Friday, 20 March 2009

An Artificial Light

It is a beautiful summers day. The sun has dried out the field discolouring the grass from moist green to a dry brown. There is a family picnicking in the middle of the field. Mum and Dad are enjoying a glass of wine while their son runs around playing with a model aeroplane in the field. There is a stoned wall that divides the field into sections and in one corner there is a huge tree. It is the main feature of the field and although it is the height of summer the tree has not yet sprouted new leaves. The boy runs along the wall making flying noises. He stops by the tree as a man with an old white gym bag approaches. He gazes at him with great curiosity. The man slows to a halt looking quizzically at the young boy. A wide-shot shows the two characters staring at each other for a few seconds.

The boy stands silent.

JONATHAN (cont.)
What’s your name?


Hi Benjamin, I’m Jonathan… That’s a nice plane.

I’m not supposed to speak to strangers

I realise that. I was always told the same when I was your age… Believe me in today’s society I’m just as scared of you as you are of me…

Benjamin continues to stare curiously at Jonathan. There is an uncomfortable silence between them. Neither seems to want to move away from the tree.

JONATHAN (cont.)
What kind of plane is that? It looks old.

It’s a spitfire. It’s from the second world war.

Its nice. You interested in the war?

A phone rings from inside Jonathan’s trouser pocket. He doesn’t answer it, he doesn’t even flinch as to not alarm the boy. It stops ringing.

What’s in the bag?

This bag?

He gestures to his Gym bag. Benjamin nods.

Nothing much. A table-cloth, a birthday card, some cinnamon, cutlery, a book and a t-shirt. Oh, and some toothpaste.


You wouldn’t understand

Benjamin’s parents can be heard calling for him in the distance. He runs off, without saying anything, not even acknowledging Jonathan, away to his Mother and Father.

Jonathan pulls out his phone and sits on the root of the tree. He holds the phone to his ear. A voice mail can be heard just enough to be audible.

Its me Isobel… I read your note… I’m really sorry… I know… there I am apologising again… I know how much it doesn’t help… but…

The voice gives off a huge sigh before eventually Jonathan clicks the phone off. He puts it back in his pocket and looks out into the distance. He takes a deep breath to stop his emotions getting the better of him. He sets the Gym bag out in front of him between his legs. He pulls back the zip and starts sifting through the contents, and true to his word he unearths all the items he spoke of to the boy.

This is the opening scene of a new film I have written. I've been busy doing location photography and sourcing actors. Which is hard. As the story unfolds we see through flashbacks what every item in the bag means to Jonathan and what impact it has on his relationship with Isobel.

This film is a relatioship study. Questioning fate and the notion of true love.

I got the Idea after discussing film projects with Shaun, moaning about my lack of original ideas, when Fionn Regan's song "Put A Penny In The Slot came on" the first verse inspired me to write this film.

"I apologise,
seem to have arrived,
On what items in my bag from your house.
There's cutlery,
a tablecloth, some Hennessy,
And a book on Presidents deceased.
I'll have them fed-exed to you,
It was a strange thing to do,
I hope we can still be friends.
Ah, it was not me,
but someone else, you see,
Twisting the steering reins.

Put a penny in the slot and make an
artificial light shine,
Leave go. Mark old and line."

Get in touch and I'll email the script to those interested.