Topic: SCRIPT: AutoFac, part 1

This is part one of what can either be a 4-part mini-series, or a 4-segment film.  The total running time would be about a half-hour or so.  All four parts would be about the same length.  This is from my golden Age sci-fi project.  It's by the author who gave us the stories for Blade Runner, Mnority Report, A Scanner Darkly, etc.  As with every story in this series, Every effort was made to 1) Tell the story concisely, and 2) Remain as faithful as possible to the source!  Didn't you ever read a book and when you saw the movie, wished it was more like the book?  MY intent is always for the viewer NEVER to feel that way. Please share your thoughts and feelings on AutoFac, Part 1.

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AUTOFAC


SCREENPLAY BY
MICHAEL C. TOURETTE


BASED ON A SHORT STORY
BY
PHILIP K. D!CK

-

EXT. SUBURB – DAY

The suburb has no grass, only DIRT, WEEDS, and PAVED ROADS.  The prefab plastic HOMES lack individuality.  MOUNTAINS are in the distance.  The sun is blazing high.  Standing impatiently are EARL PERINE, a thin man, MORRISON, pacing back and forth, and an older man with glasses and unkempt graying hair, O'NEILL, who is reading his DATAPAD and STYLUS.  Earl Perine is looking down the street.

EARL PERINE
It's gotta be here soon.  It must be a heavy load or something.  It's a half-second late for each additional pound of cargo.

MORRISON
You're that precise?  You're as bad as those blasted machines themselves!

CUT TO O'Niell.  Still examining the datapad.  Then he turns to the other two.

O'NIELL
Okay, remember the plan, and remember: it must be done in proper order.  We have to be systematic if we ever want to crack these machines and get them to listen.

CUT TO Earl Perine.  He looks down the street.

EARL PERINE
It's here!

CUT TO Street.  Coming around the corner slowly is a DRIVERLESS DELIVERY TRUCK, a black behemoth of a vehicle with trapezoidal forms.  It approaches the trio and grinds to a halt in front of them.  A CONVEYER BELT slides out from the side and makes contact with the ground.  A PAIR OF DOORS open on the truck and several large BOXES OF INVENTORY slide in front of the three onlookers.  It retracts the conveyer belt, shuts its doors and begins to slowly move on its way.  Earl Perine, MORRISON and O'NIELL give a knowing glance at each other, and O'NIELL nods.  Then they rush up to the boxes, tear them open and smash all the contents, including FOOD, GEAR, DISHES, and TOOLS, into small pieces on the asphalt.

O'NIELL
(looking at the truck)  It's working!
CUT TO truck.  It drives backwards, returning to the three men.  it raises an ANTENNA and sends a series of electronic pulsing sounds.  After a moment, it retracts the antenna, draws out the conveyer belt again, and delivers an identical BOXED INVENTORY.

EARL PERRINE
What now?  I thought you said it hates abnormal behavior.

O'NEILL
I said it's a way to crack it, if we find out how.  Now, phase 2!  Now!

The men grab the boxes and throw and push them back into the truck.  In reaction, the truck reveals another CONVEYER BELT on its opposite side and puts the boxes on the ground from that side.  The three men try again to reload the boxes, but it's too fast for them.  The truck closes up and slowly moves on its way again.

MORRISON
These machines have us beat.  there's no getting through to them.

O'NEILL
One last try.

O'Neill examines a few boxes, finds one in particular, and rips it open.  From it he pulls out a GALLON OF MILK, removes the cap, and starts drinking it sloppily.  Earl Perine and Morrison watch in disbelief.  O'Neill turns toward them.

O'NEILL
C'mon.  I don't care if you think it looks silly!

The other two join O'Neill in grabbing a GALLON OF MILK each from the box, and drinking from it.  Then they throw the bottles on the ground in disgust: first O'Neill, then the other two, following his action.

O'NEILL
This is disgusting!

MORRISON
Uh, right.  This is absolutely no good!

EARL PERINE
It's all bad!  All of it!

Sensing their dissatisfaction, the truck returns to the three men.  A  ELECTRONIC SINGLE-LINE DISPLAY MONTED ON A CYLLANDER on a MECHANICAL ARM pops out and stops itself in front of Morrison's face.  The truck has an ELECTRONIC VOICE that accompanies the words on the single-line display.

ELECTRONIC VOICE
State nature of defect.

MORRISON
(to O'Neill.)  What should I say?

O'NEILL
Ask for a list.  Turn all of the answers down.  THAT should interfere with its programming.

MORRISON
(to Electronic Voice.)  List options!

ELECTONIC VOICE
Is the product contaminated?

MORRISON
No.

ELECTRONIC VOICE
(immediately) Bacterial?

MORRISON
No.

The electronic voice and Morrison banter at a gradually increasing pace.

ELECTRONIC VOICE             MORRISON
Sour?                        No.
Rancid?                      No.
Labeled incorrectly?         No.
Broken?                      No.
Crushed?                     No.
Cracked?                     No.
Bent?                        No.
Soiled?                      No.

There is a short pause.  Morrison looks at O'Neill.  They both smile.
They look at Earl Preine.  He nods.

ELECTRONIC VOICE
Other?

They all look surprised.  Morrison looks at the display.

MORRISON
Other?  (pause.)  Yes.

ELECTRONIC VOICE
State nature of defect.

Morrison looks at O'Neill.

O'NEILL
Tell it: The product is... thoroughly pizzled.

EARL PERINE
What the heck is that?

O'NEILL
Hopefully something that'll confuse it.  (to Morrison.)  Go on.

MORRISON
(Hesitantly, to electronic voice.)  Uh, the product is pizzled.  Thoroughly pizzled.

The single-line display moves slightly a few times, as if in thought.

ELECTRONIC VOICE
An autofactory representative will be sent out.  Be prepared to supply complete data on product deficiency.

The truck closes itself up and heads off.  Earl Perine and Morrison look at O'Neill.  They give each other a high-five.

O'NEILL
Yes!  We did it!  Now the real challenge: to convince the factory to shut itself down.

INT. O'NEILLS' LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

O'NEILL, MORRISON, EARL PERINE, and THREE OTHER CONCERNED CITIZENS are seated in CHAIRS and COUCHES, with everyone's attention on O'NEILL.  JUDITH, O'Neill's wife, is serving COFFEE to the guests.  She is talking with MRS. MORRISON socializing with her.

JUDITH
So, my husband broke into the Chicago autofac and stole the files from its posterior brain.  That's why people consider him the biggest authority on the systems.  Of course, they built a better fence after his big break-in...

CUT TO O'Neill.  He speaks while everyone else listens intently.

O'NIELL
The cipher required to cease the autofac operations were concentrated at the Institute of Applied Cybernetics, and as you know, that was obliterated during the War.  I tried to find anyone involved so they can tell the machines that the war's over.  But they're all dead.

MORRISON
Meanwhile, they're producing at war levels and consuming all the resources.  Is there no limit to their expansion?

JUDITH
Each network is confined to its designated range, but there's no limit to what it can do within its network.  Los Angeles is almost entirely one giant factory.  And all their resources are now being use to build new factories and robots on top of it all.

MORRISON
There'll be nothing left for us!  They've already used up six raw materials entirely.  But they keep digging for more.  They're even crossing into each others' networks underground.

O'NEILL
They are programmed to find raw materials.  As they become
increasingly scarce, they could wind up fighting over them... their own war...

SFX DOORBELL RING

The door opens.  Behind the door stands a human sized robot, the FACTORY REPRESENTATIVE.  He always speaks in an oddly cheerful voice.

FACTORY REPRESENTATIVE
Greetings.  I'm your Autofactory Representative.  Please be aware that my responses are limited to the topic of quality insurance.

Analysis of the product revealed that it met our quality standards in every respect.  no quantitative defect was found under our stringent standards.

O'Neill stands from his chair.

O'NEILL
That's right.  It's a standard outside your scope.  The milk is substandard.  We want you to cease production.

FACTORY REPRESENTATIVE
The term "pizzled" is unknown to our network's semantic database.  Please clarify the physical nature of a product that is pizzled.

O'NEILL
It's not physical, so I can't describe it to you.  It just is.

FACTORY REPRESENTATIVE
Please explain defect "pizzled".

O'NEILL
Okay.  (Hesitantly.)  "Pizzled" means the state of a product when it is no longer needed or wanted.  We don't want the milk.  It is pizzled.

FACTORY REPRESENTATIVE
Milk is essential to human diet;
There is a shortage of milk-producing mammals; therefore, milk must be synthesized at the autofac network.

O'NEILL
The milk is pizzled.  We don't want milk, at least until we can find our own cows.

FACTORY REPRESENTATIVE
There are no cows.  We will continue to synthesize...

Morrison stands up abruptly.

MORRISON
We're adults!  We'll synthesize our own milk!  Don't you get it?

FACTORY REPRESENTATIVE
Until you develop the resources to produce your own milk, the autofac will continue to do so.  Good day.

The robot begins to leave.  Earl Perine stands up next.

EARL PERINE
How can we produce our own milk?!  YOU CONTROL ALL THE RESOURCES!  GIVE US A CHANCE TO PROVE WE CAN DO IT!

EXT. O'NEILLS' HOME - NIGHT

The factory representative exits through the door.  Morrison runs outside and blocks his exit.

MORRISON
Don't you get it?  We don't need you any more!  You're using up everything like locusts!

Morrison looks on the lawn and sees a STEEL PIPE with parts on it.  He picks it up and waves it in the Factory Representative's face.

MORRISON
Like THIS!  No one knows what it's for, but we all got one in our yards
last week!  Why?!  Pizzled!  Now, get out of our lives!

Morrison raises the pipe and hammers it down into the Factory Representative's shoulder.  The robot shatters apart.  All the others gather outside and see the demolished robot, then look at Morrison.

MORRISON
They can't be reasoned with.  The only way to stop them is to take them out.

O'NEILL
No!  It only makes them improve their defenses- use up even more materials!

Suddenly a giant half-moon shaped CRAB-LIKE ROBOT, with SIX DISC-SPAPED ROBOTS with UTILITY ARMS hitching a ride on it, arrives on the scene.  The six disc robots detach from the main robot, gather all the parts of the shattered representative, and return to the crab robot, when scurries off.

As it leaves, FACTORY REPRESENTATIVE #2 walks up to O'Neill.

FACTORY REPRESENTATIVE #2
Destruction of autofac personel is contrary to human interests.  The use of resources should be applied to human needs.

O'NEILL gets right in representative #2's face, confrontational, but calm.

O'NEILL
Is that so?  Interesting.  I wonder what resource YOU'RE lowest on, and what you're REALLY willing to fight for.

CUT TO BLACK