Draft XX of Killing Time: Almost there

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A first film screenplay is a special thing. Your first baby. Your first love. It is also highly scrutanised and vulnerable… but favour fortunes the brave.

So please take a look at the first scene from KILLING TIME THE MOVIE, it’s quite different from the book from which I adapted it, and a Hell of a way to drop into the story. Unfortunately the formatting goes to pot when transferred to the blog, but you get the gist.

Fade in:
INT. A library style office – day
ELIZABETH (29) sits on an armchair that’s VERY WORN ON THE ARMS. She’s upset, with eyes struggling to stay open as she blinks at a CLOCK. JASON IVES (38) is halfway through hypnotising her. Handsome in a bookish way, his calm and confident air pulls her back to a time when she was kidnapped and murdered.
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JASON
Let your eyes close now Elizabeth. look back into your past life from that last day when held captive in 1952.
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INSERT– A 1950’s clock, with the second hand ticking.The second hand on the clock sweeps forward one second, then stops. It struggles very briefly, then slowly fights its way backwards.
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Back to scene
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Jason sits across from her looking at his notes.
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JASON (CONT’D)
Describe the room you’re in.
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ELIZABETH
I can’t, it’s so dark. I’m scared, Jason, I don’t think I can do this.
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Flashback – American 1950’s cellar – day
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Elizabeth is now THELMA; her past life. Small and frail with matted blonde hair, she’s sitting in the dark as the light pulses to the sound of her heavy breathing.
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Back to scene.
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JASON
I’m not surprised. What you’re seeing would scare anyone, but this time there is a difference; this time you are seeing it from the safety of your life as Elizabeth.
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Flashback – American 1950’s cellar – day
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A masked man is violently pulling Thelma across the floor by her hair as she screams.
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JASON (O.S)
Remember, no matter how real it looks and feels, you are no longer Thelma, you are Elizabeth, and as Elizabeth, you are in control of what happens to you.
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— Time freezes in the cellar as the camera rotates.
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JASON (O.S)
Everything you see is in the past; your past, your history. If you can face your fears now, then we can find the man that did this to your life as Thelma.
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Back to scene
Jason remains calm – his voice is reassuring. Elizabeth’s eyes are moving underneath her eyelids.
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JASON
I’m ready to pull you out as soon as you give me the safe word. Repeat the safe word for me please, Elizabeth.
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ELIZABETH
(trembling)
Resolution.
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JASON
Exactly. Resolution is your way out of here, something you didn’t have in 1952.
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Flashback – American 1950’s cellar – day
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Thelma is back in the cellar by herself. Light from the door at the top of the stairs fights against the gloom – then the door jumps open.
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ELIZABETH (O.S)
Oh my God, someone’s coming. I’m in a cellar.
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JASON (O.S)
That’s okay, you’re safe with me, but you have to describe as much as possible before we lose our place in this Awakening. Everything is a clue to catching your killer.
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ELIZABETH (O.S)
It’s all happening so fast
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JASON
Freeze the moment, Elizabeth. Slow down your thoughts, and that will slow down your personal time.
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Time becomes flexible. Slowing, then speeding up to the beat of her heart.
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ELIZABETH (O.S)
Erm, okay, there is a workbench to the left of me. I can’t move round because I’m chained… oh fuck, I’m chained.
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JASON (O.S)
But your mind is free, Elizabeth. Concentrate on the detail. Are there any windows?
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Back to scene
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Elizabeth’s face is perspiring, she’s breathing in short, sharp breaths.
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ELIZABETH
Yes, a tiny one right up by the ceiling, but it has been blanked out with something. I can’t see much.
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JASON
Use one of your other senses; smell, sound…
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Elizabeth turns her head as if she’s heard something.
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ELIZABETH
Hmm, the hum of the freezer drives me mad at night. The throbbing sound gets inside my head, gives me a headache.
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JASON
What’s the make?
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Flashback – American 1950’s cellar – day
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The cellar is packed with junk but dominated by a huge freezer that hums loudly in a pulsing fashion.
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ELIZABETH (O.S)
General electric. It has a big GE badge on it, pile of shit. Things are still moving, Jason, slowly, but I can’t stop it all.
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Thelma starts yanking at her chains as light hits her face.
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ELIZABETH (O.S)
The door is opening, get me the fuck out of here!
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JASON (O.S)
Breathe deeply, Elizabeth, you are doing brilliantly. Just slow your breath, clench your fists, that always helps me take control. I need photos or names.
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Extreme Close up in office
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Her fists clench so tightly that she draws blood.
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Back to Flashback
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ELIZABETH (O.S)
(looking around)
No photos, but there are some old sports trophies, wrestling I think. He’s a big hairy man; seems huge. I can’t remember his face, just his stinking boozy breath when he’s raped me.
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BACK TO SCENE
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Elizabeth is screaming and writhing in her chair.
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ELIZABETH (CONT’D)
Fucking bastard has kept me chained here and raped me so many times. I want him dead. Big, fucking, ugly, bastard… you raped and killed me!
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Jason’s Awakening equipment shows her heart and brain patterns going wild.
JASON
We’ll get him, but I need you to focus right now, Elizabeth. Can you see the names on the trophies? Are you close enough to read them?
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Flashback – American 1950’s cellar – day
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A large shadow emerges through the door by the stairs.
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ELIZABETH (O.S)
So dark, Jason, but the light is coming in through the door now. I can see his feet coming down the steps. can you stop him?
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JASON (O.S)
I can’t, but you can. You have the mental strength. You are in control of your mind and have more time to look around than you think.
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ELIZABETH (O.S)
Hickerson! I can see the name Hickerson on a couple of the trophies.
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JASON (O.S)
Brilliant, that’s a name to work with. Keep looking. Any first names?
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ELIZABETH (O.S)
Don’t have time, I’m fading out. Fuck, this is it. I think this is when I die.
Darkness pulsates.
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JASON (O.S)
Hold on. Describe him as much as possible before you leave.
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ELIZABETH (O.S)
Going blurry now, can just see his legs. He’s wearing shorts. One of his legs is wooden or fake or something.
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From the shadows appears a freakish wooden leg with rusted metal joints fused to his flesh. It’s scary as shit.
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ELIZABETH (O.S)
I think it was blasted off in the second world war. He doesn’t usually say much, just attacks me, forces himself on me… Fuck… Resolution!
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Back to scene
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Elizabeth is struggling in her chair, her fingers gripping the worn areas as if the chair is used to it.
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ELIZABETH (cont’d)
Resolution!
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Jason looks very uncomfortable. He needs more info.
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JASON
Okay, Elizabeth, I’m shining a light on your eyes, follow it.
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Jason pulls out a SMALL TORCH, but doesn’t turn it on yet.
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ELIZABETH
I can’t see it, where is the light?
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Flashback – American 1950’s cellar – day
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She’s scared AND angry now.
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ELIZABETH (O.S)(Cont’d)
You said I’d be out. Shit, everything is rushing now. He’s in front of me; his face, oh Jesus fucking Christ his face, help me!
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INSERT – AN UGLY SLIMY FACE WITH DEATH IN ITS EYES, RUSHES IN A BLUR FROM THE STAIRS TO RIGHT IN FRONT OF HER FACE.
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The face stares straight into the camera for a few beats.
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