This short film outline was originally written as an assignment for the Planning and Making a Film module I undertook in the penultimate year of my BA (Hons). The module's practice was undertaken between October 2011 to June 2012 and it provided me with a hugely enriching experience. For a more detailed overview of the module and the projects I undertook as a part of it, see Planning and Making a Film: The student filmmaking experience.
While I think the outline presents an interesting idea, it was one of those ideas I felt had been done before and lacks any real narrative devices to sustain it for a 6-8 minute film. Ultimately, it was an outline that I never intended to use...
FILM TITLE: IDLE TIME
(This is not the outline I plan to use for my final script)
NAME: Peter O’Brien
COURSE: Planning and Making a Film
ONE LINE SYNOPOSIS:
A work shy, couch lover discovers he has the ability to stop time and, while this can lead to all kinds of rewards, he may have to pay a price if he does start time again.
- Kevin, 19, slightly obese
- Kevin’s mum, middle aged
SCENE, LOCATION, TIME OF DAY and BEATS
1. INT. KEVIN’S FRONT ROOM - DAY
- Sits on the couch staring at television
- His mum walks through asking him to look for a job.
- Kevin ignores her. He is watching a news segment on the lack of jobs available.
- An intertitle: LATER. MUCH, MUCH LATER
- A montage showing a couple other times when Kevin’s mum has asked him to do this. Intercut with this should be shots of a calendar and a clock showing the passage of time. With each new segment Kevin is still seated in the same position –time is passing him by. Over this we hear the news segment on the lack of jobs and see the anxiety on Kevin’s face.
- Then the image on the television freezes as the clock stops ticking.
- He presses the buttons on the remote.
- He tries switching the TV off at the wall, but the image is still frozen on the screen.
- Then he notices the silence: there is no bird song, no sound of the central heating, no nothing, etc
- He notices the clock; it is not ticking
2. INT. HALLWAY - DAY
- Kevin checks the clock. It is not ticking.
- Then through the tinted glass of the front door he sees the outline of a figure.
- He opens the front door.
3. EXT. KEVIN’S FRONT GARDEN - DAY
- Standing directly in front of the door, frozen still; with a leaflet in her hand her hand is a middle aged woman.
- Kevin pokes her – nothing.
- He pokes her again – this time she tips over. The noise of the impact echoes.
4. EXT. CORNER SHOP - DAY
- Kevin walks in noticing a customer and shop worker frozen in mid-stance.
- Kevin looks at the clock behind the counter – frozen.
- Then he notices a ten pound notes held in the customers hand; ready to hand over to the shop worker.
- Kevin removes the ten pound note and slips it into his pocket.
5. INT. KEVIN’S FRONT ROOM - DAY
- Kevin is sat in his spot on the couch; staring at the frozen image on the television. Slowly we start to hear his mum telling him to look for a job and the news report from scene 1. Kevin shuts his eyes, concentrating. Then –
- Nothing. Time is still frozen…
6. EXT. BUS STOP - DAY
- A frozen image of a boy checking out a girl he fancies.
7. INT. BETTING SHOP - DAY
- Kevin depositing pound notes into a bag.
8. INT. KEVIN’S BEDROOM’S - DAY
- He deposits notes of money on his bed.
9. INT. RESTAURANT - DAY
- Kevin is digging into a till.
- He doesn’t notice the image of a frozen couple – they are staring deep into each other, clearly in love.
10. INT. KEVIN’S FRONT ROOM - DAY
- Kevin is sat in his spot on the couch… this is really just a rehash of scene 5.
- Nothing. Kevin still can’t start time…
11. EXT. CHURCH - DAY
- Frozen image – a wedding has just taken place.
12. EXT. STREET - DAY
- Frozen image – a couple are clearing having an argument by their car.
13. INT. SHOP - DAY
- Stealing more money.
14. EXT. JUNIOR SCHOOL - DAY
- Frozen image – a father is meeting his children.
15. INT. KEVIN’S BEDROOM - DAY
- Kevin deposits more money on the bed.
16. EXT. RESIDENTIAL ROAD - DAY
- Frozen image – an elderly man is pushing his elderly wife in a wheel chair.
17. INT. KEVIN’S FRONT ROOM - DAY
- As with scene 5 and 10 Kevin is still trying to start time. By now the news report and his mother asking him to get a job is intercut, in quick succession, with pretty much everything we have seen so far. It keeps building like a life flashing in front of our eyes.
- The television starts again and we can hear the clock ticking.
- Kevin falls on the front room floor – he is the one who is frozen now.
I realise that this is an incredibly vague and incomplete idea, but I hope you got some of what I was trying to achieve with it. Fortunately, though, this is not the idea I plan to use for my script; about which I do have some questions.
If you would like to know more about the development of this outline and the other outline ideas I developed, have a read of Developing a Script, Part 1: Outline.