despair he then develops a seizure and blacks out. Once he has regained consciousness again he wakes up to a violent knock at the door Paris picks himself up and heads to the front door of his apartment where he notices that it is Viola at the front door, Paris invites her into the house and the two have a conversation. Viola professing her love for Paris says she wants to help him. Paris apologised for his treatment of her and feels that he does not want her to waist anymore of her life on him and he decides for her own good that she should not see him any more, heartbroken Viola leans in and kisses Paris and the two of them share their last kiss together. Hours after Viola leaves Paris decides there is only one alternative left and that is to end his life.

Enjoying marital bliss with now a pregnant wife, Terry Jr is getting ready for work he hears a knock at the front door and goes to answer it, there standing before him is his brother Paris with a gun in his pocket. Terry lets him and wants to know what is going on. Paris expresses to Terry the need to end his life and that he wants Terry to help him, however Terry says everything to persuade Paris to drop the insane idea. Once Terry has made it clear that he is not going to assist Paris in ending his life, Paris takes the gun and runs into bathroom, with Terry running after him. Once he has entered the bathroom in a haste he locks the door and holds the gun to his head and begins to cry.
Terry jr attempts to break down the door and eventually does where he sees Paris crying on his knees, his objective is to quickly take the gun away from Paris preventing him from hurting himself, as he try’s to take the gun away, Paris snatches the gun back and the two begin to struggle for the gun. Hearing the noise from her bedroom Loretta heads to the bathroom to see what is going on. The pair are still fighting over the gun, eventually they fall over with both their hand on the gun facing towards the door way as they fall they both pull the trigger shooting Loretta in the process.

Terry rushes to Loretta’s side as she begins to bleed out, He tells Paris to call an ambulance. Paris rushes to the telephone and calls an ambulance. Once he tells Terry the ambulance is on it’s way, Terry tells Paris to get out of his house and to never return. Paris leaves Terry’s house and collapses to his knees crying. As the ambulance appears the paramedics rush inside and carry Loretta out on a stretcher, Paris pleads with Terry to accompany him to the hospital. Once they get to the hospital the two men both stay at Loretta’s side Paris is distraught he realises the mistake he has made the two men are notified that Loretta is going to live and however there maybe some complications with the baby. Terry comforts Paris , Paris apologises and the two brothers comfort each other whilst waiting for Loretta to regain consciousness.

Character breakdown

PARIS WINGARD- (24 years old) great physical shape, long shoulder height blonde hair and a stylish young man of the early 1980s, Paris grew up In Beverly Hills and was a Law student at UCLA between 1975-1977 when he dropped out of UCLA to become a model. He is an arrogant young man with a sense of entitlement and expects things to flow to him and people to do things for him. Paris’ ultimate goal Is to become a film star and his biggest inspiration Is Robert Redford who he worships. The relationship that he has with his parents is an intense one, his father never forgave him for dropping out of UCLA and he has always managed to be the favourite of his step-mother. The unspoken animosity that his father has towards him derives from jealousy from the fact that Terry Snr feels he has to compete with his son for his wife’s emotions. Underneath his bravado and self confidence lies inner pain at age 15 he lost his biological mother to cancer and he has always had this thirst to succeed for her.

VIOLA BOUVIER-(24 years old) sharp feminine features, long dark brown hair and a slim figure, Viola bouvier is an on again off again girlfriend of Paris. She knows about his fast lane lifestyle and aspirations to become a larger than life Male model and actor, however regardless of how well loved he Is by the his fans and the people around him, she Is the only one who really knows him spiritually.

TEX DEVEREAU (24 years old) Self obsessed, tall muscular, long dark hair, a beard and moustache, Tex Is also a California native. He met Paris at UCLA and he too dropped out of college to pursue a career in modelling. Although he secured himself a few modelling gigs since leaving college his level of success never equated to Paris’. He regards Paris as his best friend, however, deep down Inside there Is hidden animosity and jealousy towards his friend. He Is taller, more masculine looking and In his own opinion a much better man than Paris. It Is frustrating to him to see Paris who he feels Is Inferior as a man to him to be receiving all of the accolades and a successful modelling career.

TERRY WINGARD JR (30 years old) loving, considerate, intelligent Terry Wingard jr is the older brother of Paris. He has followed in his fathers footprints and has become a successful stockbroker. Recently a newly wed Terry has married his college girlfriend Loretta and soon after they are married the two of them are expecting a child together. He has always looked out for his younger brother.

Author: pitchstory

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