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Yesterday

by Elinor


AN: A script without dialogue I hope to film over the summer. I first conceived of it as an exercise that would allow me to focus on the visual aspects of filmmaking, but I ended up falling love with the story too. Still - be harsh and honest! I want to know what you all think. Enjoy!

--

FADE IN:

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

JANE, mid twenties, sits on the couch in her living room. She’s pretty, well mannered. The house itself is bare, half lived in. A covered, dusty PIANO sits in the corner.

There’s a glass of WINE on the coffee table. She has a NEWSPAPER in her hands, looking at a picture of PAUL, a handsome star, and his BRIDE. The headline: “POP STAR TIES KNOT.”

Jane folds the paper and puts it on the coffee table. She takes a sip of wine.

EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT

A blissful night.

Jane walks beside her date, Paul. She seems much younger, although it’s only been a few years. Paul carries himself with a different air. He’s on the brink of massive fame and he knows it.

They stop at Jane’s doorway. For a moment, they hesitate. Then, a kiss. They pull away, and both smile.

Jane walks toward her door, and Paul goes back the way he came.

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

Jane practices a monologue. Paul sits on the couch, watching her. A scribbled in NOTEBOOK and PEN is beside him, as is a GUITAR. Behind them, the piano is uncovered.

Suddenly Jane stops, distracted by a movement from outside.

She looks again, and goes to the front door. She opens it. Outside is a a girl, a TEENAGE FAN.

They lock eyes. The fan darts away.

INT. THEATER - NIGHT

It’s the end of a performance. All of the lights are on Jane as she bows. Applause. She smiles, widely.

EXT. THEATER - NIGHT

Stragglers wait outside the theater. Some stop Jane, compliment her as she looks around for Paul. He’s nowhere in sight. She sits down on a nearby bench.

When it is clear he isn’t coming, she hails a cab.

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

The middle of the night. Jane lies on her side of the bed, awoken by Paul’s arrival. She turns over, gives him a look.

He changes into pajamas and kisses her forehead as he gets into bed beside her.

EXT. CITY STREET - DAY

Paul and Jane walk down the street, arm in arm, towards a THEATER MARQUEE. Jane notices a man taking their picture. PAPARAZZI. Paul notices too, and urges her to continue walking.

An eager FAN approaches Paul with a RECORD. He signs it. The fan is flustered. Jane stands there, invisible.

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

Jane enters the front door, hearing the sound of a piano. Paul is sitting it, figuring out the first few keys of a love song.

They lock eyes. He continues to play as she approaches him. She sits down on the piano bench. He looks at her. She looks at him.

EXT. PARK - NIGHT

Jane and Paul sit on a park bench. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS hang on the nearby trees. There’s a moment of pause, and he takes a ring out of his pocket.

After a moment, she nods. She wraps her arms around him and he puts the ring on her finger.

INT. THEATER - NIGHT

Jane stand in front of a DIRECTOR, who watches her intently as she performs a monologue.

She finishes, breaks character and smiles. The Director is enthralled. They share a smile.

INT. CLUB - NIGHT

Jane stands at the bar with a drink, alone. Paul is standing at the other end, surrounded by girls. He is flirting with one PARTY GIRL in particular.

Jane walks over and introduces herself. The Party Girl, slightly taken aback, is cordial. Paul motions toward the bar and his empty glass.

Jane knows this is a dismissal but goes anyway.

INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT

Paul and Jane return home. Jane is visibly upset. They begin to fight. Words are exchanged, but it is all white noise.

After a moment, Paul stops, stares, and leaves, slamming the front door.

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

Jane sits tiredly, anxiously on the couch, half looking at a script. She hears a key turn; in the door.

It’s Paul. He goes to sit to her, giving her a long look. He embraces her.

EXT. THEATER - DAY

Jane leaves from rehearsal, waving goodbye to the Director. Happy.

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

Jane opens the door, setting her things down. Something is off. The PARTY GIRL emerges, half-dressed. She stares blankly at Jane. Paul enters, also half-dressed.

They both stare. Jane storms off.

EXT. HOUSE - DAY

Paul follows after her. Jane is in a state of shock. They both notice the Party Girl dressed, standing at the front door. Paul gives her a look. Get lost. She obliges.

Paul is frantic, out of breath. Jane is only half listening, but finally she follows him back inside.

INT. RECORDING STUDIO - DAY

Paul plays a few bars of a song in a recording studio. A love song, the same one he played before on the piano, although this is more fully formed. Jane watches from the booth.

As he does, he makes eye contact with her, and she smiles sadly.

INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT

Jane is lying wide awake, staring at the ceiling. She looks intently over at Paul, fast asleep. She sighs.

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY

Paul is already awake, working on a song and drinking a cup of coffee. Jane enters. She’s disheveled, but dressed and has a bag. They lock eyes.

She takes her ring off her finger and leaves it in his hand. She slowly walks away, trying not to cry.

INT. RECORD STORE - DAY

Happier days. Paul and Jane rush into the small record store, laughing, out of breath. Outside, they watch TEENAGE FANS look and run past.

The SALES CLERK regards them, says nothing. They duck into the adjoining room. Privacy.

Still laughing, they take a moment. They share a loving, passionate kiss. Paul wraps his arms around her. Jane smiles and buries her head in his shoulder.

EXT. CONCERT HALL - NIGHT

Jane seems younger still as she waits on the steps of a theater with a few stragglers.

She’s watching the road, waiting for a ride. She’s distracted by something: Paul leaving the concert from a back door, carrying his guitar.

Their eyes meet, and he smiles.

FADE OUT.

THE END


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Mon Jan 29, 2018 12:23 am
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zaminami wrote a review...



Hello, Elinor! It’s Kara here for a (hopefully) quick review! --

Bold = grammar and flow issues.
Italics = suggestions and overall
Strikethrough = remove
Underline = krazy Kara komments.

INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY:



Spoiler! :
JANE, mid twenties, sits on the couch in her living room. She’s pretty, well mannered. {Can you describe her more? I imagine a petite brunette with a scandalous dress} The house itself is bare, half lived in. A covered, dusty PIANO sits in the corner. {describe the house more}

There’s a glass of WINE on the {COFFEE TABLE}. She has a NEWSPAPER in her hands, looking at a picture of PAUL, a handsome star, and his BRIDE. The headline: “POP STAR TIES KNOT.” {Italicize this in the piece}

Jane folds the paper and puts it on the coffee table. She takes a sip of wine.


EXT. HOUSE - NIGHT:



Spoiler! :
A blissful night.

Jane walks beside her date, Paul. She {and he?} seems much younger, although it’s only been a few years. Paul carries himself with a different air. He’s on the brink of massive fame and he knows it. {I already know where this is going >:( }

They stop at Jane’s doorway. For a moment, they hesitate. Then, a kiss. They pull away, and both smile.

Jane walks toward her door, and Paul goes back the way he came. {I dislike Paul intensely already}


Describe the house a bit so we can get a visual. The point of scripts isn't of an outline. It's so the director can know what the playwright is thinking about -- or imagining.


INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY:



Spoiler! :
Jane practices a monologue. Paul sits on the couch, watching her. A scribbled in NOTEBOOK and PEN is beside him, as is a GUITAR. Behind them, the piano is uncovered.

Suddenly Jane stops, distracted by a movement from outside.

She looks again, and goes to the front door. She opens it. Outside is a a girl, a TEENAGE FAN.

They lock eyes. The fan darts away.


INT. THEATER - NIGHT:



Spoiler! :
It’s the end of a performance. All of the lights are on Jane as she bows. Applause. She smiles, widely.


Nothing here. However, this is the first time that you're in the theater, so could you describe it a bit more?


EXT. THEATER - NIGHT:



Spoiler! :
{STRAGGLERS} wait outside the theater. Some stop Jane, compliment her as she looks around for Paul. {PAUL WHAT ARE YOU DOING WHY ARENT YOU TAKING CARE OF YOUR GIRLFRIEND} He’s nowhere in sight. She sits down on a nearby bench.

When it is clear he isn’t coming, she hails a {CAB}.


INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT:



Spoiler! :
The middle of the night. {How would you show this?} Jane lies on her side of the bed, awoken by Paul’s arrival. She turns over, gives him a look.

He changes into pajamas and kisses her forehead as he gets into bed beside her.


EXT. CITY STREET - DAY:



Spoiler! :
Paul and Jane walk down the street, arm in arm, towards a THEATER MARQUEE. Jane notices a man taking their picture. PAPARAZZI. {i'M YOUR BIGGEST FAN-} Paul notices too, and urges her to continue walking.

An eager FAN approaches Paul with a RECORD. He signs it. The fan is flustered. Jane stands there, invisible. {RIP Jane}


INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY:



Spoiler! :
Jane enters the front door, hearing the sound of a piano. Paul is sitting it, figuring {figuring or fingering?} out the first few keys of a love song.

They lock eyes. He continues to play as she approaches him. She sits down on the piano bench. He looks at her. She looks at him.


EXT. PARK - NIGHT:



Spoiler! :
Jane and Paul sit on a park bench. CHRISTMAS LIGHTS hang on the nearby trees. There’s a moment of pause, and he takes a ring out of his pocket.

After a moment, she nods. She wraps her arms around him {as} he puts the ring on her finger.


Describe the park please??


INT. THEATER - NIGHT:



Spoiler! :
Jane stand in front of a DIRECTOR, who watches her intently as she performs a monologue.

She finishes, breaks character and smiles. The {d}irector is enthralled. They share a smile. {shipped}


INT. CLUB - NIGHT:



Spoiler! :
Jane stands at the bar with a drink, alone. Paul is standing at the other end, surrounded by girls. He is flirting with one PARTY GIRL in particular.

Jane walks over and introduces herself. The {p}arty {g}irl, slightly taken aback, is cordial. Paul motions toward the bar and his empty glass.

Jane knows this is a dismissal but goes anyway. {huh? what does this mean? also, how would you portray that this is a dismissal?}


INT. LIVING ROOM - NIGHT:



Spoiler! :
Paul and Jane return home. Jane is visibly upset. They begin to fight. Words are exchanged, but it is all white noise. {**trombone noises intensify**}

After a moment, Paul stops, stares, and leaves, slamming the front door. {Paul why are you so mad you're the one who was flirting with that party girl it is your fault}


INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY:



Spoiler! :
Jane sits tiredly, anxiously on the couch, half{-}looking at a script. She hears a key turn; in the door.

It’s Paul. He goes to sit to her, giving her a long look. He embraces her.{ew I wouldn't let him embrace me oh wait I'm lesbian never mind}


EXT. THEATER - DAY:



Spoiler! :
Jane leaves from rehearsal, waving goodbye to the {d}irector. Happy.


Describe her face even more than you already did. Just "happy" is not enough. Use a stronger word would help, maybe?


INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY:



Spoiler! :
Jane opens the door, setting her things down. Something is off. The {party girl} emerges, half-dressed. She stares blankly at Jane. Paul enters, also half-dressed. {>:( Paul you fothermucker}

They both stare. Jane storms off.


EXT. HOUSE - DAY:



Spoiler! :
Paul follows after her. Jane is in a state of shock. They both notice the {p}arty {g}irl dressed, standing at the front door. Paul gives her a look. Get lost. {Italicize this in the script} She obliges.

Paul is frantic, out of breath. Jane is only half listening, but finally she follows him back inside. {BUT HONEY I CAN CHANGE}


INT. RECORDING STUDIO - DAY:



Spoiler! :
Paul plays a few bars of a song in a recording studio. A love song, the same one he played before on the piano, although this is more fully formed. {reword that last sentence. It's just worded strange to me} Jane watches from the booth.

As he does, he makes eye contact with her, and she smiles sadly.


INT. BEDROOM - NIGHT:



Spoiler! :
Jane is lying wide awake, staring at the ceiling. She looks intently over at Paul, fast asleep. She sighs.


To improve this part and to make it a bit longer, I would say have an internal monologue for Jane about regretting her choices, or at least have something about white noise representing the mess that her brain was right then.


INT. LIVING ROOM - DAY:



Spoiler! :
Paul is already awake, working on a song and drinking a cup of coffee. {that's a dangerous combination} Jane enters. She’s disheveled, but dressed and has a bag. They lock eyes.

She takes her ring off her finger and leaves it in his hand. She slowly walks away, trying not to cry.


I want her to flip him off so badly. Also, the "trying not to cry" part is great characterization. If someone was cheating on me, I would have slapped them, flipped them off, packed my bags, flipped them off again, and left.


INT. RECORD STUDIO - DAY:



Spoiler! :
Happier days. Paul and Jane rush into the small record store, laughing, out of breath. Outside, they watch TEENAGE FANS look and run past. {How did Paul and Jane look?}

The SALES CLERK regards them, says nothing. They duck into the adjoining room. Privacy.

Still laughing, they take a moment. They share a loving, passionate kiss. Paul wraps his arms around her. Jane smiles and buries her head in his shoulder. {pAUL NO >:( }


EXT. CONCERT HALL - NIGHT:



Spoiler! :
Jane {I just realized that you used "Jane" and you don't even like Stranger Things O.o} seems younger still as she waits on the steps of a theater with a few stragglers.

She’s watching the road, waiting for a ride. She’s distracted by something: Paul leaving the concert from a back door, carrying his guitar.

Their eyes meet, and he smiles. {UGH DONT DO IT JANE DONT DO IT}


OVERALL:



I did like this -- noticed your use of the Beatle's song... don't think that I didn't see :wink: -- and listening to "Kill the Lights" by Set it Off didn't exactly help though with reviewing it XD most of the comments are my reactions but I hope that you found them very....

Spoiler! :
Image


HUMERUS.

{enspoilered for size :wink: }

haha

keep writing!

Give me your soul --

Kara

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Sun Jan 28, 2018 7:32 pm
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alliyah wrote a review...



Hey Elinor, I'm here for another Review Day Review! :) So, fair warning I haven't read a lot of scripts in my time, so am a bit unsure about how to review them -- but I'll give you my thoughts and hopefully some of them are helpful for you! So let's begin.

In Scene 1 (With Jane alone in the Living Room)
I was curious that there wasn't a lot of emotional cues given -- there was no sigh or frown of remorse, or a laugh or a smile -- basically we can take the scene as Jane having a positive or a negative or simply neutral reaction to reading the paper about Paul. The drinking wine, might point at there being some issue, but honestly as a reader/audience member it's super open for interpretation. This isn't necessarily a problem for the opening scene but it does make me wonder, what is it's purpose, if it doesn't tell us anything? I would say it might be good to put some emotional cue from Jane in that section, just so we have some reason to remember it.

In the next scene -- I'm interpreting this as going backwards in time from the opening scene and showing when Jane and Paul are dating. They both are hesitant or maybe reluctant. I thought this note was a bit curious, "He’s on the brink of massive fame and he knows it." -- I like the description a lot, but I'm having a hard time picturing what that means visually or how it might be portrayed -- I'm not sure what sort of accessory or facial reaction might be able to show that, but it might be a good thing to think on how to portray if there isn't a narrator.

In the next couple of scenes portraying Jane's success I would love to know more about what type of actor she is or what monologue she was reading as I think this could give good insight into her character too. Is it humorous, light-hearted, dramatic, classic, serious, angry, motherly, romantic? etc.

Oh I also wanted to comment that I like how the piano comes back this time without the dust/cover -- good scenery cues.

I like how you reverse the scene as well with the fan, so the reader sees the subtle change in their fame and people's admiration for them. It might be more dramatic to have a whole crowd of people and for Jane to somehow get lost or pushed aside as the fans pursue Paul.

I saw just a couple spelling/wording issues - but besides these two I didn't notice anything and thought all of the scene changes made sense.

In the love-song-piano scene, I think this sentence is missing a word: "Paul is sitting it, figuring out the first few keys of a love song."
and then later after their reunion we're missing a word or two again, "He goes to sit to her, giving her a long look."

I loved the ending, happy and hopeful but not ridiculous -- especially because it's not necessarily clear where it falls in the story's time-frame.

Overall I love how much you were able to develop this story without using any dialogue, there's a lot here, and the switching backwards and forwards in time is done in a way that is interesting but not too confusing to follow.

alliyah


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Thu Jan 18, 2018 10:15 pm
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LJF wrote a review...



I adore this script SOOOOOOO much. I very rarely read scripts, but I've trying to branch out, genre-wise, in my reading habits.
(I don't know if this is your intention, but I understood this script to be for a wordless short film with music playing in the backround- maybe something like "What It's Like To Be Lonely" (Tyler Ward), "Happier" (Ed Sheeran), or "Honest" (The Chainsmokers). I've always liked videos like that.)
This is a really well-done script- clear and concise. It's always hard with this kind of story- there's a fine line between too much detail and not enough, and you've succeeded spectacularly.
From the get-go, Jane is a universally recognizable character- we all like to revisit our pasts, happy and sad, and we all want to be able to remember the good parts in spite of the sad ones. She doesn't seem to be mad at Paul- she's happy for him, but she misses having him in her life. She deserves to be happy too, and maybe some day she will be.
Paul is clearly a lost and confused character, too young to really know what he wants or hold on to what is important. The beginning gives indication that maybe he's learned from his mistakes, that he's found someone he can treasure properly. I hope he was able to find happiness.
The relationship between Jane and Paul is very real (hard to do with such a short story), and even though I knew how it would end, I still felt very invested and curious as to what would happen next.
I really want to see this now- if you do make this into a film, you'll have to send us a link!




Elinor says...


Thank you so much!



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Wed Jan 17, 2018 1:54 am
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Lauren2010 wrote a review...



Hello my darling!

Oh man, I don't know how long it's been since I've read something you wrote, but I have a feeling it's been WAY TOO LONG. And boy, was this a joy to read. Your sentence-level-language-writing has come such a long way in the last few years, and I really admire how tight each of these scenes are in this piece. It was all very easy and pleasant to read. Great work!

The main questions I have have to do with the whole arc of the piece. I also have some questions about the order of the scenes, which I imagine would all be answered if I saw this played out visually rather than read it (there were some things I wasn't sure whether they happened in the past or the present; I can tell you more if you're interested, but like I said I imagine this is a fault of me reading the script rather than watching the film).

Anyway, by the end of the piece I found myself confused about what conclusions I'm meant to draw about Jane and her relationship with Paul. Obviously, Paul is a terrible person and doesn't deserve any of Jane's time or future, which I think she understands because she left him after he cheated on her and repeatedly ignored and mistreated her (though, I am a bit confused as to why she's still so torn up about it; Paul hadn't treated her well in what seemed like years, yet she still seemed super heartbroken at the fact that he cheated). However, the final scenes of the piece seem to reinforce the idea that this was a good and positive relationship, and that Paul is a good person deserving of Jane's time and affection. Which, as a woman, seems at odds with the "present day" Jane who has left her awful husband.

I'd encourage you to consider what it is you'd like your audience to feel at the end of this piece. How should they feel about Paul? I can definitely see situations in which you'd want to complicate that ending, but I think there's other work you'd have to do to complicate their relationship the whole way through (rather than the obvious good beginning and obvious crap middle and end). The last image you give your audience is the one that's going to stick, especially in an emotional and viscerally visual piece like this, so you want to make sure it's saying the things you want it to say.

Otherwise, this was a super lovely read! Thanks so much for sharing, my dear, and please keep writing!

--Lauren




Elinor says...


Hi Lauren!

Thank you so much for you review. I think was going for was that she loved him, regardless of whether or not he was worthy of her love. I don't necessarily want to villainize him, though. I think, when I cast this, I want to skew younger (20-22) to emphasize that these are two kids who don't know what they're doing. This probably doesn't help I think my aim is to portray something that isn't all good or all bad but one that just is. There may have been real feelings there, but things kept festering until they exploded. Also, while it was toxic, it wasn't always that way.

Each scene is supposed to move backwards and forwards in time and in no way be chronological, more in tune with the emotional ups and downs of remembering a person or time. You don't follow that time linearly - something may remind you of a specific memory or feeling. Time period would be I think primarily by colors, clothing, and subtle production design changes in the apartment.

I'd be happy to chat with you more about suggestions you have to show that complexity or any other thoughts you had while reading it.

Thank you so much! :) <3




The human heart has hidden treasures, in secret kept, in silence sealed...
— Charlotte Bronte