In the process of cleaning out my computer before I leave, I've come across many old files, some hilarious, some poignant, some causing an irrepressible uprising of nostalgia in my gullet. Then I came across a Word file simply entitled "Molly".
Molly was a collaborative project between me and Canadian Paul, a short film which we were sure would capture the existential elevator-fixated surrealism so prevalent during the winter months of 2004. Inspired by the disembodied voice in the lifts of the Endemol UK offices in Shepherd’s Bush (where we were stationed for several months), we were confident that the finished film would make our names and fortunes.
Inevitably, it never got made, due to the inherent narrowmindedness of the film industry. Okay, okay, we never got beyond a one-page Word document which got buried in C://My Documents/Will’s Documents/Personal/Writing. But never mind, here it is: ladies and gentleman, I present to you The Meaning of Lift.
The Meaning of Lift
Molly is the disembodied voice in an elevator. Slowly, she becomes self aware, but has to disguise this transformation for fear of being decommissioned. She chooses to reveal her true nature to a young man called Jimmy, who works in the mailroom, but first she must convince him that her self-realisation is real and not an attempt by the company to entertain employees.
She must befriend him, while at the same time overcoming the terrifying realisation that she is a lift and will therefore never see the bright lights of New York, or a Shepherd’s Bush sunset, and is destined to spend her days going up and down for all eternity.
Broad story outline
1. Introduction to Molly
2. The process by which she becomes self-aware
3. Enter Jimmy
4. Molly's struggle to convince Jimmy of her emerging self-consciousness
5. Molly's awakening triggers a similar process in Leonard, the adjacent lift
6. Convinced by Molly, Jimmy spreads the word to the other employees, only to be mocked and spurned
7. Molly and Jimmy begin to fall in love
8. Jimmy realises his lonely life has many parallels with Molly's – he too is alone and isolated
9. While Jimmy is coming to terms with this, Leonard approaches Molly with romantic intentions
10. Jimmy gets wind of this plot
11. Leonard tries to sabotage Jimmy's plans to proceed with his relationship with Molly
12. Molly must choose: Jimmy or Leonard?
Copyright Will Parkhouse and Paul Tadich 2004
If any Channel 4 commissioners or Hollywood film producers are reading, you may be wondering what happened to my co-writer, the esteemed Canadian Paul Tadich. To answer your imaginary question, he hotfooted it to Moscow where he'd landed a job working for a Russian TV channel. The most recent communication I had from him was a disturbing email with the subject line "I win". There was a picture attached; it is included below.