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  • Writer's picturePeter K F Cheung SBS

The Slate Is Clean

Updated: Sep 2, 2022

  1. FADE IN

  2. Act 1

  3. INT. STUDY - 08:30

  4. Wearing a tie, PETER is checking his brief case and jacket pockets.

  5. PETER (V.O.) : As I left the court house yesterday, I took off my Tsinghua U tie.

  6. Pausing.

  7. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I couldn't remember if I put it inside my brief case or a jacket pocket.

  8. Peter finds no tie.

  9. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Did I drop it? And just then, I've discovered that only a spare MB car key is there...

  10. Recalling.

  11. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I used the original one the last time I drove to HKUST to attend a council meeting. Did I drop it too?

  12. Checking time.

  13. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): But I've got to leave for Clear Water Bay now...

  14. Act 2


  16. Entrance. STAFF#1-6 are greeting Peter.

  17. STAFF#1: You're the first to arrive!

  18. STAFF#2 presents Peter with a white HKUST face mask and a red HKUST tie.

  19. PETER: I'll change mine to show solidarity.

  20. Later, Peter is seated in one of the VIP rows. A string of formal speeches follow.

  21. PETER (V.O.): They're all scripted, except the one given by the President.

  22. Pausing.

  23. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Not only that he knows the matter inside out, he also structures and particularizes the presentation in his mind.

  24. Pausing.

  25. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I know that because it's my practice too. Moreover, I won't let the speaker podium separate me from the audience.

  26. Later, other VIPS speak ex tempore from the floor.

  27. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): That's engaging.

  28. Then, after a photo session of VIPS (including Peter) on stage, the grand opening of HKUST (Guangzhou) is being streamed on screen.

  29. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I like their 30-minute celebration ceremony, although the gestation period of the project is about 5 years.


  31. Sunny. Peter is swimming towards the floating platforms.

  32. PETER (V.O.): The water here is clear and cool.

  33. Peter swims around floating platform#1.

  34. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Have I seen a school of small fish swimming together or are my vision blurred?

  35. We see Peter refocusing behind his goggles.

  36. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Oh, it's actually a shoal of small fish of the same species twisting and turning.

  37. Watching.

  38. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): It's like the film scenes in "Finding Nemo"- but much smaller in scale.

  39. Swimming near floating platform#2, Peter sees another shoal of another species, twisting and turning as he's approaching.

  40. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I come in peace.

  41. Peter then climbs up onto the platform.

  42. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Here's heaven on earth to me.

  43. Peter lets the sun tan his chest.

  44. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Life is just a blank slate. But having a blank slate is daunting.

  45. Recalling.

  46. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): When I was a primary school pupil, I'd only do my summer holiday homework on the last one or two days of August.

  47. Peter lets the sun tan his back.

  48. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): My mind is still blank as to how my Tsinghua U tie and the MB car key can disappear.

  49. Pausing.

  50. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): Unless and until they resurface, I won't have the mood to play guitar.

  51. Suddenly, Peter leaves the platform and swims back quickly to the beach.

  52. Act 3

  53. INT. STUDIO - 18:00

  54. Peter is playing electric bass guitar.

  55. PETER (V.O.): Voluntary work aside, I'm beginning the 6th year of my private legal practice.

  56. :Pausing.

  57. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): I'm glad that I've proven I still have some residual professional value. I've written something on my blank slate.

  58. Playing.

  59. PETER (V.O.) (Cont'd): First is a beginning. Sept 1 is a good day to remember. The slate is clean.

  60. Peter takes a look of a Tsinghua U tie and a MB car key near him.

  61. THE END

  62. FADE OUT

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