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Black button (Australia)

Mr Roberts finds himself awoken inexplicably in a white room. A man sits before him at a desk and in between them stands a black button. If Mr Roberts pushes it, he will receive a briefcase filled with millions of dollars. Or he can take the key to the door and leave penniless. The catch? Pushing the button will result in the death of a human being. What would you do?

-YouTube Awards 2007 - Top Six Finalist, Best Short Film
-WINNER: Fitzroy Short Film Festival (Melb, Aus)
-WINNER: DearCinemaFest Short Film Festival (Int.)
and more...

Our first professional short film. We made it for $200 and shot it on the stage of our old school in Melbourne, Australia. Fortunately, professional actor Robert Grubb agreed to act in it for free after reading the script. This film took nearly a year to put together, working on it in stages and creating the 'white' effect on a home PC. Please note that the younger actor, unlike his father Robert Grubb, has no formal acting training whatsoever.

Additionally, we have no particular religious affiliation; this is a fictional work and its ideas are designed to encourage thought and debate, not comment on any particular theology.

God will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able, but will, with the temptation, also make a way to escape. (I Corinthians 10:13)

- Ah, Mr Roberts.
- Who the hell are you?
- A pertinent question, Mr Roberts, which we will address in due course. But for now let us focus on the task at hand.
- What are you talking about? What am I doing here?
- You are here to make a choice, Mr Roberts, that is all.
- I’m sorry, I don’t know who you are or where I am. I was on my way to work, and …
- And now you’re here. Your choice is a simple one. If you make the right one, well, you will leave here with more than you could possibly imagine.
- What choice? What are you talking about?
- Mr Roberts in front of you is a button. Should you choose to push that button, someone, somewhere in this world, will die.
- What kind of a sick joke is this?
- You didn’t let me finish, Mr Robert. If you choose to push that button, I will give you ten million dollars. Inside this briefcase.
- This is ridiculous. I’m leaving.
- You will find the door is locked.
- You do not know who you are dealing with.
- Jeffery Roberts of 14 Brenan Court. Trouble sleeping. Job wavering. Debts mounting.
- Who the hell do you think you are?
- A powerful man, Mr Roberts. A man who can change your life … for the small cost of someone else’s.
- My God.
- Oh, he’s not yours, Mr Roberts.
- This can’t be real.
- I assure you, it’s very real.
- Prove it.
- Well, let’s take a look then, shall we? Ten million dollars, Mr Roberts. All legal tender. Just think what that sort of money can achieve.
- Well, what happens if I don’t push it?
- Well then, I give you the key to the door. And you’ll never see me or the ten million dollars again.
- How do I know pushing that button won’t just kill me?
- Well, it could, but the odds are six billion to one.
- Six billion, huh. That is a lot of people. And people do die all the time, right?
- Precisely!
- I mean, how many people have died in car accidents this year?
- Car accidents! 14,764 … 65 …60… we digress. You were saying about accidents. They happen all the time!
- Yeah, you know, wrong place, wrong time and bang, your time is up.
- Eventually, Mr Roberts, everyone’s time is up.
- Alright, if, if … I push that button, how would they die?
- It’ll be an accident of some sort.
- How can I possibly trust you?
- I’m trying to help you.
- Yeah, come on, just tell me, what is this really about? What’s in it for you?
- Well, nothing directly. You see my purpose is to try to create a world devoid of weakness, kindness, selflessness, mercy. These are all euphemisms for weakness. I hold up the animal world, Mr Roberts. The beasts of the fields show no mercy. You don’t die of old age on the Serengeti. True beauty is in self-preservation.
- You’re an evil son of a bitch.
- Morality, mortality, your musings are becoming tiresome, Mr Roberts. I’m considering withdrawing my offer.
- Oh, come on!
- You have 30 seconds. If you haven’t pushed the button by then, well then you can leave as penniless as when you came.
- I need more time to think!
- You’ve had enough time.
- What if it’s a little girl or something?
- Irrelevant!
- I can’t, I, I mean…
- One less person in an already over-populated world.
- One person?
- Just one!
- No one will ever know.
- Not a soul.
- Oh, God.
- Decide now. Think of your family. Think of the money. Push it. Push it. Push it!
- This was a trick, wasn’t?
- Not at all, Mr Roberts. The money’s yours. Here, take what you’re owed. There is one thing I have to tell you, Mr Roberts.
- What?
- Well, you see Mr Roberts, you’re already dead.
- No, no, that’s, that’s impossible.
-Think, Mr Roberts, one minute you’re driving and the next you’re here.
- No! No! No!
- A rather nasty car accident I’m afraid. Since man was capable of possessing a soul, it’s been my job to tempt him in purgatory with whatever mortal vice that would encourage him to take the life of another. The evil can be saved, the good can be condemned with a transgression. Think of me as God’s filter.
- What’s going to happen to me?
- Well, you’re going to hell, Mr Roberts. Endless and boundless nothing.
- But I did it for my family.
- You had the key to salvation. You chose condemnation.
- Wait, please.
- Goodbye, Mr Roberts. Oh, and don’t forget your briefcase, you are allowed to keep that.
- Just tell me - who did I kill?
- Oh, I wouldn’t worry about that, Mr Roberts. I’ll be seeing them next.

I'LL BE SEEING THEM NEXT= In this sentence, THEM is a singular pronoun (as it is clear from the context, since they are talking about just one person).

It is quite common to use the plural forms of THEY in a singular way when we don't know or don't want to specify if it's a HE or a SHE, and it is specially common to use it with gender-neutral words as SOMEBODY.

- If you see somebody waiting, tell them I'll be there soon.
- Somebody left their credit card on that table.
- In my dream, a person killed themself in this building. (notice THEMSELF, with a singular ending)

 

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