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Glenda Pearce

writer. thinker. serial eye winker.





Step 1: Selecting Your Text

I have chosen the poems of Louise Smith and Herbert Marshall from Spoon River Anthology, two former lovers with profound feelings towards each other. 

These poems piqued my curiosity from the offset, the intensity of the emotion conveyed within each, even just with the use of language. So inevitably I wonder, what the hell happened?

Step 2: Drafting Your Screenplay







Step 3: Writing Your Logline

A young woman returns home to confront the cataclysmic event which led to her disappearance. 


Louise Smith

Herbert broke our engagement of eight years

When Annabelle returned to the village

 From the Seminary, ah me!

If I had let my love for him alone

It might have grown into a beautiful sorrow-

Who knows?- filling my life with healing fragrance.

But I tortured it, I poisoned it,

I blinded its eyes, and it became hatred-

Deadly ivy instead of clematis.

And my soul fell from its support,

Its tendrils tangled in decay. 

Do not let the will play gardener to your soul

Unless you are sure

It is wiser than your soul's nature. 

Herbert Marshall

All your sorrow, Louise, and hatred of me

Sprang from your delusion that it was wantonness

Of spirit and contempt of your soul's rights

Which made me turn to Annabelle and forsake you. 

You really grew to hate me for love of me,

Because I was your soul's happiness, 

Formed and tempered

To solve your life for you, and would not. 

But you were my misery. If you had been 

My happiness would I not have clung to you?

This is life's sorrow:

That one can be happy only where two are;

And that our hearts are drawn to stars

Which want us not.  

Poems and Research

I did a bit of research before I began to write, I wanted to have visuals of the characters, their situations. I thought this was very important before I even attempted to start the script. 

I can't help but think of them together as a couple, the electricity between them. Obviously things did not just fizzle out, Louise's torment denotes that something happened, her regrets: 'I tortured it, I poisoned it.' They were once in love, they were once happy. Herbert describes how Louise's 'soul's rights ... made me turn to Annabelle and forsake you.' He was 'made' to turn away from Louise, why?

Louise uses words such as torture, poison, hatred, blinded and decay. Herbert describes Louise's 'delusion' as 'I was your soul's happiness' ... 'but you were my misery.' 

What happened between them?

Why does Herbert feel such disdain towards her?

I find these two characters very intriguing, they are both obviously complex and intense people. I wonder about their lives, how they met, what attracted them to each other in the first place?

Herbert's new lover Annabelle is mentioned in both poems, who is this Annabelle and what role does she have to play in their break up?

The three characters form an intense love triangle (clandestine?) that evokes themes of desire, obsession, love, heartbreak, disillusionment, sorrow, anger and betrayal. 

The dialogue between characters will be very natural, with each scene presenting the circumstances between this love triangle, and ultimately, revealing what led to destruction of Louise and Herbert's relationship.

I like the idea of indie style camera similar to Half Nelson which uses a hand-held camera suggesting documentary footage in an uncontrolled setting. I would also like to utilise the style of Half Nelson by using lots of close up and medium close-up shots that allows the viewer to really focus on the expressions of the characters. I would like to use a yellowy, vintage style hue throughout (as in the character photos below)


Original idea for logline: After her disappearance, a young woman with a dark secret returns home to confront her past.

Setting: contemporary, city (NY, London), coffee houses, dimly lit bars, dark, rainy, warehouse apartments, slightly dismal. 

Wardrobe: casual, cool, boho, denim shirts, scarves, chunky boots, silver jewellery. 

Soundtrack: Portishead, PJ Harvey, Massive Attack.

Characters: Lou, Herb and Annie as young protagonists, early to mid twenties. Peripheral characters of friends and family members.

Lou: short blonde hair, pretty, svelte frame, serious, elegant, sharp, witty, enigmatic, quietly fierce.

Herb: blonde, handsome, looks like a Brooklyn hipster, laid-back, creative, confident.

Annie: brunette, long wispy hair, beautiful, carefree, bohemian, slight Spanish accent, wears lots of silver bangles, very sweet. 

It all began with a kiss........


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