HEART OF CLOUDS – SCREENPLAY – 11

*adapting my novel Heart of Clouds – p.72 Chapter is EMOTIONS

HEART OF CLOUDS

by Adrienne Wilson

(for Walter Halsey Davis of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference)

INT. DEVLIN BEDROOM. EARLY MORNING

Devlin awakes from a strange dream about a giant’s hand rearranging his seahut)

DEVLIN

(tosses and turns, sits up bolt awake)

Oh no!

(rushes to dress, checks to see if Teenies notes are in his wizard box, sighs with relief, races down the stairs)

EXT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. BEACH. MORNING

example of the driftwood and stone stacks – these at Butterfly Beach

INT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. MORNING

Devlin scans the rafters for a note hoping she left one for him, when a gull lands on the peak of the shelter and screeches at him, cocking its head.

DEVLIN

(glances and sees she put a shell near the feathers he left, frantic to find her note)

Oh no. Maybe I’m too late or maybe she didn’t write anything, or?

(shakes head back and forth, defeated)

GULL

(cocking head and looking him right in the eye, shrieks and flapping its wings)

Photo by Jonathan Faria on Pexels.com

DEVLIN

Well gull what happened

GULL

(brazenly walks inside hut and riffles through the sand in the abalone shell, and extracts Teenies note)

DEVLIN

Hey wait a minute, that’s mine

Hey come back here

(a giant flock of gulls arrives)

Photo by Karol D on Pexels.com

DEVLIN

Hey come back here, you

Give that back

GULL

(cockily teases him by running down the beach carrying note in its beak)

Two red tails arrive and scare the gulls away. Devlin reaches to grab it before the wave washes in

INT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. MORNING. SUNNY.

Devlin carefully unfolds her note and marvels at her handwriting.

DEVLIN

I know her name now. Teenie.

Teenie Alexander. Wow.

(he cannot believe how much attention she put into her note back to him, begins to read in her handwriting)

Dear Devlin,

I think you have a really cool name. I don’t think I’ve met anyone with that name before.

You said I was a sad girl, but I’m not all the time. You know how you said your Mom died? Well that day you saw me crying it was because of my Dad. He’s gone away and I really really miss him. So, I guess like, I can understand a bit about how you feel. Sometimes I just feel really alone since he has been gone and most of the time it is really hard to talk to my Mom.

She is just always watching TV and she always talks about the Wave and the extinctions and about the tuna fish sandwiches she used to eat when she was little and stuff and about how people have ruined the planet and there aren’t going to be any more fish in the sea and stuff like that.

Anyway I just wanted to thank you for that feather and for this beautiful shell because that was a totally bad day for me. Remember that day I saw you running up the beach dunes? I wanted to say Hi but then you were just gone.

Bye,

Teenie Alexander

DEVLIN

Wow, she said she liked my name, and it was a cool name, and she wanted to talk to me too, that day she saw me on the dunes.

Devlin races back home, while a giant flock of gulls watch him.

INT. DEVLINS HOUSE. GOLDEN LIGHT, FIRE CRACKLING

GRANDPA JESS

(sitting with Grandma Jess before a crackling warm fire full of the pine cones they had collected)

You look you are in quite a hurry, son

(Devlin nods, and takes the stairs two at a time, to his room)

INT. DEVLINS ROOM. GOLDEN LIGHT.

*establishing first feelings for a girl

Devlin locks his door, and puts all her notes on the floor before him. He feels like he can say anything to Teenie, and takes pen and paper to compose an answer. He practices signing his name, over and over and over, until he feels it looks perfect.

He begins to write back to Teenie.

Hi Teenie,

I’m really glad you left me this letter because I really wanted to meet you. That day I saw you on the beach you were crying and so I didn’t want to bother you even though you were in my secret driftwood castle. I’ve been really missing my old friends and that’s how come I wanted to be friends with you. I’ve only been here about two months and school is going to start soon. I’m going to be in 8th grade. I was thinking you were my age too, but I wasn’t sure. It looks like you really miss your Dad a lot. Your Mom sounds kind of cool, like she cares about the ocean a lot. It’s my favorite place too. I hope we can meet again sometime. Sometimes it’s really hard to talk to anyone about how I really feel. Do you ever feel like that?

Devlin Underwood

Devlin signs his note with his signature in a fantastic flourish, then carries the note back down to the beach to the driftwood hut.

EXT. BEACH. DRIFTWOOD HUT. SUNNY, GOLDEN LIGHT

Devlin scans the beach, and decides to make a seaweed curtain for the hut, just in case that gull might come back and steal his note to Teenie.

*to page 79 in novel Heart of Clouds

*establishing how two teens can be friends, in letters

*establishing first crush between teens

this is from a great location at Butterfly Beach, where there is a set of stone seats, surrounded by this plant the Tamarisk.

HEART OF CLOUDS – SCREENPLAY – 8

Adaptation of my book Heart of Clouds for film.

Heart of Clouds

by Adrienne D. Wilson

(for Walter Halsey Davis, of the Santa Barbara Writers Conference)

*page 55 – Chapter “Fog Banks”

EXT. MORNING, CREEKBED/BEACH. FOGGY LIGHT

Teenie wanders down the creek edges, a secret path to the beach, plucking Nasturtiums, that she tucks into the breast pocket of her jacket, like bright suns. Excited to see what Devlin has done, but shy. The fog is so thick she worries she won’t be able to find the driftwood hut.

TEENIE

(softly, into the mist)

I wonder what he did after he read my note. What if I can’t find it? What if it got washed away?

Teenie makes her way down the beach over the rocks, keeping to the edges of the cliffs, high tide. Excited she finds the hut, climbs inside, sees the two feathers Devlin left, and his note peeking out from under the stacked stones. She pauses staring at it, before opening. Unfolds, marveling at his handwriting.

TEENIE

This is his handwriting, so different from mine

His name is Devlin

(whispers)

Devlin your Mom died

*establishing sound for Devlin

TEENIE

(pondering how difficult life must be for him, having lost his mother)

(lets out a long sigh)

Devlin your Mom died. You must be so sad. Maybe that’s why you didn’t say anything the other day. Maybe you were too sad to talk or something. I can’t believe you are my age

(embarrassed he had seen her crying)

A gull lands on the top of the seahut, screeching loudly

*gull and wave sounds

TEENIE

I’m totally embarrassed you saw me crying Devlin

(rubs her hands together and blows on them to warm up)

You left me a magic feather

Teenie lies down on the sand in the hut, cups her face, thinks about what she will write next.

INT. DEVLIN. BEDROOM. MORNING. Foggy light.

Devlin wakes to the sound of a crow’s harsh calling, just outside his window.

DEVLIN

Hello crow, what are you up to?

CROW

(tips head and looks at Devlin seeming to say)

Nothing. Nothing at all.

Devlin remembers Teenie’s notes in his pillowcase, and decides to move them to a box he keeps talismans in. He hides the box in the back of his dresser.

GRANDPA JESS

(his voice floats up the stairs)

Devlin are you awake son? Come on down we’ve got pancakes this morning

DEVLIN

Here I come. Just give me maybe five minutes

GRANDPA JESS

I’m filling in for Grandma. She’s going to town with some of those Ladies Society friends of hers. I’m never sure what they have in mind on their jaunts but more than likely she’ll be gone all day, so it’s just you and me Dev.

INT. KITCHEN. GRANDPA JESS HOUSE (Warm golden light)

Grandpa Jess is cooking stacks of pancakes in the golden light and close in on drizzle of maple syrup and butter on stacks of them. He flourishes the spatula, grinning to himself about the day he has planned for Devlin and himself.

GRANDPA JESS

Isn’t this a swell little spatula?

DEVLIN

(nodding, watching)

GRANDPA JESS

Breakfasts for pioneers, my boy

DEVLIN

(secretly thinking about seeing Teenie again)

Grandpa do you mind if I go to the beach today?

GRANDPA JESS

(carries two mountainous plates of steaming pancakes to dining room table)

Eat up now

DEVLIN

(fiddles with his pancakes)

GRANDPA JESS

Well Devlin, I thought we could spend the day together what with your Grandma gone and all

DEVLIN

(lost in thoughts about what he would rather do, head to beach)

GRANDPA JESS

It seems like you spend every minute down on that beach, son. I thought we might take the truck up into the hills, get out of this fog. It’s warm in the backcountry and besides I wanted to show you something special

DEVLIN

(heart not really in it)

Okay Grandpa. When are we going?

GRANDPA JESS

Right after you finish those pancakes, son

*establishing Devlin as a young teen, in a warm Family System who will do anything to try and help him – but expressing true feelings not okay, Devlin feels he can’t really talk, as with Teenie he can, in the little letters they have left for each other – (not okay for boys to cry)

Photo by Monserrat Soldu00fa on Pexels.com

INT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. BEACH (sun, breaking through fog)

Teenie has been in the hut, trying to think of a way to answer Devlin. She begins to write to him, close in on her hand writing this long letter:

Dear Devlin,

I really think you have a cool name. I don’t think I ever met anyone with that name before.

You said I was a sad girl, but I’m not all the time. You know how you said your mom died? Well that day you saw me crying it was because of my dad.

He’s gone away and I really, really miss him.

So I guess, like, I can understand a little bit about how you feel.

Sometimes, I just feel really alone since he’s been gone and most of the time it’s really hard to talk to my mom. She is just always watching TV and she always talks about the Wave and the extinctions and about tuna fish sandwiches she used to eat when she was little and stuff and about how people have ruined the planet and there aren’t going to be any more fish in the sea and stuff like that.

Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for that feather and for this beautiful shell because that was like a totally bad day for me.

Remember that day I saw you running up the dunes? I wanted to say “hi” but then you were just gone.

Bye, Teenie Alexander

Teenie sighs at the close of the writing, feeling as if the words just poured out of her. She hunts down the beach until she finds a turret shell, to weight the note down. As she leaves, she whispers on the wind, close in on her face

TEENIE

Bye, Devlin. I’m glad I met you.

*to page 61, in the novel Heart of Clouds

*establishing the kids can communicate through written word and by hand, also teen years of breakaway into puberty, innocence.

Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com

HEART OF CLOUDS – SCREENPLAY – 4

Heart of Clouds

by Adrienne D. Wilson

Adaptation chapter 4

Apple and Feather

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

INT. PRESENT TEENIE KITCHEN. DISMAL BLUE LIGHT.

(Teenie sighs in frustration)

Takes apples from the basket one by one, thinking of her father and better times. She rummages through the kitchen trying to find what she needs for the pie. Draws a list up, in her notebook. Close in on her hands with the apples, startling red and green. She shines one on her jeans, it glistens like a ruby.

(in handwriting)

we close in on her handwriting what she needs for the pie

FLASHBACK. JAX. OLD HOUSE KITCHEN. MAGIC HOUR LIGHT

(we see Teenie and Jax baking a pie together, he teaches her to cut the apples, they fall into flower shapes, smiling and laughing. Close in on his face, full of love for his daughter.

TEENIE

Mom do you feel like helping me?

MOM……….

CHRISTINA

No, honey, I don’t

TEENIE

Please?

CHRISTINA

Teenie I am trying to watch the news

TEENIE

But, Mom…

CHRISTINA

(sharply, angrily)

Teenie

CHRISTINA

Another species just went extinct, Teenie

The Wave is on its way now

TEENIE

Mom can we just make this pie together

Mom…….

FLASHBACK. TEENIE’S OLD HOUSE. DAY

Teenie and her parents having to move, throwing everything out, including all her childhood toys, FOR SALE sign on the house

CHRISTINA

What are we going to do, Jax

INT. PRESENT. TEENIE KITCHEN. DISMAL LIGHT

TEENIE

(Teenie whispers to the apples)

I just want to make the pie Mom. I just want things to be normal again.

Teenie begins to cut the apples into flowers, while her mother sits wrapped in grey on the sofa, eyes glued to the television, she makes the pie, rolling out the crust, shaping it for Mr. Honeygarten. The apartment kitchen has such a sad atmosphere she can barely breathe. She touches a golden locket, her father’s picture inside. Close in as her hand opens it, heart shaped. Smiles at his face.

EXT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. MORNING. SATURATED LIGHT.

(Devlin, puzzled, at her note, wonders how he can answer)

FLASHBACK

Devlin and his father, and his grandparents at the funeral for his mother.

*location SB Cemetary at Butterfly Beach

A plain pine coffin, flowers. Close in on all their faces. Devlin’s father with his arm around the boy. Tears. Devin stoic.

EXT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. PRESENT.

DEVLIN

How am I supposed to answer a question like that

Maybe she cries in private like I do

Devlin takes off down the beach running – long shot as we pan, seabirds scattering before him. His arms are outstreched like a birds wings, almost a dance against the waves near his castles, where the red tails roost. We see them against the sky twirling and gliding, riding the currents.

Devlin’s castle at Loon

(Devlin finds a feather)

DEVLIN

(screams into the wind)

This is who I am. I’m going to leave this for her.

INT. DRIFTWOOD HUT. BRIGHT SATURATED LIGHT

(Devlin smiling)

He pockets her note, and the origami bird, smooths the sand around the abalone shell, and replaces the stones in a stack. He scoops sand in the shell, and places the feather there for her. We see him walking through the waves, in his jeans pant legs wet to the knees, in the seafoam.

(to page 32, in my book)