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Thursday, 13 March 2014
Coming Soon


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?).

 

FADE IN:

INT.

School classroom.  WINSTON PATRICK is standing at the board, obviously giving directions.

ANNOUNCER (V.O.)

    Winston Patrick gave up the courtroom     for the classroom.

WINSTON

    ...remember it’s in section 10(c) of the     Charter that a defendant is guaranteed     the right to habeous corpus. 

Pause.

WINSTON (cont’d)

    Does anyone here actually remember what     habeous corpus is?

Blank stares from the students.

ANNOUNCER (V.O.)

    ...until his old life caught up with his     new.

CUT TO:

INT. Classroom.  Later.  CARL TURBOT is leaning against a desk in Winston’s classroom.  The students have left.

CARL

    I just need this conversation to be         confidential.

WINSTON

    Sure.

CARL

    I’ve got a problem and I’d like your         advice.

WINSTON

    Is this a teaching problem?

CARL

    Yes and no.

WINSTON

    You know how new I am at this. Maybe         you’d be better off talking to another     teacher, or the principal...

CARL
(interrupting)

    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.

WINSTON

    Carl, are you in some kind of trouble?

CARL

    I don’t know. I think so. There’s this     student. This girl. She threatened me     this morning.

WINSTON

    She threatened you? To hurt you?

CARL

    No. It’s just...she threatened to go to     the principal. She was going to tell him     we were sleeping together.

WINSTON

    Holy shit, Carl.  What the...

CARL

    It’s not true, Winston.  It’s a complete     lie.

CUT TO:

INT. The gymnasium. Winston is talking with TRISHA BELLAMY, Carl’s student.

WINSTON

    I need to talk you about one of your         teachers.  Mr. Turbot.

TRISHA

    What about him?

WINSTON

    He’s your biology teacher, right?

TRISHA

    Holy shit! He told you, didn’t he?

WINSTON

    Told me what?

TRISHA

    Cut the bullshit. Carl told you about     our relationship. After all he’s done to     me, what a prick.

WINSTON

    After all he’s done to you? What do you     mean?

TRISHA

    He broke up with me.

CUT TO:

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.

RALPH (V.O.)

    Yeah, we’re calling all the staff.         There’s an emergency staff meeting in     the morning.

WINSTON

    What’s going on?

CUT TO:

INT.Ralph Bremner on the telephone with Winston.

RALPH

    Geez, Winston. I’m really sorry to tell     you. It’s about that student you were     talking to this afternoon.

CUT TO:

INT. Winston’s apartment.

WINSTON

    What about her?

RALPH

    She’s dead.

CUT TO:

INT. The school. Carl is being handcuffed by two detectives.

CARL

    Winston, this is crazy.  I didn’t kill     Trisha. I loved...

WINSTON

    Carl, stop talking!

CUT TO:

INT. The school, the principal’s office.

MCFADDEN

Why are you defending him? He slept with a student.  He killed her.

WINSTON

    He may have killed her, Don. We still     have a presumption of innocence in our     legal system. And I happen to believe     him.

MCFADDEN

    You’re not a lawyer anymore. That’s not     how you make your living anymore. You     need to be careful.

WINSTON

    Are you threatening me?

MCFADDEN

    No, I...

WINSTON
(interrupting)

    I’m going to defend my client, Don. He     deserves that much.

CUT TO:

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.

BASEBALL CAP

    What is the matter with you? Why are you     defending this child killer?

WINSTON

    Who are you?

They kick Winston while he’s down.

BASEBALL CAP

    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.

CUT TO:

INT. CAR

ANDREA

    What makes you think there’s more to         this than your client trying to silence     the kid he’s sleeping with?

WINSTON

    Because I know him.

ANDREA

    Apparently not as well as you think.

WINSTON

    What about all these people who keep         beating me?

ANDREA

    I can think of any number of people who     would want to beat you. You were a         lawyer. A defence lawyer.

CUT TO:

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.

CUT TO:

INT. CARL’S HOUSE. WINSTON IS IN HIS RUNNING GEAR STILL. ANDREA IS PRESENT.

ANDREA

    I’m sorry Winston.

WINSTON

    I wanna see him.

ANDREA

    You really don’t.

ANDREA (cont’d)

    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.

CUT TO:

INT. WINSTON’S APARTMENT. Andrea is talking with Winston.

ANDREA

    This is bigger than you thought.

WINSTON

    So what am I supposed to do?

ANDREA

    You need to leave it alone.

WINSTON

    I can’t do that.

CUT TO:

THE HALLWAY OUTSIDE WINSTON’S APARTMENT. BASEBALL CAP PUSHES WINSTON INTO HIS APARTMENT.

BASEBALL CAP

    You were told to keep your nose out of     this.

WINSTON

    I’m a slow learner.

BASEBALL CAP (PRODUCING GUN)

    That’s not good enough.

Intersperse series of cuts. The music builds throughout.

CUT TO:

WINSTON RUNNING ALONG THE ROAD, FOLLOWED BY CAR.

CUT TO:

WINSTON LYING ON THE CEMETERY GROUND.

CUT TO:

POV OF WINSTON SEEING THE FACE THEN THE FEET OF BASEBALL CAP THROUGH THE RAIN.

CUT TO:

EXT. THE FUNERAL HOME. WINSTON SEES HIS ASSAILANTS THROUGH THE CROWD AND BEGINS CHASE.

CUT TO:

WINSTON AND ANDREA CHASING BASEBALL CAP BEING CHASED BY ANDREA AND WINSTON.

CUT TO:

WINSTON APPROACHING BASEBALL CAP AND KICKING HIM IN THE STOMACH.

CUT TO:

INT. SERBIAN EMBASSY

AMBASSADOR

    You need to be stopped. You would have     figured it out eventually.

WINSTON

    I’m not that good a lawyer. You don’t     need to do this.

CUT TO:

INT. WINSTON’S APARTMENT.
Winston is lying on the couch. Baseball Cap is leaning on him, his gun inside Winston’s mouth.

CUT TO:

CLOSE UP OF WINSTON’S FACE, HIS EYES WIDE WITH FEAR.

CUT TO:

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.


Posted by davidrussellbc at 12:01 AM PDT
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