2012‎ > ‎Video sketches‎ > ‎

License Key

[It is a dark and stormy night. Alex sits at home, alone, at his/her desk. Rain streams down the glass windows behind it. The room is full of shadows, and what lurks in them mercifully lies beyond the mortal ken]

Alex opens up his/her copy of Microsoft Office 2011, puts the disc into the disc drive and a window appears.

“Welcome to Microsoft Office! To begin the installation, please enter your license key.”

[Alex enters the license key]

“Thank you! Please enter the second license key found on the inside of the box.”

[Alex opens the box and enters the second license key]

“Thank you! Please enter the authentication code found in the instruction manual.

[He/she flips through the instructions booklet inside the CD case, finds the license key on the back page, enters it]

“Thank you! Please warm the second installation disc to 20 degrees to reveal a license key, then enter it here.”

[Alex grabs a lighter, holds it beneath disc 2. A license key appears in gold text around the disc’s edge.]

“Thank you! The next license key is being sent to you. Please wait.”

[Alex stares at the screen. Suddenly, his/her iPhone rings. It’s a private number.]


[there is no response from the other line]


[printing noises are heard. Alex puts the phone down on his/her desk and sees a piece of paper emerging from the charging slot. He/she pulls on it, and it unravels revealing a printed license key, which is then entered.]

“Thank you! Please enter the license key printed beneath your desk.”

[Bewildered, Alex looks beneath his/her desk and finds a license key printed on the underside.]

“Thank you! Please enter the license key found on your left arm.”

[Alex stares in shock, then rolls up his/her left sleeve and is terrified to discover a license key printed there.]

“Thank you! Please enter the license key found on your right arm.”

[Visibly panicked and shaking, he/she enters the one beneath the right sleeve of their shirt]

“Thank you! Please enter the license key on your left cheek.”

[Camera shows the right side of his/her face and their eyes widen. He/she slowly looks into a mirror and is shocked to discover a license key scrawled on the other side of their face.]

“Thank you! You have completed the installation.”

[Alex exhales a sigh of relief.]

“To run your software, please enter the final runtime code located behind you within 30 seconds.”

[dramatic cut between Alex’s face and scanning of that line, finishing on a close up of “located behind you” and then "behind you" as he/she hears floorboards creak and the quiet sound of breathing and the counter ticks down]

[camera pans as Alex, face filled with fear, slowly turns on his/her swivel chair to discover a man dressed entirely in black holding a board with a license key printed on it. The man slowly steps towards Alex as Alex screams and the countdown ticks closer to 0, crying in fear as he/she enters the license key as the man approaches. As the countdown reaches 0, Alex enters it just in the nick of time and the man freezes, his license-key-board inches away from their neck.]

“Thank you for entering your license key!”

Alex sighs.

“Error: Typo detected. Please retry.”

[music rises as Alex’s eyes widen and he/she slowly turns around in fear as the license-key man raises the board and swings down. Cut to blood splattering across the monitor.]

cut to black. White text appears. “Microsoft: We care about users.”