The strange domination of what other people think and people’s opinions of what success means. You have on average 30,000 days. Opinions of success from people that don’t matter (the only person that matters is you and the effort you put in). Nobody’s opinion of you matters but your own. It’s you who needs to be at ease with yourself, your life and to sleep to enjoy another day.
EXT. MEATPACKING DISTRICT – DAY
DONALD OMBREL (30’s, high functioning alcoholic) approaches a non-descript four storey warehouse. Unknown to the general public, this is the Walsh Institute, the center for Jacquelyn’s sleep and brain research.
Although the building is very inconspicuous, the THICK GLASS DOORS that serve as the building’s entrance break up the otherwise covert setup.
He buzzes an INTERCOM and pauses for a second, staring up at SECURITY CAMERAS for verification.
INTERCOM (V.O.): Continue to into the lens for a few seconds, please.
He does so.
INTERCOM (V.O.): Thank you. Proceed.
We hear another, louder buzz, as the remotely controlled lock on the front door allows temporary access to the building.
INT. HALLWAY – THE WALSH INSTITUTE – CONTINUOUS
Donald walks down the bright white blank hallway to another door which is remotely activated to allow clients to push through. Security cameras are well camouflaged, but visible above each door.
INT. RECEPTION – THE WALSH INSTITUTE – CONTINUOUS
The reception area is extremely white and empty, RECEPTIONIST 1 (female) and RECEPTIONIST 2 (male) smile and greet Donald.
Providing his identification and baffled at how spacious but blank his surroundings are, Donald slowly glances around his environment.
Receptionist 1 verifies the information with what she views on her MONITOR and clicks to confirm he appears to be who he says he is. The ID is then passed on to Receptionist 2, who similarly verifies the face to the ID, pausing to be certain they match.
Receptionist 1 opens a drawer and pulls out a pile of paperwork, including non-disclosure agreements and contracts.
RECEPTIONIST 2: Take a moment once you walk through to fill these in thoroughly. (pointing, flipping through one) Read the information carefully and if you’re uncomfortable with what you read, alert somebody through there. These documents are legally binding.
RECEPTIONIST 1: Before I hand you back your identification, I’d like you to sign your contracts. I’ll confirm your signature and then we can proceed.
Donald is directed where to sign as Receptionist 1 points to one of the first pages’ signature line.
RECEPTIONIST 1 (CONT’D): Just there, please.
Donald grabs a pen and signs his name.
Another page is flipped by Receptionist 1.
RECEPTIONIST 1 (CONT’D): And there.
Yet another few pages are flipped before she points again.
RECEPTIONIST 1 (CONT’D): And there.
Receptionist 1 carefully verifies the signature with that on the ID and hands back the identification.
RECEPTIONIST 1 (CONT’D): Thank you.
RECEPTIONIST 2: I trust you understand the fact that we just want this research sincere, private and verifiable. We appreciate your cooperation.
RECEPTIONIST 1: Welcome to the Walsh Institute, we thank you for your participation in what we consider research extremely valuable. I hope you’re feeling tired. (smiles) Continue on through the doors over there — (pointing to her right) — someone will assist you in getting comfortable in your sleep lab. Everything you’ll be working with will be on the second floor, I’ll activate the elevator for you, it’s immediately to your right. (glancing at the monitor) Don’t worry, when you get to the elevator, I’ll open it and direct it. You will receive payment for your participation when you leave.
INT. HALLWAY 2 – THE WALSH INSTITUTE – CONTINUOUS
Donald approaches the white elevator doors. There are no buttons to call the elevator, but the doors open as directed by the Receptionists watching. He peers at the camera just above the elevator, but doesn’t notice the others around the room. Opaque remote locked glass doors surround him in two other directions.
INT. ELEVATOR – THE WALSH INSTITUTE – CONTINUOUS
Donald enters, confused. In milliseconds he is up on the next floor. There are no buttons or screens inside the elevator, just concealed cameras.
INT. FLOOR 1 – SLEEP LABS – THE WALSH INSTITUTE
Again, blank and white. No imposing colours or images are anywhere to distract the mind.
TWO RESEARCHERS are waiting as Donald exits the elevator.
RESEARCHER 1: Welcome! I’m so very glad you’re here to help our research and of course, help your own understanding of your sleeping patterns. (grabbing Donald) We’re going to take you through to your room and set things up. How are you feeling right now?
DONALD: Tired, like you asked me to be.
RESEARCHER 1: Perfecto.
INT. SLEEP CHAMBER – THE WALSH INSTITUTE – CONTINUOUS
The walls are black with a low intensity light on.