Scriptwriting samples

Extract from The Dragon Rock
Adapted from a short story by Ellena Ashley

1. INT. LUCY’S ROOM. NIGHT.

The room is mostly dark with a very soft light coming from a candle. It is a small room but full of toys. The walls are lined with a toy tea set, dolls and an old, handmade wooden pram. There is a small set of shelves filled with children’s books and teddy bears. The bed is covered with a quilt that is patterned with bright flowers and butterflies. Underneath the quilt, LUCY sits cuddled up staring up at her mother, ISABELLA. Lucy is only seven with a head of dark ringlets framing her face. Isabella sits on a wooden rocking chair, wrapped up tightly in an old, careworn shawl. She has long dark hair as well and it is pulled loosely into a plat. Isabella is reading to Lucy from an old leather bound book.

ISABELLA

This story begins with once upon a time…

She looks up and smiles at Lucy.

ISABELLA (CONT’D)

Because all the best stories do. So Once upon a time there was a village. People are very happy in this village…

DISSOLVE TO:

  1. EXT. VILLAGE MARKET. MORNING.

Two burly looking men, HANK and REG, walk down the road in the middle of the busy village market. They are carrying old, worn golf bags over their shoulders. They are dressed smartly for farmers. They smile at people behind stalls, especially to ALICE who is behind a fresh vegetable stall.

HANK

Morning Alice.

ALICE

(sarcastically)

Off to work I see.

HANK

I get paid to look after the course. And now I have ter check it out for the tournament this weekend.

Alice, a middle aged, buxom woman who was beautiful in her day, shakes her head at the two men.

REG

Isn’t nothing wrong with getting paid to do somethin’ you love to do.

Reg tips his hat at Alice and the two men continue on their way.

ISABELLA (V.O.)

People in the village work hard, keeping their houses spick and span…

The two men walk past a couple standing next to a stall of corn on the cob. MR and MRS MCFARLEY are a young couple clearly used to arguing.

MRS MCFARLEY

How could you even think of selling it at that price?

MR MCFARLEY

I can’t sell it too high to our friends.

MRS MCFARLEY

We’ll never get a bigger house at this rate.

MR MCFARLEY

You already complain there’s too much to clean as it is. Why do you want a bigger house?

HANK

Morning, McFarleys.

The couple look up from their argument and smile at the two men walking past.

MR MCFARLEY

Morning Hank, Reg.

MRS MCFARLEY

Morning dears.

They immediately turn back to each other.

MRS MCFARLEY (CONT’D)

That’s beside the point.

Hank and Reg move on down the road shaking their heads at the couple. Suddenly three children, GUY, HENRY and GRETTA, all of about seven years old, come running past the two men. DELILA, a young beautiful woman, sticks her head out of a window nearby and looks after the children.

DELILA

And don’t you be late for lunch again.

She shakes her head and smiles warmly at Hank and Reg when she sees them.

DELILA (CONT’D)

Morning gentleman.

REG

Morning Delila, my love.

DELILA

Fine day for golf.

REG

Is indeed, is indeed.

DELILA

Don’t get too hot out there, mind. It’s been too hot this summer.

REG

Yes ma’am.

The two men continue out on the road and past the meadow where the children are now playing with other children.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Extract from SAFE
An original screenplay

1. EXT. ROAD. DAY.

SABINA is moving down a busy street, slowly because of all the PEOPLE. She glances behind her and sees AGENT COLLARD behind her. She pulls the hood of her jacket further over her head and continues to push forward. Collard signals to other MEN across the street to keep moving. Collard hasn’t seen Sabina but knows she is on the street somewhere.

Sabina comes to a stop at a traffic light to cross the road. She glances behind her again as Collard spots her. He starts running in her direction pushing people over. Sabina runs across the street before the light changes. She runs down a flight of stairs into a shopping mall.

2. INT. SHOPPING MALL. DAY.

Sabina glances behind her again and then all around her. She pulls the hood off her head to blend in with the people there. She moves quickly down an escalator and along a corridor.

Collard and AGENT DU TOIT run down the stairs into the shopping mall and stop. The other men stop behind them.

AGENT COLLARD

Spread out.

The men move off in different directions.

Sabina comes to an opening and pauses, she glances around. She moves across it but turns sharply when one of the men steps out in front of her. To her left another man steps out causing her to turn in the other direction where she sees another of the men. She stops short, not bothering to turn to the only remaining opening behind her. Collard steps out behind her.

AGENT COLLARD

Fancy meeting you here.

Sabina sighs in resignation.

3. INT. INTERROGATION ROOM. DAY.

The room is small with a long table in the middle. Sabina sits in a chair on one side of the table, facing two chairs on the other side of the table. She is handcuffed to the arms of the chair.

She pulls at the right handcuff and then at the left. They don’t give and she sighs, frustrated.

The door opens with a creak and Collard and Du Toit walk in. Sabina looks at them as if examining prey, she leans back and crosses her legs.

Du Toit seats himself furthest from the door. Agent Collard pulls out the empty chair but remains standing behind it.

AGENT COLLARD

(feigned politeness)

Sabina, meet Du Toit.

He gestures to the other agent as if they were at a dinner party.

AGENT DU TOIT

Pleasure to finally meet you.

He grins, carrying on the feigned politeness of Agent Collard.

AGENT COLLARD

He doesn’t think that cuffing you to the chair is necessary.

SABINA

You should tell him what happens when your guards take a nap while I’m in custody.

Collard finally sits down.

AGENT COLLARD

Oh, I did. I’ve also told him all about this case. He’s been very helpful in tracking you down.

SABINA

Needed the fresh legs to run after me?

Collard smiles overly sweetly.

AGENT COLLARD

Actually it was his photography skills I find most useful.

Du Toit removes a pile of photographs from a folder he had been carrying. He starts putting them down on the table one by one with an obsequious smile.