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Short Film Script.


Eats hoops and leaves
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Okay I've got to write a short film script, to be shot later. What do you think of this? It's an idea of mine that keeps cropping up, so please forvigve the familiarity of it. I'm quite fond of it as this story (up until the end) is close to my heart, which is why I need opinions on it. For everybody else, it could be very dull. Anyway:

THE BOY AND THE GIRL SCRIPT

(A short film)

By

Gary Adams

EXT. BOY’S HOUSE, AFTERNOON.

JOHN is sitting on the doorstep of his house, clearly locked out. He is building little walls out of the pebbles on his driveway and picking at his shoes. SARAH struts past, makes eye contact and we see John follow her with his gaze. He gets up and picks up a tennis ball and bounces it about. His cat runs up and figures-of-eights around his legs. He picks up the cat and starts tickling its chin, talking in a gooey, baby voice.

Sarah coughs. She’s back.

JOHN

Ah, err, hi.

SARAH

What’s its name?

JOHN

Mindy.

SARAH

Ooooh hello Mindy. How old is she?

JOHN

He. Long story. 5 or 6… dunno.

SARAH

Oh. So–

JOHN

–What’s your? Sorry.

SARAH

No, no. Carry on.

JOHN

Oka… what’s your name? Name.

SARAH

Sarah. And yours?

JOHN

John. Nice to meet you.

SARAH

You live here then?

JOHN

Yeah… I forgot my key. Got to wait until my brother gets back.

SARAH

How long’s he gonna be?

JOHN

Probably about an hour.

SARAH

You do this a lot?

JOHN

On average, once a week.

SARAH

I see. Would you include under your list of hobbies on your C.V?

JOHN

Just underneath ‘getting rained on’ and above ‘having no toilet roll…’

SARAH

Hmm.

JOHN

I was trying to be funny. But it didn’t work. You’ll have to forgive me – why don’t we start again?

SARAH

Sarah.

JOHN

John.

(John extends his right hand, and they shake.)

SARAH

That’s good. A lot of boys don’t shake hands with girls. And when they do, they get all alpha-male and try to crush me. You have good grip, but also… hmmm. Gentle.

JOHN

Well, I…

SARAH

Hehe.

John laughs too.

JOHN

So are you new here? I’ve not noticed you before. And uh, I’d imagine that I would. Have. Before.

SARAH

Oh yeah? Why’s that then?

(Sarah goes a red very slightly, and her heels turn. John looks as if he wants the world to suck him away.)

JOHN

Uh, you know. You’re nice, and stuff. Pretty.

SARAH

Thanks! I have a new haircut. Maybe that’s it.

JOHN

Yeah?

SARAH

Nah, I moved here last week, but I lived at my aunt’s while my parents sorted the house out. I’m starting school on Monday.

JOHN

(Says this a little too quickly) Which school?

SARAH

St. Gregory’s. I think that’s what it’s called, anyway.

JOHN

Oooh I go there. Maybe we’ll be in the same class. I hope so.

(A beat of silence.)

JOHN

Then you’ll know somebody in the classroom already…

SARAH

Yeah, that would be nice. Anyway, I should go really. Have to sort some crap out in my room. Moving beds about, figuring out where to put my TV…

JOHN

Well, it was nice talking to you.

SARAH

Yeah…

JOHN

Hold on – hold on. You’re tiny.

SARAH

Heh. Excuse me?

JOHN

Really thin. No, no. I mean, you’ll be able to fit through the toilet window, look at this.

(They walk to the bathroom window, which is a slither of glass.)

SARAH

That’s quite narrow!

JOHN

Yeah, but look at you. If you can fit in there, I’ll tell you where my keys are.

SARAH

I’ll give it a go.

JOHN

Good, good. Here, stand on this bin.

(There is a lot of shuffling about, with Sarah squeezing in through the gap. John attempts his best behaviour, be he can’t resist one or two sly glances at her legs and breasts. It isn’t clear that this is the case, but there is the impression that Sarah really doesn’t mind, and is in fact putting on a bit of a show for him. Eventually she gets through.)

SARAH

Nice sink.

JOHN

Yeah, notice our beautiful pea-green bath too.

SARAH

Hmm. Right, this feels a bit weird. So where are the keys?

(At this point the camera stays on John for the entire dialogue, until he’s let into the house.)

JOHN

Okay, go out the door and turn right. There should be a little table there with them on.

SARAH

No, nothing. But there is a grenade there.

JOHN

Don’t worry, it’s from WWII. Don’t ask…

SARAH

Okay…

JOHN

Head into my room. It’s obvious which one it is. My keys are probably on my pillow.

SARAH

Hmm. Ahh. Yup! This is such a boy’s room.

JOHN

Well I should hope so…

SARAH

Hehe, you even have a picture of a fighter plane on your wall!

JOHN

Yeah, my Grandad gave it to me.

SARAH

You’ve got a lot of videogames. And look at those!

JOHN

What?

SARAH

Plastic women!

JOHN

I collect… things. Look, I’ve just realised that I’ve got a complete stranger in my room!

SARAH

What are all of these magazines?

JOHN

Film ones?

SARAH

Yeah.

JOHN

Oh, I write film reviews. The ones on that shelf – my ego shelf – are the ones I’ve been in.

SARAH

Impressive.

JOHN

Let me in!

INT. JOHN’S HOUSE, AFTERNOON.

SARAH

Okay, okay. There.

JOHN

Ah, hello.

SARAH

How was work, dear?

(They both walk towards John’s bedroom.)

JOHN

Oh, the usual. Stress, hard work. But now I’m ready for my dinner.

SARAH

Well I’m sorry to disappoint you, but I’ve not done any dinner for you tonight.

JOHN

Oh? What have you been up to then?

SARAH

Hmm. Playing with your telescope…

JOHN

Well please don’t. That’s a very expensive piece of equipment, and it’s very fragile too. I like to… look at it.

(John bends down and looks through the scope.)

SARAH

Stop bothering the moon dear, and come back to bed.

JOHN

Hey, I recognise that!

SARAH

Yeah? Listen, let’s go to my house. You look strong. You can help me move junk about.

JOHN

We-el, I’d like to play hard to get. But what the hell, I can’t resist such an offer. Let’s go!

(They walk out, John making it obvious that this time, he’s remembered his keys.)

JOHN

I know! It’s from the Kraken Wakes. By John Wyndham. I love that book!

SARAH

Yup, can’t beat fifties children’s horror.

JOHN

(Looking behind him as he walks)

You know, this could be the start of a beaut–

(John is interrupted as his body smashes against the front of a fast-moving car. The camera stays static as we hear the awful thump. Sarah doesn’t even move. Words flash up: ‘Hey, he died smiling.’)

END OF SCENE.

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It does seem very like those "Think!" adverts about children stepping in front of traffic. Not sure if that is intentional or not.

Also, this line doesn't make sense as written (I guess there is an "it" missing?):

SARAH

I see. Would you include under your list of hobbies on your C.V?

How old are these children (I assume they are children because of the school reference)? It might be useful to include their ages in the initial description. I'm not sure what it is, but the dialogue sounds more like adults speaking than children.

Sorry if this is all sounding negative.

CJ

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Like CJ says, there is confusion with the age of the two characters. At some point I thought they were about 10 and others 18 or so. If I am being honest I'm also not really sure it would make a particularly great short film. I don't mean to sound really negative but it just doesn't sound original or have much of a hook. The only element of drama comes at the end but it reads as if you just include a shock ending for the sake of it. The conversation leading up to the accident just didn't grab me enough.

I apologise for sounding incredibly negative. Perhaps once the age of the characters is clearer it will help the overall script.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Oh, don't apologise for being negative! Reasons for not liking something are always useful. You're not the only one to say something about the age of the kids (they're supposed to be 15).

I agree that it lacks drama and a hook. I've made quite a few changes since, but it still comes across as an anti-drink driving advert or something. To explain the purpose: I wanted to write something that was really easy to film, and allowed a range of different directorial styles to be employed. But the story isn't very good.

If I can salvage it into something entertaning, I'll post it back here again.

Cheers!

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I was/am going to film it. With real actors plucked from a drama school.

I'm going to be applying for the BBC in 18 months, and I don't have any real, completed work to show them. A couple of half-filmed projects that petered out due to lack of focus and too much ambition. I want something straightfoward and simple so I can film the whole lot in a week.

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I wanted to write something that was really easy to film, and allowed a range of different directorial styles to be employed.

I look forward to reading your latest version, but I would just be wary of the highlighted comment. If it is a short film I wouldn't try and cover too many styles. You may want to illustrate your versatility but it will likely bite you in the arse because it will look messy and lacking focus. Stick with a definite style from beginning to end for a better result.

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Sorry, the comparison may be a little misleading. The films were about 6 different people (iirc) and each film would focus on 2-3 of them with the others drifting in and out of the narrative. The next film would then focus on the support characters so you would end up with a fuller picture of all the characters. They were essentially three different stories, but these are feature films. If you are doing a short film I see no reason why you couldn't create three different films around a single scenario by focussing each time on a different characters point of view. Of course Hoop's current story wouldn't work doing this though.

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I look forward to reading your latest version, but I would just be wary of the highlighted comment. If it is a short film I wouldn't try and cover too many styles. You may want to illustrate your versatility but it will likely bite you in the arse because it will look messy and lacking focus. Stick with a definite style from beginning to end for a better result.

Yeah that's the thing - focus is key. I like the idea of doing it in different ways. It would be fun to try and create different themes or moods with the same script with the same shots but different editing.

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The dialogue is well written and natural, but these characters do appear to morph somewhat. Towards the end John sounds like Clark Gable or something. I don't think 15 year olds who've just met are quite that 'smoooth' if you know what I mean. Unless it's Bugsy Malone style pastiche (could be good no? - two nervous virgins suddenly speaking like thrice divorced old hacks).

Either way to me the rapid familiarity and sudden fliration felt very surreal.

Also, while I'm typing, the ending is a bit, shock for the sake of it. By all means end with a bang, but it really is quite tired the old hit by a car number.

If you want to be deviant, shock the viewer; why not make John a bit more of a predator ladies man, Sarah very timid/ new to the area, and have john turn out to be an asbo ridden juvenile thief using her as an unwitting accomplice. The 'real' John can turn up with sun-tanned familly once he's scarped. Now that would be fun.

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