Author Topic: Draft into - drama screenplay - reworked Word Count 987  (Read 1489 times)

bananna86

  • Guest
Draft into - drama screenplay - reworked Word Count 987
« on: March 16, 2014, 03:10:42 AM »
Thank you to everyone for the original feedback. I have reworked the layout (though oh here it dose not show up the best). I am hoping the story line flows and builds more smoothly this time. I am having trouble removing the characters actions. Do I have too many? Thank you again for taking the time to read through this. Cheers.


____________________________________________________________________


INT. EMMA'S BEDROOM (1999)

A 23 year old woman, EMMA asleep in bed. Alarm goes off.  
EMMA wakes up and opens curtain letting the light pour in.
EMMA Bumps a photo frame [photo of ZAC and EMMA at
the age of six wearing homemade Easter hats] on the ledge
and picks it up. Staring at the photo frame, EMMA begins
to smile and walks out of the room


INT. EMMA'S HALLWAY

EMMA carries the photograph and still
looks at it whilst tripping over odd items
down the hallway.


                                      OLD EMMA [V.O]
                                   It was my favorite photo.

[FLASHBACK BEGINS]


INT. SCHOOL EASTER HAT PARADE IN A SCHOOL HALL WITH PARENTS TAKING PHOTOS (1982)

                                           OLD EMMA [V.O]
                           I loved my mother deeply, but sometimes
                         I believed her homemade craft creations
                           were never meant to leave our home.
                              
YOUNG ZAC and YOUNG EMMA stand at the side of the school stage.

                                           YOUNG ZAC
                                      Why are you crying?

YOUNG ZAC pulls melted chocolate eggs out of his pant pocket.
                                  
                                          YOUNG ZAC (CONT'D)
                                         I have chocolate?

                                         OLD EMMA [V.O]
                     He knew the way to a woman's heart early on.

                                         YOUNG EMMA
                                 I hate my Easter hat, its ugly.

YOUNG EMMA eats a handful of chocolate

                                      YOUNG ZAC
                                          I like it.

                                       YOUNG EMMA
                                  I like yours better.

                                       YOUNG ZAC
                                       Take it off.

YOUNG ZAC takes his homemade Easter hat
off and puts it on YOUNG EMMAS head.
He then takes YOUNG EMMA'S hat off and
puts it on his head

                                      YOUNG EMMA
                                       Thank you.

                                       YOUNG ZAC
                                     My name is Zac.

                                     YOUNG EMMA
                            My name is Emma and I am six.

                                     YOUNG ZAC
                                     It's our turn.

YOUNG ZAC grabs YOUNG EMMA'S hand and
leads her onto the stage in front of the
parents taking photos.

[FLASHBACK ENDS]


INT. EMMA'S BEDROOM (1999)


EMMA has a shower, packs her bag and
takes the photo out of the frame and
throws it in her luggage as the taxi
cab beeps in the driveway.

                                               EMMA
                                       I AM COMING. I'M COMING


INT. INSIDE TAXI CAB

                                              EMMA
                                     [Whispers] I can do this.
                             It's just home. I am just going home.

EMMA'S Mobile phone rings.
                                                
                                                EMMA
                            Georgie, so happy you called.

                                           GEORGIE
                                           Hi Em, So.
                                             (Beat)
                                      Today is the big day.

                                            EMMA
                                             Yep.
                                           (Beat)
                                         Seven years.

                                           GEORGIE
                          SEVEN YEARS. I did not realize it was that long.
                              You really haven't visited your family
                          home in seven years? My mother would
                         throttle me and tie me to the porch post.

                                             EMMA
                                    Ha, she did try that.
                                             (Beat)
                                            Anyway.

                                           GEORGIE
                             She is going to be alright Em. I
                              know your mum; she's as tough as
                            Joan of Arc. She's the Emmeline Pankhurst
                             of our time. Probably, the reason why she
                            didn't tell you in the first place.

                                           EMMA
                                  Emmeline who? (Trails off)

Car in traffic backfires close by.
EMMA jumps. She then gently
strokes one of her ears.


[FLASHBACK BEGINS]

EXT. OUTSIDE THE FENCE OF AN OLD RUNDOWN SUGAR MILL. (1988)

YOUNG EMMA and YOUNG ZAC at 12 years old

                                     YOUNG EMMA
                                   Zac. Really, It Is Okay.
                               I have another one at home.

YOUNG ZAC climbs over a tall rusty wire fence
into the Sugar mill to chase after YOUNG EMMA's
hat that blew away.

                                        YOUNG ZAC
                                   It's fine Em. I know how
                                    much it means to you.

YOUNG ZAC runs almost out of view chasing
YOUNG EMMA's hat in the strong breeze, getting
closer and closer to the Sugar Mill.
YOUNG EMMA leans against the fence, looking through it.

                                           YOUNG EMMA
                                   Zac. (beat) Zac, I can't see you.
                                        Just come back.
                                              (beat)
                                     This isn't funny anymore.

Several loud explosions go off in the mill.
Emma throws herself on the ground.

[FLASHBACK ENDS]


INT. INSIDE TAXI CAB (1999)

                                        GEORGIE
                             Em, Em, EMMA. You there Emma?

                                          EMMA
                                    Oh what. Sorry.

                                        GEORGIE
                                    Are you okay?

                                           EMMA
                               Yeah, I will be fine. The
                          thought of going back is just
                             bringing back old memories.

                                      GEORGIE
                         As your best friend, I am happy
                        to come visit you at Rosebay anytime.
                        I mean, it would fun. Going through
                      your childhood room and photographs.

                                         EMMA
                           No way. You have to work.

                                      GEORGIE
                          I am writer remember, my
                         office is my head. And luckily enough,
                         my head goes everywhere that I go.

                                            EMMA
                              I'll call if I need anything.
                                            (beat)
                                        And thanks.

                                          GEORGIE
                               Always a pleasure. Take care.

                                           EMMA
                                         Bye Georgie

                                          GEORGIE
                                           Bye Em.

                                       CAB DRIVER
                                $45.60 thanks Mam. Mam?

                                            EMMA
                                     Oh sorry, here
                                   you go. Keep the change.


INT. AIRPORT LOUNGE

EMMA checks in and buys a coffee as she
sits in the waiting lounge at the airport,
flicking through a newspaper, but not really
reading it. An announcement over the airport
speaker system about a flight triggers
EMMAs memory once again.

[FLASHBACK BEGINS]

INT. IN A HOSPITAL WAITING ROOM (1988)

A staff member is speaking over the
hospital announcer, as YOUNG EMMA
sits in the waiting room with her
mother (ROSIE) and YOUNG ZACS father (TED).

                                            YOUNG EMMA
                               Mum, what's going on? Why can't I see zac?

                                              ROSIE
                                   It won’t be long sweety.

Doctor walks over and pulls TED aside.
TED'S body language drops as he puts
his head down and rubs his forehead.
ROSIE approaches TED once the doctor leaves.
They talk for a bit then embrace each other.
YOUNG EMMA walks over to both of them.

                                        YOUNG EMMA
                                  What's going on? Mum.
                                           (beat)
                                 Ted? Where is zac?

                                            ROSIE
                              Come sit down honey. You can
                            see Zac very soon, but first-
                                          (beat)
                           Honey, the explosion that you
                            and Zac were near was very-

[FLASHBACK ENDS]

INT. AIRPORT LOUNGE (1999)


                                    AIRPORT ANNOUNCER
                        Final call for flight QA785 to Rosebay

EMMA throws back the rest of
her coffee and walks briskly to
the plane check in.

INT. INSIDE THE PLANE AFTER TAKE OFF


EMMA pulls a letter from ZAC out of an envelope.
The letter looks worn and weather as though
it has been read many times. EMMA then orders
a scotch on the rocks from the flight attendant

Edited to abide by guidelines on word count.
« Last Edit: June 22, 2014, 10:06:54 PM by Alice, a Country Gal »

hillwalker3000

  • Guest
Re: Draft into - drama screenplay - reworked
« Reply #1 on: March 16, 2014, 07:51:55 AM »
Your action still needs cutting to the bone. 99% of this can go:

A 23 year old woman, EMMA asleep in bed. Alarm goes off. 
EMMA wakes up and opens curtain letting the light pour in.
EMMA Bumps a photo frame [photo of ZAC and EMMA at
the age of six wearing homemade Easter hats] on the ledge
and picks it up. Staring at the photo frame, EMMA begins
to smile and walks out of the room.


INT. EMMA'S BEDROOM (EARLY MORNING)
EMMA 23 picks up a framed photo of her and ZAC both aged six wearing Easter outfits.

is more than enough.

The director will figure out that Emma is a woman. The sleeping, alarm, waking up are all superfluous.
'asleep in bed'? Where else would she be sleeping? Honestly.
The director will have his own ideas about what she does in her bedroom this time of day. Your job is to come up with a character and have her do something - hopefully involving dialogue.
'homemade Easter hats'? Are these going to look any different to shop-bought Easter hats? Either way this will be impossible to translate onto the screen.
'EMMA begins to smile'? Again - how do you expect an actor to do this? It's completely unnecessary.
You seem to forget you're writing a screenplay for the movies not a novel.

INT. EMMA'S HALLWAY
EMMA carries the photograph and still
looks at it whilst tripping over odd items
down the hallway.

Get rid of this. All it establishes is that Emma's house is a dump and she has trouble walking. We're in the movies. Let's have something visual that's worth watching.

                                      OLD EMMA [V.O]
                                   It was my favorite photo.


Did she die? Has she mislaid the photo? Or is it still her favourite photo? Is she talking to someone? The audience? Her carer? I'm not sure it's going to work having this voiceover so soon into the plot with no visuals. We don't know anything about your MC and already she's transformed into an invisible old woman.

INT. SCHOOL EASTER HAT PARADE IN A SCHOOL HALL WITH PARENTS TAKING PHOTOS (1982)
Either the dialogue and action will establish it's an Easter Hat Parade or it's irrelevant. Keep the directions simple.

                                         OLD EMMA [V.O]
                     He knew the way to a woman's heart early on.


This sounds an unrealistic comment to make about a six-year old boy. I don't buy it.
They swap hats - and that's it. . . I must be missing something. So far it's a little feeble,

INT. EMMA'S BEDROOM (1999)
Unless this is a different bedroom to the one she was in at the opening scene we don't need the date.

EMMA has a shower, packs her bag and
takes the photo out of the frame and
throws it in her luggage as the taxi
cab beeps in the driveway.

This would take about 15 minutes of movie time to show on-screen. Was that your intention? Or is it completely irrelevant to the plot? I'll let you decide.

                                               EMMA
                                       I AM COMING. I'M COMING


The same applies here ^^^. Most directors jump-cut from one important scene to another. But for the record, if it's dialogue don't capitalise it. If she's speaking to the taxi outside it's likely she'll be raising her voice - but again, I'm not seeing anything here that I'd pay 5 cents to watch so far.

And it doesn't get any better:

                                           GEORGIE
                                           Hi Em, So.
                                             (Beat)
                                     Today is the big day.
                                            EMMA
                                             Yep.
                                           (Beat)
                                         Seven years.
                                           GEORGIE
                          SEVEN YEARS. NO CAPITALS FOR DIALOGUE I did not realize it was that long.
                              You really haven't visited your family
                          home in seven years? My mother would
                         throttle me and tie me to the porch post.


What's the point of this scene? To inform the viewer that Emma hasn't been home since was 16 I presume. If this was in a novel a conversation like this would be termed exposition through dialogue. Emma already knows all the above so it's included purely to dump back-story on the reader. It's dreadful to read - and not great to watch on-screen.

The stuff about how tough her mother is - again you're using a short-cut technique to set the scene. But the conversation sounds forced. You're putting words into their mouths rather than having them speak like normal people.

Car in traffic backfires close by.
EMMA jumps. She then gently
strokes one of her ears.

Simple question. Why?

[FLASHBACK BEGINS]

Aha - the backfiring car reminds her of an exploding factory. Time for another flashback.

Sorry, but I stand by my earlier critique of this piece. The flashbacks don't work. Your MC comes across as a weak, needy individual living in a dream world. And possibly possessing a hat fetish.

The triggering of each memory is so clumsily handled that it's a distraction. Every time one happens the 'plot' veers off the road into a ditch.

                                      GEORGIE
                         As your best friend, I am happy
                        to come visit you at Rosebay anytime.
                        I mean, it would fun. Going through
                      your childhood room and photographs.


Do real people talk this way? They sound like kindergartners. I'm afraid the thought of watching this stuff ^^^ on screen becomes increasingly depressing the further I read through the script.

H3K