[Rob and David walk into the diner. David points down to a booth where a man they call SQUIBS is sitting. The two walk toward him and sit in the booth, David beside Squibs.]
ROB: Hey, Squibs.
SQUIBS: Hey, what's going on, man?
ROB: What are you doing down here? Shouldn't we be teaching right about now?
SQUIBS: I don't have classes on Fridays.
DAVID: Squibs helped me come up with the idea.
ROB: Really? You guys hang out?
DAVID: Yeah. What? Do you think that when you're not around we just sit at home and wait by the phone?
DAVID: No, we do all kinds of stuff.
SQUIBS: Well, all kinds is kind of pushing it.
ROB: Why don't you guys call me?
DAVID: We can talk about your hurt ego later. The idea --
ROB: All right. Lay it on me.
DAVID: You know how we make our shorts, right?
DAVID: And you know how we think they're brilliant but people don't seem to watch them ever.
SQUIBS: My parents even blew me off for the last one.
ROB: That's kind of cold. But I kind of understand.
DAVID: Right, because we're making stuff for us and not other people. I mean, we thought the modernized, twenty-minute version of 8½ was going to catch on.
[The three men reflect on their last short for a moment, thinking of the Director going through the pains of the creative process rapidly as he himself is trying to direct a short. They laugh.]
DAVID: I mean, we laugh but that was a good idea, I mean really good. That was smart as hell.
ROB: But there was no way that was going to be popular.
DAVID: Exactly. We keep sabataging ourselves by being artists, you know? Our own special brilliance is holding us back.
ROB: So what's your plan?
DAVID: We take it mainstream.
ROB: Excuse me?
DAVID: You heard me. We go mainstream. Instead of writing the next think piece flop that no one wants to look at, we write something sappy and gooey --
SQUIBS: But with something for guys, too.
DAVID: Yeah, like a couple hot sex scenes or something to keep everyone interested.
ROB: So you guys are talking full-length?
DAVID: Right! We can write complex, intellectual shorts. We should be able to write a vapid, clichéd full-length no problem. Just ignore all our sensibilities and pull it down.
SQUIBS: And we could probably do it better than they can. Just tweak the stuff we hate.
DAVID: Exactly. Write something better. Like, what do you think would have made The Notebook better?
ROB: Oh, lots of things. Believablility for one --
DAVID: Right. And Rachel McAdams topless couldn't have hurt.
ROB: Certainly not.
SQUIBS: She's really hot.
DAVID: Smoking hot. And that's what we need to do: get some ridiculously good-looking people, write as bulletproof a script as we can because, chances are, the good-looking people are going to also be ridiculous idiots.
ROB: Why not just get good-looking people that can act?
DAVID: All right, listen. I'm not just talking about the best-looking girl that can act. I'm talking about someone that you would snap your neck for if you saw her on the street. Someone with charisma and power on screen.
SQUIBS: But we're poor.
DAVID: Right so there's no way we'll be able to pull down that kind of package and luck out with strong acting, too. But if I had to choose between the two, between hot or a good actress, the good-looking girl is going to get noticed quicker and more people are going to love it than if we have some slouchy-looking people that can act falling in love.
SQUIBS: And it's not like we're writing Shakespeare or anything.
DAVID: Right, they just need to stumble through the lines, pout their lips and look hot.
ROB: You guys have really been thinking about this? How often do you hang out? I mean, do you -- go to bars and stuff?
DAVID: Yes, we have more fun without you. Listen! This is a good idea, man. What do you say?
[The server comes over and the three men relax into their seats.]
SERVER: Sorry, I didn't want to interrupt before. Did you guys want something to drink?
SQUIBS: Diet Coke.
DAVID: Um, I'll take an iced tea.
ROB: Coke and a water, thanks.
SERVER: Okay, I'll be right out.
DAVID: [after a couple beats for the server to walk away] So? What do you think?
ROB: How long do you think this will be?
DAVID: 75, 80 minutes. Tops.
ROB: And how will we do this? I mean, it was fine when just the three of us were doing shorts with a couple of other actors but, if we want this to look good and to end up as long as you're saying, we're going to need a bunch more people to help us out.
DAVID: That's where Squibs comes in.
SQUIBS: I teach dozens of kids bored with theory that are just dying for the chance to work on something. They'll do it for free.
ROB: So, seriously, you guys? You want to make a sappy love story?
DAVID: We have the rest of our lives to be artists. Let's get recognized.
ROB: [to Squibs] And you're definitely in on this?
SQUIBS: I have a buddy that just started at a new independent that said his bosses were looking for something just like this: a low-budget sleeper they can buy to help get them started.
DAVID: What else do you have to do other than serve people their cheese dip at the bar?
[Rob takes a moment to answer as the server comes back with the drinks. David looks back up at the server and suddenly feels embarrassed.]
DAVID: Not that there's anything wrong with serving people cheese dip. It's just that we have this thing --
SERVER: Save it. Are you guys ready to order?
ROB: We're going to need a second. Thanks.
SERVER: Take your time. [walks away]
DAVID: So. Are you in?
ROB: I suppose I really don't have anything else to do.
DAVID: That's the half-assed spirit I was looking for!
ROB: Let's do this.
DAVID: All right. This is going to be it, guys. Let's be everything that's always made us sick.
[They laugh for a second. When it winds down, Rob gets a serious face.]
ROB: But seriously, when you guys go out, a phone call couldn't hurt.
DAVID: Let it go.