HEART OF CLOUDS – Adaptation SCREENPLAY – 5

Heart of Clouds

(for Walter Halsey Davis, of SB Writers Conference, my teacher)

by Adrienne D. Wilson – adapting her novel Heart of Clouds for film.

INT. TEENIE APT BATHROOM. SILVERY LIGHT

Teenie while pie is baking and filling the apt. with scent, goes to the bathroom mirror, thinking of the boy who left her the abalone shell. She recalls the other teen girls at school, talking about pretty, and putting on make-up.

TEENIE

(asking mirror)

What is pretty? Is it like that abalone shell and all the colors that he left for me?

Devlin is the first boy she has ever thought about, on this cusp of her 14th year.

She goes to her bedroom, after trying on a bit of lipgloss, and wondering. Sitting crosslegged on her bed, she takes out her notebook again and draws a picture of the pie, while waiting.

She writes a note to leave at the driftwood hut, as if Devlin is an imaginary friend.

Close in on her hand and handwriting:

boy of the dunes

boy who was running like a wild horse

boy who wears plaid shirts and flannel

boy who I wish was my friend

what can I do to make you see me like I’m pretty?

CHRISTINA

Teenie what are you doing in there

TEENIE

Just writing Mom, I’m waiting for the pie to cool

CHRISTINA

It looks nice honey

TEENIE

Mom, I told Mr. Honeygarten I would take him some

CHRISTINA

That’s nice of you Teenie

TEENIE

He’s a really nice man

CHRISTINA

I know he is honey

TEENIE

Can you help me cut him a piece

CHRISTINA

Come on, let’s cut a piece of that beautiful pie and taste it

Teenie runs to her mother’s side and hugs her tightly

TEENIE

I love you Mom, I really do

CHRISTINA

(tenderly smoothing back her daughter’s hair)

I know you do

TEENIE

I just want you to feel better Mommy

Teenie and her mother taste the pie, then wrap a piece in waxed paper for Mr. Honeygarten.

EXT. HONEYGARTEN HOUSE. GOLDEN SATURATED LIGHT. DAY.

Teenie rides her bike through the village to his house. Melloman greets her at the fence, tail wagging and barking around, sniffing her hands carrying the pie.

TEENIE

(laughing)

Mello, it’s not for you but maybe you can taste some

Mr. Honeygarten waves at her from a second floor window with old fashioned lace

curtains.

HONEYGARTEN

(calling down to her)

Teenie dear whatever do you have in that basket

TEENIE

(smiling up at him)

The pie! You knew I’d be bringing it

HONEYGARTEN

Well, I was hoping so my dear. It isn’t often that I get to have such a wonderful piece of pie, now is it? come in and let’s have a seat in the parlor.

Mr. Honeygarten goes to his special china cabinet and takes out a beautiful tea set with old fashioned flowers and gilded rims. The silver had different fairies carved on the handles, a gift from his grandmother when he had been a boy.

HONEYGARTEN

Oh what a lovely piece of pie that is my dear. I’ll just put the kettle on for tea, dear and you serve the pie why don’t you?

Teenie carefully arranges the tea set, and slices the pie.

*this pin from my “pleinairella” storyboard space on Pinterest for Mr. Honeygarten style. Formal, Victorian, a gentleman, the tea set. I have props for the teaspoons.

Teenie and Mr. Honeygarten settle in comfort to have pie and tea.

TEENIE

Mr. Honeygarten?

HONEYGARTEN

Yes, my dear

TEENIE

Am I pretty?

HONEYGARTEN

Why Teenie whatever makes you ask that?

TEENIE

Am I?

HONEYGARTEN

Why of course you are my dear

TEENIE

Are you sure?

HONEYGARTEN

Why, Teenie I do believe what I can see with my own two eyes, dear

TEENIE

(sigh of relief)

Oh good

HONEYGARTEN

(kind eyes, smiling, close in)

Why on earth would you ask such a question?

TEENIE

Well, I just wasn’t sure whether I was or not

HONEYGARTEN

Well you are dear, and prettiness is something women grow into. It takes a very long time, by the way. I suppose you are just at the beginning of that rather long journey, yourself.

Mr. Honeygarten and Teenie sit sipping the tea. Silence, as they taste the pie.

HONEYGARTEN

Is there a boy, my dear? Is there a boy involved in all of this asking about prettiness?

TEENIE

(utterly blushing)

There is

HONEYGARTEN

You know my dear, when I was a boy, there was a certain girl I thought was the most beautiful girl in the world. Her name was Claire.

*the character Claire is based on the looks in the image above. It is from very old Hollywood, Mary Pickford.

*to page 39 in my novel, the chapter is Secret Smile

Heart of Clouds screenplay

by Adrienne Wilson

adaptation from my novel, chapter three

(for Walter Halsey Davis)

EXT. DRIFTWOOD HUT, MORNING. SUNNY LIGHT

Teenie sits in the hut, marveling at the abalone shell, and her origami bird, while a seal dips and dives in the waves, watching her. She draws a little puffy cumulus cloud shape with a heart inside, and the words, “Who are you?” for Devlin, thinking of the boy, and that he must have left the beautiful shell. She decides to leave this for him, in a stone stack, and we see her combing the beach to find three stones, then carefully tucking the note and tucking it under the second stone.

EXT. MORNING, VILLAGE. SUNNY

Teenie rides her bike through village on way to Mr. Honeygarten’s Victorian to ask for apples. Mellowman, his Golden Retriever barks and clowns around at the old picket fence in happiness to see her again.

TEENIE

(smiling and petting his head, through the fence)

Mello, Mello, Mello

A jay comes to a screeching landing on the old fence, looking for peanuts near them.

TEENIE

Mr. Honeygarten are you there?

HONEYGARTEN

(calls down to her, from a window)

Just a minute dear, let me get my staff

Well hello, Teenie, How very nice to see you again

Mr. Honeygarten I was wondering if I might be able to have some of those apples on your trees. I want to make a pie.

(We close in on his eyes, crinkling at the corners, face breaking into a warm smile)

HONEYGARTEN

You do? I see. Well suppose you help me pick them, I seem to have plenty to spare this year.

TEENIE

I want to share it with you Mr. Honeygarten

HONEYGARTEN

Oh my, I haven’t had an apple pie for a very long time

TEENIE

Neither have I. Not since Dad left.

HONEYGARTEN

You must miss him very much Teenie

TEENIE

I do, every single day

HONEYGARTEN

Well let me see, we’ll need a basket and a ladder. How about if you go around to the garden shed and collect those for us and I’ll meet you by the trees.

INT. GARDEN SHED. DIM LIGHT

Teenie enters the shed, full of all the old seed packages and clay pots and tools and almanacs Mr. Honeygarten had collected over the years, brushing cobwebs aside, to get to the trug and ladder. Swallow’s nests cling to the eaves outside. She and Mr. Honeygarten both make their way to the trees, with Mellowman at his side.

HONEYGARTEN

(eyes follow a red tail hawk circling overhead, as he makes his way through the tangled grasses to his trees)

Melloman, look!

(dog’s eyes follow the bird)

EXT. APPLE TREES. DAY – SUNNY

Teenie picks twenty of the apples, and carries the basket to his porch, returns ladder to the shed.

HONEYGARTEN

Will you have some tea dear?

TEENIE

Can I make the pie first?

HONEYGARTEN

All right. Why don’t you take that old basket with you?

TEENIE

Thank you Mr. Honeygarten, I’ll be back this afternoon. I hope the pie will cheer Mom up.

MONTAGE (flashback)

Teenie’s parents Jax and Christina are seen dancing at a potluck at “The Village Crier” the town’s newspaper, during happy times. We see a “For Sale” sign on the shuttered building. Teenie rides through the village, looking up at her old house.

TEENIE

Mom, I have apples! You should see them.

CHRISTINA

(pulls blankets up around her, wan smile from the couch. The TV news blaring on and on about climate change and animals going extinct)

TEENIE

I’m going to make pie!

EXT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. MORNING.

Devlin at dunes, approaches the hut, sees Teenie’s footprints on the sand. Sandpipers and gulls flurry along the beach. Pulls harmonica from his pocket and practices blowing out some tunes. A huge gull perches on the seahut.

DEVLIN

Too much plastic in the sea right now, it’s not good for you.

Devlin climbs into hut, and sees the Origami bird and the shell, and the three stacked stones Teenie left him. He finds her note.

DEVLIN

(whispers)

“Who am I” How am I ever going to explain that to her?

Heart of Clouds screenplay

one of the props, for this chapter – Devlin finds a shell for Teenie

Heart of Clouds

ABALONE

EXT. BEACH. DRIFTWOOD HUT. AFTERNOON

Devlin Underwood is seen combing the beach looking for a shell. He finds the perfect abalone wedged in the rocks to leave for Teenie, hoping she will come back. He scoops a tiny hollow in the sand, and places her origami bird inside, as if it is swimming in a sea of beauty.

DEVLIN

(whispers softly)

Maybe she’ll be back.

EXT. VILLAGE. AFTERNOON (Fall light, golden)

Teenie is seen walking home through the village, back to the dismal apartment. She passes ripening apples, the turning leaves of sycamores, passes Mr. Honeygarden’s old Victorian house and sees all the ripening apples hanging like jewels from the trees. She wants to cheer her mother up, by making a pie.

INT. APARTMENT KITCHEN. TEENIES.

Teenie enters through a rickety kitchen door.

TEENIE

Mom remember that pie I made one time?

Christina Alexander answers wanly from her tired perch in the living room, soaked in blue grey light. She hasn’t moved all day.

CHRISTINA

I do.

TEENIE

Can I make another one someday?

CHRISTINA

Sure, honey.

TEENIE

Mr. Honeygarten’s garden has lots of apples, Mom. Maybe I could help him pick some.

CHRISTINA

Okay, but you be careful if you go up on the ladder.

Mr. Honeygarten is a very old man that lives at the end of a lane in a Victorian surrounded by ancient apple trees he planted. Tumbling roses line his picket fence. Teenie knows him as a friend in passing, as he always gives her little bunches of flowers from his tangled garden. His has a formality that dates from the early 1900’s, style is antiques from that period. He is a father figure, filling in for her absentee father. *Importance of character is here.

an apple I shot in Summerland, tree is gone now unforch, but idea of how that would look

TEENIE

I could ask him, Mom, tomorrow

CHRISTINA

All right

TEENIE

We could share the pie with him

CHRISTINA

No, Teenie, I don’t feel like having him over

TEENIE

(sighs, audibly in frustration, voice trails off)

But…

INT. DEVLIN’S GRANPARENTS HOUSE. KITCHEN (glossy warm beautiful light, golden)

Devlin’s grandmother is bustling about the warm kitchen fixing Dev’s favorite dinner. The kitchen is large, very old fashioned in a Craftsman type atmosphere, full of pots and pans and pottery vessels. Think stained glass warmth in the design, houseplants. Devlin’s grandparents are 1971 era grandparents, not hippies, just the warmth of the era. Stricken with grief over the loss of their daughter in law, and for their son and his child, they are determined to help the boy in this time of great loss. Making his favorite meal, barbecued chicken and baked beans with cornbread and a big salad. His grandmother has made a giant chocolate cake. The salad greens are from Devlin’s grandfather’s garden. Naturalism and simplicity.

*Importance of characters Grandma and Grandpa Jess is here

props I have for the kitchen, Grandpa and Grandma Jess pottery objects made by Grandma Jess

JESS

What did you do today, son?

DEVLIN

Worked on the hut.

JESS

How’s it coming along?

DEVLIN

Almost done.

JESS

Your dad called.

DEVLIN

He did?

JESS

He wondered how you were getting along.

DEVLIN

Tell him I’m fine, Grandpa.

JESS

Are you Devlin?

DEVLIN

I miss mom a lot.

JESS

I know you do, son.

JESS pulls an old ukulele out from a pine hutch and begins to strum it.  He hands it to Devlin.

JESS

I found this old thing out in the garage. It was mine when I was a boy.

DEVLIN

You played that?

JESS

(his eyes are twinkling and smiling)

I think that’s how I won your grandmother’s heart. That, or my old harmonica.

DEVLIN’S GRANDMOTHER

(peals of rich laughter float from her)

I really don’t think you need to give that boy any ideas, Jess.

JESS hands DEVLIN an old HOHNER harmonica, as he smiles at his wife.  DEVLIN blows into it, but it just squeaks a little.

DEVLIN’S GRANDMOTHER

(smiles warmly at her grandson)

Practice makes perfect, Devlin. Practice makes perfect, and we all know that. The two of you ought to have supper now.

The old oval pine dining table groans with the largesse of the dinner, and we see the centerpiece made of pumpkins and russet fall leaves, as they move to light the candles, Devlin smiles.

DEVLIN’S GRANDMOTHER

(smiling)

No reason every day can’t be a celebration, Devlin

INT. BATHROOM. TEENIE’S APARTMENT (cool grey light)

Teenie washes face and brushes teeth before the mirror, looks at herself, on the cusp of fourteen wondering if she is pretty. She tries different hairstyles, getting ready to ask Mr. Honeygarten for the apples. Her mother comes by the opened door, and sees Teenie applying a little tube of lip gloss.

CHRISTINA

Don’t be vain, Teenie. Pretty is as pretty does.

Teenie’s face falls, from smile to sadness. Her mother had given her the lipgloss not long before. Other girls at school discuss prettiness at bathroom mirrors. She had wanted to be like them. We see her choosing what to wear, baggy faded jeans and a sweater from her closet. Her mother returns to her perch on the couch in from of the TV.

TEENIE

Bye Mom. I’ll be back with the apples, and then we can do the pie.

Teenie rides a bike through the village, a rusty fat tire girl’s bike with a basket. She is heading back to the beach and the sea hut. She parks it and walks down to a brilliant morning full of fresh seaweed. A seal bobs and drifts in the waves barking at her, the driftwood hut in the distance. Teenie falls to her knees in the sand at the sight of her origami bird inside the abalone shell, wondering who might have done that. Devlin is standing watching her high on a dune, and she sees him, the wind ruffling his sandy curls. She calls out to him, but he bolts. Teenie holds the shell to the sunlight, like a brilliant jewel.

TEENIE

(whispering to herself)

He must have done this. he must have left this here for me.

HEART OF CLOUDS – Screenplay

I loved the sound, and the images of the wildflowers, in this.

This is the cover I designed from one of my images of the sea, at Summerland.

It’s a children’s book I wrote in 2009, at the Santa Barbara Writers Conference when I was studying under Walter Halsey Davis. I spent the years 2005 to 2019 with him and sadly he has passed. The film is for him. It was a book to film, as Walter told me it could be done that way. So, all the internals for the characters are in the novel, itself. That is available here: https://www.scribd.com/book/267783895/Heart-of-Clouds.

I’m using my WordPress blog, because I can edit easily here, and since I believe in Fine Actors and their craft, and improvisation, we can add or change lines, as needed with great ease. So, the format may not be perfect. It would also be easy for actors to come to the blog with comments. I wrote the film to be shot on a dime, on location here in Summerland and Carpinteria, as the setting for the film, as a young teen story in the era that is 1971. Those areas have not changed much, with time, and many location shots are easily had. So, here goes, and wish me luck. I will go chapter by chapter.

HEART OF CLOUDS

by Adrienne Wilson

for Walter Halsey Davis

“It is only with the heart that one can see rightly, what is essential is invisible to the eye”

—————— Antoine de Saint-Exupery

EXT. BEACH. MORNING (Sunny, Clear, Fall light)

Sweeping oceanic theme in the sound, piano music, from above, we pan down a long beach, from overhead. A young girl, running, as if away from home. Teenie Alexander is on the cusp of fourteen, she wants to escape from home, plans on running away. Her father has gone away to look for work, she is crying, slowly approaches a massive driftwood hut on the beach and curls up inside it, with her journal, and pen, gifts from her father.

INT. NIGHT. TEENIE’S ROOM (flashback)

Teenie’s father Jax is going to leave in the morning, south to leave for work, he is middle aged, her parents have been fighting since they have both been fired. In low light, we see father and daughter, emotional, tears.

TEENIE

Daddy, don’t go.

JAX

Honey, you know I don’t want to, but I have to. We need the money.

TEENIE

(hugging him tightly, as he brushes back her hair, dries her tears with his shirt)

JAX

I got you something honey.

TEENIE

(corners of a smile begin)

JAX

(pulls from the pocket of his jacket a beautiful paper journal and pen for her)

Teenie you have a heart made of clouds, you know that?

TEENIE

I do?

JAX

(gruffly, holding back tears)

Never forget that, okay?

Never lose that little twinkle in your eye.

TEENIE

(in awe at the beauty of the journal he picked for her, and the special pen)

Thank you, Daddy.

JAX

(exiting her room)

Sleep tight, now.

INT. MORNING. GREY APARTMENT (Blue sad, faded light, grey tones)

Christina Alexander middle aged, sits on a couch surrounded by pill bottles doctors have prescribed to treat her for depression. She is so stoned on the pills that all she can do is huddle wrapped in blankets and watching TV while the news drones on and on about climate change. Scenes play out of a tidal wave over and over and over. She doesn’t even know that Teenie has left the apartment. Her eyes are faded with grief. We close in on the blankness of her face, removed from life, removed from the world. Their house has been sold and the money is gone. She hasn’t heard from Jax in months.

EXT. BEACH. DRIFTWOOD HUT

Teenie curls herself into a ball in the hut, wrapping her sweater around her, pulls her journal and pen from her sweater pocket, to try and write. She is sad, thinking of her father’s absence. It’s been months since she has heard from him. She looks out to sea, and marvels at whoever built the hut. Its strength.

TEENIE

(whispers)

Maybe I could just live here, forever. Maybe whoever built it wouldn’t mind.

She runs the sand over and over like an hourglass through her palm.

(says loudly, to the sea)

I miss you, Dad.

Teenie scans the beach for signs of life, and watches as pelicans appear, in a line over the waves. In the midst of her sad feelings, suddenly on the horizon out over the islands a large cloud appears in the shape of a heart, as if by magic.

TEENIE

(sighs)

I love you, Dad

I love my Dad, I love my Dad,

She says, thinking he must have sent it. Close in on her face with a few salty tears, she watches the cloud and draws it before it dissipates, in the journal her father gave her. A boy has been watching the whole time from behind a dune, as it is Devlin Underwood who has been building it on the beach for himself as a fort. He’s on the cusp of fifteen.

Devlin watches her draw in the journal and then tear a page from it, a heart of clouds. Like a guardian he watches her from afar. He understands sadness, as his mother has passed away recently. He watches Teenie cry too. Devlin wonders if she is sad for the same reason he is. He watches her fold a tiny Origami bird and then she tucks it in the rafters of the hut, the note to her father. He watches as she climbs from the hut and walks the beach back to the village. When she is out of sight behind a fold in the cliffs, he climbs into the hut and sees the tiny bird in the rafters.

DEVLIN

(says softly)

I should leave something here for her.

MONTAGE images of Devlin and his father with books, on the shore, building things.

(can be shown with photographs, stills of the actors) as a flashback. Devlin misses his father, he had to drop him off with his grandparents in the village after his mother passed and now he has had to adjust to a new life in a new town, 1000 miles from where he grew up.

We see Devlin combing the beach to look for a shell to leave the girl he saw crying.

(says softly, as he climbs the rocks, close in on his face)

Maybe she could be a friend.

Heart of Clouds – SCREENPLAY adaptation DEVLIN/Gulls/Plastic

HEART OF CLOUDS

by Adrienne D. Wilson

copyright 2009 by Adrienne D. Wilson, all rights reserved

Screenplay by Adrienne D. Wilson

copyright 2020 WordPress.com all rights reserved

for Walter Halsey Davis

of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference

CONT.

from a little trailer I made as Valentine Bonnaire in 2012 in youtube…..

EXT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. Bright SUN, MORNING

DEVLIN is squatting on a sand due (Padaro Lane location) DUNES watching as TEENIE leaves the HUT.

DEVLIN

(whispers)

I wonder what she did in there

Devlin walks casually toward the hut, playing the harmonica Grandpa Jess gave him. A gull, flying. Devlin spots a dead gull on the beach, plastic wrapped around it’s neck. It’s dead. He begins to bury it.

DEVLIN

(tears)

Too much plastic in the sea, it’s not good for you

A gull perches on top of the driftwood hut, flapping its wings. Devlin enters the hut and sees what Teenie left for him, under three stacked stones.

INT. GRANPDA JESS HOUSE. AFTERNOON, golden light. DEVLIN (at bathroom mirror)

HEART OF CLOUDS – novel to screenplay adaptation Mr. Honeygarten/Teenie apples

red apples

HEART OF CLOUDS

by Adrienne D. Wilson

copyright 2009 by Adrienne D. Wilson, all rights reserved

Screenplay by Adrienne D. Wilson

copyright 2020 WordPress.com all rights reserved

for Walter Halsey Davis

of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference

CONT.

EXT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. BEACH MORNING PEARLED LIGHT

Teenie leaves Devlin a note, under three beach stones, she has walked beach, dreamlike, to gather them. Close in on her drawing him a heart surrounded by clouds, with “Who are you?” then a seal’s head pops up from the waves as she walks away, smiling.

EXT. MR. HONEYGARTEN’S HOUSE. BRIGHT SUN, DAY

Teenie parks her bike by the old fence. MELLOMAN his dog is so happy to see her, clowns at fence, wagging and jumping. Birdsounds, Bluejay with peanut, landing.

TEENIE

Mr. Honeygarten are you there?

HONEYGARTEN

Just a minute, dear, let me get my staff. Well, hello Teenie dear how very nice to see you again

TEENIE

Mr. Honeygarten, I was wondering if I might be able to have some of those apples on your trees. I want to make a pie

Mr. Honeygarten smiles dearly at Teenie and begins to pick some flowers for her. Close in on his aged face, smiling eyes and warm smile, as Teenie pets Melloman.

HONEYGARTEN

You do? I see. Well suppose you help me pick them, and of course you can. I seem to have plenty to spare this year.

TEENIE

I want to share it with you Mr. Honeygarten

HONEYGARTEN

Oh my, I haven’t had an apple pie for a very long time

TEENIE

Neither have I, not since Dad left

HONEYGARTEN

You must miss him very much Teenie

TEENIE

I do. Every single day.

HONEYGARTEN

(old hips aching, puzzles)

Well let me see, we’ll need a basket and the ladder. How about if you go around to the garden shed and collect those for us and I’ll meet you by the trees.

Melloman and Teenie meander through English garden style flowers to the old shed, Honeygarten limps with staff toward the trees- lilting music, uplift close in on her hands picking apples, while he watches, Mellowman by his side

MONTAGE FLASHBACK – ESTABLISHING

Close in on a FOR SALE sign, Teenie’s parents working for a newspaper, bustling business – The Village Crier. Teenie’s parents at work, secretary and reporter. Out of business signs along streets. Teenie’s old house FOR SALE SIGN. Teenie in beautiful bedroom, packing, overhears her parents

INT. NIGHT, TEENIE’S BEDROOM

JAX

They closed it, everything. Lock, stock and barrel.

CHRISTINA

What are we going to do?

EXT. BEACH – DRIFTWOOD HUT – SUNNY, BRIGHT DAY

Heart of Clouds – novel adaptation to screenplay MR. HONEYGARTEN

Walter Halsey Davis taught me about sound in film. Let me play this one for you.

HEART OF CLOUDS

by Adrienne D. Wilson

copyright 2009 by Adrienne D. Wilson, all rights reserved

Screenplay by Adrienne D. Wilson

copyright 2020 WordPress.com all rights reserved

for Walter Halsey Davis

of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference

INT. BATHROOM. MORNING

Teenie stands in the bathroom in pajamas, brushing her teeth. It’s as if it is the first time she has really seen herself. Focus on her hair, trying a bun, a ponytail. Lipgloss.

CHRISTINA

(walks by catches her daughter at mirror, being girlish, sternly)

Pretty is as pretty does, Teenie. Don’t be vain.

TEENIE

(in silence looks at her mother’s face)

Close in on Teenie’s hands at her closet, choosing her favorite jeans and sweater, slipping her journal and pen into the pocket. At door, leaving, close in on her face

TEENIE

Bye, Mom. I’ll be back with the apples and then we can do the pie.

EXT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. TEENIE MORNING BEACH, PEARLED LIGHT

Teenie rides her bike through the village on the way down to the beach to get back to the driftwood hut.

INT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. BEACH, PEARLED LIGHT

Teenie falls to knees at the sight of her origami bird in the shell, looks around quizzically to see if someone else is there, suddenly she sees Devlin standing on the top of the dunes. Wind ruffles in his sandy blond hair. He bolts, she realizes he left the shell for her.

TEENIE

(softly)

He must have done this. He must have left this here for me.

Heart of Clouds – adaptation – novel to screenplay Grandpa Jess

HEART OF CLOUDS

novel copyright 2009 Adrienne D. Wilson all rights reserved

Screenplay copyright 2020 WordPress by Adrienne D. Wilson all rights reserved

INT. GRANDPA AND GRANDMA JESS KITCHEN. EARLY EVENING, GOLDEN LIGHT

The kitchen, in the old brown shingled Craftsman exudes a glow. The warmth and beauty of GRANDPA JESS (70’s) and GRANDMA JESS (70’s) beams like light rays. They are an old fashioned California couple who grew up together and married early, in the 1960’s. The kitchen walls are hung with old cast iron pans and copper cooking pots, there is whimsy, and homey charm, houseplants. Dinnertime, and Grandma is cooking, Devlin’s favorite meal, in simple style. Though they are both worried for the boy, they don’t show it. He is enfolded in their loving arms. They are his father’s parents.

GRANDPA JESS

(lounging on a comfy overstuffed sofa, inhaling the scents of the dinner, as his wife cooks, he watches her, smiling eyes)

What did you do today son?

DEVLIN

Worked on the hut

GRANDPA JESS

How’s it coming along?

DEVLIN

Almost done

GRANDPA JESS

Your father called, he wondered how you were getting along

DEVLIN

Tell him I’m fine

GRANDPA JESS

Are you Devlin?

Devlin busies himself helping his grandmother set the table, and tasting the baked beans and cornbread.

DEVLIN

I miss my mom

GRANDPA JESS

I know you do, son

Grandpa Jess reaches behind the sofa and pulls out an old ukulele he had hidden, starts to strum, then hands it to Devlin

DEVLIN

You played this?

GRANDPA JESS

(eyes twinkling)

I think that’s how I won your grandmother’s heart. That or my old harmonica.

GRANDMA JESS

(rich sounds of her warm laughter fill the room)

I really don’t think you need to give that boy any ideas, Jess

DEVLIN

(practices playing both instruments, smiles)

GRANDMA JESS

(pulls out a special cake made just for Devlin)

Practice makes perfect, and we all know that – the two of you ought to come have supper now.

DEVLIN

Sighs, smiling as he looks at the cake

GRANDMA JESS

No reason every day can’t be a celebration, Devlin

Heart of Clouds – adaptation – my novel to screenplay

HEART OF CLOUDS

by Adrienne D. Wilson

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EXT. DAY. FUNERAL DEVLIN’S MOTHER (establishing)

A simple pine coffin, with flowers. DEVLIN and his FATHER standing near it, his arm is around the boy, who stands in silence. Mute. Close in on father’s face, we see the streaks of tears. His father is a big city architect, now he is lost at the death of his wife. Devlin is to be sent to his grandparents in California. GRANDPA JESS and GRANDMA.

INT. DAY. AIRPLANE DEVLIN’S FLIGHT

DEVLIN is taking a plane alone. We see him in profile at a window seat, as the land moves away underneath him, giving way to the land below as it recedes, until clouds.

EXT. BEACH – DEVLIN – DRIFTWOOD HUT

Devlin has found an abalone shell to leave for Teenie, He scoops some sand at the rear of the structure and carefully places her little orgami bird inside it. Late afternoon in golden light.

EXT. VILLAGE – TEENIE – MR. HONEYGARTEN’S HOUSE (establishing)

Teenie walks home, and passes MR. HONEYGARTEN’S (90) old Victorian house, with a tangle of brambles and old roses along the picket fence. All his apple trees are laden with fruit, sound of birdsongs, in golden afternoon light.

INT. TEENIE’S HOUSE – LIVING ROOM

Teenie enters the grey light atmosphere, her mother Christina has not moved from the couch, TV droning on with the news. She wants to try and cheer her mother up.

TEENIE

Mom, remember that pie I made one time?

CHRISTINA

(wanly)

I do

TEENIE

Can I make another one someday?

CHRISTINA

Sure honey

TEENIE

MR. HONEYGARTEN’S garden has all kinds of apples, Mom. Maybe I could help him pick some?

CHRISTINA

Okay, but you be careful if you go up on the ladder

TEENIE

I could ask him Mom, tomorrow. We could share the pie with him.

CHRISTINA

(her eyes have never left TV screen)

No, Teenie. I don’t feel like having anyone over.

TEENIE

But…