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(HOPE

HOPE BAY
An original Story by
ANTHONY KEHINDE JOSEPH
EXT. HOPE BAY. MORNING
Establishment of early sunrise bathing the magical landscape the rolling hills, the flowing stream, the lush greenery - in
a sheen of gold
EMMA (V.O.)
I believe in fairy tales. I also
believe in the places they happen.
I live in one of them ...Hope Bay
EXT. HOPE BAY/ TOWN. MORNING
Between a village and a small town, the few residents walk
past a beautiful hill decked with flower of endless hues
EMMA (V.O.)
And here in Hope Bay, once upon a
time, true love happened
EXT. VILLAGE. EVENING
Terrified villagers run hither and thither as smoke rises to
the skies from several locations in the distance
We hear machine guns going off, loud airplanes flying
overhead and an occasional bomb blast
EXT. BUSH PATH. EVENING
A family of three -Father, mother and daughter - desperately
make their way through the bush led by their father
The screams and sounds of destruction are still loud in the
air but obviously from a distance
We focus on the pretty teenage daughter, AMELIA OBI, dragged
by her mom
EMMA (V.O.)
The war drove Amelias family from
the troublesome East but the roads
leading out were dangerous

2.

Four soldiers suddenly emerge from either sides of the bush;


one knocks Amelias father to the floor with the butt of his
rifle while the other two separate mother from child and hurl
them to the ground by the father, for execution
EMMA (V.O.)
And in fairy tales, dangerous has
to happen because where else does
the Hero come in?
The family pleads in tears and loud cries as the soldiers, in
their crazed delight, make ready to shoot them when suddenly,
another soldier; a teenager, wearing a small beard; wiry and
handsome, leaps out from nowhere and takes on the marauding
foursome
Victor is fast as an antelope, graceful to watch in combat,
smart with his movements and creative with his approach to
the fight; all this we observe through the entranced POV of
Amelia
Soon, the murderous soldiers are unconscious on the ground,
and Victor stands, breathing hard, his glare aglow with fire
and danger, looking right and left as if anticipating more
He then stays his gaze on the scared family on the floor
huddling close for safety
CAM slowly zooms in on Victor; battle-ready and heroically
poised like on comic book covers or an action star on a
movie poster as Emma dramatically introduces him
EMMA (V.O.)
Strong. Fearless. Valiant. Goblin
slayer; giant killer; he was
Samson, he was Hercules; he was
Achebes Okonkwo. A foot soldier of
the forces of light, VICTOR OBI was
the hero that answered dangers
summon
VICTOR
Youre going across the River?
AMELIAS FATHER
Yes. A boats waiting at the creek
VICTOR
This way then
Victor turns and trots down the road, hurriedly followed by
the family
They swish through the bush hastily

3.

EXT. CREEK. DAY


A large boat with a few nervous passengers on board wait as
the sounds of war are muted but audible
Victor and Amelias family burst out of the bush to the
visible collective relief of the passengers
Victor watches protectively as they board and Amelia regards
him with awe and marvel
The boatman begins to unfasten the cable mooring the boat to
the ground as Amelias dad faces Victor, whos on ground
AMELIAS FATHER
(IN IBO)
Come with us. You turned on your
own and they wont forgive that
VICTOR
(IN IBO)
My own are seeking justice, not
sport
(IN ENGLISH)
I will return to the war
Suddenly a bullet rips through Victors thigh and he falls to
the ground, screaming in pain
Quickly, the boatman raises his rifle and fires at the lone
soldier, now out of the bushes, who shot Victor
Amelias face is a mask of horror and shock
In slow motion, we see Victor hoisted unto Amelias fathers
shoulder
FADE TO:
EXT. HOPE BAY. DAY
Amelias tired family and the passengers from the boat, amble
slowly into the magical Hope Bay with its verdant landscapes
and peaceful streams, enthralled by the surrounding beauty
EMMA (V.O.)
The magic of Hope Bay was not lost
on the pilgrims of peace but poor
Amelias attention was lost to
Victor

4.

Amelia, sad-faced, is watching Victor, lying unconscious and


with his leg roughly bandaged, on a makeshift stretcher
carried by two hefty men
EMMA (V.O.)
Because though her heart was
stolen, his was slowing, and hers
would break to have him gone
INT. NATIVE DOCTOR SHRINE. DAY
Amelia is seated by the female doctor who places samples of
herbs by her side and explains their use to her in mime
EMMA (V.O.)
So she visited a fairy godmother
EXT. THICK BEAUTIFUL FOREST. TWILIGHT
Amelia cuts small parts out of select shrubs, herbs and trees
In jump cuts we see her in several parts of the forest
EMMA (V.O.)
Who sent her into the enchanted
forest to find the antidote to
Victors ordeal
EXT. LARGE HUT. TWILIGHT
Amelia pours her gathered condiments - now shredded- into a
large pot being on firewood
INT. HUT. TWILIGHT
Amelia is by Victors body laid out on a straw map, washing
his wound with a concoction from a basin
The scene fades to same but Amelia is garbed in different
clothes and shes forcing liquid down
The scene change occurs three more times and in the last,
Victor sputters some of the liquid fed him by an adamant
Amelia
EMMA (V.O.)
She loved him and healed him so he
could live to love her back

5.

EXT. WELL. DAY


Amelias sad look is now replaced by a pleased one as she
dutifully fetches water from the well
In the distant background is Victor, seated on a stool by
Amelias father, watching Amelia at work, his expression
revealing his attraction to her
EMMA (V.O.)
And he did
EXT. VALLEY. EVENING
Victor and Amelia race through a path in the valleys,
laughing loudly like school children
They stop at a point, collapse playfully to the ground,
breathless but laughing, and Victor rolls over unto his side
to stare into Amelias eyes
She smiles at him softly, and bending towards her, Victor
kisses Amelia
EXT. TREE. NIGHT
From a far height we slowly zoom into a figure seated high in
the tree with a lantern wedged between branches to give her
light
We see movement; shes doing something
EMMA (V.O.)
But that is my mothers story. I
told it to tell mine because her
story is the mother of mine which
starts here in Hope Bay, as hers
did
Closer now, we see the figure is writing
EMMA
Mine was far from romantic but not
altogether bad
EXT. AMELIAS CANTEEN. DAY
The canteen is beautiful, neat and spacey

6.

Emma is behind the counter attending to the three customers


before her while Amelias back is to us, looking into a large
pot of stew
EMMA (V.O.)
Because although we run the only
eating place for everyone in Hope
Bay
EXT. AMELIAS HOUSE. DAY
Emma sweeps the frontage of the beautiful bungalow which is
modeled after a cottage
EMMA (V.O.)
And my days are like yours when
youre done from school and waiting
for the next step
INT. AMELIAS ROOM. NIGHT
Emma is on the bed, her long hair flowing as she listens with
a captivated look to her mother, reading to her from PASSPORT
OF MALLAM ILLIA
AMELIA
I was born at a time when men were
men and women were won by those who
deserved them
EMMA
(Fascinated)
Like you and daddy
AMELIA
Yes dear
(Continues reading)
The scene goes into mime as Emmas voice-over continues
EMMA (V.O.)
My nights are magic. I enter other
worlds through other lives and have
many adventures
EXT. HOPE BAY TOWN. DAY
Carrying a small basket and wearing a large sun hat, Emma
saunters along with a small smile on her face

7.

EMMA (V.O.)
Adventures I carry with me through
the day. Adventures that stay
through the early-year harmattan
and the rains of March
Still walking, the scene around Emma morphs into a rainy day,
and still in a reverie and carrying the same basket in
different clothes, Emma is holding an umbrella
EMMA (V.O.)
Adventures that escort me to
summer; what everyone in Hope Bay
waits for
EXT. HOPE BAY/ EMPTY LANDSCAPE. DAY
A modern crew of geologists -complete in high-tech regalia
and carrying sophisticated gadgets, walk through the land,
looking round, enraptured
EMMA (V.O.)
When this place becomes the go-to
for EXT. OPEN GRASSY FIELD. DAY
A team of football players train, watched by excited
spectators
EMMA (V.O.)
Soccer teams here to train
EXT. OPEN GRASSY FIELD. NIGHT
A number of men and women pray loudly walking in several
different directions
EMMA (V.O.)
Prayer warriors on retreat
EXT. OPEN GRASSY FIELD. DAY
A team of eminent-looking executive types are seated on
beautiful picnic blankets watching a bespectacled man address
them with a black board behind him on which are graphs and
topics like Strategic Analytic
EMMA (V.O.)
Entrepreneurs on business camps

8.

INT. AMELIAS CANTEEN. DAY


The canteen is filled up with several customers noisily
placing their orders to a very busy
EMMA (V.O.)
And these visits mean big business
for anyone whos selling in Hope
Bay
EXT. TREE. NIGHT
We are closer to Emma, still scribbling away, but zooming in
towards her from below
EMMA (V.O.)
This summers no different. We have
new visitors
CUT TO:
EXT. SKY. DAY
Into the frame of blue skies a motion picture camera is set
up by a technician in filmmaking gear
CUT TO:
EXT. TREE. NIGHT
We are closer now to the scribbling figure of Emma from
another angle
EMMA (V.O.)
And therell be business
CUT TO:
EXT. AMELIAS CANTEEN. DAY
We follow a bunch of boys from the back as they approach
Amelias, chatting noisily
CUT TO:

9.

EXT. TREE. NIGHT


We are behind Emma now from her back, closer to her lantern
which is between two branches above her, turning round slowly
to her face
EMMA (V.O.)
But best of all, this one came with
my own story; the story Im telling
Emma looks up from her note and straight into the camera with
a pleased look
EMMA (V.O.)
This summer came with love
Her mouth stretches into a smile
OPENING CREDITS
EXT. MOVIE SET. DAY
The large set is busy with technicians, carpenters and
builders erecting structures, mounting cameras and lights,
constructing models
The noise of welding, hammering, sawing and
People are walking all over the set, giving and receiving
instructions; objects and equipment are being moved around
We can tell this is a Hollywood-type production
EXT. MOVIE SET/ PRESS SPOT. DAY
A video press crew is interviewing two apparently important
figures connected to this film whom we see from behind as we
face the young interviewer whos speaking into a microphone
The Camera makes a slow revolution to face the duo being
interviewed
JOURNALIST
(Marvelled)
Sir, this locality, this place,
its breathtaking
POPE
It is. I lived here from 87 to 1990
and I never once forgot it all the
while I was in England.
(MORE)

10.
POPE (CONT'D)
More so, its perfectly suited for
our story which incorporates
natural scenery and magical
settings

By now, the camera is on the Director, POPE BASSEY, 50,


handsome and stern-faced; imperially seated beside the
Producer, SILAS OROM, 51, polished to a shine, wearing a
salesman smile; his suit dapper and his demeanor, oily
SILAS
(Jocular)
Whats a fairy tale without an
enchanting landscape?
JOURNALIST
Which brings me to my next
question. Why a fairy tale? Thats
a far departure from the POPE
BASSEY we know
POPE
Well, far departures are not
uncommon when you get to my age.
Old limbs need a long stroll
JOURNALIST
(Chuckles)
But a really long one from the man
who gave us FEAR IS THE BEST
FEELING, THE COWARDLY ANGEL,
(Excitedly)
THE FADED FOOTPRINT SILAS
(Quickly adds)
Which is still the highest selling
African movie of all time
Looks proudly towards Pope whos calm, unimpressed and deadpan
JOURNALIST
Films that chronicled the darkness
of our times; the baser sides of
the human condition
Pope considers the remark and sits up

11.

POPE
With many years behind me and more
wisdom, I have learned that many
things we took serious are in fact
pretentious, and what we deemed
paltry are in fact useful
Silas and Journalist wince at the same time, impressed by the
remark
POPE (CONTD)
People want fiery romance, they
want dashing saves and adventure.
It is our job to give them what
they want so we can sneak in what
they need
JOURNALIST
Brilliant
(Turns to Silas who grins
happily)
And you are producing
SILAS
Arent I blessed?
JOURNALIST
Arent we surprised! You are
Nollywoods biggest producer!
SILAS
Remember I directed some of the
finest films myself
JOURNALIST
None for fifty million naira. None
with this calibre of production.
Why the about-turn?
SILAS
The script demands it. Pope demands
it. In Popes first interview
after he returned he mentioned the
story and I fell in love
JOURNALIST
(Turns to Pope)
You also decried Nollywood in that
interview

12.

POPE
As I still do. Nigerians are
eminently more intelligent than our
stories portray us. Our films have
demoted us in the eye of the world
Silas winces in embarrassment
JOURNALIST
Isnt it a contradiction then that
you are filming with Nollywoods
biggest producer?
Ouch! Silas winces
POPE
We have a pact. Give me the
resources, Ill give you a proper
film
Journalist smiles and stretches out his hand for a handshake
JOURNALIST
Mr. Pope Bassey, welcome home. Its
been eighteen years since your last
film. We cant wait for another
masterpiece
POPE
You wont be disappointed
Journalist turns to Silas
JOURNALIST
Thank you for your time
Silas nods eagerly with his smile but we can tell hes
disappointed at the unceremonious farewell
EXT. MOVIE SET/ FRONTAGE. DAY
Silas is walking to a set of black jeeps with GERALD, his
young assistant
Hes visibly upset
SILAS
Bastard journalist. Puncture the
tires of his vehicle
GERALD
There are too many people watching

13.

SILAS
His phone, find it and smash it to
pieces
GERALD
Not worth it. Its a 3310
SILAS
Is there nothing we can do to this
guy?
GERALD
I say we do nothing. Todays worst
is already behind us
POPE
Silas
Both turn to see Pope striding towards them and Silas wears
his salesman smile again
POPE (CONT'D)
The steadicams, the cranes, the
tracks, they haven't arrived. You
brought in only one set of lens,
Im taking myriad shots
SILAS
I assure you theyll be here in 48
hours
POPE
Thats a lifetime in my schedule
and I have only twelve weeks.
Silas, dont be sloppy on this.
Remember its not run-of-the-mill
Walks away leaving Silas regarding him with venom
GERALD
(Patronising)
Maybe I should find something bad
to do to the journalist, to make
you feel good
Silas nods like a child offered candy
SILAS
That will be lovely

14.

EXT. MOVIE SET. DAY


From Silass point of view we see the large set being
constructed and taking shape; costumes are wheeled in and
different staff move around the whole place
Pope looks on majestically, pride and a pleased look of
nostalgia on his face
BAYO
Sir, the cast went off to rehearse
but I had to stay to see this
Pope turns to see his young protege, BAYO,30, smart, witty
and lean, looking at the set with astonishment
BAYO (CONTD)
This is stuff we only see in films
when they show the making
POPE
No. Stuff you see and stuff I do
BAYO
Thank you again sir, for the
privilege
POPE
The first great quality of every
true Director is the capacity to
observe
Bayo nods eagerly
BAYO
Okay
POPE
So, stop the jaw-jaw and ...
Uses his fingers to motion that Bayo should be taking in the
set building of the set, and smiling, Bayo faces it
EXT. HOPE BAY/ GRASSY EXPANSE. DAY
Several well shaped and muscular boys walk slowly across this
lawn - beautiful as what youll find in a stadium- looking
around at the hills in the distance and the trees and nature
in general
PRINCE OSAGIE, 25, tall, lean and handsome, surveys the area

15.

PRINCE
This place is tapping
ACTOR
No. Tapping is like a fly chick
coming to see you in a short dress.
This place is whoa like a billion
dollars!
ACTOR TWO
You think they have some here?
ACTOR
A billion dollars?
ACTOR TWO
Fly chicks in short dresses
ACTOR
I dunno man but I love this place
DAMIEN
Lets not forget why we came
Everyone respectfully turns towards the smooth stentorian
voice that spoke
And turning to face us is DAMIEN AZUKA, 25, gorgeous, greekgod looks, wearing a self-important smile
Its easy to tell Damien is the King of the pack
DAMIEN (CONT'D)
In a couple of hours, three max,
theyll call us back to set. This
is the only time we have to nail
this
The boys look at each other soberly as if ashamed that they
forgot themselves
DAMIEN (CONTD)
Your scripts
The actors hurriedly hand their scripts to Prince who nods at
Damien when hes collected the last
Damien smiles
DAMIEN (CONT'D)
Lets go
CUT TO:

16.

EXT. HOPE BAY/ GRASSY EXPANSE. DAY


The boys are in the thick of a soccer match five aside
while some others are watching by the wayside, cheering as
they await their set
They are having tremendous fun
INT. MOVIE SET/ DIRECTORS PAD. DAY
The Pad is apparently makeshift but tastefully furnished - a
small book shelf contains books on lighting, cinematography
and motion picture production; there are posters of classic
movies as well as Popes movies on the walls; there are
action cartoon figurines on a large writing table on which
are some filmmaking equipment; an inner room leads to his
bedroom
We hear the faint sound of the set construction going on
outside
Pope is seated before a large screen TV watching an old
interview Damien granted the BBC
INTERVIEWER (FROM TV)
Is there more to film than
entertainment?
DAMIEN
Definitely. Stories inspire us all
the time. Movies are stories, and
they too can change the world. It
depends on whos telling it and
what theyre saying
Pope rewinds this
Bayo saunters in
BAYO
The BBC interview?
Pope nods, watches the scene again and rewinds
BAYO (CONTD)
Sounds more intelligent there than
he does in real life
POPE
Damiens ego is where his mind
should be and his mind is on a
perpetual holiday

17.

BAYO
And youre still using him
POPE
Because hes a genius whos
oblivious to that fact
Pope puts off the DVD and Bayo raises the script
BAYO
Im done with the working script.
Marvelous!
Pope looks at him with raised eyebrows
POPE
(Dead pan)
Marvelous
BAYO
The angles for the opening scene, I
love them.
(More excited)
I also love what you want to do
with the sword fight scene
Pope thumbs through the script with a blank face
BAYO (CONT'D)
This is what the world is waiting
for from Africa
Pope is stolid to the compliment looking at his script with
suspicion
COOK
Oga!
Pope and Bayo look towards the wide exit where the COOK, 40,
grouchy, ever frowning and gaunt, appears
COOK (CONTD)
Lunch is ready
Pope nods and the Cook leaves
Both men look at each other
POPE
What do you think?
BAYO
Horrible. The fish they gave us
this morning tasted like spoilt yam

18.

POPE
It wasnt fish. It was boiled
chicken
BAYO
Chicken? There was this other hard
chicken I couldnt chew
POPE
That was spoilt yam
Bayo scowls in disgust and Pope says
POPE (CONT'D)
Where did Silas get this guy?
EXT. HOPE BAY/ GRASSY EXPANSE. DAY
The boys are still playing, most of them bare-chested now
Emma appears in the distance -beautiful, innocent, magneticcarrying a basket as she watches the boys play
Some of the actors watching the game see her and nudge others
to look, smiling at the sight
Emma is simple but graceful in her fitting dress top and
jeans, making her way towards them on a long, winding pathway
through the expanse
Damien is about to make a shot when he spots her and wilfully
kicks the ball her way
It rolls to a stop in front of Emma who picks it with a hand
and looks up to see Damien -sculpted chest, broad shoulders,
cherubic face- swaggering to come get it
Emma is momentarily transfixed by Damien but she recovers in
time to throw the ball to him which he catches easily and
nods his appreciation
Emma keeps walking after yanking her eyes off Damien but
Damien reaches behind his jeans, whips out his sophisticated
mobile phone, activates the camera and begins to film Emmas
behind as she sashays away
His boys laugh and we see the recording trailing Emmas
departing figure from the phones point of view until a head
appears in the shot -AMELIAS
As shocked Damien staggers backward in shock and Amelia
reaches out and snatches the camera from him, turns around
and begins to strut away after her daughter

19.

Gaping with shock, Damien runs to her, apologizes and pleads


for his phone but Amelia walks on regally totally ignoring
him
Damien beckons to the other actors and they run off the
field, after Damien, and trail after Amelia pleading for
Damien
It is here we first see Amelia well -Beautiful, grand,
imperturbable- as she walks, a single woman leading a train
of grovelling hunks
EXT. AMELIAS CANTEEN. DAY
Emma enters the near empty canteen where two other workers
are and disappears behind the counter
A second later, Amelia enters with the pleading host of
thespians; the noise of which draws a surprised Emma out
Amelia walks to her daughter, hands her the phone and shoots
a stern look at Emma which Emma responds to with a nod
DAMIEN
Is she your mom?
Emma nods
DAMIEN (CONTD)
Thats my phone
EMMA
What did you do?
Damien makes to speak and freezes on after-thought
DAMIEN
Important thing is Ive apologized
EMMA
Sorry. Cant give you this yet
DAMIEN
Yawa
Damien turns to look at his boys all of who are seated
staring in the same direction at a customers meal
DAMIEN (CONT'D)
Guys what do we do?
The boys hurriedly extract their gaze and wear exaggerated
thinking expressions

20.

Prince snaps his fingers and rises with a confident smile


PRINCE
Its clear. You want your thing,
they want their thing. You give
them what they want
(Smiles)
Business
(Turns to Emma)
Gimme rice, plantain and four meat
One of the staff moves to serve him
DAMIEN
(Appalled)
Youre kidding me
ACTOR THREE
No it works. Theres no way we all
grub and go without them returning
the favor
(Faces counter)
Yam porridge and meat
All the actors light up with this brilliant idea and rush
to the counter placing orders ignoring the aghast look on
Damiens face
Emma throws Damien an I'm sorry look and goes behind the
counter to assist the waiters
DAMIEN
Prince, this is wrong. What about
me, my pain, my phone?
Damiens next statement is lost as Emmas hand shoots across
his face to pass Prince his food
Damien is clearly seduced but we see him quickly pull himself
together, and keep talking although no one is listening
PRINCE
(Self pity)
Guys, Im in the dark right now. On
my own. Nobody cares. Will Jesus do
this?
EMMA
Are you sure youre not eating?
DAMIEN
(Rapid fire)
Same as him but put two fish
(Referring to Prince)

21.

Damien quickly wears a straight face feigning his earlier


indignation
CUT TO:
AMELIAS CANTEEN. DAY
Everyone has eaten and is looking happy and content
Prince glances at his watch
PRINCE
We have to roll
DAMIEN
What about my phone?
EMMA
Youll get your phone
The actors turn to Emma approach from behind the counter
EMMA (CONTD)
But you have to tell me what you
did
The boys look at one another and hastily rise, leaving Damien
to bear his cross
Damien sighs
DAMIEN
I was filming you
(Embarrassed pause)
From behind
Emma shoots him a you bad boy look
EMMA
You guys play ball?
DAMIEN
Nah, were in a movie being shot
here
EMMA
(Excited)
Youre actors? So that place youre
building is a movie set? What
movie?
DAMIEN
Its called THE GLASS SLIPPER

22.

EMMA
Like Cinderellas glass slipper
DAMIEN
Same story but from Prince
Charmings side of the tale
EMMA
(Affectionate)
Nice
Damien nods
DAMIEN
Look uh, sorry about what I did but
I have calls to make and calls to
take
EMMA
Ill bring you your phone. Momsys
tough but shes a good kid. Shell
let it go
Damien nods, rises and begins to walk away regarded dreamily
by Emma
He stops and turns
DAMIEN
Whats your name?
EMMA
Emma
DAMIEN
Damien. Ask for Damien when you
bring it
Emma nods, and keeps watching him swagger away
INT. AMELIAS CANTEEN. DAY
Emma enters as her mom is stirring a fresh pot of stew behind
the counter
EMMA
(Delighted)
Theyre actors. Theyre making a
Cinderella movie
AMELIA
(Stolid)
Good for them

23.

EMMA
Good for us! Its the summer rush.
Business season
AMELIA
Seasons pass. Like all good things
Momentarily deflated, Emma sits and then brightens up again
EMMA
(Reprimanding tone)
Mommy!
Theres an exception to every rule
(Fantasy mood)
Whats stopping us or anyone from
having it good everyday? To wake to
up to magic and peace and love; to
always be happy
AMELIA
Nothing. Except that life has its
rules as we have our wishes, and so
far the rule has not seen an
exception
Emma sighs, crestfallen
INT. MOVIE SET/ DIRECTORS PAD. NIGHT
Before Pope is a series of enlarged still photographs of
various spots in Hope Bay, and with him are Bayo, NASIR
HASSAN, the cinematographer and SHINA COLE, the Locations
Scout
The pictures are beautiful
NASIR
Sir, sword fights, karate ...
(Searches for more)
Confrontations between the
protagonist and the bad guy have
happened too many times, in too
many films by the waterfall. Its
cliche
SHINA
Nothing is new under the sun. Its
our approach, and its not been
done in a Nigerian movie
NASIR
Let Cinderella dance with Prince
Charming by the waterfall.
(MORE)

24.
NASIR (CONT'D)
Thats fresh. Its romantic. Girls
will love it

Loud knock on the door and Damien enters


DAMIEN
You sent for me
POPE
Yes, come in
(Turns to the other three)
Discuss it among yourselves. Well
resolve it before bed time
The men leave and Pope beckons Damien to a chair across his
POPE (CONT'D)
I understand you were cast in
HEMLOCK before this production.
What happened?
DAMIEN
They got me out, they chose someone
else
POPE
HEMLOCK is a big production
DAMIEN
Very big. MGM and a Nigerian
studio. Every actor wants Hollywood
POPE
And what are your feelings about
THE GLASS SLIPPER which isnt
Hollywood?
DAMIEN
Great story. I love the script.
POPE
Then I need to see more commitment
Damiens eyes widen in surprise
POPE (CONT'D)
Youre late to rehearsals, you
distract actors on set, you take
your lines for granted
Damien sits up

25.

DAMIEN
Due respects sir but I am good at
what I do. I will deliver
POPE
Talent is not enough, and I dont
want you to deliver. I want you to
kill the role
Pope reaches for a script on his table and gives Damien
POPE (CONTD)
Read that
DAMIEN
I have my script
POPE
This is mine. It has notes in the
margin
Damien takes the script, skims through it and rises to leave
POPE (CONT'D)
THE GLASS SLIPPER is a fifty
million naira production. Keep that
in mind always
Damien leaves
EXT. AMELIAS BUNGLAOW. NIGHT
A beautiful moon casts a magical glow over the area and
Amelias house is alluring in the light
INT. AMELIAS BUNGLAOW/ AMELIAS BEDROOM. NIGHT
Amelia is in bed, reading from a black bound Bible with
reading glasses
Emma peers into the room, smiles and happily skips to her
mom, embraces her briefly and leaves
Amelia is not distracted from her study
Just as shes about to step out, Emma sees Damiens phone on
her moms table, and seeing that Amelia is engrossed, takes
it and leaves the room

26.

EXT. MOVIE SET/ OPEN AIR. NIGHT


Damien sets up a sleeping bag, lays under the million stars
above, and sighing as if about to undertake a laborious task,
begins to read the script given him by Pope
INT. AMELIAS BUNGLAOW/ EMMAS BEDROOM. NIGHT
Emmas beautiful bedroom is more a little girls room that a
post-teens
She has posters of famous heroes -Superman, Bruce Lee, the
godfather et al, and in a corner, the room is stacked high
with books
She dives into bed and also into the contents of Damiens
phone
EXT. MOVIE SET/ OPEN AIR. NIGHT
Damien is dozing but fighting the oncoming sleep
INT. AMELIAS BUNGLAOW/ EMMAS BEDROOM. NIGHT
Emma is flicking from one picture to the next
From her point of view we see Damien in various poses alone
and with friends - mainly girls - and sometimes topless
Each picture presents a new angle to his good looks and
Emmas face betrays her attraction for him
A hand reaches down and takes the phone from Emma
Its Amelia - She peers into the phone to see what enthralled
her daughter, and flicks through some of the pictures
Looking down at Emma, we see Emma is looking up at her mum,
red-faced embarrassed
AMELIA
My room
Amelia leaves and Emma slowly slides out from under the
covers and follows her mom
EXT. MOVIE SET/ OPEN AIR. NIGHT
Damien is dead asleep, the script tossed to the side
carelessly

27.

INT. AMELIAS BUNGLAOW/ AMELIAS BEDROOM. NIGHT


Amelia is seated on her bed, holding a thin cache of papers,
colored with age; her reading glasses on her face again
Emma slowly enters like a child approaching an offended
parent
Amelia motions her to sit by her
AMELIA
Victor wrote me a letter, this
letter ... for ten years
Emmas eyes widens in mild surprise
AMELIA (CONTD)
(Smiles nostalgically)
I asked him to write me a love
letter and he said it was
impossible because the way he loved
me one day was different from the
way he loved me the next and to
write one letter was to tell part
the truth which really is a lie
EMMA
(Overwhelmed)
Daddy!
AMELIA
(Nostalgic smile)
So, in a sense, he didnt write
this letter. He grew it;
(Fondly looks at the
letter)
A phrase one day, a clause on
another. Sometimes, just words,
other times sentences
EMMA
(Incredulous)
For ten years!
AMELIA
And Ive read it everyday since he
left
Amelia raises Damiens phone and Emmas delighted look sobers
AMELIA (CONT'D)
There are too many pretty faces out
there but a genuine lover? What are
his papers?

28.

Smiling, Amelia raises the letter and begins to read


AMELIA (CONT'D)
Beloved
Amelias voice segues into Victors deep voice as scene
FADE TO:
FLASHBACK
EXT. HOPE BAY/ STREAM. DAY
Victor, young and handsome, wearing an Ojukwu beard, is
seated on a rock jutting out over the stream, writing a
letter
VICTOR (V.O.)
Was it this way for Adam? That
though he was a tenant in Gods
garden, neighbor to gracious skies
and clement weather - he found
another more engrossing?
EXT. HUT. DAY
Young Amelia is seated on a low stool outside, reading
Victors letter with a broad smile
VICTOR (V.O.)
This is where you place me because you have become my
preoccupation, my abiding concern,
the reason I spring out of bed with
a bounce
EXT. SAVANNA. TWILIGHT
The grassy plains are filled with fruit trees all over and
the setting sun makes this a romantic paradise
Beneath a tree is Victor and Amelia, in each others arms
Amelia looks away shyly as Victor studies her face with awe
as if mesmerized by her features
VICTOR (V.O.)
You are beautiful Amelia; Gods
gift to the human eye

29.

EXT. FRUIT ORHCARD. NIGHT


Writing by lantern light, Victor is seated n the floor,
surrounded by greenery
VICTOR (V.O.)
But every man can see that and many
have told you so. Why do I deserve
you above them all?
INT. HUT. NIGHT
Amelia is seated up on her mat, reading Victors letter by
moonlight which pours in from the large open window
VICTOR (V.O.)
I hereby tender my credentials - In
loyalty I score an A because my
devotion to you is steadfast and
uncontested
(Amelia smiles)
Fidelity is a paper I passed with
flying colors because beside you
other women shrink, and to go to
them is to step away from paradise
(Chuckles)
And love - my highest distinction,
my A3 - let me not color it with
wordplay or metaphor. I love you,
Amelia
Amelia slowly settles back against the wall with an emotionladen face, visibly weakened by Victors thoughts
EXT. STREAM. DAY
Amelia and Victor sit side by side on the bank, their legs in
the water, and Victor hands the letter to a smiling Amelia
VICTOR (V.O.)
Even as you review my lovers
diploma I will continue to
replicate in action what I have set
down in words. I await your
favorable response; my Amelia, my
Beloved
INT. AMELIAS BUNGLAOW/ AMELIAS BEDROOM. NIGHT
Amelia looks up from the letter at Emma on whose face is the
silly smile only romantics have

30.

EMMA
(Softly)
Beautiful
Amelia reaches again for Damiens phone and from her point of
view we see Damien on the wallpaper
AMELIA
A pretty face is not bad but true
love looks for more
(Gives the phone to a
sober-faced Emma)
Your father could teach love
because he lived it. Thats the man
you should pray for
Emma and Amelia embrace
EXT. HIGHWAY. MORNING
A van on which SPOT ON FILMS is printed approaches at full
speed
INT. SPOT ON VAN. MORNING
The bus is filled with pretty girls chatting, reading
magazines or just staring out the windows
MARION APATA,22, the most beautiful, is on her fancy phone
MARION
Thered better be service there
because Ill just freak out. I
dont know for him oh! This one
that hes carrying us into the bush
(Sweeps her eyes across
the other actresses and
lowers voice)
Backstreet. Theres one that uses
eye liner for lip lining and the
others are so last year. Me? Its
just me, myself and the boys
INT. MOVIE SET/ KITCHEN. DAY
Prince and several other actors are before the food counter,
holding their plates with horrified expressions
From their point of view we see the food: looks like muck
The boys look at each other in disgust

31.

PRINCE
(Muted)
That place
ACTOR
We have to get there again
ACTOR TWO
How do we leave set today? Pope
will know
PRINCE
I dont know but dead men cant
act. We either starve or this kills
us
They nervously nod in agreement as the cook delightfully
pours his nonsense into their plates
INT. MOVIE SET/ PRINCE CHARMINGS CHAMBER. DAY
Damien and Prince are in costume playing Prince Charming and
Hector in a set thats reminiscent of Victorian England and
ancient African
The King is standing before the duo who stand respectfully
before him, heads bowed
Other cast mates and crew watch from the side as Pope and his
cinematographer share comments in hushed tones
KING
You must govern your loins if you
will govern this kingdom
PRINCE CHARMING
(Scoffs)
Father, you compare women to a
kingdom
KING
I compare your temperance with
women to your acumen for governance
PRINCE CHARMING
I will find my queen
KING
You certainly will. At the Ball the
queen and I have put together for
you
The Prince looks up at his father

32.

KING (CONTD)
You will pick one queen and end
your mindless philandering. If you
insist on being a boy, we will
parent you as such
The King swirls round and leaves the chamber, leaving the
Prince to heave in and out heavily
One of the actors on the sidelines leads Emma into a corner
of the set and motions for her to be quiet
Emma looks excited to be here
HECTOR
What is it you really want?
PRINCE CHARMING
The big riddle. Should I have to
want anything?
HECTOR
Other than to bed them all?
PRINCE CHARMING
(Naughty)
I meet them where they draw me to
HECTOR
And the bedroom is the only place
they have?
PRINCE CHARMING
Well, it happened once in the
kitchen
Prince smiles at his own sarcasm, and begins to pace
PRINCE CHARMING (CONTD)
I want a queen that my heart will
want; a woman still beautiful away
from the bedroom
HECTOR
How will she be beautiful?
PRINCE CHARMING
Everyhow! In speech and action. A
woman whos beautiful for what she
does as much as for how she looks
HECTOR
And if this woman doesnt attend
the Ball?

33.

PRINCE CHARMING
(Mischievous smile)
Theres always the bedroom to
return to
POPE
Cut!
Sounds rise again as some cast and crew members applaud and
the technicians accompany Pope into the set to receive
instructions
Emma is clearly impressed as she waits on the side for
Damien, smiling cockily at his performance as hes
accompanied off set by his host of admiring actors
The actor who led Emma into the set goes to Damien, whispers
into his ear and points at Emma
Damien brightens when he sees her wave his phone at him
He walks to her
DAMIEN
Hey, thanks
EMMA
I saw your recording of me
Damien makes a silly face - not embarrassed; rather like a
child caught with his hand in the cookie jar
DAMIEN
Ive been a bad boy. I should make
it up to you
EMMA
I dont do bedroom and I only cook
in the kitchen
DAMIEN
(Innocence)
No way! No! Dont compare me with
that dude. Im only playing him
EMMA
You believe what he said about a
woman whos ...
(Thinks about how to frame
the thought)
beautiful like the things she does -

34.

DAMIEN
Whos as beautiful for what she
does as much as for how she looks
Emma nods, accepting the correction
DAMIEN (CONTD)
Most def - a chic who listens,
whos sensitive, whos cool to hang
with
MARION
Say her name
Damien and Emma turn to see Marion approaching in her femme
fatale glory
DAMIEN
Marion!
MARION
Correct
They both hug happily
DAMIEN
Hey Emma
(Draws Marion by waist)
My home girl, Marion. Marion is
playing Cinderella
Emma smiles politely and Marion retorts with a snobbish onceover
MARION
Are you in technical?
Emma is visibly puzzled
DAMIEN
Shes not on the set. Shes from
the area
MARION
Oh. A native
Emma winces
EMMA
I have to go
DAMIEN
Hey thanks, really grateful

35.

Emma smiles politely and walks away


MARION
You dont waste time
DAMIEN
Its not like that. Me and the boys
went to her place to Stops himself mid-sentence, quickly leaves a now surprised
Marion and races to Emma
DAMIEN (CONT'D)
Hey, sorry. We need food
EMMA
Okay. Youll come to the canteen?
DAMIEN
We cant. We made it yesterday
because we were still setting up
EMMA
What about in the night? Ill make
them cook if youre sure you can
make it
DAMIEN
Gimme five minutes to yarn the boys
(Gives her his script)
Just hold this and hang around.
Theyll think youre an extra.
Gimme your number
As Damien stores her number, Marion watches, arms folded and
eyebrows drawn together resentfully
EXT. MOVIE SET/ FRONT OF FEMALE CAMP. DAY
Prince and the other actors lecherously watch the actresses
move towards their quarters
ACTOR
Damn!
ACTOR FOUR
In the Ball scene, that babe in the
striped pants, I am so dancing with
her

36.

ACTOR TWO
The other one, the one in red;
Those hips are going to heaven
because theyve never told a lie
The boys continue their lustful talk as Marion sashays into
view drawing more animated interest from the boys
Prince stares at Marion with a soft intensity but Damien
appears behind Marion appearing to plead with her and
Princes eyes flicker with mild anger
ACTOR THREE
(Admiringly)
Damien is a bad-ass
ACTOR FOUR
Damien is the bad-ass manual on how
to catch that and hit that
ACTOR
(Surprised)
Is he hitting that?
(Motions to Marion)
Actor Two motions to Prince
ACTOR TWO
Ask his best friend. Damien doesnt
play with what he wont hit
Prince manages a weak smile, his gaze steady on Damien whos
managed to make Marion stop and listen to him
TO DAMIEN AND MARION
DAMIEN
I grew up on the Island. I dont do
local. I dont even know local
MARION
Whats Emma?
DAMIEN
Emma is just a girl. Thats who she
is
Marion swirls round and heads for her door
MARION
Whatever

37.

Damien regards her with a confident smirk as she enters, and


turning, he sees his cast mates in the distance, who suddenly
salute him with thumbs-ups and you the man signs
Damiens face contorts into shocked realization
DAMIEN
Damn!
CUT TO:
EXT. MOVIE SET/ HIDDEN AREA. DAY
Damien is with Emma, giving her a small bundle of money as
the other actors watch
DAMIEN
Sorry. Finding these dudes wasnt
easy
EMMA
No problem but you have to be sure
youre coming or food for fifteen
will waste
DAMIEN
Once its lights out here, were
running down. Ten 0 clock max!
Emma leaves and the actors admire her
ACTOR FIVE
This chic set oh!
Damien smiles admiringly at Emmas jiggling derriere
FADE TO:
EXT. MOVIE SET. NIGHT
Establishment of full moon glowing over set
EXT. MOVIE SET/ ACTRESSES CAMP. NIGHT
An actress is on the bed, just finishing the final page of
the glass slipper with a small smile on her face
Closing the script, she sighs joyously and swings to a
sitting position

38.

ACTRESS
(Dreamy sigh)
I love reading this story. Its so
beautiful
ACTRESS TWO
And he wrote it when he was
thirteen! Pope is a genius
We see two other actresses - both half-dressed; ones face
caked in white cream with a towel wound into a turban round
her head; the other seated before a mirror applying make up
remover
Marion is in bed lying face up with a face-mask on
ACTRESS THREE
Pope is a gift
(Naughty smile)
He chose the right Prince Charming
ACTRESS TWO
Damien is really, really cute
ACTRESS
Have you seen his abs?
ACTRESS THREE
(Naughty smile)
Have you seen his ass?
ACTRESS TWO
Tight like a fist
(Places hands on her hips)
Tight like mine. We have something
in common! Maybe we could hook up
The girls chuckle
MARION
Youre not his type
The girls look towards Marion whos still as a statue as she
speaks
MARION (CONT'D)
Damien is looking this way
Marion raises the face-mask and looks at the girls with a
taunting expression
MARION (CONTD)
But its not in your direction

39.

Returns face mask and lies back with a smirk on her face
MARION (CONTD)
Dont hate
The three actresses look at each other, turn towards Marions
figure and silently make ugly faces at her
Marion shifts in bed and the trio quickly revert to their
former positions
EXT. AMELIAS CANTEEN. NIGHT
The lights are on and we hear muted conversation and clanking
spoons
A second later, Prince and two actors emerge, smacking their
lips, toothpicks jutting out of their mouths, rubbing their
bellies
A few more actors come out and then Damien emerges, obviously
contented with a toothpick in his mouth
EMMA (O.S.)
Me? A princess?
Damien and the boys with him look up at the tree from where
the voice came from
From the actors point of view we see Emma comfortably cradled
high in the branches reading from the glass slipper script
with light from a lantern above her
EMMA (CONTD)
In my dreams only
The actors chuckled, amused
DAMIEN
Let this be a dream come true then
because Im a prince and Ive a
crown to spare
(Smiles)
Howd you get there?
EMMA
I flew
Damien smirks and turns to his cast mates
DAMIEN
Ill block you guys

40.

Damien looks up at Emma and approaches the bark of the tree


CUT TO:
EXT. TREE. NIGHT
Damien seats himself comfortably as a breeze sweeps over
them and sways the leaves of the tree
DAMIEN
Haven't done this in ages
EMMA
I come here a lot. To read, think,
dream
DAMIEN
(Teasing)
You dont have a room?
Emma playfully hits Damien on the arm
EMMA
This place is magic. The breeze,
the sight; being high away from the
real world down there
Brief silence as both savor the breeze and the sight with a
small smile on each their faces
DAMIEN
So, your friends; they come up
here?
EMMA
Youre the first
DAMIEN
Me, already your friend?
(Smiles mischievously)
You like me
EMMA
(Raises the script)
Now, youre sounding like Prince
Charming - pompous, cocky, full of
yourself
DAMIEN
And you like Cinderella - sweet,
naive, annoying
(Smiles at her)
Damn! I think Im liking you

41.

Emma scowls at Damien, raises her script and reads from it


EMMA
You ask me too soon to be your
queen because I am beautiful. You
judge the contents by the
container?
DAMIEN
For this container, I'll brave the
contents
Damien smiles
DAMIEN (CONT'D)
You like the story?
EMMA
I haven't gone far but it's very
nice. I like Cinderella
(Smiles)
She gives Prince Charming a tough
time
DAMIEN
(Looks into his script)
History will be stern on your name
if you do not undo the calamity you
have caused
EMMA
(Reading)
What calamity is there in refusing
to tell my name?
DAMIEN
The calamity of sleepless nights
and an aching heart
The leaves rustle noisily as a strong draught blows, and both
friends raise their faces with a smile to savor it
DAMIEN (CONT'D)
I could get used to this
Emma smiles and both lock eyes for a charged moment
Damiens phone rings and the moment is broken
DAMIEN (CONT'D)
Its the boys. I have to zap
(Looks at Emma)
Ill be here -up here if youre
here- tomorrow night

42.

EMMA
Youre welcome
Damien shoots her one last player smile and begins to
alight
FADE TO:
INT. MOVIE SET/ DAMIENS ROOM. NIGHT
Damien and Prince are in the same room - well furnished and
further adorned with Damien and Princes guy stuff - soccer
premiership ephemera/ posters of American divas/ poker cards
etc
Both guys are on their beds; Prince lying down eyes closed,
Damien reading a Stephen King novel
PRINCE
(Doesnt open his eyes)
Damien?
Damien doesnt respond
PRINCE (CONT'D)
You and Marion ...is it happening?
DAMIEN
(Still reading)
I have twelve weeks
PRINCE
So, nothings gone down for now?
Damien doesnt answer, engrossed in his book
Prince rises to a sitting position and studies Damien for a
few seconds
PRINCE (CONT'D)
Do you ever miss HEMLOCK?
Damien drops the book and faces Prince with a quizzical look
DAMIEN
Why?
PRINCE
(Incredulous)
Why? Because Dude, you couldve
been the first Naija actor to make
Hollywood history

43.

Damien listens with some melancholy on his face


PRINCE (CONTD)
The guy they replaced you with?
Freaking airhead! He couldnt act
like a dead man if they asked him
to lie still
Brief silence as Damien takes it in, obviously stirred
PRINCE (CONTD)
You dont miss all that?
Theres a knock on the door
DAMIEN
Yeah?
An actor peers inside
ACTOR SIX
Damien! Pope
Damien sighs, puts down the book and rises to his feet,
quietly watched by Prince
Reaching the door, Damien stops and turns to Prince
DAMIEN
This ones good. Fifty million
bucks on a Naija movie; Pope Bassey
directing. Nice script
(Beat)
This is also very good
Prince nods in acknowledgement and Damien exits
INT. MOVIE SET/ DIRECTORS PAD. NIGHT
Pope is with Bayo and the cinematographer studying a large
set map when Damien enters
POPE
Damien, my script
Damiens momentarily confused
DAMIEN
I haven't returned it?
Pope glowers at Damien

44.

DAMIEN (CONTD)
Im coming sir
INT. MOVIE SET/ DAMIENS ROOM. NIGHT
Damiens room is upside down, and Damien and Prince are
standing looking left and right
DAMIEN
Im dead
Bayo enters
BAYO
How far?
DAMIEN
Cant find it
Bayo wears a no way expression
DAMIEN (CONTD)
Cant he use another one?
BAYO
It has rewrites in the margins
DAMIEN
(Despondent sigh)
Damn! Where did this script go?
EXT. AMELIAS BUNGLAOW/ TREE. NIGHT
High up on the tree, Emmas effeminate hand reaches up with a
rekindled lantern and wedges the it between two branches
Hoisting herself up, Emma seats herself on a plank resting
between two horizontal branches, a beautiful shawl wrapped
around her
Comfortably seated, Emma brings out THE GLASS SLIPPER script
being sought, and we see written on it THE GLASS SLIPPER by
POPE BASSEY, while Directors copy is written across the
page in longhand
She looks up from the script and smiles into space as we hear
her thoughts

45.

EMMA (V.O.)
Its funny, the way things work.
Here I am, day and night, losing
myself in stories of heroes and
dragons, and now the fairy tale
comes to me
Soft rock music slowly rises as the camera very slowly zooms
out on Emma
EMMA (V.O.)
Twelve weeks. Lots of guys and
girls. A large set. Soon, well
know whos who
INT. MOVIE SET/ DIRECTORS PAD. NIGHT
In mime, Pope, visibly angry, reprimands a sober looking
Damien
We close in on Damiens face
EMMA (V.O.)
The troubled hero who must first
overcome himself to overcome his
dragons
We close in on Pope, still angrily talking
EMMA (V.O.)
The eager mentor who must help the
hero understand his destiny if he
can first get the hero to hear him
EXT. WINDOW. DAY
A shapely figure backing us opens the window and views Amelia
proudly strutting away as Damien and his crew follow,
pleading for Damiens phone
EMMA (V.O.)
The unseen evil in the forest,
watching, waiting for its
unexpected strike
The figure leans against the window sill, watching the parade

46.

INT. AMELIAS BUNGLAOW/ AMELIAS BEDROOM. NIGHT


Amelia is reposed in bed, her Bible beside her and Victors
letter in her hand, which she reads with a calm fascination
on her face
EMMA (V.O.)
The lonely princess in the tower,
saving her last strand of hope for
the Princes kiss
We highlight a portrait of Victor on the wall above by depth
of field and close in on it
EMMA (V.O.)
The wise old man, like the fairy
godmother, who holds the magic
wand, the golden feather, the
saving something that gives the
Princess a chance to meet her hero
INT. DARK ROOM. NIGHT
Silas and Gerald are seated on either side of a small,
antique stool playing Chess
EMMA (V.O.)
And of course, the evil wizard whom
the hero must battle to save the
people he held hostage
Silas chuckles devilishly and takes Geralds Pawn
SILAS
I have your Pawn
GERALD
(Calmly)
And I your queen
Silas laughter stops abruptly as Gerald takes the Queen and
triumphantly removes the queen
GERALD (CONTD)
Check!
Silas studies the board more closely, looks up into Geralds
face on which is a smirk and back at the Chess board
Silas suddenly knocks the board over, rises and storms away
Gerald sighs deeply

47.

GERALD (CONTD)
(Under his breath)
He always does that
EXT. TREE. NIGHT
Emmas face is still dreamy

EMMA (V.O.)
And everything centers around the
most famous fashion accessory in
fairy tale romance
Emma looks down at the script
EMMA
The Glass Slipper
Emma opens the first page, draws her shawl tight around her
and begins to read
CUT TO:

THE END

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