When I have bursts of creativity, often they don’t manifest themselves in the form of outlines or story arcs: I think of enough specifics to sell the film as a movie trailer, and imagine a soundtrack. Like this one, for instance: I have no idea what the rest of the movie would be like or if I’ll ever finish it, but it sure sounds great to me. Let me know what you think.
INT. INTERROGATION ROOM
FADE IN on FREDDIE, a man in his late twenties, shuddering with sobs. Trails of dried tears mark his face. He wears all black, contrasting the white wall behind him. From off-screen, a woman speaks.
WOMAN’S VOICE: I need you to tell me what happened up to that day.
FREDDIE shudders once more.
SMASH TO BLACK. Logos up.
Etta James’ “All I Could Do Was Cry” begins to play, and continues throughout.
EXT. FREDDIE’S HOUSE
CLOSE UP: FREDDIE opens a pastel-pink mailbox to see a beautiful white envelope, from LESLIE PRESCOTT.
ZOOM IN: FREDDIE stares at the envelope. His expression hovers between being on the verge of tears and barely expressed rage.
INT. FREDDIE’S HOUSE
LONG SHOT. FREDDIE sits in a battered green chair in a dark, messy room, littered with empty bottles.
CLOSE UP. Another bottle falls from his slack hand, rolling along the floor until it hits a dresser. PAN UP to the torn-open envelope, now revealed to be a “Save the Date” message.
INT. WEDDING CHAPEL
SLOW MOTION ARC SHOT. An oppressively white choir sings (without audio) in an oppressively white chapel with an oppressively white sea of guests in attendance. Sunlight beats down through the stained glass.
MEDIUM SHOT: The camera pans down the pews, a sea of people dressed in white, crying happy tears, until it reaches a man in black, with black aviator sunglasses, at the back. It’s FREDDIE. His expression, or what you can see of it, is completely nonplussed.
MEDIUM CLOSE UP: LESLIE, a man an Abercrombie and Fitch exec would saw his own legs off to sign as a model, stands at the altar. His big toothy smile is sickening. For a moment, the smile drops as he sees FREDDIE in the back, who meets his gaze. But just as soon as the smile slips, it returns.
CLOSE UP: A pair of very beautiful shoes walks down the aisle. PAN UP to JAMIE, a real men’s razor commercial-looking motherfucker. LESLIE and JAMIE gaze deep into each other’s eyes.
DOLLY ZOOM in on FREDDIE’S face. He shudders in the way we saw in the opening shot.
And now, the waterworks.
INT. FREDDIE’S HOUSE
MONTAGE: Etta James howls, having reached the first chorus. FREDDIE throws a bottle against the wall, and it shatters into a storm of cherry blossoms as he and LESLIE tumble in the shadow of a beautiful cherry tree. The next moment, FREDDIE eyes LESLIE’S muscular body jealously while LESLIE returns his gaze with disdain. They yell at each other, body language becoming increasingly aggressive. The next moment, they collapse into bed, pushing a bottle of wine out of the way. There’s a moment of peace as they just stare into each other’s eyes and smile warmly. A series of images of toxicity and glimpses of real love play rapid-fire, then break on LESLIE walking out of the house into the light, suitcase in hand, as FREDDIE screams and cries.
INT. WEDDING CHAPEL
CLOSE UP: FREDDIE snaps back to reality. A woman in the pew in front of him is staring at him. He offers a wan smile.
MEDIUM SHOT: LESLIE and JAMIE are about to exchange rings. FREDDIE fidgets a moment, and excuses himself, walking out the door. LESLIE AND JAMIE kiss and begin to walk back down the aisle together, but stop and are horrified by something we cannot see.
EXT. WEDDING CHAPEL
FREDDIE walks away from the chapel in the foreground, sunglasses still on. As he motions to remove them, as Etta James wails in pure anguish in anticipation of the second chorus, the soundtrack suddenly cuts out, and the chapel explodes, bursting into firey focus. FREDDIE is thrown to the ground, sunglasses falling off.
FREDDIE stares in horror at the burning chapel, which is reflected in his eyes. A single tear rolls down his face as screams of horror can be faintly heard.
SMASH TO BLACK.
The choir mockingly sings “Cry, cry, cry,” their voices horribly distorted.