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ANOMALY

ANOMALY
Anomaly is about the friendship between two young women, but it's a very universal story -- it's about the struggle we go through each day to negotiate a black-and-white compartmentalization of a very gray and uncertain world.

This movie is very important to me -- and it needs money to do right. It costs money to hire professionals and animal advocates to ensure the safe coloring of a rat. Specialized locations require rental and monitor fees, and food for 20+ people each day can really add up!

Thank you for donating -- every penny counts!

(1) UNIVERSITY RESEARCH LABORATORY - NIGHT A gloved hand, holding a bright-white mouse. A syringe injects a clear liquid into the tiny creature. VOICE-OVER from RAINA brings us into the world. Her voice is cold and clinical. She is dictating her scientific procedure, presumably into a tape recorder: ?Each subject was injected with C3 transferase suspended in a saline solution...? Another mouse is injected. And another. And another.

(2) LAB KITCHEN - LATE NIGHT We see RAINA, dictating into a tape recorder as she makes coffee. She STOPS recording to YAWN. Then resumes recording. ?All subjects in the experimental group responded according to original projections.?

(3) LAB STATION - LATER NIGHT Raina typing on her computer, making sour face as she sips disgusting coffee. Beside her, the digital voice recorder plays back her own dictations: ?...Other than irritation at the injection site, external reactions were minimal.? STANDING IN FRONT OF A PRINTER Raina collects a cover page, staples it to the front of a packet of papers. The cover page is marked ?Dissertation Abstract.? On a post-it note, she writes -- ?Thank you for reading.? She debates writing a smiley face. She eventually does :) Tosses it on top of a cluttered desk. VOICE-OVER continues: ?Subjects did present with an elevated heart rate and negligible weight gain. No change in pigmentation.?

(4) ANIMAL SUBJECT STORAGE ROOM - LATER LATER NIGHT A wall of lab cages. Raina holding clipboard, speaking into the voice recorder, checking the cages. ?It can be presumed the experiment was conducted...? Suddenly she stops short -- glowering at the last cage in the row... she reaches in, pulls out an ORANGE MOUSE. She says WHAT THE FUCK? (We know from her recording that she was not expecting pigmentation change. She?s obviously pissed. We?re curious about what this will mean -- and we?re on board because she seems like a hard worker.) TITLE CARD - ANOMALY

(5) SCIENCE BUILDING CORRIDOR - MORNING Raina, holding polaroid of the orange mouse, strutting down corridor. No nonsense, all business, heels clacking. She yawns, but shakes it off. Keeping it together.

(6) LAB STATION - MORNING Raina tapping her foot as her colleague Amit finishes reading her abstract. Amit is confused why she gave it to him to read in the first place... this isn?t his field of expertise. Raina says she trusts him (subtext: she likes him, probably has for a long time.) Raina says he doesn?t have to weigh in on the abstract right away -- maybe they can go out for drinks to discuss it? Amit says ?Raina. You know I?m dating Lia.? She demands to know why he chose Lia, when she asked him out last term. He gives some bullshit responses, she tells him to cut the shit. He says ?Fine. She?s prettier than you.? Raina?s jaw drops. And then Amit follows it up with another jab: ?And it sounds from your abstract that your argumentation is weak. You better hope your data is consistent.? He leaves, she shouts after him -- ?It is!? (We feel bad for Raina -- she?s been told something very hurtful. On the other hand, we sense that Amit has a good reason for NOT wanting to date Raina, the issue of looks aside. She is cold, abrasive, demanding, almost Asperger?s-y. We want to know how she will react to this shake-up.)

(7) ART CLASSROOM - DAY Delphine working on a piece for a gallery opening. Raina staring at a bag of cheese curls -- won?t eat them. Delphine wonders why -- it was their thing freshman year. Got them from the vending machine on the fourth floor. Raina asks her if Delphine thinks she?s pretty. Scene unfolds pretty much how it did in the previous draft. Goes to the board, explains that she?s empirically above-average. A 7.8, which is above average on the normal distribution curve. (We gain insight into Raina?s black-and-white worldview. We understand Delphine?s fascination with Raina -- if you?re whimsical and subjective, it?s nice to have someone who can give you a dose of cold objectivity. But we wonder if this friendship will be risked... Raina is already sacrificing something that they used to share -- cheese curls.)

(8) RAINA?S APARTMENT - NIGHT Raina should be working on her dissertation defense, but she?s not. She gets on hotornot.com, and she also calls old boyfriends. (Oh no. Our fears for her are engaged even further -- her monomania is now putting her professional standing at risk.)

(9) RESEARCH LAB - DAY Raina staring at the orange mouse. Professor Lutz pops his head in to see how she?s doing. She feigns that she?s fine.

(10) BAR - HAPPY HOUR Delphine is dressed for the gallery opening -- they?re supposed to be going together after a drink. Raina is obsessing over her own looks, and Amit?s negative review. They fight. Delphine goes to the gallery opening without her. Raina feels regret, but not enough to mend fences. She decides to just continue to get drunk. (Now Raina has gone and done it -- she?s sacrificed her friendship. All for the sake of this obsession with being certain that she?s hotter than some other girl -- all so that she may continue to dwell in denial that some things cannot be measured.)

(11) DIVE BAR BATHROOM - NIGHT Drunk Raina accosts the Townie, demanding that he tell her she?s really attractive. This is Raina?s most desperate attempt yet to prove to herself that she?s prettier than Lia. Obviously it?s a deeply misguided attempt.
(12) RESEARCH LAB - DAY She almost kills the mouse... but doesn?t. (Amit?s negative review is one anomaly -- most people think she?s pretty -- and it?s left her feeling deeply unsettled. Raina hasn?t been able to do away with that unsettled feeling. So she takes matters into her own hands -- she?s going to squelch the other anomaly in her life -- the mouse -- before it can make her feel worse).

(13) DISSERTATION DEFENSE - DAY Raina, holding her notecards, standing in front of the committee. Her lip starts to tremble. Professors are super awkward -- what?s going on? (Breakdown. She?s already learned her lesson, but this is where she breaks down emotionally, where it finally sinks in. Cut out of scene before she begins crying.) CUT TO:

(14) RESEARCH LAB - DAY Raina puts the mouse in a cage with a wheel - makes it her pet. She sees Amit and Lia. She tells Amit that she got a deferral on her defense -- she?ll defend it again at the end of the month. She gives Lia a compliment of some sort.

(15) ART CLASSROOM - DAY Reconciliation with Delphine. Asks Delphine about the gallery opening. Brings Delphine a bunch of cheese curls and the mouse. Lets Delphine paint her.
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