LOS ANGELES -- For businessman Tom Byron, it loomed as the springboard that could one day take him from manufacturing pneumatic car seats to molding screenplays in Hollywood.

For screenwriter Sara Lou O'Connor, it was a chance to share her script with about 100 other writers as they took turns tapping out movie scenes on a computer.

And for high school senior Eboney Bradley, the weekend's Great American Script-athon was an opportunity to receive financial help for some filmmaking classes as well as to experience her first taste of deadline writing.

"I was so nervous at first, I went to the bathroom three times before I could write all my scenes," Bradley said. "Now, I'm just anxious to see how they read. I just want to know what's going to happen with the script."

Spoken like a true screenwriter. And on Saturday, it seemed everybody was a writer for this 48-hour, type-till-you-drop-while-everyone-shops screenwriting session at the upscale Century City Shopping Center here.

In a marathon effort to produce a salable movie script in two days, more than 100 writers from the nonprofit Independent Writers of Southern California organization and a dozen passersby each willing to plunk down $10 for 10 minutes at the computer churned out a screenplay called "Hot Property."

Just how hot it will be remains to be seen. But for some collaborators, such as the 50-year-old Byron, just participating on a movie script and contributing two sentences of dialogue was enough to echo the Hollywood dream.

"Who knows?" Byron said, smiling. "Someone might look at this and use it as a springboard for me."

Other collaborators shared that sentiment, if not for themselves, at least for their collective screenplay: a "light romantic comedy" about an eccentric elderly man who wants to bestow his house -- the last affordable one in Los Angeles -- on a deserving young couple.

The screenplay has a villain -- a sinister developer named Marvin Montebank -- and a heroine named Allison Jessup who was thrown out of the police academy for refusing to learn how to drive and is now facing eviction from her home.

Will there be a happy ending?

Cheryl Crooks, president of the Independent Writers, said Saturday that she hopes so -- not only at the end of the 200 pages that were to be finished by yesterday's 6 a.m. deadline, but also after the screenplay is polished and edited by a committee of writers.

"I think we can auction it to a movie studio or {independent} filmmaker," said Crooks, adding that an auction will be held in mid-September to entertain bids. "We hope to create the longest line of screenwriting credits in history.

"Everything is possible in Hollywood."

If the screenplay sells, Crooks said, the proceeds will go to the Independent Writers group, which was founded in 1982 and includes freelance scriptwriters, journalists, authors, publicists and poets among its 450 members.

Selling the screenplay was only one of Saturday's goals. Money raised during the marathon -- through corporate pledges and from individuals who paid to contribute their writing -- will go to pay for inner-city high school students to attend a special film workshop at the University of Southern California, Crooks said.

Another goal was to entertain. And as the writers pounded away at their computers, actors -- including a canine actor -- performed finished portions of the script on a nearby stage for an audience of shoppers and tourists.

"I think it's great, creative and exciting," said Stanley Silver, a cardiologist from Miami who watched the action with his wife, Marcia, and son, Cary. "It's sort of what you expect when you come to Los Angeles."