A Boy and His Cage | Skillshare Projects



A Boy and His Cage

Step 1: Selecting Your Text

After reading through the source materials, I knew relatively quickly that I wanted to adapt one of the poems from Edgar Lee Masters Spoon River Anthology. In particular, I felt drawn to the poem The Unknown, which features that of a boy who, after shooting a hawk, takes it and puts it in a cage for many days. The part that really drew me in to this character and this story was the ending: 

Daily I search the realms of Hades. For the soul of the hawk, That I may offer him the friendship Of one whom life wounded and caged.

There is this beautiful juxtaposition of a hawk who has been caged literally by a boy who has had life wound and cage him metaphorically.  I thought of several different ways of bringing this story to life, but what I decided to do was to set the story when the boy is an older man with a son of his own. For the screenplay I chose to have this man's son, Russ, as the main character. Russ has befriended his father's hawk and connects with the bird on the level that they are both caged in a way. The hawk surrounded by a literal cage. The boy, Russ, caged by a fear of his abusive father. 

Here is the entire poem:

YE aspiring ones, listen to the story of the unknown
Who lies here with no stone to mark the place.
As a boy reckless and wanton,
Wandering with gun in hand through the forest
Near the mansion of Aaron Hatfield,
I shot a hawk perched on the top
Of a dead tree.
He fell with guttural cry
At my feet, his wing broken.
Then I put him in a cage
Where he lived many days cawing angrily at me
When I offered him food.
Daily I search the realms of Hades
For the soul of the hawk,
That I may offer him the friendship
Of one whom life wounded and caged.

Step 2: Drafting Your Screenplay

Here is the Final Draft:


Here is my Second Draft:


Here is the First Draft of my screenplay A Boy And His Cage


I would love to hear what people think and what I can improve on! I value all opinions!

Step 3: Writing Your Logline

A boy and a wounded hawk struggle to attain freedom from an abusive father.


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