Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Screenwriting 101

So what exactly do film majors study? Curious? What follows is some work I did for my screenwriting class.

The assignment: Create a non-dialogue scene with a character trying to achieve an objective. It's tougher than it sounds- learning the language of film is not always an easy transition- although I think I've gotten a handle on it. Enjoy.


A PRISONER, is crouched in a corner of a dark, damp cell. Gleaming metal bars stand between him and never ending darkness. What sounds like mice scrounging for food is actually the prisoner frantically trying to expand the hole he has made in the cell’s brick wall. He has one metal KNIFE and one FORK. Footsteps echo in the dark. The prisoner stops. The footsteps draw closer. The prisoner tries to pierce the darkness with his eyes to no avail. The footsteps linger for a moment and then retreat back down the hall. The prisoner returns to his work.

He jabs with increasing anger at the brick. One of his hands is bleeding. One of the bricks seems to be coming loose. The prisoner’s eyes gleam with success. He thrusts his fork at the brick once more. SNAP. Too hard. The fork breaks in half. The prisoner looks as if he could kill someone. He lets out a roar and punches the brick. The brick flies out and lets in a stream of daylight. He looks around scared- did his outburst signal the guards?

No sign of anyone. He looks at his broken fork and knife shimmering in the gleam of light. His scarred, bleeding hand carefully reaches out for the knife. He snatches it and begins earnestly, but carefully working on the next brick. This brick comes out with relative ease. The prisoner’s hands begin to shake with excitement. He starts on the third brick. It too wants to come out easily, but then more FOOTSTEPS. He freezes. There’s too much light in the cell. He hastily begins picking up bricks, but the FOOTSTEPS are too close. He pauses, breathes heavily. He raises his eyebrows and moves quickly. He positions his body against the hole in the cell.

The FOOTSTEPS are now just outside. They stop. CLUNK, CLUNK. Silence. CLUNK, CLUNK. The prisoner is sweating bullets. A rat scurries close to his hands. CLUNK, CLUNK. The rat begins to nibble on the prisoner’s fingers. The FOOTSTEPS finally move away. The prisoner swats the rat against a wall and it scurries away.

The prisoner returns to work, four bricks now lay on the ground. He shimmies out a fifth with his crude, now nearly dull knife. The prisoner lays flat and tries to squeeze through his hole. So close, he needs one more brick. He grabs his knife and begins jamming into it like a murderer finishing the job. CLUNK. It falls to the ground. The prisoner lays down and on his elbows pushes himself through the hole.


The prisoner wastes no time in quickly moving through a lush field to distance himself from the imposing brick wall that lies behind him. He reaches a dense forest and pauses. He hears footsteps, but of a different sort. Softer, shorter. He sits down. A GIRL, no more than 11 or 12 is walking in the forest, humming a little tune. She doesn’t see him through the trees.

The prisoner’s face takes on a totally different visage. He smiles in a frightening way. Licks his lips. He stands up and begins walking towards the girl.

The girl stops, and turns around. She screams as he walks faster and faster towards her. She begins to run, but it’s useless. The prisoner reaches out to grab her-


In a cloud of blood the prisoner’s head explodes. The girl screams and then begins running. She runs headfirst into a prisoner guard who swoops her into his arms. The guard smiles and tries to calm her. The body of the prisoner remains motionless as the guard walks by, CLUNK, CLUNK, CLUNK.


Blogger carter said...

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it directly writes screenplays onyour browser

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7:58 PM  

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