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Wilhelm's Rose - Scene 1: Introduction

by shayspeare


FADE IN:

Ext. GRIMM FAMILY MANOR IN HANAU - DAY. 1790

People sell food on the streets, shouting incoherently over one another.

PAN TO PORCH where two brothers, JACOB and WILHELM sit under the shade of a roof held up by four pillars. The two sit back to back.

WILHELM:

Jacob?

JACOB:

Yes, Wilhelm?

WILHELM:

What do you think the king is like?

JACOB:

Well, I dunno. Big. He probably has expensive clothes.

WILHELM:

Do you think he lives in a castle?

JACOB:

Maybe, but castles are for old kings, I think. He probably just lives in a really fancy house.

WILHELM:

I thought all kings lived in castles… At least in the books.

JACOB:

They used to, but I think they don’t anymore. You should probably ask father about that.

WILHELM:

What do you think it would be like?

JACOB:

What would “what” be like?

WILHELM:

To be a king.

JACOB:

I think it’d be very hard.

WILHELM:

What do you mean? Kings are so rich and good they can’t possibly have any problems like we do. I bet their fathers are always home, and their mothers are always happy, and they don’t have to be afraid of anything.

JACOB:

Nonsense, the king has to rule all of his land. He has to think about the land all of the time. He’d be so busy, and he’d never be able to be happy.

WILHELM:

But he has fancy clothes, and good food!

JACOB:

But he would have to be kingly all the time, which wouldn’t be much fun.

WILHELM:

I guess so… I still think it’d be grand.

JACOB:

Well, there’s no doubt about that.

POV JACOB

SOLDIERS are coming down the street, marching. Their song drowns out the cacophonous activity of the marker on the street; barrels are hidden behind makeshift stands:

SOLDIERS:

Hail Napoleon! Hail Napoleon, the emperor of the world.

Market-goers flee the streets. Drums blare through the area.

BACK TO SCENE

The boys’ mother, DOROTHEA, peaks out from the house.

DOROTHEA:

Boys! Come inside!

BOTH:

Yes, Mother!

The boys run inside.

POV. WILHELM.

Inside, siblings, LOTTE, LUDWIG, CARL, and FERDINAND sit in the shadows, peeking out the window as the drums blare from the streets, growing louder and louder with every second.

BACK TO SCENE

The boys’ only sister, LOTTE, turns towards her mother.

LOTTE:

Mama, I’m scared.

DOROTHEA:

Don’t be scared, dear. There’s nothing to be worried about.

LOTTE:

Mama, can you tell us a story?

WILHELM:

Ooh, a story!

JACOB, LUDWIG, CARL and FERDINAND look away from the window

The sound of the drums fade.

After a sigh:

DOROTHEA:

Fine.

LUDWiG looks at CARL

LUDWIG:

It’s over.

CARL:

Let’s hope.

POV. JACOB

From the window, we see citizens returning to their makeshift stands.

JACOB:

I refuse to bow down to tyranny. Down with Napoleon.

BACK TO SCENE

WILHELM is in front of DOROTHEA.

WILHELM:

Yay!

DOROTHEA:

Carl, Ferdinand, Ludwig! Storytime!

ALL:

Storytime? Yay!

The GRIMM CHILDREN gather around DOROTHEA

LOTTE:

What’s the story this time Mama?

Pulling out a storybook:

DOROTHEA:

This one is called “The Rose.” Once there was a poor woman who had two children. The youngest one had to go into the forest every day to fetch wood ...

CUT TO center stage where the NARRATOR stands in all black attire.

NARRATOR:

In 1796, the father of the Brothers Grimm died, leaving the family in poverty.

CUT TO stage left where DOROTHEA is on her knees while her husband, PHILIPP, is covered in a shroud.

CUT TO center stage.

NARRATOR:

Their aunt and grandfather were the only people who could help them financially.

CUT TO stage right where the living room of the GRIMM STEINAU home. It’s small and dingy. The door of the house is open.

In the doorway, ZIMMER and HENRIETTA embrace DOROTHEA who wears all black clothes and a black veil, signifying mourning.

HENRIETTA:

My dear sister.

DOROTHEA:

Henrietta.

HENRIETTA:

I am so sorry for your loss.

DOROTHEA:

I have nothing.

HENRIETTA:

You have me, and Father.

ZIMMER:

Where are your eldest two?

DOROTHEA:

In their rooms. Why?

ZIMMER:

It’s time that those two step up to the plate and learn how to get by in this world. This cruel world we live in doesn’t reward those who don’t put forth a good sweat.

CUT TO center stage.

NARRATOR:

At the age of 11, Jacob was forced to take on adult responsibilities for the following two years.

CUT TO stage right. There, JACOB and WILHELM lug firewood to the hearth.

CUT TO center stage.

NARRATOR:

Then, in 1798, Jacob and Wilhelm left their home in Steinau to attend Friedrichsgymnasium.

CUT TO stage right again. A teenage JACOB and WILHELM embrace HENRIETTA.

JACOB:

Aunt Zimmer, thank you.

HENRIETTA:

Anything for my boys.

WILHELM:

We won’t let you down.

CUT TO center stage.

NARRATOR:

Their aunt paid for it entirely. But unfortunately, through all of their tragedy, a much larger tragedy besought the Germanic States.

CUT TO downstage right

SOLDIERS march across downstage from right to left

Meanwhile, along right center to left center, CITIZENS line up.

SOLDIERS:

Hail!

SOLDIERS take books from CITIZENS

The march continues.

CUT TO center stage.

NARRATOR:

Those who controlled the Germanic States sought to rid the States of their literature. But, finally, one person had an idea.

CUT TO stage right to VON ARNIM’S STUDY. In VON ARNIM’s hand is a notice:

“ALL native literature will be collected and burned.”

VON ARNIM:

We need to preserve our stories.

CUT TO stage left - a school where JACOB and WILHELM, now adult men, look at a notice on the board. It is from VON ARNIM:

WILHELM:

“Help us preserve our history.”

JACOB:

“Send in stories”?

WILHELM:

Jacob, let’s do it! Let’s do it!


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Sun Apr 26, 2020 1:03 am
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Elinor wrote a review...



Hi Shayspeare!

Happy review day! I hope you're having a magical day so far, and I couldn't be more thrilled to be reviewing a fellow Slytherin! Depending on who you ask, I'm also the resident script writer here, and it makes me so happy to see other people writing scripts that I can review.

Firstly, I'm a little bit confused as to whether this was supposed to be a script for a stage play for a film. It's formatted much like a stage play would be. You also mention "panning" early on, which is a camera move, and mention "stage left" early on.

Overall, I love the concept for this. I don't know much about the Brothers Grimm other than they created some of my favorite fairytales, so I think a lot of people would be interested in a story about them.

While I like the idea of moving forward in history, and this is just my personal preference, I'd prefer to mostly show the brothers before they became the brothers. Maybe a brief scene of the children at the end could be effective enough for the beginning.

While I think you do a good job overall of depicting the period, like JesseWrites, this line of dialogue felt anachronistic to me.

Well, I dunno.


But a lot of my further comments about word building depend on whether this ends up being whether this is a film or a play. With a film there's a lot you can do, and with plays you have to be a little more creative, but there's still lots you can do.

Hope this helps, and keep writing! Slither on, and see you in the Slytherin common room. ;)

Cheers,
Elinor

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shayspeare says...


Yeah, some of the dialogue can come off as a bit modern. I edited this scene from a play I co-wrote with a playwright group; based on the fact that our first play was supposed to be historical fiction and it ended up being a comedic fantasy about pirates and ghosts (and sea monsters, and turtles who can talk and be guardians of temples), a bunch of personalities will shine through this play.

As for the format, yeah, I understand it comes off as confusing between film and theatre. I looked up formatting of scripts, and what came up was screenwriting formatting.



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Sun Apr 26, 2020 12:13 am
JesseWrites wrote a review...



Jesse here to review, so I am hopping in now.

I don't normally review plays, but I like the Brothers Grimm.

The last two conversations were swapping between using quotations and not. Based on the ones written before, I would delete those.

Some of the dialogue wasn't completely centered.

Also, was "dunno" a phrase back then?

I don't see anything else.

Thanks,
Jesse.





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