Vikki Kerslake Storytelling and Commission: From Script to Screen Online Green Light Review 23/01/13

The Premise
Drinking can Kill

The Logline
A drunken gravedigger, working in a 18th century London, experiences an out of body experience and realises his fate after drinking an unusual alcoholic drink.

Step Outline
The gravedigger Stanley is out working in the cemetery digging a grave. It is clear he is intoxicated by his movement. It starts to rain and he runs off into the church cellar nearby, where he finds a stash of booze on the shelves. Grabbing bottles frantically. He sees an unusual looking bottle different to the rest. To the audience, the visual is blurred and/or distorted and clearly not real. he becomes clumsy and drops some, and so whist looking away, starts grabbing another bottle from the shelf.   After drinking the bottle, he immediately begins to hallucinate, where he drops through a grave, and onto a platform of bottles, barrels, etc. on one side. He struggles to keep his balance, and tries to reach for the end with the wine, etc. The bottles soon move to reveal a large coffin. the coffin knocks him on the ground, and opens up to reveal Stanley’s fate; his own self buried in the coffin. After becoming shocked by what he saw, the sequence ends, and everything becomes empty with no environment, and we see the bottle that he was drinking beforehand roll away, which we discover to be in fact a bottle of poison.

Character Biography
Name: Stanley Rinard Age: 45 Stanley is a grave digger. He has grown up in 1730’s London, where the harsh city has made an impact on his life. He has spent many years poisoning his body drinking his own home made alcoholic concoctions. A poor man, he wears the same clothes every day, and roams the streets looking for shelter. He uses what little money he makes to buy food. He has no family to speak of.

EXT. CEMETERY - EVENING Establishing shot of the streets of London, before panning out to a nearby old cemetery. We see a middle aged, haggered and drunken grave digger, digging a grave. Rain starts to pour, and the grave digger staggers into the nearby church's cellar. INT. Cellar - CONTINUOUS CUT TO SCENE The grave digger collapses onto the floor in a drunken manner. He spots a large collection of wine bottles, gin bottles and barrels of beer stashed within. He goes to grab some bottles, and starts drinking. He comes across an unusual looking bottle; filled with a pink liquid and reading '...'. He picks the bottle up, and drinks the entire bottle in one go. CUT TO SCENE INT. DREAM SEQUENCE We see the grave diggers eyes widen as we pan out to see in front of him. The rooms interior has changed to a claustrophobic room with psychedelic colour. Beneath the grave diggers feet, a grave opens up and he falls through. he falls onto a long platform, made up of barrels. We see him struggle to keep his balance upon the platform. The platform moves like a seesaw. On one end the Grave digger stands, and on the other is a collection of bottles stacked. As he climbs towards the bottles, the platform tilts towards the bottles. As he reaches the bottles, a sudden weight forces the platform to shift its weight. He looks at the end, and sees a shovel has been stuck into the opposite end of the platform. He then looks down and sees that the platform is now a coffin. The coffin stands upright, knocking him down. It slowly creaks open to reveal another version of himself, laying dead inside. The Grave digger screams from the shock, and we zoom in to see his eyes shut. CUT TO BLACK FADE IN INT. CELLAR - CONTINUOUS The room has gone from colourful and claustrophobic, to a dull white. we finally see the grave diggers arm appear in shot, gripping the mysterious bottle he drank. His grip loosens, and the bottle rolls slowly away to reveal to the audience that it was in fact, poison.

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Creative Partnership
From Anass: •Hey Vikki, that's a very interesting combination and I like how you have decided to change the mood of it as the grave digger usually refers to unpleasant stuff. keep it up To Anass: •hey anass, this sounds like a very cool combination, I like the idea of a suspenseful and psychological story, i can see some kind of chase scene going on, or something :) •Hey I like the ideas you have here such as the ghost haunting him and spooking him, and i really like his backstory making him full of regret and fear. About the matches, yeah maybe do like Joey has suggested and so the character uses a match to light a candle and drops it to cause a fire :)

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