For some time, I have been toying with the idea of actually producing a trailer for Deadly Lessons instead of just producing a written pitch. I figured I could save up a bit of a production budget and maybe get some student filmmakers and friends to work on it. This plan seemed especially plausible when my nine year old daughter and her friend produced a fake movie trailer using nothing more than her iPad Mini and iMovie. Hmmm....maybe the production budget won't need to be that big.
Thus, below is what a trailer, albeit a long-ish one, might look like. If you've read the book, I'd be especially interested in what you think of my attempt at cinematically capturing elements of the book I wrote (it should be easy, shouldn't it?).
School classroom. WINSTON PATRICK is standing at the board, obviously giving directions.
Winston Patrick gave up the courtroom for the classroom.
...remember it’s in section 10(c) of the Charter that a defendant is guaranteed the right to habeous corpus.
Does anyone here actually remember what habeous corpus is?
Blank stares from the students.
...until his old life caught up with his new.
INT. Classroom. Later. CARL TURBOT is leaning against a desk in Winston’s classroom. The students have left.
I just need this conversation to be confidential.
I’ve got a problem and I’d like your advice.
Is this a teaching problem?
Yes and no.
You know how new I am at this. Maybe you’d be better off talking to another teacher, or the principal...
No! We can’t talk to the principal or anyone else. I don’t need your help as a teacher. I need your help as a lawyer.
Carl, are you in some kind of trouble?
I don’t know. I think so. There’s this student. This girl. She threatened me this morning.
She threatened you? To hurt you?
No. It’s just...she threatened to go to the principal. She was going to tell him we were sleeping together.
Holy shit, Carl. What the...
It’s not true, Winston. It’s a complete lie.
INT. The gymnasium. Winston is talking with TRISHA BELLAMY, Carl’s student.
I need to talk you about one of your teachers. Mr. Turbot.
What about him?
He’s your biology teacher, right?
Holy shit! He told you, didn’t he?
Told me what?
Cut the bullshit. Carl told you about our relationship. After all he’s done to me, what a prick.
After all he’s done to you? What do you mean?
He broke up with me.
EXT. The park. We work our way from a wide pan shot until we slowly close in on TRISHA’s body in the centre of the field.
INT. Winston’s apartment. Winston answers the telephone. On the phone we hear the voice of another teacher, Ralph Bremner, on the phone.
Yeah, we’re calling all the staff. There’s an emergency staff meeting in the morning.
What’s going on?
INT.Ralph Bremner on the telephone with Winston.
Geez, Winston. I’m really sorry to tell you. It’s about that student you were talking to this afternoon.
INT. Winston’s apartment.
What about her?
INT. The school. Carl is being handcuffed by two detectives.
Winston, this is crazy. I didn’t kill Trisha. I loved...
Carl, stop talking!
INT. The school, the principal’s office.
Why are you defending him? He slept with a student. He killed her.
He may have killed her, Don. We still have a presumption of innocence in our legal system. And I happen to believe him.
You’re not a lawyer anymore. That’s not how you make your living anymore. You need to be careful.
Are you threatening me?
I’m going to defend my client, Don. He deserves that much.
EXT. The cemetery. Winston is waiting to talk to the messengers who have left him a note. He looks around but is surprised by the strangers who approach him from behind. They grab hold of Winston and punch him in the stomach.
What is the matter with you? Why are you defending this child killer?
Who are you?
They kick Winston while he’s down.
The police have done their job. You will leave this alone.
WE LEAVE WITH A SHOT OF WINSTON LYING UNCONSCIOUS ON THE GROUND AS THE TWO ASSAILANTS WALK AWAY.
What makes you think there’s more to this than your client trying to silence the kid he’s sleeping with?
Because I know him.
Apparently not as well as you think.
What about all these people who keep beating me?
I can think of any number of people who would want to beat you. You were a lawyer. A defence lawyer.
EXT. WINSTON IS RUNNING AT NIGHT. WE SEE THE TAIL LIGHTS OF A CAR THAT IS FOLLOWING HIM. VARIOUS RUNNING AND REACTION SHOTS OF WINSTON.
INT. CARL’S HOUSE. WINSTON IS IN HIS RUNNING GEAR STILL. ANDREA IS PRESENT.
I’m sorry Winston.
I wanna see him.
You really don’t.
Yes, Andy. I do. I need to see him for myself.
We see a shot of Carl lying dead on the floor next to the bed.
INT. WINSTON’S APARTMENT. Andrea is talking with Winston.
This is bigger than you thought.
So what am I supposed to do?
You need to leave it alone.
I can’t do that.
THE HALLWAY OUTSIDE WINSTON’S APARTMENT. BASEBALL CAP PUSHES WINSTON INTO HIS APARTMENT.
You were told to keep your nose out of this.
I’m a slow learner.
That’s not good enough.
Intersperse series of cuts. The music builds throughout.
WINSTON RUNNING ALONG THE ROAD, FOLLOWED BY CAR.
WINSTON LYING ON THE CEMETERY GROUND.
POV OF WINSTON SEEING THE FACE THEN THE FEET OF BASEBALL CAP THROUGH THE RAIN.
EXT. THE FUNERAL HOME. WINSTON SEES HIS ASSAILANTS THROUGH THE CROWD AND BEGINS CHASE.
WINSTON AND ANDREA CHASING BASEBALL CAP BEING CHASED BY ANDREA AND WINSTON.
WINSTON APPROACHING BASEBALL CAP AND KICKING HIM IN THE STOMACH.
INT. SERBIAN EMBASSY
You need to be stopped. You would have figured it out eventually.
I’m not that good a lawyer. You don’t need to do this.
INT. WINSTON’S APARTMENT.
Winston is lying on the couch. Baseball Cap is leaning on him, his gun inside Winston’s mouth.
CLOSE UP OF WINSTON’S FACE, HIS EYES WIDE WITH FEAR.
A PIECE OF LINED PAPER, A PEN LYING ON THE SIDE OF THE PAGE. THE WORDS “DEADLY LESSONS” SPILL IN BLOOD RED ONTO THE PAGE.
Next week: on the road again.