Countrywide Real Estate Monologue

The monologue below (in bold text) was written in June, 2002, for Killingsworth Presentations, a Lake Forest, CA production company. The monologue was part of a "module," or presentation package, produced for an awards ceremony for Countrywide Real Estate. The awards ceremony took place in July, 2002 at Countrywide’s world headquarters in Atlanta, GA.

The purpose of the awards ceremony was to honor Countrywide real estate agents who had been accepted into the "Platinum Circle." The "Platinum Circle" is Countrywide’s designation for agents who have sold a large amount of real estate, while at the same time demonstrating exeptional quality of service in their work. In other words, agents in the "Platinum Circle" are recognized as Countrywide’s best employees.

For this module, I wrote the monologue that was used for the accompanying film presentation. The module itself was designed by Greg King of Killingsworth Presentations. I have included the rest of Greg King’s proposal for the module here, to keep the monologue in context.


Countrywide Opening Module

The opportunity we have is to set the standard for the Platinum Circle award dinner, just like Countrywide has set the standard for the award itself. We feel this is a unique opportunity to establish for each attendee the importance of the Platinum Circle, and to give each a sense of pride that they qualified for the event.

To do this we have created a set and a module that together, will define the special nature of this award.

The Set

As the attendees enter the ballroom, they will be greeted by the stage, featuring six scrim columns spaced horizontally across the stage, with a large circle in the center. This whole arrangement is backed in black. The scrim columns can be lit in different colors as well as acting as screens for projected images.

The large circle placed center stage is an obvious symbol of the award but appears unfinished. It’s center is covered by stretched Spandex. Though nicely lit, it will play a role in the module about to begin and is in fact, three circles stacked together. The projection screens on each side of the stage will handle main projection, graphics, and I-mag.

The Module

The concept of standards, of measuring oneself against high goals or achievements is a common human practice. We have set standards in industry, art, and commerce, and continually seek ways to raise the bar on our own performance, whether in our vocations or other pursuits.

The goal of the short video that will begin the Platinum Circle general session is to focus on that concept, and to praise those in attendance for their achievement.

This module will be composed of stock footage and graphics, as well as video representing the awardees.

The lights dim and the soundtrack begins. The main screens come to life, as do the scrim panels on the stage with supporting visuals to the main screens. The music is stoic and emotional.

VO: Throughout the ages, human beings have strived to improve their condition and standing in the world. It is in our very nature to better ourselves, to seek out and overcome new challenges, and to reach for higher goals and new accomplishments. Over time, standards have been established, benchmarks have emerged, and principles and values have taken shape, against which all human endeavors can be measured.

The call of the Olympics--to perform "faster, higher, stronger"--continues to inspire us through the centuries. In the academic fields, our success is measured by degrees, such as the baccalaureate, the masters, the doctorate. To be awarded these coveted titles, we must first give of our hearts and minds the best that we have to offer.

In precious metals, native metals such as silver, gold, and platinum set the standard. These are the most valuable metals, not simply because they are the hardest to find, but also because their quality and overall usefulness outshines all other metals. Yet even the most precious metals can have natural flaws.

Silver is very beautiful when polished, and has been used for thousands of years in money, jewelry, and household objects such as tableware. But silver, in its purest form, reacts with sulfer in the air and can tarnish, turning black over time.

Pure gold, on the other hand, never loses its shine. It does not react with air or water, and thus can never tarnish or decay. With its high value, its rarity, its shininess, and its enduring qualities, gold has come to symbolize excellence in its many forms. To "go for the gold" is to seek out the best within yourself. and to "achieve gold" is to achieve a standard at the top of your class, to be the very best at what you do.

But even more valuable than gold or silver is platinum, a pure white metal so rare that the entire world's supply could fit inside your living room. Because it is rarer than gold, platinum has come to symbolize a standard higher than excellence. With its strength, its significance, and its value, platinum is the symbol of superiority. It signifies those who have not merely achieved their goals, but have exceeded beyond all expectations, who have set a new standard in their field for those who are to follow.

Today, each of you has become a part of something valued. You stand within a circle, the universal symbol of unity, wholeness, and loyalty. Those who stand within this circle represent a new standard of achievement. A standard that will long serve to define your loyalty to the cause, your value to the company, and your significance as a member of this special community of achievers.

You…are members of…The Platinum Circle.

Throughout the module, the set has been interacting and working with the video. As mentioned, the scrims on stage have projected images that support the main screens. The images projected there will be slow motion, black and white, some color, but will be more like texture in appearance.

Meanwhile, the stacked circles on stage will react to the module as well. As silver is mentioned in the voice-over, the first circle will move from its place in the center of the stage, to stage right and will be lit. It is silver in color. As gold is mentioned, the second circle, gold in color, will move to stage left and receive a light. As platinum is explained, the center circle will light up and remain lit to the end of the module. Printed on this circle are the words, as found on the Platinum Circle logo, "Setting the Platinum Standard."

But wait, there’s more. As the module wraps and the last line is stated, we will hear the VO continue as it introduces Countrywide CEO, Todd Dalporto. As this announcement begins, the center circle will receive a backlight that will create a sillouette of Todd on the Spandex in the center of the circle. When his name is heard, there will be a puff of smoke in front of the center circle, the Spandex center of the circle will disappear, and Todd will step through the circle to the stage. The empty hole will then be filled with the rest of the logo, creating the Platinum Circle logo on stage that will remain for the remainder of the event.

The stage set is now complete, the standard has been stated, and Todd takes his place as the MC to begin the awards.


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