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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

Beauty Queen

  1. FADE IN.

  2. Act 1


  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


  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.



  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.


  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


  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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