The Runner

Name of skit and/or path for run traced onto map

Opening: Lecture finishes.
* If film: Close up on clock: five minutes to the hour. A ten-minute countdown to next lecture starts up in the corner of the screen- we'll deal with the film not actually being ten minutes long later.
* If live skit: friend could invite runner for a beer after the lecture but runner says s/he needs to be at another lecture OR before lights up we could have "Badham to Bosch Dash" or something flash up on the screen
(?) Olympic-style commentary starts up- the usual mutterings about people stretching at the beginning of a race or something- could include an explanation of the situation, saying the runner has 10 minutes to get from point A to point B etc.
(other possibility: actual Olympic commentary flashes in from a radio, for example, if the runner pops in her/his headphones- this could be intermixed as the Runner changes channels to whatever is relevant to her/his situation at the time, like Chariots of Fire coming in just at the final stretch)
The runner starts up, lecture benches act as "hurdles" in the sprint for the lecture door
 
Miscellaneous middle bits:
  • Slow-moving crowd taking up the entire pathway, speaking to each other or on mobile phones. Runner can't get past them, gets impatient. Maybe crawls between legs???
  • Guy in runner's way bends down to tie his shoelace- runner runs up his back to take a big flying leap (possibly a tactic for getting past the slow people? Maybe we can fake that the runner mightily bounds over them with the help of shoelace man? Maybe not lol but it could work and provide a fun opportunity for shots from underneath of someone flying through the air. My little brother just suggested a reference to "Ferris Bueller's Day Off"- something about a giant leap when racing parents home. He also suggests using parkour at some point if it fits in which could be cool)
  • Barista at coffe cart calls out "skim cap" or somesuch and is just handing it out to student as the runner approaches- runner grabs the cup like a marathon runner grabbing a drink of water, pours it over face. (Come to think of it, a long black is probably a better thing to pour over oneself than a big foamy cappuccino... although someone being covered in foam/a whipped cream pie IS a stock of slapstick lol... also OUCH fresh coffee would be boiling... that could also be funny, though it's probably best to just suspend logic for this unless we want the runner to end up in hospital instead of the next lecture)
  • The Runner passes someone standing talking on their mobile. For no particular reason, but in the style of action heroes, the Runner grabs their phone, yells into it "She'll call you back!" and throws the phone away while still running.
  • The Runner bumps into a friend or love interest on the way- suddenly not in a rush any more. Stops for a long casual chat/flirt. To deal with the timer in the corner if it's a film we can black it out for a minute, "5 minutes later" can flash onto a black screen, then the runner says "Yeah, anyways I'd better go, I've got a lecture on now", friend says "Hey you'd better hurry", Runner acts all casual and cool as if he doesn't fear the wrath of scary physics professor or whoever until s/he gets around the corner, checks to see that the friend isn't looking and bolts onwards.
  • College kid going for a jog ends up running alongside the Runner. As they run side by side through the university things start to get competitive (if in film, cue close ups of their faces as they glance at each other while running) one may pull ahead then the other catches up until they're both sprinting as fast as they can. Eventually the Runner just pushes the college kid over (swings backpack around and knocks him/her to the floor) and runs on. This episode could just come in right at the very end when the "finish line" is in sight.
  • --in fact that would probably work well with the idea about the society banner (outside fisher or whatever) acting as a finish line even though obviously the finish is getting to the next lecture. They could just see the banner and kind of get caught up in the moment, in character as athletes in a race, and when our runner breaks through the banner s/he can kind of shake it off, realise that that's not where s/he wants to be and keep running.
Ending: Runner bursts through the door of the lecture theatre, over more chair hurdles, collapses into chair, panting. Pan out- The runner is alone in the lecture theatre. A sign on the door informs the runner that the lecture has been cancelled.


If we're doing it onstage there were other ideas:
- band playing chariots of fire either at the end or at the college student bit
- fake slow motion for the chariots of fire bit as per chariots of fire video
- Runner could just be doing laps around the stage with a very minimalistic set- a few chairs, benches, a doorway- that is continually recycled by the stage crew
- Runner could use the side and central stairways, juliette balconies if we want (a wrong turn?)
- the Runner could just be jogging on the spot with props moving past and other actors moonwalking rather than actually moving

Amended version:

~The runner starts in Wallace lecture theatre. Tense.
~Runner meets some people working in the graffiti tunnel, as he runs past he grabs a spray can and randomly starts spraying, leaving a really cool design.
~The runner charges past manning and is met with a large collection of people handing out fliers, emerges from the mass clutching several which he then promptly drops.
~On approach to the fisher coffee cart, a coffee is held out and the runner grabs it and pours it over their face in slow motion (chariots of fire?)
~On the footbridge the runner encounters a friend and randomly stops to talk. A "clock" wipe indicates the passing of time and the timer changes to show that 6 (or 7) minutes have passed (whatever is needed to make up 10) The runner then takes off again.
~The runner has difficulty navigating their way past crowds of slow moving people on the stairs near scitech
~Parkour (did I spell that right?) over the banana chairs on the engo lawns.
~checks out hot girls on said chairs (ferris bueller reference, perhaps an energy killer?)
~Bursts into PNR lecture theatre. Looks around then sees a sign showing the lecture has moved to footbridge theatre
~reaction shot as realisation dawns before the runner takes off again.
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