Project Acoustic Kitty by Annarosa Schiavone | Script Revolution

Project Acoustic Kitty



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Based On: 
True events
In the depths of the Cold War, the CIA tasks two hapless agents with eavesdropping secrets from the Soviet embassy in Washington… using cats.

From Wikipedia:
"Acoustic Kitty was a CIA project launched by the Central Intelligence Agency Directorate of Science & Technology, which in the 1960s intended to use cats to spy on the Kremlin and Soviet embassies. In an hour-long procedure a veterinary surgeon implanted a microphone in the cat's ear canal, a small radio transmitter at the base of its skull and a thin wire into its fur. This would allow the cat to innocuously record and transmit sound from its surroundings.

The first Acoustic Kitty mission was to eavesdrop on two men in a park outside the Soviet compound on Wisconsin Avenue in Washington, D.C. The cat was released nearby, but was hit and allegedly killed by a taxi almost immediately. However, this was disputed in 2013 by Robert Wallace, a former Director of the CIA's Office of Technical Service, who said that the project was abandoned due to the difficulty of training the cat to behave as required, and "the equipment was taken out of the cat; the cat was re-sewn for a second time, and lived a long and happy life afterwards". Subsequent tests also failed. Shortly thereafter the project was considered a failure and declared to be a total loss.

The project was cancelled in 1967. A closing memorandum said that the CIA researchers believed that they could train cats to move short distances, but that "the environmental and security factors in using this technique in a real foreign situation force us to conclude that for our (intelligence) purposes, it would not be practical."

Inspired by real events, Project Acoustic Kitty follows the attempts of agents Cooper and Parker to train cats to spy on the Soviet Ambassador in Washington D.C.
Unable to force the felines to listen to any command, and far from being "cat persons", they ask help to Bella, a circus performer and catwhisperer.
Though the first tests fail badly, Spark, one of the trainees, shows to be prone to obey commands, so he is implanted with a radio transmitter, and the first real mission starts: he's able to access the embassy, but he eavesdrops on the chefs... After all, he's just a cat!
Back at work, Parker suggests to try spying the conventional way. They stake out the Ambassador meeting with an agent (who is later revealed working for the CIA). But it’s clear they need Spark’s help to get the intel. In the field, they almost get what they need, but Spark gets kidnapped by the Ambassador. Parker, Cooper and Bella defy orders to rescue him.
Back on the bottom of the pile, Cooper, Parker, and Bella now find themselves looking for the mole inside the Cia, and they are able to catch him only with Spark's help.

All Accolades & Coverage: 

"Project Acoustic Kitty is a funny, thoughtful and cleverly shaped espionage caper. Its hilariously executed premise has charm and warmth."
"The structure of this script is sound. An intriguing world draws us into flawed characters who struggle against increasingly difficult odds to achieve something significant, while also transforming their inner selves, and are rewarded with deeper human connection to one another."

"PROJECT ACOUSTIC KITTY’s excels in its structure. The script contains all the classical elements of the spy genre in which it plays - an early failed mission setting the improbable goals for the main characters, increasing set backs through the second act, and a strong action-packed finale. The script even includes an interesting final set piece “tag” that could potentially set up a future sequel. The third act was particularly strong in that the characters found themselves accomplishing their goal late in the second act, only to reveal a false victory with an even grander conspiracy at play that helped launched things toward a bigger finale. For all of these structural elements considered, the script excelled."

Submitted: May 18, 2019
Last Updated: May 26, 2019

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Annarosa Schiavone's picture

The Writer: Annarosa Schiavone

Obsessive daydreamer, I became brave enough to tell my stories only in my early 20s. I credit/blame my best friend for being patient enough to listen, and saying out loud “You should write this!” I started writing at 25, stopped at 28 when the man I thought was the love of my life told me he wanted a girlfriend “with no flights of fancy”. In 2008 I had my first, direct encounter with cancer. Everyone reacts differently when they find themselves fighting cancer. I fought my war with the aim of resuming writing, no matter what other people in my life wanted from me. Writing is for me to be happy. Growing up watching Star Wars and Indiana Jones, I became a Sci-Fi and Action Movies lover,... Go to bio