Nick said 5 years, 9 months ago:

I’m writing a screenplay for fun and would like to get some feedback on it. Any form of criticism helps! I will provide a synopsis of the story along with the cast. For those of you who are not familiar with screenplays, V.O. means voice over. Here it is:

Synopsis:

Following his clinical diagnosis for depression, Jake (Logan Lerman) attends a naturopathic clinic under the influence of his psychiatrist (Edward Norton). After bizarre treatment methods, Jake is prescribed sleeping pills to aid him in his restlessness. As he continues to take his medication, his dreams become increasingly vivid. It is through his dreams that Jake develops a seemingly real relationship with the coy and beautiful Claire (Willa Holland). As he goes to bed each night, the line between reality and dreams start to blur, as both Jake and Claire believe that their existence together is a form of reality. Subtle occurrences in Jake’s life suggest that he may be connecting with Claire beyond the bounds of possibility. However, due to his gradual mental deterioration, it is difficult to tell what is real and what is solely make-believe. As his friends and family are frightened by his constant longing for sleep and delusions, Jake must work with Claire to unravel the truth behind his nighttime journeys.

Cast:

Jake – Logan Lerman

Claire – Willa Holland

Jake’s Father – Sam Rockwell

Scott (Jake’s Brother) – Aaron Paul

Richard (Jake’s Uncle) – Jake Johnson

Psychiatrist – Edward Norton

Psychoanalyst – TBA

Philosophy Professor – Paul Rudd

Claire’s Mother – Keira Knightley

Harmony – Lily Collins

Jake’s Friend – Evan Peters

Jake’s Mother – TBA

Black Screen

Fade In (as Varðeldur by Sigur Rós plays)

As the music starts, the black screen fades into a sunset overlooking a park. The sun is bright and glaring on the screen until it focuses in on a blanket laid out on the grass. There is an abundant amount of food and two wine glasses on the blanket. As the focus zooms out of view from the food and drinks, it is apparent that the screen is a shot from Jake’s point of view. As Jake moves away from the blanket, the wind picks up and carries the blanket out into a wooded area. As Jake chases the blanket, the sun persistently impairs Jake of his vision (giving off a dream-like visual state). He is eventually able to see that the blanket is caught in a tall tree.

A calm voice speaks to Jake

Claire
Let it get away from you?

Jake can see a female figure walking among the trees and broken branches, but he cannot focus in on her.

Claire laughs as she walks towards Jake

Claire
That’s really high!

She references to the blanket caught in one of the many trees.

Claire
Whatever shall we do now?

Claire is now leaning towards the tree on the opposite side of Jake, the tree concealing half of her face as the sun glosses over the other half. The camera focuses on Claire’s brown eye as she gives a smile.

Jake wakes up from his dream, he is lying in bed… (aerial shot)

It is the middle of the night as Jake tosses and turns uncomfortably. He rolls over to take a look at his alarm clock in defeat. It is 4:13 AM. Jake rolls over onto his back.

Jake (V.O.)
I haven’t been able to sleep much lately. I guess that’s what happens when you engulf yourself in an emotionally abusive relationship with someone.

Jake grabs a hold of a bouncy-ball from his night table and starts to toss it against the wall and catch it. He repeats this motion.

Jake (V.O. CONT’D)
Someone you care about…

Flashback to Jake’s ex-girlfriend, Harmony.

…deeply

A point of view shot shows Harmony smiling in bed. Smiling turns to laughter. The smile gradually fades into a look of adoration for Jake, as Harmony stares right into the camera.

Jake (V.O.)
I hold it true, whate’er befall;…

Flashbacks continue as Jake says this.. as Jake and Harmony are now in a high school classroom, flirting with each other’s eyes as the teacher gives a lesson.

Jake (V.O. CONT’D)
…I feel it, when I sorrow most;…

Flashback CONT’D: Jake says this as Jake and Harmony are laughing outside of their high school as Jake gives Harmony a piggy back ride.

Harmony
(Laughing)
Let me down! You’re going to drop me!

Jake
(Smiling)
I’m not going to drop you, relax

Harmony
(Laughing more)
You’re going to!

Jake (V.O. CONT’D)
…’Tis better to have loved and lost…

Flashback CONT’D: Jake says this… as Jake and Harmony are on their neighbourhood sidewalk as vehicles pass by on the road. Harmony keeps pushing Jake back in anger and tears. It is winter.

Jake
(In frustration)
Just tell me!

Jake tries to walk past Harmony and continue down the sidewalk as Harmony aggressively pushes Jake back to prevent him. She hits his chest and face a few times.

Harmony
(Crying more)
Stop. Don’t, please don’t.

Jake backs off a bit and puts his hands in the air in defence to show that he will not fight Harmony. He shakes his head at her in disappointment.

The two of them look at each other. Jake in disbelief and Harmony with a few tears settling down her face with an expression of fear.

Jake (V.O. CONT’D)
…Than never to have loved at all…

Jake tries again to storm past Harmony and proceed down the sidewalk.

In response, Harmony lays her hands on Jake’s coat and tugs at it hard enough to tear the zipper apart. The camera focuses in on the zipper falling to the ground in slow motion and then the camera focuses on Harmony’s distraught face as Jake’s V.O. continues…

Jake (V.O. CONT’D)
…Alfred Tennyson…

Flashback on sidewalk CONT’D: A random vehicle pulls over next to Jake and Harmony as they are staring at each other with emotional pain

Random Driver
Is he hurting you?

Jake looks down at the ground and slightly shakes his head in frustration at being perceived as the perpetrator.

Flashbacks end

Shows Jake again, still bouncing the ball against his bedroom wall

Jake (V.O. CONT’D)
Clearly, Tennyson had never been in love before he wrote that quote. What the fuck did he know anyway?