Hey Dudes :) I’ve been pretty quiet on here lately (I always say that, I know :P) but I do have a good excuse… I’ve been working on a couple of scripts for my portfolio for college applications in December. One of the biggest challenges for me that a lot of masters film courses ask for is a short silent film synopsis, it needs to be a visual story in an exterior setting with no camera angles, title cards or music recommendations. Scary stuff! So here’s my first attempt at one, I’d love lots of feedback from anyone who may have gone through the application process for MFA’s in Film in the U.S, especially when it comes to formatting for silent scripts etc.
‘ALL IS FAIR IN LOVE AND MARBLES’
EXT. SCHOOL YARD – DAY
An elderly woman rings a large brass school bell vigorously to indicate break time in a school yard. Kids of varying ages from five to twelve run joyfully down the steps of the school and into their respective groups of friends in different corners of the yard. Some little girls with ponytails jump rope in one corner with great ease and playful smiles, younger children play patty-cake in twos leaning against a wall. Some boys in another corner play marbles with severe concentration on their faces. One little boy picks up a huge cats-eye marble the size of his fist, kisses it, then flicks it skilfully at a slightly smaller pearlescent marble, staring at it willfully as his marble slowly rolls towards it, its course looks very promising.
Across the other side of the yard some little girls lie on their bellies on the tarmac, comparing Valentines cards and giggling, looking around at the boys to see who might blush when they lock eyes, to find out who might be their ‘secret admirer’. One girl among them with pig-tailed hair sits cross-legged, examining the other girls cards with great envy and gazing sadly at her own schoolbag, from which no cards were found. Another girl waves her card in the air in front of the pig-tailed girls face, and upset, the girl stands up and leaves the group behind, wandering over to the hop scotch and picking up a pebble, giving it a flick with her wrist.
Back at the marble game the huge cats-eye is still rolling ever closer to its target, kids faces look on nervously, some bite their nails, others eyes light up with expectation, the owner of the pearlescent marble that is falling victim to its over-sized opponent kneels beside his contender with fearful eyes, shaking his head with a regretful grimace as the cats-eye tips the side of his marble. The small crowd of kids who had gathered to watch the marbles game are divided, half jump up and down, slapping the winner on the back and celebrating in an unapologetic fashion as the winner hoists the two marbles above his head in triumph, the other half shake their heads and pat the loser on the arm with remorse in their eyes. The loser walks solemnly away from the game, gazing back at his prize marble glinting in the sunshine above the winners head. He shoves his hands deep in to his pockets and wanders over to the heap of schoolbags in one corner of the yard, slumping down on them, defeated.
The little girl with the pig-tailed hair is leaning over on one leg to pick up a pebble at her feet, playing hopscotch on her own. The loser spots her from across the yard, the ribbons in her hair are the same colour as his marble had been, and shine in the light as the marble had upon his defeat. The little girl looks up and catches his eye, smiling at him sadly before she walks back to the start of her hop scotch and throws the pebble again. The loser can’t keep his eyes off the little girl, watching her hair swish about in the light as she hops along and noticing how gracefully she lands in the little chalk squares on the tarmac, her tiny hands reaching down to pick up the stones with her nails painted all different colours. He has a doting look in his eyes as he stares at her, his face propped up by his fist. His eyes wander over to the group of girls lying on the tarmac, who the pig-tailed girl usually plays with. He notices that they are all huddled over something and after some slight maneuvering of his position amongst the school bags he gets a clear view of the Valentines cards. Looking back at the pig-tailed girl he realizes the sadness in her eyes, she looks disappointed and lonely. An idea dawns on the loser’s face as a grin spreads across it from ear to ear and he dives in to the pile of school bags, eventually finding his own and struggling to drag it out of the heap. He produces a pencil case and a notebook from the bag, ripping a page out of the notebook in boy-like fashion, its edges jagged and uneven, and begins folding it in half.
Back on the other side of the yard the winner is still relishing in his victory, kissing his prize cats-eye and rolling the losers marble around in his hand smugly, showing it off to the other kids. He spots the little girl playing hopscotch on her own and saunters over, waving back at his friends confidently and winking at a girl who had been fawning over him after the marbles game, she swoons as he walks away. As the winner reaches the hopscotch he kicks away the little pebble on the tarmac that occupied a box on the hop scotch. The little girl looks at him angrily, shaking her head as she walks over to where it landed and picks it up again. Just as she is about to throw the pebble the winner stands in her way, she attempts to throw it around him numerous times but he seems to grow ever more tickled the more annoyed she gets. Eventually she stops her vain attempts and stands looking at him accusingly, her hands on her hips.
Meanwhile, the loser is putting the finishing touches on a very colourful Valentines card with a huge multi-coloured heart on the front with the name ‘Bella’ inside it. He puts a final flourish on the stick figure picture of a boy and girl inside the card and signs it ‘From your secret admirer’. He admires his work momentarily, then holds the card to his chest, looking around secretively. He shoves the card into his bag and gathers his Crayola’s, hastily scooping them up and returning them to his pencil case.
The winner stands looking the little girl squarely in the eyes and making faces at her, to which she rolls her eyes and crosses her arms. He produces his winning marble from the little bag in his hand and holds it up to show her. She looks less than impressed until she sees something glinting inside the bag, the losers marble. Plunging her hand into the bag she pulls it out and inspects it, the boy laughs as he snatches it back, laying the two marbles on the tarmac and re-enacting his win in an attempt to impress the girl. She picks up the cats-eye and shrugs, handing it to him. He seems to take offense, grabbing both of the marbles and shoving them back in to his little bag as he walks off, but the loser’s marble pops out of the top of the bag and bounces across the tarmac to the girls feet. She picks it up laughing and uses it for her hopscotch game, throwing it lightly to the ground. In the background The Loser is creeping up to her schoolbag which is sitting at the top of a pile of bags close to the other girls.
The Loser slowly unzips the girls bag, staring over at her cautiously and taking a quick glance at the other girls who are still busily chatting and comparing cards. The coast seems to be clear. He shoves the card into the front pocket of her bag and jumps to his feet, strolling away with his hands behind his back, whistling with a look of extreme contentment on his face.
The large old school bell rings again to signal the end of break, kids from all corners of the yard rush over to collect their bags and return to class. The little girl with the pig-tailed hair walks slowly and sadly back to her schoolbag, but as she leans down to pick it up she notices that the zip is open. Puzzled, she peers into the bag and produces the card, a huge smile spreading across her face as she does so.
The Loser leans against a wall in the shadows close by, trying to contain a proud grin as he watches the little girl’s reaction to his card, her face is glowing with glee and he wrings his hands together, congratulating himself. The little girl looks up from the card, scanning the yard for any boys who may be watching her open it, but just as The Loser steps out from the shadows, his smile no longer contained but spread wide across his face triumphantly, The Winner appears at her side, pointing from the card to himself and winking at the little girl who immediately succumbs to his charm and apparent act of kindness and throws her arms around him in a thankful hug.
The Loser’s jaw drops open, his eyes fill with horror, shock and complete confusion. His hand finds its way to his heart where he grips his chest in overt pain. He drops to his knees throwing his hands above his head in a silent scream as his pearly marble rolls back to him across the tarmac and lands next to him.