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THE STAGE 32 LOGLINES

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THE PROTESTER
By Ty Dro

GENRE: Mystery, Thriller
LOGLINE: Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves. The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage is increasingly being digitized and locked up by private corporations - Aaron Swartz, TIME magazine's person of the year 2011

SYNOPSIS:

The story of an Internet activist who became a martyr for Internet freedom. Aaron Swartz, a young activist, goes to great lengths to obtain information which has been hidden from the public and becomes a Martyr for freedom and information.

THE PROTESTER

THE PROTESTER (The Aaron Swartz Story)

Screenplay by

Ty Dro

OVER BLACK WE SEE:

CHYRON

Information is power. But like all power, there are those who want to keep it for themselves.

The world’s entire scientific and cultural heritage, published over centuries in books and

journals, is increasingly being digitized and locked up by a handful of private corporations -

- Aaron Swartz

EXT. PROTEST MARCH DOWNTOWN CITY--DAY

We FADE IN on the block of buildings (Courthouse/Police Station),

The entire street is covered with protestors in Guy Fox masks.

Many are chanting and holding signs thay say things like "Information is Power"

"JUSTICE" and "Stop Mass Spying".

We see a young man dressed in black speaking to the people and yelling.

AARON SWARTZ

"You know its easy sometimes to feel like your powerless, like when you

come out in the streets and you march and you yell and no one hears you. But I am here to

tell you that you are powerful."

We pan around the crowd and see the protestors clapping and cheering.

DISSOLVE TO:

INTERVIEW ON TV

AARON SWARTZ

"Its is shocking to think that the accountability is so lax. That they dont even have sort of basic

statistics about how big the spying program is. Their answer is "Oh, were spying on so many

people that we cant possibly even count them, than thats an awful lot of people."

"It would be one thing if they said look, we know the number of cell phones but we dont

know how many people that corresponds to, but they just came back and said "We can't give

you a number at all"

FEMALE INTERVIEWER

"Well That is very Scary" ......

"This is a historical week in internet politics and maybe even american politics"

"The actions surrounding SOPA and the cencorship of the internet have brought about an

awareness of information and how it is shared and distributed throught he public."

AARON SWARTZ

"The problem with the spying program is that it is long, slow expansion going back to the

Nixon administation."

"There has never been this moment you can point to where you can say, OK, we need to

galvinize opposition today because today is when it matters. The Truth is that it has mattered

for along time, but nobody has cared enough or decided to be the voice for that change."

FEMALE INTERVIEWER

"That's why we need people like you Aaron. Someone with enough knowledge and

information to stand up for the public and create new ways to share information and keep

our privacy"

AARON SWARTZ

"Well it's not just me, there are many among us who stand for the freedom of information.

The internet has given everyone a right to speak. Let us use our power for good and create

change where we think needs it."

EXT. AARON"S NEIGHBORHOOD - DAY

A Black Car with Tinted windows drives slowly down the street. The car pulls into Aaron's

mother's driveway and parks outside the house. We can see Aaron's brother inside through

the window typing on a computer. He notices the car, stands up and looks out the window.

The car slowly backs out of the driveway and drives away.

We See Aaron's Brother open an Email Tab on his PC, and he types Aaron's email. He fills in

the Subject line......"Aaron, They Are Watching Us!"

INT. LIBRARY - LATER

We see Aaron sitting in a beanbag chair with his laptop on his lap typing very fast as the

thumb drives light up besides him.

Aaron recieves a text message from C.Mulhound.

We see Aaron open his phone and see the Text that reads

TEXT MESSAGE

"The Thumbdrive Core is growing,

and growing and growing. we now have over 760GB's of data, thats about 20 Million pages."

AARON SWARTZ

" Keep getting as many documents as we possibly can right

now."

Aaron puts his phone away and continues typing on his laptop as he wipes the persperation

from his sweating head.

INT. COMPUTER STORE - LATER

We see many large flatscreen TV's displaying the News. The President is on every screen

discussing internet privacy laws and censorship.

Aaron walks by the TV's and shaking his head in disgust.

He walks to the Laptop section of the store and makes a purchase of a new ACER ASPIRE.

We Follow Aaron from the register to outside the store.

EXT. PARKING LOT - NIGHT

As Aaron walks out of the store with his new laptop, he notices a Black Car from a distance.

He stops walking in the parking lot and looks hard at the black car. The car starts and leaves

the parking lot. Aaron shakes his head, throws his backpack on his back, jumps on his bike and

rides away.

INT. MIT CAMPUS - DAY

Aaron is walking through the halls at MIT and texting on his phone.

Aaron is looking down, typing into his phone when a door opens up and nearly hits him.

A janitor comes out of room, pushing two garbage cans.

JANITOR

"Excuse me young Man"

Aaron gets a peak inside the Janitor's room and notices a rack of servers and the lights

flickering on and off. Aaron smirks at the janitor and says

AARON SWARTZ

"No problem"

Aaron continues walking down the hall with a look of having a great Idea on his mind.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

We see Aaron riding his Bike, Smiling and Singing the lyrics to "extraordinary machine" a song

by Fiona Apple.

Riding his Bike as he sings

AARON SWARTZ

Singing

"I notice that my opponent is always on the go -And-Won't go slow, so's not to focus, and I notice He'll hitch a ride with any guide"

We see Aaron ride his bike down the moonlite street and out of frame.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. AARONS APARTMENT - DAY

Aaron wakes up looking very tired. He wipes his face and walks into the kitchen.

He makes a bowl of rice and sits at the kitchen table.

He powers up his new laptop as he eats his rice.

He visits JSTORE website and browses around.

Dramatic music plays as we see Aaron eating his rice, typing fast in short burst, and thinking

deeply about the Site.

He pushes the bowl of rice across the table and grabs a thumbdrive from his backpack.

He begins to write a script that will download files repeatidly from JSTOR.

We see Time elapsed in a fast foward manner as Aaron types code into his laptop.

The song "Extraordinary Machine" plays in the background.

The music stops as the lyrics say

SONG LYRICS

" to try and help - but let me set your Mind at ease"

Aaron has a look of accomplishment and pushes the laptop across the table as he enters the

final piece of code.

Aarons lets out a Gasp of Air.

INT. MIT LIBRARY - LATER

Aaron sits in a bean bag char and types into his computer.

He begins downloading massive amounts of documents directly through JSTOR and saving

them to his thumbdrive.

Aaron puts his laptop down and lets it work as he reads a book.

Sometime later, Aaron realizes the downloads have stopped.

He picks up his laptop and notices that his IP Address is blocked from the JSTORE server.

He laughs and quickly types into his laptop to change his IP.

After changing his IP Address, he continues downloading a massive amount of information.

Time Elapses and we see Aaron reading as the lights on his laptop light up.

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. MIT CAMPUS - LATER

We see Aaron walking through the halls of MIT.

He looks around to make sure no one is watching and slips into the Janitor room.

Aaron connects his Laptop directly to the Servers and starts downloading more files from

JSTOR.

Aaron sneaks out of the janitor room, leaving behind his laptop to continue downloading

data from JSTOR.

INT. MIT CAMPUS - LATER

The Janitor notices the laptop and server connection and reports the findings to campus

security. Campus Security calls the police and the Police arrive within minutes.

An officer in street cloths walks down the hall with the janitor. The Janitor opens the closet

door and points to the Laptop.

(Real Footage of this Event is Available and should be used if possible)

The Officer opens a bag and pulls out a camera.

The officer hides the camera in order to create evidence against Aaron.

The Janitor and the officer leave the Closet, turning out the lights but leaving the door

unlocked.

EXT. STREET - DAY

The Next day, We see Aaron riding his bike throught he campus streets. He parks his bike and puts it on the bike rack. He proceeds to walk into MIT.

We see an officer in a black car on his phone.

OFFICER

"He's Here......We Got him.......Stay on Post."

INT. MIT CAMPUS - LATER

We see Aaron walking throught he halls of MIT.

He looks around to make sure no one is watching and Sneaks into the janitor closet.

He checks the status of downloads and changes the thumbdrive connected.

(Real Footage of this Event is Available and should be used if possible)

He opens the janitor door and sneaks back out, leaving behind his laptop and never noticing

the hidden camera.

EXT. STREET - NIGHT

We see Aaron riding his bike down the street.

He noticed a black car is following him and begins to panic.

Aaron turns onto an unfamiliar street and pedals very fast in attempt to escape.

The Black Car pulls out in front of him and three men jump out.

Aaron stops in a panic and slides on the pavement.

The Three Men attack Aaron, ripping off his backpack, throwing him to the ground, and

beating him up.

OFFICER 1

"Oh you think your smart huh?"

OFFICER 2

"Its people like you why the world is fucked up"

OFFICER 3

"Your going to learn something today little boy"

Aaron Cries in panic.

INT. POLICE STATION - LATER

Aaron is dragged through the station.

The Officers remove his belt and shoe laces.

They throw him into a Solitary room and Slam the Door.

OFFICER 1

"Now you got all the Privacy you need little boy"

DISSOVLE TO:

INT. AARONS PARENTS HOUSE - DAY

We Aarons Father in his office at his home.

He is on the phone and discussing money with someone.

AARONS FATHER

"What are they charging him with?

""How much is going to take to get him free"

"Ok, meet me at the courthouse at 3PM"

Father hangs up his phone and then shakes his head.

EXT. COURTHOUSE - DAY

Aaron and his father walk out of the polica station.

Aaron looks beat up and his cloths are torn.

AARON SWARTZ

"They want me to take a plea bargain dad"

FATHER

"For what?, they still havent proved that you did anything wrong"

AARON SWARTZ

"They have 4 charges against me in the name of computer fraud"

FATHER

"What do you mean"

AARON SWARTZ

"They are using me as as example to detour hackers and activicst from attacking the system"

"I dont deserve this dad, this isn't fair"

FATHER

"Its Ok Aaron, your Smart, we will take care of all this.....Dont you worry"

Aaron shakes his head in disbelief and walks down the street with his father.

The two walk out of frame under the moon light.

EXT. COURTHOUSE - DAY

Hundreds of Protestors fill the streets in Guy Fox masks.

Holding Signs about Freedom and Spying.

They all begin to Chant and start causing a huge uproar in the city.

We see an attourney peek through his blinds of the courthouse and shake his head in disbelief.

ATTOURNEY

"What the fuck is wrong with you people"

The Attourney's Secretary enters the room and hands him some paperwork.

We follow her back to her desk and see that she has Guy Fox as her wallpaper on her PC.

She opens up twitter on her browswer and she noticed the twitter feed is flooded with post about Aaron Swartz, The government spying, and Data collection.

We notice that she feels remorse and see her almost tear up for a moment.

She whispers under her breath.

SECRETARY

"This is Some Bullshit"

INT. AARONS APARTMENT - DAY

Aaron lays on the couch looking up at the ceiling.

He begins crying and wont stop. His sadness turns into anger and he sits up.

He slowly pulls out a laptop and powers it up.

Before the laptop fully loads, Aarons Anger turns into Rage.

Aaron throws the laptop against the wall screams

AARON SWARTZ

"Whyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy"

DISSOLVE TO:

INT. A STORE - LATER

We see A Mash Up of News Coverage across multiple TV Screens

NEWS ANCHOR 1

"This Co founder of the social news and entertainment website Reddit has been found Dead."

NEWS ANCHOR 2

"There is a profound sense of lose tonight, as love ones say goodbye to one of the internets brightest lights"

NEWS ANCHOR 3

"He was potentially facing up to 35 years in prison and a One million dollar fine"

NEWS ANCHOR 4

"Open Access and Computer activist are Mourning his lose"

INT. AARONS EMPTY APARTMENT - LATER

We see is an Empty Room with the TV on.........

On the TV we see Excerpts from real Interviews with the real Aaron Swartz as music plays in the background.

Dedicated to The Life and Memory of Aaron Swartz.

THE END

TV Screen fades into Guy Fox Mask and the Words THE PROTESTER below.

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