THE STAGE 32 LOGLINES

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THE GRAND JURY
By Suzanne Lutas

GENRE: Sci-fi
LOGLINE:

When a young outcast gets an interview for a sought-after position, he must endure a long time in the waiting-room where the test truly begins.

SYNOPSIS:

Further to both psychological and medical tests, a party of four people have been selected to hold an interview with the Grand Jury, in hopes of changing their lives forever.

They meet in a small waiting-room: DREW, 20s, unemployed, cool demeanor, but disillusioned. STEVE, 50s, former Globalmart CEO, dressed to the nines, polite and thoughtful. KYOKO, 60s, smooth, poker-faced, is a retired biologist. And, Mary, 40s, buxom, is a shy, inhibited housewife.

Their small talk is followed by a very long wait, to which they each respond differently. To top it all, the air conditioner is out of order. The heat triggers Drew’s memories of a scorching day in the desert when he was ten. The day when he burnt his eyes at staring at the space shuttle carrying his father away forever. Then, Drew tries to fix the air-conditioner. While Steve takes issues over the way Drew deals with it, Kyoko remains impassive. Whereas Mary gets more and more anxious and fidgety. She needs to refresh. Hopefully the bathroom is within.

No sooner has Mary entered the bathroom than she screams for help. In a blind panic, she is unable to open the door. Instantly, Drew tries to kick it open, to no avail. It’s vandal proof and equipped with a door code – on the inside!

They all try to figure out what the code might be. Whenever a correct data is processed, the light flashes green. Encouraged, Steve and Kyoko keep racking their brains. In contrast, Drew withdraws into himself, focusing on all the things they have done before reaching the waiting room. He mentally makes the whole run again. Visualizes the entrance, the checking point, the locker room, the endless corridor flanked with countless doors. What clue should he look for? Is it behind those doors? Anyway, he counts them all, it’s relaxing. It occurs to him that human life is contained within walls, and that the only way in and out is through doors!

Hence, Drew asks Mary to process all the data all over again and add the number of doors he’s counted. The light turns green! However, the door still won’t open. Soon after, Drew realizes that there are five seats in the room, but only four applicants. Five must be the last data – Bingo! The bathroom door clicks open --

Onto Mary, all trembling next to the body of an OLD MAN slouched in the toilet bowl. As Steve comforts her, Drew gives the old man a shake. This is when Kyoko edges her way in and checks the man's pulse and carotid – he is dead!

Pandemonium. They all jostle their way for the exit, but they are locked up. They can't even call the police, their phones are in a safe outside. Waving her head towards small eyeball-shaped devices, Kyoko thinks that they have been observed from the start. Steve and Mary are baffled by the sneaky test, but Drew plants himself in front of one of the cameras. He threatens to smash everything and everyone up if the watchers don't show up.

The voice of the old man stops him -- he is alive and well! Against all odds, Kyoko bows before whispering in the man’s ear. He nods in agreement, then presses her nape. She comes to a stand-still at once!

Actually, the fifth seat has always been there for him. As shocked as they are, neither Steve nor Mary question his natural authority when he invites them to sit down. Drew doesn’t move. He understands that the man is the Grand Jury.

When Steve asks the man why and how he can entrust their lives to a robot, he assures him that he does make the final decision. First, basing his judgment on the required standards. Then, on what is most determining, to his mind: the candidates X factor, which is even more valued in a woman.

To everyone’s surprise, he gestures Drew, who happens to be a woman, to the exit. The door clicks open--

Onto a bright Space Shuttle on the horizon, in vivid contrast against a vast, sandy expanse.

Suzanne Lutas

Hi Todd, I've just seen your rating, thank you so much! And, I'm sorry for being so late at checking my loglines. Hope everything is fine in your world! Best regards, Suzanne

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