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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Beauty Queen

  1. FADE IN.


  2. Act 1


  3. INT. SITTING ROOM - DAY


  4. PETER hears a declaration from the TV: I'm going to be the beauty queen. Watch the beauty pageant tonight to witness my hunch.


  5. PETER (V.O.): Wow, she sounds so sure.


  6. Peter turns his attention to the TV.


  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): How would she face the reality if she doesn't win tonight?


  8. Watching TV.


  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Among the 10 finalists, only one can earn the crown.


  10. Seeing TV images.


  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The odds are against her.


  12. Recalling.


  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When I was young and was looking for career change eg to get a scholarship, I would try even if there's only one opening.


  14. Recalling.


  15. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I learned that even good applications had to be rejected.


  16. Act 2


  17. INT. SITTING ROOM - NIGHT


  18. Peter and his WIFE are watching the beauty pageant show on TV.


  19. PETER (V.O.): Now comes the hard or exciting part, the elimination process.


  20. We see on screen some beauty-queen hopefuls have been sidelined and then disappeared.


  21. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): The questions posed to the contestants are a lot easier than any recruitment interviews.


  22. FLASHBACK


  23. INT. CONFERENCE ROOM - DAY (1998)


  24. Peter (44) is chairing a recruitment interview with other STAFF. A CANDIDATE (20s) is being interviewed.


  25. PETER (V.O.): He's pretty good.


  26. INT. OFFICE ROOM - DAY (1998)


  27. A SECRETARY (30s) comes in and passes to Peter a file.


  28. SECRETARY: Here's the overall result of the recruitment exercise for your approval and signature.


  29. PETER: Many thanks!


  30. Peter begins to study the file.


  31. PETER (V.O.): We've around 50 employable candidates but only 7-8 vacancies. Every mark awarded by the recruitment board can impact on whether a candidate would get an offer or not.


  32. Checking.


  33. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Let me see how that candidate that gave me a good impression scored when compared with others.


  34. Reading.


  35. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, he ranks 14. Hope he won't feel too bad when receiving our rejection letter.


  36. Sighing.


  37. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That's the reality in any competitive environment.


  38. END FLASHBACK


  39. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As job recruitment is generally based on character, potential, quality and experience, he can equip himself better.

  40. Pausing.


  41. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): As the recruitment process is confidential, the stress should be manageable.


  42. Pausing.


  43. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But beauty pageants are different. Contestants put their self-perceived beauty at stake in public.


  44. Pausing.


  45. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But why do they take part in the first place?


  46. Peter surfs the web.


  47. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Here are the observation of a 4th runner-up in one beauty pageant in US - building self-confidence, learning something, providing support, creating opportunities, and changing life.


  48. Thinking.


  49. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Thinking positive is generally good...Oh, the field is narrowed down to the final 5.


  50. On screen, beauty-queen HOPEFUL#1 is named as the 2nd runner-up.


  51. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Is it a blessing to get an award upfront?


  52. On screen, beauty-queen HOPEFUL#2 is named as the 1st runner-up.


  53. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): She looks pretty content with her position.


  54. On screen, there're HOPEFULS#3,#4 & #5. We hear: Who's the queen among them?


  55. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): This is the most testing moment. They all look beautiful and confident. But those to be eliminated would be worse off than the 1st and 2nd runners-up.


  56. After an announcement on screen, HOFEFUL#3 is hurriedly crowned with HOPEFULS#1 and #2 standing by her side and HOPEFULS#4 & #5 have already disappeared.


  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Would HOPEFULS#4 & #5 suffer from post trauma stress disorder (PTSD)?


  58. End credits appear on screen.


  59. Act 3


  60. INT. SITTING ROOM - CONTINUOUS


  61. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Judging from the voice of the beauty queen, she wasn't the one who claimed earlier that she would win.


  62. Pausing.


  63. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Those getting awards will be seen again next year to crown their successors. The rest will be forgotten.


  64. Thinking.


  65. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): All beauty fades.


  66. Pausing.


  67. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): So, the annual show goes on. There will be new contestants. It's a popular culture everywhere.


  68. Recalling.


  69. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I've just taken a photo of Kaji at the pet garden. To my family, she has been our beauty queen.


  70. FADE OUT.


  71. THE END


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